INTERNATIONAL MASONIC REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY
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Myths and Masons: Romance in Our History: Page #3
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Myths and Masons, Romance in Our History By John R. Snider, P.M. I would like to cover some of the highly romanced stories told by Masons about Masons. It is not particularly about them being Masons, although many are reputed to be members of the Craft, as much as it is about the practice of arrogating a history which may not be accurate, of which our Brothers have been active participants. I have selected three themes which are part of the core of Americana. First, Brother Paul Revere’s Ride, second, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which involved many Masons, and third the apotheosis of Brother George Washington. Our understanding of Paul Revere’s Ride comes to us primarily through the poetry of Brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The signing of the Declaration of Independence has been extensively portrayed (or misportrayed) and was graphically memorialized by Brother John Trumbull in his 1817 painting which has been incorporated on the back of our $ 2.00 bill. The life of George Washington has been told, and retold, ad nauseum, with many arrogations of fact, and many of these come to us from Brother Mason Locke Weems, Washington,s assumed biographer in the early 19th century. And all of these are seriously misrepresented. The definition of “romance,” as an intransitive verb, is: “to exaggerate or invent detail or incident,” as taken from Merriam – Webster. Such has been the case in each of the aforementioned events. The facts. Early historians have attempted to quantify the American Revolution in nice neat packages, with definite dates, watershed events and simplified details. This does not reflect the actual social dynamics or historical accuracy of these “events”. It is arguable that the folks in Massachusetts revolted in 1774. It’s not like one day we’re at peace with the civil authority and the next we’re not. It is a gradual process of growing discontent and increased oppression. 1774 was when the folks in the countryside outside Boston started refusing to pay taxes. This resistance was rampant and the British response from Boston led to increased
conflict and discontent, which brought out armed men at Lexington Green and a shooting war at Concord’s North Bridge, with sniping at the British column’s march back to Boston. Paul Revere was a man of action, sympathetic to the resistance. He, along with a number of other men, had volunteered to ride, at the request of Joseph Warren, out to the countryside to warn of the impending British advance from Boston, who’s purpose was to seize weapons in the hands of the colonists. This was not a solitary action by Revere, he was part of a much bigger effort to warn the countryside. He made it as far as Lexington, warning Sam Adams and John Hancock, before he was captured, and that was the end of his ride. The other men were more successful, r i d i n g farther and wider, and prompting other riders. Only William Dawes and Samuel Prescott were named in this ever expanding company of alarm riders. Revere’s only comment on the ride was, “I proceeded to Lexington, through Mistick, and alarmed Mr. Adams and Col. Hancock.” His obituary, in 1818, made no mention of the ride. His minor role was left in the obscure details, to be discovered and romanced by Longfellow in January 1861, 86 years after the incident. Longfellow was true to the definition of romance, with his lyrical anapestic tetrameter, matching the rhythm of a galloping horse. While poetic license is expected, his line, “the fate of the nation” being in Revere’s hands belies the truth of the matter, but most schoolchildren fondly recall, “Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” Nothing is said of his capture. Mistick and Lexington are but a small fraction of “every Middlesex village and farm.” Longfellow’s Paul Revere was on both sides of the river, arranging the signal, “one if by land, two if by sea”. No sea involved, it was a river. And then on the other side of the river, he spends a lot of time awaiting the signal, patting his horse and stamping his feet. It was a borrowed horse, arranged
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and coordinated for him to mount as soon as he got there and time was of the essence. Revere never made it to Concord, as the poem implies. The poem impresses us that Revere acted alone and this was not the case. There were at least 50 named parties and a host of others, unnamed, who participated in the alarm. I guess Brother Longfellow got lost in a good story of his own making. The real story of a large number of citizens, infused with Enlightenment ideas of freedom and equality, rising to resist increasing oppression over a period of years, is a far more complicated story, difficult to explain in prose, let alone poetry. But there is limited time to teach in schools, and we are left with “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” and it’s romance Turning to our vaulted Declaration of Independence, we again want definite dates, neat packages and simple explainations. We even memorialize July 4th as a national holiday, commemorating a fictitious event. Who is the proper entity to declare independence? We have attributed this to the Continental Congress, which had limited authority in Colonial America. The real legislative body was the Pennsylvania Assembly, along with the individual assemblies in other diverse colonies. Pennsylvania was the keystone colony in movement toward a break with British civil authority, and it was Tory leaning. The Continental Congress was primarily advisory, with no real legislative authority. And just what effect of law does a “declaration” have? In the month leading up to the declaration, there was an arrogation of authority to the Congress, led by the craftsmen and militia companies of Pennsylvania, manipulated by Sam Adams, his brother John and Tom Paine. The country was split in thirds, one in opposition to the British Crown, one, the Tories, in support, and one third didn’t care. The idea of making a declaration of independence had been widely discussed for some time. Thomas Jefferson, and his committee, had been working on the justification for making such a declaration, for some time prior. His draft done by June 28th and the committee presented it on that date for discussion to the Congress. It was formally proffered by Charles Lee of Virginia, and it was approved by the Congress on July 2nd. There were revisions, deletions, changes in wording and Jefferson reluctantly complied. The final draft was not ready for signature until August 2nd. It was laid on a table in the corner and various signers affixed their signatures over the next month and a half. There was no one big event where all the later dignitaries and retrospective revolutionaries got together and committed an act of treason against the king. Yet, we have visions of resolute men solemnly gathering, and taking an important step toward freedom. They were never all in the room at the same time. Our vision comes to us from Brother John Trumbull’s painting of this fictitious event, done in 1817, 41 years after the supposed event. Only 42 of the actual 56 signers are depicted in the painting. Trumbull consulted with men who were there at various stages of this extended process, noted their appearances and visited the site. Jefferson, who had maintained a copy of his rejected declaration, along with the final draft, asked Trumbull to paint him standing on the foot of John Adams, with whom he disagreed over revisions. The event as depicted never happened. Trumbull’s painting, purchased in 1819, ended up on the Rotunda wall in the current Congress building and has been reproduced on the reverse of the $ 2.00 bill. There is a mis-conception among our Prince Hall Affiliate brothers that Prince Hall is depicted in this painting. All of the
persons in the painting are identified and Prince Hall, who was never a delegate to the Continental Congress, is not among them. There is no record of him being in Philadelphia during this time period. It is a romantic notion that he appears, probably attributed to the engraving process of printing money and wishful thinking. Certainly, he was very influential and a person of whom they are rightfully proud, but he wasn’t there. So why include him? Well, as the rest of the painting is fictitious, why not add one more romantic idea? Brother George Washington has been elevated to heroic status and his life story has suffered many distortions. Most notable is the biography of Washington written by Brother Mason Locke Weems, in 1800, a year after Washington’s death. Weems was ordained into the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1784 and financial hardship forced him to take on book sales in 1792. Weems was an itinerant book salesman and even wrote a few that he could sell. Washington was his first example. Parson Weems intermixed moral stories with fact and came up with moralistic idealizations, of which the infamous felled cherry tree is but one. Weems was not alone in his deification of Washington. The whole country did it, and Parson Weems just rode the wave of financial success. Washington’s last days have been recorded and he was attended by two Masonic friends who were the doctors treating his final illness. In keeping with his wishes, they conducted a quiet Masonic burial on the grounds of Mount Vernon. It was later, when the folks in new federal city, learned of Washington’s death that the apotheosis, complete with Roman imagery, took root. They even named the federal city after him and included a burial vault for his body in the Capitol Building, which remains empty to date. Parson Weems unabashedly romanticized Washington’s life with these moralistic tales, They are only recently being debunked, as more and more historically chic biographies appear. But Washington’s ascension into the heavens graces our Capitol’s dome So how does this process of aggrandizement occur? It was all done by good men, with the best of intentions. I suppose one could attribute a profit motive. After all, Longfellow, Trumbull, and Weems got paid for their work. Their agendae were not historical accuracy. None of them were trained as a historian. They were all self trained in their respective professions, poet, painter and hagiographer. The far greater stories are not condensed descriptions of watershed events, hitting few points of historic accuracy. They are a story of grand social movements, inspired by many folks, some unnamed, some heroic and some just being the best they could be, given the circumstances. And what of any Masonic influence? There was probably none. It is coincidence that many were members of our Craft. But the penetration of the Craft into society, in general, was more pronounced in the days of these deeds. This is the downside of Masonic name-dropping. It is also coincidence that all rode horses, but we do not blame the horse. Our history is rich with ideas, and we need not add to them, but rather ascribe the great truisms of life to their proper place in their lives. They each had their own motivations, which we can only surmise. Let us use our gavels to divest ourselves of the vices and superfluities attendant with our aggrandized history. Thank you for listening.
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The Origins of Freemasonry Bro. Prof. Dr. U. Gauthamadas
“…we must despair of ever being able to reach the fountain‑head of streams which have been running and increasing from the beginning of time. All that we can aspire to do is only to trace their course backward, as far as possible, on these charts that now remain of the distant countries whence they were first perceived to flow” (Brand’s Popular Antiquities, 1849) Preamble Having explored the history of Freemasonry in Madras, I wanted to explore the origin of Freemasonry. I had recourse to a few historical treatises and the plethora of (authenticated) material on the Web and decided to give it a shot. Little did I know what I was getting into! It is said that fact becomes history when written down; otherwise it remains a legend and, ultimately becomes a myth. Having said that, we must also keep in mind that all that is written down, as history, need not be fact. Much of the available material is a mix of legend, myth, and unfounded extrapolation of facts with a generous dash of fanciful conjecture. It was quite a task to wade through it and tease out recorded facts. Moreover, most of the material consists of prodigious accounts laid out, sometimes, in exhaustive detail mixing masonry, with Freemasonry and other crafts, and in no particular chronological, or historical order. Space constraints have also required me to confine the narrative to the history of Stone Masonry as it relates to Freemasonry. However, I trust that I have managed to put forth a fairly concise and chronological sequence of recorded events, having rarely to resort to an educated guess to produce a meaningful narrative. Any errors are my own. The Legend of Freemasonry: The earliest complete reference to the origin of Freemasonry is to be found on a parchment roll (estimated to be dated between 1660 and 1680) presented to the Grand Lodge of England by George Buchanan, Whitby, on March 3, 1880). The gist of the legend is as follows: The craft of Masonry was first introduced in the form of geometry by Jaball, an ancestor of Noah, who built the first house in stone. Jaball and his 2 brothers Juball and Tuball, and sister Naamah founded the crafts of Geometry, Music, Metal work, and Weaving, and inscribed them on two pillars of stone. These pillars were found, after the great flood by Hermes, the father of wise men, who taught the craft of masonry to others. The craft was used in the building of the Tower of Babylon by Nemorth, the King of Babylon who was himself a mason. Nemorth, gave two charges of the craft to 60 masons and sent them to his cousin the King of Neneveh, and herein originated the charges of masonry.
Abraham, a descendant of Noah, who had learned the seven sciences, taught them to the Egyptians when he migrated there. Euclid, a worthy disciple of Abraham, taught the science of Geometry to the sons of the nobles of Egypt, that they may practice an honest craft. He also gave them charges. And they used Geometry to develop the craft of masonry to build great monuments. David, king of Jerusalem, loved masons and employed them to build the Temple of Jerusalem after giving them charges similar to those by Euclid. And after the death of David, his son Solomon who succeeded him, gathered together 24,000 masons from far and wide to and finished the temple started by his father. Among these masons was one named Mamon Grecus, who travelled to France and taught the craft to people there. And among his pupils was one called Carolus Martill who became the King of France, and propagated the craft throughout France. St. Alban, the first British Christian martyr, who was himself a mason, employed many masons and obtained a charter for them from the king. And after the death of St. Alban, England was invaded by the people from other nations and Masonry was destroyed till the rule of King Athelstan of York, the first King of a Unified England from 927 A.D. King Athelstan introduced masonry at the annual assembly convened by him. And his son Edwin, who learned Geometry and Masonry, obtained a charter from his father to convene an annual assembly of masons to monitor the craft. In these assemblies, he made the members recount the charges or understandings of the charges and manners of masons in England or any other country, and commissioned a book in which they were gathered. And these became the Ancient Charges of masonry. Finis The players in this story, belonging to different historic periods from those described, Douglas Knoop, in his “Genesis of Freemasonry”, considers that this account may have been conceived with the objective of providing the masons with something resembling the charters, or records of privileges, possessed by craft gilds at that time. Or, that some clergyman, or other relatively learned person connected with the building industry, may have compiled such a history out of an interest in the craft and a desire to show how ancient and honorable it was. We will now try to trace how Freemasonry may actually have originated. The origins of stonemasonry Masonry is the preparation and combination of stones to indent and lie on each other and become masses of walling and arching,
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for the purposes of building. Stonemasonry is one of the earliest craft in the history of civilization. The New Stone Age, began about 9500 BC in the Middle East, and is traditionally considered the last part of the Stone Age. It was a period in the development of human technology, and archaeological data indicate that c. 8000–3000 BC various forms of domestication of plants and animals arose independently in six separate locales worldwide in southwestern and southern Asia, northern and central Africa and Central America. This “Neolithic Revolution” provided the basis for high population density settlements, requiring non-portable architecture. During this period people learned how to use fire to create quicklime, plasters, and mortars. They used these to fashion homes for themselves with mud, straw, or stone, and masonry was born. The Ancient civilizations then learned to cut and shape stone and thus were born the stonemasons who built impressive and long lasting monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, and the Incan and Peruvian step pyramids. Egypt, Chaldea, Phoenicia, India, and China are the first countries to record masonry worthy of the name. Egypt: By 4000 BC, Egypt had developed an elaborate cutstone technique. It was to endure for over three millennia and it is perhaps the most instantly recognizable of all ancient cultures today. Egyptian architecture was colossal and rich in symbolism. The prevailing thought of the Egyptian was death. Existing Egyptian temples were aligned with astronomically significant events, requiring precise measurements at the moment of the particular event. Phoenicia: Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in Canaan (roughly corresponding to the region encompassing modern-day Israel, Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan) from c. 4000 BC. Phoenician architecture may have been influenced by that of Egypt or may have developed independently. The Hebrew Bible mentions the cities of Phoenicia being strongholds and walled in. The architecture of the Phoenicians began with the fashioning of the abundant native rock and there is archeological evidence that they built impressive, though not artistic, palaces, temples, and tombs. King Solomon’s Temple: The Hebrews were a nomadic race who were enslaved in Egypt for centuries till their exodus c. 1400 BC guided by Moses. Yet, they never had the enough opportunity to master the art and science of building in Egypt. When they arrived in Canaan/Phoenicia after wandering in the desert they were still nomads with very little skills or knowledge. Being preoccupied by war they had very little newly acquired capabilities by the time they captured Jerusalem c. 1000 BC. When Solomon became king, he was in need of artisans, architects, craftsmen, builders and building material to build a temple and palace as desired by his predecessor and father David. The best known and most gifted people who could help fulfill the kings’ needs were the Phoenicians famed for their construction at that time. Scholars agree that Solomon applied to Hiram the King of Tyre for assistance in the construction of his temple. Archaeologist, Charles Warren was the first to document certain masons’ marks on the foundation stones which were believed to be letters of the Phoenician alphabet, thereby establishing the Biblical statement concerning the Phoenician origin of the edifice.
