The Builder Magazine
Masonic Research Society
Spurious, Imitative, or
By Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins,
is privileged, through the intermediary kindness of Bro. Dudley Wright,
here the Installation Address delivered Nov. 8 last by Sir Alfred
installed as Master of the famous Lodge of Research, Quatuor Coronati,
London, England. This frank utterance from a Masonic statesman of the
will have all the wider hearing in this land in view of his approaching
our shores. He is a Past Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of
of the Board of General Purposes of that body, and a journalist of
note. For all
his many activities he has found time to take a keen and absorbing
interest in Masonic
research, more especially of latter day Masonry, as his present paper
A magnificent address of his on "English and American Brotherhood; a
of Masons" was printed in THE BUILDER, July, 1918, page 191.
begin my inaugural address as Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge
in all cordiality and with all sincerity the pleasure and pride that
have been given
me by acceptance of the position.
To be chosen
as chief officer for the year of a lodge which has contained some of
the most eminent
students of the immediate past, and has produced fruits of research of
importance to Freemasonry, is an honor to which an ordinary Mason
hardly dares to
aspire, and an honor for which, when conferred on him, he cannot be
It has been
the custom in this lodge for each succeeding Master on the night of his
to address the brethren upon some subject of Masonic interest which, as
has been one of research. Tonight I will follow that example, but with
of searching, not so much into the past as into the present of
historian in the Craft, I think, will agree with me in thinking that if
brethren had concerned themselves with various phases of its evolution,
evolution proceeded and developed, we should have been spared today
and error. I, therefore, propose to take as my theme on this occasion
presented to the Craft today by spurious, imitative or associated
this regard, I do not think it necessary to deal specifically or at any
those bodies that all of us would recognize as covered by the eighth in
the summarized Antient Charges and Regulations which are promised to be
by every Master-elect on his coming into the Chair. This clause gives a
respect genuine and true brethren and to discountenance all impostors
and all dissenters
from the original plan of Freemasonry. All of us have a fairly clear
idea of the
bodies embraced in that category, but the organizations which are now
to be subjected
to review are those on the border-line. It was told me in my youth by
science teacher that there was no difficulty, broadly speaking, in
saying what was
an animal and what was a vegetable; but the question became more
one was asked exactly to place a sponge. It is with, what I may term
of Freemasonry, that I wish now to deal ‒ absorbent bodies, difficult
possibly having their uses in certain directions, but apt to become
allowed to spread with too great ease and rapidity.
It Is a Serious Problem
is not merely speculative. It may seriously affect the immediate future
of the Craft
in this country, as it already is doing our brethren in other countries
relationship with ourselves. In our own jurisdiction, specifically
the first clause in our Book of Constitutions, it is "declared and
that pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more,
namely, those of
the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason, including
Order of the Holy Royal Arch." This extremely limited provision would
to exclude from strict contemplation, not only Mark Masonry, but all
with our body which work what are variously termed, "the allied", "the
higher" or the additional degrees. In point of practice we know that
is not of so rigid a kind. The Mark Degree, for example, along with its
part, the Royal Ark Mariners, are informally acknowledged as kindred
by even strict Craftsmen. Many of our most excellent and eminent
brethren are Knights
Templar, or members of the Rose Croix, the Royal Order of Scotland, the
of Constantine, the Rosicrucian Society, the Order of the Secret
Monitor and the
Order of the Scarlet Cord. Some of our most eminent brethren belong to
Council of Royal and Select Masters and the Grand Council of the Allied
while there is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, with its nominal
degrees, the Supreme Council of which avoids conflict with our Grand
Lodge by not
working the first three.
As long as
brethren who own allegiance to those respective bodies have done
to forfeit their allegiance to the United Grand Lodge of England, no
taken, but, by the Book of Constitutions, it is strictly enjoined that
honorary or other jewel, medal device or emblem shall be worn in Grand
any subordinate lodge which shall not appertain to or be consistent
with those degrees
which are recognized and acknowledged by the Grand Lodge as part of
pure and antient
Masonry." In practice, this regulation prevents the wearing of any
in lodges which are not those of the Craft and Royal Arch, and strict
been taken in the past on more than one occasion against brethren who
this condition. In one instance this regulation was carried to such a
it is to be found recorded in the Grand Lodge Proceedings for the
of December, 1853, that the Grand Master (the then Earl of Zetland)
he had been under the painful necessity of removing from his position
Tucker, the Provincial Grand Master for Dorset "in consequence of his
thought proper to appear in his Provincial Grand Lodge in the costume
and with jewels
appertaining to what were termed 'higher degrees' and not sanctioned or
by Grand Lodge, and which militated against the universality of
He added that he felt much respect for Bro. Tucker personally, but the
act was so
completely at variance with the laws of Grand Lodge that it left him no
The regulation was further emphasized by the Board of General Purposes
at its meeting
on 19th January, 1869, when a letter from a brother was read saying
that he had
seen Knights Templar's jewels worn in a lodge, and asking what course
The Grand Secretary ‒ at that time Bro. John Hervey ‒ was instructed to
such proceeding was at variance with the regulation of the Book of
It will be seen, therefore, that, as far as the bodies under notice are
the position of Grand Lodge is one of toleration, provided the other
bodies do not
attempt to pass over the border lines thus clearly laid down.
The Mark Degree Is Considered
In the case
of the Mark Degree, the question of its relation to the Craft has been
under the consideration of Grand Lodge, and it is important to recall
how the question
was viewed by some of the most skilled and experienced Masons of
seventy years ago,
represented on a special committee jointly appointed by the Board of
and Grand Chapter. That joint committee entered upon an inquiry and an
as far as could be done by a body, some members of which had not been
the Mark Degree, and it came to a unanimous resolution that, while the
not form a portion of the Royal Arch Degree and was not essential to
there was nothing objectionable in it, or anything which militated
against the universality
of Freemasonry, and "that it might be considered as forming a graceful
to the Fellowcraft's Degree." The Earl of Zetland, as Grand Master,
and directed that the report of the committee should be laid before
which then unanimously resolved, "That the Degree of Mark Mason or Mark
is not at variance with the Antient Landmarks of the Order, and that
be an addition to and form part of Craft Masonry; and, consequently,
may be conferred
by all regular warranted lodges, under such regulations as shall be
the Board of General Purposes, approved and sanctioned by the M.W.
This resolution seemed to settle the matter for all time, but, at the
Communication ‒ that of June, 1856 ‒ when the minutes of 5th March were
were proposed to be confirmed, an amendment was moved: "That such
relates to the subject of the Mark Masons be not confirmed," and this,
some discussion, was carried. The question has not been raised in
active form since.
of Grand Lodge to these other degrees, to which many of its members
belong is, therefore,
somewhat confused and, to that extent, unsatisfactory; but, speaking
an entente cordiale has been established in this jurisdiction which
or overlapping. When, however, any attempt has been made, directly or
to associate women with Freemasonry, Grand Lodge, within these past few
taken a strong line. At the Quarterly Communication of 3rd September,
report of the Board of General Purposes stated: "That the Board's
is being increasingly drawn to the sedulous endeavors which are being
made by certain
bodies unrecognized as Masonic by the United Grand Lodge of England to
to join in their assemblies. As all such bodies which admit women to
are clandestine and irregular, it is necessary to caution brethren
inadvertently led to violate their obligations by becoming members of
them or attending
their meetings. Grand Lodge in 1910 approved the action of the Board in
two brethren who had contumaciously failed to explain the grave Masonic
to which attention is now again called; and it is earnestly hoped that
will arise for having again to institute disciplinary proceedings of a
The problem came more precisely before Grand Lodge at the Quarterly
of 2nd March, 1921, when specifically Grand Lodge adopted a report of
which recommended that there should not be granted the prayer of a
on behalf of an "Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry" asking for
recognition of that body which "modelled its constitutions and ritual
those of the United Grand Lodge of England, departing therefrom only in
of the admission of women." In another form, the question was again
to Grand Lodge six months later, when Grand Lodge agreed nemine
the declaration that "no Freemason is entitled to attend any
at which Freemasonry by direct implication is introduced, or to
participate in any
ceremony which is quasi-Masonic or is held under some pseudo-Masonic
Imitative Masonry Is Feared
In yet a
further way the matter came before Grand Lodge in that same year, 1921,
between the taking of the two decisions just recorded. In this case the
General Purposes emphasized "the necessity for the greatest caution
by brethren in dealing with bodies which, from a Masonic point of view,
or irregular. Brethren who served their country in a special capacity
war were being invited to attend an 'Order', the objects of which are
be 'good fellowship, harmony and benevolence'. While the body is not
it officially states that there is a Grand Council composed of those
who have passed
the Chair, and that the Council grants charters and dispensations for
opening and consecration of lodges. 'There is a ceremony of initiation,
impressive, while in each of such lodges is an altar,' while again, to
the authorized statement, 'the lodge is dressed and regalia worn by the
and in two lodges already formed are to be found Freemasons who take a
in the Society.' The claim made in the last sentence deserves serious
and the greatest caution is enjoined upon brethren when invited to
the kind indicated."
facts can be given from our recent history showing the jealous regard
which is being
taken by the authorities of Grand Lodge to prevent imitative
Freemasonry from spreading
to England, and strictly emphasizing the necessity for the closest
scrutiny of bodies
which demand any kind of Masonic test for entrants, it is not in our
alone that these troubles are to be found. As recently as 1922, the
of Ireland caused an addition to be made to its regulations dealing
with any society
that requires Freemasonry as qualification for membership, and its
decision on this
subject is worth quotation in full: No member of any Lodge under the
of the Grand Lodge of Ireland shall be a member of or attend any
meeting of any
body or society which requires Freemasonry as, a basis of or
qualification for membership,
except of such bodies as are included in the calendar published
annually by the
authority of Grand Lodge.
If any lodge,
or member of a lodge, shall give any information as to the standing of
in reply to an inquiry from any such non-recognized body, it shall be
be unMasonic conduct and may be dealt with accordingly.
lodges under the Grand Lodge of Ireland are forbidden to join or to
belong to clubs
or other bodies purporting to be or calling themselves Masonic, unless
or bodies have been sanctioned by the Grand Master or the Deputy Grand
if in a Masonic Province, by the Provincial Grand Master or his Deputy,
or if abroad
in a country under the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge recognized by the
of Ireland, by such Grand Lodge. Such sanction ‘May At Any Time Be
Outer-Bodies Increase in
But it is
when we cross the Atlantic that we find the greatest amount of trouble
have already given a number of outer-bodies as existing in England to
which no formal
objection is taken, but the spread of such bodies in America is, in
so rapid, and their sporadic growth is so remarkable that it is
difficult to keep
in touch with even the names of these new organizations. We, in this
nothing, for example, of the Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots, an
throughout California, and in those American states west of the Rocky
and it is already possessed of a large number of members and steadily
We know as little of the composition of the Shrine, a body which has a
of members in nearly all parts of the United States, and the Annual
which, in various of the greater American cities are occasions of much
and rejoicing. There are the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, intended for men
who are Masons
and claim to have reached a considerable proficiency in the esoteric
work, the strength
of this body being mostly in the southeastern states. The Order of the
which is for women alone, association with which is forbidden by the
Lodge of England to English Masons, has now an American membership of
striking even than these is the rapid growth in America during the past
of orders intended only for boys and girls. In the comparatively young
De Molay for Boys, which is spreading with great speed in the United
candidate has to declare that he is a firm believer in the One Living
and True God,
and that his father either is or is not a Freemason, and he has to give
of at least four Masonic relatives, and of four adult persons who have
for three years; while nomination for membership must be made by either
of the chapter he wishes to join, or by two Freemasons, and chapters
can be issued only by a recognized Masonic body which promises to carry
on the work.
Instituted as recently as the spring of 1919, it seems to be
outstripping in rapidity
of growth the Order of the Builders for Boys, which is of about the
same age, and
was instituted by members of a Lodge of Perfection of the Ancient and
Rite. The object of this body is declared to organize between the ages
and twenty-one sons of members of lodges of Ancient, Free and Accepted
their immediate or closest boyhood companions in order to aid in
mental, moral, physical and spiritual up-bringing and development, but
also become members such Master Masons "as are interested in the
and welfare of the Order, and as are necessary to exercise supervision
for its conduct and maintenance."
For the other
sex has been instituted the Order of the Rainbow for Girls between
eighteen years of age, which is American in scope, and bears the same
to girls as the Order of De Molay does to boys. Claiming to "inculcate
love of God, home and country, putting special stress upon the American
system, and political and religious liberty as guaranteed by the
This order is for girls who are too young for membership in the Order
of the Eastern
Star, but for those of their elders who wish to proceed beyond the
there is the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, eligibility for
of which is good standing in the Eastern Star, though the body does not
be in any way connected with that Order. Its whole legend, it may be
noted, is essentially
Alarmed At Increase of Side
It is not
an unnatural consequence of the jealousies and growth of these various
organizations that Craft Masonry in certain of the states is becoming
their rapid increase. One American Grand Master, who incidentally is
favor of the Eastern Star and the De Molay Order for Boys, roundly
"Masonic parasites" various other bodies which seek to make membership
in Masonry a prerequisite to their own membership, and he most
seriously has asked
the attention of his Grand Lodge to the question of whether it would
not be well
to legislate against such a practice. Another Grand Master, when
the attempts of various "miscellaneous organizations" basing their
on Craft Masonry, to rush Craft Masons through a maze of higher degrees
as he picturesquely says, "they are literally dry behind the ears,"
his weakness when confronted with the present position. "We have not
enough in our own intelligence to attempt to furnish a remedy," he
feel sure that someone will suggest one before long that will do good.
