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August 23d, 24th and 25th, 1880. 


GEO. VAN VLIET, of New York, 





Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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M.'. III. •. Companions; 

The Convention of Royal and Select Masons, held in Buffalo in 1877, 
adjourned to meet upon the call of the President. 

I have been requested by Most 111. Georsb W. Coolby, Grand Master 
of the Grand Council of Minnesota, in accordance with instructions of his 
Grand Council, to call a meeting of the Convention in 1880. ' 

Concurring in his views, I hereby give notice that a meeting of that 
Convention will be held in Detroit, Michigan, on the twenty-third day of 
August, A. D. 1880, at eight o'clock in the evening. 

It is earnestly desired that all the Grand Councils be represented. If 
no session of any Grand Council is to be held before that date, it is desired 
that the Grand Master will take measures to be represented : this can proper- 
ly be done, as the purpose of the Convention is consultation, and its action 
only advisory. 

That we have arrived at a most important era in the history of Cryptic 
Masonry, is evident from the situation. The degrees are now conferred in 
four different ways. 

1 . In Chapters, as a pai-t of the regulaj' series of degrees. 

In this class are Virginia and West Virginia, where the degrees are con- 
ferred before the Royal Arch, the order being Mark Master, Past Master, 
Most Excellent Master, Royal Master, Select Master and Royal Arch. A 

— 4 — 

Q-raud Council was formed ia Virginia in 1830, which, yielding to a claim 
based upon -a gross, error, in 18il surrendered the degrees to the Grand 
Chapter and dissolved. 

3. In Councils appurtenant to Chapters, but otherwise independent of them. 

In this class is Texas, whose Graud CouQciJ wa? dissolved in 1864; 
since that time, the degrees have been coufened in Councils of a quasi 
voluntary character, claiming to be held under the authority of a Chapter 
warrant, but entirely separate from the Chapter itself, without control by 
any Grand Body. 

3. In Councils appurtenant to Chapters, and under the control and author- 
ity of Grand Chapters. 

In this class are Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, 
South Carolina and Wisconsin. These Grand Councils have formally dis- 
solved, but, previous to their dissolution, they surrendered the degrees (so 
far as they had the power) to their several Grand Chapters, which accept- 
ed the trust and are now undertaking to confer and control the degrees. 

The Grand Council of Illinois, in like manner, voted to surrender the 
degrees to the Grand Chapter, but still claims to be in existence. 

Measures, looking ultimately to the same end, but not fully consum- 
mated, have been taken by the Grand Councils of California, Missouri and 
North Carolina. 

I understand that the Grand Chapter of Nevada (where there has never 
been a Grand Council) contemplates authorizing its Chapters to confer 
these degrees in " appurtenant Councils," and the same thing is favored in 
Oregon : by whose ' ' surrender " they propose to obtain this authority, I am 
not advised. 

Several of these Grand Chapters are awaiting the action of the General 
Grand Chapter, and I have no doubt that an effort vill be made at its next 
Convocation to adopt the amendments to the Coastitution offered by our 
Mississippi Companions, and now pending, and thus, by endorsing what is 
known as the " Mississippi Plan," assume control of the Cryptic degrees. 

4. In Councils, under the jurisdiction of Grand Councils. 

In this class are Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, 
Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, 
New Hampshire, New Vlersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode 
Island, Tennessee and Vermont, in the United States, and England, Ontario 
and New Brunswick, abroad. 

This unparalleled confusion in the entire polity of the Rite, and neces 
sary conflict even in the rituals of the different jurisdictions, peremptorily, 
call for action to secure uniformity, or for the entire abandonment of the 
degrees, by the existing Grand Councils. 

Experience shows that uuited action can be secured only by generaj 
consultation; and a Convention is tlie only method of having that. 

The more important questions growing out of the situation are the fol- 
lowing : 

1. Shall the Grand Council system of organization be continued ? If 
not, shall the degrees be abandoned, or the " Mississippi Plan " adopted ? 

2. If the Grand Council system is to be continued, what measures (if 
any) shall be taken to prevent a conflict between the Grand Councils and 
the General Grand Chapter ? 

3. What rule shall be adopted as to the status of those who receive the 
degrees in Chapters, as well as of those wlio have received the degrees in 
regular Councils, but have assisted in conferring the degrees in other 
Bodies, or been present when they were thus conferred ? 

4. What rule ought to be adopted in relation to the jurisdiction in 
States, &c., in which no regular Grand Council exists? 

The enumeration of these questions, of course, in no manner precludes 
the consideration of others. 

