A Journal for the Masonic Student

Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society


Vol. 5 No. 3 – March 1919



Bro. Townsend Scudder, P.G.M., New York

Those who have followed closely the argument in various articles recently appearing in THE BUILDER dealing with Masonry's Duty in the War, and particularly the report of the Cedar Rapids Masonic Conference in the January issue, will appreciate the enthralling interest of this story of the negotiations with the Government to allow Masonry to participate in the War activities so closely allied to its basic principles of relief.

Everywhere and at all times Masons have been asking why Masonry was not allowed that participation. Some have criticized our Fraternity for its seeming indifference. In the report of the Cedar Rapids Conference was voiced the conclusion of its participants that the only way in which Masonry might ever hope to receive the recognition which its membership deserved was by finding for itself a truly National Voice. Having arrived at that conclusion, the Conference presented to the Grand Lodges of the United States a method by which this end might be accomplished, for their consideration and adoption, if they found the plan wise. Already there is evidence, in the affirmative action of every Grand Lodge which had its Annual Communication subsequent to the Cedar Rapids Conference, (these Grand Lodges being Georgia, Alabama, Texas, South Carolina, Minnesota, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, Connecticut and Louisiana,) that UNITY is the one crying need, and that unity is clearly defined in the Constitution of the MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES, as set forth in the January number of THE BUILDER.

The action of the Cedar Rapids Conference was largely founded upon a verbal report from M.W. Townsend Scudder, P.G.M. of New York, wherein was fully described the refusal of the Government to recognize Freemasonry as it had recognized other societies desiring to perform a similar service, and the reason advanced for that refusal.

That verbal report, with all its supporting documentary evidence, has now been made in writing to the Grand Masters of the United States, and is embodied in the Proceedings of the Cedar Rapids Conference.

Because we believe a wider circulation among the Craft is vital to our individual and collective plans for the future, particularly as they are to affect the destinies of the proposed MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES, this Society will reproduce in full Judge Scudder's masterly report in the columns of THE BUILDER, and invites the attention of the whole Craft to a careful study of our position as it is, without some form of co-operation, as a basis and foundation for future co-ordination of effort alone educational and relief lines.

* * *

To THE M.W. WILLIAM S. FARMER, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, and to all Masonic Grand Jurisdictions in the United States participating in the efforts to induce our government to consent to overseas service by the Masonic fraternity in the interest of our forces engaged in the great war.

BRETHREN, as chairman of the Commission appointed in 1917, by M.W. Thomas Penney, Grand Master, and confirmed in such appointment by you in 1918, to organize in Europe war relief for the benefit of our men in the army and navy, and to secure the permission of the government of the United States to that end, I have the honor to make the following report. Although appointed in the first instance by the Grand Master of Masons in New York, the Commission was thereafter, by the Grand Masters of many of our sister jurisdictions, appointed and designated as their own.

In order that the readers of this report may properly understand our efforts to engage in overseas work, and trace the steps taken by us to that end, it is necessary to begin with a conference held in the office of the Secretary of War in October, 1917. At this conference a large number of fraternal organizations were represented.

This conference was held at the invitation of the Secretary of War for the purpose of discussing, and considering the modification of, an order previously made by him which excluded Freemasons and other fraternities and associations from engaging in welfare work within military camps and accorded that privilege exclusively to the Young Men's Christian Association and the Knights of Columbus. This order had been made without notice to the Masonic fraternity or opportunity afforded it to be heard in the matter of its desire to participate in such service, to engage in which it was at all times ready, willing, and financially able without soliciting outside assistance.

This conference resulted in a statement by the Secretary that thereafter camps and cantonments of the army would be open for the erection and use of buildings therein by fraternal, benevolent, or similar societies of recognized and well-established character, having members in such camps or cantonments, upon permission first obtained from the officer commanding the camp or cantonment in question. The Masonic fraternity in New York state thereafter endeavored to take advantage of the Secretary's announcement, but met with little encouragement on the part of the military authorities. Balked in these efforts, the fraternity devoted itself to social work for the benefit of our soldiers and sailors, in the communities immediately adjacent to the camps, and also in the large cities visited by the men on leave.

About this time the transatlantic movement of our troops began, and because of this fact the extension of our fraternity's activities to foreign lands was determined upon if governmental sanction thereto could be secured.

Public announcement had been made that the government of the United States would establish abroad what were described as "leave-areas," whither, and whither alone, our soldiers on leave would be permitted to go. Recalling the obstructions thrown in the way of our previous attempts at service in camps, and pondering on this announcement relative to the so-called "leave-areas," light seemed suddenly shed upon the perplexing problem confronting us, and our course to the goal of Masonic war relief made plain by the announcement in an address of the Secretary of War that the major help to be rendered by maternal societies was in the communities outside of, rather than in, the camps themselves. Steps were promptly taken to carry this idea into effect, and it was learned that the Commission on Training Camp Activities, a body within the War Department, had jurisdiction over all social service activities similar to those projected by our fraternity. At the head of this Commission on Training Camp Activities was, and still is, Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick.

I forthwith placed myself in communication with Hon. William M. Calder, senator from New York, by addressing to him the following letter:

April 7, 1918.

Hon. William M. Calder,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

Dear Senator Calder:

The Freemasons in New York State have, by reason of many appeals from Europe, become impressed with the belief that there exists abroad today a new field for helpful service by the fraternity, and this field lies not in the camps of the United States armies, but in the cities behind the lines, to which our soldiers go when on leave.

These communications from abroad confirm a statement of the Secretary of War at a meeting held at the War Department on October 29, 1917, in which he said that he was of the opinion that the major help to be rendered by fraternal societies is in the communities outside rather than in the camp itself, from which the soldier wants to go whenever he has an opportunity.

The idea in mind is that we found and maintain in cities in France, to which our soldiers will go when on leave, quarters in the nature of clubs, open to our men in the service, where they may receive and entertain their friends, and where they will find periodicals and newspapers from the United States, stationery for letter-writing, and modest opportunities for indulging their musical tastes.

Our object is to cheer the spirits of the men, to direct, by this instrumentality, into proper channels the natural longing of the men for amusement and diversion, and to afford a place for social recreation.

Similar activities we contemplate extending to Italy, as occasion shall present.

Furthermore, in Switzerland we propose to establish an agency for the amelioration of the condition of our men taken prisoners of war. We wish, also, to be free to go to England, for the reason that the establishment of one or more such agencies there may be deemed advantageous, and because the commission desires to obtain the benefits, derived from personal conferences as suggested by English Freemasons, of the experience of English Masons in similar service.

The commission to organize this work abroad will consist of four or five members appointed by the Grand Master of Masons in the state of New York. Four of the members are:

All expenses of this enterprise will be borne by the fraternity. We are hopeful, however, of receiving the countenance of the United States authorities.

I am informed that Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, in charge of training camp activities, is the official to whom such a project should be submitted. Is this so? If it is, will you kindly arrange that I can have an interview with him when I come to Washington? If he is not the proper official, who is?

We would, of course, require passports. What are the proper steps to take to secure these?

Your assistance in all this will be highly appreciated.

Faithfully yours,

Townsend Scudder.

In reply I received a telegram from Senator Calde as follows:

Postal Telegraph
Commercial Cables


167NYDO 37 Govt 830P
St Washn DC Apr 9

Hon. Townsend Scudder, Supreme Court Chambers
16 Court St., Bklyn, N. Y.

Have made appointment for you to meet Raymond Fosdick in Washington eleven o'clock Friday Homing. Come to Willard for breakfast eight thirty.

Wm. M. Calder.

Accompanied by Bro. Erastus C. Knight, I journeyed to Washington, met Senator Calder, and with him called upon Mr. Fosdick. To him was communicated in full our aspirations to engage in war relief work overseas and the insistent demand therefor coming from members of our fraternity then in service abroad. Mr. Fosdick then said that, although he was not a Mason, his grandfather had been, and he, the speaker, was in sympathy with the ideals of the fraternity, and conversant with its past history of service in the cause of humanity. He then went on to say that, in matters of service such as the one under discussion, the United States government required a responsible head of an organization with which it contemplated dealing, and pointed out the difficulties in the path of members of civilian organizations who might seek to engage in war relief abroad. He said that the government was endeavoring to co-ordinate all such agencies and unite them in service as far as possible because of the embarrassment due to the multiplicity of credentials and the burden these placed upon the Allied governments and our military authorities. He further said that he understood that the Masonic fraternity in the United States was "a disjointed organization," every state being a separate jurisdiction, in addition to which there were numerous other Masonic bodies, none of them in this country owing allegiance to any one head organization.

"The United States War Department," he said, "cannot issue 49 separate permits to as many different Masonic Jurisdictions. The best it could do would be to issue one permit to the fraternity, under which all would have to come, for which purpose a single head or committee would be necessary which would represent the entire Masonic fraternity in this country, with which the government could deal and which it could hold responsible."

In reply he was told that, while it was true that there were these various independent Masonic bodies and Jurisdictions, they were, nevertheless, in complete harmony in the desire for this service, and would surely unite on a single committee to handle this work, were governmental approval given to a practical plan of operations which would meet the fraternity's hopes and desires.

After considerable discussion of this point, Mr. Fosdick was so far convinced of the future unity of the fraternity in this matter that we proceeded to a discussion of the purposes we had in view and of a plan to carry them into execution. At the outset of this part of the conference he was told that our fraternity stood ready to adopt any plan of service which the government might desire us to follow, and at our own exclusive expense. In response, he asked if we had not some plan formulated to this end. In response to this inquiry, our tentative plan was outlined to him.

A lengthy discussion of this plan resulted in his hearty approval, because, as he said, "there could not be too much of this sort of work." He further stated that if the project were reduced to writing and sent to him, he would take up the matter with Mr. Baker (Secretary of War), but that he could now promise the approval of the War Department thereto.

The foregoing is, it must be understood, only the substance of the conversations with Mr. Fosdick. There were two conferences on that day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and the discussion was long and earnest. At these two conferences Mr. Fosdick displayed a mind open to conviction and a judgment apparently totally unbiased, so much so that the final impression he made upon us was his evident desire to avail himself of our proffered services, even to the extent of thanking the Masons for offering to contribute their personal services and financial resources to the welfare of our soldiers and sailors.

This interview was followed by a letter, dated April 16, 1918, addressed to Mr. Fosdick as chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, outlining the tentative Plan of the fraternity:

April 16, 1918.

Raymond B. Fosdick, Esq.,
Chairman, Commission on Training Camp Activities,
War Department, Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Fosdick:

Agreeable to your suggestion, I have pleasure in outlining work New York Masons desire to undertake in Europe, to the end that you may present it to the Secretary of War.

The Freemasons in New York state have, by reason of many appeals from Europe, become impressed with the belief that there exists abroad today a new field for helpful service by the fraternity, and that this field lies not in the camps of the United States armies, but in the cities behind the lines, to which our soldiers go when on leave.

These communications from abroad confirm a statement of the Secretary of War at a meeting held at the War Department on October the 29th, 1917, in which he said that he was of the opinion that the major help to be rendered by fraternal societies is in the communities outside rather than in the camp itself, from which the soldier wants to go whenever he has an opportunity.

The idea in mind is that we found and maintain in cities in France and Great Britain, to which our soldiers will go when on leave, quarters in the nature of clubs, open to our men in the service, where they may receive and entertain their friends, and where they will find periodicals and newspapers from the United States, stationery for letter-writing, and modest opportunities for indulging their musical tastes.

Our object is to cheer the spirits of the men, to direct, by this instrumentality, into proper channels the natural longing of the men for amusement and diversion, and to afford a place for social recreation.

Similar activities we contemplate extending to Italy as occasion shall present.

Furthermore, in Switzerland we propose to establish an agency for the amelioration of the condition of our men taken prisoners of war. We wish, also, to be free to go to England, because, besides the establishment of such agencies there as may be deemed advantageous, the commission desires to obtain the benefit derived from personal conferences suggested by English Freemasons, of the experience of English Masons in similar service.

The commission to organize this work abroad will consist of four or five members appointed by the Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York. Four of the members are: Townsend Shudder, Past Grand Master, and Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. Erastus C. Knight, of Buffalo, N.Y., ex-Mayor of Buffalo and ex-Comptroller of the state of New York. William C. Prime, of Yonkers, N. Y., a member of the New York bar. Rougier Thorne, of Glen Cove, N. Y., a New York business man.

All expenses of this enterprise will be borne by the fraternity. We are hopeful, however, of receiving the countenance of the United States authorities.

New York has in the service about ten thousand Masons.

Should it happen that other Masonic Jurisdictions care to join in this work, it is the wish of the New York Masons that they be privileged so to do on an even footing and in conjunction with New York, or, if such other jurisdictions have other plans which meet the approval of the Department, New York will be glad to join in furthering them, our ambition being to serve usefully.

I am enclosing a copy of the pledge that is required of candidates in the service who join the Masonic fraternity through our Military Lodge. This Lodge is endeavoring to encourage and strengthen the young men and to cheer fathers giving their sons to the country's service.

We are open to any suggestion the Secretary of War cares to make.

Thanking you for your courtesy,

Townsend Scudder.

The pledge referred to in the foregoing letter, and enclosed with it, is as follows:


We undertake to maintain our part of the war free from hatred, brutality or graft, true to the American purpose and ideals.

Aware of the temptations incidental to camp life and the moral and social wreckage involved, we covenant to gether to live the clean life and to seek to establish the American uniform as a symbol and guaranty of real manhood.

We pledge our example and our influence to make these ideals dominant in the American Army and Navy.

Particular attention is called at this point in the report to the designedly elastic nature of the plan outlined in the foregoing letter. This was so drawn up that any Masonic body or Jurisdiction thereafter wishing to participate in this movement could do so.

It being proposed to open recreation houses in leaveareas, one in each, the more Masonic bodies participating, contributing their respective financial resources, the more leaveareas could be covered. This elasticity of plan was emphasized in the conferences with Mr. Fosdick, and was thoroughly understood by him when his approval was given. The object was, obviously, to enable any and all Masonic bodies to participate in the projected work abroad, and, at the same time, by so uniting them all in one project, thereby comply with the unalterable decision of our government to grant permission to Freemasons for overseas service only in case all Masonic bodies desiring to take part were united in the enterprise.

On April 19th, no word having been received from Mr. Fosdick, and wishing to impress upon him as strongly as possible the loyalty of the fraternity to the government, and its purpose to do nothing which might in the least embarrass the latter, I wrote to Mr. Fosdick, enclosing a letter, dated October 29, 1917, sent by Grand Master Thomas Penney of New York to the Grand Masters of the forty-eight other Masonic Jurisdictions in the United States, the sentiments expressed in which letter had been approved by our sister Jurisdictions, and the plan of action therein outlined endorsed.

April 19. 1918.

Hon. Raymond B. Fosdick,
Chairman Committee on Training Camp Activities,
War Department, Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Fosdick:

I am enclosing herewith a copy of the letter sent out by the Grand Lodge of New York in an effort to meet the situation raised by the decision of the War Department in connection with the activities of non-military organizations in cantonment camps, etc. It occurred to me that perhaps you would be interested to know what New York state sought to do and what we believe we accomplished. We regretted exceedingly that one Jurisdiction seemingly did not at first see the situation as we did. I am referring to Georgia.


Townsend Scudder.

* * *

Office of the


Thomas Penney, Grand Master

Buffalo, N. Y.

October 29, 1917.

Dear Brother Grand Master:

The fundamental duty of the craft of Masons is loyalty to the government of the United States. Cooperation with, support of, obedience to the government must and will mark the fraternity's efforts to do its bit in the war. Its purpose being to support and to uphold those in authority, and having no quarrel with any governmental agency nor with any organization equally zealous to serve, the craft will countenance no controversy nor permit itself to be drawn into one.

The present is not a time for criticism. Because danger lurks in ill-advised action having for purpose the broadening of the government's rules with reference to fraternal societies' activities in military establishments, it seems wise that every precaution be taken to prevent what might place the craft in a false light and blight its hope to be constructively helpful to the men with the colors, to the people, and to the government.

Since the scope of Masonic service has not been defined, an informal meeting of the representatives of our several jurisdictions, or of as many of them as can conveniently be brought together, seems timely, to the end that Masonic service in this war crisis, vital to our beloved country, may be discussed and, if possible, recommendations agreed upon having for object the efficient co-operation of all Masons in the United States in the service of government and country.

With this patriotic object in view, I have pleasure in offering the hospitality of the Grand Lodge of New York to such a gathering, and if the response hereto confirms me in my present view, will gladly designate a time and place. The wisdom of refraining from action or declaration until the scope of the fraternity's service can be determined, lest its position be prejudiced, needs no comment.

With assurances of profound esteem, and hoping for an expression of your views at no distant date, I am

Fraternally yours,

By the Grand Master,
Robert Judson Kenworthy,
Grand Secretary.

Thomas Penney,
Grand Master.