And King Hiram replied “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father (2 Chronicles 2: 13-14). Thus according to the Hebrew Bible, Huram was the architect who built King Solomon’s temple using stone and craftsmen from Phoenicia, and workers from Hebron. In the Old Testament (1 Kings 7: 14) we find him referred to as “the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre”. The name Huram-Abi is not a misspelling. It is akin to the name HammurAbi, and is pronounced “hyoo’ ram-ah’ bih”, and means “my father is an exalted brother” (Holman Bible Dictionary). There is some material evidence that Phoenician temples incorporated two pillars: one for Astarte and one for Baal, and this influence was probably carried through in the Temple of Solomon. The Temple was completely destroyed in 587 BC by the Babylonians when they captured Jerusalem and we have no historical or archeological record, other than biblical, as to its building or nature. Greece: Stone masonry appears to have spread from Egypt to the island of Minoa in the Mediterranean sea around 2000 BC (giving rise to the grand Minoan palaces), and thence to Greece by the migration of the Dorians in 1000 BC, who developed Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic architectural styles. Italy: The Etruscans, who migrated from Asia Minor to nearby Tuscany (Italy), picked up the craft from the Greeks during the 8th and 7th century BC and developed their own architectural style. In the 10th century BC, a small agricultural community was founded on the Italian Peninsula and developed into Ancient Rome which expanded into one of the largest empires in the ancient world. The Romans began to absorb and synthesize influences from both the Etruscans and the Greeks, and built hundreds of roads, bridges, aqueducts, baths, theaters and arenas. Technological advancements were often divided and based on masonry. The origins of Masonic craft associations Greek Eranoi: Around the 7th century BC there were permanent societies in Greece called Eranoi. Their members contributed to a general fund for the purpose of aiding one another in necessity, provided for funerals, met in an assembly to deliberate on their affairs and celebrated feasts and religious ceremonies in common. Strict rules against disorder were enforced by fines. He who did not pay his yearly quota to the society was excluded unless he could show good cause of poverty or sickness. Some writers assert that it was from the Eranoi that Numa gained his idea of the Collegia. Roman Collegia: The earliest authentic record of the association of artisans relates to those instituted among the Romans by Numa Pompilius, second King of Rome (715 BC). He organized the artisans into Collegia (legal associations) and the Masons or stone workers became leaders of this fraternity. One Collegium was attached to each legion of troops so that when a Roman colony was established, the work of civilization and art proceeded
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without delay. Collegium parallels: A college could consist of no fewer than three sodales or companions, was presided over by a Magister (Latin: Master) and decurions (Stewards), and had a treasurer, sub‑treasurer, secretary and archivist. They had a common chest (fund), a common cult (rituals), a meeting‑house (Lodge) and a common table (festive board). There was a bond of relationship among them and they called and regarded themselves as fraters (Latin: brothers). This bond required the duty of accepting the guardianship of the child of a deceased colleague. The brothers publicly interred their dead in a common sepulcher, with all the survivors being present. Thus the Roman collegia could be taken as the precursors of Freemasons Lodges. Though the rules or by‑laws of the Collegia tenuiorum are not available, those of the Collegia Cultorum Dei which were similar associations are, and they are identical to the corresponding regulations of the guilds in England. The Roman artificers continued in their growth and following the destinies and conquests of Rome spread into every country that came under Roman domination. Byzantium: When the Roman Emperor Constantine (272 – 337 AD) became the patron of Christianity in 312 AD Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. In 324 AD Constantine shifted his capital to Byzantium in Asia Minor, giving birth to Constantinople (Istanbul). Constantine wanted to build grand churches, but he considered the existent forms of Christian buildings inappropriate considering the status of Christianity, and sought an architecture that had fresh meaning. He found this in the Saracenic architecture in Byzantium and the marriage of Roman and Saracenic architecture begot the Byzantine architecture with the magnificent Basilicas that served as a combination of an imperial audience hall, law court, financial center, and army drill hall. Britain: When Julius Caesar conquered England in 55 B. C. he found the Britons entirely uninformed about architecture of any kind. There is evidence of the establishment of a college at Regnum (today’s Chichester) in the form of a slab of marble (found in 1733) with the inscription ““The college or company of artificers and they who preside over sacred rights by the authority of King Cogibunus, the legati of Tiberius Claudius Augustus, in Britain, dedicated this to Neptune and Minerva for the welfare of the Imperial family. Pudens, the son of Pudentius, having given the site.” This decline of the Roman Empire began around 150 AD and continued over a period of approximately 320 years, culminating in 476 AD, when Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed by Odoacer, a Germanic chieftain. When the Roman Empire fell, most of the Collegia became extinct except those of the stone masons, who probably shifted their operations to France. Buildings of stone decreased in much of Western Europe, with a resulting increase in timberbased construction. With their departure the British Isles were invaded (449 AD) by the barbaric Saxons who were accustomed to hovels of mud and habitations of rough stone with straw coverings, and destroyed everything else. Consequently, the use of wrought stone for building was discontinued for the next two hundred years. France: In the meantime, from the 3rd to the 5th century AD the
Franci, a West Germanic tribal confederation, raided Roman territory, and one of their tribes, the Salii, formed a kingdom in the region in ancient Gaul that came to be known as Francia. The Francian King Merovich established a dynasty that reigned from the 5th to the 8th century AD. The Merovingians were Christians and continued the Roman Basilica tradition, and innovated upon it. The focus being on building Basilicas, few other truly large stone buildings were attempted between the 4th century, and the 8th century AD. Between the 6th and 8th century AD the Byzantine architecture was combined with the Roman style into a form of stone architecture named Romanesque and many churches and castles were built in this style in the Western European Roman empire. Some very ancient records, note that during the Merovingian dynasty (as early as 628), the trades and crafts of Paris organized themselves into associations called corps de métiers along the lines of the Roman colleges. The Corps de Metier: The oldest code of the corps de métiers which has been preserved is probably that of Boileau (about 1260) that unites the masons, stonemasons, plasterers (both makers and users) and the mortarers (both makers and users of mortar) under the banner of St. Blaise. From other sources we know that the quarry‑workers and the tuilières (tile makers) owed allegiance to the same banner, also the millstonemakers. The Corps de St. Blaise: In 1467 Louis XI organized the crafts into a species of militia or garde national. The various trades were ranged under sixty‑one banners. The leading banners were those of the six corps of merchants; the thirty‑second being that of St. Blaise, comprising the masons, quarrymen, stonemasons, etc. The Confraire: An institution closely allied with the Corps de Metier was that of the social assemblies (confrairie, conphrairie, frairie). These met at stated periods, for religious exercises and social pleasures. Every craft banner belonged, as a body, to some Confrarie. The society was composed of the same members as the craft but comprised only of the Masters. Their most useful sphere of action was the sustenance and relief of aged and poor Masters, their widows and children, the assistance rendered to members in cases of illness and to companions on their travels. Their downfall was their excess in the social pleasures. A code preserved in the archives of the city of Amiens, dated June 15, 1407 is styled the “Statutes regulating the Fraternity of the masons’ trade (du mestier de Machonnerie) of Amiens “ which regulated their finances and their banquets. In 1498, the Parliament prohibited all banquets and Confraries and, at the same time, enacted laws to regulate the associations; by 1534 when fresh laws regulating the associations were passed, the Masonic Confrairies were in a large measure dispersed and dissolved and their scattered fragments were absorbed by the Compagnonage. The Compagnons: The Compagnons (Companions) du Tour de France are a French organization of the journeymen of France formed for mutual support and assistance during their travels. The title ‘journeyman’ derives from the French “journée” or day, as such workers were generally paid by the day. After being employed by a master for several years, and after producing a qualifying piece of work, the apprentice was granted the rank of journeyman and was given documents (letters or certificates from his master
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and/or the guild itself) which certified him as a journeyman and entitled him to travel to other towns and countries and work for other masters. Compagnon parallels: The origin of the Compagnons is shrouded in history, and is traditionally traced back to the time of Solomon, helping to build the first temple in Jerusalem before migrating to Gaul. The Companions’ legend of Maitre Jaques, one of the first masters of Solomon and a colleague of Hiram, (recorded by Perdiguier 1805-1875 , a joiner belonging to the Compagnonange “Sons of Solomon”) so remarkably parallels the tragic assassination of the Widows Son as to have been its predecessor. But the ceremonies and rituals of the Companions were kept a close secret and shrouded in mystery. Even Perdiguier has not gone into much detail except to the following customs and arrangements: “A young workman presents himself and requests to be made a member of the society. His sentiments are inquired into, and if the replies are satisfactory, he is embauche (recruited). At the next General Assembly he is brought into an upper room … when, in the presence of all the companions and of filier (network or fellows), questions are put to him to ascertain that he has made no mistake, that it is into this particular society and not in some other that he wishes to enter; and he is informed that there are many distinct societies and that he is quite free in his choice. The ordinances, to which all companions …..are obliged to conform, are then read to him and he is asked whether he can and will conform thereto. Should he answer “No,” he is at liberty to retire; if he replies “Yes,” he is affiliated and conducted to his proper place in the room. If he is honest and intelligent, he obtains in due course all the degrees of the Companionage, and succeeds to the various offices of the society.” – Gould. There are three further degrees in the Companionage: accepted companion, finished companion and initiated companion, probably attended with a ceremony comprising the enactment of some tragic scene similar to that recounted in the career of Maitre Jacques or of Hiram Abiff. Thory, in his History of the Grand Orient, reproduces the material portions of the Compagnon of charcoal burners: “At their initiation a white cloth was spread on the ground, on which was placed a full salt‑cellar, a goblet of water, a wax candle and a cross. The candidate took the oath lying prostrate on the cloth and, with his hands, one on the salt, and the other on the goblet. He was then raised and, after some “mystification “given the password; which would prove him a true and good “cousin “in all forests. The master afterwards explained the symbols; the cloth represents the shroud; the salt, the three theological virtues; the fire, our funeral torches; the water, that which will be sprinkled over our grave; the cross, that which will be borne before our coffin”. This is probably the first reference we find to a ritual that parallels the speculative rituals in Freemasonry. As the reader can gather, the ceremonies detailed above closely parallel those of Freemasonry. An inscription found with the names of Sons of Solomon, who died in the battle of Lacrau in the mid 17th century, bears carvings of masons’ picks, compasses, squares, levels and other stonemasons’ tools. In 1648, with the interdiction of assemblies, the Compagnons took
refuge in the Temple, which was under a separate jurisdiction, and the clergy forbid the ceremonies and institutions. The birth of Operative Freemasonry With the resurgence of stone work in Europe in the 6th to 10th centuries, due to Christian religious fervor, thousands of impressive stone churches and cathedrals were built across Western Europe in a style known as Romanesque. The Italians builders with the Greeks, French, German and Flemings among them, joined into a Fraternity of Architects, procuring Papal Bulls that rendered them official and gave then certain privileges. They styled themselves as Freemasons referring to their freedom to move and work, and ranged from one Nation to another as they found Churches to be built. They were governed by a Surveyor with groups of ten member led by an officer called a Warden. This is the earliest evidence we have of a society of Freemasons. There is no proof that the traveling Freemasons of the middle ages made use of symbolism. Technical skill and study were the two requisites for successful endeavor in their line of work. Whatever secrets these builders recognized were purely technical and belonged to the trade with the exception possibly of means of recognition that they employed to make themselves known to one another. Meanwhile, the art of building using squared stone and mortar was introduced in England by Benedict Biscop, the Abbot of Canterbury. In 674 AD King Ecgfrith of Northumbria granted Benedict land for the purpose of building a monastery. Biscop brought in Freemasons from France in 674 AD to build St. Peters’s monastery at Monkwearmouth, in the Romanesque style. The King was so delighted at the success of St Peter’s, that he gave Biscop more land in Jarrow and urged him to build a second monastery and Benedict erected the sister monsatery of St Paul at Jarrow, again employing Freemasons from France. From the 7th to the 10th centuries the Anglo-Saxons constructed many churches using mainly square-cut building stones called Ashlers. The Norman conquest of 1066 brought with it a fresh interest in the building art. The Norman kings were great builders. They demolished the Anglo-Saxon churches and built the great Romanesque cathedrals in England. During these periods the travelling Freemasons established themselves in England. The first reliable account of these traveling Freemasons is found in connection with the erection of Melrose Abbey Church, near Edinburg, in 1136. On a block of stone at one of the doors is an inscription attesting the fact that John Monroe was a General or Grand Master of all Mason work. Engraved on the walls over one of the doors is a shield carved in relief and displaying a pair of compasses. Also in Melrose Abbey churchyard among the inscribed stones, is one marked “Andrew Mein: Meayson in Newsteid, aged 63,” and dated February, 1624. The Steinmetzen in Germany: From the 9th to the 12th century, devout men from the British Isles, chiefly from Ireland, crossed over to the mainland and, penetrated into the depths of the German forests, carrying the doctrines of Christianity to the German tribes. Wherever they went, they cleared the forests and raised churches and dwellings for their priests. The monasteries they built afforded the means of acquiring skill in the manipulation of building materials. They may thus be looked upon as the earliest school of masonry and the cradle of architecture in Germany, furnishing
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large numbers of cunning artificers and experienced master builders. It is probable that in the 12th century, or thereabouts, the skilled masons of the convent builders left the employ of their masters, who were unable to provide them with further work, and amalgamated with the Steinmetzen.
true, loyal, and obedient mason; that he would maintain the craft as far as possible; that he would not of his own initiative alter or change his distinctive mark ; that he would not disclose the greeting (Gruss) or grip (Schenck) to any non‑mason ; and that he would not commit any part of the ceremony to writing.