Experience has shown that the comparatively brief time during which* 
a Convention can remain in session, does not give opportunity for work by 
committees upon subjects under consideralioQ: and the necessity of com- 
mittee-work, to secure proper action by any deliberative body, is universal- 
ly acknowledged : indeed, it may be safely said that the action of the last 
two Conventions failed to exert its due influence in consequence of the fail- 
ure to prepare in advance measures for consideration. 

To obviate the danger of ill-considered action, I take the liberty of de- 
signating Compaaions to prepare, aud have ready for presentation at the 
opening of the Convention, I'eports upon the four questions above stated, 
for the consideration of the Convention, with resolutions embodying such 
action as they sliall recommend should be taken in relation thereto : 

1. — Geo. M. OsaooDBY, Buffalo, New York. 

Gbo. W. Coolby, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 

Wii.Li,\M W. Austin, Richmond, Indiana. 
2. — Edward S. Dana, New Haven, Vermont. 

Geo. L. MoCahan, Baltimore, Maryland. 

William Wallace Lee, West Meriden, Conn. 

■i. — Charles E. Meyer, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Geo. J. PiNCKABD, New Orleans, La. 
Hugh McCukdy, Corunna, Michigan. 

4. — William M. Cunningham, Newark, Ohio. 
John S. Derby, Saco, Maine. 
John Haigh, Somerville, Mass . 

— 6 — 

Inasmuoli as no provision has been made for the expenses of the meet- 
ings of committees, I trust the Companions will at once proceed, by corres- 
pondence, to interchange views, and prepare reports upon the subject com- 
mitted to them: there is ample time for that purpose. 

I hope, also, no one of the Companions will ask to be excused, because 
he may not be a member of the Convention, or not able to attend it, inas- 
much as the committees above announced are not committees of the Conven- 
tion, but of my own, to assist me in presenting to the Convention matters for 
its action. And if any of the Companions prefer, they may submit their 
report to me, and I will have it presented to the Convention by the presid- 
ing officer. It would aid very materially, however, in the deliberations of 
the Convention, if each committee would print its report and circulate 
copies in advance of the meeting. 

Seasonable notice will be given in what hall the Convention will meet : 
only Companions from jurisdictions in which a regular Grand Council 
exists will be admitted to participate in the Convention, until it shall other- 
*wise order. 

Companions, the time has come for decisive and final action in one di- 
rection or another: let us, therefore, come together and consult freely, de- 
liberate fully and act wisely, to the end that when we separate, the united 
approval of our several Grand Councils shall crown our efforts, and the 
future of the Cryptic Rite be irrevocably settled. 

President of the National Convention of R, & S. Masters. 
Portland, Maine, March 10, 1880. 


Detroit, Mich., August 23d, 1880. 

Pursuant to a call made by M. 111. Companion Josiah H. 
Drummond, of Maine, a number of Royal and Select Masters 
assembled at the Masonic Hall, in the City of Detroit, Michigan, 
on Monday evening, August 23d, 1880, Anno Dep., 2880., M. 
111. Companion Josiah H. Drummond acting as Chairman. 
On motion, George Van Vliet was chosen as Secretary. 
On motion of Comp. O. A. B. Renter, of Ohio, a committee 
of three on credentials was appointed, the committee consisting 
of Comps. Orestes A. B. Senter, of Ohio, George P. Cleaves, ot 
New Hampshire, and Garra B. Noble, of Michigan. 

The Committee on Credentials submitted the following 
report : 

That the several Grand Councils were represented by the Companions 
hereinafter named, which report was received and accepted, and the com- 
mittee continued during the session : t 

Alabama — Comp. "William D. Wadsworth. 

Connecticut — Comp. John O. Rowland. 

California — Comps. Henry S. Orme, "William M. Petrie, and R. E. 

Lafayette Council, of "Washington, D. C. (admitted to representation 
by a vote of the Convention.) — Comps. James P. Pearson, proxy, and J. C. 

Florida — Comp. George M. Osgoodby, proxy. 

Georgia — Comp. Charles R. Armslrong. 

Indiana — Comps. "Walter R. Godfrey, John M. Bratfiwell and Thomas 
B. Long. 

Kansas — Comps. Albert D. McConaughy, Dwight Byiugton, Edwin D. 
Hillyer and James C. Bennett. 

Louisiana — Comp. George J. Pinckard. 

Maine — Comps. Josiah H . Drummond and Edward P. Burnham. 

Maryland — Not represented. 

Massacliusetts— Comps. Alfred F. Chapman and John Haigh. 

Minnesota — Comp. George W. Cooley. 

Missouri — Not represented. 

Michigan — Comps. Hugh McCurdy, D. Burnham Tracy, Garra B. 
Noble, David Woodward and David Bovee. 

New Hampshire — Comps. George P. Cleaves and John J. Bell. 