Eight days having elapsed without a reply from Mr. Fosdick to my letter of April 16th, and feeling somewhat nervous at receiving no word, I took advantage of the kind offer of Senator Calder to assist in forwarding the enterprise as far as he could do so, and sent him the following letter:

April 24. 1918.

Honorable William M. Calder,
U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C.

Dear Senator:

Please drop in at the first opportunity and see Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick and prod him a little on our matter. I do not want to be importunate, but on the other hand it is quite important that we get our necessary papers, etc.

Faithfully yours.

Townsend Scudder.

I have sent Mr. Fosdick all the data he requested. Sorry to trouble you.


The day after the foregoing letter to Senator Calder the following two letters were received from Mr. Fosdick, both dated April 23, 1918, one promising the full support of the War Department in the prosecution of our work, and the other expressing appreciation of the loyal support by the fraternity to the government in the situation which it had to face two or three months previously.

By this Mr. Fosdick referred to the situation created by the Secretary of War's permission to a secret, sectarian society, the Knights of Columbus, as a recognized relief organization, to do social service work in camps and cantonments, to the exclusion of the Masonic brotherhood, a non-sectarian, self-financing society, and other similar bodies.

Commission on Training Camp Activities
Washington, April 23,1918.

Honorable Townsend Scudder,
Supreme Court, State of New York,
Mineola, N. Y.

My dear Judge Scudder:

I have your interesting letter of April 16th, outlining the work which the New York Masons desire to undertake in Europe in connection with the welfare of our troops. I am gratified to know that your commission is sailing soon, and I can promise you the full support of the War Department in the prosecution of your work.

Please let me know if at any time I can be of any assistance.

Cordially yours,

Raymond B. Fosdick,

* * *

Commission on Training Camp Activities
Washington, April 23, 1918.

Honorable Townsend Scudder,
Supreme Court, State of New York,
Mineola, N. Y.

My dear Judge Scudder:

Thank you for your letter of April 19th enclosmg a copy of the communication sent out by the Grand Lodge of New York in connection with the situation which we had to face two or three months ago. I did not realize what loyal support your organization gave us at that time, and I am confident that it was responsible in no small degree for the harmonious relations finally established.

Cordially yours,

Raymond B. Fosdick,

Because of the receipt of the foregoing letters of April 23d, there was sent to Senator Calder the following letter, dated April 25, 1918, and a telegram dated May 2, 1918, from Senator Calder was received in reply:

April 25, 1918.

Honorable William M. Calder,
U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C.

Dear Calder:

I have received word from Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, Chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, stating 'I can promise you the full support of the War Department in the prosecution of your work.'

The next point is how we should proceed in connection with passports, and what credentials we ought to have from Fosdick's Committee, or the Secretary of War, so that when we apply for our passports the evidence that we are entitled to them or that our work has received this endorsement may be at hand. Can you make this inquiry and let me know?


Townsend Scudder.

* * *

Received at 313 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.

St Washington DC 1156 A M May 21918

The Hon. Townsend Scudder
Supreme Court Chambers Bklyn NY

Mr Fosdick advises you address him at once concerning Masonic plans for work abroad he will be glad to expedite passports and any other business that your Commission has in mind

Wm M Calder 132PM

About the time of the receipt of the telegram of May 2d from Senator Calder there reached me the following letter from Mr. Fosdick, dated April 30, 1918:

Commission on Training Camp Activities
Washington, April 30,1918.

Honorable Townsend Scudder,
Supreme Court of the State of New York,
Mineola, N. Y.

My dear Judge Scudder:

Confidentially, I am sailing for France next week, to look up the whole matter of recreation for the troops both in France and England. Is there anything that we ought to say to each other before I go? When does your Mission start, and are there any further plans that have beep developed?

Cordially yours,

Raymond B. Fosdick, Chairman.

On May 2, 1918, Mr. Fosdick's communication of April 30th was answered by the following letter:

Mineola, N. Y., May 2, 1918.

Hon. Raymond B. Fosdick,
Chairman Commission on Training Camp Activities,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Fosdick:

Thank you very much for yours of April the 30th. I should like to see you before you sail. Do you expect to spend any days in New York? The Grand Lodge of Masons meets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, May 7th, 8th and 9th, and on the evening of the 9th there is to be a conference of the Grand Masters of the several states of the Union, which will be held in New York. At this conference Masonic work along the lines which we have discussed will be taken up.

I do not think that we will be able to sail before June, and I have been wondering whether in order to secure the necessary passports, etc., I did not require some certificate from your department in a general way approving our plan, as a supplement perhaps to the letter I received from you perhaps a week ago.

My home is 112 Willow Street, Brooklyn; telephone Main 4872, and I will be there every evening. I mention this so perhaps you could find time to communicate faith me so that I could call upon you. I hope so.


Townsend Scudder.

Word was received on April 30th or May 1st from Mr. Fosdick by a long distance telephone that he was to be in New York and could be reached at the Hotel Prince George or at the Rockefeller Foundation in the Borough of Manhattan.

Being myself unable to meet Mr. Fosdick at the time set by him, because I was presiding at a term of the Supreme Court at that time, and because Mr. Fosdick could not meet me in the evening, I requested Bro. William C. Prime, a member of the Masonic Overseas Mission, to meet Mr. Fosdick in my stead, and ascertain from him what information, in addition to that already given him "concerning our Masonic plans for work abroad," he had in mind, and which called forth the telegram of May 2d from Senator Calder. I also sought information as to the form of the Masonic Mission's credentials, and the necessary steps to be taken to secure from the State Department the proper passports.

Bro. Prime was received by Mr. Fosdick at the Rockefeller Foundation, and the salient points of the ensuing conference were transmitted to me by Bro. Prime by the following letter, dated May 3, 1918:

25 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y.
and 2 Rector Street, New York City
Yonkers, N.Y., May 3, 1918.

Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, N. Y.

Dear Judge:

As you requested on Wednesday, I immediately got hold of Mr. Fosdick on the telephone at Washington, and found he was coming to New York on Thursday night, to be here this morning, and he made an appointment with me at the Rockefeller Foundation, 61 Broadway, where I have just seen him, and gone over fully with him the business of paving the way for the departure of the Mission.

He told me that he had done everything that he thought he could do, excepting that he would immediately write and send to Mr. McBride, his assistant, a letter to the State Department, which you could pick up in Washington, and which he thought would forestall any difficulties, and ensure the issue of passports. I gave him the personnel of the Mission, of which he made a note, and told him somewhat of our plan.

He showed a lively interest in what I said, and discussed with me at some length the subject of rents in Paris and elsewhere; said that he would be in Paris early in May, would see Carter, make general inquiry regarding rents and conditions, and write you fully from Paris. He said that he expected his trip would be very brief, and he might get back before we left, but would write in any case, giving you full information as far as he could obtain it.

He is to be at the Prince George tonight, and I think will sail tomorrow or next day. I told him that I would write you immediately the result of our interview, and that it might be that you would endeavor to get in touch with him later, and before he sailed.

Very truly yours,

W. C. Prime.


Upon receipt of the letter of Mr. Fosdick, dated April 23d, promising us "the full support of the War Department in the prosecution of our work" overseas, we sought an interview with the International Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association to secure from them, if possible, their co-operation in our undertaking in Europe at least to the extent of giving us the advantage of the facilities of travel enjoyed by them through the courtesy of the French authorities to enable us more quickly and with the least delay to pass from one leavearea to another in organizing and prosecuting our work. We felt the more justified in seeking this co-operation because of the fact that Freemasons had contributed to the Y.M.C.A. large sums of money to assist the work of the latter.

Through the kind offices of R. W. Jacob C. Klinck an interview was had on April 26, 1918, between Mr. C. V. Hibbard, Associate General Secretary of the International Committee of the Y.M.C.A., and a Masonic committee composed of Brothers Townsend Scudder, Rev. Dr. Charles C. Albertson, Rev. Dr. Clarence A. Barbour, and Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, at which the plan and scope of our projected overseas work were laid before Mr. Hibbard and fully explained and discussed, and we told him we were seeking the co-operation of the Y.M.C.A., particularly in the matter of travel in Europe, as heretofore set forth. Mr. Hibbard first inquired if we had government consent, to which we replied in the affirmative, and he was promised a copy of my letter of April 16, 1918, addressed to Raymond B. Fosdick and a copy of Mr. Fosdick's reply thereto, dated April 23d. These were subsequently duly sent to Mr. Hibbard.

Mr. Hibbard stated to our committee that he was not in a position to promise us the co-operation we sought, but saw no reason why it should not be accorded us if we brought ourselves under the rules governing the Y.M.C.A. in its relations with the Allied governments. He went on to say that our proposal for cooperation would have to be submitted to Dr. John R. Mott, General Secretary of the Y.M.C.A., who was abroad, whose return he suggested we await. As time was a vital element, we suggested that our proposal be cabled to Dr. Mott. To this he assented, saying he would send the cable upon receipt from us of the facts in writing. Pursuant to this understanding the following letter, dated April 27, 1918, with the enclosures therein mentioned, was sent to Mr. Hibbard, the expense of cabling being duly paid by us:

April 27, 1918.

C.V. Hibbard, Esq.,
Overseas Dept., Y.M.C.A.,
347 Madison Avenue, New York.

Dear Mr. Hibbard:

I am enclosing herewith a copy of my letter to Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, Chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities of the War Department, and a copy of his reply thereto under date of April the 23rd. My letter to Mr. Fosdick was a resume of the conversation which I had with him in Washington when I first presented the hopes of the Masonic fraternity in connection with war relief service overseas. For your convenience and use, if it meets with your approval, I am sending a synopsis of our plan to be cabled to Europe agreeably to the suggestion of yesterday. I am also enclosing the pledge exacted of the young men in the service, sons of Masons, who join the fraternity in anticipation of their overseas service.

Faithfully yours,

Townsend Scudder.

112 Willow Street,
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Permit me to thank you for your very courteous reception and for your generous donation of time.
T. S.

The following is a copy of the proposed cable to Dr. Mott enclosed in the foregoing letter of April 27th:


The Masonic fraternity purposes maintaining in cities in France and Great Britain, and in Italy when time is ripe, to which American soldiers go when on leave or recuperating, quarters in the nature of clubs, open to all men in the service, but where Masons in the service will be hosts, may receive and entertain their friends, reciprocating courtesies received, and where they will find American literature, amusement and useful information. The object is to cheer the men and direct into proper channels their natural longing for amusement and diversion.

In Switzerland it is intended to establish an agency to reach and ameliorate the condition of Masons, prisoners in Germany.

The War Department has approved this work. The Masonic committee going to Europe to organize it feel that the facility of movement enjoyed by the Y.M.C.A., if extended to their committee, will facilitate its work. To this extent they ask the privilege of working under the Y.M.C.A. Can this privilege be accorded them?

Subsequently to the sending of the cablegram, numerous interviews with officials of the Y.M.C.A. were had, and considerable correspondence exchanged, culminating in the following letter:

347 Madison Avenue, New York City
September 24, 1918.

Judge Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

My dear Judge Scudder:

I wish to acknowledge your letter setting forth the desires of the Masonic fraternity to share in those helpful ministries to the soldiers overseas with which the Y.M.C.A. has been identified, and intimating that, while you may be moving along independent lines, there will be abundant opportunities for co-operation, and indeed coordination, between the efforts of the Masonic fraternity and the Y.M.C.A. Pending the presentation of your proposals formally to the Committee on Overseas Activities, I have consulted with Dr. Mott and his associate, Mr. Brockman, and we are altogether certain that your suggestions will find a hearty response in formal action when the committee meets.

As you know, and as is quite natural, we have in the secretarial staff overseas a considerable number who belong to the Masonic membership in the United States. It would be perfectly possible, therefore, for us either to assign or release some of these to specific tasks where you might desire co-operation. There are individual types of work which we are carrying on or special areas within which we operate which might likewise be designated as the sphere of your special interests. I understand, however, that there is possibility of your being given by the military some special assignment of work. While it is natural that such work as you undertake will have a peculiar interest to members of the Masonic fraternity, who are in the army, your plan as indicated in your letter is in perfect alignment with our own policy, namely, to minister freely to the needs of all. In every way, therefore, it seems to me that we shall be able to co-operate heartily, and you may count upon our organization and our personnel to assist you in every way that is within our power. Perhaps I ought to call attention, however, to our own limitations which may appear when we come to discuss definite plans, namely, that we will have to be subject to existing military regulations, and likewise to the necessities of practical administration of our work calling for a certain degree of freedom and elasticity in all special designations and a certain mobility of our personnel as to their movements under war conditions.

We shall then await with interest some future word from you as to the special service that you feel we might render, and the practical co-operation that we can extend and this will appear more clearly as you discover the lines along which your activities overseas will move.

Very cordially yours,

C. R. Watson.

The further negotiations of the Masonic Mission with the Y.M.C.A. after the government notwithstanding its former and early approval and promises, had finally refused us permission for independent service abroad, will be set forth later in this report.


Negotiations with the government had now progressed so far that it was feasible to call the proposed conference of Grand Masters and lay before them a definite plan for overseas service by the fraternity. The call for this conference was issued by M.W. Thomas Penney, Grand Master of New York, on April 17, 1918.

It will be noted that this call was issued after the first interview with Mr. Fosdick in Washington, in which he had given his oral approval of our overseas project, but prior to the receipt of his written approval. This was because of the implicit confidence reposed in Mr. Fosdick's word, and because also of insistent demands from the many thousands of Masons in service in Europe for action abroad by the Masonic fraternity at the earliest possible moment.

Recalling the requirement by the government that all Masons participating in this projected overseas service be united so that one permission could be granted to them collectively, and because it was desirable that this work be performed by as many Masonic bodies as possible, and not by the Masons of New York only, such a conference of Grand Masters became at this point in the progress of our enterprise imperative. The following is the letter of April 17, 1918, calling such conference, and the printed outline of subjects for discussion thereat enclosed in such letter of call:

Office of the
866 Ellicott Square, Buffalo

April 17, 1918.

Thomas Penney,
Grand Master.

Dear Brother Grand Master:

In November last I addressed the Grand Masters of the several Masonic Jurisdictions in the United States, touching upon the war conditions and the opportunities and responsibilities resting upon Free Masonry in that connection, with particular reference to the desirability of a conference of Grand Masters for consideration of war problems and concerted constructive action im that regard.

The letter was issued to all of our Sister Jurisdictions, and responses were received from more than a majority, so patriotically spontaneous that I felt impelled to follow up my suggestion by calling a conference. Owing, however, to the suggestions from a number, of pending sessions of their respective Grand Lodges, to which they desired the subject referred, or of early termination of their term of office, and therefore authority, and desire that the matter be taken in hand by their successors, I have withheld action until now it seems appropriate that the call should issue.

I therefore suggest that a conference of the representatives of the several Grand Jurisdictions be held at the Masonic Hall, New York City, on the evening of Thursday, May 9, 1918, at 8:00 o'clock, to continue from day to day until the necessary business of such conference can properly be canvassed and transacted, and its purposes at least put in the way of accomplishment.

Merely as a suggestion, and in order that you may have an opportunity of considering before we get together the scope of such a session, I have thought it well to outline somewhat the subjects for discussion, and accompanying this letter you will see printed the agenda, so far as it can now be formulated. It will be helpful if you will give this outline your careful consideration as promptly as convenient, and advise me in ample time of any additional suggestions that you have to make for business, or subjects to be considered.

May I hope for a prompt response, assuring your cooperation and representation?

Sincerely and fraternally,

Thomas Penney,
Grand Master.

* * *


  1. It is ascertained that in the near future the government will bring home those men who have been so severely injured as to be incapable of useful service abroad. They will be blind, crippled, deaf, demented. Extensive hospitals on the seaboard and elsewhere are in process of establishment for their reception, classification and separation according to their needs, and other hospitals are also in process of establishment for the special treatment of other particular ills.

    It is planned to establish instrumentalities for reconstruction and re-education of derelicts.

    This important business is already undertaken and carried on both in France and in England. It will naturally be largely, if not wholly, under government control and maintenance.

    Query: What can Free Masonry do for its own and others and what should it do, and how, in connection with this important business?
  2. Various stations will be established throughout the country for the reception and treatment of convalescents. In this work women can be of inestimable service, and the opportunity both for men and women to minister to our wounded, to entertain and occupy their minds, will be enormous.

    Query: What can Free Masonry do and how, in this important business?
  3. The Red Cross, Y.M.C.A., Y.M.H.A., and K. of C. are performing valiant service at camps and at the front in connection with the welfare of the men, moral and otherwise.

    Query: Are these instrumentalities sufficient or all that can usefully be employed for the moral stabilizing of the men at the front or in camps, particularly the men engaged in the service?
  4. The employment by Free Masonry of chaplains or other agencies at home and abroad, in camps and elsewhere in connection with the maintenance of moral standards and close touch between the men in the service and their friends at home.
  5. The Grand Lodge of New York is about to despatch R.W. Erastus C. Knight, who will be joined later by M.W. Townsend Scudder, as its representative to France. They are commissioned to organize such agency or agencies as the circumstances require to minister to Free Masons in the service generally, save as respects supplying them with funds. Their instructions cover duties which will demand constant touch with members of the Craft, and keeping them in touch with friends and relatives at home.