We have scattered
until our force is greatly weakened, and the time is right for the
return of a consolidation
of our activities. Could we abolish all save lodges and chapters, we
would be the
gainers, and some sweet day we may find it necessary to do just that."
I could produce
a whole volume of evidence from the various records of Masonic work in
States to show how this sponge-like growth is spreading in American
is threatening certain of the best interests of the Craft, but I have
testimony, I think, to satisfy our brethren that the price of Masonry,
as of liberty,
is eternal vigilance. While willing to believe that nothing but the
are entertained by those who promote these outer organizations or those
their mysteries and share in their assemblies, I am strongly convinced
policy of constant and close watchfulness, up to now pursued by the
Lodge of England, when dealing with outside bodies has been fully
justified by its
results, and is the only one that can truly uphold the dignity and high
of Freemasonry as we ourselves know it, feel it and hope to transmit it
unsullied to our successors as we have received it. It is because of
that I have ventured to take this opportunity to lay before so
influential a lodge,
and so representative a body of its members and associates, certain
upon a question which I am sure will do something to stimulate research
in a direction
that, up to now, as far as England is concerned, has been strangely
those who should watch with the closest earnestness the ever-changing
signs of the
The Le Plongeon
Theory of Freemasonry
By Prof. Herbert J. Spinden,
With an Introduction
by The Editor
Our fathers in Masonry will
recall the stir occasioned
in 1886 by the publication of Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayas and the
1909], 11,500 Years Ago: Their
to the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea and India:
Freemasonry in Times
Anterior to the Temple of Solomon; written by Augustus Le Plongeon. The
read with avidity at the time, as were all other volumes giving
Freemasonry a fabulous
origin, and even now the interest is not altogether abated if one may
judge by the
fact that inquiries concerning it come not infrequently to THE BUILDER.
knows as well as anybody that Freemasonry in the form it now wears is
years old or anything like it, and was more or less familiar with the
its origin now more or less current; he made the point, a hard one to
not altogether unreasonable, that while the BODY of the Craft is of
modern origin, its SOUL has been a long time in the world, meaning
its principles and symbols, and the general groundwork of its
ceremonies, are late
reincarnations of practices of the Ancient Mysteries and similar
cults. The audacious theory in Le Plongeon's book was that the Ancient
such as were in use in Greece and Egypt, were originally founded in
the Mayas, and migrated from thence over an ancient land bridge that
when Atlantis was destroyed. He summed the argument up in a few words,
to be found
on page 22:
"I will endeavor to show you
that the ancient
sacred mysteries, the origin of Freemasonry consequently, date back
from a period
far more remote than the most sanguine students of its history ever
will try to trace their origin, step by step, to this continent which
‒ to America ‒ from where Maya colonists transported their ancient
and ceremonies, not only to the banks of the Nile, but to those of the
and the shores of the Indian Ocean, not less than 11,500 years ago."
49 is another paragraph of similar import, interesting to read:
"Seeking for the origin of the
of the sacred mysteries, of which Masonry seems to be the
their vestiges from country to country, we have been brought over the
of the blue sea, to this western continent, to these mysterious 'Lands
of the West'
where the souls of all good men, the Egyptians believed, dwelt among
It is, therefore, in that Country, where Osiris was said to reign
we may expect to find the true signification of the symbols held sacred
by the initiates
in all countries, in all times, and which have reached us through the
of ages, still surrounded by the veil, 'well-nigh impenetrable, of
round them by their inventors. My long researches among the ruins of
temples and palaces of the Mayas have been rewarded by learning at the
the esoteric meaning of some at least of the symbols, the
interpretation of which
has puzzled many a wise head ‒ the origin of the mystification and
the numbers 3, 5 and 7."
may be summed up in a few words, to wit: The origin of Freemasonry is
to be found
in ancient rites and symbolisms, of which the Mystery cults were the
examples; these cults originated in America; their rites and symbols
have been inherited
by Freemasonry; therefore Freemasonry began in America 11,500 years
ago. The whole
weight of this ingenious theory rests on the Le Plongeon account of
early Maya civilization,
and therefore is one to be properly referred to specialists in that
Herbert Joseph Spinden, of Peabody Museum, Harvard University, is such
He is one of the high authorities of the land on American archaeology,
explorations among the ruined cities of Central America, and has
written two books
very interesting to read on the Maya subject ‒ Maya Art [Lib*], and
of Mexico and Central America [Lib 1917]. When asked by THE BUILDER
statement concerning Le Plongeon's work from a scientific point of view
the paper published herewith. An excellent and very sympathetic account
of Le Plongeon's
career as an archaeologist, along with a detailed description of his
finds, will be found in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian
Society, Oct. 21,
1874, under the caption, "Dr. Le Plongeon in Yucatan." [Lib 1877] Le Plongeon's book may be
purchased through the National Masonic Research
Society at $3.25 net. Prof. Spinden is not a Mason; all the more
therefore are we
appreciative of his courtesy in writing the critique herewith.
I WOULD appreciate
the opportunity to correct a misconception which has gained strong hold
the origin of ancient American civilization and its possible relations
Old World. I realize that Le Plongeon's books have been an important
factor in the
spread of this erroneous idea and at the same time I do not wish to put
the position of making an attack upon him in any way unfriendly or
of his self-sacrificing struggles.
I must say
to begin with that I am not a Mason and, therefore, have no inside
the special symbolisms which are used in its ceremonies. The Masons, as
implies, and their open history pretty clearly indicates, were builders
and as such,
they were first of all practical men. By this I do not mean to imply
that they were
not interested in ideals as well as results. Indeed it is always within
and practice of good craftsmanship to look beyond work to the things
that work stands
for in the emotional life of the social group. But I cannot think that
builders, if given a chance, would distribute social frills and
and not distribute at the same time the machines, processes and
were their solid and real existence.
stone-workers in ancient America who erected some very interesting
them with geometric designs and with the faces of grotesque gods who
to have jurisdiction over the sun and the rain. The evolution of their
art is an
open book to archaeologists. They invented a kind of corbelled vault
but not a keystone
vault. For the most part they built their walls with a veneer of cut
stone and filling
of lime mortar poured over broken limestone. They had the skyscraper
satisfied it by putting their principal temples upon lofty pyramids and
trellis-like walls on the roofs. Doubtless some of their methods and
be matched somewhere in the Old World, although they clearly received
development in the New.
But ‒ and
here is the important point ‒ they did not have metal tools, only Stone
This is certainly true in Yucatan. In Peru and in western Mexico some
bronze chisels have been found, but no evidence that these were used in
stone is forthcoming. The First Empire of the Mayas, the highest period
in the New World, passed without the use of metal. And yet here was a
civilization on the artistic and economic side, a civilization that
more to us today in the food that we eat and the clothes that we wear
than do the
civilizations of Greece or Rome.
no draft animals in America, except the dog and llama, and there was
not the slightest
use of the wheel as a mechanical device. If some Master Mason had
shores before Columbus, wouldn't he have left a cart and a windlass?
Would he have
wasted a precious opportunity to benefit his fellowmen in the practical
trade? Would he have taught instead only the details of an esoteric
cult, well enough
as a ceremonial but shining like the moon with light reflected from a
These are questions which I shall let some Mason answer; I would
unfair and antagonistic to the Order ‒ which I am not ‒ if I dared to
questions in the way they have been answered by Augustus Le Plongeon
and some of
the romanticists who argue that similarities in human culture
necessarily mean contact
degrade man instead of making his story of progress more wonderful.
man as having a retentive memory merely and not a creative mind, but
of anthropology shows very clearly that men do have creative minds and
the peoples of the world given certain opportunities and stimuli arrive
much the same results.
persons who profess to believe that the rites of Freemasonry existed in
America seem to have been inspired by the writings of Augustus Le
especially by his Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayas and Quiches, 11,500
Their Relation, to the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea and
in Times Anterior to the Temple of Solomon. This book was published
years ago at a time when real knowledge of the ancient ruined cities of
America was non-existent. Almost anything could be claimed without fear
contradiction, but even in those halcyon and vociferous days Le
Plongeon was not
able to gain converts to his strange and fantastic theories among
with the subject matter of art and history. Today it is easy enough to
his basic doctrine. He believed that the civilizations of Egypt,
etc., began in Central America, thus taking the opposite side from many
who have attempted to carry civilizations from the Old World to the New.
was one of the first to explore Chichen Itza, a ruined city in northern
and he excavated some interesting altars and ceremonial objects which
we now know
belong to a period between 1000 and 1300 A.D. He made romantic
explanations of these
things and also evolved what he called an alphabet, pretending to read
in inscriptions by means of this alphabet. Now the world is very eager
the real message in Mayan inscriptions, and every suggestion has been
to searching tests. The course of Mayan history has been sharply
outlined. We know
that Chichen Itza was founded for the first time about 450 A.D. and
after 600 A.D. for a period of 260 years, after which it was
reestablished. It was
finally abandoned about eighty years before the coming of the Spaniards
period during which Mexican overlords controlled the destinies of the
Le Plongeon says, "From Chichen this great civilization seems to have
its influence to the remotest parts of the earth, and to have exercised
power among far-distant and heterogeneous nations." But comparative
will not let us derive the origin of Egyptian culture from a city which
long after Egypt had passed into ruin.
there should be an attempt among some persons to reform the arguments
of Le Plongeon
on another base, let us look at some of the controlling facts as
relations in ancient times between the New and Old Worlds. Man came
into the New
World as a savage with simple implements of the new-stone type, perhaps
as 15,000 years ago and before any kind of civilization was developed
the Old World. The American Indian, as a whole, is physically closely
the rather primitive tribes of northeastern Asia. Nevertheless, he has
which mark him off from other peoples.
of the ancient Americans are distinct from those of the Old World and
diversified. No legitimate proofs of linguistic characters between the
western hemispheres have ever been accepted, if we omit the case of a
of Eskimos who are recent invaders into Siberia from the American side.
or habits of life of the American Indians are different from those of
Africa. They had simple arts, such as basketry, flint chipping, etc.,
spilled into their new land across the Straits of Bering many thousand
They did not bring in food supplies, for agriculture had not been
at this time. Now the higher civilizations of America are all built
food supply, in exactly the same way as the civilizations of the Old
World are built
upon food supply; but the plants domesticated in America were entirely
Europe and Asia before the discovery of America by Columbus and
similarly the domesticated
plants of the Old World were unknown in the New. The only apparent
this statement are cotton, where independent species were domesticated
in the two
hemispheres and the common gourd which probably drifted by water around
been plenty of parallel developments in processes and constructions.
independently invented as was the loom. Many decorative designs were
over and over again, examples being such geometric forms as the
swastika and the
Greek fret, but all in all the most notable achievements of the East
and West have
been distinct. The Mayas were much ahead of the Old World nations in
and astronomy. The Peruvians were the world's weavers and the sedentary
Indians in general were more successful as breeders of plants than were
of the Old World. On the other hand, most domestic animals are of
and most basic machines, such as the wheel and the screw were invented
in the Old
World and were entirely unknown in the New.
of the fantastic proofs of contact between America and the Old World
momentous voyage of Columbus which were presented to explain
comparative minor matters,
has got to swim a very wide channel against a very strong tide.
Speaking as a scientist
who has gone deeply into the matter of art and ceremony and kept, I
hope, an open
mind to real proofs, I must say that nothing has come to light that
Freemasonry was known in ancient America. The only possibility of its
would be through the Norsemen who had a slight trading contact with
in Greenland and Labrador. There was no lost Atlantis to give a dryland
and no proofs of lost Phoenician galleys or any of the other romantic
survived the white light of scientific research.
Masonic Meeting on the Battlefield in France
account of a most unique event in the annals of the Craft has been
several sources and deserves to be put on perpetual record. The
incident is not
yet complete, but the main facts are as here stated. Through the
courtesy of Brother
Alexander Anderson, U.S.S. Maryland, the main incidents first came to
The others came through correspondence with other craftsmen. So far as
is the only occasion of its kind during the World War. It emphasizes
of the Institution and its adaptability to every circumstance.
C. F. Irwin. Associate Editor.
World War the craftsmen on board the U.S.S. New Hampshire organized the
Club", of which Brother Alexander Anderson was president. This club
the custom of entertaining all Masons of the army who traveled across
east and west. During the winter of 1918-1919, while transporting
they had occasion to hold a Masonic meeting in one of their wardrooms.
