A Journal for the Masonic Student

Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society


Vol. 10 No. 11 – November 1924




Bro. S. H. Goodwin, Grand Secretary, Utah

Bro. Goodwin contributed to THE BUILDER for February and March, 1921, two studies of Mormonism and Masonry, both of which are recommended to be read in connection with the present study, which will be concluded next month. The former articles were published in book form in August of that year; the book met with such a demand that a second impression was made in the following October. One hopes that Bro. Goodwin will find it possible to issue, in the same form, these new essays, even more interesting, if possible, than their predecessors.

IN a previous paper the writer presented certain aspects of the contact of Mormonism with Masonry, the historic and local background of which was provided by the Nauvoo period of the development of this peculiar people.

In the present study of the same general subject our investigations take us back to a point some fifteen years earlier, to the beginnings of the Latter Day faith, and into the then primitive and sparsely inhabited region of western New York. Further, as we begin our study of the subject in hand we shall find ourselves in the midst of conditions unique, even in the colorful experiences of the American people, and disastrous — even threatening annihilation — to the long established and highly respected and respectable Institution of Freemasonry.

The particular period to which attention is here directed is that within which the Anti-Masonic excitement had its rise, and reached and passed its peak. The years which may roughly serve to mark the boundaries of that period are 1826 to 1831, or 1832, inclusive. Within those limits the Anti-Masonic furore, tremendously accentuated by, but not primarily due to, the disappearance of William Morgan, reached and passed the height of its amazing course.

During the time indicated — though interrupted by absences of varying lengths — Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, had his home in Manchester, N.Y., not far from the center of the infected area; and in no single instance did he go beyond the predominating influence of the one event which for nearly, or quite, a decade overshadowed every other interest or consideration in the public mind. In this environment, and during those years when the flames of hatred and bigotry and religious intolerance burned fiercest, Joseph Smith brought to light and published his "Golden Bible", the Book of Mormon. In what here follows the writer undertakes to point out somewhat of the prophet's reactions to his environment, and to assemble some of the evidence in support of the contention of this paper.

The elder Disraeli, when considering the origin of Dante's Inferno, called attention to the fact that the sombre Florentine was greatly influenced by his environment — by the objects and feelings which occupied his own times. Indeed, he did not hesitate to affirm that the entire work of the Italian bard is "a picture of his times, of his own ideas, of the people about him." [1]

Whatever may be thought of this characterization of Dante's work, if applied to the book for which Joseph Smith was responsible, its accuracy, in many particulars at least, can be easily demonstrated. In very considerable portions of the Book of Mormon, exhibiting, to be sure, varying degrees of attention to detail, the Mormon prophet has preserved, unmistakably, "a picture of his times, of his own ideas, of the people about him." This fact is practically admitted (as perforce it must be) by the more thoughtful of the church writers who have undertaken to give a rational account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. [2]


Others have traced to their sources in local conditions prevailing in western New York, where this latter-day prophet had his home, many of the incidents, and controversies, and doctrines, and stories of visions and dreams, as well as numerous idioms, modernisms, colloquialisms, and errors in grammar which stud the pages of this "American Bible". [3] With these we are not here primarily concerned. They are referred to in passing because they furnish corroborative proof of the proposition discussed in this paper. Our principal task, as intimated in an earlier paragraph, is to show how, under the transparent disguise of a similar organization — said to have existed among the ancient peoples of South America — innumerable reflections of the Anti-Masonic episode which burst into fierce flame in 1826 are easily discernible. These reminiscences parallel so closely, and comprehend so fully the manifold charges which the venomous hatred of their enemies heaped upon the Masons in the period specified, that the present writer is forced to regard the usual explanation given by church authorities as being wholly inadequate to meet the situation. [4]

For the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with the claims made for the Book of Mormon by its "Author and Proprietor", and by his disciples, a brief statement touching those claims is given place here.

The Book of Mormon purports to be "the record of God's dealings with the people of ancient America from the era of the building of the Tower of Babel to four hundred and twenty-one years after the birth of Christ." The records whence it was compiled (and of which there were tons) were written during a period of a thousand years. They were preserved through the centuries on "plates", a part of which, at least, were of pure gold. The abridgement of those records, for which the prophet Mormon was responsible, was also engraved on "plates", and these were deposited in a stone box, together with two stones in silver bows which were attached to a breast-plate — which constituted the Urim and Thummim — and this box was buried on a hill near Manchester, Ontario County, New York. [5]


Manchester, as noted above, was the home of Joseph Smith during much of the time under review. Here, or on the hill referred to, on Sept. 22, 1827, slightly more than one year after the disappearance of William Morgan, the "plates" were finally transferred to the prophet. During that year and the two succeeding years, in which the Book of Mormon was in course of preparation, the Anti-Masonic excitement passed all bounds of reason and became a disease. No profane, it appears, escaped the infection. The subject of this study implies, and the Book of Mormon seems clearly to demonstrate, that the Mormon prophet, in common with his neighbors, was a victim of this malady.

In the treatment of the subject, the material at hand will be considered under three divisions. First, the Morgan affair and its effect upon the public mind; second, selections from the Book of Mormon which may fairly be taken as being illustrative of their local archetypes; and third, contemporary opinion.

An interesting writer on the political aspect of the Anti-Masonic period characterizes "the mysterious abduction of William Morgan and the excitement which followed it", as forming "one of the most singular and interesting pages in American history". [6] Morgan appears to have been of the "rolling stone" variety — a sort of ne'er-do-well. He was a native of Virginia, where he married in middle life one who was young enough to be his daughter. He is said to have followed a variety of vocations to gain a livelihood: soldier, merchant, brewer, and stone, or brick, mason, at none of which were his efforts rewarded by success. At some point in his career he became a Mason — of the time and place of this event, however, nothing is known, as no record of his initiation has been found. Following the loss by fire of the brewery in which he appears to have had a small interest, he returned from Canada to New York and for a time was in Rochester, where, it seems, he was given financial assistance by the Masons of that city. In time, and not long before the events now under consideration, he drifted into the little village of Batavia, the county town of Genesee County.

It is not an easy matter to determine just the sort of man he was, for the descriptions which have come to us vary so greatly, and are so manifestly determined by the point of view and colored by the prejudice of the writer. Here, for example, is one of his partisans who declares that William Morgan "was man of honor and sensibility. He was a gentleman in his manners, and possessed of mental powers superior to his humble occupation in life. He was well informed, of a generous, humane and benevolent disposition. Though 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief', yet his misfortunes never led him to descend to any acts of meanness. Amid the shafts of adversity, 'the proud man's contumely, and the oppressor's wrong', he still preserved the equanimity of his temper, and the dignity of his character ... his noble soul revolted at the bare idea of a dishonorable deed.... Captain Morgan was, indeed, a man without guile; brave, frank, and unreserved; modest in his demeanor, delicate in his expression; and respectful to the feelings of those with whom he associated." [7]


In view of the bit of literary work with which Morgan's name is linked, and of the fact that he set about this self-imposed task because of anger over some slight, real or imaginary, and of the further fact that he expected his Illustrations of Masonry to place his finances upon a stable foundation, one may be pardoned for an inclination to discount, very materially, the highly idealistic characterization quoted. And an additional reason for caution may be found in the fact that the pen which drew the above portrait was that of an aspiring, but uniformly unsuccessful politician, who sought to profit by the excitement which he helped to create and extend; whose talents were utilized, but whose character failed to win the confidence of stronger men, who used the Morgan episode to further their own interests. [8]

On the other hand, Morgan is represented as being "an idle and dissolute man ... continually placed within the jail limits, in consequence of debt". [9] According to a seceding Mason and strong advocate of Anti-Masonry, "more can be said than will do good to his memory, ...he was of rather a prepossessing appearance, with a quick, intelligent, but sly and sinister-glancing eye; he had received a common school education, but had added to it by considerable reading; he was a hard drinker, and his nights, and sometimes his days also, were spent at tippling houses, while occasionally, to the great neglect of his family, he joined in the drunken carousels of the vilest and most worthless men. ...his disposition was envious, malicious and vindictive." [10]

It appears that Morgan had not been long in Batavia when the information was noised abroad that he had in preparation, and was about to publish, a book which would disclose the secrets of Freemasonry. It also appears that D. C. Miller, an Entered Apprentice, and publisher of the local newspaper, was to print this book and share in the profits of its sale. [11] From a source unfriendly to Masonry — although in the main facts, corroborated by others — we learn that "the knowledge of these facts excited great commotion, among the members of the Masonic fraternity in that vicinity, and in a wide extent of surrounding country. There was a great heat and intemperance of expression in relation to the expected work, and an open avowal by members that it should never see light." [12]


Of what followed various accounts are available. The subject in hand does not require that any of these should be considered here, but this much may be said: Morgan was forcibly taken from Canandaigua — where he had been placed in jail for debt — by a few misguided members of the Craft, carried to Ft. Niagara, a hundred miles or more from his home in Batavia, ferried across the river to the Canadian side, soon after returned to the Fort, where, it is said, he was known to have been as late as Sept. 19. Then he disappeared, and no subsequent search succeeded in establishing his whereabouts, or what became of him. Judicial enquiry did establish the facts here enumerated, and the men who were shown to have had part in the abduction were punished for their inexcusable folly. It should be added that, after a most searching investigation, the same tribunal exonerated these men from participation in any crime, beyond that for which they were punished, and which at the time was, by law, a misdemeanor only. [13] The popular belief was that Morgan was put to death by Masons. This was affirmed without any qualification, and often with much fullness of detail, innumerable times in the Anti-Masonic press, and by practically every writer and orator who entered the lists against Freemasonry. But after four years of effort and investigation the nearest to proof of the alleged fact that seems to have been discovered was presented to the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, held at Philadelphia, in the statement: "Several persons have been informed, by those who were understood to be cognizant of the guilty secret, that such was the fact." [14]

And public opinion, later shrewdly manipulated by self-seeking politicians, condemned not only those individual Masons, who were shown to have had a part in the abduction, but also the Fraternity as an institution. It was held, and proclaimed abroad, that Masonry, by reason of the character of its obligations and teachings, should be held responsible for the seizure and murder of Morgan. [15]

As the student of the period passes from a consideration of the immediate cause of the excitement, which swept like a prairie fire over the affected areas, to a contemplation of the excitement itself, and some of the multitudinous ways in which it found expression, his amazement well-nigh passes all bounds. Occupying, as he necessarily does, a point of observation far removed and detached from the events and passions and contributing causes of the matter under review; with practically a full century of time stretching between him and them, and with all the jangle of confusing and discordant voices, and embittered and impassioned claims and counter-claims stilled forever, he takes up the printed record, unmoved by the volcanic and tremendous forces which shook to their foundations every relationship — and many institutions — and finds himself fairly dumbfounded by what that record discloses. The writer disclaims any intention of attempting to present anything like an adequate picture of conditions as they existed in western New York, and elsewhere, where the infection of this paranoia spread from 1826 to 1830. He will be quite satisfied if he succeeds in outlining a rough sketch of events which powerfully reacted upon the minds of the people of those days — including the Mormon prophet reminiscences of which appear unmistakably to be reflected on the pages of the Book of Mormon.

Following the disappearance of Morgan and his failure to return to his family in Batavia, stories began to circulate of alleged incidents connected therewith, and rumors multiplied concerning the reasons for his forcible removal. Conditions were ripe for the unusual — all that was required was the initial impulse, and this was supplied in the mystery attending the disappearance of the author of Illustrations of Masonry. [16]

It seems that almost immediately after the fact became known that Morgan had been taken away from the Canandaigua jail, neighbors of the family in Batavia began to make inquiries as to his whereabouts, and sought to uncover the reasons for his continued absence from home. Finding that their investigations failed of results, a committee of ten prepared, and issued to the public, an address bearing date of Oct. 4, 1826. This briefly rehearsed the steps thus far taken, and the facts ascertained, and called upon the people of western New York to assist in solving the mystery. [17] This document was given wide distribution through the press of the state, and from this time forward one circumstance followed close upon the heels of another, and all combined to whip to a fever pitch the excitement of the people.


The fact was soon developed that the men who were responsible for the abduction of Morgan were members of the Masonic Fraternity, and this focused public interest and attention upon that organization. Mass meetings and conventions followed in quick succession. Resolutions, increasingly vitriolic in tone, condemning the guilty, demanding their speedy apprehension, trial and punishment, and presently, denouncing Freemasonry as a menace to the welfare of the people and the state, were adopted with enthusiasm and scattered to the four winds. Addresses, orations, sermons and articles on the one general theme multiplied, and were given wide publicity through the newspapers and in pamphlet form.

Masons, among them men who had been highly honored by the Craft, swept from their feet by the storm, renounced all connection with the institution — "publicly wiped the stain of Freemasonry from their skirts", and soon were lined up with those who denounced and reviled the Order which, up to that time, they had held in highest esteem. Concerning these men a bitter enemy of Masonry — himself a seceding Mason — declared: "A Mason converted to Anti-Masonry, is two-fold gain: once in the loss to the enemy, and again in the increase of our ranks. None are truer to our cause, none are more dangerous to Freemasonry, none are so hated and dreaded by the adversary, as renouncing Masons." [18] As is usual with men who have betrayed a trust, no length seemed too great for them to go in their accusations and condemnation. They came together in conventions, drafted long lists of specifications, in which practically every crime in the catalogue was enumerated and charged to Freemasonry; and to these, resolutions were attached in which they pledged undying hatred of the Brotherhood. At one of these gatherings was adopted what the delegates were pleased to designate, the "Antimasonic Declaration of Independence". This was signed by more than one hundred renouncing Masons. Concerning these signers a vindictive opponent of Masonry spoke: "This list we will look upon, revere, and remember. They have done a service to mankind, not inferior to that of the signers of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. Their descendants will be proud of them, and point to them, saying, Behold our fathers!!" [19]

Among renouncing Masons none seemed more determined, persistent, and bitter in their attacks than ministers of the several denominations, and, perhaps, none better served the cause of Anti-Masonry. By reason of their calling, training, experience in public address, and the position they held in the esteem of the communities they served, theirs was a powerful influence in molding sentiment and inflaming and directing public opinion. While not a few of these men entered the opposition ranks from motives rooted in religious convictions, others, beyond a doubt, were swayed by a desire for public approbation, and still others took this step because of fear of the disapprobation of, or in consequence of, pressure exerted by church conferences, or ecclesiastical superiors.

Just here reference should be made, in passing, to an incident which throws not a little light on the Anti-Masonic situation, and makes clear the fact that that movement did not originate in the Morgan episode. In July, 1826, a book was published under the title of An Inquiry Into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative Freemasonry. The author was a Baptist preacher, and seceding Mason, John G. Stearns by name, who has the doubtful distinction of being "the first American Mason to publish his convictions and the reasons for them". [20] It seems that Stearns was a Mason when he entered Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., for his literary and theological preparation. There "he was interrogated in 1819, whether he was a Mason; and being charged while there to abstain from Masonic associations, he replied that he had made up his mind to have nothing more to do with Masonry". [21] Coming from the press, as it did, at this particular juncture — two months before the abduction of Morgan — and followed a few months later by a summons to the author from his lodge to appear for trial, and this, together with his reply being given to the press, all combined to create such a demand for the book that it soon passed to a second edition, and within three years five editions had been put out. This work exerted a tremendous influence, and was speedily followed by others of a similar character. Concerning it an Anti-Masonic writer of the times declared: "Mr. Stearns' volume ... is one of the ablest productions which has appeared on the subject. Its service to the cause of Anti-Masonry has probably been greater than that of any work of the kind." [22]

The incident related above is significant from the further fact that it clearly shows that at least as early as 1819, seven years before the trouble in western New York, Hamilton College appears to have been the center of an active Anti-Masonic propaganda.

Early in the winter following the abduction of Morgan the first trials were held of men accused of participation in the affair. Three of these men confessed to having had a share in transporting Morgan from the Canandaigua jail to Ft. Niagara, and were sentenced to serve terms of varying lengths, up to two and one-half years, in the common jail. These events added immeasurably to the popular excitement. The confessions prevented the examination of witnesses and the bringing out of details eagerly sought by the public, and the light sentences led to the belief, and the charge, that Masons and Masonry had interfered and blocked the course of justice. The judge who presided was accused of being a Mason, and unsparingly criticized, although in passing sentence he was careful to point out that the matter did not rest in his hands. The legislature had left the offense of kidnaping to be determined by the common law, which treated it as a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and imprisonment in the common jail. [23] The legislature was petitioned to assist in ferreting out the guilty, and "to strengthen the arm of justice in such manner as to reach this case," by providing a special court to take cognizance of the cases growing out of the Morgan affair, because it was affirmed, "the ordinary process of our courts is not competent to reach the many branches of this conspiracy". [24] The Governor was importuned to offer suitable rewards for the discovery of Morgan and the apprehension and punishment of those who were responsible for his disappearance, and this he did, on at least three different occasions.