    Query: Will other jurisdictions participate in this service, either in respect of independent agencies or co-operation in the expense of one representative or set of representatives?
  6. Certain camps, such as Camp Merritt at Tenafly, N. J., are being employed for concentration and embarkation of soldiers. Men frequently are despatched thither for immediate transportation abroad, who have not been home or in touch with friends.or kin for considerable periods. They are disheartened, home-sick, low-spirited.

    Query: Should Masonic agents, working independently or under the wing of the Y.M.C.A. or Red Cross, be employed at such camps to cheer, assist, and otherwise minister to Free Masons who may be thus situated, and if so, with what scope of authority as to funds, and how maintained?
  7. An inevitable consequence of the war will be the human wrecks or partial wrecks of middle age, or less than middle age, most of them comparative youths. Also men physically fit, but requiring aid and employment.

    They will require assistance to maintain themselves, and their dependents also will require assistance financially and otherwise.

    Query: Ways and means to cope with this problem. Should it be nation-wide, co-operative, strong jurisdictions assisting weak, or should each jurisdiction arrange to take care of its own?

    If the former, should a general Masonic fund be accumulated? If so, how and how administered?
  8. What are the several Grand Jurisdictions in the United States now doing?

This conference met on May 9, 1918, and continue its sittings over May 10th, and was actually attended by twelve Grand Jurisdictions. In addition, letters approving the purpose of the conference and promising support and co-operation were received from many others, making a participation, in person or by letter, by 37 Masonic Jurisdictions in the United States.

The following resolution was adopted by the conference:


Resolved, That it is the sense of the Brethren here assembled, hailing from the following Grand Jurisdictions — Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Hampshire and New York — that there is present need for Masonic service overseas to minister to Masons with the colors in the forces of the United States; that some service lies in the cities, the recreation centers to which the boys go in large numbers while on leave, in work that may be approved by the War Department; that in such cities, seemingly, there should be established general Masonic headquarters where Masons may receive Masonic welcome, comfort and encouragement, and where our boys may be hosts at home; that the duplication of such headquarters in one and the same town would be a waste of energy and funds; that such headquarters be manned from time to time by workers from any or all of our Jurisdictions as circumstances permit; that the espense thereof be paid so far as possible out of a general fund; that the fund be dedicated to Masonic Fraternal Service Overseas; that the several Masonic jurisdictions be invited to contribute to this fund on an annual basis for each member; that the management of the fund be entrusted to a committee composed of representatives of the several contributing jurisdictions selected as each jurisdiction sees fit; that each such jurisdiction cast one vote; that this service be in no wise exclusive, but rather a tribute to and token of Masonic brotherhood without regard to territorial divisions; that we recommend that the several Grand Lodges in the United States create War Boards ready to engage in this work as demand may appear, and we also recommend the presentation of this plan to our several jurisdictions.

The minutes of the proceedings of the conference of Grand Masters of May 9th were duly printed, and a copy thereof, including said resolution, in book form, sent to every sister Jurisdiction in the United States.

Publicity of the projected plan of Masonic Service abroad, as approved by the government, was given through the medium of the Associated Press, and this news was enthusiastically received by the Masonic fraternity, which promptly commenced raising among its members the funds to meet the expenses of the enterprise. Many members of the fraternity now volunteered their services. Our plan having thus received governmental approval and endorsement, and the Masons standing ready to meet the other requirements of the Department, willing to give their personal services, and able of themselves to meet all financial demands, nothing seemed now necessary save the issuance of formal passports by the State Department.


Mr. Fosdick had notified us that, to expedite the securing of our passports, he had written a letter, addressed to the Secretary of State, which we could procure by calling at the office of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, in the War Department, Washington. It will be recalled that this is the Commission of which Mr. Fosdick is chairman.

Mr. Fosdick had previously advised us that it would be necessary for us to present to the Secretary of State, in addition to his above-mentioned letter, a certificate from the Grand Master of Masons in New York of the appointment of the personnel of the Masonic Overseas Mission.

A few days were allowed to elapse after the adjournment of the New York conference above described to enable those attending, after their return home, to communicate the names of any whom they might wish to have included in the personnel of the mission, it being understood that if none were so designated, the mission as then constituted was to proceed.

On May 19th, no such designation having been received, your chairman and Bro. Erastus C. Knight went to Washington and duly called at the office of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, where we were received by Mr. Malcolm L. McBride, acting chairman in the absence of Mr. Fosdick, who delivered to us the letter signed by Mr. Fosdick, and addressed to the Secretary of State. The following is a copy of this letter:

Commission on Training Camp Activities
Washington, May 6, 1918.

The Honorable the Secretary of State,


Mr. Justice Scudder, of the Supreme Court of New York, is the chairman of a commission of five men representing the Masons of New York who are applying for passports to study the situation overseas as far as the leisure time activities of our troops is concerned, with the idea of providing whatever may be necessary both for their own constituent membership and others in the army who may need their services. We have already approved the issuance of passports to two other fraternal organizations, and I am sincerely hopeful that no objection will be interposed in the case of Judge Scudder's commission.

Respectfully yours,

Raymond B. Fosdick,

We had with us our letter of credentials signed by Grand Master William S. Farmer, dated May 6, 1918, addressed to Hon. Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, a copy of which follows:

Office of the
Masonic Temple,
Syracuse, May 6, 1918.

Hon. Robert Lansing,
Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C.

My dear Sir:

I beg to inform you that I have appointed Hon. Townsend Scudder, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Hon. Erastus C. Knight, one-time Mayor of the city of Buffalo and one-time Comptroller of the state of New York; Rev. Oscar F.R. Treder, Dean of Garden City Cathedral, Garden City, L.I.; Mr. Rougier Thorne, of Glen Cove, L.I., and Mr. William C. Prime, of Yonkers, N.Y., to constitute a mission to Freemasons in the United States forces overseas, whose particular duties are to visit France, Italy, Switzerland and Great Britain, and to establish and maintain such agencies for the comfort and cheer of Freemasons in particular in the military and naval service of the United States in the present war, as seem possible and practicable.

To the end that they may have free and safe conduct, as far as is possible in the circumstances, I beg to request that their journey be facilitated by all means in your power, and that passports and other necessary credentials in the name of the United States government be issued to them with all convenient speed.

The duration of their stay is uncertain, but it is likely that Mr. Knight will remain abroad longer than the others.

Respectfully yours,

William S. Farmer,
Grand Master.

Upon receiving from the acting chairman, Mr. McBride, Mr. Fosdick's letter to Secretary of State, we inquired where it should be presented, and if an appointment for that purpose was necessary. He replied that, while we might, as a matter of courtesy, take our letters to the office of the Secretary of State, we would doubtless be referred directly to the passport bureau, where the letters would be received and filed. He further invited us, should we there encounter any delays, to communicate with him, when he would take care of the matter.

With a feeling of confidence we left Mr. McBride and carried our letters to the office of the Secretary of State, and presented ourselves at the office of Mr. Polk, counsellor to the Secretary. Mr. Polk was absent, ill, and the person in charge of his office directed us to take our letters to the passport bureau, saying: "I will call them up and tell them you are coming so as to obviate any delay and the matter will be given immediate attention." We stood there while the passport bureau was called up. I heard the conversation, and could supply the rest. It seems the head of the bureau was not in, and would not be in, but his deputy was a gentleman by the name of Walsh or Welch. He was told that we were coming to take up the passports, and to facilitate in every way that he could.

We went over to the passport bureau, which we found filled with people. I sent in my card; a man eame out, asked who we were. I told him that we were the men about whom the Secretary of State's office had spoken to him a few moments before over the telephone. He said, "What can I do to serve you?" I said, "It will probably take a few moments. Shall we sit down? I see you have some people in your private office, and we will gladly await our turn." He said, "That is very kind of you, and I will get rid of them as soon as I can."


I did not care to announce our business out in the main anteroom, thus crowded with people. In a few moments we were shown into his office. "Now," he said, "what is it you wish?" I said, "We are here to obtain passports for the Masonic Mission going overseas to engage in war relief work in the recreation centers of our soldiers." "I am opposed to it," were the laconic words which greeted us. Of course, he was but a clerk in an office, seemingly vested with no great discretion. I said to him, "But the War Department has passed upon this. Are you conscious of that fact?" "Oh," he said, "the War Department does not finally decide these things." I said, "Who does?" He said, "We do." I said, "Who are 'we'?" "Why," he said, "it is decided here in the first instance." I said, "Where is it decided in the last instance?" "Well," he said, "of course, ultimately it may get to the Secretary of State if appeal is taken to him." I said, "Then you are the tribunal to whom this matter must now be presented?" "Yes," he replied. I said, "Very well, then. We will sit down and I will go over it gladly with you." He said, "It is quite unnecessary." "But," said I, "my dear sir, you certainly want to have the facts, do you not?" He answered, "You told them to me and I understand it all. You are a Masonic Mission seeking to go overseas to engage in war relief work. We do not approve of such activities by secret societies. If you are permitted to have your passports to engage in this work, then we have got to permit every other secret society to engage in the same work, which would include every Greek letter society. We will not permit it. We cannot do it." I told him that our work overseas was in no way identified with our usual activities as a secret society, that our service was to be of the same general nature as that of the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus, and that a ruling which would be applicable to college secret societies could not hold good with us. To which he replied that "The principle is the same." I said, "I hardly anticipated this situation. I could not myself render judgment upon a matter coming before me on as little evidence as you have here, and I really feel it should be more deliberately presented and considered." He said, "That is quite unnecessary, quite unnecessary. If you want to file your papers here, you can, of course." I said, "We have our papers and were told to file them here, so I will file them, but do not act upon them. I will take the matter up in other quarters, for I think there must be some misunderstanding." He said, "We won't act upon them until we hear from higher up," or something of that kind, and we parted.

We immediately returned to the office of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, and related to Mr. McBride our experience at the passport bureau. He showed considerable astonishment and annoyance over our treatment, and said that he would at once place himself in communication with the Secretary of War and arrange for a meeting between us. After some telephoning by Mr. McBride, he told us that he could not arrange for an interview with Secretary Baker, but had instructions to take us to Mr. Keppel, the Third Assistant Secretary of War, under whose jurisdiction our matter came.

Accompanied by Mr. McBride, we then repaired to the office of the Third Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. F. P. Keppel, by whom we were most courteously received. The object of our call having been briefly stated by Mr. McBride, Mr. Keppel asked me to tell him in detail everything which had transpired in the passport bureau, which I did. He listened with great attention, occasionally asking questions, inquiring specifically for the name of the man with whom we had had the conversation. When I had finished Mr. Keppel said, in substance, "This is very extraordinary, and I do not understand it at all. Conditions are changing from day to day, and it may be that the State Department has instructions regarding passports not communicated to the War Department. I will take up the matter with Secretary Baker and the Secretary of State, and advise you what to do."

I drew attention to the fact that, before going to the passport bureau, we had called at the office of Mr. Polk, counsellor to the Secretary of State, where we had been instructed how to proceed and what to do with our letters, and this office made the appointment for us with the passport bureau, a proceeding not necessary had the bureau instructions not to issue passports in a case such as ours, approved by the War Department. Upon his saying, "The matter will be fully looked into," we took our leave.

Bro. Knight and I at once returned to Mr. Polk's office, where we saw his secretary, a gentleman by the name of, I think, Howell to whom I related all the steps taken by us in our enterprise from the time we made known to Mr. Fosdick our ambitions to the conversation with Mr. Keppel, just concluded. We asked him to call the matter to the attention of Mr. Polk as soon as he saw him, saying we would like to see Mr. Polk personally. I then and there, also, for the first time voiced my suspicion that there might be at work influences hostile to the Masonic fraternity in its endeavor to serve the soldiers overseas. Feeling that the utmost plain speaking was now needed to avoid a superficial consideration and hasty decision in this passport matter, and that, if our matter were taken up in earnest with the State Department, it would come before Mr. Polk, I addressed Mr. Howell in substance as follows:

That our fraternity had an active membership of nearly 2,000,000, that it had been identified with every great work of service in the history of our country, that it had been wounded by its exclusion from participation in war relief work in camps and cantonments in the United States, that announcement of the consent of the War Department had been received by the fraternity with enthusiasm, that all over our country Masons were making financial arrangements to meet the expense of the overseas work, to engage in which permission had been received from the government, and that, if at this stage of our progress, we should find ourselves confronted by an insuperable obstacle to carrying out our projected service work, great and widespread resentment might well be aroused. For these reasons I urged that these facts be laid before Mr. Polk to the end that, when the matter came before him he might be fully apprised of its importance and give it his personal consideration.

In all these conversations and efforts to achieve our aims it was also my firm endeavor not to embarrass the government in the war crisis in which our country then found itself, knowing that such a course was the only one to meet with the fraternity's approval, while, at the same time, leaving no stone unturned to reach the goal of our ambitions.

We now returned to New York to await the promised advices from the Third Assistant Secretary of War.


Shortly after our return from Washington, a letter dated May 23, 1918, was received from Mr. F. P. Keppel, Third Assistant Secretary of War, of which the following is a copy:

Office of the
Third Assistant Secretary.
Washington, May 23, 1918.

Honorable Townsend Scudder,
112 Willow Street,
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Dear Judge Scudder:

I took up with the Secretary ot War the proposed trip of yourself and your associates to France, and Mr. Baker feels with regard to this suggestion, and that of several others now before him, that, as Mr. Fosdick is now in France himself, it would be better for all such proposals to await his return before a definite decision is made.

I am asking Mr. McBride to bring the case of the proposed visits of the representatives of the Masons to Mr. Fosdick's attention by cable, so that he will be prepared to give a prompt reply upon his return.

Yours very truly,

F. P. Keppel,
Third Assistant Secretary.

The foregoing letter of May 23rd was followed by another letter from Mr. Keppel, dated June 1, 1918, of which the following is a copy:

Office of the
Third Assistant Secretary.
Washington, June 1, 1918.

Dear Judge Scudder:

Pursuant to the understanding reached at our talk a few days ago, I took up with Mr. Fosdick by cable the question of your plans for a trip to Europe. I have just received from him, through the courtesy of General Pershing, a cable recommending that the matter of your visit be held up until Mr. Fosdick's return, in view of his doubt that there is adequate opportunity for you to accomplish independently in France what you have in mind.

Yours very truly,

F. P. Keppel,

* * *

In view of Mr. Fosdick's doubt that there was adequate opportunity for us to accomplish independently in France what we had in mind, as stated in Mr. Keppel's letter of June 1st, we began to press the officers of the Y.M.C.A. for an early decision on our suggestion of co-operation between them and the Masonic fraternity, as hereinbefore set forth.

Attention is here called to the fact that in this letter of June 1st the word "independently" for the first time is emphasized in the correspondence with Washington.

Not hearing anything further from Mr. Keppel up to June 17th, I on that date addressed to him the following letter:

June 17, 1918.

Honorable F. P. Keppel,
Third Assistant Secretary, War Department,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Keppel:

Replying to your favors of May 23rd and of June 1st, I beg to say that in harmony with your suggestion the Masonic fraternity cheerfully will await Mr. Fosdick's return from Europe to learn from him how it can serve overseas most efficiently.

The determination by the Department of the scope of Masonic service overseas, of course, will take into account the effect its decision will have upon the two million active Free Masons in the United States.

The loyalty of the oldest, richest and numerically the strongest brotherhood is unequivocal. Masonry has no quarrel with any organization zealous to serve cause and country, but it did not understand its own exclusion from such service.

Its enthusiasm was spontaneous when news spread over the United States of the War Department's Commission on Training Camp Activities' approval of Masons as such, in the recreation centers overseas, contributing to the cheer and comfort of the men with the colors, to whose numbers the Masonic fraternity already is contributing fully one hundred thousand of its members.

On the strength of this approval, New York called a conference of Grand Masters of the United States, to invite their co-operation in this service; the conference was held, and already much money has been and is to be raised within the order to further the approved service.

These facts are mentioned because their consideration seems indispensable to a comprehensive satisfying decision, and because, if overlooked, the enthusiasm of a very large and zealous group of citizens might suffer a chill, surely an undesirable thing in these critical times. While picked men, Masons are only human.

I enclose a copy of Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick's letter of April 23, 1918, upon which the Masonic fraternity relied when it acted as outlined above, and also a copy of a letter sent by the Grand Master of Masons in New York to the Grand Master of each state in the Union, in the hope of dissipating the disheartening suspicion then entertained that Freemasonry had been discriminated against unjustly by the government's exclusion of Free Masons from engaging in welfare work within military camps, and the according of that privilege exclusively to the Young Men's Christian Association and the Knights of Columbus.

The situation confronting us is calculated to be exceedingly disturbing if it is not wisely handled. Its great importance is my excuse for writing at length.

Very sincerely yours,

Townsend Scudder.