New Jersey — Comps. John Woolverton and George Scott. 

New York — Comps. George M. Osgoodby, John N. Macomb, Jr., 
and George Van Vliet. 

North Carolina— Not represented. 

Ohio— Comps. Orestes A. B. Senter, Rev. Thomas J. Melish and John ' 
D. Caldwell. 

Pennsylvania — Not represented. 

Rhode Island — Not represented. 

South Carolina — Comp. C. F. Jackson. 

Teimessee — Comp. Benjamin F. Haller. 

Vermont — Comps. Alfred A. Hall and William Brinsmaid, proxy. 

On motion of Comp. George M. Osgoodby, of New York, 
Comp. George J. Pinokard, of Louisiana, was chosen as Vice 
President of the Convention, and it was then resolved that the 
present officers be continued during the session. 

Comp. George W. Cooley, of Minnesota, presented the fol- 
lowing, which was, on motion, received, accepted and ordered 
printed with the proceedings: 

Mb. President and Companions; 

When the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the State of 
Minnesota, at its last assembly, passed a resolution instructing its chief 
officer to requesi our President to issue a call for another convention of 
Cryptic Masons, it did so with the belief that from the representations 
made to it the Order would be greatly benefitted by an assembly held at 
this time. 

For many years we have been contesting the so-called Mississippi plan, 
among whose advocates we read the names of those from whom we had a 
right to expect earnest and hearty co-operation in our work; and their fail- 
ure to support us has resulted in the loss of about one-fourth of our Grand 
Councils and the demoralization of several more. 

Nor has the evil stopped here; the influence of their action has been 

— 9 — 

felt and observed in jurisdictions whose G-raad Councils have been earn- 
estly engaged in the promotion of the welfare of the order, and in many 
States a few discontented companions have started a movement, which, 
but for the determined stand taken by others, would have resulted in add- 
ing more names to the list of sleeping sentinels, or, at least, have lessened 
the force which it now becomes our duty to. hurl against any and all 
opposition to the maintenance of our rights and our privileges as Cryptic 

We not only ask that our position as an independent Order shall be 
recognized by other branches of Masonry, but it is our duty to demand that 
we, and we alone, shall have full and supreme control of all that pertains 
to the degrees of Royal, Select and Super Excellent Masonry, a right that 
we have earned by years of patieni toil in the secret vault, a right legitim- 
ately acquired from Scottish Masonry, and a right that we propose to main- 
tain ^ust as long as a few jurisdictions that I might mention will stand side 
by side with the Grand Council of Minnesota. 

I do not apprehend that any other State will endeavor to follow the 
advocacy of the merging scheme; I do not believe that those who have the 
subject under consideration will ever act upon it to our detriment; nor do 
I believe that the leading spirits in Capitular Masonry will consent to re 
ceive among them Masons who so quickly desert their post of dutj-, or that 
they will become willing tools in the hands of men who are so anxious to 
shift the responsibility of supporting so many grand bodies, whose "exces- 
sive multiplication" has given them sucli uneasiness. 

The subjects to be brought forward for our consideration at this time 
are few, but involve points of vital interest. The action of some Grand 
Councils in disbanding has thrown into our midst companions to whom 
we owe a duty as Masons, and yet who owe to us an allegiance which they 
cannot as readily absolve themselves from as did the Councils of which 
they were members. Peculiar cases will continue to arise, and good policy 
requires that the action of this convention shall be such as to render strict 
masonic justice, tempered with brotherly love. Already in the jurisdiction 
from which I hail, as well as several others, questions have arisen regarding 
the status of certain companions of uncertain standing, which questions 
have been readily disposed of, and the report of the committee to whom 
was referred such matters will be looked forward to with great interest. 

As an opponent of the Mississippi plan, I pledge the Grand Council 
of Minnesota to any action, consistent with our obligations and our duty, 
that has for its aim the perpetuation of Cryptic Masonry, and I may add 
that as long as three subordinate Councils exist in that State the pledge 
shall be kept. 

To argue the question of our sole and exclusive right to these degrees 

— 10 — 

would, in view of the reports soon to be presented, be superfluous. We 
are now in rightful possession of them, and under no circumstances should 
we listen to any proposition having for its aim their sun-ender to any other 
masonic body. 

Since my connection with the order I have observed in many jurisdic- 
tions, and especially in Maine, New York and Pennsylvania, a persistent 
and growing determination to hold, by all the force at command, those 
rights to which we honestly believe we are entitled, and never to surrender 
them either to the General Grand Chapter or to the subordinate Grand 

Cryptic Masonry, having passed its lowest ebb, is not now on the de- 
cline; Grand Councils are not disbanding on account of financial failure, 

Is New York unable to maintain an organization? Is Pennsylvania? 
Maine? Minnesota? 