By the 10th century Stonemasons’ skills were in high demand in Medieval Europe, and in order to safeguard their skills, enforce the flow of trade to the select few, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials, it is believed that they were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society, and known as the Steinmetzen (Stonecutters). The first authentic charter of the Steinmetzen was in the 13th century.
The methods of recognition were then imparted to him and the ceremony concluded with a jovial feast, which was partly at the master’s expense, and partly at his own. At this feast the Ordinances were read out and the Master renewed his pledge accompanied by the drinking of a toast with a prescribed movement of hand and cup, accompanied by a fixed form of words. It is not known what the grip was. But we have the account of Herr Osterrieth, an architect, who had been a member of the stonemasons’ guild in Strassburg. Upon being admitted to Freemasonry at the end of the 18th century, Herr Osterrieth expressed his astonishment at recognizing the token of the Strasburg stonemasons in the entered apprentice grip.
Steinmetzen parallels: The Steinmetzen met in halls that they constructed (Lodges), and were bound together by strong ties of brotherhood, containing in their midst, master builders whose minds were stored with all the mathematical knowledge of those days. They had three classes of members: apprentices, journeymen, and master masons. Apprentices were indentured to their masters as the price for their training; journeymen had a higher level of skill and could go on journeys to assist their masters; and master masons were considered freemen who could travel as they wished, to work on the projects of the patrons. The Universal Fraternity of Stonemasons: In 1459, due to strife among the various Steinmetzen in Germany and Switzerland, a universal fraternity was instituted with four chief lodges, to which all disputes must be referred. This Universal Fraternity issued ordnances to all the Steinmetzen whose masters chose to join the fraternity. In 1563 the Ordnances were revised and printed in folio and described as The Brother Book of 1563, containing “The Ordinances and Articles of the Fraternity of Stonemasons renewed at the Chief Lodge at Strasburg on St. Michael’s Day MDLXIII” but first published as the Secret Book (Geheimbuch) of the Stonemasons. This is one of the earliest references to a “Lodge” or to a book of constitutions. A copy of this folio was distributed to every Lodge. The master who had charge of the book was made to swear that the Book was not copied or lent, and that the Ordinances would be read every year to the fellows in the lodge. Fraternity of Stonemasons’ parallels: The Ordnances provide for the master to appoint “pallier”s (guardian or warden of the enclosure) to help rule the lodge. The Warden was to preserve the order, the privileges, the tools and appliances of the Lodge and to see that all instruments of precision (square, gauge, etc.,) were maintained in full accuracy. He was to act as general instructor to the fellows and apprentices and prepare, prove and pass their work for them; to reject spoilt work and to levy all fines for negligence or otherwise. He was to call the brethren to labour at the proper time, “without fear or favor” and to fine those who did not make their appearance. On the completion of his apprenticeship the young workman was declared free of the craft and obtained rank as a Fellow-craft. This act was solemnly performed before the assembled Lodge and was accompanied by some formalities. He had to take a solemn obligation “ on his truth and honour in lieu of oath”, under the penalty of being expelled from the craft, that he would be a
Records show that a meeting was rendered by the opened chest of the society which contained their documents, minute‑books, registers and treasury; that this chest was usually secured by three locks and keys, which keys were in possession of three different officials; that the presiding officer then knocked with some symbol of authority (usually a staff or hammer), to procure silence; that the periodical contributions of the members were then collected, complaints heard and strife adjusted; that the locksmiths, and therefore probably the stonemasons, closed their meetings by three formal inquiries, whether anything for the good of the craft or of the fraternity offered itself. All ceremonies were operative and conducted in the form of a dialogue between the officials and there are no authenticated records of any speculative ceremony or secrets to be communicated. Gould gives an indicative description of the ceremony of affiliating a journeyman joiner: “He was ushered into the assembly and placed before the president in an upright position, his heels joined, his feet at right angles, which was ensured by the square being placed between them. His posture was proved by the level, he was required to stand erect, elbows on his hips and hands spread out sideways so as to represent an equilateral triangle, of which his head was the apex. He was denominated throughout “rough wood.” He was then directed to listen to a lecture. The first part of this lecture treats of the origin of the joiner’s art and includes remarks on architecture in general, couched in rude verse…..he underwent a rude symbolical ceremony called Hdnseln …that is, handling or manipulation. In the case of the joiners this consisted of being stretched on a bench, rather roughly planed and shaped with various tools, in fact treated as rough wood under the joiner’s hands. The locksmiths turned a key round three times in the mouth of the candidate … After this ceremony the joiner was called in future “smooth wood “ and, the proceedings being ended, was once more placed under the level”. Gould also gives an account of examination of a travelling salute mason recounted by Steinbrenner: “What was the name of the first mason?” – “Anton Hieronymus”, “And the working tool was invented by?” - “Walkan “.
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The most interesting part of this catechism is the tradition contained in the following dialogue “Where was the worshipful craft of masons first instituted in Germany?” – “At the Cathedral of Magdeburg, under the Emperor Charles II, in the year 876.” Charles II was the King of West Francia from 840–877 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 875–877. However, there is no historical evidence to show that there was any construction on the site of the Cathedral of Magdeburg prior to 937. The fraternity admitted honorary members, and so it is assumed that the stonemasons were in the habit of admitting into their fraternity the most learned men of the age such as Albertus Argentinus the designer of the Strasburg Cathedral, Albertus Magnus who planned the Cologne Cathedral (both of the 13th century), and Emperor, Frederick III (1440‑1492) who are all claimed by various works to have been masons. It is interesting to note that two pillars stand within the Cathedral of Wurzburg, in Germany (built between 1040 and 1075), which at some period formed a part of the original porch. Their names, Jachin and Boaz, suggest a derivation from the celebrated pillars at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple, with which, however, their architectural form in no way corresponds. Their names merely prove that the masons were acquainted with that part of the Old Testament most interesting to them as architects, which in itself may have suggested the idea of constructing something unusual. The British Craft Gilds: The word gild originated c.1230, from the Old English “gegyld” meaning “ a tribute or payment” to join a protective or trade society. Originally Gilds were voluntary associations for religious, social, and commercial purposes. These associations, which attained their highest development among the English, during the Middle Ages, were of four kinds: religious, frith (peace), merchant, and craft gilds. The oldest existing charter of a gild dates from the reign of King Cnut c. 985 AD (known more commonly as King Canute). From this we learn that a certain Orcy presented a gegyld-halle (gild-hall) to the gyldschipe of Abbotsbury in Dorset, and that the members were associated in almsgiving, care of the sick, burial of the dead, and in providing Masses for the souls of deceased members. The earliest gilds were formed for religious and social purposes and were voluntary in character. Subsequent enactments down to the time of King Athelstan (925-940) show that they soon developed into frith guilds or peace guilds, which were associations with a corporate responsibility for the good conduct of their members and their mutual liability. With the building of towns based on trade, merchant guilds were formed and controlled the town government. From existing gild statutes of Berwick, Southampton, Leicester and Totnes we learn that each gild was presided over by an two alderman (literal meaning “elder man” – practically, a high ranking member elected to lead) assisted by two or four wardens who presided over the meetings and administered the funds. Merchant gilds enforced contracts among members and policed members’ behavior because medieval commerce operated according to the community responsibility system. Seeing that the merchant guilds had become closely allied with the municipality, the craftsmen struggled to break down the trading monopoly of the merchant gilds and formed the craft gilds,
organized along lines of particular trades. Not much is known about the craft gilds of masons, though they surely must have existed. The primary purpose of the craft guild was to establish a complete system of control over all who were associated in the craft. Gild Parallels: The administration of craft gilds lay in the hands of wardens, bailiffs, or masters. The general membership was divided into the three grades of masters, journeymen or fellow crafts and apprentices. Any journeyman could become a master. The typical gild had a common chest for incidental upkeep and for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased members; periodical meetings, with banquets; admitted members on an oath; administered fines; adopted ordinances for the regulation of its own activities; and punished members for improper conduct. They held prayers for the dead, provided old age and sick pensions, pensions for widows, and burial funds. . As we can see, the parallels are few compared with the previously mentioned craft associations. As a result of their alliance with the church, many gilds, participated in pageants with mystery, morality and miracle plays. These plays were staged on wagons drawn in a “procession” from one exhibition point to another across the town. The various gilds divided up the plays among themselves, e.g. at Norwich, the mercers, drapers and haberdashers presented the creation of the world; the grocers, Paradise; and the smiths, the fight between David and Goliath. At Hereford, the glovers gave Adam and Eve; the carpenters, Noah’s ship; the tailors, the three kings. It is possible that these mystery plays were the forerunners of the later drama of speculative Freemasonry, but there is no evidence to bear this out. In the course of time gilds multiplied until they came to be used for every conceivable purpose, for good-fellowship, for drinking, for insuring a decent burial, for worship, for hunting, travel, art and for banking. In the time of Edward III (1312 – 1377) there were more than 40,000 religious, trade and crafts gilds listed in England. During the Protestant Reformation (1517 – 1648) all gilds were suppressed as superstitious foundations. The trade gilds survived as corporations or companies - one such was the Masons Company of London - but they were devoid of the power and influence they had possessed. It is not clear as to what happened to the craft gilds, let alone the gilds of masons. The origin of the term Lodge It is not quite clear as to how the term “Lodge” came to be applied to the basic organizational unit of Freemasonry. The term per se most probably originated during the Frankish period (see “The origins of Masonic craft associations: France”, in Part 1 of this article) from the “laubja” or temporary shelters made of foliage that the masons built against the sides of the cathedrals, to live in during construction. This was later transformed into the Old French “loge” (pronounced “loje”), and the Medieval English “logge”. The term “logge” or “loge” was used in particular for a cabin erected by masons working on the site of a major construction project, such as a church or cathedral, and may consequently have also been a type of occupational nickname for a mason. By the 14th century the term began to be applied to a mason’s workshop. A manuscript dated 1370 notes,”All ye masons…sall be…ilka day atte morn atte yare worke, in ye loge ya: es ordained to the masonnes atte
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wyrke” (All you masons shall be at your work in the morning every day: as ordained to the masons at work). By the 15th century it came to be applied to a lawful meeting of Master craftsmen. It is logical to assume, therefore, that a lawful gathering of masons came to be called a “logge”, for the term “atte Logge” appended to a personal name (e.g. Adam atte Logge), often denoted the warden of the masons’ lodge. Medieval English had no spelling rules and words were spelled according to sound, and so it appears that the word came to be spelled “lodge”. The demise of Operative Freemasonry Operative Masonry began to decline in the fifteenth century; in the following century it almost went out of existence. The Hundred Years War in France (1337 to 1453), the Black Death (1348 to 1350), and the wars of Roses (1455 to 1485) resulted in a great waste of human life and the depopulation of villages. Arts and sciences were neglected and the people lost faith in the church culminating in the Reformation (1517 onwards) that dealt a death blow to Mediaeval architecture. All gilds were suppressed by Henry VIII, monastery corporations were dissolved, Cathedrals were no longer erected, and existing ones demolished. All these circumstances impoverished the people so that architecture rapidly declined. The great London fire (1666) caused massive destruction and resulted in untold misery and suffering. In the rebuilding of London (for 50 years after the fire) the influx of foreign workmen was so great that the existing gilds of operative Masons were demoralized and soon commenced to disintegrate. Surviving lodges met but occasionally and with extreme difficulty. Darrah notes, “In 1646, when Elias Ashmole was initiated, there were but seven present to participate in the ceremonies”. The last account we have of the operative guilds of the Middle Ages is in connection with the erection of St. Paul’s cathedral in London, in the 17th Century, under Sir Christopher Wren. Just how many of these gilds were in existence at this time or to what extent their influence reached is not known. Whatever record may have been kept was probably destroyed. It is, therefore, impossible to arrive at any definite conclusion as to what may have been the status of these operative societies. Darrah asserts that it is beyond doubt that “there existed among them nothing in the way of a central organization. Each guild was a trades union complete in itself, establishing its own rules, admitting whom it pleased, and exercising its functions independent of all other similar societies”. The gild system also became a target of much criticism as the gilds were believed to oppose free trade and hinder technological innovation, technology transfer and business development. According to several accounts of this time, gilds became increasingly involved in simple territorial struggles against each other and against free practitioners of their arts. Following the great London fire, the rebuilding of St. Paul’s cathedral and other civil and religious edifices gave some new life to operative Masonry, but it was not sufficient to revive these old societies and restore them to their former glory. At the beginning of the 18th Century there was no general organization of Masonry. Ongoing building caused workmen to come together, form a temporary lodge, complete the work, and disband.