In response. I received the following:

Washington, June 26, 1918.

Dear Justice Scudder:

Mr. McBride and I have been going over together the points contained in your letter of the 17th, and have come to the conclusion that the best thing for us to do is to await Mr. Fosdick's return, which if all goes well will be within ten days or a fortnight. We will then bring your letter promptly to his attention and will let you know the result in the light of his fresh views on the foreign situation.

Yours very truly,

F. P. Keppel,
Third Assistant Secretary of War.

Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Supreme Court of the State of New York,
Brooklyn, N. Y.

I therefore replied, under date of June 28th, as follows:

June 28, 1918.

Honorable F. P. Keppel,
Third Assistant Secretary of War,
War Department, Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Keppel:

Permit me to thank you for your favor of June the 26th. May I suggest that I have the opportunity of meeting you, Mr. Fosdick, and Mr. McBride. I lean to the belief that such a meeting will be helpful, and I will be glad to come to Washington on very short notice.

Thanking you for your courtesy, and with kindest regards, believe me,

Sincerely, Townsend Scudder.

Present address,
Glen Head. Lone Island. N. Y."

Mr. Keppel replied as follows:

Washington, June 29,1918.

Dear Mr. Justice Scudder:

I have your letter of the 28th, but cannot say when such a meeting as you suggest will be possible, as it is not known when Mr. Fosdick, who has been overseas for the past two months, will return. In the meantime I have taken the liberty of referring your letter to Mr. McBride, acting chairman in the absence of Mr. Fosdick.

With best wishes,

Yours very sincerely,

F.P. Keppel,
Third Assistant Secretary of War.

Justice Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

I received from Mr. McBride, under date of July 2nd, an acknowledgment as follows:

Commission on Training Camp Activities

Honorable Townsend Scudder,
July 2, 1918.
Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

Dear Mr. Justice Scudder:

Secretary Keppel has referred to me your letter of June 28th, and inasmuch as Mr. Fosdick will probably be back in the course of a week or ten days, may I suggest that you defer your meeting until his return, as I am sure he will be able to add fresh light on the situation abroad, in which you are so much interested.

Very sincerely yours,

Malcolm L. McBride,
Acting Chairman.

Because of growing uneasiness over the passage of time, and because of the approaching return of Mr. Fosdick, I was desirous that our matter should be as thoroughly as possible understood, and its magnitude appreciated, by those before whom I felt it would sooner or later come.

I accordingly, on June 28th, addressed to Mr. Polk the following letter:

June 28, 1918.

Honorable Frank Polk,
Counsellor to the Secretary of State
Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Polk:

I have been named as the head of the Masonic Overseas Mission in connection with war relief work. I am very keen to have a little chat with you and have been expecting to go to Washington July the 8th, to be there several days.

The purpose of my letter is to inquire whether you expect to be in Washington at that time, and, if you will not, to request that you advise me when you feel that I could see you either in Washington or elsewhere.

Permit me to offer my sympathy in the bereavement you have sustained, and also to express the hope that your health has improved.

Very sincerely yours,

Townsend Scudder.

Justice Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

The receipt of the foregoing letter was acknowledged by Mr. Howell, Mr. Polk's secretary, under date of June 29th, apprising me of Mr. Polk's expected return after absence due to illness:

June 29, 1918.

My dear Mr. Justice:

As Mr. Polk is away ill, I beg to acknowledge your letter of the twenty-eighth. You say you are coming here July eighth for several days and I think I can safely say that Mr. Polk will be in Washington at that time.

Yours very truly,

H.D. Bowell, Secretary.

Justice Townsend Scudder,
Glen Plead, Long Island, N. Y."

With the same object in view I wrote on June 28, 1918, to Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and received from him his reply dated June 29, 1918:

June 28, 1918.
Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Navy Department,
Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Roosevelt:

I am head of the Masonic Overseas Mission. I am very keen to have a little chat with you in the near future. I can come to Washington almost any time. I have been planning to go to Washington on July the 8th, to be there several days. May I inquire whether you expect to be in Washington at that time, for, if not, I will arrange to come earlier.

Very sincerely yours,

Townsend Shudder.

* * *

Assistant Secretary's Office

June 29, 1918.

My dear Judge Scudder:

I shall be only too glad to see you if you come to Washington. I have been hoping to have a little talk with you for some time, in regard to New York matters, Masonic and otherwise.

I fear, however, that I shall be away on July 8th, for I am leaving here on the Fourth for some time on an inspection trip. I wonder if there is any chance of your being here before the Fourth? Otherwise, I fear, we shall have to postpone it until after I get back from my trip.

Always sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Justice Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

On July 2, 1918, I again wrote Mr. Roosevelt as follows:

July 2, 1918.
Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Navy Department, Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Roosevelt:

Let me thank you for yours of June the 29th. Would it be troubling you unduly to request that upon your return you communicate with me, to the end that I may run down to Washington to see you? I want to talk over something which I consider of very great importance. I am quite sure you will agree with me. I regret that I cannot get down between now and the 4th.

Thanking you for your courtesy, believe me,

Very sincerely yours,

Glen Head, L. I., N. Y.
Townsend Scudder.

To this Mr. Roosevelt's secretary answered:

Assistant Secretary's Office
July 8, 1918.

My dear Mr. Scudder:

Mr. Roosevelt is still out of town, but I shall call your letter to his attention immediately upon his return.

Very sincerely yours,

R. K. Camalier,
Private Secretary.

Justice Townsend Shudder,
Supreme Court of the State of New York,
Brooklyn, N. Y.

I was privately advised that Mr. Roosevelt had sailed for Europe.

I was also privately advised that Mr. Polk's illness was quite serious, and as, about this time he suffered a bereavement, I decided to avoid further troubling Mr. Polk at this inopportune time.

* * *

(The April instrument of Brother Scudder's report will open with the account of the State Department's refusal to issue passports. Letters of refusal were written to Brothers Prime, Thorne and Treder, but no such letters were received by Judge Scudder and Brother Knight. Following this correspondence Brother Scudder gives the details of what he designates as a "surprising interview with Mr. Fosdick," in which the latter asks "What about the feud between you and the Knights of Columbus?" Brother Scudder replied that it took two to make a quarrel, and that the Masonic Fraternity had no quarrel with them.

We will state here, for the benefit of those of our readers who wish to know the outcome of the whole matter before we shall have published the last instalment of this report, that the Masonic Overseas Mission sailed for France the latter part of January, passports having been issued to Judge Scudder and his associates without further quibbling after a few extracts from this report had been read in certain quarters in Washington. They were told that they might go as an independent organization if they so desired, but since arrangements had been completed with the Y.M.C.A., they sailed as secretaries of that organization.)

* * *


Grim stones whose gray lips keep your secret well,
Our hands that touch you touch an ancient terror,
An ancient woe, colossal citadel
Of some fierce faith, some heaven-affronting error.
Rude-built, as if young Titans on this world
Once played with ponderous blocks a striding giant
Had brought from oversea, till child more bold
Tumbled their temple down with foot defiant.
Upon your fatal altar Redbreast combs
A fluttering plume, and flocks of eager swallows
Dip fearlessly to choose their April homes
Amid your crevices and storm-beat hollows.
Even so in elemental mysteries,
Portentous, vast, august, uncomprehended,
Do we dispose our little lives for ease,
By their unconscious courtesies befriended.

— Katharine Lee Bates.

* * *


Bro. George W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia


THE Equestrian Statue of Major General John A. Logan is in bronze superimposed upon a bronze pedestal situated in Iowa Circle at the intersection of Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues and P Street, Washington, D.C., and is in plain view from all of these thoroughfares. It was modeled by Franklin Simons and has been pronounced one of the most artistic equestrian statues in the world. The likeness is correct and the figure of General Logan is fine. The horse, which in all equestrian statues has much to do with making or marring the picture, is truly a work of art in its life-like appearance.

The reliefs on the sides of the die portray the most important acts of Logan's life. The panel on the east side represents General Logan taking the oath as United States Senator, administered by President Arthur; at the lower right-hand corner appear the figures of Senator Daniel Voorhees of Indiana and Senator Thurman of Ohio, the latter who, having been a candidate for the Vice-Presidency, seemed to be a fitting figure for General Logan's statue. On the north end of this panel are the figures of Hon. Shelby M. Cullom, the General's colleague in the Senate, Senator Miller of California, Senator Morton of Indiana, and Senators Conkling and Evarts of New York.

On the west side of the statue is pictured a council of war. In this relief there is shown a table upon which a map is spread at the head of which stands General Logan while Major General Frank P. Blair and General Joseph H. Mower are examining the map. General Granville M. Dodge, General M.D. Leggett, General Slocum, General Hazen and a staff officer are in the group.

These panels were the conception of Mrs. John A. Logan, thinking they would represent the unique character of the General's life as a soldier and a statesman, equally as great in peace as in war, ever ready to advocate, and to die for if need be, the best interests of his Country.

The allegorical figure under the head of the horse, for which Mrs. Mary Logan Tucker, a daughter of the General, posed as the model, is representative of War, while that at the rear representing Peace is the figure of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. John A. Logan, Jr.

The cost of the work was $65,000 of which Congress paid $50,000, the remaining $15,000 being subscribed by the Grand Army of the Republic, the Army of the Tennessee, and by individuals.

John A. Logan was of Scotch-Irish descent. He was born in Illinois on February 9, 1826. He enlisted in the Mexican War as a private and was promoted to a Lieutenancy and served throughout the period of the war with great credit.

In 1848, at the close of the war, he took up the study of law in the office of his maternal uncle, ex-Governor A. M. Jenkins. He served three terms in the State Legislature and was elected to the National Congress where he served in the House from 1858 to 1861 when he resigned his seat to organize the 31st Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He was in the first battle at Bull Run (Manassas) while still in Congress, fighting all day under Colonel Richardson of Michigan. General Logan participated in many of the most severe battles of that unfortunate war — Fort Donelson, Fort Henry, Pittsburg Landing, and others, and was promoted to Major General. During the war he declined a renomination to Congress. He succeeded General Sherman as Commander of the 15th Army Corps.

General Logan was a devoted admirer and supporter of Abraham Lincoln and was active in the campaign in 1864 when Lincoln was elected to the Presidency.

General Logan was re-elected to the House of Representatives in 1866 and served until 1871 when he was elected to the Senate to which body he was twice re-elected.

The General inherited habits of industry which clung to him throughout his life and which account for so much of his success, but he generously gave credit to his wife for her untiring assistance in the collection of material for his speeches, reports and researches. He was a logical man, an eloquent speaker and had the courage to say and do the things which his conscience told him were right and he courted no man's favor. He was temperate in all things, but a prohibitionist in none, as attentive to the complaints of the helpless as to the wishes of his personal friends.

General Logan was a member of a Blue Lodge in Pinckneyville, Illinois, a member of Chevalier Bayard Commandery of Knights Templar and a Scottish Rite Mason of the 33rd degree.

* * *


When your weary feet shall have reached at last their toilsome journey's end
It will be to you the priceless gift of your best and truest friend,—
'Twill be nature's way to speak to you the word that sounds the best
When she kisses you her fond good-bye and sweetly whispers, — REST.

— Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.

* * *


Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood



THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Haywood.


The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:

Division I.

Ceremonial Masonry.

  1. The Work of a Lodge.
  2. The Lodge and the Candidate.
  3. First Steps.
  4. Second Steps
  5. Third Steps.

Division II.

Symbolical Masonry.

  1. Clothing.
  2. Working Tools.
  3. Furniture.
  4. Architecture.
  5. Geometry.
  6. Signs.
  7. Words.
  8. Grips.

Division III.

Philosophical Masonry.

  1. Foundations.
  2. Virtues.
  3. Ethics.
  4. Religious Aspect.
  5. The Quest.
  6. Mysticism.
  7. The Secret Doctrine.

Division IV.

Legislative Masonry.

  1. The Grand Lodge.
    1. Ancient Constitutions.
    2. Codes of Law.
    3. Grand Lodge Practices.
    4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
    5. Official Duties and Prerogatives.
  2. The Constituent Lodge.
    1. Organization.
    2. Qualifications of Candidates.
    3. Initiation, Passing and Raising.
    4. Visitation.
    5. Change of Membership.

Division V.

Historical Masonry.

  1. The Mysteries — Earliest Masonic Light.
  2. Study of Rites — Masonry in the Making.
  3. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
  4. National Masonry.
  5. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
  6. Feminine Masonry.
  7. Masonic Alphabets.
  8. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
  9. Biographical Masonry.
  10. Philological Masonry — Study of Significant Words.


Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "Second Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.

Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.

The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.


Immediately following each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.


The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given to the study period.

After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.


  1. Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
  2. Discussion of the above.
  3. The subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
  4. Question Box.

Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.


The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.



Why was the "passing" among Operative Masons so important a step? What new secrets, do you suppose, were then given to the Mason? What do you imagine the masterpieces to have been? Why was a masterpiece demanded? What is a "masterpiece" in the ordinary sense of the word as now used? What are the marks of a masterpiece in literature? in business? Is your lodge a masterpiece of Masonry? Do we tend to judge men by their fine words and promises rather than by their productions? In what way do the man's actual productions reveal his character? What effect on character do bad works have?

Was Scotch Masonry different from English? If so, why, do you suppose? Why are there now variations in different countries and under different Grand Lodges? How do these variations affect Masonry as a whole? Have you fixed clearly in your mind how we came to have three degrees instead of two? What is the key-word of the Second Degree? What do you mean by "knowledge"? Is intellectual power an accumulation of facts or is it the development of all the faculties? How can these be developed? Are books and colleges necessary for this? How do you make your work develop your mental faculties? Is ignorance a sin?


Who was William Preston? What led him, do you suppose, to take so much interest in Masonry? How does your lodge stimulate such interest? Is the study of Masonry making you more interested? What was the nature of the "lectures" in the old work? When officers do their ceremonial work in a slovenly manner are they really good Masons in the literal sense of that wordy What did Preston do to the Second degree and why did he do it?

What do you think of Pound's suggestion? Could you carry out his idea without remodeling the ritual? How? Could well prepared lectures be now written to be used in conjuction with the "work" that would make the Fellow Craft degree a real education? Could you expound the fundamentals of some art or science in a single lecture? Would such a lecture on, say, government, help the lodges in their fight against anarchy, depostism, and dogmatism? How?


What was the function of the Intender in the old work? Could we have Intenders now? When a man "coaches" a candidate in the work is he an Intender? If he could explain the thought as well as teach the words would he not be a much more effluent teacher? What, in your judgment, has the lodge a right to expect of a man before passing him?

Why did the Master Mason have a mark? Why didn't the Apprentice have one? How, would you guess, did the Mason leave his mark on the finished work? What kind of a "mark" are you leaving on your work?

Suppose we were to demand a masterpiece before passing a man, what should it be? What is real Masonic education? In what sense is the lodge a School?


Mackey's Encyclopedia:

Fellow, p. 261; Fellow Craft, p. 261; Marks of the Craft, p. 470; Preston, p. 679.


Vol. I. Preston, William, pp. 7, 9, 11, 31, 292, 310. Vol. II. Passing of a Candidate, p. 108; Preston, William pp. 81,166, 302; Preston, Work of, p. 167. Vol. III. Fellow Craft Degree, pp. 25, 334, Nov. C. G B. 1 Vol. IV. What a Fellow Craft Ought to Know, p. 115, Passing of a Candidate, p. 268.

* * *


Bro. H.L. Haywood, Iowa



THERE is little to tell us what was the manner among Operative Masons of the passing of a man from the Entered Apprentice grade to the next higher degree; but such fragmentary records as we do have imply that the ceremony was most simple. The man to be made a Master ("Master" and "Fellow Craft" originally referred to the same grade) was taken before six Master Masons and (possibly, in many cases at least) two Entered Apprentices; his name and his mark were entered in the record book, together with the names of those by whom he was admitted, and those "intenders" by whom he had been instructed. According to the earlier Codes no man was thus made a Master until he had given a practical demonstration of his skill by producing, usually, a masterpiece (literally "master's piece"). The words, grips and tokens, etc., were probably given in such wise as not to be betrayed to the Entered Apprentices who were present.

The term "Fellow Craft" was first used by Scotch Masons, according to the evidences, and was not introduced into the English lodges until the Constitution was printed in 1723. At first the term meant exactly the same as "Master Mason" so that the two were interchangeable, a fact which clears up much confusion in Masonic history. Originally, it seems, there were but two (some, even, say one) degrees but during the period between 1723 and 1738 the first degree was split in two, the former half of which was made into the Entered Apprentice degree, the latter into the Fellow Craft degree; the old Second degree, after sundry modifications, became the Third; it was in this wise that the terms came to have their present meaning.

Thus it appears that the Operative Entered Apprentice was obliged to produce a masterpiece in order to qualify for passing to the next higher grade; after another manner, as my readers may painfully remember, the same thing is exacted in the present Speculative degrees. In the Apprentice grade the man was made to learn the use of his tools; the Master was one who had achieved that knowledge. By a happy coincidence it still remains true that the key-word of our Second degree is Knowledge, but this knowledge, it is to be noted, is something more than a matter of correct information; it is an ability to do things; it is the having one's faculties perfectly and harmoniously developed. The degree as it now stands is a kind of acted treatise on the part enlightenment, information and mental development must play in the life of a Mason and a man.