Florida, with a Grand Master who had some energy and determina' 
tion , placed the weakest of our sisters on a firm and substantial basis. 

And is this, the most beautiful of masonic rites, to be thrown aside 
among the rubbish of side degrees because some of the workmen are 
weary? Let them make room for those who are willing to bear the heat 
and burden of another day, and let the good work go on. Companions, 
whatever may be the action of this convention, or of the General Grand 
Chapter, or of subordinate Grand Chapters; there will still exist Grand 
Councils who will claim jurisdiction over the Koyal, Select and Super 
Excellent degrees, and who, in the future as to-day, will stand on record as 
champions of the Cryptic Rite. The relations of our Order under adverse 
circumstances would undoubtedly be unpleasant, not only as between our- 
selves and clandestine Royal and Select Masters, but also between the loyal 
Grand jCouncils and the Grand Chapters who have pretended to assume 
control of these degrees. 

To avoid the complications which must necessarily arise in the future, 
to remedy the evils of the present, and to rectify the errors of the past, is 
our work to-day. Acting together in harmony we can accomplish much. 
As a General Grand Council our power would be felt where it is now un- 
known, and having undertaken the warfare in behalf of Cryptic Masonry, 
let us continue to fight until the opposition is entirely swept away and the 
Cryptic Rite fully recognized as an independent power throughout the 
masonic world. 

M, I, G. M., Grand Council E. & S. M., Minnesota. 

— 11 — 

On motion of Comp. Geo. W. Cooley, of Minn., a commit- 
tee oi five were appointed to report upon the advisability of 
forming a General Grand Council, and if they thought favor- 
ably thereof, to present the draft of a proposed constitution. 
Whereupon the following committee was appointed: Geo. W. 
Cooley, of Minnesota; O. A. B. Senter, of Ohio; Geo. M. Osgood- 
by, of New York; Geo. J. Pinckard, of Louisiana, and John J. 
Bell, of New Hampshire. 

On motion, Comp. Geo. M. Osgoodby, of New York, was 
requested to read for the information of this Convention, the 
protest prepared by the Grand Council of the State of New 
York, for presentation to the General Grand Chapter of Royal 
Arch Masons of the United States. 

After the reading of said protest it was 

RBSoiiVED, That this Convention of Royal and Select. Masters, repre- 
senting the Grand Councils of the following States, viz. : 
Alabama, Coanecticut, Florida, Georgia, 

Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, 

Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, 

New Jersey, Ohio, Vermont, 

do hereby cordially endorse and adopt the protest of the Grand Council of 
New York to the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the 
United States, against any usurpation by it or by any of its constituents, 
Grand or Subordinate, of the control or jurisdiction of the degrees of Royal 
and Select Master; and that we will severally, as Grand Councils, abide by 
our rightful possession, ownership and jurisdiction of these degrees, regard- 
less of any other Masonic Body ; and regard as clandestine all who receive 
these degi'ees under any authority other than that granted by a regular 
Grand Council, disconnected from a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. 

On motion, a committee consisting of Comps. Hugh 
McCurdy, of Michigan; John Haigb, of Massachusetts, and 
Geo. Scott, of New Jersey, were appointed for the purpose of pro- 
curing funds sufficient to defray the expense of printing the 
above mentioned protest and resolution. 

On motion of Comp. Geo. J. Pinckard, of Louisiana, the 
convention then adjourned until to-morrow (Tuesday) evening 
at 7.30 o'clock. 

12 — 


Detroit, Mich., Tuesday, August 34, 

A, L. 1880, A. D. 3880, 7:30 p. m. 

The convention of Royal and Select Masters resumed its 
session. Comp. Geo. J. Pinckard, Vice-President, in the chair. 

On calling the roll, the representatives of seventeen Grand 
Councils were found to be present. 

On Motion, Comps. John D. Caldwell, of Ohio ; Benjamin 
F. Moore, of Georgia, and Benjamin F. Haller, of Tennessee, 
were accorded the privilege of being present and participating 
in our deliberations. 

The minutes of yesterday's session were read and appi'oved. 

On motion of Comp. Wm. D. Wadsworth, of Alabama, all 
committees appointed by Comp. Josiah H. Drummond prior to 
the opening of this convention were continued as permanent 
committees of this convention. 