The birth of Speculative Freemasonry In order to prevent the total extinction of these old operative societies and to preserve them because of their historical associations and their value as social recreation centers, a proclamation was issued in England somewhere between the years 1707 and 1717, admitting men of all professions provided they were regularly approved and initiated into the society. The societies then began to admit members who were not stonemasons. Pritchard writes, “Lords and Dukes, Lawyers and Shopkeepers, and the other inferior Tradesmen, Porters not excepted, were admitted”, “the first sort at very great Expence, the second sort at a moderate Rate, and the latter at an expence of six or seven Shillings, for which they receive that Badge of Honour”. Thus these old societies ceased to be operative in character, but retained a semi-professional relationship to the communities wherein they existed. The term “Freemason” which was first used to designate a worker in free stone, began to assume a new significance - that of “free of the gilds.” And, as the number of operative masons decreased and the number of speculative Masons increased, the society in due time became known as the “Society of Free and Accepted Masons”, consisting of fraternal groups which observed the traditional culture of stonemasons, but were not typically involved in modern construction projects. From the minutes of the Lodges at Kilwinning and Aberdeen we learn that the Scottish Lodges not only took in non-Operatives as early as 1642, but that they were given an active part in lodge affairs. The extinct Haughfoot Lodge had a non-Operative majority, with a ritual and ceremony, as early as 1702. The earliest existing record of a man having been made a non-Operative Mason in England is that of Robert Moray who was “made” at Newcastle, by members of the lodge of Edinburgh with the Scottish army, on 20th May 1641. But the most famous of all the earliest nonOperative Masons by far was Elias Ashmole, made a Mason at Warrington on 16th October 1646. The minute book of “The old lodge of Melrose” dated 1675 records a mutual agreement signed by eighty names. “In the mutual agreement betwixt the masons of the lodge of Melrose ye master mason and wardines were invested with full powers to enforce regulations, collect fees, fines, and penalties.” “Their papers, notes, and money were kept in a box in charge of the Box Master, or Master. Their funds seem to have been freely loaned to the members on “Tickets, Obligat’n’s and Bonds.” Early in their proceedings, the terms “prentises” and “fellow-crafts” appear, and the proceedings in 1695, record: “At Neusteid the 27 day of deer. 1695 it is heirby enacted and ordained be the Masons tread that nather prentis nor fallow Craft be received into our companie unless they hev ther gloves presentile produst to those persons they are concernd to pay too.” In 1686, Dr. Robert Plot wrote in his “Natural History of Staffordshire” about the Society of Freemasons: “for here I found persons of the most eminent quality, that did not disdain to be of this Fellowship. Nor indeed need they, were it of that Antiquity and honour, that is pretended in a large parchment volume they have amongst them, containing the History and Rules of the craft of masonry…. Into which Society when they are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodg as they term it in some places), which
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must consist at lest of 5 or 6 of the Ancients of the Order, when the candidats present with gloves, and so likewise to their wives, and entertain with a collation according to the Custom of the place: This ended, they proceed to the admission of them, which chiefly consists in the communication of certain secret signes, whereby they are known to one another all over the Nation, by which means they have maintenance whither ever they travel: for if any man appear though altogether known that can shew any of these signes to a Fellow of the Society, whom they otherwise call an accepted mason, he is obliged presently to come to him, from what company or place soever he be in, nay, tho’ from the top of a Steeple (what hazard or inconvenience soever he run) to know his pleasure and assist him; viz., if he want work he is bound to find him some; or if he cannot doe that, to give him mony, or otherwise support him till work can be had; which is one of their Articles.”. The birth of the Grand Lodges England: There is some indication that there was an ancestry of Freemasonry that was associated with both working and nonworking masons in England during the 17th century. In York there is evidence of a Masons’ Guild lodge in 1663. The Grand Lodge of York: The earliest reference to the Grand Lodge at York is the minute book of the Lodge at York dated 1705. This Lodge functioned as a Grand Lodge in as much as it possessed its own collection of Old Charges and claimed the right to authorize men, to form themselves into attached extensions of the York Lodge in the towns of Bradford and Scarborough. There are other records that attest the active condition of English Freemasonry at Yorkshire in 1705. It is inferred, therefore, that it must have been in existence from earlier times and that it interposed between the purely operative and purely speculative Freemasonry. However, the earliest document of the Grand Lodge of York available is a roll of parchment, dating from 1712 to 1730. These York minutes give accounts of meetings of Private lodges (general meetings), General lodges (meetings on the festival day in June), and St. John’s Lodges (meetings on the festival day in December). The ruler of the Lodge was called the President, and brethren, who temporarily presided, in the absence of the President, were described as Masters. In the minutes we also find proceedings of meetings described as those of the “Honourable Society and Fraternity of Freemasons”. The Grand Lodge of York therefore considered itself the Mother Lodge, and co-existed amicably with The Grand Lodge of England in the South till late 18th century Following the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, the title of the Grand Lodge of York was changed to “The Grand Lodge of all England, TOTIUS ANGLIA”. There is abundant evidence to prove that the Grand Lodge of York was active till 1792. However, for some reason, it seems to have broken up, for Hughan notes in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum that “All the ‘York’ Lodges succumbed on the decease of their ‘Mother Grand Lodge,’ and there has not been a representative of the Antient York Grand Lodge anywhere whatever, throughout this (19th) century.” The Legend of York: From a 15th century manuscript written in the reign of Edward IV, we learn that Prince Edwin, the brother of
King Aheltstan who was a student of geometry, granted a charter in A. D. 926 to a company of Masons. Legend has it that Prince Edwin assembled the Masons at York in 926, and ordered them to submit available written documents in various languages about societies of Masons. From the documents so submitted he had formed the English Masonic Constitutions, known more popularly as the Gothic Constitutions. Gould notes that there is no sufficient evidence that these Regulations now called the York Constitutions or the Gothic Constitutions are those that were adopted in 926. Darrah remarks that, “So far as this assembly of Masons in York relates to Freemasonry it is simply a myth.”… “While the holding of such an association must be viewed as legendary only, yet whatever assembly may have been held was simply that of an aggregation of rough stone Masons. In no sense did it relate to the cathedral builders of the middle ages.” Plot notes that the Ancient Charges were “brought into England by St Amphibal and first communicated to St Alban, who set down the Charges of masonry and was made paymaster and Governor of the King’s works and gave them charges and manners as St Amphibal had taught him. Which were after confirmed by King Athelstan, whose youngest son Edwyn loved well masonry, took upon him the charges and learned the manners and obtained for them of his father, a free Charter. Whereupon he caused them to assemble at York and to bring all the old Books of their craft and out of them ordained such charges and manners, as they then thought fit ; which charges on the said Schrole or Parchment volum, are in part declared”. This charter has not been found. The Grand Lodge of York considered Prince Edwin their first Grandmaster. Gothic Constitutions: The earliest record of the old Constitution’s is the Ancient poem commonly known as the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript dated around 1390. The 794 line poem begins by evoking Euclid and his invention of geometry in ancient Egypt and then the spreading of the art of geometry in “divers lands.” This is followed by fifteen points for the master concerning both moral behaviour and the operation of work on a building. There are then fifteen points for craftsmen which follow a similar pattern. Another manuscript known as the Cooke manuscript, dating from the 15th century also gives a legendary origin of stonemasonry. While the Regius claims that stonemasonry was invented by Euclid to provide employment for sons of the nobility in ancient Egypt, Cooke, extends the antiquity of the craft back beyond Egypt to biblical times, with the origins of the craft placed in the pre-flood era during Cain’s lifetime. The legends have been embellished by succeeding authors. There are 19 major and many minor manuscripts, totaling approximately 100 in number, whose contents build upon the medieval manuscripts and were compiled between 1583 and 1717. The contents of all these ancient manuscripts are all very similar and historians presume that they are copies of some earlier documents which were, apparently, lost through wars, holocaust, required book-burnings and the chaos and destruction through the ages. These Gothic Constitutions guided Freemasonry in Britain for a century and half till doubt was cast on them after the formation of the Grand Lodge of London.
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Prior to the 16th century, no mention of Hiram Abif is found in any of the records of rituals of craft associations or gilds. The first mention of Hiram Abif is in the Dowland Manuscript (1550), but only as one name among many. The legend of King Solomon and Hiram Abif appears to have been incorporated into the Freemasons’ ritual after the publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 with its Old Testament accounts of Solomon and his Temple. The Grand Lodge of London: In 1717 there were only four lodges existing in London, and they determined to form a Grand Lodge (according to Gould in his “History of Freemasonry” there were no Grand Lodges prior to the formation of the Grand Lodge in 1717). Anderson’s Constitutions, published in 1738, is practically the only known account of the formation of the Grand Lodge for there is no existing record of the transactions or activities of the newly formed Grand Lodge between the year 1717 and 1723. The Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was formed, on 24 June 1717 (the Feast of St. John the Baptist) at a meeting of the four lodges held in the “Apple Tree Tavern,” in London, and Anthony Sayer was elected as the first Grand Master. It was agreed, among other things, “that no lodge should thereafter be permitted to be held (the four old lodges alone excepted) unless by authority of a charter granted by the Grand Master, with the consent and approbation of Grand Lodge.” The four Lodges agreed to recognize every Lodge, which should thenceforth be regularly constituted, and to admit the Masters and Wardens to all privileges of the Grand Lodge. The Book of Constitutions: In June 1718, George Payne was proclaimed Grand Master, and he invited the brethren to bring to the Grand Lodge any old writings and records concerning Masons and Masonry that referred to Masonic procedures of ancient times. In June 1719, Dr. John T. Desaguliers was elected as the third Grand Master. Dr. Desaguliers was an erudite and learned man known in some circles as the Father of Modern Speculative Freemasonry. it His learning and social position gave a social standing to the Institution, and brought into its fold noblemen and men of influence. The Craft rapidly increased in numerical strength, respectability and influence under him with many noblemen taking part in the ceremonies, and subsequently officiating as officers. Another point in which Desaguliers took much interest was in the investigation and collection of the old records of the society. In 1720 Payne undertook the first compilation of the available material into the “General Regulations”, commonly known as the Ancient Charges. In June 1721 the Duke of Montague, who was at that time Grand Master, ordered James Anderson to “revise and digest them in a better method.” Anderson took the fragmentary data which had been collected by Payne and added to it the findings of his own research and submitted his findings. He gives the legend of Prince Edwin taken, as he says, from “a certain record of freemasons written in the reign of King Edward IV,” which manuscript, Preston asserts, “is said to have been in the possession or the famous Elias Ashmole.” As the old manuscripts were inaccessible, and till date few authentic records have been discovered, the general adoption of the legend by the Craft for more than a century and
a half can be attributed purely the publication of the legend by Anderson, and subsequently by Preston. In December 1721, a committee of fourteen learned brethren was appointed to examine the result of Anderson’s labors. In March 1722 Anderson’s work was adopted by the Grand Lodge. It was published in 1723, entitled “The Book of Constitutions of the Freemasons, containing the History, Charges, Regulations, etc., of the Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity, for the use of the Lodges.” The “Constitutions” formed the code governing modern speculative Freemasonry. To this was annexed the regulation binding the Grand Master and his successors, and the Master of every Lodge, to preserve these regulations inviolable, and ordering them to be read in open lodge at least once in each year prior to his installation in the chair of the Lodge. The Book mentions that “All these foreign Lodges are under the Patronage of our Grand Master of England….. But the old Lodge at YORK City, and the Lodges Of SCOTLAND, IRELAND, FRANCE, and ITALY, affecting Independency, are under their own Grand Masters, tho’ they have the same Constitutions Charges, Regulations, &c., for Substance, with their Brethren of England.” The Grand Lodge of England: In 1738, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster changed its name to “The Grand Lodge of England”, and Anderson rewrote the Constitutions. The British Constitutions, or “Old Charges,” do not seem to have predecessors nor rivals. Gould contends that, “The so-called “Constitutions,” peculiar to England and Scotland, contain legends or traditional history, which are not to be found in the regulations or working statutes of the latter country, nor do they appear in the Ordinances of the Craft either in France or Germany”. The Grand Lodge of Ireland: No specific record exists of the foundation of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. There are references to Lodge meetings across Dublin in a speech given in Trinity College, Dublin as far back as 1688. The oldest artifact of Fraternal Masonry in Ireland, and one of the oldest Masonic artifacts in the world, is a brass square recovered from Baals Bridge in Limerick during excavations, which dates back to 1507 and is inscribed with the phrase, “I will strive to live with love and care, upon the level and by the square.” The oldest reference to the Grand Lodge of Ireland comes from the Dublin Weekly Journal of 26 June 1725 in which is described a meeting of the Grand Lodge to install the new Grand Master, the first Earl of Rosse, on June 24 1725. The Grand Lodge today has jurisdiction over 13 Provincial Grand Lodges covering all the Freemasons of the island of Ireland, and another 12 provinces worldwide. The Grand Lodge of Scotland: The oldest record of the Grand Lodge of Scotland is the meeting minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) which date from 31st July 1599. In 1598 William Schaw, signed and promulgated two sets of statutes, or codes of laws, (known as the Schaw Statutes and incorporated into the Gothic charges) one for use by the Craft in general, the other for use by the lodge of Kilwinning. Schaw signed himself as “Master of the Work, Warden of the Masons.” In these Statutes, he declared that the ordinances issued by him for the regulation
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of lodges considered the lodge at Edinburgh to be for all time, the first and principal lodge in Scotland. Schaw established permanent lodges for particular towns under his direct control. These lodges started to keep regular minutes, in which the initiation of entered apprentices and fellow crafts is recorded. The earliest available Lodge minutes are the those of Mother Kilwinning (1642), and Aberdeen (1670). Schaw encouraged members of the lodges to take an interest in the latest philosophical and esoteric movements. These new lodges attracted interest from men who were not working stonemasons, and intellectuals joined Scottish Masonic lodges. Eventually, these “gentleman Masons” began to dominate the membership of the Scottish Masonic lodges. The Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland was founded in 1736 The Ancient Grand Lodge: During the 1730s and 1740s antipathy increased between the Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland who considered the London Grand Lodge to have deviated from the ancient practices of the Craft. From 1717 to 1750, there were a number of Masons and lodges that never affiliated with the Grand Lodge of England. These unaffiliated Masons and their Lodges were referred to as “Old Masons”, or “St. John Masons”, and “St. John Lodges”. In 1751, five lodges, comprising mainly of Irish freemasons, who were dissatisfied with the way freemasonry was practiced by the Grand Lodge of England, gathered at the Turk’s Head Tavern, in Greek Street, Soho, London, and formed a rival “Grand Lodge of England According to the Old Institution”, also known as the Ancient Grand Lodge (as opposed to the Modern Grand Lodge). Laurence Dermott compiled the constitution of the Ancient Grand Lodge borrowing heavily from the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ireland which had been published in 1751. His work was titled “Ahiman Rezon; or a Help to a Brother; showing the Excellency of Secrecy, and the first cause or motive of the Institution of Masonry; The Principles of the Craft; and the benefits from a Strict Observance thereof, etc., etc.; Also the Old and New Regulations; etc. To which is added the greatest collection of Masons’ Songs, etc.”. and published in 1754.
banned Freemasonry, for political reasons. The first lodge whose existence is historically certain was founded by some Irishmen in Paris around the year 1725 and met “in the manner of English societies”. In 1728, the Freemasons decided to recognize the 1st Duke of Wharton (Philip Wharton), Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of London, as “grand-master of the Freemasons in France”. In 1732 the Lodge received official patents from the Grand Lodge of London under the name “Saint Thomas”. But it was only in 1738 that an assembly of representatives from all the “English” and “Scottish” lodges formed the first Grande Loge de France, which gave birth to the French Masonic jurisdictions which exists today. In 1743 the Grand Lodge of England is said to have warranted the “Grande Loge Anglaise De France” (Grand English Lodge of France), which in 1756 was changed to the National Grand Lodge of France. However, disputes and poor management led to its demise and the formation of the “Grand Orient”, which held its first meeting on March 5, 1773. In 1871 the Grand Orient abolished the office of Grand Master, since which time the duties of that office have been performed by the President of the Council. A new Grand Body, known as The National Grand Lodge, was organized in 1914 to erect lodges practicing Ancient Craft Masonry on the same principles as those adhered to by the Ancient Grand Lodge of England, but to date it remains small in size and influence. Grand Lodges in Germany: There is no record of a Freemasons Lodge in Germany prior to 1737 when a Lodge was possibly formed in Hamburg. It is believed that Freemasonry was introduced into Germany from England. Freemasonry in Germany has been fragmented and undergone many transformations with differing Rites and degrees. In 1740 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hamburg was warranted, based on Schroeder’s Rite which is closest to the English Rite, and a Provincial Grand Master was appointed. To date there exist eight Grand Lodges in Germany.