In the company
was Worshipful Brother Colonel Morris B. Payne, who related the
December 31, 1917, I was installed Master of Union Lodge, No. 31, A.F.
of New London, Conn. On that date I conferred the first three degrees
L.R. Burgess, commanding officer of the 56th Coast Artillery Corps.
my installation it became evident that my regiment would soon be
ordered to France,
so a number of Masons in the regiment petitioned the Grand Master of
to grant us a charter to take with us. This he did not care to do, and
as it afterwards
developed he used very good judgment, as the keeping of records and
in the field would have been practically impossible. He did, however,
grant to me
a special dispensation to confer the first three degrees of Masonry on
of the regiment who were elected but who had not been worked. Our work
in the training
area in France was so laid out that an opportunity to gather a lodge
not occur until the regiment had moved into the zone of the armies. It
apparent to me that I would have to do the work at once or possibly
never do it.
regiment detrained at a place called La Ferte on the Marne River, and
went into temporary billets at Charly-sur-Marne, about six miles south
On the evening of August 8, 1918, I opened a lodge of Entered
Apprentices in the
Hotel-de-Ville (City Hall). The building was in a fair state of repair,
the destruction in the immediate vicinity. By a liberal use of blankets
openings we were able to operate with a fair amount of privacy. On this
I conferred the First Degree on six candidates. The three lesser lights
three very handsome silver candlesticks borrowed from the Catholic
Church in the
August 9, 1918, I conferred the Second Degree on the same six
candidates. For the
lack of other equipment a good brother very artistically chalked the
and emblems on the floor.
the evening of August 11, I raised the six candidates and one other who
his first two degrees in the States. The 26th (Yankee Division) was
that outfit being located close by. The work was done perhaps not so
one would expect under more pleasant conditions, but I assure you that
were not neglected.
first candidate for the Third Degree will perhaps recall his experience
as he lives. After he had met his third obstruction and had been moved
to the west,
the bugler outside sounded taps. This feature was a coincidence which
made it just
the more impressive.
days later I was ordered to put my guns into action. While moving into
we lost one of our most enthusiastic brothers, Brother Robert C.
Fletcher, of Norwich,
Conn. While our column was passing a crossroad the German artillery
and Brother Fletcher received wounds that caused his death within a few
His loss was keenly felt by all who knew him, and it had the effect of
morale of my battalion to the point that nothing they could do would be
avenge the death of their comrade.
officers in the lodge were Brother Major Harry Skinner, of
Brother Major J. Eugene Nestor, Connecticut, J.W. (both P.M's); Brother
Mazeau, Connecticut, S.D.; Brother Lieut. J.A. Harvey, Connecticut,
J.D.; the other
officers changed from night to night as available.
the Argonne battle I received dispensation to confer the degrees on
candidates, but the opportunity never arrived."
For an interesting
continuation of this story, see the following letter received through
of Capt. E.Q. Jackson, New York City. This letter is one of a large
number on his
files from the Masonic Club of the American Camp at Blois, France.
1918, this club advertised in the Paris edition of the New York Herald,
any Masons in the army to open communication with their club. The
was one of the replies:
May 12, 1918.
Battery E, 119 Reg.,
through the Herald last night I saw your article concerning the Masons,
that you were the man that could perhaps help me.
myself a Mason; consider may sound rather odd, but here's how it is. My
was sent through by Major Morris B. Payne, and I received a receipt
O.K. Then we
left for "over here" just the day designated to go to New London (Union
Lodge, No. 31) to take my degrees, so I was disappointed. However, the
me that I would probably be able to take them here, and I was figuring
on that being
quite a novelty.
But he was
temporarily transferred from our battery (56th C.A.C.) and then before
I was transferred to this battery. And I would like very much to be
able to finish
them. Today I received a copy of Craftsman and was surprised to see my
name in the
honor roll of the lodge, Major Payne being Worshipful Master. His
unknown to me and I decided on asking information from you.
If you can
suggest something, somehow or somewhere that I could do, or go, I would
it very much. Thanking you very much, I remain, with best regards,
P.S. My home
is in Norwich, Conn., and I was stationed at Fort H. G. Wright, just
Thus we have
on record the opening of a Master Masons lodge in the very front of the
during the fierce month of August in 1918, and the conferring of the
upon six of our American soldiers.
and Toleration in the Colonies
By Bro. Benjamin Wellington
may with profit be read in conjunction with Bro. Bryant's contribution
to THE BUILDER,
February, 1923, page 50. THE BUILDER is not much in sympathy with those
to stir up religious strife and rancor, least of all with those who
it into Freemasonry, nevertheless it believes that an impartial
treatment of some
subjects is valuable to the student, and therefore arranged with Bro.
these two able articles, along with others to follow. Those who may be
to read an account of Roman Catholicism in Revolutionary America from
point of view are advised to consult The Life and Times of John Carroll
2], published by The
119 East 57th street, New York City, 1922. John Carroll was Archbishop
Chapters v, vi and vii deal with some points covered by Bro. Bryant,
and are entitled
thus: "The Catholic Church in the United States on the Eve of the
"Catholics in the American Revolution," "Carroll's Mission to Canada."
Bishop Carroll was largely responsible for publishing a ban against
in America. On page 780 of his biography occurs this peculiar
those who are aware that, two years previous to this ban on the
Ursuline Nuns of Nantes wrought a beautiful Masonic apron of satin,
with gold and
silver mountings, for George Washington, this regulation will appear
On page 781 is a long letter written by Carroll concerning Freemasonry
and the Roman
"A Mason is obliged by his
tenure to obey
the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be
atheist nor an irreligious libertine. But though in ancient times
Masons were charged
in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation,
whatever it was,
yet it is now thought more expedient only to obligate them to that
religion in which
all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that
is, to be good
men and true, or men of honour and honesty, by whatever denominations
they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the center of union,
means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must else have
at a perpetual distance."
"Concerning God and Religion" in the first (Anderson's) Book of
IN the year
1717, and during the reign of the first George of England, occurred the
of modern Masonic history ‒ the Revival of the Fraternity. This was far
the least of the causes that contributed, during the subsequent half
the propagation of the ideals of human liberty and religious
toleration, and to
the undermining of despotism, both in the political and ecclesiastical
"Concerning God and Religion," which was first published in Anderson's
Constitutions of 1723, is one of the landmarks of human as well as
it is doubtful if the language contains a half dozen passages of equal
have exerted more influence upon human thought. Sectarianism and
live in the midst of a group of men united in the bonds of "that
which all men agree," for such is the very foundation of universal
A group of men in any community united on that basis must inevitably
carry the ideal
with them when they leave the tiled precincts of the lodge, and must
exert a powerful
influence upon the thought and action of all with whom they come in
a group must be an influential factor, through their own efforts and
force of example, in the building of a fairer, nobler and more
and political structure.
forces which have desired or dared to attempt the extinguishing of the
Masonry have always been, and still are, those that work in behalf of
and religious despotism. Of these, the contest waged by the latter has
more bitter even as its effects have been more baneful in cramping and
the minds of men. It is with the latter, far more than with the former,
contest here in America has been waged from the beginning. Only too
exaggerates the lesser struggles, waged on the battlefield and within
halls, and ignores or belittles the far more bitter and relentless,
spectacular, struggle for the control of the minds and consciences of
It is more
than significant that the Masonic Fraternity stepped out of the shadows
full glare of historical light just at the time when those forces of
received a most important, if not a final cheek in England. Of
to 1717 we can catch only occasional unsatisfactory glimpses. How much
of it existed
and what was its influence must be left to conjecture. It is difficult
however, that the religious clause in the Charges approved in 1722
novel innovation or a sudden reversal of established customs.
been written of those men who stood in the front rank of English
Masonry at this
period. Doubtless much more could be said of their high character and
However, the present purpose is to endeavor to show the intimate
connection of the
Craft with the dissemination of the ideas of human liberty, religious
and popular education which have since become the foundation stones of
Freemason on this continent of whom we have reliable historical record
is a character
fully in keeping with the high standards of worth which the Craft has
to maintain, for it was no less a personage than Jonathan Belcher,
Governor of Massachusetts
Colony from 1730 to 1741. Bro. Belcher was made a Mason in England,
whither he had
gone to complete his education, in 1704. He returned to Massachusetts
Oppenheim devotes several pages of history of his essay on The Jews and
in the United States before 1810 [Lib 1910] to consideration of a
of a Masonic lodge held at Newport, Rhode Island, as early as 1656 or
evidence is meager, however, and there are some points in which it does
with well substantiated Masonic history. On the other hand, reliable
been found that a lodge met for a time in King's Chapel, Boston, in the
Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, in an article
THE BUILDER for May, 1915, states on the authority of Bro. Sachse,
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, that confirmation of this fact may be
the Library of the American Philosophical Society.
history of the Fraternity of this continent began about the year 1730,
and Pennsylvania claiming the honor of priority. It is sufficient for
us here that
the Craft was established in both these colonies about that year.
Thence it spread
throughout the thirteen English-speaking colonies and attracted to its
best of many communities, men who were or soon came to be recognized as
in every field of public endeavor. It is an indisputable fact that
prior to the
Revolution a surprisingly large number of lodges had been chartered in
brethren of that early day were actively promoting the cause of public
is indicated by a fragment of correspondence quoted by Hayden in
his Masonic Compeers. It is a portion of a letter from a German
Sower, of Germantown, to Conrad Weiser. In it bitter complaint is made
of the activities
of Benjamin Franklin and the Freemasons generally on behalf of the
free schools. Sower exclaimed: "The people who are the promoters of the
schools are Grand Masters and Wardens among the Freemasons, their very
Masons as Pioneers in Education
sidelight on the subject of early Masonic interest in education is a
adopted by St. John's Lodge of Philadelphia under date of June 5, 1732,
by good authorities to be in the handwriting of Benjamin Franklin. It
since the excellent Science of Geometry and Architecture is so much
in our ancient Constitutions, Masonry being first instituted with this
others, to distinguish the true and skillful Architect from unskillful
total ignorance of this art is very unbecoming a Man who bears the
worthy Name and
Character of a Mason.
therefore conclude, that it is the Duty of every Member to make
himself, in some
measure, acquainted therewith, as he would honor the Society he belongs
conform to the Constitutions.
every member may have an Opportunity of so doing, the present Cash to
be laid out
in the best Books of Architecture, suitable Mathematical instruments,
resolution with an account of its discovery may be found in the
of Gould's History of Freemasonry. (Vol. IV, p. 235. [Lib 1889)
Here we have
indisputable evidence that the Masons of Philadelphia, both as
individuals and as
a Fraternity, were actively interested in free education. It was
scarcely two score
years later that the Massachusetts brethren at least gave equal proof
of their devotion
to the cause of human liberty by active participation in the stirring
led to the outbreak of the Revolution. We cannot but be certain that
much of the
inspiration of the innumerable other workers in the field of human
the colonies was gained from Freemasonry. The Masonic names that appear
Colonial and Revolutionary leaders leave no doubt on this score.
Pinckney, Patrick Henry, from Virginia; Adams, Hancock, Warren, Otis,
Massachusetts; Thornton, Bartlett, Sullivan, from New Hampshire;
Gouverneur Morris, from New York; Greene, from Rhode Island; Ethan
Allen, from Vermont;
Franklin, Rush, Robert Morris, "Mad Anthony" Wayne, from Pennsylvania
‒ the list is too long for more extended notice. The reader's attention
to Hayden's Washington and his Masonic Compeers and to Madison Peters'
Makers of America.
should also be drawn to the fact that the earliest Masonic centers,
Pennsylvania and Virginia, were the colonies where the most vigorous
to royal tyranny appeared; and these colonies furnished the most able
of the Revolutionary leaders. Some significance may be attached to this
The value of a Masonic lodge to a community, not only as a disseminator
ideals of citizenship, but also as a training school of popular
be questioned. Too little attention has been given to this phase of
and early Constitutional history. The part played by the Fraternity in
of American independence and in the building of a stable government in
States is as yet scarcely realized.
The Soul of Ulster
that has received little attention, and which is closely allied to
Masonry, is the
great Scotch-Irish immigration during the half century preceding the
These people were of the only faction in that unhappy island who could
have lent their cordial support to Irish Masonry, and they came from
where it had made its first recorded appearance in Ireland. They must
with them much of the Masonic ideal, together with a stern realization
of the age-long,
bitter and relentless struggle of ecclesiasticism against all that
makes for liberty,
toleration, education and fraternity. I have seen no work that gives a
and concise account of the conditions under which they had lived than
Hamilton's The Soul of Ulster [Lib 1917]. While not a Masonic book, it
worth the time of every Mason to read it.
well those sturdy Scotch-Irish pioneers knew the lengths to which
could be carried, and their influence counted for much in shaping a
in America under which every sect and every citizen should be equal
before the law,
and in creating a Constitution that is a standing rebuke to any
individual seeking special privileges. It is estimated that upwards of
half a million
of these immigrants arrived prior to the Revolution.