We know that while Operative Masons were trained men they did not include in their simple ceremonies so elaborate a presentment as that which we find in our own work; we owe this enlargement of the rite to a Scotchman, William Preston, born at Edinburgh, August 7, 1742. Soon after arriving in London as a printer, Preston was made a Mason and later the Master of a lodge; accepting this latter office with more than the usual sense of responsibility he set out to master, as opportunities then permitted, the history and symbolism of the Order.

In his first days he found that usually after a candidate had been initiated the Master was accustomed to deliver a "lecture"; inasmuch as this was often a hasty extemporaneous production it did not amount to much, and the slovenliness of such lectures as he heard offended the trained literary tastes of Preston. So he set about writing lectures to be used at various stages of the "work" and something of these, after divers troubles and misunderstandings, came at last to be incorporated in the rites. There is every reason to believe that Preston almost wholly remodelled the Second degree and that it, as it now stands, is largely his own production. The long discourses on education are his.

Why did he include these educational features? Because at that time England had no public schools and few private ones so that the ordinary boy had scant opportunities for an education; it occurred to Preston, a real inspiration for the time, that Masonry might reduce the essentials of education to small proportions and thus give instruction to its candidates, most of whom were young men. He undertook to transform Masonry into an academy of education, a noble enough purpose then, but somewhat confusing to us in this day of elaborate public and private school systems. Brother Roscoe Pound, whose "Philosophy of Masonry" is so richly rewarding a book, suggests a plan whereby to preserve Preston's great idea of education and at the same time eradicate much of the material which has now become obsolete.

Suppose today a man of Preston's tireless diligence attempted a new set of lectures which should unify known edge and present its essentials so that the ordinary man could comprehend them. To use Preston's own words, suppose lectures were written, as a result of seven years of labor, and the co-operation of a society of critics, which set forth a regular system of modern knowledge demonstrated on the clearest principles and established on the firmest foundations. Suppose, if you will, that this was confined simply to the knowledge of Masonry, Would not Preston's idea (in an age of public schools) be more truly carried out than by our present lip service, and would not his central notion of the lodge as a center of light vindicate itself by the resulted"

Brethren, is this not worth thinking about? At any rate a discussion of Brother Pound's suggestion will prove greatly worth while to any student or study class.


In Operative days a man was compelled to spend a series of years, sometimes five, usually seven, in mastering his trade; during this period he remained indentured, or bound, to some Master Mason. In our Speculative system there is no need that a man wait so long between degrees; but does it not seem clear that we have, in many jurisdictions, drifted off to the opposite extreme? In at least three Grand Lodges of our country a man may be passed in two weeks; in several he may even be passed as soon as believed proficient; in a majority a month must intervene. What does the candidate do in that interval? Usually he does nothing except learn as best he can the words of his lectures. Would it not be far better if, in that betweenwhile period, he could be enabled to master thoroughly the teachings of the preceding degree? Why do men so quickly become indifferent to Masonic ritual? Because it speaks its mighty truths to them in a dead language which they can illy understand; what would it not mean if, during the intervals, the lodge should undertake to make the man genuinely proficient in the work he has previously had! This too may be worth some discussion.

Also, when a man was passed in Operative days, he was given his own mark; a vast number of these have been collected by our scholars and much light have they thrown on the evolution of our Order. Each mark was the worker's own private possession which another could use at his peril; receiving that mark was a token of his full assumption of responsibility for the work he had done; with his own mark on his own work the supervisors could easily learn who had done a task well or ill. We have no such marks, save in one degree of the York Rite, but each of us, if he will but consider, is in reality placing his own mark on everything he does.

And why would it not also be wise for us, in our Speculative Masonry, to revive the old custom of demanding a masterpiece; suppose that, before a man is passed or raised, he were obliged to write, say, a brief essay on the degree just taken, or some similar subject; would it not soon sift out those who were passing through the work for selfish and private reasons? Would we not have more Masons and fewer mere members? This is but a suggestion; the student will think of many other ways in which the candidate could produce a masterpiece of his skill. A man who would take his initiation that seriously and thoroughly would get far more out of Masonry, and Masonry would get far more out of him.

The Entered Apprentice of the old days worked under the eye of an Intender or instructor; this opens up to us at once the large question of instruction in Speculative Masonry. Do you believe that your own lodge is doing all it might do to interpret to its members the meaning of its rites? Why are so many Masons in such dense ignorance as to the real significance of all the strange symbols and bewildering ceremonies which make up the work? Should not the lodge, or some body working in conjunction with the lodge, be willing to meet such a man more than half way? Can you think of any better means for performing the functions of the Intender than the reading of good Masonic literature and the formation of study classes in every lodge?

Some readers may remind me that Operative customs were designed to prepare men for actual work, laborious and difficult, and that no such instructions are now necessary; let such readers lay their hands on their heart and ask what kind of an examination they could pass in a course on "the meaning of Masonry"! When the Speculative Mason passes from the first degree he has two other degrees ahead of him; surely that should demand the most careful preparation. Masonry will be more to our daily lives when we make it mean more to our minds. The man who first masters his Apprentice Degree before passing to the Fellow Craft, and who masters that in turn before going on to the climax in the third, that surely, in all true senses, is a Master Mason, well entitled to consider himself a Fellow of the Craft; nay a Fellow fit for the Craft.

* * *


A Fire-Mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jellyfish and a saurian,
And caves where the cavemen dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod, —
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.

A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailing high, —
And all over upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod, —
Some of us call it Autumn,
And others call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in, —
Come from the mystic ocean,
Whose rim no foot has trod, —
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.

A picket frozen on duty, —
A mother starved for her brood, —
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway plod, —
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.

— William Herbert Carruth.

* * *

Talk about those subjects you have had long in mind, and listen to what others say about subjects you have studied but recently.

— O. W. Holmes.

* * *


Abraham Mitre Rihbant

Owing to our readers' interest in this subject we have received gracious permission from the Beacon Press to reprint this chapter from Abraham Mitrie Rihbany's "America Save the Near East," a volume renewed in our Library Department this month.

THERE ARE few issues aside from the main phases of the conflict itself which the present war has created or made more prominent, that are more interesting to the world than the Zionist movement. Begun many years before, this movement has received an impetus during the war which has made interest in it, in both Jewry and Christendom, intense and very wide-spread. The proponents of Zionism among the Jews consider the vast and radical changes which the present conflict is effecting in the lives of the various nations as favorable to the consummation of Zionist hopes. The world is being refashioned. The majority of the great and enlightened nations claim to be fighting for the freedom of all peoples. Never before was the heart of the world so responsive to the cry of the oppressed as it is now. All signs, also, point to the permanent separation from Turkey of her Near Eastern provinces. Palestine has already fallen to the British. Zion has been delivered from Turkish bondage.

Is not the time, therefore, very opportune for the friends of Zionism to press its claims with greater vigor than ever before, and secure, if possible, the coveted land of Palestine as a free and permanent home for Jewish nationalism? So it must seem to the ardent supporters of this Jewish movement, and their hopes cannot be pronounced elusive.

Christendom, also, is deeply interested in the Zionist's expectations. This interest springs not necessarily from the Christians' love for the Jews, for hatred for the Jew has been one of Christendom's greatest offenses against God and humanity. Christian interest in the Zionist movement comes chiefly from the fact that there are millions of Christians who believe that Christ's kingdom will not come upon the earth until the Jews have been "restored" to Palestine. To such a success of Zionism means the long-awaited regathering of the chosen people to their "promised land."

There are many others whose interest in this significant movement is purely romantic. The thought of a "restored Israel" to the land of its origin seems to reinvest for them the ages of Hebrew history with compelling charms. The picture of the sons of Abraham regathered as a people, free and strong, to "build the old wastes, and raise up the former desolations," and sing again the psalms of their faith and hope among the hills of Zion, is to the lovers of romance a most enchanting vision. This expectation for the advent of Christ's kingdom upon the final restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and the legitimate romantic interest are shared also by many of that minority of Christians who are deeply interested in the improvement of the Jew's lot, and the restoration to him, as a man, of his lawful right of social and political equality with the other enlightened members of the human race.

And it is not at all strange that the Christians in general, as well as many among the Jews themselves, should have only a superficial knowledge of the aims and purposes of Zionism. Zionism is not a general movement to "restore" the fourteen million Jews from all the regions of the earth to the Holy Land. Such an enterprise would involve, to say the least, a physical impossibility. Even if it had no other inhabitants, Palestine could not properly sustain one-fourth of the Jews of the world, even if they could all be led, or driven, into it. Again, the Jews are very far from being all Zionists. Only a minority of them is deeply interested in this movement. Millions among them are perfectly indifferent to it, and many are decidedly opposed to it. But the leaders of Zionism are among the foremost men of this remarkable race, and their followers can by no means be called "only a few."

The purpose of the Zionist movement is to provide the Jews, who refuse to relinquish their claim to being a nation, a national centre and a "legally secured home" which they may call their own. I can do no better in presenting the purpose of Zionism than to quote the words of the honorary president of this movement in America, Justice Brandeis of the United States Supreme Court.

Let us bear clearly in mind," says Justice Brandeis, "what Zionism is, or rather what it is not. It is not a movement to remove all the Jews of the world compulsorily to Palestine. In the first place there are 14,000,000 Jews, and Palestine would not accommodate more than one-fifth of that number. In the second place, it is not a movement to compel any one to go to Palestine. It is essentially a movement to give to the Jews more, not less, freedom; it aims to enable the Jews to exercise the same right now exercised by practically every other people in the world: to live at their option either in the land of their fathers or in some other country; a right which members of small nations as well as of large, which Irish, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, or Belgian, may now exercise as fully as German or English.

"Zionism seeks to establish in Palestine, for such Jews as choose to go and remain there, and for their descendants, a legally secured home, where they may ; live together and lead a Jewish life, where they may expect ultimately to constitute a majority of the population, and may look forward to what we should call home rule. The Zionists seek to establish this home in Palestine because they are convinced that the undying longing of Jews for Palestine is a fact of deepest significance; that it is a manifestation in the struggle for existence by an ancient people which had established its right to live a people whose three thousand years of civilization has produced a faith, culture, and individuality which enable them to contribute largely in the future, as they had in the past, to the advance of civilization; and that it is not a right merely, but a duty of the Jewish nationality to survive and develop. They believe that there only can Jewish life be fully protected from the forces of disintegration; that there alone can the Jewish spirit reach its full and natural development; and that by securing for those Jews who wish to settle in Palestine the opportunity to do so, not only those Jews, but all other Jews will be benefited and that the long perplexing Jewish Problem will, at last, find solution."

Zionist writers dwell upon the fact that notwithstanding the improvement of his lot in many western European countries and in America, the Jew remains a "man without a country." Many countries have admitted the Jews into full equality before the law with other citizens; nevertheless, the social mind of non-Jews in all lands instinctively ostracizes the Jew. The removal of his legal disabilities is doled out to him as a gift, and not granted as a right inherent in his status. Religious and political liberalism has greatly ameliorated his condition, but is dangerously threatening his racial and national existence. The direct and indirect aim of his toleration by the peoples among whom he dwells seems to be, not the sharing with the Jews of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship as a Jew, but the hastening of his assimilation and obliteration. His racial distinction, his national individuality, his language, and even his faith are in grave danger of being done away with. In short, modern liberalism and toleration are threatening with extinction all the precious assets of Judaism and the gifts which have enabled the Jew to make so large and rich a contribution to the spiritual culture of the human race.

These very things the Jew must continue to hold most dear if his future is not to be the antithesis of his glorious past. And in order to do this, he must have a Jewish national centre, a land that he can call his own, where his language and his culture may be revitalized and enriched, and his racial type preserved. To Zionists, Palestine is that land.

In his book entitled "Zionism," the noted Jewish scholar, Richard J. H. Gottheil, says:

"From whatever point of view we regard the situation, the unity of Israel must be restored. A complete reversion to unity of practice seems impossible as modern conditions in the Diaspora will continue to increase disfavorably to the Jews. The Jewish hope must be constituted upon modern linen Embodied in a physical centre, and that centre illumined by a rekindled light, it will serve as a point towards which the thoughts, aspirations, and longings of the Diaspora Jews will converge, and from which they will draw, each in his own measure, that sufficiency of moral and religious strength that will better enable them to resist the encroachments of their surroundings. The knowledge that in some one place, in some one country and that country the most hallowed by its recollections Jewish life is possible without the unnatural restrictions that naturally hem it in elsewhere, will act as a centripetal force, the very force that is needed today."

This, very briefly stated, is the aim and purpose of the Zionist movement. Whether the Zionist hope is possible of full realization, whether, if realized, it would solve the "Jewish Problem," are questions whose consideration falls outside the plan of this volume. What concerns us here is the bearing of Zionism upon the racial and governmental problems of Syria, and this I will proceed to consider.

The impetus which Zionism has received recently has greatly alarmed the Christians and Mohammedans of Palestine. In the first place, the universal prejudice against the Jews is shared by those sects in the East. The Jews "crucified Christ," and "dealt treacherously with Mohammed." Until they abjure the sins of their fathers and are converted to the faith of their persecutors, the Jews will remain in disfavor.

But, in the second place, this inhuman attitude toward the Jew is not the sole reason which impels the Christians and Mohammedans of Palestine and Syria in general to resist Zionism. Its possible political consequences afford a more rational reason. The Syrians perceive that the goal of Zionism is the establishment of an independent Jewish state in Palestine, or at least the establishment of an autonomous Jewish state under the protection of some foreign power. Under the auspices of the Zionists, Palestine must be either detached from Syria and "given to the Jews," or become a "sphere of influence of some Western Power." Either prospect is repugnant to the non-Jewish population of the "land of promise" and to intelligent Syrians in America.

The process of reasoning in the case is very simple. The Zionists' ultimate purpose is to establish a Jewish national centre for all the Jews of the dispersion. To this centre the Jews of the world are to look, not only for inspiration, but for redress in time of trouble. In Palestine the Hebrew language is to be revived and, in course of time, made the language of the land. In Palestine a vital Jewish atmosphere is to be created through the spread of Jewish culture, an atmosphere vital enough, if possible, to mould the character of international Jewry.

How, it is asked, can all this be accomplished without that "national Jewish centre" first becoming an independent Jewish country, sufficiently powerful to resist all modifying influences? The intelligent Syrians realize that independent nationalism is not what the Zionists insist upon at present, but they seem to be certain that nothing short of that would be able to make the Zionist program a reality.

The claim that Palestine is the Jew's home land is not fully conceded by the non-Jews in that country, especially the Mohammedans. It was the Jew's home land, which he acquired by the sword from former owners. His successful conquest of the land gave him the right to possess it. But the Moslem is the later conqueror of Palestine. He also acquired it by the sword, and built in it homes and shrines. So if the successful conquest of a land carries with it the right of ownership, then it is the Mohammedan and not the Jew who has the prior claim to the ownership of Palestine. Again, the Jew's plea that the Holy Land should be given him on religious grounds is not absolutely valid. When he came into that country he built his religious shrines on the foundations of the shrines of the "nations of the land" which he had destroyed. Palestine is the cradle of his religion, but it is also the cradle of the Christian religion, whose adherents are hundreds of millions. The Mohammedan, also, has his holy shrines in Palestine and in its Holy City. The Dome of the Rock (the Mosque of Omar) is built on the very site of Solomon's Temple.

This being the case, would the European nations and America, to whom the Zionists are appealing them to enable them to make Palestine a Jewish national centre and a "legally secured home" for the "chosen people," be justified in heeding such an appeal and furthering such a cause? Palestine is an integral part of Syria. It is dear to the devotees of three great faiths. The majority of its present inhabitants are non-Jews. Therefore, for any European Power, or Powers, to favor the Jews above the other elements of the population by paving the way for Jewish supremacy in Palestine and for its ultimate severance from Syria and its organization as a Jewish state, would be an act of violent injustice to its non- Jewish inhabitants and an irremovable cause for future troubles. It would revive the feuds of biblical times between Jews and Gentiles, and thus emphasize religious and racial division in a country which sorely needs peace and unity.

The fears have already found articulate expression in Palestine since its occupation by the British. Representatives of the Christians and the Mohammedans have already held several joint meetings in Joppa and in Jerusalem, at which were considered ways and means by which to check the advance of Zionism. They have petitioned the British Government to protect the non-Jewish property owners, who feel compelled under the present stress to sell their properties to the moneyed Zionists at any price, by prohibiting such sales during the war. They have asked that government also to establish in Palestine agricultural banks in order to enable the land-owners to secure loans (which should be paid on the installment plan) at a reasonable rate of interest. They have demanded also that the Arabic language be made by law the "official" national tongue of Syria. According to the reports which have been received, the British Government has agreed to these demands in principle, and is proceeding to give them legal form.