The United Grand Lodge of England: In 1809 the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges appointed Commissioners to negotiate an equitable Union. Over a period of four years the articles of Union were negotiated and agreed and a ritual developed reconciling those worked by the two Grand Lodges. On 27 December 1813 a ceremony was held at Freemasons’ Hall, London forming the United Grand Lodge of England with the Duke of Sussex, as the Grand Master. The combined ritual was termed the Emulation Ritual and adopted as a standard ritual by the United Grand Lodge of England, although other rituals continue to be used in many lodges.
Grand Lodges in Italy: In 1733 the English Freemason Charles Sackville, formed a Lodge in Florence that accepted Italian members. In 1736 the Lodge was investigated by the Inquisition, and condemned in 1737 leading to the first Papal ban in 1738. “Now it has come to Our ears, and common gossip has made clear, that certain Societies, Companies, Assemblies, Meetings, Congregations or Conventicles called in the popular tongue Liberi Muratori or Francs Massons or by other names according to the various languages, are spreading far and wide and daily growing in strength; and men of any Religion or sect, satisfied with the appearance of natural probity, are joined together, according to their laws and the statutes laid down for them, by a strict and unbreakable bond which obliges them, both by an oath upon the Holy Bible and by a host of grievous punishment, to an inviolable silence about all that they do in secret together.”
Grand Lodges in France: Tradition has it that the first lodge was founded at Paris in 1725 by the Earl of Derwentwater and his fellow Jacobites, who had fled from England upon the fall of the Stuart dynasty, but there is no evidence to support this. It is most probable that Freemasonry was introduced into France and Germany from England. Though Perdiguier fixes the introduction of Freemasonry into France at 1715, there is no record of a Freemasons Lodge in France prior to 1728, though there are several unconfirmed accounts. In the 18th century, the Pope
However there were constant changes in Italian ecclesiastical and political affairs and therefore in the enforcement of this ban. Italian Freemasonry therefore developed a variety of confusing forms. In 1859 a movement was developed culminating in 1861 when twenty-two lodges assembled at Turin and formed the Grand Orient of Italy which united most Lodges in 1873. The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication. In 1919 a breakaway faction from the Grand Orient, formed themselves into the Most Serene
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National Italian Grand Lodge. Today there are two Supreme Councils in Italy, one connected with the Grand Orient, the other that works with the Serene National Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge of Florence. Summary: The craft of Stone Masonry originated in the ancient civilizations of Peru and Egypt. It proliferated from Egypt in 4000 BC to Minoan Crete and from there to Greece, whence it was imbibed by the Romans and dissipated throughout the Roman Empire. The earliest recorded association of Stonemasons was the Greek Eranoi, and the Roman Collegia. With the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, all Collegia became extinct except for the Colegium of Stonemasons, whose members migrated to France where the Meringovians were building Basilicas. In France the Stonemasons were organized into the Corps de Metiers with their social associations the Confraire. With the banning of the Confraires by the French Parliament in the 15th century, their members joined the Compagnons de Tour de France, an organization of roving journeymen, who took refuge after the interdiction of assemblies in the 17th century. Meanwhile, Christian religious fervor led to the building of Cathedrals throughout Western Europe with the stonemasons forming themselves into an official organization called Freemasons, who ranged freely from one nation to another, selling their skills wherever required. Benedict Biscop reintroduced the craft of stone buildings into England by employing these Freemasons in the 7th century AD, and it proliferated throughout Britain. From the 9th to the 12th century the Christians from Britain undertook missions into Germany where they built many churches and taught the craft to the Germans. The stonemasons in Germany organized themselves into societies called the Steinmetzen, in order to safeguard their skills. Gilds were also formed in England along similar lines. The gilds were considered a threat to the economy and banned. The wars in France and England, the Plague, and the Great London Fire resulted in depopulation and decrease in building. In order to survive, the guilds began to admit members who were not stonemasons, and speculative freemasonry was born in England. Grand Lodges were formed in York, Ireland, and Scotland which followed the Gothic Constitutions said to have been promulgated by Prince Edwin in 926. The Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was formed in 1717 and renamed the Grand Lodge of England in 1738. The Gothic Constitution was found defective by the Grand Lodge of London which commissioned the Book of Constitutions which forms the governing Code of modern speculative Freemasonry. In 1809, the Ancient Grand Lodges united with the modern Grand Lodge of England forming the United Grand Lodge of England, with the Emulation Ritual that reconciled the ancient rituals with the modern, and which forms the basis of the ritual adopted by the Grand Lodge of India. Freemasonry was introduced into the other European countries by Freemasons from Britain. Conclusion While the practices of the Roman Collegia, the French
Compagnons, and the German Steinmetzen have a lot in common with the existing practices and rituals of the Free and Accepted Masons today, there is no recorded evidence to prove the link. However, it is possible that the practices of Freemasonry as we know of it today may have originated from practices of these associations. Operative Freemasonry appears to have originated with the resurgence of stone work in Europe in the 6th to 10th centuries and the formation of roving stone masons into a formally chartered society of Freemasons. Speculative Freemasonry probably originated in England following the Great Fire of London when men other than masons began to be admitted into the Lodges. Modern Freemasonry originated with the formation of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster in 1717, renamed as the Grand Lodge of England in 1738, and was established by the union of the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, and Ireland into the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. The combined Emulation Ritual has been adopted as a standard ritual by the United Grand Lodge of England and thence the Grand Lodge of India Bro Prof Dr. U. Gauthamadas was raised in 2001 in the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No. 150 EC. IG 2006. Member of Lodge C A Ramakrishnan No. 192 GLI, Founder Member of Lodge Prudentia No. 369 GLI consecrated in October 2010 in which he has served as SD 2011, and is the Secretary 2012. http://lodge-prudentia.com/home Professional life: Dr. Gautham has 30 years of good experience at best leading centers, and is currently Professor and Head of Psychiatry, MAP Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, and Senior Consultant in Neuro-behavioral medicine, Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry of Old Age, Womens Mental Health, and Neuro psychiatrist. Dr. Gautham is a Fellow of Indian Psychiatric Society, Fellow of Indian Association for Geriatric Mental Health, Member of World Psychiatric Association, and Fellow of the Association of Industrial Psychiatry of India. He graduated in Medicine from University of Madras in 1980 and then trained for 2 years in Neurology and Psychiatry at the National Institute for Mental Heath & Neurosciences, Bangalore (the best in Asia), a further 2 years in Psychological Medicine and 2 years in Psychiatry at the Institute for Mental Health, Chennai (the premier institute in India). Dr. Gautham has also trained in Child behavior & Development, and Geriatric Mental Health in UK. Dr. Gautham holds a MD in Psychiatry, Diploma in Psychological Medicine (DPM) , Diploma in Child Behaviour and Development (DCBD), and has done research for his PhD after his MBBS. Dr. Gautham’s service to Disaster Mental Health in the aftermath of the Super Tsunami 2004 and South Asia earthquake 2005. and the Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh floods 2005, 2006, and 2007 is recorded in the Wikipedia (Click here for more...). Dr. Gautham was instrumental in getting the University of Madras to introduce concessions for students with Learning disabilities in 2004. His popular appearances on Jaya TV’s channel produced “Iniya Illam” program to deliver informative tips about mental illness and mental health ran for nearly four years with more than 180 appearances. Dr. Gautham has appeared on NDTV 24X7 alongside personalities such as Kapil Sibal. He has also done live phone-in Q & A programs on Sun TV, Podhigai, Raj TV, and Jaya TV. He has written articles on various mental health issues for various newspapers and magazines including the Times Group, and the Hindu, and local language Tamil magazines including Dinakaran Vasantham, Kumudam etc.
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Freemasons on the Santa Fe Trail By Paul Gordon Freemasonry has been described as the world’s oldest and largest fraternity, with a goal of “making good men better.” Freemasonry, or Masonry, has spread its branches over the four corners of the globe. Where man has gone, so has Freemasonry. This includes the American Southwest and the development of the Santa Fe Trail, which generally dates from its opening in 1821 by William Becknell. While there is no claim that Becknell was a Freemason, many Masons have contributed to the development and use of the Trail. Freemasons, who refer to each other as “Brother,” meet in groups called Lodges. Most Masonic Lodges in the United States trace their charters back to England in colonial times. Freemasons meet and work together for mutual and civic improvement. They use the working tools of stone masons as symbols of the values they promote, such as truthfulness, morality and brotherly love. A Mason knows he can trust and depend upon a brother Mason. This is very valuable, especially in circumstances such as the dangers, challenges and vagaries of the early southwestern frontier. While all are equal in the lodge and every Mason’s participation and well-being is valued and appreciated, there are some who have become more well-known outside of Freemasonry. Many of these are associated with the Santa Fe Trail. In as much as Freemasonry helps to “build” the character of a person and a stable society, so have Freemasons helped “build” the Santa Fe Trail. From Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico, many Freemasons have traveled from east to west over the Santa Fe Trail, some making the journey several times. Freemasonry in the Southwest Before the Trail Freemasons have been involved in some of the major events in the southwest that predate the Santa Fe Trail and impacted its early development. Freemasonry came to central Mexico from Spain. In those areas once controlled by Spain from the 1500s to the Mexican Revolution, including what is now New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and other western areas, Freemasonry was slowed or actually discouraged by the effects of the Spanish Inquisition.1 This was also the time of early American exploration and limited fur trading in the west and southwest. One of the first fur traders to venture into the Rocky Mountains was Andrew Henry, a Freemason and member of Western Star Lodge No. 109 at Kaskasia, Illinois. His business must have been profitable because by 1808 he amassed sufficient capital to become a partner in the well-known Missouri Fur Co., an organization composed largely of Freemasons. Among the partners were Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and William Clark, both members of St. Louis No. 111.2 In 1804 Baptiste Le Land3 set up a Trading Post in Santa Fe for the Missouri Fur Company. This was the year the Lewis and Clark Expedition left St. Louis for the western exploration.4 A rival firm, The American Fur Company, also of St. Louis, was composed
mainly of Masons.5 Lewis and Clark were both Freemasons. A branch of the Santa Fe Trail crosses the Missouri River at Leavenworth, Kansas, and thus intersects with the famous 1804 Corps of Discovery exploratory route of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Brother Meriwether became a Freemason in 1797 in Door to Virtue Lodge #44 A.F. & A.M., Albemarle County, Virginia. Brother William became a Freemason after petitioning and being accepted for membership in Saint Louis Lodge No. 111, warranted under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. But there are no records of his initiation. Saint Louis Lodge No. 111 did issue a traveling certificate to him in 1809. The first explorers to travel what later became the famed Santa Fe Trail, Captain Zebulon Pike and his second in command, Dr. John H. Robinson, were both Master Masons. Robinson was a member of Lodge No. 13 in Virginia, and later with Louisiana Lodge No. 109 at St. Genevieve, Missouri. These two discovered Pike’s Peak in 1806.6 They were sent on this exploratory venture by General James Wilkinson, Commander of the U.S. Army and a Freemason. He was a member of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge No. 2, Cincinnati, Ohio.7 Robinson was actually General Wilkinson’s eyes and ears in the foreign Spanish lands that the Pike expedition would ultimately find themselves.8 They had followed the Arkansas river from the east, searching for its source. This took them along parts of what would later become known as the wet route where the trail splits west of what is now Dodge City, Kansas. At that time Spain actively discouraged American, French and British expansion and exploration in the area it claimed as its own. On February 6, Pike reached the Conejos River, where he built a substantial stockade (near present day Alamosa, Colorado) for the protection of the men. In 1810 Pike published reports of his 1806 exploration of the Spanish held Colorado area. He had included information as to how much profit could be made by bringing eastern US goods to the Spanish occupied areas.9 The travels of Masons Pike and Robinson would factor later into William Becknell’s opening of the Santa Fe Trail. Today, Pike’s contribution to the opening of the southwest is honored by the “Zebulon Pike Memorial Plaza” in Larned, Kansas. There is also a Pike National Trail supported by the National Park Service. Official Spanish and Mexican Government attitudes towards Freemasonry changed dramatically in 1808 when Napoleon placed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the throne of Spain. Joseph was the Grand Master of Masonry in France, having received the degrees in 1805.10 When he was placed on the Spanish throne, all restrictions on Freemasonry in Spain were immediately lifted. The Freemasonry of Spain and France differed from that of England