In 1775 there
were approximately three million people in the thirteen colonies. Of
to exceed 25,000 were of the Roman faith. By far the greater majority
of the Roman
Catholic population resided in Maryland, the original "Catholic
and in Pennsylvania, where the Quakers extended to them a sort of
There were some score or so of Roman Catholic priests.
to have been a strong disposition on the part of our fathers of '76 to
this small and apparently harmless minority, a greater measure of
they had enjoyed at any time previously under the colonial governments.
It is significant,
however, that one of the complaints raised against the Mother Country
to the outbreak of hostilities was occasioned by the passage by
Parliament of the
Quebec Act. The Declaration of Rights of 1774 mentioned this act as one
of the "infringements
and violations of the rights of the colonists," and declared its repeal
"essentially necessary in order to restore harmony between Great
the American colonies."
the act passed at the same session for establishing the Roman Catholic
in the province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable system of English
erecting a tyranny there, to the great danger (from so total a
religion, law and government) of the neighboring British Colonies, by
of whose blood and treasure the said country was conquered from France."
of Canada was thus placed practically in the hands of the priesthood.
It was most
bitterly resented by the English speaking colonists, and was again
referred to in
the Declaration of Independence two years later.
abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring Province,
therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to
at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute
of the Virginia "Declaration of Rights," adopted May 6, 1776, expresses
a sentiment that is reminiscent of the clause "Concerning God and
of Anderson's Constitutions:
religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of
discharging it, can
be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence;
all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion,
according to the
dictates of conscience; and that it is the duty of all to practice
love and charity towards each other."
are important in illustrating the trend of thought in the colonies. The
of the Quebec Act by the English Parliament would seem to indicate that
in power in Protestant Britain, realizing that the spirit of revolt was
through the English-speaking colonies, was seeking to placate the
of Canada in order to enlist their aid in preventing the infection of
from reaching the newly acquired French provinces. The Act served its
Canada, but it only added fuel to the conflagration in the thirteen
of the act and its certain effect upon the Roman Catholics of Quebec
have been understood in the colonies, as the resentment of the colonies
been known at least to the priesthood of that province, yet, curiously
Continental Congress, only a few months prior to the adoption of the
from the Declaration of Independence, sent a commission to Quebec in an
enlist the aid of that province in the struggle against the mother
members of the commission were Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase and
the latter's cousin, John Carroll, a Jesuit priest and later the first
Archbishop in the United States, went along as a priestly appendage to
Needless to say, their efforts came to naught.
The Conway Cabal
progress of the Revolution the loyalty of a large percentage of the
to the American cause was far from being above question. The infamous
Cabal" against Washington took its name from Major General Thomas
member of that church and one of the few non-Masons holding high
Washington's army. Again, when the British, finding themselves hard
soldiers to carry on the war, sought enlistments among the colonists,
if not practically their only success, was among the Roman Catholic
These were still under the domination of the Jesuits who not only
Masonic influences that were playing so large a part in the leadership
of the patriot
cause, but also hated our French allies for the stand taken by France
in the suppression
of the Society of Jesus. Hence they were only too ready to make common
England against their Protestant and Masonic neighbors.
to Bancroft's History of the United States [Lib 1870; (Ten Volumes –
Howe was able to form a regiment
of Catholics in Philadelphia. Clinton also, by playing on their racial
and by flattery, allured many in New York to the support of the British
raised a regiment for Lord Rawdon in which both officers and men were
Irish Roman Catholics. Among them were nearly five hundred deserters
from the Continental
Army. Two regiments certainly represented no small percentage of the
males among the 25,000 adherents of that faith in the colonies at the
time. So much
for the "Irish of the Revolution."
By way of
contrast the almost interminable list of Masons who were active
supporters of the
cause of independence speaks for itself. Much could be written of the
work of the
military lodges in the Continental Army, as well as of the numerous
civil and military
leaders who were members of the Fraternity. When Warren fell at Bunker
Massachusetts brethren lost their Provincial Grand Master. The Sons of
largely officered by Masons, and their Boston headquarters, the Green
was also the home of St. Andrew's Lodge. It is a matter of record that
on the night
of the famous "Tea Party" the lodge was unable to work owing to lack of
attendance. Paul Revere, who had been credited with the leadership of
the band that
boarded the tea ships, was at the time Junior Warden of St. Andrew's
of the other Revolutionary leaders who were Masons have already been
of Masons among the signers of the Declaration of Independence and
among the members
of the Constitutional Convention is too much in dispute for discussion
in the limited
space of this article, but enough is known with certainty to prove that
spirits of both conventions were members of the Craft. The immortal
at those two conventions were made possible by, as they represented the
Freemasonry in America.
Masters: A Reply
By Bro. W. Ravenscroft,
know a great deal about the builder gilds of the Roman Empire and much
gilds of the Middle Ages; but what about the extended period between
the two? For
a long time it appeared to be impossible to bridge this gap. It
remained for a woman,
Mrs. Lucy Baxter, writing over the pen name of "Leader Scott" in a
entitled "The Cathedral Builders," [Lib 1899] to offer a theory with
merit in it to attract general attention. Mrs. Baxter was followed by
Ravenscroft, whose little book, "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and
Successors," [Lib 1910] was published serially in THE
An elementary sketch of the Comacine Theory was published in the Study
of THE BUILDER, October, 1923, page 305. The contribution printed below
by way of reply to the Study Club article, and should be read in
Bro. Ravenscroft is one of the most delightful friends in the world who
how to disagree without being disagreeable.
IN the October
1923 number of THE BUILDER under the section set apart for the Study
Club the editor
has dealt with the question of Freemasonry and the Comacine Masters,
and if one
may be permitted to say so he has done this with frankness, fairness
spirit and by not attempting to settle differences but by restricting
a statement of known facts and a brief sketch of theories regarding the
and their relation to Freemasonry. He has opened the door for some
of the subject. He concludes his article, however, by an expression of
for which I am sure we are grateful because of the value we set upon
gives us in that, as in other directions. This permits one to venture
on a similar
expression. May I therefore, in a short effort, be allowed to carry on
and divide what I have to say into four parts:
1st. As to the facts about the
2nd. As to opinions about them.
3rd. As to the connection
between them and Speculative Masonry.
4th. As to Bro. Haywood's
as to facts:
It is amazing
to read that Wyatt Papworth should say "I believe they never existed,"
or that George Edmund Street should consider the "theory" of the
altogether erroneous when we have such a mass of actual historic
us, and when we can give documentary evidence and the names and dates
Comacine Masters and point to the scores of buildings they erected,
Moreover, we have statements (not opinions) of Italian writers who have
the subject; and last of all the numerous traditions which, although
evidence, are of some value. Neither Wyatt Papworth nor Street,
however, are men
to whom we should look for any reliable help in this direction, simply
one was concerned chiefly in architectural history in general and could
given the time or thought required to qualify for a statement on the
Freemasonry on which any reliance could be placed, while the other
distinctly a student of Gothic development and not an authority for the
those days which preceded the birth of Gothic in Europe. I very much
doubt if either
seriously studied and investigated the subject on the spot or indeed
to make their evidence of any value. One might write a great deal more
on this first
point, for it seems to me it would be just as reasonable to doubt
the First ever conquered England as to question the existence or work
of the Comacines.
But I will only add that it is known as fact (the editor says
that Comacine Masters and Craftsmen did work in the district of Como
and that the
reason for their continuing in that neighborhood was, as the editor
says, the twofold
one of available quarries, and the rapid development of the Lombards
from a semi-savage
to a civilized people.
Next as to
opinions about the Comacines. Here I need only refer to those hostile,
of such being held, I suppose, R.F. Gould. This writer has, according
to some, demonstrated
conclusively a good many things, and amongst them the mythical
character of the
Comacines. Bro. E. Ellison of San Francisco last year contributed an
THE BUILDER entitled "Traveling Craftsmen" (April 1922, page 102) in
he relies on the opinion of Gould; but in the November number of THE
the same year Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, of California, effectually
disposes of the
position taken by Gould, and one cannot do better than refer to that
order to show the weakness of Gould's opinion. Unfortunately I do not
Dr. Milman has to say, but I am well aware that in England there are
in their desire to trace everything that one would denominate
to Byzantine origin, simply ignore the existence of the former or at
it by another name. Not so Rivoira who places between these two
of Ravenna, and in a most consistent way shows their relation to each
I pass on
to the connection between the Comacines and Speculative Freemasonry,
and here it
seems necessary to make it clear that no claim based on proof has, so
far as one
knows, been made that in an unbroken line Speculative Masonry is
clearly the direct
outcome of the Comacine Gilds.
lodges did exist. There are records of them; buildings are still
are pointed out as their headquarters, e.g. one at Assisi referred to
in my little
book. They had a system of symbolism in many respects similar to that
Masonry. They were called to England over and over again and engaged in
of churches there.
of those churches corresponded with that of their work in Lombardy in
details. And the symbolism expressed in stone in those churches also
in many ways with that they had at home. So far as I know these are
and then, although of course of less weight, there are their traditions
Solomon's Temple. Leaving that out, however, as nebulous, if some
have us so regard it, I submit we have facts enough to show that in
did exist "Masonic lodges" by whatever name they may be called. If it
be challenged that this is all true except that the men who formed
in England were not Comacines, one asks the question, Who then were
they? Not men
from Byzantium, not from Rome, not from Germany, but either from France
so the records read, so the architecture conforms, and I think I am
right in saying
history gives no other gilds who would be at all likely to fill the
for these men.
professes to trace their existence through the later medieval times and
them the glory of Gothic architecture. Here I venture to think he is
wrong and that
the real fact was that the Comacine gilds merged into those of the
which were more wide spread in Europe than ever the Comacines had been.
In a word
these latter were lost in the larger movement which characterized the
building period. That their ritual and symbolism, probably with many
passed on to the later gilds one claims as a fair inference and equally
Speculative Masonry is largely based upon the practices of the later
thus forming a chain of several links, connecting the Comacine Masters
Masonry of to-day, but beyond that one would not venture to dogmatize.
Now as to
Bro. Haywood's closing remarks. Here may I say that the delightful and
way in which he disagrees, is so attractive that one is fain to be
for the disagreement. In the same spirit I would reply as follows:
says my opinion that the Comacines held traditions of King Solomon's
temple is open
to two facts which tell heavily against me. One that most of these
in the Scriptures and therefore available to anyone. To this I reply
that the Scriptures
were not available to anyone, only to the learned and chiefly to
Hence the value of a body outside the church holding such traditions.
supposing they had been available to anyone that does not militate
adoption or symbolic usage by any guild. They are open to anyone today
yet we Masons
appropriate them in a peculiar sense.
argument against me, Bro. Haywood says, is that there is no known
the Comacine and Gothic gilds which latter developed in Europe, but
development in Italy. I think the answer to this is given under my last
in which I considered the decline of the Comacine gilds thus showing
were not two schools running on contemporaneously and to this I might
add that in
England at least the growth of Gothic work out of Norman architecture
transitional period and the previous growth of Norman work in England
out of the
so-called Saxon, evidences a connection and sequence which cannot be
being the case it is not to be expected that there should be any
these gilds except that of sequence.
I have only
now to thank the editor for the kind words in which he has referred to
and writings, and for the courteous spirit and unbiased manner in which
he has set
forth his conclusions. May I hope that, for further elucidation of
remain obscure regarding the Comacines, any brother who can contribute
will do so seeing it is better (whether my theories hold good or are
the truth shall prevail.
I hold no
brief against stronger evidence.
"A Toast to Our Native Land" --
Robert Bridges, In Atlantic
Monthly, January, 1902
and alert, irascible yet strong,
We make our fitful way 'mid right and wrong.
One time we pour out millions to be free,
Then rashly sweep an Empire from the sea!
One time we strike the shackles from the slaves.
And then, quiescent, we are ruled by knaves.
Often we rudely break restraining bars,
And confidently reach out toward the stars.
Yet under all there flows a hidden stream
Sprung from the Rock of Freedom, the great dream
Of Washington and Franklin, men of old
Who knew that freedom is not bought with gold.
This is the land we love, our heritage,
Strange mixture of the gross and fine, yet sage
And full of promise, ‒ destined to be great.
Drink to Our Native Land! God Bless the State.
Apprentice Degree With Its Groups Of Three
By Bro. Charles E. Boyden,
Grand Lecturer, A.F. & A.M., North Dakota
Now let our minds be clear and
To dwell a while on Masonry,
Its basic principles forsooth,
That we may grasp the Precious Truth
Concealed in "Mystic Groups of Three"
As visioned in the First Degree.
was said by ancient Masonic writers to be the weaker part of man and by
the Entered Apprentice Degree was pronounced the "weakest" part of
but the consensus of opinion among modern Masonic investigators lays
on the Entered Apprentice Degree as being basic and fundamental; the
of a moral and Masonic edifice. Upon this cubical stone of "Faith in
candidate for Masonic Light, at his entrance, places his trust and
build the temple of character.