In this state of the public mind, only that which exaggerated, or went to extremes, met with general approval. A natural consequence of this condition was that newspapers came in for a share of harsh criticism and condemnation. To the fevered, inflamed imagination opinion seemed not to give as much attention or space to the one subject of supreme interest as it was thought should be given. They were accused of being dominated, or muzzled by Masonry; of being "parse by a power unseen, and controlled by an influence of unlimited operation". [25] Due to Masonic influence, it was charged, the papers throughout the country suppressed information, and refused space to the reports of proceedings of "Morgan meetings", as they were called, and yet, the most impartial periodical of the times, perhaps, reported in its issue of March 16, 1827: "It is no uncommon thing, so great is the excitement, to find from five to six columns in one New York paper about it;" and then one particular paper was named, in a recent issue of which, "seven and one-half of its capacious columns were filled with it." [26]; But this did not satisfy. Apparently, the people would read about nothing else. The result was, as told in the language of an Anti-Masonic committee: "In the region where this outrage had been perpetrated, the criminal apathy or connivance of the conductors of the press, alarmed the people; they arose in their might and established independent papers." The number of these Anti-Masonic publications reached a very considerable figure, of which 53 were in Pennsylvania, 46 in New York, 9 in Ohio, 5 in Massachusetts, and the remainder scattered in six other states and territories. In the words of the committee, quoted above, these Anti-Masonic papers were "established by the zeal, and supported by the liberal contributions of the middling and unambitious classes of society; with no motive but the attainment and dissemination of those alarming truths, which they sought for in vain, through the ordinary channels of intelligence". [27] The work of these papers was supplemented by a profusion of pamphlets, discussing various phases of the one subject that was uppermost in the public mind, and by exposes which purported to give all the work of the several degrees.

As was to be expected, the churches took a prominent part in the controversy. The period under consideration was characterized by frequent religious revivals; great "camp meetings" brought together thousands of people whose minds were peculiarly susceptible to mystical phenomena; the Bible was practically the only literature; the church was the only means of social intercourse; it dominated the entire social consciousness. [28] Reference has been made to the activities of "renouncing" ministers. Under their leadership, or independently of it, organized Christianity entered the fray with a fervor, bigotry, and bitterness of invective which at first blush passes comprehension. But the reason for this becomes plain when it is recalled that for a quarter of a century or more there had been great religious excitement, and confusion, and turmoil, and doctrinal controversies — surprisingly vindictive and unchristian in character — out of which had been born several denominations and a multitude of sects and isms. Among these a wordy warfare had been waged against one another. Now they joined forces in an attack upon what was conceived to be a common enemy.

In this assault, the Presbyterians appear to have been in the van, but they were scarcely a step in advance of the Congregationalists, Methodists, Baptists, and Lutherans, and even the Universalists, who up to this time had been fighting for a foothold, and whose liberality and detestation of spiritual tyranny it was supposed would be a safeguard against any attack of bigotry, did not escape the infection. [29] At District and State Conferences, Conventions and Consociations — and by individual churches, even — resolutions were adopted, aimed not only at ministers' but at the Masonic laity as well, ordering all who were connected with the Fraternity publicly to withdraw or suffer excommunication from the church. [30]:


Sometimes the action taken was not quite so extreme. Here is an example of the milder form — a resolution adopted by the Genesee Consociation, in June, 1828: "Resolved, That the Consociation will neither license, ordain, or install, those who sustain any connexion with the institution of Masonry, or who will not disapprove and renounce it; nor will we give letters of recommendation in favor of such persons to preach in any of the churches in our connexion." [31] Churches refused to listen to preachers who belonged to the Craft, and insisted, where their pastors were Masons, that they should not only renounce Masonry, but denounce it as well, and this, not in any terms they might choose, but according to a fixed and approved formula; and instances are on record where churches dismissed their ministers because they belonged to the Fraternity. [32]

Events and activities multiplied incredibly, all of which were calculated still further to inflame the passions, and to solidify antagonism to Masonry. Anti-Masonic papers carried innumerable editorials, special articles and letters which abounded in the most extravagant assertions and claims. As a sample of the lot, here is part of a letter which appeared in one of the newspapers about a year after Morgan had disappeared:

"The Lodge and Chapter in this [Batavia] and other places," declares the writer, "acted in concert and under the direction of the Grand Lodge of the State, and the said Grand Lodge did cast lots who should come out and despatch Morgan and Miller if necessary to suppress the development of Masonic secrets." [33] And this was written by a seceding Mason!

Grand Juries were summoned and after having used every means in their power to ascertain the truth, reported, that while many rumors were afloat, sufficient evidence for an indictment could not be secured. Still another Grand Jury spent four days and examined forty-six witnesses, and reported back that no facts had been disclosed upon which they "could impeach, or make presentment, or indictment against any citizen for the offense aforesaid, or for any opulence connected "hereunto".

Trials were held of men who were charged with conspiracy to abduct William Morgan, and its consummation, but the testimony was not of a character to connect the defendants with the crime, and they were acquitted. [34]


On the 24th of June, 1827, a meeting was held at Batavia, the people, some 3,000 in number, "of all ages and sexes," and from various parts of Genesee county, coming together to consider "the question which has produced so much excitement in the western part of the State". Resolutions were adopted in which, among other things, the people present pledged themselves not to support any Mason for public office.

Late in September, following the meeting just referred to, one Timothy Monroe was drowned in Lake Ontario. A month, or thereabouts, later the body was recovered. It was at once proclaimed, and accepted, as the body of William Morgan. A coroner's jury so declared, upon the testimony of a number of witnesses, including Mrs. Morgan. In due time the widow of the drowned man learned of the discovery of the body, and the statements of some of the witnesses at the inquest led her to suspect that the body was that of her husband. Upon her representations disinterment was made, and a second inquest was held and the body was identified by the widow, a son and a friend, as beyond a doubt that of Timothy Monroe. Concerning the first inquest, the editors of what appears to be the most impartial paper of the period, expressed the opinion: "By the description of the clothing of Timothy Monroe, no shadow of doubt remained that the jury had been mistaken, or deceived on the testimony of the witnesses themselves, we hope, mistaken," [35] and the body was finally buried as that of Timothy Monroe. This incident added greatly to the excitement that had prevailed for more than a year.

Ambitious politicians, without a party and with no other means of furthering their own interests and gaining the attention of the people, took advantage of the situation, and through skilfully manipulated conventions rode into prominence and power, if not into place. [36]

Renouncing Masons regaled the curious at largely attended gatherings by exemplifying the several degrees and lecturing on the atrocities of Freemasonry; excited mothers met in conventions and passed resolutions declaring that their daughters should never marry Masons; a candidate for sheriff announced in his advertisement that if elected he would use his "best endeavors to prevent Masons from being selected as jurymen" [37]; candidates for office, and even the President of the United States, were interrogated concerning their attitude toward Masonry [38]; by virtue of the fact that an agent of the Government was in charge of Ft. Niagara when Morgan was taken thither, a memorial was presented to Congress asking for an investigation [39]. In fact, Anti-Masonry touched every interest, found its way into every walk of life. It entered the home and divided families; it shattered friendships that had weathered every other gale; it ruptured social relations; it denied the sacrament to communicants; it rent churches; it ruined business and impoverished many. Its effect upon Masonry was far reaching and disastrous. Before the biting fury of this storm hundreds of Masons scurried like rats from a sinking ship; lodges went down like block houses, and even Grand Lodges in some states barely continued to exist, or entirely suspended labor. [40]


In taking leave of this phase of the subject the reader is reminded of the fact that the preceding paragraphs are not to be regarded as a comprehensive account of the Morgan affair. Only so much has been presented here as, it is hoped, will enable those who have not looked into the Anti-Masonic episode to gain a fairly accurate understanding of the character of the environment in the midst of which Joseph Smith prepared and published the Book of Mormon. Enough has been said, it would seem, to convince the impartial student of that particular period that it is highly improbable that anyone who lived in the very thick of such intense, prolonged and volcanic excitement — unparalleled in our history, we are asked to believed — [41] an excitement from which none was immune; which left no interest or institution untouched, or as it was before, and which entered with unhallowed tread the most sacred precincts, and scattered devastation wherever it came — it is not only improbable, but incredible, that the Mormon prophet alone, of all the people of that region, escaped unaffected by the Anti-Masonic upheaval. That he did not constitute an exception in this respect, the Book of Mormon itself, more particularly the first edition, furnishes most conclusive proof. And the fact is significant that church apologists admit, as necessarily they must, the very great influence of environment upon the "boy prophet", and they do not challenge the testimony offered in support of this fact, save in a single particular — Freemasonry! "The Book of Mormon says nothing of free masonry," declares one of the leading teachers of the church. [42] According to him all references to secret societies found in the Book of Mormon relate to societies which existed among the Jaredites and the Nephites — ancient American nations! One inclined to be a little skeptical, and the student who seeks to discover facts connected with the period and events, here being passed under review, are certain to find difficulty in accepting such an explanation. They will feel that this does not adequately account for the inclusion in the Book of Mormon a part of the history of those "ancient secret societies" — practically every charge laid at the doors of Freemasons by their enemies during the Anti-Masonic persecution of the time we are considering, and this with a most significant and remarkable fidelity to detail! [43]

(To be concluded)


  1. Curiosities of Literature, Isaac Disraeli, vol. 2 p. 421, ef. The Founder of Mormonism, I. W. Riley; 1903, p. i64.
  2. New Witnesses for God, B. H. Roberts, 1909, vol. 3, pp. 409, 413, 415, Mormon Point of View, N. L. Nelson, 1904, p. 115.
  3. Psychological Tests for the Authorship of the Book of Mormon, W. F. Prince; American Journal of Psychology, vol. 28; 1917; pp. 373-489; The Founder of Mormonism, I. W. Riley; p. 148f; Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon, Alex. Campbell, many references, Two Thousand Changes in the Book of Mormon, Lamoni Call; 1898; much of the book.
  4. New Witnesses for God, B. H. Roberts, 1909 — vol. 3, p. 484.
  5. The Myth of the Manuscript Found, Geo. Reynolds, 1883; p. 43; History of the Church, Period I, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, vol. 1; pp. 10-16; Mormon Point of View, N. L. Nelson; 1904; pp. 107, 108, 110.
  6. The Anti-Masonic Party: A Study of Political Anti-Masonry in the U. S., 1827-1840, Chas. McCarthy. Annual Report, American Historical Association; 1902; p. 371.
  7. Anti-Masonic Review; vol. 1; 1828, pp. 55 80, Opinions on Speculative Masonry, J. C. Odiorne; 1830, p. 194.
  8. Autobiography of Thurlow Weed; vol. 1; 1883; pp. 46 86, 306.
  9. History of Freemasonry in New York, C. T. McClenachan; 1892; vol. 2; pp. 463-464.
  10. W. L. Stone, quoted by Drummond, History of Portland Lodge, No. 1; 1881, p. 112.
  11. It appears that this was not Miller's first venture in printing works of this character. Some twenty years before he brought out a new edition of Jachin and Boaz, a book that was first published in 1762. Miller was initiated at Albany N.Y., about the time he was at work on the book just named. See The Broken Seal, S. D. Greene; 1873, pp. 45-46.
  12. Proceedings of the U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia, 1830, Whittlesey's Report; pp. 15-32.
  13. History of Freemasonry in N.Y., McClenachan; 1892; vol. 2; pp. 505-509.
  14. Proceedings of the U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia; 1830; Whittlesey's Report, p. 21; Niles Register; 1829; vol. 35; p. 355.
  15. Anti-Masonic Review, vol. 1; 1828; pp. 57, 209, 244, 275; Opinions on Speculative Masonry, J. C. Odiorne, 1830, pp. 1031-94, 115f, 164-165, 275; An Inquiry Into the Nature, Etc., J. G. Sterns, 1826 pp. 106, 09
  16. The Anti-Masonic Party, McCarthy, Annual Report American Historical Association, 1902, p. 368, History of the People of the U.S., McMaster, 1900; vol. 5, pp. 82-122, Autobiography of Thurlow Weed, 1883, vol. 1; pp. 355-359; Mormon Group Life, Erieksen; 1922; p. 14.
  17. The Broken Seal, S. D. Greene,. 1873, pp. 118-119.
  18. The Anti-Masonic Review, vol. 2; 1829, pp. 130-131.
  19. Catalogue Anti-Masonic Books, H. Gassett; 1852; p. 88; cf. Proceedings U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia; 1830, p. 98.
  20. The Anti-Masonic Review, 1829; vol. 2, p. 248.
  21. The Anti-Masonic Review, 1829; vol. 2, p. 241.
  22. Opinions on Speculative Masonry, J. C. Odiorne, 1830; p. 33, Note; of. Letters on the Masonic Institution, J. Q. Adams, 1847; p. 229.
  23. History of Freemasonry in N.Y., C. T. McClenachan 1892; vol. 3; p. 507; Freemasonry in Michigan, Conover, 1897 vol. 1; p. 169; cf. Niles Register, 1828, vol. 35, p. 253.
  24. Niles Register, 1827; vol. 32, pp. 59, 60, 121. The Committee on Courts and Justice — in the Legislature — to which these memorials were referred requested that it might be discharged from further consideration of the subject in view of the fact that a majority of the Committee were Masons. This request was granted and a special committee of Anti-Masons was appointed, but the resolutions it presented were rejected by the Assembly, by a vote of three to one.
  25. Proceedings U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia 1830, p. 42; The Anti-Masonic Review, 1828; vol. 1, p. 62.
  26. Niles Register; 1827; vol. 32; vol. 32; pp. 59, 60.
  27. Proceedings U.S. Anti-Masonic Convention; Philadelphia; 1830; pp. 41, 42.
  28. Mormon Group Life, Ericksen; 1922; p. 14.
  29. Memoirs of the Life of Nathaniel Stacy; 1850; p. 250. History of Utah, H. H. Bancroft; 1891; pp. 37, 38.
  30. The Anti-Masonic Movement, E. S. Gibbs; Proceedings Grand Lodge Massachusetts, 1917, p. 497.
  31. The Anti-Masonic Review; 1828; vol. 1; p. 226, Opinions on Speculative Masonry, Odiorne; 1830; p. 128; Niles Register; 1829; vol. 37, pp. 53, 149.
  32. Cf. McMaster, History of the People of the U. S.; 1900; vol. 5; p. 115.
  33. S. D. Greene, National Observer, Oct. 2, 1827.
  34. Niles Register, 1827; vol. 32, pp. 59, 60, 82, 181, 326.
  35. History of the People of the U. S., McMasters, 1900; vol. 5; p. 117; Niles Register, vol. 33, pp. 161, 162.
  36. Autobiography of Thurlow Weed; 1883; vol. 1; pp. 298f.
  37. Niles Register, 1830; vol. 38; p. 339.
  38. Masonic Light on the Abduction of Wm. Morgan, P. C. Huntington; 1880; pp. 136, 137; Niles Register; 1828; vol. 35; p. 5.
  39. Niles Register; vol. 34; p. 198.
  40. History of Portland Lodge, No. 1, Drummond, 1881, pp. 130f; Early Records Grand Lodge Vermont, 1794-1846, pp. 373f 407f, 396f; History of Freemasonry in the State of N.Y., Ossian Lang; 1922; p. 176; Freemasonry in Michigan; Conover; 1897; vol. 1; pp. 136-138.
  41. Niles Register; 1827; vol. 32, pp. 59, 60.
  42. New Witnesses for God, B. H. Roberts, 1909, vol. 3; p. 484; Mormon Point of View, N. L. Nelson; 1904 p. 183, Note.
  43. The Founder of Mormonism, I. W. Riley, 1903, p. 160; The Latter Day Saints, Kauffman, 1912, pp. 125, 126; "Psychological Tests for the Authorship of the Book of Mormon", Prince, American Journal of Psychology, 1917, vol. 28, pp. 373f. "Authorship of the Book of Mormon", Schroeder, American Journal of Psychology; 1919; vol. 30; pp. 66-72.

* * *


Bro. David McGregor

Historian of Union Lodge, No. 2, Orange, N.J.

In order that readers who have not followed previous discussions in THE BUILDER may catch the full significance of Bro. McGregor's contribution we ask his permission to make a word or two of explanation concerning the points at issue. The principal point arises out of the friendly rivalry between the Grand Jurisdictions of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as to which can justly claim, on the basis of records, priority in the establishment of regular and duly constituted Freemasonry in this country. In the letter alleged to have been written by Henry Bell to Dr. Thomas Cadwallader the writer affirms that Daniel Coxe had issued a charter to a lodge in Philadelphia in the autumn of 1730. Massachusetts brethren argue that we have no proof that any such letter ever existed, and affirm that Daniel Coxe could not have issued the charter because he was in England during the two years covered by his deputation and therefore never exercised the authority that had been given by him. In his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, page 56, Bro. Melvin Johnson states the Massachusetts position in this manner: "There has appeared no evidence, however, that he exercised this deputation or even that he was on this side of the Ocean during the said two years." Bro. McGregor now comes forward to prove that Coxe was in this country during that period and offers the evidence. At the same time he comes to the support of the famous Bell letter. Consult THE BUILDER Vol. I, pages 111, 174, 229, 251, 245; Vol. II, pages 70, 211, 317, Vol. V, page 35, also November, 1923, page 329 and April, 1924 page 109. See also The Study Club in this issue. — The Editor.