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and Scotland in that mainland European Masonry was strongly political, while English Masonry discouraged ties to politics. By the early 1800s, however, there was a strong Masonic presence in Mexico. The traditional Masonry in Mexico which came from Spain was called the Escosese (Scottish Rite). There is some evidence that indicates these Escosese Masons may have been involved with the movement which led to Mexican independence.11 The official change of attitude toward Freemasonry is understandable by Freemasons. Freemasonry upholds the principles of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth,” otherwise related, as in France: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” Moral lessons are ritually given, working through the rituals by degrees. The French Revolution was fought for the equality, liberty and fraternity of the third social class in France.12 These ideas were carried on into the post-revolutionary era of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is not surprising that they would be extended by Freemason Joseph Bonaparte when he lifted the Spanish restrictions. When Mexico did become independent from Spain in 1821 there were significant ramifications for Masonry and for what would become the Santa Fe Trail. The first three Presidents of Mexico were Masons. Another Mason displaced the third, and, in February 1833 Freemason General Santa Anna was elected president.13 Santa Anna’s Masonic affiliations were tenuous.14 William Becknell would cross paths with Santa Anna, and many other Masons, later during the Mexican–American war. In the meantime, Freemasonry’s growing popularity in Mexico would provide fertile grounds for the expansion of Freemasonry into areas such as New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. Another significant development after the Mexican revolution was the opening of trade with the United States over what would become the Santa Fe Trail. The new country of Mexico was eager for such trade and no longer attempted to exclude Americans from its territory. Thus, when Becknell came into contact with Mexican soldiers at Rock River and was escorted to Santa Fe 1821, he was welcomed and trade was encouraged. Freemasons Help Establish the Trail Captain William Becknell is known as the Father of the Santa Fe Trail. Becknell had many contacts with Freemasons throughout his life. He served as a sergeant in the Missouri Militia during the War of 1812 under Captain Nathan Boone, who was the son of Daniel Boone. Considered a famous American Freemason,15 according to Nathan, Daniel Boone was a Mason.16 Becknell may have been familiar with Boone as Nathan and Daniel lived in Missouri in the later years of Boone’s life before his death in 1820. Becknell made his first trading expedition from Franklin, Missouri. Franklin Missouri was named after Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was one of the great American Freemasons. Union Lodge No. 7 was chartered in 1821 at Franklin. Pike’s maps and notes were used by Becknell in 1821 when he opened the Santa Fe Trail.17 In deciding to seek his fortune in the Southwest, probably his main sources of information were an old trapper, Zeke Williams, and the man who was second in command under Zebulon Pike, Dr. Robinson. It is known that both men lived at that time within one hundred miles of where Becknell lived in Franklin, Missouri. Williams would have known the details of the fur traders’ route followed by Becknell on this first trip to Santa Fe. Dr. Robinson could have supplied the latest details about the political situation in Mexico because he was in correspondence with other doctors and, apparently, with political figures in both Europe as well as the US.18
In later years Becknell served in the Texas Army during the Texas War for Independence from Mexico. During that time he became a friend of Freemason Davy Crockett, 19 who was later killed with other Masons at the Battle of the Alamo, where General Santa Anna had given his “no quarter” order. Becknell was under the command of General Sam Houston, a Freemason. After the battle of San Jancinto, Houston had Becknell and his soldiers guard the captured Santa Anna.20 Freemasons were among some of the first to use the Trail. One Mason, Meredith Miles Marmaduke (1791-1869) was a famed Santa Fe Trader and Governor of Missouri. In 1824 he led a wagon train to Santa Fe and his journal of the trip was published in the October 1911 “Missouri Historical Quarterly. “21 Arrow Rock Lodge No. 55 has several records of him as a Mason.22 He was buried according to the Rites of Freemasonry in Sappington Cemetery in Arrow Rock, Missouri. The development of the Santa Fe Trail was quickly recognized as being in the national interest of the United States. Freemason and Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, charter member of Missouri Lodge #1, St. Louis, Missouri, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, one of the most powerful men in the Senate and the most influential advocate of western expansion, introduced a bill to have the Santa Fe Trail surveyed. In 1825, George Champlin Sibley was commissioned to survey the Trail, a clear “trace” having been worn in many places by the wagon wheels. His recommendations as to placement of forts and trading posts were acted on by Congress.23 Benton was the promoter of the slogan “Manifest Destiny.” One of his Lodge Brothers, Charles Bent, helped establish trading posts, or Forts, along the Santa Fe Trail and later become New Mexico’s first American Governor. One of those hired onto an early trading trip on the Trail was Kit Carson, who made several trips over the trail as a guide and in other capacities. Carson became a Freemason in 1854 in Montezuma Lodge #109 Santa Fe, Territory of New Mexico under dispensation for the Grand Lodge of Missouri. He then became a Charter Member and first Junior Warden of the new Bent Lodge #204 in Taos, New Mexico under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Missouri. He lived in Taos at the time. At various times in his life he was a mountain man, scout, Indian Agent, soldier, and rancher. Built in 1825, his home in Taos remains and is now a Museum remembering Brother Kit Carson and early Southwestern culture. It is owned by Bent Lodge #42 (reconstituted) and operated by the Kit Carson Memorial Foundation, Inc. He died in 1868 and is buried in the Kit Carson Cemetery in Taos. In 1829 William and Charles Bent led a caravan to Santa Fe. A year later they formed Bent, St. Vrain & Company with Ceran St. Vrain, a Taos trader and ex-trapper. Charles directed the Santa Fe trade, taking up residence in Taos and making seasonal trips to St. Louis. Ceran St. Vrain ran the company stores in Taos and Santa Fe and served as American Consul in Santa Fe during the 1830’s. They established several Forts, or trading posts, along what was becoming the wet route on the western part of the Santa Fe Trail. Charles Bent and St. Vrain were both Freemasons. Bent had always been recognized as a brother by all Masons who came in contact with him. It was a matter of common knowledge among Freemasons that he had been buried with Masonic honors by his brethren and comrades at Santa Fe, that when a Lodge of Masons was formed at Taos in 1860 it was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Missouri as Bent Lodge No. 204, and that when, in after years, a Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of New
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Mexico for Taos, it took the name of Bent Lodge No. 42. It was not until a copy of the Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Missouri was obtained by Brother T. P. Martin, M. D., of Taos, a co-worker in Masonic research, that any definite information was uncovered. By it we find the name of Charles Bent standing alongside of Senator Benton as a charter member of Missouri Lodge, No. 1, of St. Louis. This was in 1821.24 In 1826 Ceran St. Vrain was captain of a party of trappers leading an expedition down through New Mexico as far as the river Gila. It was on this expedition that Kit Carson made his maiden trip beyond the frontier. At this time St. Vrain was probably associated with William Bent, who, about 1824, had erected a stockade on the bank of the Arkansas River near where Pueblo now is. Soon afterwards the Bents and St. Vrain erected another stockade near the junction of the Purgatoire River with the Arkansas. In 1828 St. Vrain, associated with William and Charles Bent, commenced the erection of a formidable fort, afterwards known as Bent’s Fort or Fort William, on the north bank of the Arkansas River, a few miles east of the present city of Las Animas, Colorado. 25 The Bent’s Fort site is preserved by the National Parks Service. Colonel St. Vrain, like many other sturdy men of the frontier, was long prepared in his heart to become a Freemason, before he had had an opportunity to knock at the door of a Lodge. He had been intimately acquainted and more or less associated with men like Charles Bent, Dr. David Waldo, James Kennerly, and Colonel Dodge, who had long been members of the Order. He therefore presented himself for initiation March 22, 1853, was passed April 16, 1853, and raised Jan. 28, 1855, receiving his degrees in Montezuma Lodge, No. 109, of the jurisdiction of Missouri, at Santa Fe. He demitted there from April 7, 1860, and together with Bros. Kit Carson, Peter Joseph, Ferdinand Maxwell, John M. Francisco, A. S. Ferris, and others he formed a Lodge at Taos, under a charter from the Grand Lodge of Missouri, issued on June 1, 1860. This Lodge was known as Bent Lodge, No. 204.26 During the first ten years following Mexican independence a large number of trappers visited the Southwest. Mason Stephen Cooper, a trapper, went through New Mexico in 1821-1822, visiting in Santa Fe and Taos. Another Mason, George C. Yount, became intimately acquainted with Brothers St. Vrain, Bent, Kit Carson and others headquartered in Taos. Dr. Rowland Willard, Junior Warden of Hyram Lodge No. 3, St. Charles, Missouri, visited New Mexico in 1825.27 Freemasonry teaches and encourages the tenants of fortitude and perseverance. No doubt these early Masons had ample opportunities to exercise and practice these virtues as they forged their way through the hardships and dangers along the Santa Fe Trail. As they crossed the Indian frontiers and into what was still Mexico in the early years of the Trail, these Masons were traveling into foreign countries to work and receive their wages. Many bettered their circumstances and had the opportunity to practice charity, the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason’s heart. Freemasons On and Over the Trail As more traders, pioneers, and settlers began using the trail, it was natural that Freemasons would be among them. At Independence, Missouri, Independence Lodge No. 76 would hold public and somewhat elaborate commemorations for the departure of Brother Masons as they set off over the Trail. 28 An influential Freemason, Albert Pike, was a relative of Zebulon Pike. Albert Pike was an author, lawyer and soldier. He became the eighth Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted
Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction. He had traveled extensively in the undeveloped Southwest, arriving at Taos, New Mexico in 1831. He became a Master Mason in Western Star Lodge No. 2, in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1850. He rewrote the ritual of the rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, and authored “Morals and Dogma,” the most extensive work ever written on the fundamentals and traditions of Scottish Rite Masonry.29 There is included in the modern Scottish Rite Degrees a setting that takes place on the Oregon Trail, which intersects with part of the Santa Fe Trail in northeast Kansas. Another well known person was William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who as a young man hunted buffalo along the Trail to supply meat for the railroads as they worked their way west.30 Indian scout, buffalo hunter, pony express rider, circus owner, Buffalo Bill Cody remains one of the all-time colorful heroes of Western lore. He became a Freemason in 1870. Cody was buried with Masonic pomp and ceremony by Golden City Lodge No. 1 of Golden, Colorado, at the request of his home Lodge, Platte Valley Lodge No. 32, of North Platte, Nebraska. His body lies on Lookout Mountain near Denver, Colorado.31 In settled areas and times there are and have been Masonic Lodges, Lodge buildings and Masonic Temples in most communities of any size. That certainly was not the case on the southwestern frontier in the early days of the Trail. Masonic jurisdictions had not yet been clearly established by the Grand Lodges of States. For the frontier Freemasons, most of the meetings held before establishment of a state’s Grand Lodge might be considered “irregular” or not correct today, but small informal gatherings happened whenever three or more Masons met on the trails, at trading posts or at small settlements. Sometimes they met in cabins, sometimes in tents.32 As communities developed, Masonic Lodges were often soon established. Some communities that developed along the Santa Fe Trail are good examples. The Mora and Sapello Rivers join at La Junta (The Junction) now called Watrous. The Mountain and Cimarron Branches join there to make one Trail to Santa Fe. Samuel B. Watrous was Charter Master (1849) of the lodge meeting in the old Masonic Hall in La Junta. It also had members from the Fort Union military.33 The military made good use of the Trail and helped spread Freemasonry along the way. Masonic Lodges have sometimes been associated with military units, often called military lodges. As already seen, a great many military leaders were Freemasons. Several military forts were established along the Santa Fe Trail to protect travels and secure the frontier. Use of the Trail was very helpful for the military itself. On the eastern side of the Trail the departure point for most of the military goods became Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri River north of Kansas City. Here goods were received that had been shipped up the Missouri River by steamboat and then loaded on wagons for the trip to New Mexico. 34 Leavenworth, Kansas, on the Missouri River and a spur of the Santa Fe Trail, has a long and rich Masonic background. During the Mexican War the territory of New Mexico and Arizona was taken over by the United States Army under General Stephen Watts Kearny. Stephen Kearny and his army of some 3,700 men departed Ft. Leavenworth along the Santa Fe Trail to push the Mexican army out of the New Mexico territory and defend California.35 General Kearny occupied Las Vegas, New Mexico, without opposition on August 15, 1846. Three days later he entered Santa Fe and issued a proclamation taking formal possession of
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the territory. The proclamation assured the inhabitants of freedom of worship and protection of property. Before General Kearny left New Mexico, he proclaimed a code of laws for the area known as the Kearny Code. 36 The General on September 22, appointed the following to civil offices: Charles Bent, Governor, Donaisano Vigil, Secretary of the Territory; Richard Dallam, Marshal; Francis P. Blair, United States District Attorney; Charles Blummer, Treasurer; Joat Houghton, Antonio Jose Otero, and Charles Beaubien, Judges of the Superior Court. Of these, Bent, Dallam, Blummer, Houghton, Otero and Beaubien were Masons.37 In January 1847 Colonel Price quelled an insurrection at Taos in which Governor Bent was assassinated. Colonel Price was a member of Warren Lodge No. 74, Keytesville, Missouri.38 One of the early Military Lodges to operate along the trail was “Missouri Military Lodge No. 86,” chartered by Grand Master Ralls. It held its first meeting in Independence, Missouri. It was called an ambulant or traveling Lodge “holding its communications when called to labor in the movement of troops as occasion permitted.” On September 18, 1847, a special meeting was held at Santa Fe. This meeting of Missouri Military Lodge No. 86 is believed to be the first sanctioned Masonic meeting to be held in the vast expanse extending from the Missouri on the east to the Pacific Ocean and from Canada to Texas and Old Mexico.39 Hardin Military Lodge No. 87 was created at a meeting of Military Lodge No. 86 in Santa Fe, on October 8, 1847. At this meeting a petition was presented for a dispensation of a Lodge which “should be without limit to a particular location but to be itinerant as may best suit the convenience of its members and be only limited in its duration to six months after the close of the Mexican War.” This Lodge apparently was attached to First Regiment of Illinois Fort Volunteers. The record shows Military Lodge No. 87 had its meetings in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas, New Mexico.40 When the war was over and the time elapsed, Harding Military Lodge No. 87 was dissolved and no longer was a lodge. That is why the Santa Fe Masons petitioned for a charter for Montezuma Lodge. They asked two different Grand Lodges for a charter, finally getting one from Missouri on May 8, 1851. 41 Montezuma Lodge from its beginning assumed a leadership role and did everything in its power to pave the way for Masonry in the entire territory. Montezuma Lodge brought men of like minds together, furnished them a social life and mutual protection. For nine years it was the only lodge in the territory. Most of the furniture of the original lodge was transported, at least part of the way, by wagon train over the old Santa Fe Trail from Missouri.42 At the Forts along the Trail there were more permanent Masonic Lodges. Fort Union, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, is important to the history of Freemasonry in the Southwest because it was here that Chapman and Union Lodges were established. Chapman Lodge was first organized as Missouri Lodge No. 95 and Union Lodge as Missouri Lodge No. 480. The first communication of Chapman Lodge was held March 28, 1862. On May 24, 1867, for military reasons, the Lodges were requested to move outside of the Government reservation, the last meeting at the Fort being held on July 27, 1867. Thereafter, Chapman Lodge was permanently established in Las Vegas. It was one of the four Lodges instrumental in organizing the Grand Lodge of New Mexico in August 1877 and was chartered as Chapman Lodge No. 2.43 Chapman Lodge No. 2, named for Colonel William Chapman, has