Comp. Geo. W. Cooley, of Minnesota, from the special 
committee of five,' to consider the advisability of forming a 
General Grand Council, presented the following report: 

To the Convention of Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters, now in Session : 

Your committee to whom was referred the question of the advisa- 
bility of organizing a General Grand Council, respectfully report; 

That having given the subject that consideration to which its, import- 
ance entitles it, we recommend for your adoption the following resolution : 

Resolved, 'fhat in the opinion of this convention it is advisable 
to organize a General Grand Council of Eoyal and Select Masters for the 
United States of America; and having been instructed to prepare and pre- 
sent a constitution in the event of our favorably considering such question, 
we desire to offer herewith the following as a proposed constitution for 
the consideration of this convention : 

— 13 — 

Wheheajs, at a convention of Koyal and Select Masters assembled 
in the City of Detroit, Micli., this 34th day of August, 1880, it is considered 
expedient, for the welfare and perpetuation of the Cryptic Eite and the 
proper government of Councils of Koyal and Select Masters, that a Gen 
eral Grand Council be organized for the United States of America, there 
fore, we do ordain and establish, subject to the approval of and ratification 
by our respective Grand Councils, or of a majority of them, the following 



Section 1. This body shall be known as the General Grand Council 
of Eoyal and Select Masters of the United States of America. 

Sbc. 2. The General Grand Council shall be composed of the follow- 
ing officers: 

Most Puissant General Grand Master. 

Eight Puissant General Grand Deputy Master. 

Eight Puissant General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work. 

Puissant General Grand Treasurer. 

Puissant General Grand Eecorder. _ 

Puissant General Grand Chaplain. 

Puissant General Grand Captain of the Guard. 

Puissant General Grand Conductor of the Council. 

Puissant General Grand Marshal. 

Puissant General Grand Steward. 

Puissant General Grand Sentinel, 
together with all Past Most Puissant General Grand Masters, Past Eight 
Puissant General Grand Deputy Masters, Past Eight Puissant General 
Grand Principal Conductors of the Work; all Most Illustrious Grand Mas- 
ters, Deputy Grand Masters, and Grand Principal Conductors of the Work, 
or their proxies ; all Past Most Illustrious Masters, of the several constitu- 
ent Grand Councils ; and the first three officers of every Council, under the 
immediate jurisdiction of this General Grand Council, or their proxies, 
which officers of said constituent Councils shall, collectively, have one 

Sec. 3 On all questions to be decided by the General Grand Council, 
each State Grand Council shall be entitled to three votes, by its representa- 
tive or representatives. The General Grand Officers when present, shall 
each haye one vote, but no member of the Geuei'al Grand Couucil shall be 
entitled to vote as proxy when the Companion giving the proxy is present. 

— 14 — 

Sec. 4, The officers of the General Grand (Jounoil shall be elected by 
ballot, and installed at each triennial assembly, except the General Grand 
Chaplain and General Grand Sentinel, who shall be appointed by the Gen- 
eral Grand Master, at the commencement of each stated assembly, and 
shall hold their offices until their successors shall be elected and installed. 

Sec. 5. The duties of the officers of this General Grand Council 
shall be such as are appropriate to their several stations. 

Sec. 6. The stated assemblies of the General Grand Council shall be 
held triennially, at such date and place as it shall determine. Provided, 
that if in the opinion of the General Grand Master, or, in case of his in- 
ability, then of the Senior Grand officer, there shall be danger to life and 
health, from sickness or other local cause, by any meeting being held at the 
time appointed, he may change such meeting to some other time and place, 
and in the event of such change being made he shall immediately notify 
the General Grand Eecorder thereof, who shall forthwith notify the other 
officers and members in such manner as he may deem best calculated to ef- 
fect the desired object. 

Sec. 7. The General Grand Master and General Grand Deputy Mas- 
ter shall have authority to call a special assembly of the General Grand 
Council whenever they consider it expedient or necessary, and it shall be 
their duty to do so when properly requested by a majority of the General 
Grand Councils, of which four months' notice shall be given of the time 
and place of meeting. 

Sec. 8. A quorum of the General Grand Council shall consist of the 
re|U'esentatives of three Grand Councils. 

Sec. 9. The General Grand Council shall watch over and protect 
the interests of Cryptic Masonry in the States, Districts or Territories which 
recognize its jurisdiction, and where there is no Grand Council regularly 
eslablished; and shall settle all difficulties which may arise and be referred 
to it, and shall give such advice and instruction as may seem most con- 
ducive to the peace, advancement and perpetuation of Cryptic Masonry in 
its original integrity.' 

Sec. 10. The General Grand Master, or, in case of his inability to 
act, the General Grand Deputy Master, shall have power and authority to 
grant dispensations for new Councils of Royal and Select Masters, in any 
State, District or Territory in which there is not a, Grand Council regu- 
larly established, and working independently of any other masonic body ; 
such dispensation in no case to extend beyond the time of the next stated 
assembly of the General Grand Council, but no new Council shall be 
established in any State, District or Territory where there is a regular 
Council within a reasonable distance, without the consent of the Council 

— 15 — 

nearest the place where such new Council is proposed to be located ; and 
he shall immediately notify the General Grand Recorder of such dispen- 
sation, and make report of the same at the next triennial assembly of the 
General Grand Council, when the General Grand Council may grant said 
Council a Charter. 