IN THE Builder of April last there appears an article by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M. of Massachusetts, criticizing one by Bro. Ernest A. Reed, P. G. M. of New Jersey, on "Freemasonry in New Jersey," in which Bro. Johnson says:

"The fact is, that while Coxe was appointed June 5th, 1730, as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, for two years, he was not on this side of the Atlantic at any time during those two years. During that entire period he remained in England.... When therefore in January 1730-1 Coxe attended the Grand Lodge in London, he naturally was recorded in accordance with the Commission which he held although he had never exercised it."

To give expression so emphatically to such unqualified statements of fact, based solely on the lack of evidence to the contrary, especially by one who is recognized as an authority on American Masonic history, and who so strongly condemned the tendency in others "to give credence and currency to errors of the past by their re-publication," is, to say the least, surprising. Doubtless the fact that such opinions have gone so long unchallenged has given rise to the belief that they must be true; but recent research on the part of the writer has uncovered documentary evidence to prove that Coxe did return to America, and was a resident of New Jersey during part of the period covered by his deputation, viz., from June 24, 1730, to June 24, 1732.

This evidence is to be found in the records of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and in the voluminous manuscripts of James Alexander now in the possession of the New York and New Jersey Historical Societies; and the strange thing is that such readily accessible evidence has remained so long unnoticed.

Before proceeding, however, to present this indisputable evidence, it may be well to say something about Alexander. He came to Perth Amboy in 1715 as surveyor-general of East and West Jersey, an office he held for many years. He was a prominent lawyer and attorney general of both New York and New Jersey; is especially remembered as having defended Peter Zenger in his fight for the liberty of the press; and also as the father of Major General William Alexander (Lord Stirling) of Revolutionary fame.

Coxe had engaged James Alexander's services in certain suits of ejectment entered by him against several residents of Maidenhead (Lawrenceville) and Hopewell who occupied lands he claimed as his.

In Alexander's Account Book, Vol. I, page 309, under date of May 17, 1729, the following entry appears: "Received of Daniel Coxe in his Maidenhead suit 3.3.9 pounds." At the foot of page 323, under date of April 19, 1730, he has entered: "Received of Reed in behalf of Col. Coxe 12 pounds proclamation money towards carrying on the suit in Chancery." On the following page under date of July 11, 1730, we find: "Received of Col. Coxe in his suit ads. Smith procl. 4.10.0 pounds." On that same day he argued this suit before Governor John Montgomerie, acting as chancellor.

It will be noticed that the first and third items acknowledge the receipt of money directly from Coxe himself, while the second item acknowledges the receipt of money on Col. Coxe's account through an intermediary, suggesting the thought that he was here on May 17, 1729, and on July 11, 1730, but not on April 19, 1730. That he was in New Jersey until late in 1729 is proven by a deed given by him to his son Daniel Coxe, Jr., on Aug. 27, 1729; and by giving his bond as administrator of the estate of Charles Weston, of Burlington, on Oct. 2 of that year. On Feb. 12, 1730, he received a deed from Daniel Bird of London for an extensive tract of land in New Jersey, indicating that he had reached London some time previous, and we know from the records of the Grand Lodge of England that he was there on June 5 when he received his deputation as Provincial Grand Master.


As already stated, the wording of his entry in the account book under date of July 11, 1730, would make it appear that he had returned to Jersey. This of itself, however, would not be accepted as positive proof of such a claim unless supported by confirmatory evidence. Fortunately we are able to present something more positive and convincing in the form of a letter written by Daniel Coxe to James Alexander, dated Trenton, July 31, 1730, in reply to a letter he had just received from Alexander and in which he refers him to the contents of a letter written to Mr. Murray, Alexander's partner, on the 29th inst., dealing with the subject of Alexander's inquiry, showing not only that Coxe was in Trenton on July 29, 1730, but had been in Perth Amboy some time previous to that date; while at the same time it strongly confirms our surmise that he was in Jersey on July 11. We have other reports to prove that he continued a resident of New Jersey until late in 1730. On Aug. 28 he signed a deed at Burlington for land to William Merrill at Hopewell, and from the records of the Supreme Court of New Jersey we learn that he gave his bond on Nov. 16, 1730, "at Burlington by his certain writing" for 1,750 pounds to be paid to Cap. Warren or demand.

It has thus been clearly shown that Daniel Coxe did return to America and was a resident of New Jersey about four months of the year 1730.

It will be noticed that Coxe's deputation was dated June 5, 1730, although it was not to go into effect until June 24. This leads us to inquire what was the reason of its being granted nineteen days ahead of time? Our answer is that he might take advantage of an opportunity to sail for America on or about June 5, in order to appear before the Court of Chancery as soon as possible in the suit he had pending there. The interval of five weeks between the date of his deputation and his presence here on July 11 was not an unusual performance at that time. The New York Gazette of Nov. 22, 1731, was disappointed that "it did not find by the London Prints of the 15th of September last that they have not any account of the death of our late Governor Montgomerie", which occurred on July 1, 1731, thus allowing only six weeks for the transmission and publication of news; while in the same newspaper of May 31, 1736, we find a notice to the effect that "On Saturday last Captain Warren in His Majesty's ship, The Squirrel, arrived here eight weeks from England, and on Thursday last a ship arrived at Philadelphia having had five weeks' passage." The Captain Warren referred to is the same person that is mentioned in Coxe's letter, a photographic copy of which is here reproduced in order that there might not now or hereafter be any doubt upon its authenticity, as has been in the case of the noted Bell letter, on account of our Pennsylvania brethren not being able to produce the original.

We feel that the publication of this letter at this time justifies a reconsideration of the criticism that has been directed against Bell's letter, whereby its authenticity and truthfulness has been seriously questioned, even though the Grand Lodge Library Committee of Pennsylvania stated that it bore all the marks of being genuine, and they had no doubt of its being correct. It is to be deeply regretted that the original Bell letter is not available so that the question of its authenticity might be definitely settled; and it is also unfortunate that Bro. Francis Blackburn did not copy the letter in full when he had the opportunity to do so in 1873, as the context might have been helpful in confirming its veracity. Yet as it stands, there appears to be sufficient circumstantial evidence to render the statements in that letter entirely acceptable to an unprejudiced mind.

The excerpt of this letter said to have been written by Bro. Henry Bell of Lancaster, Pa., to Dr. Thomas Cadwallader of Philadelphia on Nov. 17, 1754, is as follows:

"As you well know, I was one of the originators of the first Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia. A party of us used to meet at the Tun Tavern in Water Street and sometimes opened a Lodge there. Once in the fall of 1730, we formed a design of obtaining a charter for a regular Lodge, and made application to the Grand Lodge of England for one, but before receiving it we heard that Daniel Coxe of New Jersey had been appointed by that Grand Lodge as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we therefore made application to him, and our request was granted."


As to the identity of the writer we know little save that the name of Henry Bell appears in the tax list of Derry Township, Lancaster, Pa., about that time. The recipient of the letter, Dr. Thomas Cadwallader, was a prominent citizen of Philadelphia, who had been educated in the Friends' Academy and then took up a course in medicine and surgery in London. On his return he established an extensive practice in Philadelphia and became a noted physician. He was admitted to membership in St. John's Lodge, No. 1, on June 6, 1737; and on June 24, 1738, was appointed one of the Grand Wardens of the Grand Lodge.

He became actively identified with the public life of the city and was associated with Franklin in many of his public activities. He was one of the founders of the American Philosophical Society and of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He moved to Trenton for a time and while there was selected in 1746 to be the first Chief Burgess (Mayor) of the town, Daniel Coxe, Jr., son of Col. Daniel Coxe, being also one of the members of that body. In 1750 he again took up his residence in Philadelphia, where he became professionally associated with the new Pennsylvania Hospital.

Not having the complete text of Bell's letter we are forced to venture a surmise as to the object of his that time, and on that particular subject; there was evidently some special reason for his doing so, which reason may be found in the fact that early in 1754 the brethren of the "Grand and First Lodges of Philadelphia" opened a subscription list for the building of a Masonic lodge, which was formally opened on June 24, 1755, the first of its kind in America, and in which ceremony Dr. Cadwallader took a prominent place. In view of such a ceremony it may be that Cadwallader wrote to Bro. Bell asking for what information he could give as to the establishment of the first lodge in Philadelphia, more particularly the part played in it by one who had been a noted resident of the town which had so signally honored him by making him its first mayor. He was evidently aware that Bell had taken an active part in that movement which is implied by the first sentence quoted in the letter, "As you well know."

The evident intent of the letter was to establish the regularity of St. John's Lodge, and it is scarcely conceivable that Bro. Bell would make such an historically important statement to another brother Mason, eminent in the public life of the city and in the ranks of Masonry, and one so closely associated with Franklin, Allen and Daniel Coxe, Jr., without it being founded on truth, and the burden of proof as to its being unreliable rests upon those who would seek to discredit his assertions.

Conscious of this burden, those have sought to do so on two grounds: first, that Bell's name does not appear among the original members of St. John's Lodge; and second, that the time mentioned, "the fall of 1730," would not permit of doing all he claimed was done in time to institute the lodge late in 1730, or early in 1731.


Concerning the first objection, it is easily possible that Bell found it necessary to move from Philadelphia before the lodge was duly constituted, although he had taken an active part in the preliminaries of organization; even the first Master, William Button, found it necessary to do so a few months after his installation; nor does Bell's letter make any claim to his having been a member of it. The only connection with it that he lays claim to is that he was "one of the originators".

As to the second point, it must be remembered that this letter was written twenty-four years after the event, and it is not surprising that he was rather indefinite as to the exact date; there are but few of us frail mortals who can charge our memory with precision as to dates so long gone by. Of course the second criticism was made solely on the theory that Coxe was in London in the fall of 1730, which has been proven untenable; his presence here during that period must be looked upon as one of those corroborative facts which the Grand Lodge Library Committee of Pennsylvania considered desirable to give full credit to the letter, and make its statements entirely acceptable. There appears, therefore, no just reason why Bell's statement should not be accepted as fact, and that Coxe should be credited with exercising his authority, at least in this one instance.

While we willingly admit that St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Philadelphia, was the first regularly constituted lodge in America, which entitles the City of Brotherly Love to the honor of being known as the Mother of Freemasonry in America, we feel that New Jersey is at the same time entitled to the credit of having as one of its noted citizens a brother who is equally entitled to be called the Father of American Freemasonry, inasmuch as he was the first Grand Master in America, and the medium through whom, and through whom only, the institution of the first legitimate lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in America could and did take place.

* * *


Bro. Sidney Morse, Executive Secretary, Bureau of Social and Educational Service, New York

If all the seas were one sea
What a GREAT sea that would be!
And if all the trees were one tree
What a GREAT tree that would be!

And if all the axes were one axe
What a GREAT axe that would be!
And if all the men were one man
What a GREAT man he would be!

And if the GREAT man took the GREAT axe
And cut down the GREAT tree
And let it fall into the GREAT sea
What a splish splash that would be!

ONCE upon a time, as the fairy tales say, there was born in the royal palace of the Caliph of Bagdad a prince destined to be renowned in story as the great Haroun-al-Raschid.

When the early course of his education was drawing to a close, the Caliph one day summoned the Grand Vizier, Abin El Yusef, and set on foot an inquiry for a suitable tutor for the heir apparent. One after another the most famous scholars of that era of learning sought to embrace the opportunity of having as their disciple the future Caliph. But each applicant desired to teach only a single subject and seemed to be largely ignorant or disdainful of other branches of learning. The celebrated mathematician, Abdullah El Hasin, knew little of dialectic and avowed a poor opinion of its value. Even masters of the same forms of knowledge could not agree among themselves how these subjects ought properly to be imparted. In short, they quarreled fiercely and agreed only in holding all knowledges but their own in slight esteem.

When this state of affairs was reported to the Caliph his brow darkened. Summoning the Grand Vizier, he said:

"Far from finding a suitable tutor for the Prince, you have added to my perplexity. The heir to the Caliphate is not to become a mathematician, a dialectician, or a philosopher, but a king and ruler of men. He must learn obedience and reverence for age and for the wisdom of the fathers. How can he fail to imbibe prejudice from the bickerings of these pedants? How can he arrive at truth among such contradictory opinions? Reverence he is not likely; to learn from men who have no respect for themselves to teach them what is due to one another. Go among them and announce that this is the Caliph's test. The Prince's tutor must have equal knowledge of every subject. He must be at peace with himself and with all the world. He must have a blameless reputation for wisdom. He must have skill in all the arts of peace and war. Make proclamation that I will endow such an one with honor and riches. I will give him a Princess to wife, a portion from my own table and equal authority with myself over the Prince's person."

The proclamation was made and ambassadors were sent to foreign parts to extend the tidings. At first the wiseacres declared that no one had ever heard of such a man but, incited by the hope of reward, scholars, priests, warriors and impostors from all parts of the world began to flock to the royal city by the Tigris. Examinations under the directions of the Grand Vizier were conducted daily, but to no avail. No one gave the slightest promise of passing the Caliph's test. The city and its environs swarmed with hungry hords of chagrined place-seekers, all of whom refused to abandon hope until the prize had been actually awarded. The Caliph's test was the topic of the hour. The ordinary interests of the realm languished. At last, to check the nuisance of rival claimants, the Caliph announced the pains of death against him who attempted the test unsuccessfully. Danger served only to fan the zeal kindled by the brilliance of the proposed achievement. Hundreds paid with their lives the penalty of their rashness. When finally a number of the most renowned scholars in the Caliph's dominions had been executed, he one day summoned the Grand Vizier and bade him withdraw the proclamation.

"For," said the Caliph, "I see that Wisdom is humble and abases herself. It may be that she is not to be found by proclamation of rewards and honors, nor by awaiting her in courts or palaces. Let us make diligent search for her among the lowly. The duty of every age is to transmit to posterity with usufruct its heritage from the fathers. The education of the Prince is therefore my chief concern. If you fail in this, you fail in all things. I give you a year and a day to bring me one who shall pass my test. Otherwise I must appoint your successor and banish you to perpetual exile."


The Grand Vizier, bending low, received to aid him in his search the Caliph's signet, and made his way from the royal palace with a sad heart. Having furnished himself with a belt full of jewels and gold from the royal treasury, he bade adieu to his favorite wife, Sadie, left his harem in the charge of his chief eunuch, Balthassah, and, with many misgivings, set out upon his journey.

It would take too long to recite all that befell the Grand Vizier. Suffice it to say that he visited by turns every district of the Caliph's empire. All doors flew open to the royal signet. The fame of his quest outran him. The faithful vied with each other in directing his attention to every subject who had any, even the slightest, reputation for wisdom. As he traveled away from Bagdad he found, to his surprise, few indeed who knew even by reputation the eminent doctors there congregated. Each community had its own wise men who embodied the traditional lore of the vicinity. There were many of blameless life and catholic sympathies, but they were without learning. They had much lore of stars, desert, and mountains; of beasts and plants of the field and those of stall and garden; of measuring and surveying; of leadership in war and government in peace; of the nature of men and women and the love of little children; of justice and of true religion; but of mathematics, astronomy and other sciences, and of dialectic, philosophy or theology they had never heard. Obviously, such men were unfit to venture their lives on the test of the Caliph.

Many long nights, under the gorgeous eastern firmament, gloriously blazoned and tapestried with the stars, did the Grand Vizier consult on the state of the Caliph's realm with these common men. As the year of his quest drew to its close and its object seemed more and more to be unattainable, he lost sight of his own unhappy lot in a heart-felt yearning to undo, by means of the vast fund of wisdom he had thus unwittingly acquired, the mistakes of his earlier years in the Caliph's service. At length, when less than a month remained before his banishment would become perpetual, the Grand Vizier, in his camp on the eastern foothills of the Hindu-Kush mountains, chanced to hear rumors of a vastly wise man, an anchorite, dwelling in a cavern overlooking the desert of Gobi. Resolving to leave no stone unturned, he determined to throw all upon a single cast of the die. Descending to the bed of the Karkand and thence by the valley of the Tarim, he made his way by incredible exertions thither.

The shadows of the last evening but one of the Caliph's year were chilling alike his body and his spirit as he toiled, painfully and alone, up a rocky pathway toward the entrance to the sage's cavern. The aged man arose at his approach and welcomed him in silence but with gentle dignity. The two broke their fast without speaking. The experience of the past year had taught the Grand Vizier that the words of the wise are few in proportion as they are precious. When at last the full moon arose, silvering the weird expanse of the ancient desert into the likeness of a wide, mysterious sea, the aged seer broke the silence.

"You are not unheralded," he said, "nor unexpected. You have lost yourself in the search and have thus found the will and the way to serve your fellowmen. You have accordingly been led by Allah to the one place on earth where your quest can be satisfied. With prayer, vigils and much mortification of the flesh, for many years, I have sought the secret of wisdom. I have been successful. But my life has unfitted me to enjoy its fruits. The Caliph has wisely asked for his heir wisdom rather than power, riches or honor. Hence all these may be added unto him. The Prince is destined to be by far the most celebrated among the Caliphs of Bagdad. To you it has been granted to receive a revelation of the sources from which universal wisdom is derived."

Checking the Grand Vizier as he was about to acknowledge with joy this welcome intelligence, the sage busied himself with drawing together upon an open patch of stone at the entrance of his cave the embers of his scanty fire. Blowing gently upon the coals until they glowed again, he scattered among them a few grains of incense, gesticulated mysteriously, and whisperingly gave utterance to the mighty Name.