a wonderful Masonic Temple Building. Much of the wood work, furnishings and accoutrements came from the east across the Santa Fe Trail. There is a wonderful 19 minute video showing the inside and outside of the Temple, and a detailed explanation of the Lodge and its functioning, on YouTube at www.youtube. com/watch?v=nbuBzTpf3wQ, October 12, 2011 entitled “Masonic Lodge 150 years + 116 yr Bldg, Las Vegas New Mexico.” 44 As the United States Territories and States expanded in the areas covered by the Trail so did Freemasonry. The Grand Lodge of Missouri was established in early 1821. The three founding Lodges had originally been chartered by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Representatives of these three Lodges met on February 22, 1821 in St. Louis. Grand Lodge Officers were installed on May 4, 1821.45 The Grand Lodge of Kansas is the governing body of Freemasonry in Kansas, formed March 17, 1856, nearly five years before Kansas statehood. Bleeding Kansas, the prelude to America’s Civil War, provided the backdrop to Kansas Freemasonry. In 1854, three Wyandot Indians and five white settlers – all of whom were Masons – coalesced in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas, and petitioned the Grand Lodge of Missouri to establish a Lodge of Masons in a Wyandot Indian village. On August 4, 1854, the dispensation was granted and one week later Kansas Lodge U.D. (eventually to become Wyandotte Lodge No. 3) opened for work. Within two years, two other Lodges in Kansas were formed and in 1856 the trio formed the Grand Lodge of Kansas as America’s Civil War loomed.46 Colorado soon followed. In 1861 three chartered Lodges with dispensations from Kansas and Nebraska: Golden City (today’s Golden), Summit Lodge in Parkville and Rocky Mountain at Gold Hill, plus two Lodges under dispensation from Kansas - Auraria and Nevada---sought to obtain permission to form their own jurisdiction for the purposes of advancing their fraternity. The Colorado Masons obtained their dispensation to form a Grand Lodge from the Grand Lodge of Kansas. Kansas obtained theirs from Missouri and Missouri from Tennessee in 1821. Tennessee was chartered by North Carolina’s Grand Lodge. North Carolina was granted their charter from England in March 1754. So Colorado Masonry is only four steps from ancient Freemasonry. There were 52 Masons in Colorado when it became a Grand Lodge.47 In New Mexico, the strain of life for Masons in that rugged country is believed to have manifested a great need for friendship with those holding like beliefs, but Masonic representation for the ten Lodges formed under the Grand Lodge of Missouri (a thousand miles away) was limited to a District Deputy Grand Master who was empowered to do about anything he deemed proper. It also took several weeks for the communications to travel such a great distance between the Mother Grand Lodge and so few Masons in the New Mexico Territory. Because of these factors New Mexico Masons felt the need of a Grand Lodge of their own. They wanted a Grand Lodge that was dedicated to building Masonic Lodges and new communities within the Territory. So in the summer of 1877 eight men representing 165 Masons in four Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Missouri came together in Santa Fe to begin the process of creating a new Grand Lodge of Masons for the New Mexico Territory. On August 7, 1877 the Grand Lodge of New Mexico was declared formed.48 Part of the Santa Fe Trail crosses what is now the panhandle of Oklahoma. On October 6, 1874, representatives of three Lodges
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met and organized the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory. With the opening of Oklahoma Territory to white settlers, many of the brethren felt it was time once again for a new Grand Lodge. In 1892 the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma was formed. Thus, at this time there were two Grand Lodges in Oklahoma. In November 1907, things changed. Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory no longer existed as the State of Oklahoma was born. Since American Masonic tradition asserted that only one Grand Lodge could exist in any given political division, there was a problem with two Grand Lodges in the new state. They merged in 1909.49 Prince Hall Freemasonry also followed the Santa Fe Trail. Prince Hall is recognized as the Father of Black Masonry in the United States. The origin of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Missouri began when the M.W. Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio, established in 1849, chartered H. McGee Alexander Lodge #8 in St. Louis, Missouri in 1864. The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri was formed in 1865. 50 In Kansas, John Jones was the Most Worshipful Grand Master in the organization and chartering of Western Star lodge #1 at Lawrence in 1865, with D.G. Lett as Worshipful Master; soon followed by Euclid Lodge #2 at Topeka, and Mt. Oliver (later changed to Mt. Olive) Lodge #3 at Leavenworth. These three lodges remained under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio until 1875, when they met in the City of Lawrence and organized and established Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas, A.F. & A. M., with Brother D.G. Lett as its first M.W. Grand Master August 24, 1875. 51 In Colorado, Rocky Mountain Lodge #1 F. & A.M., the first of several lodges in Colorado, was organized in 1867 by a warrant from the National Compact System of Kansas, on November 17. On January 10, 1876 Western Lodge #2 was organized and on January 11, 1876 Mount Olive Lodge #3 came into existence from the same source. Rocky Mountain Lodge #1 worked under the National Compact System of Kansas from 1867 until 1876. On January 17, 1876 in accordance with a previous call, the delegates from Rocky Mountain Lodge #1, Western #2, and Mountain Lodge #3 met in convention in the hall of Rocky Mountain #1 of Denver for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge in the then Territory of Colorado.52 The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Mexico was organized September 21, 1921 and elected the Honorable T. B. J. Barclay, Grand Master. However, there was some difficulty experienced with regard to Lodges working under the authority of a Sister Jurisdiction. These conditions continued until August 17, 1937, when a Board of Arbitration composed of members of several neighboring jurisdictions was called. In 1957 the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico upheld a lower court decision, holding that Prince Hall Grand Lodge is the Supreme Masonic Authority in the State of New Mexico under Masonic Law.53 It has sometimes been said that Freemasonry follows the flag. In many cases it was a Freemason carrying the flag. As seen, it was sometimes carried by Freemasons on the Santa Fe Trail. The glory days of the Santa Fe Trail faded after the completion of the railroads along the route. However, Freemasonry along the Trail continues to flourish and Masons continue their work. At present there are Masonic Lodges in many cities and towns along the Trail still “making good men better” and contributing to the well being of their communities. All Lodges are active in charitable work and support the work of the appendant bodies. Among these efforts are innumerable college and technical college scholarships, research for a cure for schizophrenia, Masonic Learning Centers
for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Many other local charitable events are supported by local Lodges. All Lodge-supported charities are without cost to those helped or their families and are available to anyone regardless of Masonic affiliation. Bro. Paul Gordon is a Freemason living in Madison, Wisconsin. He was initiated, passed and raised in Chippewa Falls Lodge No. 176 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He is also a member of Middleton – Ionic Lodge No. 180 in Middleton, Wisconsin and Benjamin Franklin Lodge No. 83, Madison, Wisconsin where he is a Past Master. Benjamin Franklin Lodge No. 83 is an Emulation Ritual Lodge, one of only a very few Emulation Rite Lodges in the United States. Gordon is also a member of the Scottish Rite Valleys of Eau Claire and Madison in Wisconsin. A Tripoli Shriner, he is an Emeritus Member of the Board of Governors for Shriners Hospital, Twin Cities. 1 Freemasonry came to México sometime in the last twenty years of the 18th century. The scarcity of documentation is not surprising if we remember that our early brethren worked under the shadow of the Holy Inquisition. When independence came in 1821, many of the main actors are known or believed to have been Masons, but there was no Grand Lodge organization as such. The first Lodge known to exist in México met at the shop of French watchmaker Juan Esteban Laroche, until the Inquisition arrested them while celebrating the Summer Solstice in 1791. The next mention of Freemasonry in Mexico is in 1806. In this year, a Lodge was established in Mexico City in the residence of Don Manuel de Cuevas Moreno de Monroy Guerrero y Luyando in Calle de las Ratas (today Calle Bolívar). From: “A History, The York Grand Lodge of Mexico,” The Craftsman (July 2001) Volume 1, Number 4, (http://www.yorkmexico.org/history.php) 2 an excerpt from: Ray V. Denslow, “Territorial Masonry, Masonic Pathfinders” The Masonic Service Association of the United States Southern Publishers, Inc.(1925) (http://email@example.com/msg29958.html) 3 There is no confirmation that Le Land was a Freemason as of this writing. 4 Melvin Cl. Friendly, MPS, “Kit Carson, Master Mason and the Santa Fe Trail, “February, 1995 The Philalethes Magazine (February, 1995) Vol. VIII Number 5 (http://www.tntpc.com/252/philalethes/p95feb.html#Kit Carson, Master Mason) 5 Ibid. 6 Charles L Roblee, “Freemasonry and the Development of the West” The Philalethes, (October, 1955) Volume VIII Number 5. (http://www.tntpc.com/252/philalethes/p55oct.html#FreemasonryandtheDev elopmentoftheWest.) 7 Henry Baer, “Pioneer Masonry in the Northwest Territory, The story of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2, Cincinnati.” The Builder Magazine,( November 1927) Volume XIII Number 11 (http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/the_builder_1927_november.htm) 8 C.C., “Zebulon Pike’s Expedition to the Southwest, 1806-1807.”, Santa Fe Trail Research website,(November 2005) (http;//www.santafetrailresearch. com/pike/expedition.html) 9 Pike National Historical Trail Association web site,( 2001-2010) (http://zebulonpike.org/index.html) See, Craig Crease, “THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD: DR JOHN HAMILTON ROBINSON-SECRET AGENT, FILIBUSTERER,, MEXICAN REVOLUTIONARY, AND PATHFINDER ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL” Wagon Tracks, Volume 22 Number 3 ( November 2007) See also, Allan J. Wheeler, “Story of the Santa Fe Trail. The Trail That Changed History – The Story of the Santa Fe Trail” William Becknell web site (November 2011) (http://williambecknell.com/?page_id=131) 10 Joseph E. Bennett, Masons Along The Rio Bravo. (Masonic Grand Lodge Library and Museum of Texas 1966),.2 11 Jack B. Pace, “The Influence of Freemasonry on Texas. (citations omitted)
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Jacques De Molay Lodge No. 1390 web site (http://www.jd1390.org/Talks/influence.htm.) 12 Ibid 13 Bennett 5, 6 14 No body or Lodge has ever acknowledged him as a member. The tenants of Freemasonry had little impact on Santa Anna. The attributes of brotherly love, relief and charity were not part of his character. He had ordered “no quarter” at the Alamo, although he must have known a few of the defenders were Masons, as he was. Bennett 3, 12 15 Jason, “Famous American Freemasons,” Freemason Hall July 2, 2011) (http://www.freemasonhall.com/faq/famous-american-freemasons/) 16 Steve Harrison, “Daniel Boone.” One Minute Mason (March 15, 2011) (http://oneminutemason.blogspot.com/2011/03/daniel-boone.html) 17 David K Clapsaddle, “Zebulon Pike Plaza, Pawnee Fork Crossing.” Santa Fe Trial Research Site (http://www.santafetrailresearch.com/Pike/plaza.html) 18 Ibid 131 19 Historical Marker for Home of William Becknell, (http://www.bicknell.net/beckhome.htm) 20 Ibid 21 Melvyn C. Friendly MPS, “Kit Carson, Master Mason and the Santa Fe Trail,”, The Philalethes Magazine ,(February 1995) Volume VIII Number 5 ( http://www.tntpc.com/252/philalethes/p95feb.html#Kit Carson, Master Mason) 22 William R. Denslow and Harry S. Truman, 10,000 Famous Freemasons Part 2. Pp.135, 136. 23 Friendly 24 F.T. Cheetam, “Governor Bent, A Masonic Martyr Of New Mexico.” The Builder Magazine, (December 1923)Volume IX Number 12. 25 F.T. Cheetham, “Brother Colonel Ceran St. Vrain: A Study of the Life of a Masonic Pioneer of the Southwest,” The Builder Magazine, (November 1925) Volume 11 Number 11. (http://www.lakeharrietlodge.org/lhl277/MainMenu/Home/MasonicLibrary/TheBuilderMagazine/TheBuilderMagazineVolume11Number11/tabid/298/Default. aspx) 26 Ibid. 27 W. Peter McAtee, “Masonry in New Mexico,” Masonic Americana,.144-145. (http://www.knightstemplar.org/articles/0407/NewMexico.pdf) 28 Edwin Bryant, What I saw in California, 1848, 14-15. 29 Bennett, p. 57. 30 Friendly 31 Robert H. Golmar, “William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, The Digital Freemason. (November 1, 2010) (http://www.thedigitalfreemason.com/index.php?option=com_ content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=1) 32 Mike Moore, PM, “Lodge Historian, March 22, 2010, The 150th Anniversary of Freemasonry in Colorado, Masonic History”, Englewood Lodge No. 166 web site ( http://englewoodmasons.com/history.html) 33 Friendly 34 ”History of the Santa Fe Trail” The Santa Fe Trail Association web site (http://www.santafetrail.org/the-trail/history/history-of-the-sft/) 35 “From the Halls Of Montezuma” Temple 6 Chronicles, Temple Lodge No. 6, F & AM Of New Mexico., Albuquerque, New Mexico (March 2011) ( https://www.templelodge6.org/Temple_6_Chronicles.html) 36 McAtee 144-145. (http://www.knightstemplar.org/articles/0407/NewMexico.pdf) 37 Roblee 38 Ibid 39 Allen E. Roberts, Freemasonry in American History. (Maco Publishing & Masonic Supply Co. 1985) 298 40 Ibid 41 Montezuma Lodge No. 1, Santa Fe, New Mexico web site ( http://www.montezumalodge.org/) 42 “Freemasonry in the United States,” Sandoval Lodge No 76 Masonic History, Rio Ranch, New Mexico January 1, 2010) ( http://www.sandoval76afam.org/History.asp) 43 Ibid 44 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbuBzTpf3wQ) October 12, 2011. Masonic Lodge 150 years + 116 yr Bldg, Las Vegas New Mexico 45 Roberts 224, 225 46 “Grand Lodge, Kansas Freemasons”, 2010, Grand Lodge of Kansas web site (2010) ( http://www.kansasmason.org/) 47 Mike Moore, PM, “Lodge Historian, March 22, 2010, The 150th Anniversary of Freemasonry in Colorado, Masonic History”, Englewood Lodge No. 166 web site ( http://englewoodmasons.com/history.html) 48 “New Mexico Grand Lodge History” Temple Lodge No. 6, Chronicles. 49 “Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, A Historical Snapshot”. Grand Lodge of Oklahoma F. & A. M.web site (2011) (http://gloklahoma.com/GrandLodge/history.html) 50 Robert N. Campbell, FPS, Grand Historian, M.W.P.H.G.L. of Missouri & Jurisdiction, “History of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri.” Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri web site (2011) (http://glmopha.org/missouri-masons) 51 “Grand Lodge History” Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas, Leavenworth, KS web site (2011-2012). (http://www.mwphglks.org/Grand_Lodge_History.html) 52 “Grand Lodge of Colorado History,” The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah web site (February 2011) (http://mwphglco.com/grand%20lodge/history/grand%20lodge%20history.htm) 53 “History of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Mexico” Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Mexico web site (2011) (http://www.mwphglnm.org/gallery/New_Mexico_History.htm) 54 Paul Gordon is a Freemason living in Madison, Wisconsin. He is an Attorney and Labor Arbitrator. The author thanks the Editor of Wagon Tracks Magazine for historical accuracy review and stylistic suggestions.
Published with permission of the author.
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INTERNATIONAL Masonic REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY
www.bonisteelml.org Michael G. Maness, Character Counts: Freemasonry is a National Treasure and a Source of our Founding Fathers’ Constitutional Intent (Arthur House 2010, $23.50 USD).