Sbo. 11. The fees for granting a dispensation shall be twenty-five 
dollars, and every Council holden by dispensation, or charter, from this 
body, shall pay into the treasury of the Qenei-al Grand Council, the sum of 
one dollar for each Companion greeted therein, and fifty cents annually for 
each member, until such time as a Grand Council shall be regularly estab- 
lished in the State, District or Territory in which such Council is located. 

The General Grand Recorder shall be paid by the petitioners Jive 
dollars for his services in granting a Charter. The fees in the several 
Councils under the immediate jurisdiction of the General Grand Council, 
for conferring the degrees of Royal and Select Master, and the appendant 
degree of Super Excellent Master, shall not be less thain ten dollars. 

Sec. 12. Whenever there shall be three Councils regularly instituted 
in any State, District or Territory, a Grand Council may be established so 
soon as convenience and propriety may dictate. ' 

Sec. 13. Each Grand Council constituent of this General Grand Body 
shall pay to the General Grand Recorder, annually, the sum of fifty cents 
for each Chartered Council under its jurisdiction. 

The Grand Recorder of each Grand Council shall be required to 
transmit to the General Grand Recorder, an official notice of the election of 
its Grand Officers within thirty days thereafter, and also transmit to the 
General Grand Recorder six copies of their proceedings as soon as the same 
are printed. 

Sec. 14. Every Council of Royal and Select Masters must have ii, 
charter [or dispensation from the General Grand Council, or from' some 
Grand Council working independently of any other branch of Masonry, 
and no Council shall be deemed legal, without such dispensation or 
charter; and Masonic communication, both public and private, is hereby 
interdicted and forbidden between any Council or any member of it, and 
any Council or Assembly that may be so illegally formed, opened or holden 
without such Charter, or any person assumed to be received or greeted 

— 16-- 


Sec. 15. A Council of Royal and Select Masters, under the imme- 
diate jurisdiction of the General Grand Council, shall consist of the 
following officers ; Thrice Illustrious Master, Right Illustrious Deputy 
Master, Illustrious Principal Conductor of the Work, Treasurer, Recorder, 
Citptain of the Guard, Conductor of the Council, Steward, Sentinel, and 
as many members as may be convenient for working together. 

Sec 16. Every Council under the immediate jurisdiction of this. 
General Grand Council, shall annually make a return to the General Grand 
Recorder of their name, number, location, and time of stated meetings, 
with a list of officers and members, degrees conferred, companions admit- 
ted, died, suspended or expelled, in accordance with a form furnished from 
the office of the General Grand Recorder. 

Sec 17. Every Council, under dispensation from this General Grand 
Council, shall, at the close of its period, return to the General Grand 
Recorder its dispensation and its records, 


Sec. 18. This Constitutipn may be amended at any stated assembly, 
by a majority vote of the Grand Councils represented. 

Sec. 19. This Constitution shall take effect and be in force, when it 
shall be ratified by nine (9) Grand Councils. 

Sec. 20. Nothing contained in this C'custitution shall be construed to 
derogate from the right or authority of any Grand Council which may not 
determine to become a constituent of this General Grand Council. 

Sec. 21. "Whenever this Constitution shall be ratified and accepted 
by any Grand Council, its Grand Recorder shall immediately notify the 
General Grand Recorder of such action, and whenever nine Grand Councils 
shall have so ratified and accepted it, the General Grand Recorder shall 
notify all the Grand Councils, and the officers of this General Grand 
Council, who shall thereupon asstune their duties as such. 

Signed by GEO. W. COOLEY, 





John J. Bell declining to sign the report. 

On motion, the above report was received. 

— 11 — 

On motion, it was decided that in acting upon the report of 
said " committee of five " on the advisability of forming a Gene- 
ral Grand Couneil as well as the constitution presented, each 
Grand Council represented shall have but one vote. 

On motion, the report of said committee was laid upon the 
table for the present. 