Instantly a thin column of fragrant smoke rose from among the ashes. As it curled gradually upward a light gust of air, like a tiny whirlwind, caught it up and detached it from its base. Slowly at first but with gathering intensity an ever-increasing cloud of smoke or mist, like the top of an inverted pyramid, spinning spirally, made its way toward the open sands down the vista of a gorge fronting the anchorite's cavern. A low hum sharpening to a hiss and then deepening to a shrieking roar apprised the ear of its accelerating progress. The mighty funnel, writhing and twisting as it went, swept the sands of the desert aloft as some gigantic waterspout might lift the waves of the sea. In plain view of the awe-struck onlookers it paused, balanced itself, rotated slightly and, such was its magnitude, clean-swept the accumulated sand of centuries from the primeval rock, and for a vast space laid bare the hidden bones of the world. Smoke, mist and sand finally vanished and only the raucous voice of the gale vibrating stridently across the moonlit void and the altered aspect of the sands were left to offset the sense of unreality.


At last the sage signalled the Grand Vizier to rub with his palm the Caliph's ring. As he complied, instantly, from all quarters of the globe, its entire human population, as disembodied spirits, was summoned to appear. Men, women and children of all races and conditions, past and present, were swept by the four winds from every land, washed by the seven seas. Grasped by the all-compelling vortex they were caught up and whirled resistlessly aloft. At the touch of the wondrous current each human frame miraculously fell apart into its component elements. Limb fell from limb and organ from organ. Nerves, muscles, fibres and cells parted company, to reassemble, like with like, as the elements of a new and greater whole. Rapidly the majestic drama was enacted. Ere the moon set the entire range of the Thian Shan was darkened by the shadows of a colossus in human form towering majestically among the stars.

Every human heart that ever beat had gone to the making of this heart of Man. Every human brain that ever thought was united in this brain of Man. Even in stature the body of Man, the product of the combination of earth's billions of living and dead, towered over the globe many times her own diameter. With few strides Man could have circled the planet, overstepping earth's greatest rivers, fording her oceans and spurning her loftiest mountains in his march. Thus he stood, capable of treading cities and armies beneath his feet, or of destroying the beautiful world itself with a single blow of his mighty fist.

The face of Man could not be seen. The dumb roaring of the blast subsided. The desert air commenced once more to vibrate, but this time with a prelude of softest harmony. Suddenly the earth quaked once and again. The gigantic frame shuddered and seemed to wrestle with an inward agony. Life had commenced. The functions of all the individual members, set up anew, poured as it were into one mighty caldron the total product of their individual selves. The contents and workings of every man's brain were suddenly fused into one. All feeling, emotion and sentiment of the hearts of every man found itself in the heart of one.

What a heart was there! Into its mighty depths was poured the fierce glow of barbaric victory and the ecstacy of Christian martyrdom. Heroism of warriors and fanaticism of zealots blent with melting tendernesses of lovers, of mothers and of little children. The gentle sympathies and affections of saint, sage and poet, united with the crude affections of camp, court and market-place. Not one was lost, but from their union was created a greater than them all, a mighty cord of universal brotherhood, of human sympathy that, rendered audible by some heavenly instrument, enraptured the listener's soul as if by the fabled music of the spheres.

In like manner was built up the great and common brain. As each group of cells in the brain of every man discharges a distinct function and thus represents certain characteristics acquired by the interplay of blood and breeding, so were grouped those parts of the united brain that registered similar memories. Thus met the thoughts and minds of those that had knowledge of the stars and those that knew about the soul; and so of all other branches of our knowledge. And as the mind of man cannot contain opposing errors but they will kill one another and all will fall dead in the presence of Truth; so after brief war, from the shock and conflict of opinions came peace and inward harmony. As when with fierce reaction in the alembic of an alchemist, many crude ingredients resolve themselves into a sovereign elixer, so from the crux of meeting creeds, systems, prejudices and opinions seething together, was distilled the clear elixer of Truth.

The harmonies became ecstatic. The Heavens opened. And from their bonded depths a host appeared hovering enraptured above the form of Man. At length a deep toned voice caught up the heavenly close in accents unmistakably human. A new self had been awakened, a universal consciousness in which all mankind had part. Humanity had found itself.


Once more the sage signalled the Grand Vizier to rub the Caliph's ring. As he complied, the mist swiftly settled upon the desert. The gigantic outlines of universal Man became indistinct in its shadows and were quickly blotted out. The full moon sank. The Grand Vizier's spirits fell. But ere he could voice a question or assure himself whether he waked or dreamt the bulk of an approaching figure took shape from out the mist and a stranger entered the circle of light radiated by the anchorite's tiny fire. Although no more to outward seeming than the normal stature of mankind, he bore indelibly stamped upon his person the impress of his origin. He was no other than Humanity, the universal Man! The Grand Vizier's quest was at an end!

An onlooker of that austere mountain side might have been supposed to see a group of three men bowed with years, the world worn Vizier, the prematurely aged victim of self-mortification, and, oldest of them all, the Universal Spirit of Mankind. His figure embodied no less than the entire thought content of the race. His memory was one with human knowledge. His recollection embraced all erudition. His sympathies ranged from the greatest to the least of human affections. His nervous system tingled with every skill and aptitude of craftsman or of artist. But, in fact, it was not a withered and decrepit old man who answered to the Grand Vizier's inquiring glance. The universal spirit had assumed a younger form. He seemed as one whose earthly life had yet to run more than half of the allotted three-score years and ten. Ruddy, erect and vigorous, his form and eye bespoke the fire of a warrior, the energy of an enthusiast. The gentle dignity of his carriage betokened a reverent respect for wisdom and for age.

What councils were held about those dying embers it were too long to tell. Enough to say, according to the ancient manuscripts of the historian, Ben Rydyl (discovered in a library at Granada, nearly a century after the expulsion of the Moors), that the distance from the Thian Shan to the valley of the Tigris presented no insuperable obstacle to the universal wisdom.

The Caliph convened his court upon the morrow to appoint the Grand Vizier's principal rival, head of the opposing family of Ommiades, as his successor, and to announce the deposed minister's banishment. But to the immense confusion and discomfiture of his opponent, no less than to the Caliph's joy, who should appear at the nick of time but the Grand Vizier himself! And in his company appeared the long-sought tutor who, in the resulting examinations, by conquering in succession the most celebrated scholars, warriors, artists, craftsmen, poets and musicians who opposed his election, made good his claim to the humble title of El Mu'allim (the teacher) for which he modestly avowed a preference.

It is related that the young prince welcomed most kindly his new instructor, who thus combined equal skill in every manly accomplishment with universality of knowledge. The future conduct of his education was transformed by the love he bore El Mu'allim from a thing of heaviness to a means of constant inspiration and delight. In time, half by unconscious imitation, half by conscious effort, the prince imbibed the major part of the wisdom and accomplishments of El Mu'allim. At the mysterious disappearance of the latter (which occurred on the occasion of the Caliph's death) there remained but little to choose between the conduct of the disciple and the master. The renown of the great Haroun-al-Raschid is the all-sufficient testimony to the worth of the tutor, El Mu'allim, which the merits of his illustrious disciple have obscured.

And it is regarded as a significant thing by the original historian, in support of the authenticity of this legend, that Haroun-al-Raschid himself should have sought for wisdom among the commonalty of his realm, having often, in the guise of adventure, mingled freely in the khans and bazaars, with shopkeepers, craftsmen, travelers and others, and thus kept at all times in closest touch with human good in "widest commonalty spread." Thus he sought, in the opinion of Ben Rydyl, in emulation of his departed master, to himself embody the spirit of human brotherhood and the substance of the practical knowledge and wisdom of his race.

* * *


A Letter From Bro. Gene T. Skinkle, Illinois

Early in the year word went out to the Round Table of Masonic editors that the unique and beloved Gene T. Skinkle had resigned the tripod of Oriental Consistory Magazine. Would he also resign from activity in the Order? Ye Editor immediately wrote him to ask that important question. No, he replied, he would stay in the good old game, but not as an editor. He was retiring into an attic at Wilmette, Ill., and would therefrom issue such edicts and pronunciamentos anent things Masonic as the spirit might move him. The project for a national Masonic Tuberculosis Hospital in the Southwest moved him mightily, as witness his hand in the following:

DEAR Bro. Editor:

I tender to you, and to Bros. Robert J. Newton, of Texas, and W. O. Saunders, sincere expressions of congratulation and appreciation for what I consider two of the best articles on practical Masonic progress published in many years. I refer to the articles in the October edition of THE BUILDER captioned "J'Accuse! — A Challenge to Freemasonry", and "Let's Stop Blowing Bubbles," both of which are worth reading and re-reading — and then considering seriously and deeply. We need more and more Newtons, Mike Thomases, Louis Blocks, Forrest Adairs, W. O. Saunders and such thinking, practical Masons and a few less feeding, smoking, entertaining limelight Masons.

For more than thirty years I have been out with a sledge hammer pounding Masonic profligacy and waste, praying for a Moses to lead "the children of light" out of the wilderness of words, into the promised land of practice, and others have been "seeing the signs" and blazing the trail to redemption. The day is dawning when, I hope, preaching will give way to PRACTICE.

That Bro. Newton's estimates of cost and operation of Tuberculosis Hospitals is conservative is evidenced in the report of the Secretary of the National Methodist Hospital and Home Association for the year 1922, extracts from which, and my own computation of averages of investments per bed and cost per patient, I enclose herewith.

Our good friend and brother, W. Freeland Kendrick; 33°, saw the star and followed its guidance when, after a visit to the hospital at Atlanta, Georgia, he fought for, and eventually secured the support of the Imperial Council of the Shrine to the Orthopedic Hospital development that is proving such a blessing to crippled and maimed children in America.

Louis Block, 33°, of Iowa, had a dream of Masonic concentration to practical purposes and saw his dream come true in the organization of the Masonic Service Association.

Mike Thomas, 33°, of Texas, demonstrated practical Masonry when, as Grand Master, he caused to be built the dormitory for the Lone Star State University.

Robert J. Daly, 33°, and James McCready, 33°, of Illinois, are doing splendid practical work for the Masonic Orphan's Home, at LaGrange, and the Old Mason's Home, at Sullivan, Illinois.

Everybody knows what Forrest Adair, 33°, has accomplished for practical Masonry in Georgia; to repeat his record would require the space of many of your editions.

In Buffalo, New York, George K. Staples, 33°, has worked for years in behalf of the betterment of the waifs from the streets and alleys; and in Pittsburg, Pa., "Uncle Bill" Brown, 33°, and his Nobles of Syria Temple, have kept an eye on the boys and kept them out of troubles. So also "Freer" Kendrick (the Mayor) keeps an eye on the "kiddies" of Philadelphia.

There are others, many others, that could be cited illustrating diversified practical Masonic progressive developments. For instance, through the courtesy of Bro. William Wonnacott, Librarian of the Grand Lodge Library and Museum, London, England (where Bro. Robert I. Clegg, 33°, of Ohio, was a recent visitor), I have before me the history and reports of the three British Masonic charitable institutions, the Royal Masonic Institute for Boys, the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution for Aged Masons and Widows of Freemasons. These are not Grand Lodge dependencies, but are supported by individual Masonic contributions and are governed by officers elected by vote of the contributors. It may be that readers of THE Builder will be interested to learn that the contributed income for the three charities named, for the year just passed, was "well over 300,000 pounds", or nearly a million and a half dollars figured in American money. The Benevolent Board grants annuities or pensions to aged Masons to the amount of 100 pounds and to widows one-half the amount of the deceased Mason's grant. Also a limited number are admitted to the Institute Asylum at Croydon.


I have treated particularly in this article on several isolated, local and independent Masonic activities (outside of the Shrine Hospital and the British charities) merely to show what has been and can be done when Masons get right down to practical exemplification of the lessons they are teaching. Enough money has been promiscuously and profligately spent in wasteful, unnecessary extravagance in the past years to have built and supported the practical, necessary institutions the practical Masons are now calling for so piteously, and the profligacy will continue unless our Grand Lodges and Grand Masters call a halt on the waste and pass laws to compel our lodges and our individual Masons to conservate their incomes and devote the savings to practical demonstrations of Masonic teachings.

What is most needed at this time is concentration and business application to meritorious purposes. United on any one purpose, the three million Masons in the United States could accomplish anything they started out to do; divided, their aims and purposes are desultory in results and, many times, futile in accomplishment.

Given the united support of the Fraternity in this country the crying need of Tuberculosis Hospitals in the Southwest will cease to be a dream and our 60,000 afflicted brethren will be assured of comfort, care and necessary medical attention, free from the anxiety and worry of the future for their loved ones.

Symbolic Masonry has a total membership of nearly three millions in the United States, the Shrine a membership of about 600,000. Two dollars per annum from each Shriner supports the Orthopedic Hospitals; $2.00 per annum from each Symbolic Mason would give an income of five times the income derived from the Shriners, and $6,000,000 per annum would build and pay the operating expense of the Tuberculosis Hospitals so badly needed for our suffering brethren. Concentrate on this, talk it over at every lodge meeting, set it to music and sing it to your home folks, publish it in your local fraternal papers, give parties and dance to it — in other words, make up your minds to start this movement — and go right out and GET IT. DO IT NOW!


The disproportionate amount of money being spent for purposes of fun and sociability as compared with monies devoted to relief and charity has been discussed by many Grand Lodges during the past three or four years. One such pronouncement on this subject, representative of many others that might be quoted, was made by Bro. Arthur Potterton as Grand Master of New Jersey. It is offered here in support of Bro. Skinkle's plea:

I recommend that every lodge adopt the budget system of controlling its finances; the budget to include in addition to the regular earring charges, items for charity, entertainment and incidentals, and when the amount of the budget shall have been determined, that the dues of the members be adjusted to make the lodges self-supporting.

There can be no doubt that Relief is one of the three principal tenets of Masonry, and the only one that calls for a material sacrifice. Throughout the Craft, as well as those not in our Fraternity, the belief is general that Masonry teaches charity and helpfulness, and that belief is responsible for the high regard in which Masonry has so long been held. Many of those who have had opportunities to observe and who cared to do so have been forced to admit that the per capita outlay for charitable objects has not kept pace with the material prosperity of our lodges, while on the other hand the expenditures usually classed as "Refreshments and Entertainment" have increased to such an extent as to create in the mind of the newly-made member the thought that Masonic Lodges are little, if anything. more than social bodies, whose efforts are directed, not to help the broken and helpless, to be found all around us, who know little else but want, hunger and discouragement, but to providing dances, amusements and refreshments for the members.

Is Masonry to decline to a mere source for supplying these demands? Can nothing be done to impress our brethren that the funds of a lodge, beyond paying necessary expenses, are a sacred trust, and to be expended only in the way called for by our tenets and teaching?

During the past year almost $150,000 was expended by our lodges for entertainment and refreshment, while only about one-third of that amount was expended for Charity.

It is my belief that this is wrong — a wrong that will soon work incalculable injury to our Fraternity. With a showing like that what chance have we to attract to our ranks the solid, serious and charitable men we so seriously need, and who alone can keep our Fraternity on the high level it has occupied in the past.

Outside our lodges are many men who are leading more truly Masonic lives than those within our ranks, whose selfish demands on our lodge treasuries are so strongly tending to keep them in such financial condition as to be unable or less able to meet the calls that can be heard by all whose ears are attuned to the cry of distress. This condition in our lodges is steadily growing worse and the difference between the outlay for "refreshments" and that for Charity is steadily growing greater.

To have reached the high place that Masonry has attained in the respect of the world — even among our enemies — is one thing, but to keep that place is quite another thing. The first was the work of many generations of earnest men who saw in Masonry only an enlarged opportunity for doing good in the world; the second is for the present in our hands, and no greater responsibility can ever come to us. Is this-responsibility being met as it should be when we find so large an amount expended for "entertainment and refreshment" and such a comparatively small amount for Charity,- as was reflected in the financial statements of the lodges for last year?

I am one — and there are many more — who believe such a condition to be a Masonic disgrace.

I can never have a better opportunity to call this state of affairs to your serious and thoughtful consideration, and I believe I should be false to my duty if I failed to do so. It is my opinion that something definite and decisive should be done now, to impress on OUI' membership that the funds of their lodges do not belong to them, and that they are for the time being only the trustees of such funds, charged with the solemn duty of disbursing them in Masonic ways only. I am as well aware as one could be that hitherto our lodges have had full power to use their funds in any way they liked, but if they are risking the high standard of their Masonic teaching and thereby lowering the reputation of our Fraternity, is it not a matter that concerns this Grand Lodge?

I believe it is and I, therefore, recommend that no lodge be permitted to use a larger proportion of its yearly income for entertainment and refreshment than it does for Charity.

The adoption of this recommendation would have the double effect of increasing the amount devoted to Charity and of reducing the amount selfishly expended on ourselves.

* * *


Dr. E. N. Davis, Corresponding Secretary


Institutions No. Beds Patients Cost of Maintenance Value of Property Free Service Value
Hospitals 80 6,650 220,000 6,600,000 23,000,0000 1,053,000
Homes for Aged 38 1,936   600,000 7,000,000  
Homes for Children 44 2,670 3,200   5,375,000  
Other Institutions 11   840   230,000  
Totals 173 11,256 224,040 $7,200,000 $35,605,000  

Hospital Averages

6,650 beds, property cost, $23,000,000; average per bed, $3,584.64 investment.