Let us consider
in detail these "Groups of Three" which in this degree are quite
Masonry is defined by many Masonic writers as being a system of
in allegory and illustrated by symbols, and the symbolism of the
Degree is mainly calculated to impress upon the mind a high regard for
lessons to be derived from a study of the "groups of three" as
in the lectures.
Knocks," alluding to a certain text in scripture, "Ask and ye shall
seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you," was
as follows: the candidate asked the recommendation of a friend to be
made a Mason,
through his recommendation sought initiation, knocked at the door of
the lodge and
it was opened unto him. How true this allusion is to life. What we ask
for and seek
for in truth and set our affections upon, we naturally obtain. It is
the law of
the natural and spiritual world.
Great Lights are the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses. The Holy Bible
is to rule
and guide our faith, the Square to square our actions, and the
Compasses to circumscribe
and keep us in due bounds with all mankind. The Holy Bible is dedicated
it being the inestimable gift of God to man; the Square to the Master,
for it is
the proper Masonic emblem of his office; and the Compasses to the
Craft, for by
a due attention to its uses they are taught to circumscribe their
desires and keep
their passions in due bounds.
Lesser Lights are the Sun, Moon and Master of the Lodge symbolical of
Mastery over Nature, and the Mastery of Man over himself and the Animal
In the Three
Divisions of the twenty-four inch gauge we find eight hours for the
service of God
and the relief of a distressed worthy brother, eight for our usual
eight for refreshment and sleep. In this material age we are apt to
latter two divisions of our time and neglect the former, "service to
our fellow men." If Masons could only be impressed with this fair
of time, what happiness would follow!
Symbolic Supports of a lodge are Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. The
universe is the
Temple of the Deity whom we serve; wisdom, strength and beauty are
about His throne
as pillars of His work, for His wisdom is infinite, His strength
his beauty shines forth through all His creations in symmetry and
order. These pillars
represent the three principal officers of the lodge. The Worshipful
Master is supposed
to have wisdom to open and govern his lodge; the Senior Warden to
assist him in
his arduous duties, and the Junior Warden, who in ancient times
observed the sun
at meridian height, which is the beauty and glory of the day, presides
at the refreshment
hour and sees that none convert the means of refreshment into
intemperance or excess.
and Charity are the principal rounds of the mysterious ladder which
Jacob in his
vision saw extending from earth to heaven; the greatest of these is
our Faith may be lost in sight, Hope ends in fruition, but Charity or
beyond the grave throughout the boundless realms of eternity.
ornaments of the lodge are the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel,
and the Blazing
Star. The Mosaic Pavement is a representation of the ground floor of
Temple; the Indented Tessel, of that beautiful tessellated border or
surrounded it. The Mosaic Pavement is emblematic of human life,
checkered with good
and evil; the Beautiful Border which surrounds it of those blessings
which surround us, and which we hope to obtain by a faithful reliance
Providence, which is hieroglyphically represented by the Blazing Star.
Symbolic lights are to be found in the East, West, and South, while
absence of light) is to be found in the North. Let us always be seekers
light and avoid the abysmal Darkness, which is the state of a Soul on
through life without light to guide.
Immovable Jewels are the Square, Level and Plumb. The Square teaches
Level equality, and the Plumb rectitude of life.
Movable Jewels are the Rough Ashlar, the Perfect Ashlar, and the
These jewels mark the line of culture and progress. The Rough Ashlar is
taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state. The Perfect Ashlar
is a stone
made ready by the hands of the workman to be adjusted by the working
tools of the
Fellowcraft. The Trestle Board is for the master workman to draw his
The rude stones have by work and discipline been transformed into
polished ones; so it is with our lives in Masonry; from rudeness to
darkness to light, from slavery of bodily appetites to the mastery of
our own minds
and spirits, the very discipline necessary for progress.
Tenets of our profession are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. By the
of brotherly love we are taught to regard the whole human species as
‒ the high and low, the rich and poor. On this principle Masonry unites
men of every
country, sect and opinion. To relieve the distressed is a duty
incumbent on all
men but more particularly on Masons who are linked together by an
of sincere affection. Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of
To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On
we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct.
Fervency and Zeal were the characteristics of the Entered Apprentices
times represented in the lodge by Chalk, Charcoal and Clay. There is
than Chalk, the slightest touch of which leaves a trace behind; there
more fervent than Charcoal, to which, when well ignited, the most
will yield; nothing more zealous than Clay, or our Mother Earth, which
imparting for man's necessities, and constantly reminding us that as,
from it we
came so to it we must all sooner or later return.
of Three set forth in the beautiful lectures and ceremonies of the
Degree must become a part of the spiritual temple we are endeavoring to
our lives if we are to build characters that shall resist the
temptations of our
animal nature and permit us to continue our Masonic career unto the end
of our material
existence, that end which we hope will usher in the perfect day.
In this article
we have not attempted to consider the beautiful lessons to be derived
in the presentation
of the "Lambskin," or the request for a "Memento," nor have
we alluded to the "Situation and Dedication" of Masonic Lodges, or even
the "Four Cardinal Virtues." Each of these would demand separate
but we confined ourselves to the Groups of Three as set forth in this
reader will find some Iteration of Phrases found in the Monitor, but we
often be reminded of the valuable character of the lessons sought to be
in these Groupings of Three.
in Masonry! The hand that grasps a brother is the hand of charity,
relief and truth.
The arms that are stretched forth to minister consolation and comfort,
are the strong
arms of sympathy and brotherly love. The eye that sees the Masonic
of distress, and the ear that catches the words that accompany it when
has departed, are the willing eyes and ears that will hasten to a
and whisper words of cheer and hope and comfort, and like the good
up his wounds and minister to his wants.
The Beeches Lodge, Toronto, Canada.
(By Courtesy of the Christian
a brief announcement in the papers that the President of the Council,
received at Palazzo Chigi a delegation representing the Order of the
The Masons forming this delegation were: Grand Master Raoul V. Palermi,
Mombello, Prof. Ernesto Villa, Comm. Dott. Tito Gualdi, Grand Uffieiale
Villetti, Comm. Giovanni Nicolini, Comm. Vittorio Falorsi, Cav.
Capt. Marehese Navarra Viagiani.
In the receipt
of the journals it is said that Grand Master Palermi, speaking for the
Rite Masons in Italy, expressed to Signor Mussolini the admiration of
brethren for the work which the Fascist Government had accomplished,
their unfaltering support of those ideals which inspire the Duce in his
to the patria and the people. Grand Master Palermi also registered his
of the new school reform, especially because of its emphasis on moral
values. Signor Mussolini in reply thanked the members of the delegation
for their words, expressing likewise his sympathy for their national
notice of this meeting is brief, but its significance should not be
Either Masonry or Fascismo
all, this is a complete right-about-face by Signor Mussolini in his
Masonry. Only a few months back he was saying clearly to all Italian
they must choose between Masonry and Fascismo. If they were Masons,
they could not
be Fascisti; if they were Fascisti, they could not be Masons. Last
in Parliament in favor of his new electoral law, he referred to the
Masons of Palazzo
Giustiniani in most uncomplimentary terms. Four mouths later he
this delegation of the Italian Scottish Rite and expresses his kindly
read the inside of Signor Mussolini's mind, but one may infer what is
in the thought of the Fascist Dictator. There are those who hold that
this is simply
another pass to gather in his support parties outside of Fascismo. He
considerable difficulty in his efforts to hold his own special Fascist
While on the surface his ranks are intact, it is well known that very
exist. Because of bitter internal dissensions, not long since he was
forced to decapitate
his entire Fascist executive council. Subsequently he declared that
been created to aid him in saving the patria. If by small polities it
unworthy of this high calling, he would look elsewhere for the support
to rehabilitate the country.
that in receiving this delegation from the Scottish Rite he is giving
to that branch of Italian Masonry which assisted him to secure control
of the Government,
and which since his assumption of power has thrown the weight of its
solidly and consistently in support of his program. On his arrival in
Rome, at the
head of his troops, Grand Master Palermi was one of the first to shake
As a matter of fact, Signor Palermi has been criticized severely in
for his so-called surrender to Fascismo.
Mussolini arrived in Rome with his Fascist troops he found another
equipped army of Blue Shirts, calling themselves the Nationalists.
Their chief was
Luigi Federzoni. There were in the city at that time 20,000 to 30,000
of these young
Nationalists, thoroughly organized and prepared for armed action.
felt it the part of wisdom to unite, if possible, these Blue Shirts
with his own
Black Shirts. The Blue Shirts, being intensely Roman Catholic and
hostile to Masonry, it was necessary for the Dictator, in order to
secure his desired
union of forces, to assume an attitude strongly antagonistic to the
This is the explanation given for his outburst against Masonry. It is
that he now feels himself sufficiently strong to express his real
the Craft, which is one of genuine friendliness. The word is also being
well-informed circles that the Duce himself is a Mason, though
officially this is
It is more
or less evident that two principal considerations have induced the
to modify his policy. First, he has no intention of allowing himself to
up in a Vatican sack. For his own political reasons he supports
strongly the rehabilitation
of the Vatican power in Italy. Don Sturzo has gone quietly into his
word comes from him, but Don Sturzo still lives. At the opportune
moment the hierarchy
that ordered him to retire may easily summon him to assume again the
of the Roman Catholic forces on the field of battle. Signor Mussolini
the creation of the new units that will serve him in that day.
In the second
place, and this is perhaps the main reason for his change of policy
he is deeply concerned for his foreign policy. Fascismo has never been
France, England and America. And on the good will of one or more of
he must depend for any success he may achieve abroad.
Nations Look Askance At
and in America, Fascismo is unpopular because it is anti-democratic, to
of its anti-constitutional actions. In France, its military threat is
The highhanded occupation of Fiume and the seizure of Corfu have
hostility, and aroused a great fear in all the Balkan states, as well
as in the
smaller countries of other parts of Europe.
begins to realize the enormous influence of worldwide Masonry. At the
his eyes are opening to the feet that the Craft throughout the world is
was convened in Paris an international congress of the Grand Orient.
thought of this conference is summed up by Mr. Vandervelde in the
"Some recent happenings ‒ the
of the Ruhr and the triumph of Fascismo ‒ demonstrate the urgent
necessity of an
international union of all those who wish to defend democracy against
tendencies. This union can and must be established outside of all
A high official
of the Scottish Rite organization in Italy was asked how he reconciled
support of Signor Mussolini with the Masonic fundamentals of liberty
His reply was: "Fascismo is the constitutional Government of Italy. We
loyal to that constitutional Government. Under this Government Italians
to follow the legitimate pursuits of life, liberty and happiness!"
question put to him was this: "How can you, a Mason, declare yourself
accord with Signor Mussolini in his school reform, which places the
schools of the
country in the hands of the priests?” He insisted that the schools of
have not been handed over to the control of the Roman Catholic Church.
schools," he continued, "may now be organized on an equal footing with
those of the State. Religious instruction is obligatory, but parents
are free to
accept or reject the priests as religious instructors of their
and Jews and Liberals should see that this, their right, is exercised,
and at the
same time they should put forth the utmost effort to provide schools in
may determine the character of the religious instruction."
Who Were Masons
By Bro. G. W. Baird, P G.
M., District Of Columbia
Adlai Ewing Stevenson
was born in Christian County, Kentucky, in 1835, and received his early
in the schools of that county, and, later, attended Center College,
where he was
graduated with honor. He moved to Bloomington, Ill., with his father's
he studied law, and was there admitted to the Bar. In 1859 he had a
in Metamora, Ill. and was also later in chancery in the circuit court
for a number
of years. His methods were agreeable, fair and straight, and he won the
of the people. In 1864 he was nominated by the Democratic Party as a
elector. In the interest of General McClellen, the nominee of his
party, he canvassed
the state, speaking in about every county, town, and hamlet. He
returned to Bloomington
in 1869, and formed a law partnership with J. S. Ewing, which continued
day of his death. The firm had a good practice with the state and
He was first
nominated for Congress in 1874 and as the district had been "safely"
for so many years his chances were not regarded as good, and, besides
that his opponent
was Gen. McNulta, a soldier, lawyer and citizen above reproach. Though
was a vigorous one it resulted in the election of Bro. Stevenson. He
was in Congress
during the Tilden-Hayes contest in 1876, a trying time, in which the
the decision with loyalty and love of harmony. Stevenson was
re-nominated for Congress
a second time but was defeated. In 1878, however, he was again elected,
and by an
increased majority. He was a delegate to the National Democratic
Convention in 1884,
in Chicago, and, after the election of Mr. Cleveland, he was appointed
post master general, the duties of which are probably more exacting
than any in
the Post Office Department. During this incumbency he afforded
to the President in formulating the civil service, for, under the post
are more appointments than all the rest, and Bro. Stevenson was glad to
and fair rules, rules which would enable the department to retain men
for their service more than for their politics.
soon learned to love Bro. Stevenson, as so many others did. He was
of the United States in 1893 and served during the second term of Mr.
during which time his intimacy with the President continued. For some
explained, the Vice-President has not been much in evidence, and Mr.
the first President to invite his Vice-President to be one of the
Cabinet. But there
was evidently a bond of friendship between Mr. Cleveland and Mr.
continued to the end.
expiration of his term of office as Vice-President, Mr. Stevenson was
sent to Europe
to try to secure concurrent legislation on the bi-metal coinage. It was
mission: touch a man's pocket or a nation's pocket and you are near his
selfish interest is manifested that shows plainly the selfishness of
Stevenson had such a nice way of smoothing people the right way that he
favor. He was defeated for Vice-President in 1900, which terminated his
Grand Secretary in Illinois we learn that Bro. Stevenson was Master of
in Metamora, the lodge in which he received his degrees. He was,
of Lodge No. 43, in Illinois. He was never spoiled by prosperity: he
was ever easy
to approach, and he was ever ready to hear what a brother had to say to
the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Green, president of Center
College, at Danville,
Ky., and had a son and three daughters. He was always regarded as an
temperate in every way, but convivial withal. His influence was gentle,
rather than forceful, but felt all the same. He was a man of untiring
was always ready in his law cases as in his politics. He was the same
kind of a
Democrat that Jefferson was: though he had more appointments under his
the post office than any other Cabinet officer, he sought to reduce
add to the number of office bearers.
died in the Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago, Ill., in June, 1914, and
in the lot with his wife in Evergreen Cemetery, at Bloomington, Ill.