From the foregoing it may be easily seen that the unanimous resolution of the non-Jewish population of Palestine is that that country shall not become a Jewish state.

However, it should not be inferred from the foregoing objections to Zionism that the non-Jewish population of the Holy Land mean to exclude the Jews from it, or to deny them the rights which others may enjoy. On the contrary, the demand of that population is for equal rights for Jews and non-Jews. The Jew is free to return to the ancient home of his faith, to acquire property in the open market, to do business on the basis of fair competition, and to make Jerusalem the seat of his culture and a "breeding ground for Jewish leaders." But he must not ask for special privileges. He must be a co-operative Syrian citizen, and not the means of increasing the racial and religious contentions in the land.

So far as I have been able to learn, such are the views and sentiments of intelligent Syrians everywhere with regard to the Zionist movement. And although I suspect that this attitude is not entirely free from racial and religious prejudice, I consider its underlying principle to be sound. For the last two thousand years the Jew's lot has been hard. His "problem" is indeed a vexatious one and deserves the co-operative wisdom and sympathy of right-minded people the world over. But I fail utterly to see how the establishment of a Jewish national centre in Palestine would solve the problem of all the Jews of the dispersion. I fail to see how such a Jewish state, even if secured, could be powerful enough to compel fair treatment for the Jews in all parts of the world, or how to make every Jew look to such a state as his protector. Nor amiable to see how the Jews could live in peace and comfort in the "land of their fathers," if that country is detached arbitrarily from Syria and given to them. Such an act would plant the Jew in the midst of irreconcilable enemies and thus increase rather than lessen their troubles.

I do not pretend in the least to offer a solution for the "Jewish problem." What I feel warranted in saying from my intimate knowledge of Syrian affairs is that it would be a great injustice to both the Jews and the Syrians in general should the Allies and America support the present Zionist plan, as they are petitioned to do by its advocates. In order that Syria may have permanent peace and a stable government, the Western Powers should simply maintain the "open door" policy in that country and insist on equal rights for all.

* * *


Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, shortly before his death, arranged to give substantial expression of his gratitude to the people of the little village in France near which his son Quentin is buried. Through the Red Cross he provided that $6,900 of the Nobel Peace Prize money awarded to him should be used for the benefit of the simple country people who have kept Quentin's grave covered with flowers.

Colonel Roosevelt left the decision of the exact form his gift should take to the discretion of the Red Cross, and that organization is now trying to ascertain the wishes of the villagers.

* * *

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and Adversity is not without comforts and hopes.

— Bacon.

* * *

The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.

— Voltaire.

* * *



THE QUESTION frequently has been asked to what cause or causes were attributable the failure of American Masonry to win our Government's recognition in the great war and its consequent failure to serve the boys with the Colors overseas side by side with other civilian organizations less strong from the standpoint of members, less able from the standpoint of resources, and no more willing from the standpoint of zeal and sense of obligation.

Brother George L. Schoonover, who presided over the Iowa conference of Grand Masters, attributed Masonry's failure to "Apathy" and "Disunity." As I see it, this time too, the attack upon us was by three ruffians, and to the two named by Brother Schoonover must be added a third, "Selfishness," who was active within as well as without our mystic circle.

First it was "Apathy" whom we met and had to overcome. He is a charmer who had lulled us to sleep and soothed us with dreams of a fairyland where we revelled in the beauties of the principles of Freemasonry without too much concern for their practical application. So intoxicating was our Masonry as thus sung that we knew not very often whether we slept or were awake. War came to us as we were held spellbound in the clutches of "Apathy"; it took time to free ourselves from the spell, to shake him off.

"Apathy" had an ally in "Mossback," a creature which lives in the past, rejoicing in his sterility, and winning influence over shallow men by his barren lodge attendance to the neglect of many other duties.

"Mossback" opposes progress; he can not grow, and would not if he could; he is the self constituted interpreter of the landmarks and their guardian in the sense in which he interprets them.

"Apathy" and "Mossback" are a strong team — at backing. The comfortable stall and the full manger meet their wants. Their souls are never hungry. "Why Worry" is their motto.

When "Apathy" and his side partner had been overcome, "Disunity" blocked our way. He is a crochity fellow, will not pull with any one, not even with himself. His toes might be tread upon had he company. He imagines bliss behind a Chinese wall with the rest of the world on the other side. He leaves undone what he can not do alone. Co-operation to achieve great results he opposes, lest his co-workers gain more than he. He places no trust in his neighbor, and would put his brother under bond.

"Disunity" is a fit companion to "Apathy," possessing all of his faults and none of his virtues. Disunity is still at large, but the Craft is hot on his trail. The ruffian is doomed.

Of the three, "Selfishness" is the most evil ruffian, for he seeks to conceal himself everywhere; his roots penetrate even to the souls of men. Except to squeeze out of him what he covets, he is never his brother's keeper, and, his objects attained, straightway he discards the husks.

Rather than share credit he would leave undone what he can not do alone. That alone is worth while to him which brings him gain, be it praise or profit. "Selfishness" is not entirely wicked as the world rates evil; he possesses virtues and often sits in the front pew. He may not rob, maim, or kill; he just breaks your heart. Creature comforts are his chief concern. The dire need of his brother annoys, but does not move, him. Often he hides behind acts of philanthropy which stir the world. They tickle his vanity, but do not move his soul.

The Masonic Fraternity encountered these three ruffians on the path which led to duty. From "Apathy" and "Disunity" it escaped; from "Selfishness" it could not. The blows which temporarily brought it low were struck from within and they were struck from without.

A great lesson has been learned.

Humiliated and chastened, but neither disheartened nor dismayed, it is the resolve of our Brotherhood so to organize its energies in this beloved land of ours that, happen what may in times to come, be the need great or be it small, the Craft will be ready and qualified to do its share of the day's work and to give its best.

Townsend Scudder.

* * *


My dear Brother Schoonover:

I have your thrilling letter about the newly formed Masonic Service Association of the United States, and thank you with all my heart. At first I did not know whether I was reading of a revival meeting of real religion, or the minutes of a session of the Kingdom of Heaven, and before I had finished I found that it was both. Truly, it was a wonderful meeting, and your letter, so aglow with the spirit of it all, conveyed to me the very atmosphere of it. Almost I could see the faces of the men, and feel their heart-beat, because it is like a dream come true to me, as it is to you.

Right you are: American Masonry is born — it has become conscious, for the first time, of itself, of its obligation, and of the opportunity before it. Hitherto, we have been still in our colonial period Masonically, and now, let us hope, we shall pass into something like a federated, or at least a co-operative Masonry, and make our influence and power felt in helping to organize and make effective the goodwill of the world. And long steps will be taken in that direction, if the men who attended that conference carry home, as they surely will, the large vision and the deeper fellowship.

The longer I live the more I believe in the mystery, the beauty, and the efficacy of fellowship, and the meeting you describe was, as I read it, a revelation of the power of fellowship. After all, that is about the sorest need of this sad and distracted world: to overcome the Will to Rivalry — or what is the same, if not worse, Indifference — by the Will to Fellowship. For example, if a gathering of a sort similar could be held, including the leaders of the Grand Orient of France, of which our Grand Lodges have been suspicious, deeming it atheistic, how different the attitude would be toward that Grand Body. I have been looking into their Constitution, and I find that it defines Freemasonry as having for its essential principle "the existence of God, and the Immortality of the Soul, and the Solidarity of the Human Race," — and yet that is the Grand Body excommunicated as atheistic!

But to return to the Service Association, and my thoughts go back to it again and again: it is so wise and sane, so practical as well as passionate, and so well considered withal — the very name a stroke of genius. Unity, not union, is what we want; unity, not uniformity; unity of spirit, of purpose, and of action: that we may undertake great things together and get something done before we die. Let this spirit of togetherness grow and abide, and the whole nation will feel the quiet, benign, and fruitful influence of Freemasonry. What can we not do, once the Genius of Masonry has its way with us, emancipated in our lives and we have the patience, the skill, and the courage to "organize God's light," — surely that is our task as a Craft!

From afar I send greetings and blessings to the Service Association, to its Executive Commission, and to all who were present at its formation. It marks a new era in American Freemasonry. Long may it live and grow, making the Spirit of Masonry eloquent among men, touching our great and gentle Craft to finer issues and nobler endeavors. Count me in from now on and always.

Joseph Fort Newton.

* * *


Edited By Bro. H. L. Haywood

The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges; either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book — what is its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained — be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a review write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book — any book — we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this YOUR Department of Literary Consultation.


"America, Save the Near East," by Abraham Mitrie Rihbany. Published by The Beacon Press. 25 Psasean Street. Boston. Mass. Price soon.

ABRAHAM MITRIE RIHBANY spent the early part of his life in Syria, not far from Nazareth; after securing an excellent education he came to this country and has won a high place for himself in the American pastorate; while learning the American spirit and the American point of view he has kept in touch with the Near East; for these reasons there are few men in our land better qualified to speak concerning the after-war problems in Syria, Arabia, and Armenia. In a little book recently published under the title at the head of these paragraphs he has stated his solution of the problem of the Near East with singular charm and lucidity.

Mr. Rihbany believes that the people of the Near East, owing to racial and religious differences, are incapable of evolving their own government; being, as it were, in a condition of pupilage, they need help from outside. A temporary protectorate must be established. What country can successfully establish such a protectorate? Mr. Rihbany insists that the United States alone is in an ideal position to lend a hand, and his book is a development of this thesis.

One of the most significant chapters in the volume deals with Zionism: owing to the interest expressed by our readers in this subject we have secured permission from the publishers, The Beacon Press, Boston, to reprint the chapter in full: it will be found on another page of this issue.

* * *


"India and Its Faiths," by James Bisset Pratt, Ph. D., published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 4 Park St., Boston; 16 E. 40th St., New York; 278 Post St., San Francisco. Price $4.00, net.

Of the recent books on the land of Buddha and the Brahmins, one of the most authentic is "India and Its Faiths," by James Bisset Pratt. Professor Pratt has long been a diligent and authoritative student of the psychology of religions; unlike most travelers in India he carried no prejudice with him, but interpreted all that he saw with candor, knowledge and sympathetic insight. We believe our brethren will be glad to read the following excerpt made from the book, not only because it will give them some hint of the book itself, but because the subject is one in which every Mason is very much interested:


And here we touch the very heart of the difficulty, the cause of most of the spiritual blindness that separates peoples of different faiths. We do not understand one another's symbols, and we seldom try. And this is partly because we have not stopped to consider the tremendous importance of symbolism in religion, its universality, and the method of its growth. If we should all realize in what varied forms the same truth or the same emotional attitude may be symboled forth, there would be less mutual recrimination between followers of different faiths.

It takes years for a symbol to gain its full force over an individual or a race. One must grow up with it. It gathers its strength from the whole life and the whole environment. It does not greatly matter what the symbol is; anything will do provided it has by the steady growth of a lifetime and by the aid of the whole social environment drawn around itself the spiritual attitudes and sentiments which the race most prizes. Thus, it takes a whole life thoroughly to understand a symbol; from which it follows that one can never completely understand the full force and the emotional meaning and value of a symbol belonging to a strange people and a strange culture. In symbolism we all tend to be extremely provincial. We insist that other peoples shall adopt our symbols without realizing that our symbols may be as strange and incomprehensible to them as theirs are to us. We can not understand how any one can find strength or comfort in Kali, the great Hindu Bother, with her string of skulls and her bloody mouth. We see the Hindu deities presented with from four to ten arms, and we say they look like spiders and must be horrid; not realizing that to the Hindus these many arms mean the all-enfolding powers of the Divine. And it never occurs to us that the Indian would find it hard to appreciate some of our emblems and figures of speech. To say nothing of the strange symbolism of early Christian art, — the fish and the various beasts to which we have grown accustomed, — consider our present constant emphasis upon blood — the picture of moral guilt being 'washed away' by the application of blood, etc. Then there are the various symbols connected with the 'Lamb slain from the foundation of the world' — 'the Lamb upon the Throne, crowned with many crowns.' (Try to visualize the picture!) There is also the trefoil representing the Trinity. And is not the Trinity itself a kind of symbol,a symbol of which the meaning seems quite uncertain?

Yet, while we can hardly hope to share with our Indian brothers their feeling for their symbols, nor expect them fully to appreciate ours, we can at least cultivate a sympathetic attitude toward one another's symbols if we only will. And if we really make the effort to do this, instead of satisfying ourselves with clever ejaculations as to their absurdities, we may gain some sort of insight into their spiritual value. This is the only way. It was thus, for instance, that Sister Nivedita won the insight which so distinguishes her among writers on India. The story of her learning the significance of Kali, the Great Mother, will illustrate what I mean. One evening shortly after her arrival in Calcutta, she heard a cry in a quiet lane, and following her ears, found it came from a little Hindu girl who lay in her mother's arms, dying. The end came soon, and the poor mother for a time wept inconsolably. Then at last, wearied with her sobbing, she fell back into Sister Nivedita's arms, and turning to her, said: 'Oh, what shall I do? Where is my child now?' And Sister Nivedita adds: 'I have always regarded that as the moment when I found the key. Filled with a sudden pity, not so much for the bereaved woman as for those to whom the use of some particular language of the Infinite is a question of morality, I leaned forward, "'Hush, Mother!'" I said. "'Your child is with the Great Mother. She is with Kali!'" And for a moment, with memory stilled, we were enfolded together, Eastern and Western, in the unfathomable depth of consolation of the World-Heart.

* * *


There was a man who saw God face to face,
His countenance and vestments evermore
Glowed with a light that never shone before,
Saving from him who saw God face to face.
And men, anear him for a little space,
Were sorely vexed at the unwonted light.
Those whom the light did blind rose angrily;
They bore his body to a mountain height
And nailed it to a tree; then went their way;
And he resisted not nor said them nay,
Because that he had seen God face to face.

* * *

There was a man who saw Life face to face,
And ever as he walked from day to day,
The deathless mystery of being lay
Plain as the path he trod in loneliness;
And each deep-hid inscription could he trace;
How men have fought and loved and fought again;
How in lone darkness souls cried out for pain;
How each green foot of sod from sea to sea
Was red with blood of men slain wantonly;
How tears of pity warm as summer rain
Again and ever washed the stains away,
Leaving to Love, at last, the victory.
Above the strife and hate and fever pain,
The squalid talk and walk of sordid men,
He saw the vision changeless as the stars
That shone through temple gates or prison bars,
Or to the body nailed upon the tree,
Through each mean action of the life that is,
The marvel of the Life that yet shall be.

— David Starr Jordan.

* * *


That the world may be clean. That is the way I view the great task of the Red Cross workers of the world. Clean physically, mentally and morally — I can think of no more inspiring or practical gospel for humanity than that. And the Red Cross is the evangelist.

— Major General Merritte W. Ireland,
Surgeon General of the United States Army.

* * *


THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.

The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.


Where can I find something about St. John the Almoner?

M. J. W., New York.

Mackey devotes a little over half a column to St. John the Almoner in his Encyclopedia. From volume XXVI of the Transactionsof the Quatuor Coronati Lodge we quote the following reference to this personage by Brother Chetwode Crawley:

Notwithstanding the learned labors of the Abbe de Vertot, there would seem to be room for hesitation in affirming which St. John was the original Divus eponymusof the Knight Hospitallers, though there is none as to the identity of the St. John subsequently approved by the pope as their patron Saint. This was St. John of Jerusalem, otherwise St. John the Almoner, or St. John the Eleemosynary, a personage somewhat obscure in comparison with his great namesakes, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. When the Calendar of the Church of Rome, with its score or so of Saints John, was forgotten by the Freemasons, the identity of this local Saint, who served as Patriarch of Alexandria from 606 A. D. to 616 A. D., was merged in one or other of the two Saints John whose sanctity was universally recognized. Freemasons may stand excused for sharing the mistake, for our distinguished Brother, H.F. Berry, I.S.O., D.Litt., of the Public Record Office, has cited numerous original documents, emanating from the Order itself in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in which sometimes St. John the Baptist and sometimes St. John the Evangelist are claimed as patron Saints. The mistake was not the less palatable to our forefathers in the Craft, because it fitted in with the popular assumption that the medieval Gilds of Freemasons had been wont to celebrate their festivities on St. John's Day. In the last century, a flicker of vitality was engendered by Dr. Oliver's somewhat controversial work entitled "A Mirror for Johannite Masons." In this work the Rev. Dr. Oliver who in his earlier career, stoutly supported the Christianizing factors in Freemasonry, sought to exhibit an antidote to the Unitarian, or, more properly speaking, the Unsectarian proclivities ascribed to H.R.H. the Grand Master.