220,000 patients; annual cost, $6,600,000; average per patient, $30.

Averages on Totals

11,256 beds; property cost, $35,605 000; average per bed, $5,355.65.

224,040 patients, annual cost, $7,200,000; average per patient, $32.13.

Average period per patient, 18.34 days. Average cost per patient per day, $1.75+.

* * *


One of the most illustrious of all American Masons in the eighteenth century was the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, one time Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Deputy Grand Master, and Corresponding Grand Secretary. He was born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1767 and died at Boston, April 3, 1842. His first Masonic publication was a collation described as The Constitutions of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, which he published in 1792. His best known volume was a collection of speeches published under the title of Masonic Discourses in 1801. In 1798 he published, at the request of the Grand Lodge of his State, a sketch of early Masonic history. From that volume the following paragraphs, here printed because of their abiding value, have been taken. An excellent sketch of Bro. Harris was published in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for 1917, page 471.

The reader will note how the author describes the formation of a lodge as "erection", whereas we now use the term "constitution".


HISTORY OF ST. JOHN'S GRAND LODGE (sometimes called the Grand Lodge of Modern Masons) AT BOSTON, as descending from the Grand Master of England.

IN consequence of an application from several brethren residing in New England, Free and Accepted Masons, to the Right Honorable and Most Worshipful Anthony, Lord Viscount Montague, Grand Master of Masons in England, he was pleased, in the year 5733 [1733 A.D.] to constitute and appoint the Right Worshipful Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master of New England aforesaid.

Upon the receipt of this commission the brethren assembled July 30, and the Charter of Constitution being read, and the Right Worshipful Grand Master duly invested and congratulated, a Grand Lodge was formed under the title and designation of "St. John's Grand Lodge," and the following officers chosen and installed: "Right Worshipful Andrew Belcher, Deputy Grand Master; Right Worshipful Thomas Kennelly, Senior Grand Warden; Right Worshipful John Quann, Junior Grand Warden, pro tempore".

A petition was then presented by several worthy brethren residing in Boston praying to be constituted into a regular lodge, and it was voted that the same be granted. [This lodge was styled "The First Lodge in Boston," or "St. John's Lodge."]

Thus was Masonry founded in North America. The anniversary of St. John the Baptist was celebrated June 24, 5734 [1734 A.D.], in ample form, after the manner of Masons.

A petition being presented from Benjamin Franklin and several brethren residing in Philadelphia, for a Constitution for holding a lodge there, the Right Worshipful Grand Master, having this year received orders from the Grand Lodge of England to establish Masonry in all North America, was pleased to grant the prayer of the petitioners and to send them a deputation, appointing the Right Worshipful Benjamin Franklin their first Master — this celebrated philosopher and statesman died in Philadelphia in 1790, age 84 — which is the beginning of Masonry in the State of Pennsylvania.

A petition from the brethren resident in Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, for the erection of a lodge there, was also granted, denominated "The Holy Lodge of St. John."

Thus was Masonry introduced into Boston, and thus it was propagated in the two states of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. It is for that Masons should more frequently mention the Masonic character of the philosopher Franklin, who not only was initiated into the sacred mysteries, but was active in the introduction of it into the "City of Brotherly Love," where its prosperity, purity and power are alike marked and cheering. It is one item of the glory of the ancient Institution that such worthy men as Franklin and Washington enjoyed its privileges and influences, while they were honorably active in multiplying lodges and teaching Masonic science and morality, and while they were practising upon its sublime and immortal virtues.

* * *


Mysterious Night! when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet 'neath a curtain of translucent dew
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
Hesperus with the host of heaven came,
And lo! creation widened in man's view.
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
Within thy rays, O. Sun, or who could find,
Whilst fly and leaf and insect stood revealed,
That to such countless orbs thou mad'st us blind?
Why do we then shun death with anxious strife?
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life?

— Joseph Blanco White.

* * *


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


IN the biography of Sir Chrisitopher Wren, written by the English Architect, James Elmers, London, 1823, we find:

"In 1666 Sir Christopher Wren was appointed Deputy Grand Master under Earl Rivers.... He was Master of St. Paul's Lodge, now the Lodge of Antiquity, of which his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex is Past Master, and attended the meetings for upwards of eighteen years."

Elmer's statement was very possibly based on William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry. Critics of the modern school have long doubted the authenticity of Preston's statements, but it seems to me that we have good grounds for believing that Wren was a member of the Craft. These grounds are set forth in Bro. Ryland's Records of the Lodge of Antiquity and in Bro. A. F. Calvert's The Grand Lodge of England. Because of the skepticism of some of the best scholars I hesitated to include Wren among "Great Men Who Were Masons," but finally decided to do so, leaving it to the individual reader to omit Wren if he wishes to.

Wren was a versatile genius. He made many inventions, including "the wheel barometer and mezzotint engraving"; wrote on astronomy, on instruments of scientific application, hydraulics of ship building, whale fishing, methods of determining longitude, etc. These exhibitions of his intellectual power, in addition to his world-famed genius as an architect, explains why there gathered about him the men who formed the Royal Society, England's most famous scientific institution.

Wren was elected professor of astronomy in Gresham College at London and professor of astronomy at Oxford three years later. After this he was for a time assistant to Sir John Denham, the surveyor-general. In 1663 he designed the Chapel of Pembroke College at Cambridge and in the same year was commissioned to make a survey of St. Paul's Cathedral with a view to so restoring that building as to adapt the whole structure to the famous Corinthian portico added by Inigo Jones.

In September, 1666, St. Paul's Cathedral was completely gutted by the fire which almost destroyed London. Wren was chosen to rebuild it. After a great many difficulties, during which the whole city participated in debates concerning plans submitted by Wren and by his adversaries, work was begun on the new structure June 21, 1672. The last stone was set thirty-five years later and Wren was, fortunately, still alive to see it. We can find no record of a Masonic service having been used either at the laying of the cornerstone or its dedication.

* * *


Bro. William B. Bragdon, New Jersey

Bro. Bragdon's little study of a great architect arrived at the same time as Bro. Baird's "Memorial," printed just above, almost in the same mail, and since they discuss the same subject the two are here published one after the other There has been a long debate to determine if we have solid grounds for claiming Wren as a Mason; Gould waved it all aside as a fabrication of Preston's imagination, but there are some of us who believe that in Bro. Ryland's careful history of the Lodge of Antiquity is legitimate reason for holding that Wren was a Mason.

SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN, the son of a clergyman, was born at East Knoyle, Wiltshire, England, on Oct. 20, 1632. He graduated from Wadham College of Oxford University in 1650, having distinguished himself in such subjects as geometry and applied mathematics.

Tracing his collegiate life still further, we find him a Fellow of All Souls in 1653, a professor of astronomy at Gresham in 1657, and Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford in 1660. Thus his early training and educational inclinations disclosed an unusual mathematical mind, which was to develop later a proficiency in structural engineering.

As an architect Wren is unquestionably the most famous product of England, and the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral, in London, his greatest popular achievement. Most historical characters rise to fame through circumstances as well as genius, and the great fire in London in 1666, which destroyed the old St. Paul's and fifty or more parish churches, offered him an exceptional opportunity.

It would be impossible in so short a sketch to trace the history of his associations with new St. Paul's, which was begun in 1675 and finished in 1710. After being commissioned the architect for the restoration of the old church just previous to the fire, and then again for the new rebuilding, his designs were criticized and his work hampered at almost every turn.

A story is told of how he was ordered by the Worthy Council, who sat in judgment over his plans, to double the number of columns that were to support the great dome, as this august body felt inclined to doubt the wisdom of the arrangement of Wren's design. Accordingly he did as he was bid, but a century later it was accidently discovered that half of the columns lacked six inches of reaching the base of the dome and were consequently without structural foundation.

Wren's salary for planning and supervising the erection of St. Paul's, which cost an amount equalling $3,740,000, and is considered the fifth largest church in the world, was the trifling sum of $1,000 a year. For this, the Duchess of Marlborough says, he was content to be dragged up to the top in a bucket three or four times a week.

But there is every evidence that he did his work thoroughly nevertheless, and exercised his control over his workmen with a moral and spiritual guidance as well as an aesthetic. One of Wren's orders, which is said was affixed in many parts of the building, read as follows:

"Whereas, among labourers, etc., that ungodly custom of swearing is too frequently heard, to the dishonour of God and contempt of authority; and to the end, therefore, that such impiety may be utterly banished from these works intended for the service of God and the honour of religion — it is ordered that customary swearing shall be a sufficient crime to dismiss any labourer...."

Wren was also employed as architect for the rebuilding of the smaller parish churches in London, and it was here that he displayed his constructive genius to even better advantage. In the rebuilding of St. Michael's Cornhill, St. Bride's Fleet Street, Mary-le-Bow Cheapside and St. Stephen's Welbrook he was the creator of the English Renaissance type of steeple with conical or pyramidal spire on a square belfry tower which later influenced the American St. Paul's New York, Christ Church Philadelphia, St. Michael's Charleston, Trinity Newport, and "Old South" Boston.


To follow Wren's Masonic life is a more difficult undertaking. Tradition informs us that he was a member and Master of the "Old Lodge of St. Paul," which was changed to the "Lodge of Antiquity." No proof exists, however, of this fact as all the records of this lodge of that time have vanished.

In the archives of the Lodge of Antiquity is a mallet which it has been claimed was presented by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1827 the Duke of Sussex attached to this mallet a plate engraved as follows:

"A.L. 5831. A.D. 1827. To commemorate that this, being the same mallet with which His Majesty King Charles II levelled the foundation stone of S. Paul's Cathedral, A.L. 5677, A.D. 1673. Was presented to the Old Lodge of S. Paul, now the Lodge of Antiquity, acting by immemorial constitution, by Brother Sir Christopher Wren, R.W.D.G.M., Worshipful Master of this Lodge and Architect of that Edifice."

The lodge also has in its possession three gilt wooden candlesticks inscribed, "Ex dono Chr. Wren Eq. A. L. 5680."

But although he is frequently mentioned by learned writers as Master of St. Paul's Lodge and also Grand Master of the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, it is difficult to reconcile oneself to these statements without further proof.

The Parentalia, or "Memoirs of the Family of Wren," from which we obtain our most accurate knowledge of his life, makes no mention of Sir Christopher Wren as a Mason, although by implication this fact seems apparent.

It would seem possible, however, that Wren could not have lived when he did and as he did without having been in some way identified with the Craft. He was not only a confirmed churchman, but he was anti-Roman in his beliefs. In addition, his associations with prominent Master Masons of his time, and his relations with the Royal Society, must have brought him in close contact with Masonic teachings.

Wren was a member of Parliament for many years, and for fifty years held the high office of Surveyor of the Royal Works. He died in 1723 and lies buried under the Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral, where a tablet over the inner north doorway is inscribed as follows:

Lector, Si monumentum requiris, circumspice — "Reader, do you ask his monument? Look around."

* * *


Masonic Education Under Grand Lodge Auspices

STATE-WIDE Masonic education under direction of a Grand Lodge has been carried forward in so many Grand Jurisdictions during the past few years that the enterprise may be justly considered as having emerged from the merely experimental stage. A number of Grand Lodges have developed their methods independently of all outside efforts; others have worked through the Masonic Service Association or in conjunction with the National Masonic Research Society; in any event they have achieved results, an analysis of which would show what devices might be adopted in any state without much fear of failure. Without attempting such an analysis in the present instance it may be of service to the workers in and under Grand Lodge Educational Committees to indicate a few of the methods thus far verified by experience. The majority of these methods come under one or other of two heads: speakers, or programs featuring a speaker; and the printed word in the form of leaflets, bulletins, magazines or books.

SPEAKERS. In developing a program of speaking to be carried into local lodges it is best for a committee to begin with the speeches rather than with the speakers. The purpose in view is not to have a given list of men heard in lodges, but to have certain messages concerning Masonry carried home to the brethren, therefore the speeches are more important than the speakers. A committee can study its own field to discover what are the lessons of Masonry most needed by its brethren; in some cases a speech can be planned on Masonry in general, suitable to be given anywhere; in other cases subjects purely local will be preferred. After the subjects are chosen and laid out speakers can be selected capable of delivering just those subjects and in just the way desired. This arrangement will avoid the difficulty encountered in some states of having a corps of speakers sent into lodges who talk about everything except Masonry. If conditions are such as to warrant a speech on some non-Masonic topic (as sometimes happens) the committee should nevertheless retain control lest a speaker forget himself and jump over the fence into a discussion of religion or politics or other forbidden topics. This control by the committee furthermore makes it possible to protect lodges against hearing wild misinterpretations of Masonry made by brethren who have not had opportunity to become sufficiently well informed.

Speakers can be listed through local lodges, almost every one of which will be glad to recommend some capable brother on the roster, and these brethren can then be booked for lodges not too far from home, in order to keep down expenses. Such of them as insist on preparing their own speeches can be helped by a loan of materials and they can have their speeches O. K'd by the committee before delivery. The secretary or chairman of the committee can meet with groups of these speakers at least once a year in order to help train them by conference methods. If lodges report attendance at a speech, along with some indication of how well it was received, the committee will know at any given instance what is being accomplished by its staff in the field. After a speaker becomes sufficiently well established and proves that he knows something about Masonry and how to tell it, he can be used all over the state and left pretty much to his own devices.

In the large centers Masonic mass meetings can be held, all of the Masonic bodies in a given territory participating. In such cases it is often possible to invite some brother of national reputation for the occasion, paying him his expenses and possibly a fee. There should be no objections in such cases to a fee, because such a speaker will often be a business or professional man who can ill afford to remain away from his office for two or three days at a time.

THE USE OF MASONIC LITERATURE. Every Grand Lodge committee should have at its disposal a Masonic library. This need not be large but it should contain the standard works, histories, encyclopedias, etc., with as much material on the Masonry of its own state as possible, Grand Lodge proceedings, lodge histories, biographical sketches of its own celebrated Masons, and a supply of clippings and other loose material suitable for loaning to speakers.

A number of Grand Lodges have successfully used the Traveling Library method. In such a case the committee purchases a number of sets of standard Masonic books, ten to thirty in number; these are put into substantial packing cases and loaned to lodges making requests, for periods of three to six months, the lodge loaning the volumes through its own committee or secretary in the same method as is used by a public library. If a lodge desires to purchase one of these outfits it is permitted to do so, at actual cost.

A few Grand Lodges, notably New York, have been encouraging the formation of Book Clubs. According to this method a number of brethren in a community, eight or ten of them, agree among themselves each one to purchase a book at some average price, say two dollars; and at the same time each agrees to loan the book to each member of the club in turn, until it has gone the rounds, when the original purchaser retains it as his own. In this manner each brother can read a number of books with very small expense to himself. The Study Club, to which THE Builder a department each month, is a method that may easily combine the use of a speaker with reading. The nearest analogue to such a club outside of Freemasonry is the Men's Bible Class of a Sunday School. It may be made a voluntary undertaking among a group of brethren, or else it may be launched by a lodge, with official sanction, the small expenses needed being paid from the lodge's treasury. Such a club is a flexible organization, easy to adapt to local conditions. The usual method is for a number of brethren to agree to meet once or twice a month; to elect a president and secretary-treasurer and a study director, the last mentioned functioning much as does the leader of a Bible Class, in order to study systematically some branch of Masonry. A text book may be used, or else a topic may be selected anew for each meeting. If such a group can find a good director, and if it will stick faithfully to its purpose, it can be made one of the most enthralling of all methods for studying the ritual, jurisprudence, or history of the Craft, for its appeal can be almost infinitely varied.

Stereopticon outfits or moving pictures may be used in connection with any or all of these methods above suggested. Grand Lodge committees in Grand Jurisdictions affiliated with the Masonic Service Association can secure the use of movies produced by the Association; others can make arrangements for appropriate films through a number of film booking companies, a few of which specialize in such services. Stereopticon outfits can be made to order at a not exorbitant price.

In the early days when these methods were new some Grand Lodge leaders questioned them lest they add more wheels to the machinery of organization; or get out of hand; or become a new Side Order; or become nothing but a kind of Masonic chautauqua. Experience has allayed these fears. After all, the whole enterprise of Masonic education is one of the proper functions of the Craft itself, for which the necessary machinery has long existed. As our Fraternity increases in membership and its problems increase the need for education becomes more urgent, lest the grand purposes of Masonry become lost behind a confusion of small activities, and Masons lose their Masonry through inability to find out what it is all about.

* * *


A Story of Freemasonry in Hawaii

LE TELLIER'S LODGE AT HONOLULU — A MASONIC HISTORY, by Ed. Towse; P. M. Privately printed; blue cloth; 118 pages; illustrations on gold paper. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society. $2.65.

IN the old palmy days of whaling in the northern Pacific it was the custom for hundreds of ships to put in at Honolulu for stores. The great majority of these were "Boston men", five or six years away from home, rough adventurous fellows like those one meets with in Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, with a penchant for humid hilarity while in port. Now it happens that among all these Yankees there was one French whaler, M. Le Tellier by name, master of the bark Ajar, who had a keen interest in Freemasonry, he having been made a member of a French lodge under the aegis of the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, for France. In 1841 he appeared among the American, English, Scotch, Irish, French, German, Italian and Latin-American Masons of Honolulu with a commission from that Supreme Council empowering him "to set up lodges in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere in his voyages; to issue warrants, to call upon the Supreme Council for charters; to make Masons at sight; to forever be given the grand honors upon his appearance in any lodge of his creation."