The only memorial
ever erected to his memory is the one in the gallery of the United
shown in the cut. This honor has been done to a few of the
hath made mankind one vast Brotherhood, Himself the Master, and the
World His Lodge.”
of Masonic History
By Bro. H.L. Haywood, Editor
Part VIII. The Operative
IT is now
generally accepted by Masonic authorities that the modern fraternity of
had its origin among the builder guilds of England in the Middle Ages.
A rapid survey
of the gild system in general was published in this department in
November; it is
now in order to examine with more care the Masonic gilds themselves,
with a view
to gaining a picture (necessarily somewhat in the rough, and in
outline) of the
customs and manners of our Masonic forbears, a subject that is saved
academic and dry by the fact that most of the rules, regulations and
in operation among us are traced to the early Operative Masons (as it
is the habit
to describe them), so that it is impossible for us to understand the
today apart from the Masonry of many centuries ago.
is admittedly difficult. "We possess no series of documents, nor even
to a series, sufficiently extensive to enable us to form any connected
the ancient institutions of Masons and Freemasons. We have, in fact, no
by which we can form any definite idea of the precise nature of those
These words by Halliwell-Phillips, discoverer of the Regius Poem, the
most precious of all Masonic MSS., were uttered in 1839; much has been
our knowledge of Masonic history since then, indeed Masonic history
did not come into existence for nearly a half century afterwards, but
even so the
statement remains substantially correct. Our sources are scattered as
well as meager
and often it requires great ingenuity to find any sources at all.
Moreover, it should
be borne in mind that the Freemasonry of England prior to 1717 was a
and changing institution so that it varied much from place to place and
time; it is an error to generalize too widely on the basis of some one
Also it is
necessary that we challenge every writer on the subject to furnish us
with his authorities
and sources, and that he prove himself free from partisanship; a vast
deal of the
so-called "Masonic literature" which floats about the world is derived
at second or third hand from uncritical writers who took their own
hearsay, or from an ignorant misinterpretation of known facts. The
a statement in some old book, even if it be a volume of "Constitutions"
more or less officially sanctioned by Grand Lodge, is not by any means
a token of
its authenticity. The theories of the older writers ‒ so long known and
loved among us ‒ the Anderson's, Preston's, Oliver's, Hutchinson's, and
are after all theories only, and no more to be protected from the
scrutiny of historical
criticism than theories promulgated in our own day.
sources from which authentic historians gather information concerning
Masonry may be roughly divided into seven or eight groups, tabulated
sake as follows:
The general history of medieval
architecture. A study of the building art
throughout the Middle Ages, as it developed in Italy, Germany,
and England reveals much concerning the builders, so that one may often
about Masonry from a non-Masonic historian than elsewhere. Porter's
in two volumes, is a case in point.
The general history of the
people of England. The gild life of the Middle
Ages played as conspicuous a part in the life of the people as churches
do among on the history of the people helps us the better to understand
in their midst.
Statutes passed by various
kings and parliaments to govern laborers. The
Ordinance of Laborers, 1349, and the Statute of Laborers, 1350, are
Under the same general head
might be included the gild returns, consisting
of reports made by gilds to the government upon official demand. It is
by some writers that the Regius MS., or Poem, was written in response
to some such
demand in order to furnish official information concerning the history
of the Freemasons, late in the fourteenth century.
The Old Manuscripts of the
Craft, the earliest of which was the "Poem"
just mentioned, usually dated as of 1390. These documents were written
and miracle-loving men in an age when it was easier to believe marvels
so that as sources of history they are to be read with great care; but
to them of the historical methods popularly known as the "higher" and
the "lower" criticism yields results of rare value.
Diaries, letters, lodge
minutes, fabric rolls, etc. The records of the City
Company of London, presented to the Craft by Edward Conder, and the old
of Scotland are cases in point.
General literature of the
seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Sir Richard
Steele mentions Freemasonry, so also Plot, Dugdale, etc.
The relics from the past
embedded in the present institution, like fossilized
remains in a rock stratum, reminding one of the familiar lines of Bro.
who, in writing them, may very well have had this point in mind:
"I cleared me ground for a
Palace such as
a King should build.
I decreed and cut down to my levels, presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had built."
analysis of the ritual, for instance, against the background of general
history yields, in the right hands, safe and valuable findings.
Many Problems Remain Obscure
It has been
a huge task to develop these sources of possible information concerning
history; the end is far from yet, so that a wise student will, as dear
was wont to put it, "hang many subjects on pegs, as not disposed of
Many of the most important of our historical problems, such as the
question as to
the number of degrees before 1717, are still on the pegs, and will
manuscripts yet undiscovered, and numberless others not examined by
of the Operative Mason was not easy to learn, especially since there
were no books,
manuals and schools such as are now in use; a workman had to apprentice
when a mere boy in order to learn the art at first hand in the dame
school of experience.
A compact organization was necessary (as it was in most other crafts)
not only to
protect trade secrets but also as a means of schooling.
a Mason worked alone, moving on from place to place as work might
require, and in
accordance with the rules and regulations obtaining in the various
each of which had its own laws and "customs" ‒ the latter usually
by the courts as having the weight of law. In such an instance Masonry
practiced in a village in which was no lodge or guild.
In many towns
the Masons had their own gilds, like other crafts; in that event they
their work in the manner described in these pages in November. It is a
of remark that the gild Masons did not cut much of a figure in town
usually relatively of lesser importance as compared with gilds of the
and in some instances they were forbidden to have gilds at all, why it
is not always
easy to determine, though it is probable that much of the building of
town was monopolized by the carpenters, for brick and stone structures
did not come
generally into use until a comparatively late period. "For instance, at
that town of churches, the Masons appear to have had no gild of their
own in 1375,
but to have been attached to the carpenters. In the Exeter plays the
a play with the Goldsmiths; and at York they are joined with the
Hatmakers, In 1604
we find a corporation at Oxford given a charter which includes
Joiners and Slaters." (Vibert)
that the "lodge" was peculiar to the Masons, though it is probable that
other crafts would sometimes have buildings or rooms of their own near
a place of
work, the carpenters, for example; but the lodge as an organization, a
body as well as the building, hut, or lean-to in which it met, belonged
the builders. It was usually attached to the building under
construction, but sometimes
was a permanent structure, as at Aberdeen. In some instances, as at
York and Westminster,
permanent gangs of workmen were in constant attendance and probably
rooms or buildings. The existence of a lodge wherein to assemble, admit
and for it is mentioned in the Regius Poem among regulations governing
who were forbidden to divulge what happened in the "logge". The Cooke
MS [Lib 1400] ordains that a Mason must
the counsel of his fellows in lodge and in chamber", a wise rule that
at this late day be hung on lodge walls.
Was There "One Big
these various lodges and individual workmen governed by "one big
having jurisdiction over the entire Craft? It used to be a common
opinion that such
was the case, but all the facts subsequently unearthed point in the
a conclusion well stated by Mr. Wyatt Papworth, in Transactions of
of Architects: "All the documents have led me to believe that there was
any supreme gild in England, however probable the existence of such a
body may appear.
Thus the 'orders', supplied to the Masons in York Cathedral in 1352,
give but a
poor notion of there being then in that city anything like a gild or
claiming authority in virtue of a charter, supposed to have been given
to it by
Athelstan in 926, not only over that city but over all England." R. F.
who cites the above, concurs, and says, as regards the theory of one
that it all the evidence we possess points in quite an opposite
The unity of the Mason trade was sustained like that of any other
craft, by general
laws, rules, regulations and customs adhered to throughout the land,
and also, as
explained in the first chapter of this series, by the nature of the
which, like technical occupations of the present day did not admit of
in practice. Uniform control of all lodges from a central authority did
until very late; it was not attempted until after the formation of
Grand Lodge in
London, 1717, and was not perfected until the organization of the
United Grand Lodge
of England, in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.
A more difficult
matter to make plain, but absolutely vital to an understanding of the
the difference between gild Masons and Freemasons. Such data as we
possess is both
fragmentary and confusing, so that the best specialists have been
unable to clear
up all the problems involved. However, it seems pretty certain that
there was always
a rather wide division between the members of the local stationary
a monopoly of building in each town, and the Freemasons employed to
and other ecclesiastical structures. The gild Mason was bound down by
and was not permitted to work outside his own community, which fact
will carry all
the more force when it is remembered that in the Middle Ages towns were
independent and self-centered than they are now, and more jealous of
and customs. But there was of course no steady work in any one town for
to work on cathedrals, a specialized form of architecture so difficult
so much special knowledge that even at a loss to understand how the
managed some of their problems. It is almost certain that these Masons
were a class
apart from the gild Masons, and that, unlike the gild Masons, they had
regulations of their own, and were permitted to adhere to the same
might be at work, and whatever might be the ordinances binding on local
It is also almost certain that Freemasonry, as it later on evolved into
have come to call Speculative Masonry, originated among the cathedral
and not among the gild Masons, though of course there must have been a
of interaction and over-lapping as between the two; our Old Charges,
legends and our symbolism came down to us from the migratory lodges
ecclesiastical structures. It might not be possible to prove this
theory to the
satisfaction of a court of law, but all the available evidence, direct
indicates as much. The point is of the utmost importance, not alone as
but whenever we undertake to govern our present day Craft activities by
It was a
difficult thing properly to govern a lodge of cathedral building
Masons, not alone
because of its essentially temporary character, but also from its
having in hand
the most stupendous work possible in the Middle Ages, involving the
of large sums, the importing of workmen from abroad and the handling of
costly material. In such an undertaking all manner and types of men
from the general overseer who would be an illustrious artist, down to
workmen and errand boys, a cosmopolitan group in which all classes
would be represented,
priests, bishops, gentlemen, freemen, bondsmen, serfs, necessitating a
highly developed system of government. The general control of such an
would sometimes lie entirely in the hands of churchmen, sometimes
wholly in lay
hands, and often in a mixed group.
Lodge Officers Were Governing
of the work would be a general head, variously styled superintendent,
architect, clerk of the works, keeper of the works, keeper of the
ingeniator, etc. The presiding officer was called master, warden,
as local customs might dictate; the keeper of funds was a box master or
in addition were other functionaries, such as book keepers, who
entirely out of the form of organization when the Craft became
the officers of the operative lodges were chosen in view of the work to
and not as representing degrees or grades of a speculative science. It
appear that a tiler was employed, though it is certain that some means
to guard the door of the lodge.
the Craft were governed in accordance with a set of rules and
each Mason was sworn to observe, versions of which are incorporated in
Old Charges, the oldest, so it is believed, being that in the Cooke
MS., dated as
middle fifteenth century, and preserved with certain alterations in the
still used by Grand Lodges; these rules were adjusted to the
requirements of time
and place, it may be supposed, but in general outline were faithfully
through many centuries. The "Orders for the Masons and Workmen," found
in the Fabric Rolls of York Cathedral, furnish one a fair idea of the
hours of work,
working conditions, and general rules:
first and second Masons, who are called masters of the same, and the
shall take oath that they cause the ancient customs underwritten to be
observed. In summer they are to begin to work immediately after sunrise
ringing of the bell of the Virgin Mary; then to breakfast in the fabric
fabricae), then one of the masters shall knock upon the door of the
lodge, and forthwith
all are to return to work until noon. Between April and August, after
shall sleep in the lodge, then work until the first bell for vespers;
then sit to
drink till the end of the third bell, and return to work so long as
they can see
by daylight. In winter they are to begin work at daybreak, and continue
till noon, dine, and return to work till daylight is over. On Vigils
and on Saturdays
they are to work until noon."
that from time to time assemblies were held, called also congregations,
and in one
MS. (the Papworth) associations, in order that all lodges in a given
kept in due order and under the control of the king's officers. The Old
make much of these, though only three assemblies are distinctly
mentioned; the Regius
refers to one called by King Athelstan and attended by great lords and
another version tells of an assembly held at Windsor when Edwin was
made a Mason;
and nearly all of them refer to assemblies at York. "Every master that
Mason," says the Regius, "must be at the general congregation." It
is probable that some of these meetings were called by craft officers,
by the king's sheriff or other officers, in the latter case to see that
was strictly obeying the laws of the realm. The Cooke MS. makes it
plain that attendance
was obligatory on masters: "That every Master should be notified to
his congregation, that he may come in due time unless excused for some
those who have been disobedient at such congregations, or been false to
or had acted so as to deserve reproof by the Craft, should be excused
only by extreme
sickness, of which notice was to be given to the Master that is
principal of the
assembly." There is no record of any nation-wide assembly, neither is
to be sure concerning when and where such meetings were held, or how
long the custom
continued; the records are so scant, and often so confusing, we cannot
of any point except that some manner of assembly was occasionally held.
of the extent of territory covered by the authority of such a general
suggested by the Old Charges, as in the Cooke, Grand Lodge, York,
Sloane and others
which make it fifty miles; the Harleian, ten miles; and still others,
all of later
date, five miles. As time went on and the towns and population of
assemblies went altogether out of fashion; it may very well be that the
forming a "Grand Lodge" in London, 1717, was suggested to "some old
brother" by a reading of the Old Charges; we can at least be certain
brethren at that time felt justified in taking their radical step by
the fact that
general assemblies "had been holden in old times."