As far as Modern or Grand Lodge Freemasonry is concerned, the earliest mention of St. John known to the present writer is to be found in "The Grand Mystery of Freemasons discover'd," (London, 1724). In this pamphlet the name of St. John takes the place held by St. Stephen in the Catechism published the previous year in a London newspaper, "The Flying Post." The invocation of St. John is by no means confined to the Grand Lodge of England. The name of St. John the Evangelist stands at the head of every Master Mason's certificate issued by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, while the generic term "St. John's Masonry" is officially used by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to denote the Craft degrees. It may be convenient to leave to these Grand Lodges the task of explaining the usage, which evidently has no connection with the Order of St John of Jerusalem, otherwise Knights of Malta.

* * *


Brother C. C. Adams, editor of "Masonic Notes,' Kingston, Ontario, Canada, (which publication was reviewed by Brother Haywood in the Library Department for January,) submits the following inquiry which he has received from a brother in England who is engaged in writing a history of one of the oldest lodges in that country, Old Dundee Lodge No. 18, which was constituted in 1722. This lodge is in possession of its old minute books dating back to 1748.

We have submitted the questions to all the Grand Secretaries of the United States and find that the custom has been in vogue in but a very few American jurisdictions. One brother, in replying for his Grand Secretary, makes the suggestion that correspondence with the secretaries of two or three of the oldest lodges in each jurisdiction rnight be the means of throwing some light on the subject as the matter might be mentioned in some of the early lodge minutes yet not appear in the Grand Lodge records.

It is possible that some of our readers may be able to give us some information on the subject that will be of value to our English brother. The questions follow:

  1. Are candidates clothed in white robes during the ceremonies of initiation in your jurisdiction?
  2. Was the custom taken from the old English practice in vogue about 1730 to 1750, or how did it originate in your jurisdiction?
  3. What is the appearance of these gowns at the present time? Are they made of white flannel? Have thev a hood similar to a monk's cowl? Are they fastened by white bone buttons, or tapes?
  4. If such clothing is not used in your jurisdiction at the present time, was it ever used, and if so, when was the custom abolished, and why?

* * *



At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, held in Montgomery Dec. 4th and 5th, 1918, Brother Oliver D. Street, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence, submitted the following special reports which were adopted:


At the last Communication of this Grand Lodge your Committee on Foreign Correspondence was directed to secure all available information relative to the present status of Freemasonry in France and report the same to this Communication, with recommendations.

Your committee has made a careful investigation and was early impressed with the great confusion and lack of information (or rather misinformation) concerning French Masonry existing in the United States. It is necessary to understand that the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction which has proved so beneficial to American Masonry is not and never has been recognized in France. There exist two well-known systems both professing to practice genuine Freemasonry throughout the same territorial jurisdiction and yet both living on terms of perfect harmony and good fellowship with each other. We refer to the Grand Orient of France and the Grand Lodge of France. They are entirely separate and distinct bodies and in any intelligent examination of their respective claims it is necessary to bear this fact constantly in mind. Where this is not done we frequently find otherwise reliable writers attributing to one of them the resolutions and the acts of the other. Let it, therefore, be distinctly understood that this report deals exclusively with the Grand Lodge of France.

From a letter dated July 26, 1917, from the Grand Lodge of France to the Grand Secretary of this Grand Lodge we quote the following:

The Grand Lodge of France was constituted in 1804 by the Supreme Council 33d for France and the French Colonies to administer and control the lodges working the three degrees of Craft Masonry. In 1904, as the result of friendly negotiations with the Supreme Council our Grand Lodge became a Sovereign and Independent body.

As an integral part of the A. & A. S. Rite, our Masonic principles are those common to the Rite in general as set forth in the declaration of the Convention of Lausanne in 1875.

This letter is signed by the Grand Master, the Grand Secretary, the Grand Orator and the Grand Treasurer and may, therefore, be taken as official and authoritative.

The declaration of Lausanne referred to above so far as material to our present inquiry reads as follows:

"The Freemason reveres God under the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Whatever religion he — may profess, the Freemason practices the most complete tolerance towards those who have other convictions. The Masonic alliance is, therefore, neither a religious nor an ecclesiastical one. It requires of its members no profession of faith."

For one hundred years the Grand Lodge was subordinate in a greater or less degree to the Supreme Council. In 1879, what may be termed its modern history began. The year 1896 witnessed a very material extension of its rights and powers and the year 1904 marks its complete independence, and the consummation of an arrangement between it and the Supreme Council quite similar to that prevailing in the United States between the Grand Lodges and the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite, giving it exclusive control of the first three degrees. It is true the lodges forming the Grand Lodge of France were of Scottish Rite origin, but this is true of other Grand Lodges recognized by Alabama, and even New York and Louisiana, and perhaps others now have subordinate lodges working the Scottish Rite symbolic degrees. This Grand Lodge has not in the past considered this as good ground for refusing recognition, and your committee does not so consider it now.

Through a confusion of the Grand Lodge with the Grand Orient of France it has been frequently charged that the Grand Lodge is atheistical in its teachings. The letter from which we have quoted above should be sufficient to refute this accusation. Besides all the documents and correspondence of the Grand Lodge is captioned "To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe." As further proof we cite the following from the pen of Brother Robert F. Gould, certainly one foremost Masonic historian, in his "Concise History of Freemasonry," (1904):

Under the auspices of the Supreme Council, there has of late been established a Grand Loge de France, which works in the three Craft degrees, while the Supreme Council itself takes sole charge of the 4-33. The new Grand Lodge is desirous of putting a stop to the discussion in lodges of political and religious questions, a practice which distinguishes the Masonry of France from that of the generality of other countries where the consideration of such questions is forbidden. The atheistical doctrine of the Grand Orient is not shared by the Supreme Council of France.

We have seen above that the Grand Lodge of France emanated from the Supreme Council and shares the same views and doctrines with it. The fact that its constitution is silent concerning at belief in Deity proves nothing; the constitution of our own Grand Lodge is silent on that Subject.

It is the conclusion of your committee that the Grand Lodge of France is a regular Masonic body and it has been recognized as such by the following Grand Lodges, and doubtless others, within the last twelve months, viz., Iowa, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, District of Columbia, and New Jersey.

We, therefore, recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Alabama hereby recognizes "La Grand Loge de France" as a regular, legitimate and independent governing body of symbolic Masonry and the Grand Master is authorized and directed to arrange for an exchange of representatives.


Another duty of your Committee on Foreign Correspondence is to inquire into the claims of the Grand Orient of France to recognition and to report thereon our conclusions and recommendations. The task has proven a large one and on account of the polemical character of most of the literature on the subject it has been difficult to get all the facts. We believe, however, that we are in possession of those that are material.

The Grand Orient is the oldest Masonic organization existing in France. According to its own claims it dates back to 1736, but it is certain that it has had a continuous history under its present name from the year 1796. Originally its Masonry was derived from the Ancient Craft of England, but upon French soil it underwent many changes in organization and ritual. Gradually it absorbed and took control of a great number of degrees floating around as Masonic, but in course of time by selection and elimination it evolved a system of seven degrees of which the basis is those of Apprentice, Companion and Master, corresponding to our first three degrees. From its origin till 1869, the Grand Orient was recognized by and enjoyed the fraternal regard of all the Masonries of the world. Since that date many of the grand lodges have refused to have any Masonic relations with it.

The reasons assigned for this have been the following:

  1. Its system of organization and government.
  2. That it does not respect the territorial jurisdiction of other grand bodies.
  3. That it does not require the Bible to be displayed in its lodges.
  4. That it is agnostic in its teachings.
  5. That it dabbles in politics.

It is necessary to consider each of these objections separately and we trust the brethren will bear with us if this report is somewhat lengthy.

Organization and Government.

Controlling as it does other degrees than the first three, the organization of the Grand Orient at first appears to us somewhat complex, but it is sufficient for our purpose in this connection to state that the fundamental body is, as with us, the blue or symbolic lodge. The Supreme governing body is the General Assembly, which meets once a year and is composed of one delegate elected from each lodge and corresponds very closely to our Grand Lodge. The General Assembly elects from others than its own members the Council of the Order, consisting of thirty three members, who thereby become members of the General Assembly. This Council of the Order exercises controlling authority over the Craft generally between sessions of the General Assembly, within the limits fixed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Order. It finds its nearest counterpart among English speaking Grand Lodges in the Boards of General Purposes, so well known among Grand Lodges of British-countries. The bodies controlling the higher degrees known as "Chapters" and "Councils" have no control whatever over the Symbolic lodges. The form of government and organization of the Grand Orient has never except by a very few been regarded as affording any obstacle to its recognition as a regular and sovereign governing body of Symbolic Masonry.

Your committee have carefully read the constitution and regulations of the Grand Orient, also an official pamphlet issued by it entitled "La Franc-Ma├žonnerie du Grand Orient de France," and we have found nothing in them to which a Mason of the most exacting ideas could object. On the contrary, they afford many evidences of the highest understanding and appreciation of Masonic principles.

Invasion of Jurisdiction.

In 1869 and immediately following, many jurisdictions severed relations with the Grand Orient because it recognized and established relations with a spurious Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite organized in Louisiana by one Foulhouse, which Supreme Council essayed to charter symbolic lodges of the three degrees. At the December, 1869, Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, this action of the Grand Orient was severely criticised by the Grand Master and the Committee on Foreign Correspondence but no action was taken. This cause of discord, however, has long Since been removed and the Grand Orient has amended its ways in this regard so we do not consider this as any longer material to our present inquiry.

The Bible and Belief in Deity.

It is convenient to treat together the third and fourth objections above enumerated. Beginning in 1878, there was a very general withdrawal of recognition of the Grand Orient by the other Masonic powers because, it was charged, it had professed atheism. What it had really done was to strike from its constitution an affirmation of a belief in Deity. In our judgment the signification and importance of this action has been greatly exaggerated. From its foundation till 1849, the constitution of the Grand Orient contained no declaration of a belief in Deity, yet during all those years the Grand Orient was fully recognized by all the Masonic world. On August 10, 1849, the Grand Orient inserted the following clause:

Freemasonry has for its principles the existence of Deity and the immortality of the soul.

On September 14, 1877, there was substituted for this declaration the following:

Masonry has for its principles mutual tolerance, respect for others and for itself, and absolute liberty of conscience.

This change placed the Grand Orient back precisely where it had stood during all the years prior to 1849, when, as already stated, it was recognized without question by all the Masonic world. It is well to bear in mind that this change was proposed by Brother Desmons, a Protestant Minister of the Gospel, who at the time declared that this action was not to be regarded as a negation in any sense of a belief in Deity. It was done to meet a charge made by the Roman Catholic Church that Freemasonry was attempting to foster a spurious religion; the purpose was to demonstrate, as has often been explained, that Freemasonry did not attempt to usurp the function of the church. The wisdom of taking this action for any such a reason could only be judged after a careful study of the disturbed religious and political conditions of France at that time. But it should be borne in mind that it is not the wisdom of the action but the right of the Grand Orient to take it that we are concerned with. If they were within their legitimate rights and powers as Masons, then we have no right to excommunicate them because they did what we regard as an unwise or mistaken thing. That they had the right to make this alteration in their constitution can not be doubted. They simply eliminated what they themselves had put in less than thirty years before and in so doing brought their constitution back again, as they contend, into strict conformity to the original constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, which was silent on both belief in Deity and the immortality of the soul. Besides, the constitution of our own Grand Lodge and of many other regular grand lodges are also silent on both these Subjects. In this regard the Grand Orient is today no worse off than the Grand Lodge of Alabama, yet with astonishing inconsistency it was on this precise ground that the Grand Lodge of Alabama in 1878 based its action in severing relations with the Grand Orient. The record of that action shows unmistakably that it was not duly considered and was to some extent at least, if not decisively, influenced by the fact that the Grand Orient had recently extended recognition as above stated to the spurious Louisiana Supreme Council. We may dismiss this phase of the question from further consideration with the confident conclusion that there is nothing in it requiring us to treat the Grand Orient as a non-Masonic body.

A year or two later than the above change in its constitution, the Grand Orient made certain alterations in its internal arrangement stand ritual. These alterations added to the chorus of disapproval that had arisen against that body. It is now necessary to examine these changes and this is by far the most difficult portion of our task.

We have been favored by the Grand Orient with a printed copy of its Ritual of the first three degrees. What we have said above of its Constitution and Regulations we can repeat with emphasis of this Ritual. It is dignified and impressive, agreeing in its outlines, with two important exceptions, with our own ritual, though not so dramatic as ours. To any thing actually contained in this Ritual no one could have the slightest objection. The two exceptions just alluded to are in the nature of omissions.

It must be frankly admitted that the effect of these omissions in its ritual and practices was that the Grand Orient (1) made it optional with its lodges to display or not to display the Bible, and with its initiates to be obligated on the Bible, or on such other book as they might deem more sacred, or on no book at all, and (2) that it no longer exacted of them a declaration of a belief in Deity. And here is where the battle has raged hottest around the question of the recognition of the Grand Orient.

Now let us face these questions squarely and not dodge them as some Grand Lodges have done. We were once of the opinion that these two omissions barred the Grand Orient from the category of Masonic bodies, but we have changed that opinion. We have reached the conclusion that according to the original plan of Masonry neither the display of the Bible in lodge nor the exaction of a belief in Deity is essential to constitute a Masonic body.

To even approach a correct solution of these questions, it is necessary for brethren to understand and bear constantly in mind that Masonry throughout all parts of the world is not uniform. It would be narrow and provincial in the extreme for the Grand Lodge of Alabama to draw the line on another grand lodge merely because in some particular it departs from what Freemasonry in Alabama requires. It is not to be denied that in making the two omissions above named the Grand Orient waived two things which we have made essential to a Masonic lodge in this State, but we must not fall into the conceited error that Alabama Masonry is the standard by which to judge all others. To get this universal standard we must go back to the original plan of Masonry as exemplified by the earliest statement of the laws, principles, doctrines and practices of modern Speculative Freemasonry. By universal agreement this is to be found in "The Charges of a Free-Mason, extracted from the Ancient Records of Lodges beyond Sea and of those in England, Scotland and Ireland for the use of the Lodges in London; to be read at the making of New Brethren or when the Master shall order it," drawn up in 1722 and first published by the Grand Lodge of England in Anderson's First Book of Constitutions in 1723. They appear in our Monitor under the name of "Ancient Landmarks." It is agreed by Masons everywhere that any organization claiming to be Masonic which can measure up to-the requirements of these "Charges" must be recognized as legitimate Freemasonry. Dr. Albert G. Mackey enumerates these "Charges" as among the documents of "sufficient authority to substantiate any principle or to determine any disputed question of Masonic law."

The question then is: (1) What do these "Ancient Landmarks" require concerning the Bible? The answer is simple, "Nothing." There is not a word in them about the Bible and the entire context is convincing that nothing on this point was required. Prior to the promulgation of these "Ancient Landmarks" in 1723, we have no evidence that any use was made of the Bible in lodge except to obligate candidates upon it, precisely as witnesses and jurors in court were sworn upon it at that date and as we have seen done within the past twenty years. No one ever supposed that the oath was thereby made any more binding, but it was done only to give form and added solemnity to the ceremony. There is no evidence that the Bible performed any other function in lodge until the year 1760, when on motion of William Preston (?) in the Grand Lodge of England it was made one of the Great Lights. From that date onward it has been displayed by the Masonries of the British Isles and most other countries, but the practice has never been uniform.

The Bible is not displayed on our altars now and never has been for the reason that Masons are required to believe its teachings. We know that there is a very large element of the Craft the world over who do not believe the teachings of the New Testament. We know that many individual Masons do not believe portions of the Old Testament. Hence, unless we are perpetrating a grim mockery, we do not employ the Bible as a profession that we as a Society accept all its teachings and doctrines. Many of us believe these, and none more strongly than this committee, but the point we make is that Masonry as an organized society does not and has never exacted this belief of its members. It can, therefore, have no other place in our lodges than that of a symbol. In the ritual of the very Grand Lodge that first made it one of the Great Lights, as well as in the ritual of many other grand lodges, it is to this day termed one of "the three great, though emblematical, Lights in Freemasonry." It is a symbol of Truth, of Divine Truth, of all Truth, whether drawn from some book of Revelation or from the great Book of Nature. The stern logic of the fact that we are constantly admitting Hindus, Chinese, Mohammedans, Parsees and Jews, not one of whom believes all the teachings of the Bible, forces the conclusion that Masonry regards the Bible only as a symbol. When our rituals and monitors tell us the Bible is one of the Great Lights in Masonry and that as such it is the rule and guide to our faith, it can only be speaking symbolically as it certainly is when speaking of the other two Great Lights, the square and the compasses. It is the rule and guide to our faith because that which it symbolizes, Truth, should rule and guide us in our faith, and in all our beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions.

The date when it was first made a Great Light was long after the Masonry from which the Grand Orient is descended had been carried over from England to France. It is, therefore, folly to talk of the Grand Orient of France or any other grand body for that matter, being bound by the action of the Grand Lodge of England taken in 1760. Moreover, the formula used in England is not "the Bible" but "the Volume of the Sacred Law," which would properly include only the first five books of the Old Testament.