With a number of these brethren supporting him, they having accepted his credentials in good faith, he organized on board the Ajax a lodge of Masons, destined to a long career. Bro. Towse has written a history of this lodge from its beginnings, with dated items from year to year, all interspersed with sprightly comment, and with many side-lights on life in what were then known as the Sandwich Islands. The result is 118 pages of more human interest than most lodge historians have apparently believed that any lodge history has a right to possess, not the least fetching of which is the long list of brightly colored vignettes of prominent Hawaiians received at various times into the lodge's very representative membership.

"Le Tellier," writes Bro. Towse, "organized 'Lodge le Progrés de l'Oceanie,' U. D. (Under Dispensation), aboard his bark in Honolulu harbor on an unfixed date in 1841, issued the warrant and sent for the charter. The Lodge proceeded to business at once and had had a continuous and most useful and honorable existence ever since, under its original name and the number 124 until the year 1905, when it transferred, by the consent and with the assistance of the authorities of the Supreme Council of France, to the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California, first with the name 'Oceanie,' later with the original name and with the number 371."

Bro. Towse's modesty caused him to omit the fact that he himself was made the official delegate to California to negotiate the transfer of allegiance. He was at that time a P.M., and Orator of the lodge. Added to the history of the lodge are six chapters on various topics. The first is the speech delivered by His Excellency Bro. J. M. Kapena, Minister of Foreign Relations, on the occasion of the laying of the cornerstone of the new Royal Palace at Honolulu, Dec. 31, 1879. By that time two of the Hawaiian kings had been members, Kamehameha IV, and Kamehameha V, and the then reigning monarch, Kalakaua, had "ascended all the steps of the craft, and ".. reached the pinnacle of Masonic honors." This is followed by the account, "printed on silk," of the "Grand Masonic Banquet at Iolani Palace given by His Majesty King Kalakaua in honor of his Brethren of the Mystic Rite at Honolulu, on St. John's Day, December 27, 1882." On page 113 is a sketch of Captain John Meek; on page 114 a similar sketch of Kamehameha IV; and on page 116 a "Contemporaneous Chronology." We shall steal the last page entire; it furnishes information about Hawaiian lodges often sought after:

"Hawaiian Lodge, No. 21, Honolulu — Granted a dispensation by the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California January 12, 1852.

"First meeting held Feb. 10, 1852. Charter granted May 5, 1852.

"Maui Lodge, No. 223, Wailuku, Maui — Dispensation granted by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California July 10, 1872. Charter received October 18, 1872. After a few years, many of the members having left the Island, the charter was surrendered and dimits taken by the remaining brethren.

"Honolulu Lodge, No. 409, Honolulu — Granted a dispensation by the District Grand Master of Queensland, Australia, working under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, January 4, 1895 — Chartered August 1, 1895. This was under the name Pacific Lodge, No. 822. As favorable opportunity offered the change was made to the jurisdiction of California.

"Kilauea Lodge, No. 330, Hilo Hawaii — First meeting under dispensation held February 22, 1897. Chartered by the Grand Lodge of California October 15, 1897.

"Lodge Maui No. 472 at Kahului, Maui — Chartered from Scotland February 2, 1905. Chartered from California October 18, 1918.

"Schofield Lodge, No. 443, at Schofield Barracks — Dispensation from California December 8, 1913. Chartered from California, October 15, 1914.

"Note: — 1924. Lodge forming on the Island of Kauai, to be under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California."

* * *


THE Masonic literature of the world has for these many years past been greatly enriched by the publication of transactions of the various English societies and lodges for Masonic research, so much enriched that students are ever on the lookout for copies of them. All such students will therefore welcome a most worthy addition to these available sources of knowledge on themes not generally expounded in the popular Masonic press in the form of the TRANSACTIONS OF THE MERSEYSIDE ASSOCIATION FOR MASONIC RESEARCH, holding its sessions generally at Liverpool. We regret that the exigencies of space has caused a deplorable delay in our notice of the first volume, Which covers the year 1922-3. An account of the origin of the Association is given in a "Preliminary" to the Proceedings:

"The formation of the Merseyside Association for Masonic Research is entirely due to the unremitting labours of W. Bro. the Rev. Archibald Ball, M.A., P.P.G. Chaplain (S. Cheshire). As far back as February, 1919, he mooted the idea, but not being able to find a Brother willing to act as Secretary, nothing occurred until December, 1921, when about a dozen Brethren of Birkenhead and Liverpool met, at his request, in the Exchange Hotel, Liverpool, to discuss the need of a Research Society or Association in this district. Such was the enthusiasm that at a further meeting, held on the 1st of February, 1922, the Association came into being, Bro. Ball being elected first President, together with a full complement of officers."

Bro. John Mumby, of Birkenhead, one of the most gracious Masonic gentlemen in the world, was made secretary, and the inaugural meeting was held in Liverpool, Sept. 29, 1922. By the end of the first year 250 brethren had become members. Bro. Ball describes the ideal of the Association in his Foreword to the first volume of the Transactions:

"The necessity of such an Association on Merseyside is proved by the great influx of members desirous of that daily advancement in Masonic Knowledge which they were enjoined to make at their Initiation. The object of the Association is the exploration of the Symbolism and History of Freemasonry... Our ancient Institution is realised to be something far removed from an artificially constructed machine or social club. It is a living, evolving organism, every part of which has a meaning and a lesson."

The first volume of the Transactions proves that the Association began at once to translate this fine ideal into reality. It contains these various contributions: "Masonic Research; What it Has Done and Can Still DO," by John T. Thorp, first published in THE BUILDER March, 1916; "Some Points in Ritual," by Alex. T. Brand; "Origin of Gilds and Freemasonry," by Rev. H. G. Rosedale; "The Third Degree," by Lionel Vibert; "The Growth of Modern Ritual," by J. Walter Hobbs; and "Masonic Old Charges," by Rodk. H. Baxter. The majority of these names have long been familiar to students on this side of the Atlantic. The volume was edited by Bro. Chas. P. Sayles.

We have not asked permission of Bro. Mumby to refer interested inquirers to him, but we venture to do so. His address is "Ashville," Kingsland Road, Birkenhead, England.

A shining city, one
Happy in snow and sun
And singing in the rain
A paradisal strain....
Here is a dream to keep,
O Builders, from your sleep.

O foolish Builders, wake,
Take your trowels, take
The poet's dream, and build
The city song has willed,
That every stone may sing:
And all your roads may ring
With happy wayfaring.

— John Drinkwater.

* * *


We have been told that at the building of King Solomon's Temple the Fellowcrafts were paid their wages in specie, that is to say, in cash. There is a curious connection between this degree and specie which may be new to some. At the porchway or entrance of the great temple of Melkarth at Tyre, erected by King Hiram, and which, no doubt, formed the pattern after which the more famous temple of Solomon was subsequently modeled, stood two great pillars, and a representation of the temple and pillars appeared on the coins of Phoenicia. About 1100 B.C., it is said, the merchants of Phoenicia founded Cadiz in Spain, a tradition which is cherished by that ancient city. When coins were struck in the new colony the famous pillars appeared again as an emblem of its Phoenician origin. Twenty-six centuries later Charles V., Emperor of Germany, and King of Spain, used the same symbol on one of his coins. This was currently called a "colonate" or "pillar piece," but in this, as a matter of decoration pure and simple, each of the pillars was entwined by a scroll. As time passed the two scrolls were united and from this evolved the familiar "dollar sign."

Thus, this every-day symbol carries us back across the ages to that famous building which is today the central symbol of our system.

— Bro. William Harvey McNairn.

* * *


Studies of Masonry in the United States

By Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor


AS mentioned in the concluding paragraph of last month's Study Club article there has long gone on a battle royal between the brethren of Massachusetts and of Pennsylvania as to which of these Grand Jurisdictions can justly claim the honor of being considered the cradle of American Masonry. Brethren of South Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey have also had a hand in this, with claims for their own states. Reserving these latter for subsequent consideration in due order it will simplify the problems to focus attention on the first two just here. My purposes do not require any attempt to arrive at a decision as between these claims and counter-claims, not because the question is not important, or because all the evidence is not in, but because a student, especially a beginner, will find it more worth his while to arrive at his own opinions. I shall consider my own proper function served if I can set forth the facts as impartially as possible.

To begin with Pennsylvania. In his Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 108, Dec. 3 to 8, 1730, Benjamin Franklin printed an "Account of Freemasonry in London" prefaced by this significant statement:

"As there are several Lodges of Free-Masons erected in this Province Pennsylvania, and people have lately been much amused with conjectures concerning them, we think the following account of Free-Masonry from London will not be unacceptable to our readers."

The "following account" consisted of a story from London, under date of Aug. 12, to the effect that "By the death of a Gentleman who was one of the Brotherhood of FREE-MASONS, there has lately happen'd a Discovery of abundance of their secret Signs and Wonders," etc. In other words, this was supposed to be a kind of exposé of Masonic "secrets". The important point in the matter is that Franklin stated that "several lodges" were then in existence in Pennsylvania. If he was correct in his statement it necessarily follows that organized Masonry had existed in the Province before 1730. Was he correct? He was at that time only twenty-four years of age, and not yet a Mason; Masonry at that time was considered a very mysterious affair about which many rumors were afloat, so that it may very well have been that Franklin was merely passing on a bit of gossip without foundation in fact. On the other hand he had been in London during 1725-6, where he might have learned about Freemasonry, had then resided in Pennsylvania for three years, and had been one of the publishers of the Gazette since September, 1728; he was wide awake to everything going on in the Province, keen for news, and quick to catch at every movement of general interest, so that he may very well have ascertained the facts for himself. It is one of the many points on which each reader will wish to form his own opinion.

In forming that opinion a reader will need to examine in this connection the claims made for the famous "Bell letter." That much discussed document, the very existence of which has been called in question, was written in 1754 (or is alleged to have been written) by one Henry Bell, of Lancaster, Pa., to Thomas Cadwallader, a physician of Philadelphia. It reads in part:

"As you well know, I was one of the originators of the first Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia. A party of us used to meet at the Tun Tavern, in Water Street, and sometimes opened a Lodge there. Once in the fall of 1730 we formed a design of obtaining a Charter for a regular Lodge, and made application to the Grand Lodge of England for one, but before receiving it we heard that Daniel Coxe of New Jersey had been appointed by that Grand Lodge as Provincial Grand Master of New York New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We therefore made application to him, and our request was granted."

If this letter could be proved authentic it would be of the utmost importance, for it would settle many points at issue; but unfortunately that seems to be impossible. Bro. Clifford P. MacCalla, editor of the Key Stone, one time Grand Master of Pennsylvania, and one of the carefulest Masonic scholars Pennsylvania has produced, gave a cautious statement concerning the letter in an address to Quatuor Coronati Lodge in London, in which he said: "It [the Bell letter] was — in 1872 — in the possession of a Mr. Bancker (since deceased), and an extract was by permission made from it by Brother Francis Blackburne, a clerk in the Grand Secretary's office, Masonic Temple, Philadelphia, in that year, but it has never been seen since. Besides, Henry Bell does not appear to have been a member of St. John's Lodge, so that it seems not to have been the Lodge referred to in the letter as warranted by Coxe. We can surmise what we may, but we cannot at the present tine prove that Coxe warranted either the Philadelphia St. John's Lodge of 1731-1738, or any other Lodge — although the latter is implied in the Bell letter, if it is to be regarded as authentic. In the absence of the original, however, we may not fairly argue anything from it."

The Library Committee of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania said of the letter: "The letter was exhibited in the Grand Secretary's office, Philadelphia, in 1872. It bore all marks of being genuine, and we have no doubt of its being correct." But the Committee failed to furnish the grounds on which it based this decision. By what method did it prove a document authentic 118 years after it had been written? Where had the letter been all the while? "These," remarked Sereno D. Nickerson, "and numerous other questions, must be satisfactorily answered before we can admit this piece of evidence." Gould and Hughan agreed with Nickerson, and so did John Ross Robertson. Bro. J. H. Drummond refused to admit even the probability of its genuineness. He says:

"Liber B [of which more anon] shows that the statement of the writer of the letter that he was connected with this Lodge is absolutely false. It shows that he was never a member of it, nor made in it, or had anything to do with it."

Bro. Melvin Johnson (Beginnings of Freemasonry in America) goes a step farther and calls the whole letter "a 'fake' pure and simple."

The letter, as already read, was not produced until 118 years after it had been (supposedly) written; only an extract was published; Bell's name does not appear in the St. John's Lodge roster; there is no known record of the Coxe charter; the letter sounds as if only one lodge existed in Philadelphia in 1730, whereas Franklin said there were several; after 1872 the letter passed utterly from sight and has remained so; these are a few of the reasons for questioning the authenticity of the document. On the other side of the argument is the plain statement made by the Grand Lodge Library Committee, and such considerations as have been urged by Bro. McGregor in his article printed on page 328 of this issue.

Another important item in connection with early Pennsylvania Freemasonry, also much debated, is the "Tho. Carmick MS.," of which a critical analysis was contributed to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, XXII, page 95, by Bro. W. J. Hughan, the authority par excellence on the Old Charges. This MS. is a copy, or so it is believed, of an older document, which Bro. W. J. Songhurst believes may have originally come from Scotland, an opinion based on certain peculiarities of diction. Dr. Julius Sachse, who edited it for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (it was published by that Grand Body in 1908), described it as consisting of "twenty-two pages, eight by six inches, and is signed by Bro. Thomas Carmick, a connection of the Frazer family, whose name also appears upon one of its pages." At page 20 is a signature by Persifor Frazer to the effect that he owned it in 1756. Opposite Carmick's signature is the date "1727." A complete transcription is given in A.Q.C., as above referred to.

If this MS. be accepted as genuine it proves that a lodge, or lodges, must have been active in Pennsylvania three years and more before Franklin's item in his Gazette. Bro. Hughan appears to accept its genuineness; he writes that the MS. "is most suggestive of the probability that the original from which this transcript was made in 1727, was used at initiations (as also the copy itself) by members of St. John's Lodge, Philadelphia." Bro. Johnson rejects all such claims: "The contention is unworthy of serious discussion. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts owns a similar manuscript dated 1677 but makes no claim by virtue thereof." (See also Massachusetts Grand Lodge Proceedings, 1909, pp. 105-109.) This abrupt dismissal of the Carmick MS. will not satisfy all critical readers of The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America; for one thing, Bro. Hughan found it worthy of serious consideration; for another, it is difficult to see what the spuriousness of a MS. in Boston has to do with the genuineness of a MS. in Philadelphia.

On turning next to the case of Daniel Coxe (also spelled "Cox") we are on surer ground, at least so far as records are concerned, though it also raises many questions not yet answered. Coxe enjoyed the distinction of receiving the first deputation to serve as a Provincial Grand Master on this continent. He was the son of Dr. Daniel Coxe, of London, who had been physician to Queen Anne, and later Governor of the Province of New Jersey. The son was born in London, Aug. 3, 1673, and was brought to New Jersey early in life. He went to England in 1716, where in 1723 he published a book, A Description of the English Province of Carolina, in which he sought to enforce his claim, inherited from his father, to a vast region comprising most of the southeastern corner of what is now the United States. He was a member of Lodge No. 8, which met at the Devil Tavern, London, and had been constituted in 1722 (not "1772", as given by Gould). Records show that some time after 1728 he returned to America.

On June 5, 1730, the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of England, appointed Coxe Provincial Grand Master for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The deputation is printed in full in Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. X, pages 123-125, and shows that his authority was for a limited time only, from "the Feast of St. John the Baptist next ensuing" (June 24) "for the Space of two years." The text shows that application for this authority had been "made unto us by our Rt. Worshipful and well beloved Brother Daniel Cox of New Jersey Esq. and by several other Brethren free and accepted Masons residing and about to reside in the said Provinces." In the same volume of Q.C.A. — it contains "The Minutes of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, 1723-1739, Illustrated With Plates and Facsimiles, With Introduction and Notes by William John Songhurst" — it is shown that Coxe was present at a Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held Jan. 29, 1731, and that his health was drunk, on proposal by the Deputy Grand Master, as "Provincial Grand Master of North America."

This proves that the Grand Lodge of England exercised authority over lodges on this continent, and that Coxe was undoubtedly considered officially in office, but neither these records nor any other prove that Coxe ever exercised his authority here by presiding over a Grand Lodge or by issuing charters for the formation or regularization of lodges, unless one is prepared to accept the very dubious testimony of the Bell letter, above described. It has been almost universally alleged by American writers that Coxe was not even in these Colonies during his term in office, but Bro. McGregor has offered proof in his article already referred to that this opinion must now be revised. His proof, however valuable it is, has thus far a negative value only; it yet remains to show that Coxe issued a charter to St. John's Lodge of Philadelphia, or any other.

In the meantime one very important fact must stand; the deputation to Coxe proves that in 1730, and presumably before, there were Masons in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, else nobody would have petitioned for a Grand Master; and that there was a lodge, or lodges, in existence sufficiently regular to meet the approval of the Grand Lodge of England, else Grand Lodge would have paid no attention to that petition.