How Many Degrees Were There?
Masonic lodges did not employ degrees at all in our modern sense of the
recognized grades of workmen and had regulations and, probably,
ceremonies in accordance.
A youth was made an apprentice when only twelve or fourteen years of
it is not probable that his admittance to the craft was attended with
any very heavy
ceremony, but it is certain that he was made to hear the Legend of the
rules and regulations, and was given an oath. After seven years he was
the other grade, and became a Master Mason or Fellow, the two being two
the same grade. Authorities are about evenly divided as to whether or
not this advancement
was attended by any kind of secret ceremony; the fact that apprentices
to have been present at "the making of a master" would indicate that no
such thing occurred; but the other fact of there being such a cleavage
two grades would suggest that a master received some secrets never
imparted to an
apprentice. On the continent a workman journeyed about for two years or
being made a Fellow of the Craft, but this was not the custom in
in the fourteenth century, it was expressly prohibited by law. All
on the same level as regards rights, and privileges, but a few masters
further honor of being selected to superintend the work, and they
on a still higher grade as regards position; but even so they possessed
of the trade not held by the fellows. Wages varied from time to time,
fixed by statute; usually the workmen received gloves, tunics, aprons,
board or food supplies, apprentices receiving nothing at all or else
in addition to room and board.
fabric many workmen not members of the lodge were necessarily employed,
we have abundant records; they were known as rough masons, cowans,
"masons without the word", wallers, plasterers, etc. It was strictly
for any master mason to lay out plans or otherwise employ his trade
secrets in the
presence of these men, who were looked upon as "profane", or outsiders.
Also ‒ this is a fact of importance ‒ it was necessary to give the
of the lodge" to certain men connected with the works who were not
Masons, a bishop it may be, having the whole work in charge, or a man
skilled in geometry or other important items of "speculative" Masonry.
In Scotland these brethren thus received into the lodge, but not as
were known as "geomatic" or "gentlemen" Masons. Some of them
were doubtless very learned men, and it is not a wild guess to suppose
that a certain
amount of the symbolism and esoteric "work" which at last evolved into
the magnificent Ritual now employed may in the beginning have been due
to the presence
of these educated gentry.
Craft was transformed into a speculative institution in the eighteenth
ancient and probably very simple ceremonies employed by the Operative
greatly changed and expanded, in some cases by the addition, one may
materials from sources other than Operative Masonry; the one or two
reorganized and a third was added, sometime after 1720. After this
became permanently established ‒ a thing it was a long time doing, and
opposition ‒ it was adopted in Scotland, Ireland, and on the Continent,
rise to the present world-wide Fraternity. It should be noted just
here, and as
a fact never to be forgotten by the student, that whereas many
countries other than
England had a system of Operative Masonry it was in England alone that
Freemasonry developed; all the Speculative Freemasonry now in existence
from that one source. Attempts to explain our present day practices by
to Operative Masonry in Germany, Italy, Spain and France are usually
as vital to Masonry in these early times as it is now, and for similar
in the matter of trade formulae, the possession of which had the same
kind of money
value to an Operative Mason that the possession of a patent carries
with it now.
Without a careful guarding of all that went on in lodge the whole
system would have
gone to pieces, architecture would have become a lost art, and the
world have been
vastly the poorer, a thing one could say with equal emphasis of
which keeps the doors shut to outsiders not because it has aught to be
as it is the fashion in some quarters idly to assume, but because
without its arcana
it would soon cease to be anything more than a mere social club, of
knows, we already have an abundance. But whereas our secrets are moral
those held so carefully by our ancestors were of the trade variety, and
had to do
with methods of building and designing. I have already quoted a passage
Regius Poem commanding the apprentice to "hele" (conceal) the "counsel
of his fellows"; regulations of a similar import occur in all the other
Charges, as witness this passage from the Harleian: "You shall not
your Master or Dame [the Master's wife] theire Counsell or secrets,
which they have
imputed to you, or what is to be concealed, spoken, or done, within the
of their house." This passage shows that Operative Masonic secrecy had
moral as well as its professional side. So is it amongst us;
teaches that secrecy is a virtue to be practiced everywhere and always,
merely a device for keeping outsiders in the dark as to lodge affairs,
a wise admonition
in a world so filled with people where the confidence that one reposes
in his fellow
needs to be kept in sacred trust.
Freemasons Differed From
of the Freemasons differed in one all-important regard from that of
other gild, namely, that the work of their predecessors remained
visibly in their
midst. A tailor, a carpenter, a tinner could care little about the
history of his
craft, its traditions, or its ideals; why should he, for his work
and could leave behind it no enduring remains. With the cathedral
builders it was
otherwise. They were familiar with the work their fathers had done,
loved and revered
it, and found in it an open book of lessons, a well of inspiration, a
house of doctrine.
Accordingly, it was a matter of great moment to them to preserve the
of the past, its light and its lore, because they were themselves
engaged upon fabrics
that would last from generation to generation, and transmitters of an
art as enduring
as the stones wrought into buttress and wall. This one fact alone, it
seems to me,
ignoring all others, would almost make inevitable the development of a
symbolism. Men who built churches had to think and practice religion,
had to familiarize
themselves with philosophy and know something of art, and all of these
in that day of no printing presses and general illiteracy could be
no other way than symbolical. Symbolism was the popular language, so
that the sculptures
on the facade of a cathedral were a book for the folk, a history of the
Bible to the eye. In such an age it would have been strange indeed if
who spoke to the people through symbols had not employed the same means
their own apprentices and of preserving their own secrets. One needs
only look at
the photograph of the front of a cathedral to see that the men who made
symbolically minded not to conceal their ideas but to express them; and
mightiest thinkers of the period left behind them in symbols some of
and rarest ideas ever known, and often not to be otherwhere found. To
their symbols is not an antiquarian's game, like the piecing together
of an old
puzzle, but a legitimate work of the mind, endeavoring to translate
into our own
language and thought forms the truths learned by the Freemasons and
taught by them
in the one manner they knew; it is like the translating of a wise and
from a dead language into a living.
It was the
Reformation that gave to Operative Masonry its death blow. Henry VIII,
the abbeys and monasteries, was seconded by Edward VI, who swept away
the last vestiges
of brotherhoods, fraternities and religious associations other than the
both kings pocketing the money in the name of the Privy Purse. The
been the principal employers of the Operative Freemasons, and with the
an age of puritanism in thought, morals and art the cathedral building
to a sad but not inglorious end. The rank and file of Operative Masons
and completely lost interest in the Craft; only the more intelligent
among the lighter
grades of workmen continued to cherish the ancient traditions, to read
the Old MSS.,
and to pore over the time-hallowed symbols. By the seventeenth century
to become definitely speculative, or at least non-operative; and by the
of the following century the whole system was reorganized from top to
Masonry passed away, except in isolated instances, and Speculative
in. But after all, and in the sequel, the world has been the gainer.
Many of us
are Masons who never held a trowel, continuing the hoary customs and
the ancient fire, not because we are superstitiously reverent of the
past, but because
in our inheritance from the Operative Masons we have a treasure of
riches by which one is enabled to become in his secret soul an
wherein a light dwells brought bona out the past by which we are helped
our feet along the twisted paths of life toward the high calling of a
is uprightness, honor and brotherliness.
Books Consulted In Preparing
Brewster, History of Freemasonry; [Lib 1804]
Robert I. Clegg, Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry; [Lib*]
Edw. Conder, Records of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons; [Lib*]
Dallaway, Master, and Freemason; [Lib*]
Findel, History of Freemasonry; [Lib 1866]
Fort, Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry; [Lib 1881]
Fr. Funck-Brentano, The Middle Ages; [Lib 1922]
R.F. Gould, Collected Essays on Freemasonry; [Lib 1913]
R. F. Gould, Concise History of Freemasonry; [Lib 1951]
R. F. Gould, The Four Old Lodges; [Lib 1879]
R.F. Gould, History of Freemasonry; [Lib 1884; Vol
1, Vol 2, Vol
3, Vol 4]
William Herbert, History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies; [Lib
1836; Vol 1, Vol 2]
W.J. Hughan, Old Charges of the British Freemasons; [Lib 1872]
W.J. Hughan, Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry; [Lib 1884]
Lethaby, Medieval Art; [Lib 1904]
Lethaby, Westminster Abbey and the King's Craftsmen; [Lib 1906]
Murray D. Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh; [Lib 1873]
Meredith Hugh, Economic History of England; [Lib 1908]
J.F. Newton, The Builders; [Lib 1914]
Frederick A. Paley, Manual of Gothic Architecture (Moldings); [Lib 1902]
Pierson, Traditions, Origin, and Early History of Freemasonry; [Lib 1870]
Robert Plot, The Natural History of Staffordshire; [Lib 1686]
A. K. Porter, Medieval Architecture; [Lib 1909; Vol 1, Vol 2]
Wm. Preston, Illustrations of Masonry; [Lib 1867]
Toulmin Smith, English Guilds; [Lib 1870]
F.J. Snell, The Customs of Old England; [Lib 1862]
Lionel Vibert, Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges; [Lib 2010]
Lionel Vibert, Story of the Craft; [Lib*]
Paul Vinogradoff, English Society in the Eleventh Century; [Lib 1908]
A. E. Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry; [Lib*]
J.S.M. Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods; [Lib*]
E.M. Wilmot-Buxton, A Social History of England: [Lib 1920]
Robert Wylie, History of the Mother Lodge Kilwinning. [Lib*]
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry [Lib 1914] (Revised Edition). Anderson.
Apprentice, 70-71; Architect, 75; Architecture, 75; Athelstan, 85;
Church, 151; Comacine Masters, 161-167; Company of Masons, 472;
Corporations of Builders, 123; Cowan, 183-184; Craft, 184; Craftsman,
197-198; Fellow, 261; Fellow Craft, 261-262; Gentleman Mason, 294;
Gloves, 299-300; Grand Lodges, 306-307; Hale, 313; Halliwell
Manuscript, 616; Harleian,
317; Hutchinson, 342-343; Lodge, 449-451; Master, 473-476; Master of
the Work, 476;
Master Mason, 474-475; Middle Ages, 483; Oliver, 527-529; Old Masonic
464-467; Operative Art, 532; Operative Masonry, 532; Overseer, 540;
Regius Manuscript, 616; Revival, 622-623; Ritual, 627; Sloane, 694-695;
of the Middle Ages, 718-722; Symbol, 751-755; Tiler. 786: Tyler, 811;
Warden, 835-836; York, 867-871.
How to Organize a Study
on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be furnished free
to those asking for it in any quantities up to fifty or one hundred.
information address the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway
St. Louis, Mo. The Society answers questions, lends books, clippings,
of charge to clubs. Text books recommended are "Symbolical Masonry" and
"Great Teachings of Masonry," both by H.L. Haywood, the former of which
should be used in beginning.
we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will
if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon
if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of
we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten to all
‒ Daniel Webster
Freemasonry's Work in the
World As Seen From the Threshold Of 1923
1923 came and went through a disorganized world in which millions
needed bread while
other millions spent days plotting how to kill their fellow men in the
possible numbers; but for all that, and in spite of many other things
as bad the Masonic Fraternity moved forward, with peace as its mission
as its method, to convince the world what folly it is for the human
race to make
war upon itself. Has the fact come home to you with sufficient force?
heathen raged and nations whispered new plots among themselves,
not once. It has changed neither its course nor its aim, and does not
let come what may. Its purpose is as benign as the will of God, and
almost as certain,
for it is God's purpose surely that we all us in this mighty world
richly to enjoy life and to live in amity one with another. The stars
in their courses
are fighting to that end, and men will sooner or later learn to keep
step with the
stars. The issue is inevitable and he is afflicted with a strange
unwisdom who supposes
perished in the Great War, and others, nearly all of them, have been
will be obliged, to readjust themselves to new conditions; so with
so with nearly all institutions, but not so with our Craft. It was an
statesman that declared Freemasonry to be "the despair of ecclesiastics
the wonder of politicians," who can't fathom the mystery of its hold
or the genius of an organization that could pass through such a furnace
little loss and so few things to regret.
are not glittering generalities or idle dithyrambs but reports of fact
to anyone who will study the Proceedings for 1923 of all Grand Bodies,
here or abroad.