Nor are we unsupported in the views here expressed. We find ourselves in accord with the highest Masonic authorities. Certainly one of the purest and ablest Masons Alabama ever produced was Brother Daniel Sayre. He was long one of the most distinguished Chairmen of our Foreign Correspondence Committee. In 1855 he dealt with the question of the office of the Bible in the lodge. See his report for that year, page 63. The Grand Lodge of Ohio had officially declared that Freemasonry requires of its members a belief in the Bible. Brother Sayre declares that he believes this "all wrong." He further says:

That some Masons may teach the divine authenticity of the Holy Scriptures is true, because some Masons are Christians; but Masonry does nothing of the sort but leaves every man to his own opinions upon the subject as it does upon his polities, his religion, his profession.

All, we presume, will admit that Dr. Albert G. Mackey was one of the leading scholars of the Masonic world during the first half of the last century. Few have equalled and none have surpassed him in the mastery of our Symbolism. From his "Encyclopedia of Masonry" we quote the following:

The Bible is used among Masons as the symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed. And, therefore, whatever to any people expresses that will may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic lodge Thus in a body consisting entirely of Jews the Old Testament alone may be placed upon the altar, and Turkish Masons may make use of the Koran, whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the Israelite, the Koran to the Mussulman, or the Vedas to the Brahman, it everywhere Masonically conveys the same idea — that of the symbolism of the Divine Will revealed to Man.

The following is taken from Kenning's "Cyclopedia of Freemasonry." Its author was Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, a noted divine of his day and at one time Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England. He says:

While we are very tender of the conscientious rights of others and would be willing to recognize the methods most binding on the individual conscience either of religious assent or moral authority to the individual, the Bible remains open in our midst as an emblem of Divine truth in which we believe and of that moral law which we are bound to obey.

Brother William C. Penick was one of the most distinguished and beloved Masons of Alabama. He was long Chairman of this Committee. He has left on record for us his views on this question. In 1866, the Grand Master of Minnesota had said that "although a Mason is not required by the law of the order to reject a candidate because of his unbelief of the Bible, yet I trust that every Mason knowing that a candidate entertained such unbelief, would promptly exercise his individual prerogative and promptly reject him." Brother- Penick gave it as his opinion that the Grand Master of Minnesota had gone too far and that Masonry did not require a belief in the Bible.

Brother Joseph Fort Newton, author of "The Builders," one of the finest short histories of Freemasonry, formerly of Iowa, but now pastor of one of the greatest churches in London, England, in the November, 1915, issue of THE BUILDER, page 264, says that "Masonry sees the Bible as a symbol of that eternal Book of the will of God."

Certainly none was ever more thorough master of the symbolism of Masonry than Brother Albert Pike. He says:

The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian lodge only, because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateueh in a Hebrew lodge and the Koran in a Mohammedan one belong on the altar; and one of these and the square and compasses, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

In 1916, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts chartered a lodge in China with the expressed understanding that an Islamite might and should be obligated on the Koran and that a Hindu might have the Vedas spread before him.

Authorities to this effect might be multiplied indefinitely. They establish three things (1) that the Bible is only a symbol, (2) that a Mason is not required to believe its teachings and (3) that some other book may be substituted for it.

If it is a symbol only, if an initiate may reject its teachings in whole or in part, if this power of substitution exists (and in the light of the foregoing authorities we do not see how they can be denied) then the removal of the Bible and replacing it with some other symbol of Truth may surely be done without altering the essential character of the Fraternity. The Grand Orient did not, therefore, place itself outside the Masonic pale by substituting for it the Book of Masonic Law.

The next question in our inquiry is, (2) Does the failure of the Grand Orient to exact of its initiates a profession of a belief in Deity deprive it of its Masonic character? This question is fundamental and to answer it correctly we must resort to fundamental principles and to the original authorities. We get little help from the mass of controversial literature that has grown up around the subject.

What then do the "Ancient Landmarks," and by these we mean, as already explained, the "Charges of a Free-Mason," as they appear in Anderson's First Book of Constitutions, 1723, say on this subject? Again the answer is plain and unmistakable. The very first article declares:

A Mason is oblig'd, by his Tenure, to obey the Moral Law; and, if we rightly understand the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in Ancient Times Masons were charg'd in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is to say to be good men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance.

Now let us not forget that these "Charges of a Free-Mason" profess to be and plainly are a faithful digest of the ancient teachings of the Craft; that they were compiled by an eminent Presbyterian clergyman of the day; that they were expressly approved and published by the Grand Lodge of England; and that they have ever since been regarded by Masons the world over as the last word upon proper Masonic teaching and practice. In other words, they are in the Masonic world viewed in much the same light that Magna Charta or the Bill of Rights is viewed in the political world. Not that they are absolutely unchangeable in that they may not be added to, but any society which requires at the least what these "Charges" require in this and other respects and which claims to be Masonic can not be refused recognition as a Masonic body.

The quotation above is positively every word contained in these "Charges of a Free-Mason" concerning God and religion. Now let us analyze it. It declares that "in ancient times" a certain rule prevailed but that for the present and the future a new one has been adopted. It is useless to inquire critically what that ancient rule was. If it was the same as the new then well and good. If it differed it must give way in favor of the new. So in any event we need inquire only what does the new rule require.

It obliges the Mason "to obey the moral law." It obliges him "to that religion in which all men agree." These are the only two obligations placed on him concerning either God or religion. If, however, this article stopped here there might have been doubt as to what religion is meant by that "in which all men agree." It proceeds, therefore, at once to define this religion as meaning "to be good men and true," or "men of honor and honesty." This Article further leaves the "particular opinions" of Masons concerning God and religion "to themselves." Whereby, it declares, "Masonry becomes the center of union" for those who otherwise, because of their differing views on this subject, "must have-remained at a perpetual distance." The purpose is unmistakable to unite all "good men and true," all "men of honor and honesty," all who "obey the moral law" into one society of friends, whose "particular opinions" and "denominations or persuasions concerning God and religion had been keeping apart and would otherwise continue to keep them apart. Yet, two hundred years after that liberal and fraternal declaration, and in spite of it, we see "good men and true, men of honor and honesty," those who "obey the moral law" still being kept at a distance from each other by "their particular opinions," by their "denominations or persuasions" concerning God and religion. Shall this keeping them at a distance be made perpetual? If so, one of the great objects of our Institution will be defeated.

This Article further says "if we (i. e., the author) rightly understands the Art he (the Mason) will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine." Note the peculiar phraseology. The compiler does not say absolutely that a Mason "will never be a stupid atheist nor irreligious libertine" and his language is very far from meaning that an atheist or irreligious libertine can not be admitted to the Society. He simply gives it as his opinion that a right understanding of the Art will lead away from atheism and irreligious libertinism.

If, therefore, we are to deny the Masonic character of the Grand Orient we must seek elsewhere than in "The Charges of a Free-Mason" for authority on which to base the denial. There is simply none to be had.

We do not, of course, know what were the teachings and requirements of the Masonic rituals of 1723, but we must conclude that this declaration "concerning God and religion" was not in conflict with the ritual. Anderson's work was examined and solemnly approved by the Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Wardens of the Grand Lodge of England and by the Masters and Wardens of twenty particular lodges, as well as divers Brethren and Fellows in and about the cities of London and Westminster. The Deputy Grand Master was the distinguished Dr. J. T. Desaguliers who wrote the dedication for the work and therein emphasizes the pains and accuracy with which Dr. Anderson had discharged his task. He also informs us that the highly esteemed Duke of Montagu, while Grand Master, gave it his "perusal and approbation" and that Grand Lodge also approved it while the Duke was Grand Master. Now it would be most remarkable if the Grand Lodge and all this array of Masons and Masonic officials gave their endorsement to a public declaration of Masonic principles concerning God and religion which was in conflict with the teachings and requirements of their ritual. Only a deliberate purpose to mislead or defraud could have prompted such a thing. Surely we are not prepared to convict them of that. We may, therefore, safely conclude that the laws and ritual of the original Grand Lodge in 1723 required no more of its initiates on the subject of religion than that they should be good men and true, men of honor and honesty, obeying the moral law. No one questions or has ever questioned that the laws and ritual of the Grand Orient require that its members shall be men of this character. No one questions or has ever questioned that the personnel of the Grand Orient will compare favorably with that of any body of men of similar size anywhere in the world. Some have questioned but none will ever again question the greatness, the grandeur, the nobility of the French race, the reservoir from which the Grand Orient draws its membership. The French people have experienced many glorious periods in their history but never before were they so universally acclaimed as among the very greatest and bravest and most chivalrous people the world has ever produced.

We do not question the power or the right of the Grand Lodge of Alabama to add the requirements of a display of the Bible and a declaration of a belief in Deity. On the contrary, we fully approve and indorse that action. We should be violently opposed to any elimination by our Grand Lodge of those requirements, because it would be an unwise and hurtful thing to do. We do not challenge the right of Scandinavian Masonry to add the further requirement of a profession of Christianity, but we should be violently opposed to any such requirement being added by our Grand Lodge. Our proposition is that we may claim the right to add to the original requirements, but when we do we must recognize the right of others to stand squarely upon them.

The Grand Orient indignantly denies the charge that has been made against it that it is agnostic. That it teaches or encourages its members in any such views is plainly false. Its ritual, while demanding no profession, is calculated to set any intelligent man to thinking seriously on the subject. The Grand Orient does not pretend to solve the riddle of human life. According to its theory it is for Masonry to propound the problem and to attempt to start its votary upon a serious search for the answer. It recognizes that at last every man must answer the question for himself.

Three questions propounded to the candidate at his initiation have this object. They are: "Have you a religion?" "What is it?" "Do you practice your religion?" The ritual lays down no answer. The candidate must frame his own answer. The legend of Hiram Abif, identical with our version of it in its general outlines, is introduced to teach similar lessons as with us. The acacia is employed with the same symbolism. A part of the obligation of the Master's degree is:

Upon the acacia, symbol of rebirth and newness of life, I promise to instruct the Companions and Apprentices to labor for the intellectual and moral emancipation of Mankind.

A regulation requires that the candidate shall be of "irreproachable reputation and habits." An admonition is, "en order to employ well your life, reflect upon death." Other portions of the ceremonies having the same purpose could be cited. The Masonry of the Grand Orient rightly understood is not devoid of the religious spirit and after all that is as much as Masonry anywhere attempts to accomplish in the religious field. There is nothing better understood among Masons than that it is not a religion; it is not a religious institution in the sense that it is sen instrument for the propagation of religious doctrines. It seeks only to stir the religious spirit, that is to say, to beget an an attitude toward religion that keeps the mind in an open and receptive mood for the acceptance of religious truth as the individual may find it. Our investigation convinces us that the initiatory and other ceremonies and the instructions of the Grand Orient are calculated to beget this mental and spiritual attitude towards things religious, and that therefore it fulfills all the requirements of Masonry according to its original plans in this regard.

Political Activities.

Another objection that has been made to the Grand Orient is that it dabbles in politics. It is very true that in the dark days of the Third Republic, immediately following France's crushing defeat by Germany in 1870-71, when monarchists and clericals were trying to reinstate the Empire, Masons, as individuals and citizens, ranged themselves on the side of the Republic. It cannot be denied that the excessive activities of some of these well known as Masons brought discredit upon the Craft just as have evil or overzealous Masons done on occasions in all countries. It is also true that even now they discuss in lodge questions which we deem political and which are political in the better sense of that term. But the matter ends with discussion. There is no attempt to act on such questions as a body. The questions they discuss one might also discuss to the benefit of both Masonry and the community. It is strictly forbidden to draw the name of Masonry into party struggles. Section 15 of the Constitution says:

All discussion of the acts of the civil authorities and all Masonic participation in the struggles of political parties are forbidden.

An official circular issued in 1886 says on this subject:

While, as citizens, the members of the Grand Orient are free in their political actions, as Freemasons they must abstain from bringing the name and the flag of Freemasonry into election conflicts and the competition of parties. All political debates at Masonic meetings are strictly forbidden.

We do not consider this charge against the Grand Orient worthy of serious consideration. It originated with their clerical enemies (and clerical in France means Roman Catholic). The charge was then taken up and frequently reechoed by others through ignorance.

We can not forbear quoting the opinion of one of the foremost and most learned historians of the Craft, Brother J. G. Findel. He says:

The excommunication of the Grand Orient of France by the Masonic Grand Lodges is an intolerant act of Popery, the negation of the true principles of the Craft, the beginning of the end of cosmopolitan Freemasonry. The excommunication of the Grand Orient of France only proves the sectarian mind of the excommunicating Grand Lodges, which have forgotten that Masonry has for its purpose to unite all good men of all denominations and professions; they profess the separating element, and destroy the Craft and waste the heritage of our more liberal and more tolerant forefathers."

We need only to add that during the past year the Grand Lodges of Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Iowa, and no doubt others have extended unqualified recognition to the Grand Orient. In Iowa this action was taken on the advice of that splendid Mason and scholar, Brother Louis Block. Many others have authorized mutual visitation. Investigation is convincing them that not only was the action of the Grand Orient within the bounds set by the "ancient landmarks" of the Craft but that the course pursued by the grand lodges towards it was unwarranted. We have also reached these conclusions and we, theretore, recommend the adoption of the following resolution

Resolved, That the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Alabama hereby recognizes the Grand Orient of France as a regular, sovereign and independent governing body of Symbolic Freemasonry and we authorize and direct the Grand Master to arrange for an exchange of Representatives.


Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence has had under consideration the question of recognition and exchange of representatives with the Grand Lodge "Alpina" of Switzerland, which is the sole supreme governing body of Symbolic Masonry in that Republic. This Grand Body has never before been the subject of official action on the part of the Grand Lodge of Alabama. It is, therefore, proper that we should state briefly the results of our investigation.

The history of the Grand Lodge "Alpina" of Switzerland begins with the founding of the Lodge of Hope at Berne, by the Grand Orient of France in 1803. In 1818, this lodge, having severed its connection with the Grand Orient, was erected into a Provincial Grand Lodge by the Grand Lodge of England, modeled upon the Constitutions of Anderson, but practicing the Schroeder ritual.

Freemasonry was first introduced into Switzerland, at Geneva, by English Masons, in 1736. Lodges sprang up rapidly, and in 1737, George Hamilton was appointed Provincial Grand Master. It would be bootless to attempt to trace the devious course of Masonry in Switzerland during the period from 1737 to 1818. At least twice it was practically stamped out of existence.

Suffice it to say that the year 1816 found four systems in existence, (1) lodges adhering to the Grand Orient of France, (2) the Grand Orient of the Helvetic Rite, at Lausanne, (3) the Scots Directory or Rectified Rite, at Zurich (later at Basle), and (4) the Lodge of Hope, at Berne. The French lodges gradually dissolved; the Helvetic Rite became dormant or extinct; the Rectified Rite is mentioned by Brother Robert F. Gould in his History of Freemasonry, Vol. III, p. 295, as "on the wane, the antiquated Templar system"; while the Lodge of Hope, as already stated, was formed into a provincial Grand Lodge under the Grand Lodge of England, and is described as a "lusty young giant, prepared to run his race and confident of victory."

In 1822, the Provincial Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient of the Helvetic Rite both dissolved, and their Masters and Wardens then formed the National Grand Lodge of Switzerland, recognizing three degrees only. This left the Scottish Directory, or the Rectified Rite, as the only rival of the Grand Lodge, and on July 24, 1844, these were united, forming the National Grand Lodge "Alpina," whose constitutions, in the language of Brother Gould, "were almost identical with those of England, both in spirit and machinery."

Periodically, between 1844 and 1869, the defunct Helvetic Rite, at Lausanne, sought to regain its lost power and influence, but without success. The "Alpina" continued to prosper, reviving old lodges and warranting new ones. In 1869, the Helvetic Directory, at Lausanne, resolved itself into a sort of Supreme Council under the name of the Rectified Scottish Helvetic Directory, and began to exercise the power of a Grand Lodge to warrant symbolic lodges of the three degrees. For several years there was a bitter struggle between it and the "Alpina," but in 1876, an understanding was reached whereby the "Alpina" secured exclusive control over the three Craft degrees, and the Directory over the additional degrees, and its symbolic lodges joined the "Alpina." The Supreme Council, A. and A. S. Rite, has entered into similar agreement with the "Alpina," thus bringing about an arrangement substantially the same as exists between Symbolic Masonry and the Scottish Rite in the United States.

From the foregoing it is apparent that, while there has been an infusion of certain strains of foreign blood into the "Alpina," yet the stem of Swiss Freemasonry is of English extraction. As to origin there can be no sound objection to the recognition of the "Alpina" as a regular Grand Lodge.

So far as constitution, principles, customs, and practices are concerned, we are unable to find that they anywhere are in conflict with the best traditions and ideas of the American Craft. The "Alpina" is recognized by many of the leading grand lodges of-the world. We therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Grand Lodge "Alpina" of Switzerland is hereby recognized as a regular, supreme governing body of Symbolic Masonry, and the Grand Master is authorized to arrange for an exchange of representatives.