There is another important piece of evidence to prove that at least as early as 1731 there was an active lodge in Philadelphia: this is in the form of a lodge ledger discovered in 1884 by Clifford P. MacCalla, which piece of good luck he himself described as follows: "In 1884 I had the good fortune to discover, among the archives of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Liber B. of St. John's Lodge, Philadelphia City — as the inscription on the cover of the vellum-bound volume describes it, and which is well-known to you all. It is the original stock or ledger account kept by the Secretary with the members of the Lodge." In opening his records the secretary evidently made use of a book that had already served for other purposes; after twenty-three pages filled with an index of the Masonic entries there follow a number of records having no Masonic reference at all. The Masonic records are in the back of the volume. The earliest accounts with members of the lodge begin under date of June 24, 1731, at which time there were evidently at least fourteen members. By carefully checking up the lodge members named in this ledger Bro. MacCalla showed them to have been of high standing in the community: eight were members of the American Philosophical Society; nine were lawyers; seven were judges; four were mayors of the city; two, sheriffs; two, physicians; two, coroners; and two, Governors of the Province.

Other items of importance in the story of early Pennsylvania Masonry will follow in due order; those already noted will, I trust, have made clear the principal point at issue as between the brethren of that Province and of Massachusetts as to Masonic priority so far as the Pennsylvania side of the case is concerned. The point may be thus framed: The Grand Lodge of England adopted on June 24, 1721, a regulation (given in the preceding Study Club article) to the effect that no Masonic lodge could be accepted as regular and duly constituted except it show a dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; did St. John's Lodge of Philadelphia, shown to have been active in 1731, have such a dispensation? If not, it was not regular, according to the regulation adopted ten years before; if so, it was the first known regular lodge on this continent. So far as the present studies are concerned this point must remain in suspense until other sides of the issue are set forth.

The Philadelphia of 1730 was already one of the most interesting towns in the Colonies with a history behind it full of color, dramatic incident, and of promise of greater things to come. Its population had not reached any great proportion, but the people were astir with life; there was a suggestion of electricity in the spirit of the place, for all the sobering influence of the Quakers, and the hampering effects of pioneer conditions. The streets went unpaved until 1761, when Second Street received a hard surface at the cost of $7500, raised by a raffle. Street lighting did not come in until 1742; carpets were first used in 1750; umbrellas were looked upon as a sissified contraption until after 1771; carriages did not become popular until after the Revolution. Ladies in their best dresses went off to their soirées on horseback through the mud. The first English school was opened in 1683. In 1699 Captain Kidd, more admired in story-tellers' yarns than he was in real life, played havoc with Philadelphia shipping; four of his men were tried in the town for piracy. Kidd was followed by other pirates. Three newspapers were published prior to the Revolution: The American Weekly Mercury, begun in 1719; Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette, dating back to 1729; and the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser, launched in 1742 as a successor to the Mercury. Slavery was common until after the Revolutionary period. The famous state house was first proposed in 1729; contracts were let in March 1732-3; the superstructure was erected during Franklin's term as Grand Master; the Assembly met in one of its rooms in 1735; the chamber now known as Independence Hall was added in 1742; and the little steeple in which Liberty Bell was hung was completed in 1751. A number of active Masons took a prominent part in this enterprise as they did in almost every other forward movement in the little city. Of these Benjamin Franklin was always among the chief; a detailed account of his Masonic activities, to be given next month, will assist to fill in the picture of Pennsylvania Freemasonry as it was known in its beginnings.


On the Bell letter see Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Melvin M. Johnson, New York, 1924, page 59. History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, Stillson, Hughan, etc., Boston and New York, 1891, pages 221, 273. History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould; Cin. and Chicago; Vol. IV, page 232. History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, Henry W. Rugg; Providence; 1895; page 24. History of Freemasonry in Maryland, Edw. T. Schultz; Baltimore, 1884; Vol. I, page 20. Freemasonry in Michigan, Jefferson S. Conover, Coldwater, 1897, Vol. I, page 6. History of Freemasonry in Canada, John Ross Robertson; Toronto; 1900; Vol. I, page 142. History of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in New York From the Earliest Date, Charles T. McClenachan, New York; 1888, Vol. I, page 70. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Robert I. Clegg; Chicago; 1921; page 1326. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; Vol. XXII, page 95.

The case for the Carmick MS. needs a thorough overhauling. See The Constitutions of St. John's Lodge, Julius F. Sachse; Philadelphia; 1908. A.Q.C., Vol. XXII, page 95. Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907, Norris S. Barratt and Julius F. Sachse, Philadelphia; 1908; Vol. I, page 2. Clegg, 1326. Johnson, page 56. On this subject, as on all others connected with Pennsylvania, the careful student will need all the titles published by the Library Committee of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The present librarian, Bro. J. E. Burnett Buckenham, Masonic Temple, Philadelphia, will furnish a printed list.

On Daniel Coxe. Stillson & Hughan print the deputation in full, page 219. Johnson; page 56. History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang; New York; 1922, page 11. Robertson; Vol. I; page 140. Gould, Vol. IV; pages 230, 362. A.Q.C., Vol. III; page 124. Conover; Vol. I; page 5. Gould, Concise History, Macoy Edition, page 437. Barratt and Sachse; Vol. I; page 443. Rugg; page 24. Schultz, Vol. I page 20. History of Lodge No. 61, F. and A. M., Wilkesbarre Pa., Oscar Jewell Harvey; Wilkesbarre; 1897; page 15. Q.C.A., Vol. X; pages 123 and 139, 140. Clegg; page 1325. History of Grand Lodge of Iowa, A. F. and A. M., Joseph E. Morcombe; Cedar Rapids; 1910; Vol. I; page 33. Massachusetts Grand Lodge Proceedings, 1888, pages 131-137.

On "Liber B." Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason, Julius F. Sachse, Philadelphia; 1906, see index. Account of St. John's Lodge, Philadelphia, and its Liber B. James M. Lamberton. Johnson pages 31, 63. A.Q.C.; page 124. Gould, Vol. IV; page 23i. Hughan & Stillson; page 272. Rugg; page 25. Clegg, page 1602. McClenachan, Vol. I, page 72. A. Q. C.; Vol. XXII; page 96 (by Hughan). Barratt & Sachse; Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, Vol. I; page 2.

On early Philadelphia there are numberless books, of which three can be mentioned: A Short History of Philadelphia; Susan Coolidge; Boston; 1887. Philadelphia, the Place, and the People; Agnes Repplier; New York; 1899. The Romance of Old Philadelphia, John T. Faris, Philadelphia; 1918.

General references, in addition to those already given. The Evolution of Freemasonry, Delmar Duane Darrah, Bloomington, Ill.; 1920; page 224. The Builders, Joseph Fort Newton; New York, 1924; page 206.

The general subject dealt with in this, and to be dealt with in succeeding chapters, has been discussed with unusual fullness in THE BUILDER; May 1915, page 111; July 1915, page 163; August 1915, page 174, October 1915, page 229; November 1915, page 251, March 1916, page 70; July 1916, page 211; October 1916, page 317, page 320, November 1917, C. C. B., page 5, May 1917, page 156; May 1918, page 152; February 1919, page 35; November 1923, page 329; April 1924, page 109.


What is the important point in Franklin's printed item? What was the date of this item? What is meant by an "expose"? How old was Franklin at this time? Give the substance of the "Bell letter." Who was MacCalla? What was his estimate of the letter? What did the Pennsylvania Library Committee think of it? Nickerson? Drummond? Johnson? Why is the authenticity of the letter questioned?

What was the "Carmick MS."? What is Songhurst's theory concerning it? Describe the manuscript. What is Hughan's estimate of it? Johnson's?

Who was Daniel Coxe? What were his American claims? Where did he hold his Masonic membership? When was he made Provincial Grand Master? Over what Provinces? By whom? Describe his deputation. What does his deputation prove? Did he ever exercise his authority?

What is meant by Liber B? By whom and when was it discovered? What does it indicate concerning early Philadelphia Masonry?

What is the point at issue between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania? Describe Philadelphia as it was in 1730. What do you know about Franklin as a Freemason? What is meant by "duly constituted" Masonry? What has been your own theory as to where "duly constituted" Masonry began in this country?

* * *

"God sends His teachers into every age;
To every clime and every race of men
With revelation fitted to their growth
And shape of mind. Nor gives the realm of truth
Into the selfish rule of one sole race.
Therefore, each form of worship that hath swayed
The life of man, and given it to grasp
The master key of knowledge — reverence
Infolds some germs of goodness and of right."

* * *


I have been appointed trustee to dispose of the Masonic Library of a deceased brother. There are some six hundred titles all told, comprising encyclopedias, bibliographies, histories, philosophies, symbolism, jurisprudence, constitutions and old charges, anti-Masonry, pyramids, phallic and serpent worship, druidism, Roslcrucianism, occultism, and practically all the other subjects that come with the Masonic field. Among the more important items are a set of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vols. I to XXXIII; complete set of the New Age Magazine, Vol. I to date; Hutton Webster's Primitive Secret Societies, thirteen George Oliver items, six Henry Sadler items, Upton's Negro Masonry; six Hughan items; Leader Scott's Cathedral Builders etc. No lists will be furnished to dealers. Individual brother Masons in need of any of these titles may secure complete information by addressing a letter to the undersigned.

Frank W. Chandler (Trustee),
Rucker Ave.,
Everett, Wash.

* * *



I had the chance recently to see a rare curiosity in the way of an old English book. It was apparently printed at about Francis Bacon's time. The title page is flanked by two pillars; can it be possible that these had anything to do with our own Great Pillars?

L.P.G., Virginia.

Forgive us, Bro. L.P.G., for condensing your fine long letter into a few words. Inasmuch as the writer is neither a bibliographer nor the son of a bibliographer, he offers an amateur's reply to your inquiry, in the hopes that some reader learned in such matters will make himself heard. There MAY be some remote connection between the design described by you and our own Great Pillars but the probabilities are very much against it, and the probabilities are somewhat in favor of the two pillars on your old book representing the Pillars of Hercules, which stand at the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, and which in Bacon's time very frequently appeared in books and works of art as two huge posts or pillars. Again it is possible that your pillars were merely conventionalized representations of the two door-posts of some cathedral or other public building. It was not at all uncommon during the fifteenth and sixteen centuries for a front cover or title page of a book to be designed as the entrance to such a building, suggesting no doubt that a reader was about to enter a house of learning. In our files we possess a photograph of the Directorium humanae vitae, published in 1488-1493, which carries as a full page illustration the cut of an entrance to some ecclesiastical structure, flanked by two pillars; also the photograph of a Hortus Sanitatis, published in 1488, of which the same may be said; similarly a work of Occam of 1497; also Breydenbach's Peregrinations in Terram Sanctam, the first illustrated travel book ever published, of date 1502; a Dutch Chronicle of 1530, resplendent with a fine doubleheaded eagle; Horae B. V. M., of about 1506; Robert Gaguin's La Mer des Croniques, etc., 1518; an edition of the Book of Ecclesiasticus, 1563; and so on. In all of these, two flanking pillars appear, but in every case they are evidently intended to represent the door-posts of a building — not any building in particular, but just a building, a church perhaps or monastery. In this same connection it is interesting to note that in two of these photographs appear the familiar square and compasses (or "compass," if you prefer). They are very distinctly worked into the ornamental initial of an Opus Geographie, by Claud Ptolemaeus, published in 1522; and also into the title page designs of Arithmetica Practica, by Orontius Finaeus, 1535. The last item is especially interesting to the Masonic bookworm. In its ornate design are eight medallions representing variously astronomy, music, geography, arithmetic, with Ptolemy, Orpheus, Euclid, and Algus correspondingly opposite. Ptolemy holds a sextant, our jewel of a Past Master, in his righ hand; Geography holds a square in her left hand and a pair of compasses in her right. Were the square and compasses used in those days as an emblem of geography? Perhaps some erudite reader can tell us.

* * *


Please inform me through the Question Box what man wrote a book called Man and His Martyrdom. Does it have anything to do with Masonry?

W.T.Y., New York.

You very doubtless have in mind The Martyrdom of Man, by Winwood Reade, one of the most extraordinary books of recent times, and one that has gone through nearly thirty editions, the latest of which is an issue by Watts &; Co., Fleet Street, London, E.C. 4, retailing at 2s. 6d. Reade (a nephew of Charles Reade, the novelist, author of The Cloister and the Hearth, a book you should know) began by planning a history of Africa but in working at his subject found it necessary to incorporate in it a history of all religions, from primitive cults down to Mohammed; and at last also brought into it a survey of the evolution of the human mind, the materials for which were accumulated before Darwin published his Descent of Man. As completed, the book was really a history of the world in one volume. Cecil Rhodes said of it, "This book has made me what I am." Sir Harry Johnson wished that a copy might be given to every young man in the United Kingdom and in the United States upon reaching twenty-one. H. G. Wells paid a tribute to it in the introduction to his The Outline of History after this manner: "Remarkably few sketches of universal history by one single author have been written. One book that has influenced me very strongly is Winwood Reade's Martyrdom of Man. This 'dates,' as people say nowadays, and it has a fine gloom of its own; but it is still an extraordinarily inspiring presentation of human history as one consistent process." "Gloom" is well said, for it is doubtful if a more pessimistic volume was ever printed; it is so exceedingly pessimistic that only its marvelous style saves it from being too depressing for perusal by normal human beings, but that style is verbal magic pure and simple, enthralling, enchanting, unforgettable. Ye scribe will never forget the day when, standing in a summer excursion train for seven solid hours, he plowed through it from end to end without a stop, the last page as breathless as the first.

It is difficult to believe that the pessimist who penned The Martyrdom wrote also The Veil of Isis. It may be, Bro. W.T.Y., that you have had this title in mind, for it has many things to say about Masonry, notably this fine tribute:

"The doctrines of Masonry are the most beautiful that it is possible to imagine. They breathe the simplicity of the earliest ages animated by the love of a martyred God. That word which the Puritans translated 'Charity,' but which is really 'Love,' is the keystone which supports the entire edifice of this mystic science. Love one another, teach one another, help one another. That is all our doctrine, all our science, all our law. We have no narrow-minded prejudices, we do not debar from our society this sect or that sect, it is sufficient for us that a man worship God, no matter under what name or in what manner. Ah! rail against us bigoted and ignorant men if you will. Those who listen to the truths which Masonry inculcates can readily forgive you. It is impossible to be a good Mason without being a good man."

* * *


Who published an old magazine called The Freemasons' Monthly? When? Where? Was Webb's Monitor published in more than one edition?

L.H.L., Missouri.

According to Josiah H. Drummond's Masonic Historical and Bibliographical Memoranda, The Freemason's Monitor, or Illustrations of Masonry, by Thomas Smith Webb, was issued seventeen times, first in Albany, N.Y., 1797, and last, New York, 1866. Rob Morris published an edition, Cincinnati, 1869, with many changes and additions; and in 1860 issued still another edition, which has been re-issued many times. Another noteworthy edition of this old classic was published by Enoch T. Carson, Cincinnati, 1858, and many times re-issued since. The same may be said of an edition put out by George W. Chaen, Boston, no date given. Will bibliographical readers send further notes on Webb? The Freemasons' Monthly Magazine was an octave monthly of thirty-two pages, published at Boston, edited by Charles W. Moore. It happens that the Drummond work quoted just above contains a paragraph concerning this great monthly, quoted here as furnishing Drummond's own opinion of one of the best Masonic journals ever produced:

"Edited and published by Charles W. Moore, he issued the first number in November, 1841; it was begun as it ended, an octave of thirty-two pages, published monthly. For thirty-one years, month after month, he issued the magazine without a single lapse. The thirty-first volume closed in October, 1872, and he delayed the commencement of the thirty-second volume till January, 1873; he lived to complete that volume; with it he finished his work on earth. This magazine was the first published that was exclusively Masonic. Its effect on the jurisprudence of Masonry cannot be estimated. It is justly regarded as one of the most valuable works in a Masonic library."

Our own set of this valuable old magazine is bound in fraying sheepskin, after the fashion of law books, and some of the volumes bear the autograph of T. S. Parvin. If a reader chances to own a set, or any volumes belonging to it, he will find plenty of brethren ready to buy.

* * *


The visit of Lafayette to the United States in 1824-25, on invitation by Congress, was a memorable event. He was sought as a public guest in all parts of the country; his course was amid a universal tumult of honor and praise: and the nation thronged around him to testify with one voice its gratitude and love. Congress voted him a grant of $200,000 and a township of land. Lafayette's son, George Washington Lafayette (1779-1849), named after George Washington, and whom Lafayette sent to live with Washington during the French Revolution, figured in French republican polities of the nineteenth century.

During Lafayette's visit to the United States, he was the guest of honor at banquets in all of our principal cities, and the guest at many Masonic functions held in his honor. At these times he was made an honorary member of many Masonic lodges, how many I do not know. He was made a member of Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4, Fredericksburg, Va.