Comp. Geo. M. Osgoodby, of New York, from the special 
committee on the first question proposed by M. 111. Josiah H. 
Drummond, of Maine, in his call for this convention, presented 
the following report, which was received, and their recommen- 
dations adopted: 

To the National Convention of Royal and Select Masters of the United States: 

Your committee named by the M. 111. President of this Convention , 
in the call issued to the several loyal Grand Councils of the United States, 
and to whom was assigned the consideration of the following proposition 
set forth in such call : 

"Shall the Grand Council system of organization be continued ? If 
not, shall the degrees be abandoned, or the '' Mississippi Plan" adopted ?" 
would respectfully and fraternally report : 

Your committee have with great interest and labor, since the ques- 
tion of merging the Cryptic with the Capitular degrees was proposed, care- 
fully made a study of the subjects of the ancient landmarks governing the 
conferring and ownership of the degrees of Royal and Select Master ; and 
as the result of such examination have satisfied themselves that the degrees 
never have been the property of the Koyal Arch Chapters, either General, 
Grand or Subordinate. 

We find that there was a regular Council in the year 1809, in the 
City of New York assuming to control these degrees, and to coofer the 
same. This Council afterwards became the starting point, or beginning 
of the Grand Council of the State of New York, the organization 
of this Grand Council relating back to 1809, by the cession of this 
early Council of that year ; and it is claimed by some, and the proof ap- 
pears to be indisputable, from records in the archives of the Grand Chapter 
of New York, that this Council was in fact instituted in 1807, (instead of 
1809) and we refer to such proofs, stated by the Grand High Priest of New 

— 18 — 

York in his address to the Grand Chapter in 1850. This Council was insti- 
tuted under authority of the Grand Consistory. 

The Grand Council of Connecticut was organized in 1819 ; that of 
Georgia in 1825 ; that of Massachusetts in 1836, and so on ; but it is un- 
necessary to state the dates of organization of others, for those we have 
stated are sufficient to show the earlier organizations. 

The degrees of Royal and Select Master are in the lawful custody of 
the Grand Councils of the several States, and in the opinion of your com- 
mittee they cannot be preserved in their original purity and beauty, and 
the important Jessons by them inculcated, be perpetuated, by being con- 
ferred as side degrees, or as appendant to an entirely different branch of 
Masonry, to which they are superior in rank. 

We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that the Grand Council 
system of organization should be continued; that the degrees shall not be 
abandoned, nor should the " Mississippi Plan" be adopted. 

Which conclusion we recommend be adopted by this convention of 
Royal and Select Masters. 

(Signed) GEO. M. OSGOODBY, 


For the Committee. 

Comp. George J. Pinckard, of Louisiana, from the special 
committee on the third question proposed, presented the follow- 
ing report, which was on motion received, and their resolutions 

Philadelphia, July 28, 1880. 

President of the National Convention of R. and S. M. 

M. III. Comp. : — In reply to your circular of March 10, 1880, the com- 
mittee consisting of Comps. Charles E. Meyer, of Philadelphia, Pa. , Geo. 
J. Pinckard, of New Orleans, La., and Hugh McCurdy, of Corunna, Mich., 
beg leave to report. The question submitted to them was: 

"3. What rule shall be adopted as to the status of those who receive 
the degrees in Chapters, as well as of those who have received the degrees 
in regular Councils but have assisted in conferring the degrees in other 
bodies, or been present when they were thus conferred?" 

And it was requested that answer be made in time to present to the 
convention to be held in Detroit, Mich., on the 23d of August, 1880. 

— 19 — 

Tlie early history of the Council degrees is well known to you. It is 
not necessary to discuss the origin or working up to this time. SuflScientit 
is for us that they are so entirely different from the other degrees, or sys 
tems, or rites of Masonry, as to have nothing in their ritual that can be 
taken and used by the other degrees without destroying them. While in so 
many particulars tliey are without any similarity, yet tlu^rc is one point 
common to all degrees in Masonry, and that is the obligation of secrecy. 
The old charges saj' that a Mason is obliged, etc., etc., to .obey the moral 
law. The violation of an obligation is a violation of the moral law. In every 
degree of Masonry the same charge is given to keep inviolate its secrets, as 
particularly from the brother of lower degree as from the profane. These 
are certain particulars in which we all agree. It cannot be denied that 
every Cryptic or Council Mason has obligated himself not to be present at 
the conferring of the degrees except in the body of a lawfully warranted 
and duly constituted Council. Conferred outside of a lawfully warranted 
and duly constituted (Jouncil it is done clandestinely, and there is no heal, 
ing that can make such a clandestine regular, and he cannot be recognized 
in any manner or form whatever. One so made is shunned by all good 
Masons, and the finger of warning and contempt is continually pointing at 
him, and with like abliorence tlie true brother looks upon all those who in 
any manner or form whatever assists at the clandestine making. If such are 
the feelings engendered at the action of a companion, what must be the 
feelings toward a Grand Council or Grand Chapter that sanctions the 
conferring of degrees over which they have no control whatever? Grand 
Chapters can lawfully know nothing of a higher degree than is recognized by 
the fundamental priucipies which declare the Royal Arch the summit and 
perfection of Ancient Craft Masonry. A Grand Council is merely one of a 
number of custodians or trustees having in charge these degrees, it is only 
the agent entrusted with that in which each and every Grand Council is a 
part owner. If all were to cease to work, an ay down the trowel, and desert 
the secret vault— yet all are bound by their obligations as sacred as any taken 
and they cannot reveal or make public these degrees unlawfully except at 
their own peril — they would be and are' forsworn, and leaving the work 
leave behind them broken promises and violated vows, and are guilty, of 
gross unmasonic conduct. 