Freemasonry is a National Treasure and a Source of our Founding Fathers’ Constitutional Intent It didn’t take long after Freemasonry began to spread from the British Isles for it to draw unfair and unwarranted attention. Cosmopolitan in outlook, democratic in operation, and non-dogmatic in matters of personal religion, it was often perceived as a threat by the period’s secular and religious leaders alike. To be fair, there was some justification for this. Freemasonry did promote notions of liberty, fraternalism, and religious tolerance that ran contrary to authoritarian regimes and establishment churches. Masonic lodges and individual Freemasons were also known to have played roles in the American Revolution, the failed 1798 Irish Rebellion, and the French Revolution. But a devil worshiping cabal bent on world domination? Such ridiculous, though readily accepted libels, have grown into a cottage industry. Thankfully, various Grand Lodges and individual Masons are speaking out and setting the record straight. Character Counts is Freemason Michael G. Maness’ line in the sand. It was originally published in 2006 but has now come up in a revised second edition. Maness notes: Today, two entire literature venues come against Freemasonry: (1) the anti-Masonic critics for over 200 years and (2) the David Barton-like Christian establishment revisionisms. The first concoct on Frankenstein after another, and the second rides the same train of obscuring Freemasonry in the Founding Fathers of the USA. The greatest mystery is why the character
of a legion of legendary men did not count to the critics. We document how small or false the evidence is that the critics use to support their allegations and how little they utilized in their constructions from the vast secular, religious and Masonry archives. Then we show how Masonry contributed to the founding of the USA like no single church or institution precisely upon character counting among the Founding Fathers. Maness shows up to this fight ‘loaded for bear.’ It is clear he takes the critics’ barbs personally - both as a Freemason and as a Southern Baptist, a Christian sect which actively promotes such misrepresentations. But characterizing the result of his effort is difficult. Part rebuttal, part personal musings on Masonry, its philosophy, historical characters, and accomplishments, Character Counts is, frankly, an overwhelming book. Maness covers a lot material, perhaps too much, which means the reader isn’t always sufficiently briefed to follow his arguments and insights. His prose style and the book’s format can also be cumbersome. Nevertheless, Maness has done yeoman’s work documenting and defusing some of Masonry’s most vocal critics. Michael G. Maness, Character Counts: Freemasonry is a National Treasure and a Source of our Founding Fathers’ Constitutional Intent (Arthur House 2010, $23.50 USD).
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INTERNATIONAL Masonic REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY Book Review:
native american freemasonry:
Joy Porter, Native American Freemasonry: Associationalism and Performance in America (University of Nebraska Press 2011, $60.00 USD) Winter 2012
Associationalism and Performance in America Native American Freemasonry represents another in a growing list of academic studies of Freemasonry. Porter’s book is unique, however, the in manner in which she conducts her examination – by viewing the Fraternity in terms of “performance” and sacred space. Moving beyond dates, persons, and events, she explores how and why Native American Masons and their European American counterparts used a shared ritual to forge ties, advance personal and communal goals, and surmount, if only within the lodge, race prejudice against Native peoples. Porter summarizes her approach and thesis thus: In terms of Freemasonry as an area of study in itself, performance cannot replace other extremely valid and established approaches such as viewing the fraternity through the lens of gender or class or as part of the history of association, just as it cannot do away with the structural or cultural inequities of power. I argue that although certain Indians found positive intercultural space in the Masonic lodge, this does not mean that what went on in lodges was necessarily “pure” in terms of intercultural representation or that the balance of power between the dominant culture and the Indian cultures was wholly refigured by the Masonic context. Indeed, Porter goes on to show exactly how nuanced
these relationships could be. The first recorded Native American Mason was Chief Joseph Brant, a Mohawk, initiated at Hiram’s Cliftonian Lodge No. 417 in London in 1776. Later he helped found one of the earliest lodges in Upper Canada (now the Province of Ontario), Lodge No. 11 in Brant’s Town, and was reputed to have been its Master until around 1801. He, like so many Native American brothers to follow, would have a complicated relationship with British/European American society, Freemasonry, and his indigenous heritage. Brant, who spoke English, was well educated, and an Anglican convert, would be remembered both as a brutal adversary (the “Monster Brant”) and mythologized as a Masonic savior, rescuing a number of brothers in distress from grisly deaths at the hands of Native captors. No doubt this was inevitable given the conflicting interests, visions, and social-cultural norms surrounding Native Americans and their admission into Masonic lodges and, by extension, European American society. As America’s colonial period ended and its shaping as a nation began, Porter notes: The Indian men welcomed into the Masonic lodges of the nineteenth century and early twentieth were special people, who may have sought compensation for the enormous price they paid adopting an alien culture in the unique and assured
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INTERNATIONAL Masonic REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY promotional structure of the Masonic lodge. For their part Masons embraced Indians because… they too sought a means whereby they could reintegrate into their lives those things that seemed slipping away… Individual Indians were attractive to Freemasons, who were keen to use them to legitimize their claims to having access to arcane or essential truths… Individual Indians meanwhile used Masonry to insert and Indian identity into a subculture that has remained at the heart of the American community until relatively recently. Another intriguing reason why early Native Americans may have sought admission, and why European Americans may have been more receptive to their requests, is a shared tradition of fraternalism. In fact, there are uncanny similarities between Freemasonry and Native American brotherhoods such as the Ojibwe Mide’ wiwin or ‘Grand Medicine Lodge’ and the Seneca ‘Little Water Medicine Society.’ These include the use of admission ‘fees,’ multiple degree systems, delineation of sacred space and structure, ritualized artifacts, and even a ‘raising’ ceremony akin to Masonry’s Hiram Abiff legend. Early 20th century Masonic writers were so struck by these details they began referring to these wholly Native American orders as ‘Indian
INTERNATIONAL MASONIC REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY
Rising Point Volume 24. Issue 3•
• FALL 2011
Tales of The
Masonry.’ Native American Freemasonry provides an important insight into how Native and European Americans made use of Masonic space for mutual recognition, acceptance, and cultural exchange and how popular notions of “Nativeness” were exploited within the context of American fraternalism. While Masonry’s playing field, at the time, may not have been well and truly ‘level,’ it is undeniable that real and lasting friendships were formed between Native and European Americans within Masonic lodges and that these connections helped carry individual Native Americans to positions, both inside and outside the Fraternity, that would otherwise have been closed to them. Native American participation in Masonry, moreover, helped affirm and make visible the place of all Native peoples, rather than as a ‘dying race,’ as part of America’s living and dynamic social landscape.
Joy Porter, Native American Freemasonry: Associationalism and Performance in America (University of Nebraska Press 2011, $60.00 USD) http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Native-AmericanFreemasonry,674870.aspx
The purpose of this publication is to disseminate the writings of Freemasons and to provide contemporary information on Freemasonry. Bonisteel Masonic Library wants your feedback! The Bonisteel staff is interested in discovering how you feel about your experience with reading our e-magazine - The Rising Point. Your willingness to share your impressions honestly will help us make adjustments that improve our future publications. Please all future communication send to: Mitchell Ozog, 32º Editor-in-Chief, firstname.lastname@example.org
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man and mason vie
In our post-modern world, a man like Rudyard Kipling can’t help but be viewed as a deeply ambiguous character. Unapologetically conservative and an avid booster of British imperialism, he nevertheless penned a broad volume of work that, in verse and prose, influenced millions during his lifetime and continues to entertain to this day. Lesser known or appreciated by many readers, however, is Kipling’s deep and heartfelt connection to Freemasonry - a tie which directly and indirectly played a part in some of his most famous writings. Richard Jaffa is a past grand officer of the Grand Lodge of England and a popular lecturer on both Freemasonry and Rudyard Kipling. He notes about Kipling: When you survey the whole of Kipling’s writings, both fictional and factual, the number of Masonic references is extensive. With his retentive memory, just as he found Biblical language came easily, he frequently used a word, phrase or expression that he had absorbed from Masonic ritual. Many referenced have not generally been recognized, as most non-Masonic writers have not always spotted when Kipling slips into the language of Masonic ritual. These words are found scattered in his stories, poems, and speeches, as well as the use of Freemasonry as a benchmark for the conduct or behavior of characters.
India on December 30, 1865. His parents, like many British Colonials, sent young Rudyard and his sister back to England for their education. This separation proved especially lonely and difficult for Kipling. A mediocre student and medically unfit for the military, he returned to India in 1882 and began a career as a journalist in Lahore (now Pakistan). He was made a Mason in 1885 in Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, E.C. and immediately became its secretary. In 1887, Kipling also joined Fidelity Mark Lodge No. 83 and Mount Ararat Mark Mariner’s Lodge No. 98. This period would be his most Masonically active; later, Kipling only infrequently visited lodges. But his time with Hope and Perseverance – a mixed lodge of British and Native Indians – left an indelible impression on the emerging author and, as Jaffa argues, helped shaped Kipling’s personal vision of the world. Man and Mason – Rudyard Kipling offers a solid biographical survey together with some very interesting insights into how Freemasonry influenced Kipling as a man and a writer. Indeed, Jaffa spends much of the book identifying and discussing Masonic references in Kipling’s individual works. This is essential reading for anyone serious about understanding Kipling and the Craft. Richard Jaffa, Man and Mason – Rudyard Kipling (Arthur House 2011, $18.65 USD) Website: http://www.richardjaffa.com
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
From Bro. Tom Jameson: Iâ€™ve been a Mason since 1956 and joined Golden Rule Lodge #159 in 1960, so I was privileged to have been here for a few years when the downtown temple was standing. I wish I could have seen it in its full splendor, before the lower floors were chopped up to accommodate renters. We have been told that the magnificent auditorium on the first floor was the site of many extravaganzas, including at one point even a circus, with a live elephant on stage. The pipe organ in the fourth floor Masonic Hall, which I played on occasion, was disassembled, stored in pieces for several years and later reassembled and is in use at the Northside Community Church on Barton Drive.
Architects - McConkey & Rousseau
327 S. 4th Avenue - Ann Arbor, Michigan 1925 - original Construction - $324,000 1973 - Replacement Costs - $1,496,714 1922 - Cornerstone Laying - Grand Lodge of Michigan Lot size - 132 ft. 154 ft. - 22 car parking with 2 municipals structures within one block Building size - 127 x 255 - 5 stories Perimeter - 386 ft. Interior space - 665,502 cubic ft Class B Fraternal Building - prestige building built for impact as well as occupancy. (Marshall & Swift Valuation) Structure: concrete beams and columns, concrete and clay tile walls, poured concrete floors, steel reinforcing. Exterior Walls: Face brick over masonry. Brick is laid up in stretcher bond but with decorative Masonic emblems.
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Continued from page 26
Interior Walls & Ceilings: Original partitions are masonry walls and ceilings and are finished in plaster with Masonic decorative gold leaf trim. Ceiling under roof is plaster on suspended methal lath. Interior Features: Lobby and entry areas have Masonic decorative terrazzo flooring. Wash rooms are fitted with marble fixtures. Five Floors - 20,000 sq. ft. - designed for Masonic functions Original building had entry Tyler’s quarters. Lobby - 1st floor - raised Masonic decorative ceilings Main Lodge - 65 ft. x 44 ft. - 2,860 sq. ft. Chapter Room - 50 ft. x 35 ft. - 1,750 sq. ft. 2 smaller lodge rooms - 902 sq. ft. Dining Room - 100 capacity Masonic Library - 374 sq. ft. Board Room - 238 sq. ft.
Women’s Lounge - 438 sq. ft. Boiler Room - 252 sq. ft. Masonic Brass fittings throughout structure 1977: After a 3 year Federal “Eminent Domain” Law Suit court battle, the USA Government narrowly prevailed. The Federal Government was required to pay $204,000 of which $80,000 was deducted to raize the Temple on behalf of the US Government. In other words, the Masons had to put settlement money up to demolish their former Temple. The $120,000 figure was one third of a M.A.I. appraisal by The Gerald Alcock Company of Ann Arbor. Federal Judge Charles Joyner of Detroit gave no value to the Masonic Temple structure, definitely one of the finest 1920’s art deco architectural masterpieces in the City of Ann Arbor. The City Council and Mayor wanted the Federal Building and cleared away the political hurdles by allowing all structures in the 4th Avenue and Liberty Rd. block to be removed; all these properties were removed from the property tax rolls. The $120,000 net figure to the Masons bought 4.65 acres of land and started construction of a modest 7,200 sq. ft. Temple building at 2875 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103.
By Karl Grube and Mitchell Ozog
For more information please visit Bonisteel Masonic Library website at: http://www.bonisteelml.org/Architecture.htm
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The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies: A fully illustrated history of the Temple of Solomon • Examines the Temple of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, and Apocryphal writings • Explores its role in the founding of Freemasonry, the legends of the Knights Templar, the doctrines of the Kabbalah, and the teachings of Islam • Explains the sacred nature of the Temple Mount--the site of the Temple of Solomon--and the secrets that may still be hidden there • Richly illustrated, including many photos and images from rare archives The spiritual heart of many esoteric societies, the Temple of Solomon was located atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a site venerated by the three great monotheistic religions as the intersection of Divine and human. Built by King Solomon at the peak of ancient Israel’s power, the Temple of Solomon housed the golden Ark of the Covenant in its Holy of Holies, a sacred chamber where one could communicate directly with God. Centuries after the temple’s destruction, the Temple Mount was used as the headquarters for the Knights Templar during the Crusades, and countless legends have come down through the centuries about the secrets they may have uncovered there, including discovery of the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant. Richly illustrated with biblical and Masonic illustrations, photographs, and ancient and modern paintings many from rare archives this book explores the Temple of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, and Apocryphal writings as well as its role in the founding of Freemasonry, the legends of the Knights Templar, the doctrines of the Kabbalah, and Muhammad’s visionary journey from the Temple Mount through the heavens. Seeking to understand the powerful desire of many religions and secret societies to re-create the temple through ritual and prayer, James Wasserman explains why it was built, the magical forces King Solomon may have used in its creation, what its destruction meant for Jews and Christians alike, and why the Knights Templar as well as several modern secret societies named their orders after it. Detailing the sacred architecture of this perfectly proportioned mystical edifice through words and art, the author reveals the Temple of Solomon as the affirmation of God’s presence in human affairs, the spiritual root of Western culture, and an important monument to the Divine nearly forgotten in today’s secular times but sorely needed to bridge the divide between our ancient past and our spiritual future.
NOW AVAILABLE FROM: http://www.studio31.com/Solomon.htm 28
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