The badge, the photograph of which appears herewith, was photographed by me in Fredericksburg November, 1923. It is owned by Mr. Fred I. Crane, formerly of New York, but now I believe living somewhere in Louisiana. This badge was worn by Myron King, the engraver of it, who lived at Troy, N.Y., at a banquet given Lafayette in Albany, New York, 1825. It was given by him to his son, who gave it to Mr. Crane. It is printed on cream colored silk, and is in a perfect state of preservation. At the top are the holes made by the pin which held it on the lapel of Mr. King's coat on the night of the banquet, ninety-nine years ago, and at the bottom, written in lead pencil, is the date, 1825.

I wish to know the names of all the Masonic lodges that made Lafayette an honorary member. This information will be appreciated by me, if the brethren who know any lodges of which he was such a member, will write me giving the dates and the names of the lodges.

— John J. Lanier, Fredericksburg, Va.

* * *


Through THE BUILDER for May, 1924, Bro. L. B. Mitchell, of Michigan, asked concerning the highest lodge in the world. The highest lodge in the world is located in Cerro de Pasco, Peru, at an altitude of 14,208 feet above the level of the sea. The members of this Scottish lodge, named "Roof of the World," have held meetings on a summit of the mountain (15,575 feet high) on the side of which Cerro de Pasco is situated.

S. Stickney, Philippine Islands.

* * *


In reading the history of Scottish Rite Masonry, I find mention in several places of the "Secret Constitutions" of that body.

Reprint, Northern Jurisdiction, 1861-1858, shows that the Northern and Southern Supreme Councils "hold in their archives certified copies of the Secret Constitutions derived from the Grand Consistory held at Paris in 1761."

Northern Jurisdiction Proceedings, 1870, show that a copy of the Secret Constitutions was transmitted by Bro. J. J. J. Gourgas to his successor and came into possession of Bro. J. H. Drummond through the hands of his predecessors.

I would appreciate it very much if you would inform me through the Question Box in THE BUILDER, what these "Secret Constitutions" are. By whom, when and where were they promulgated? What was their purpose, and why secret?

Thanking you in advance for any information you may give me on the above matter, I am,

J.A.G., Texas.

Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, Editor of The Master Mason, San Diego, Cal., has been kind enough to prepare an exhaustive reply to your inquiry for publication here:

In answer to the questions submitted by your correspondent as to the "Secret Constitutions" of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, I would say the reason they are called "Secret Constitutions" is because that is their name as given in the original document.

They were promulgated, according to the assertions therein, by Frederick, King of Prussia, better known as Frederick the Great.

This assertion was considered by many Masonic writers for a long time as an apocryphal statement. In this view the writer thoroughly coincided for a time, but after a careful examination of all the facts and the written documents now in existence, he has been led to reach the same conclusion as Albert Pike expressed so strongly. That is, that the constitutions are genuine and were drawn up by direction of Frederick II, signed by him despite all assertions to the contrary, and promulgated to all the countries where there were bodies of the Scottish Rite.

Frederick was initiated Aug. 14, 1738, as is well known. When the lodge "To the Three Globes" was formed, in 1740, he turned it into the Grand Lodge of the same name, became its Grand Master and was borne on its list of officers as such until 1757. In 1758 the Scottish "Chapter of Clermont" was formed and added to that Grand Lodge as higher degrees of Scottish origin. On July 19, 1760, this chapter of Scottish degrees took the title of "Premier Chapter of Clermont," which is supposed to be the date when Frederick placed himself at the head of the Scottish degrees. According to the first circular letter issued by the Supreme Council of the A. & A. S. R., in 1802, Charles Edward Stuart, known as the "Young Pretender" of the royal line of Scotland, transferred his authority over these Scottish degrees to Frederick, and this took place either on Oct. 25, 1762, when the Constitutions were adopted by the Grand Council of Berlin and signed by Frederick, or when the "Premier Chapter of Clermont" adopted that title two years before. Charles Edward had formed a chapter of the Scottish degrees at Arras April 15, 1747, and was present at the meeting described in his diary by Baron van Hund in 1742, at Paris, when the Earl of Kilmarnock, then Grand Master of Scotland, and also Master of the Lodge Mother Kilwinning, in a lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, gave Baron von Hund the Templar and Scottish degrees which van Hund took to Germany, and which Templar degrees were given in St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston in 1769.

On July 16, 1774, Frederick the Great granted his protection to the National Grand Lodge of Germany and officially approved the treaty with the Grand Lodge of England by which the National Grand Lodge had been established. In the year 1777 the Mother Lodge, "Royal York of Friendship," now a Grand Lodge at Berlin, celebrated by a festival the king's birthday (Jan. 24, 1712), on which occasion he wrote to them: "I cannot but be sensible of the new homage of the Lodge Royal York of Friendship on the occasion the anniversary of my birth, bearing as it does the evidence of its zeal and attachment for my person. Its Orator has well expressed the sentiments which animate all its labors, and a society which employs itself only in sowing the seed and bringing forth the fruit of every kind of virtue in my dominions may always be assured of my protection. It is the glorious task of every good Sovereign, and I will never cease to fulfill it. And so I pray God to take you and your lodge under His holy and deserved protection. Potsdam, this 14th day of February, 1777. [Signed] Frederic."

There were two such constitutions, one of which is entitled "Constitution and Regulations drawn up by Nine Commissioners appointed Ad Hoc by the Sovereign Grand Sublime Council of the Royal Secret, Orients of Paris and B—," dated Oct. 25, 1762, and the other entitled "The Most Secret Institutes and Basis of the Most Ancient and Associated Freemasons, which is styled the Royal and Military Order of Working in Stone," dated May 1, 1786.

On April 30, 1770, a Grand Chapter of Princes of the Royal Secret was formed at Kingston, Jamaica, by Stephen Morin and Henry A. Francken, the latter of whom had formed the Ineffable Lodge of Perfection in Albany on Dec. 20, 1767. With that Lodge of Perfection Francken left a copy of the Patent to Stephen Morin, given in 1761, and to this was appended a copy of the Constitutions of 1762, and these were in the collection of Enoch T. Carson (see page 617, Vol. IV, Gould's History, American edition) while the original charter of that lodge was given in fac-simile in THE BUILDER, June, 1920. As this copy of the Constitutions of 1762 was deposited only five years after they were drawn up, it would seem strange that so much doubt has been cast on the authenticity of these Constitutions did we not know of the bitter struggles for supremacy between rival bodies.

This charter of the Albany Lodge of Perfection says that Henry Andrew Francken was authorized to confer the degrees UP TO THE 29TH! The charter of the Grand Chapter of the Princes of the Royal Secret at Kingston, Jamaica, bears date of April 30, 1770, and is positive proof of the fact that the Constitutions of 1762 were genuine and that there was a Supreme Council of Nine Commissioners at Berlin as this MS. is in the Carson collection, for it says (Gould, IV, page 634, American edition), "And that ye shall strictly behave yourselves to all the statutes, rules and regulations of the Nine Commissioners named by the Grand Chapter of the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret at the Grand East of Paris and PRUSSIA. Consequently, by the deliberations dated the 7th of December, 1762, to be ratified and observed by the aforesaid Grand Chapter of Prussia and France — to govern and regulate all Lodges, Councils, Grand Councils, Grand Chapters, Consistories, from the Secret Master to the Royal Secret," etc. This was only eight years after these Constitutions were drawn up and the words conform to the title of the Constitutions of 1762.

The minutes of the Albany Lodge of Perfection read:

"Albany, 3rd Sept. 1770.

"Br. Stringer, Depy. Inspr. acquainting the Body that he had receiv'd an Order from the Founder" (Francken) "to transmit the Minutes of the Lodge & the state thereof to be forwarded to Berlin: in order that Minutes & Accounts might be regularly Enter's and Posted in their proper Books purchased for that use."

Albert Pike, in his Historical Inquiry, on page 153, et seq., gives a view of Frederick which is in consonance with the facts of history and which should be read in its entirety. "It will be seen," he said, "that toward the end of his life he had reasons for wishing to control Masonry." The long and carefully written description by Gen. Pike of events in Germany gives powerful and sensible reasons for the acceptance of the chieftainship of this Order, which enabled him to control Masonry in Germany by putting himself at its head and thus defeating the intrigues of the Papacy.

The Constitutions of 1786, after its title "The Most Secret Institutes and Basis," etc., goes on to say, "We, Frederick, by the Grace of God King of Prussia, Margrave of Brandenberg, etc., etc. Supreme Grand Protector, Grand Commander, Universal Grand Master and Defender of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Ancient Free and Associated Masons or Builders or of the Royal and Military Order of the Free Art of Working in Stone or of Free Masonry."

These Constitutions combine the various Scottish rites "known under the several names of the Ancient, that of Heredom or Hairdom, that of the Orient (or East) of Kilwinning, that of Saint Andrew, that of the Emperors of the East and West, that of the Princes of the Royal Secret or of Perfection, the Philosophic Rite, and that most recent rite of all, known as Primitive" (which last had a rite of thirty-three degrees according to John Yarker). This document goes on to say:

"Wherefore, adopting as the basis of our conservative reformation the first of these rites and the number of the degrees of the hierarchy of the last,

"WE DO DECLARE them all to be now and henceforth united and aggregated into one single order which professing the Dogma and the pure and undefiled doctrines of the Ancient Art of Masonry embraces all the systems of the Scottish Rite united together under the title of 'The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.' The entire doctrine will be communicated to Masons in 33 degrees," etc.

The Constitutions and Statutes adopted at this time provided for a council of nine members in each country of the 33rd and last degree and were signed by Frederic D'Esterno (then French Ambassador at Berlin), Starek and Woellner (both well known members of the Higher Degrees), H. Wilhelm, and others whose names are now illegible.

There is a certificate in Latin attached to the original Latin Constitutions of 1786, dated the 23rd of February, 1834, sealed with the seal of the Supreme Council of France and signed by Lafayette and eight others of nearly equal prominence in Masonry in France certifying that they had compared with it the authentic French copy of the "True Secret and Fundamental Institutes, Statutes, Constitutions and Appendices of the first of May, 1786" (V.E.) of which the official copies are deposited and have been carefully and faithfully preserved in all their purity among the archives of the Order. They, therefore, certified that the said copies were faithfully and literally conformable to the original documents. This certificate is printed by Sieter, one of the signers, and is given in full in Robert B. Folger, A. & A. Scottish Rite, New York, 1862, page 263.

In Article II of the Constitutions of 1762, there are but twenty-five degrees catalogued, which would seem to show that it was the Rite of Perfection or Emperors of the East and West, while the Constitutions of 1786 raised the number of degrees to thirty-three as we now know them and christened the rite the "Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite."

Yet we see in the Charter of Albany Lodge of Perfection that Francken was authorized to communicate "up to the 29th" degree, and it would seem from that fact that Morin and Francken must have known of the new arrangement and introduced the extra degrees.

We read in the records of the Grand Lodge of France, at the sitting of Aug. 17, 1766 (see Folger, page 37), which was five years after Morin received his patent: "That considering the carelessness and the various alterations into the Royal Art by Worshipful Brother Morin, her late Inspector, the Worshipful Grand Lodge annuls the Brief of Inspector granted said Brother Morin and deems proper for the good of the Royal Art to cause him to be replaced by Worshipful Bro. Martin, Master of the St. Frederic Lodge, and that his letters of Constitution for America be ratified."

This revocation does not seem to have been regarded by Morin or to have had any effect on his activities as the Grand Lodge was only one of the two powers that united to give him his patent. We find him four years later at Kingston, Jamaica, an English island, acting under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of Berlin and Paris. The Albany Lodge of Perfection was instructed to send their minutes to the Grand Council of Berlin and nowhere is there any evidence of any attention being paid to the Grand Lodge of France.

This Grand Lodge of France has originally been started as a Provincial Grand Lodge by the Grand Lodge of England and then called itself the National Grand Lodge of France. In opposition to these English lodges, there had been organized Scottish bodies by the Grand Lodge of Scotland before the National Grand Lodge of France was organized. According to French historians this was done by Dr. Ramsay and the Grand Master of Scotland himself, the Earl of Kilmarnock, related in the diary of Baron von Hund as having taken place in 1742.

From the statement made by the Grand Lodge of France, it would seem that there were alterations made by Stephen Morin who was an American of French Huguenot descent born in New York City, and it would seem that these alterations were ordered by his superiors and recognized in the Constitutions of 1786, for Frederick of Prussia did not hesitate, in 1740, to raise the local lodge, "The Three Globes," to the dignity of a Grand Lodge by his own dictum, and his action was recognized by the Grand Lodge of England as perfectly proper.

Such is a brief story of the Secret Constitutions of 1762 and 1786 to which all Scottish Rite Masons yield obedience and over which barrels of ink have been spilled in days gone by, especially by the French writers opposed to the Scottish Rite Supreme Council of France.

If it would be considered necessary or advisable, I should be glad to furnish verbatim translations of these two Constitutions taken from the best authorities and shedding much light on the development of the Scottish Rite.

Cyrus Field Willard, San Diego, Cal.

* * *


A member asks for some information: "Can you advise me if the Colonel Driver, of whom Bro. John W. Barry speaks as 'Old Glory Driver,' was a Mason, and if so where was he raised? Can you tell me who suggested the motto 'In God We Trust' for our American coin, and if he was a Mason? I have somewhere read that he was a Mason from Virginia."

H.V.S., New Hampshire.

Bro. Barry's reference will be found on page 11 of his The Story of Old Glory, published by the National Masonic Research Society. He based it on Essex Institute Historical Collections, July, 1901, page 261.

From another inquirer we have this: "Somewhere I read a story — it was some time back — relating that the American degrees were conferred in a lodge in England. I think it was during the World War. Can you publish the facts if this is trued"

W.P.B., New York.

* * *


Bro. A.B.C., of Michigan, author of "A General Account of the Swedish Rite," in the September issue, asks permission to correct an error that slipped past both him and Ye Editor:

"I was guilty of a lapses pennae on page 260 of my article, upper left-hand corner, in mentioning Derwentwater as Grand Master in London instead of in Paris. In his Frimureriet, the Danish Professor Starcke tells us that Count Ch. Radcliffe Derwentwater was Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge at Paris in 1737, that he resigned in the same year, and no successor was elected. Undoubtedly Starcke — who by the way is no Mason himself — had his information from German sources."

Bro. Cyrus F. Willard, editor of The Master Mason, San Diego, Cal., adds this interesting note:

"Lord Derwentwater was Grand Master of the English (Provincial) Grand Lodge at Paris, according to Rebold's list, in 1735. According to the same list, p. 688, Histoire des Trois Grandes Lodges, Lord Harnouester was Grand Master of the English Provincial Grand Lodge of France only a part of the year 1737, for Rebold says, page 45 idein, 'In 1737 Lard Harnouester, the second provincial Grand Master wishing to return to England, demanded before his departure that he be replaced by a Frenchman. The Duke I'Antin, a zealous Mason, succeeded him in June, 1738.' If it can be proven that the Swedish lodges founded by Baron Scheffer in 1737 really had a charter signed by Lord Derwentwater in 1737, it would tend to prove the surmise of Gould that Lord Derwentwater and Lord I. Harnouester were the same individual, only the French weird spelling of English proper names having confused the two to appear as two different individuals. This is a lead worth investigating"

* * *


A sense of humor is good sense.

* * *

An esteemed contemporary (as the old manner hath it) published an article on "Etiquette in a Crowded Street Car." "There ain't no sech animal."

* * *

Shriners don't appear to take their Arabic origin very seriously. All their decorations at Kansas City were simon-pure Egyptian.

* * *

The Illinois Masonic Review announces suspension. Sorry it was necessary, Bro. Jeffers. Hope you can resume one of these days. We need you.

* * *

St. George's Lodge of Schenectady (have I spelled it right?) celebrated its 150th anniversary Sept. 13. The whole city united to pay tribute to its remarkable record. The Schenectady Union-Star published a magnificent speech by that magnificent old Mason, Bro. John W. Vrooman, Senior Past Grand Master of New York, fifty-nine years in the brotherhood.

* * *

Good morning! Have you read anything on Einstein yet? Einstein's Theories of Relativity and Gravitation, edited by J. Malcolm Bird, pays a remarkable tribute to our old friend, the Forty-seventh Proposition of that "learned clerk," our Bro. Euclid. Wonder how many are in Fraternal correspondence with Euclid?

* * *

For free distribution, three N.M.R.S. leaflets: "An Interpretation of the Plumb Line," "A Word to the Candidate Before Initiation," and "The Trestle Board." Don't be bashful. Enclose a two cent stamp.

* * *

And this is from the "Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts":

"There was a man driving along in his automobile, and the automobile broke down. He went to the door of the ranch house, knocked, and a big Swede came to the door. The automobilist said, "Friend, do you have a monkey wrench around here?" "No. My brother, he got a cattle wrench; my cousin, he got a sheep wrench, but it's too cold for monkey wrench."

* * *

Some Eastern Star sisters have been razzing us for publishing the anti-feminine oratory in this Corner last month. Here is something by way of retort:

Paris, Sept. 12.

According to the humorous weekly Pele-Mele a philosopher says there are three things which a woman must resemble in one way, but not another:

"She must be like a snail, which never leaves its house, but unlike a snail, she must not put all she owns on her back.

"She must be like an echo, which speaks only when spoken to; but she must not, like the echo, always insist on the last word.

"Finally, she must be like the town clock, always correct and always punctual; but she must not, as the clock does, make so much noise that she will be heard all over the town."