It becomes those who are strong in the faith to stand upon guard and 
place upon record a declaration of what is right and proper, just and hon- 
orable, and masonic. Thus believing, be it 

Resolved, That the degrees of Cryptic Masonry, viz., the Royal and 
Select Masters, can only be conferred in Councils of Royal and Select Mas- 
ters working under regular Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters. 

— 20 — 

Resolved, That no Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masona can lawfully 
confer or cause to be conferred, directly or Indirectly, any of the degrees 
of Cryptic Masonry, commonly known as the Royal and Select Masters. 

Resolved, That all Royal Arch Masons who have received the degrees 
of Royal and Select Master bv the authority, direct or indirect, of Chap- 
1 ers or Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons shall be and are regarded as 
clandestinely made Royal and Select Masters, who cannot, in any man- 
ner, be recognized or admitted into any lawful Council of Royal and 
Select Masters. 

Resolved, That any Royal and Select Master made under lawful au- 
thority, who shall be present and aid or assist, directly or indirectly, in the 
conferring of the Royal and Select Masters' degrees outside of a regularly 
warranted Council of Royal and Select Masters, duly warranted by a Grand 
Council of Royal and Select Masters, shall be guilty of unmasonic conduct, 
and is liable to expulsion from all the rights and privileges of Cryptic 

Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be forwarded to each 
Grand Council, with the request that they take action upon and adopt the 

same, and that copies be also sent to the several Grand Chapters of Royal 

Arch Masons. 


The committees on the second and fourth questions pro- 
posed, were granted further time. 

The convention was then adjourned until to-morrow (Wed- 
nesday) evening at 7.30 o'clock. 

— 21 — 


. Detroit, Mich., Wednesday Evening, 

August 35, 1880, 7:30 o'clock. 

The couvention of Royal and Select Masters resumed its 
labors, Geo. J. Finckard, of Louisiana, in tlie chair. 

Present, represensatives from the following States: Ala- 
bama, Coimeccicut, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kan- 
sas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, 
New York', and Ohio. 

The reading of the minutes of yesterday's session was 
dispensed with. 

0.1 molion, the report of the special committee of five on 
organizing a General Grand Council was taken from the table 
and their recommendations adopted. 

The committee on the second and fourth questions pro- 
pounded by the President, were discharged and relieved from 
the further consideration of the subjects therein contained. 

On motion, the election .of provisional officers for the Pro- 
visional General Grand Council was proceeded with, with the 
following result: 

il. P. G. Q. M Josiali H. Drummond of Maine. 

R. P. G. G. D. M Geo. M. Osgoodby of New York. 

R. P. G. G. P. C. W Geo. J. Pinckard of Louisiana. 

P. G. G. Treas Orestes A. B. Senter of Obio. 

P. G. G. Rec Geo. W. Cooley of Minnesota. 

P. G. G. C. G Wm. D. Wadsworth of Alabama. 

P. G. G. C. C Charles 11. Armstrong of Georgia. 

P. G. G. M Edward P. Burnham of Maine. 

P. G. G. S Alberto. McConaughy of Kansas. 

On motion, it was ordered that 300 copies of the proceed- 
ings of this convention be printed and the bill therefor be sent 
to the M. P. G. G. M. 

— 22 — 

On motion, the time and place for the next assembly was 
left subject to the call of the Provisional M. P. G. G. M. 

On motion, the Provisional General Grand Recorder was 
requested to procure the proceedings of the conventions held in 
the cities of New York, New Orleans and Buffalo, and have 
them printed. 

On motion, it was resolved, that the thanks of this conven- 
tion, being eminently due, are hereby tendered to Comps. Josiah 
H. Drummond, George J. Pinckard and George Van Vliet, for 
the valuable services rendered this convention. 

On motion, the thanks of this convention were tendered to 
the companions of the City of Detroit, for the courtesies ex- 
tended to us at this time. 

On motion, the convention then adjourned, subject to the 
call of the Provisional M. P. General Grand Master, as pre- 
viously provided for. 


Cornell University Library 
HS734 .A 18 1880 

Proceedings of the Conventions of 

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