Our purposes, ideals or principles have nowhere been called in
has sounded retreat; nor has there been enough pessimism expressed to
The Craft has moved ahead on its own path, breaking down the dead
way for brotherhood.
stood at the focus of all American activities during 1923; it is become
living thing inside the whole institution. Masonic education is not a
a few learned pundits interested in Masonic archeology but a
to make every brother more clearly aware of the meaning and mission of
and to enable every official in lodges, chapters, commanderies and
to become capable of carrying on his duties intelligently. Such an
effort is practical
in the strictest sense of the word, and destined sooner or later to
power of Freemasonry many times over.
this there has been evident an unwonted concern for the future of the
some of these days, will be petitioning for membership. The De Molay
and the Order
of Builders for Boys have both had Grand Lodge sanction in many parts
of the land,
or otherwise received serious attention. It appears that sooner or
later the Masonic
Lewis, the son of a Mason, will have his own recognized status and
place in the
machinery of organization.
influence of Masonry entices many movements outside the pale to seek to
of it for their own ends. Some of these non-Masonic organizations have
widely discussed, and almost everywhere it has been made plain by
that Freemasonry does not intend to repeat the errors of 1826 by
snarled up with religious, political, or race propaganda that have no
place in Masonry's
Ancient Craft Masonry Holds
One of the
knottiest problems before Grand Lodges has been the relationship of
and Side Orders to the structure of Symbolic Masonry. The priority of
Masonry has been everywhere pretty definitely upheld, but with a
of bitterness. In only a few instances has there been shown an
unbrotherly and impatient
spirit in dealing with this situation. Sooner or later a way will be
found to satisfy
the social instincts without infringing upon the proper work of the
lodge. As for
the Higher Grades they make the claim for themselves that they exist to
exemplify, and enforce more fully the teachings of the Blue Lodge, and
that in the
work of the first three degrees is laid down the grand trestle board of
to depart from which would be an innovation too disastrous to be
thought of. If
this position is adhered to questions of detail and of harmonious
the mechanisms of organization will be taken care of as time goes on.
continues to remain in an unsatisfactory state of affairs, not in
but in practice. We need badly a few authentic manuals of practical
brought down to date by the best jurisconsults in the Craft, a fact
that need cause
nobody to suppose that the older texts already generally in use are to
be any the
less valued. The rules of procedure satisfactory to the conditions of
1900 are not
adequate to meet the new complexities of 1923. There are some of us who
Bro. Melvin Johnson will be inspired to finish the work he already has
in this field; he is capable of giving us a manual of authoritative and
value. May T.S.G.A.O.T.U. continue to strengthen his hands to that end!
of the need of such a manual is shown in the debate over physical
which occupied so much time in Grand Lodge sessions during 1923. That
not yet settled and can't be until there is a more general agreement on
One distinguished brother held that the Craft is still bound to the
of 1390, another that we need pay no attention to the ancient rules;
both were wrong
but it would take a Nestor of wisdom to show what is right. All such
smooth our relations with our own past bring clearly to the front how
it is that we thoroughly understand that past and what there is in it
today. The history of Masonry is a live issue whenever the question of
qualifications comes up for debate.
of Freemasonry is as direct as sunlight and as easy to see. It is to
the whole race of man into one world-wide brotherhood through the
of a fraternity of picked men placed under such favorable conditions as
teach and inspire them concerning that grand aim. By the simple devices
and of symbolism, of private dedication and collective enterprise,
these men are
prepared to be apostles abroad of the lessons learned in lodge, and
they are shown
that if each one will be a sincere and well trained workman in building
manhood he will thereby become fitted to co-operate with all his
fellows who together
labor at the temple of the universal brotherhood.
Brotherhood Is As Rich As
of brotherhood is as complex as the life of the world, as rich as the
of the race, but for all that there are in it a few shining principles
know and to practice make plain all the rest. It is upon these that
places its emphasis. There must first of all be truth in the whole man,
outward; lying, deception and hypocrisy are disastrous to brotherhood
their very nature they disrupt the bonds that bind man to man. "Let
light!" If there is not, darkness will lie in the heart, and on the
as well as upon the mind. Next after that comes toleration, which is a
of the fact that until now no man has captured the whole of truth, and
search for truth is a task requiring the co-operation of all good men;
each must be left unfettered to work out his own contribution, so that
is a free collective action in the pursuit of truth, rather than the
mush of concession,
the fog of indifference that it is usually falsely supposed to be.
it is necessary that liberty be secured. No man can contribute his
thoughts if he
be not permitted to think; or his deeds if he be not permitted to act;
or his worship
if he be not given liberty of religion; the slave has nothing to give,
himself. To make knowledge, truth, and good will prevail it is
necessary that they
be developed into the uses of fraternity, which is a consciously
of men devoted to a common purpose, and which issues in the practices
mutual aid, and sociability. The solid ground under all this is the
which all good men agree, a free faith in the God of All, a firm belief
is worth the living, and that the issues of existence run toward
our knowing. If we men are clods merely, or accidental off-scourings of
physical process, or trained animals, or ghosts walking in dreams, then
is worthwhile, brotherhood or anything else. It is this essential faith
the world together and furnishes their vitality to all the creeds and
it is this that underlies Freemasonry with all its works and hopes.
is Freemasonry's work in the world, which, though it is as wide as the
life of man
and as deep as his most desperate needs, does not lose sight of the
the fog of vast general purposes. The fear expressed with some
frequency that the
attempt to awaken in the Craft a consciousness of its world mission
it into a kind of wholesale movement and break its ancient contacts
with the private
craftsman is groundless if only our leaders work with wisdom in
organizing our activities;
the best kind of social effort is that which comes quickest home to the
something in Freemasonry that quickens in a man like an ancient
that draws him away from the hearth of a winter night to attend his
that sets him to dreaming dreams, that sends him forth to new crusades.
is no man can tell. It is the secret that is holden from Masons
themselves, a Divine
Word hidden away in their hearts. But it is there and it is ever at
work. To become
its servant, to yield one's life to it, to let it rule in one's soul,
that it is
to be a Mason. Never in all the long reach of time has the world been
in need of such a life. The very heartbreak and misery of these bloody
days is a
call to every Mason to stand true to the faith that is in him.
The Masonic Service Association
Service Association of the United States issues this month the first
number of its
new journal "The Master Mason," to be edited by Bro. Joseph Fort
which fact in itself means that "The Master Mason" will at once take
place among the best Masonic periodicals in the world. THE BUILDER
extends a hearty
New Year's greeting to its new colleague, and wishes for it God speed
and all manner
was organized as the result of a Conference of Grand Masters held in
Iowa, Nov. 26, 1918, to serve as a general clearing house for
activities so that in event of such another calamity as the World War
Grand Lodges of the country would not find themselves rendered
ineffective by a
tangle of cross purposes or have their efforts wasted by over-lapping
At the same time it is carrying on a general Masonic educational
program that is
a statesmanlike enterprise so organized as to bring home to each lodge
the meaning and mission of Masonry.
to one of its recent bulletins there are now some thirty-three Grand
Lodges in its
membership, named as follows: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware,
of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Philippine
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and
of "The Master Mason" is one more harbinger of a new springtime in
Masonic literature. Time was when Masonic periodicals had to struggle
for the mere
right to exist, so paralyzing was the general apathy, so wide-spread
that in some mysterious way a public discussion of Masonry might expose
as if secrets that could be exposed would be worth having! But times
So many Masonic journals have come into existence during the past few
these have exhibited such a variety of excellences, that by now the
Craft is being
magnificently served by its magazines. May the good work never cease!
be too many light-houses in our midst, not as long as there is so much
in the world.
The Cornerstone of the National
of the National Capitol was laid by George Washington and a great
company of Masons
Sept. 18, 1793. Washington wore the apron and the regalia of a Past
apron had been made for him by Marquise de Lafayette, the wife of Bro.
as was also the sash he wore. A silver plate was laid on the stone,
Southeast cornerstone of the Capitol of the United States of America,
in the city
of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September, 1793, in the
of the American Independence, in the first year of the second term of
of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his
been as conspicuous and beneficial, as his military valor and prudence
useful in establishing her liberties; in the year of Masonry 5793, by
of the United States, in concert with the Grand Lodge of Maryland,
under its jurisdiction, and Lodge No. 22 from Alexandria, Virginia.
Johnson, David Stuart and Daniel Carroll, Commissioners; Joseph Clarke,
Pro. Tem.; James Hoban and Stephen Hallate, Architects, and Collin
James Anderson and His Book
OF THE FREEMASONS CONTAINING THE HISTORY, CHARGES, REGULATIONS
&. OF THAT MOST
ANCIENT AND RIGHT WORSHIPFUL FRATERNITY, 1723, AN ABSOLUTE FACSIMILE
THE RARE FIRST EDITION [Lib 1723], with a historical and
by Lionel Vibert, P. M., Quatuor Coronati Lodge, author of "Freemasonry
the Existence of Grand Lodges," "Story of the Craft," etc. Published
by Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., 11 Grafton Street, New Bond St., London, W.
May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic
Price 1 pound, 1s, net. Limited edition.
of jurisprudence as practiced by every American Grand Lodge is the Book
and that book is based, in the last analysis, on the original Book of
prepared by Dr. James Anderson and published by him in 1723.
and his book together comprise a subject on which it is necessary that
active Mason be correctly informed, all the more so in that there is
among Grand Lodge officials oftentimes, a woeful amount of
misunderstanding on that
theme. It is therefore a matter of general importance to everyone that
at last we
have assembled into one volume all that is thus far known about
along with a photographic facsimile of his book, all produced with an
of critical notes so complete as to render previous editions more or
itself is a work of art, as are so many of the titles printed by
Quaritch. It is
nine by eleven and three quarter inches in size, and runs to about 150
told. As a volume to signalize the bicentenary of the famous Anderson
book it could
not be improved upon. Its editor, Bro. Lionel Vibert, a P. M. of the
Lodge of Research, London, England, needs no word of introduction to
this journal all of whom will recall his essay on Anderson's
in the August issue of 1923, and most of whom will have seen his two
Before the Existence of Grand Lodges, and the Story of the Craft. He is
Miscellanea Latomornm, and author of a number of important treatises,
one of the
most notable being a study of the French Compagnonage which will be
it is hoped, in a future number of THE BUILDER. The Foreword is signed
by E. H.
D.-Bro. E. H. Dring, one may suppose. Of efforts at reproducing
Anderson E. H. D.
"Since Benjamin Franklin
reprinted the book
at Philadelphia in 1734 [Lib 1734] it has been reprinted many
times, some of the
modern editions purporting to be facsimile reprints. Inasmuch as these
were all printed from type and no attempt made to reproduce the text
'line by line',
even the most aspiring of these facsimiles only succeeded in printing a
text. The last attempt that was made was the edition issued at
Wiesbaden in 1900,
and this illustrates well the errors to which all typographical
reprints are liable.
On page 74, line 9, in the original there occurs the name 'Timson'
which has been
misread and printed in the reprint as 'Limson'. The basis of the
is photography and it is as perfect as present methods are capable of
It is extremely fortunate that Lionel Vibert, a Past Master of the
Lodge of the
Quatuor Coronati has been induced to write the Introduction. He has
made a special
study of Dr. James Anderson and his works and whether he has been
throwing new light on the subject must be left to the reader."
Introduction is a volume in itself. The first of its two portions is a
Dr. Anderson's life insofar as the meagreness of knowledge makes that
along with an account of his Masonic career. The second portion is an
analysis of the Constitutions based immediately upon the facsimile
itself, and covers,
for all its pithiness, a very large amount of ground. In the earlier
part of that
analysis is some explanation about Old Charges in general and a
of uses of the word "constitutions" in Freemasonry. The analysis proper
covers every feature of Anderson's book, frontispiece coat of arms,
meaning of words,
the various Charges, the Regulations, the Approbation, the songs, the
list of Grand
Masters (one of the most astonishing things ever produced by a Mason),
system of degrees, etc., and in addition thereto a contrast between the
of 1723 and of 1738, notes on the publishers Senex and Hooke, etc.
Constitutions of the Freemasons was originally a private venture which
Lodge sanction by a kind of accident, and it came into general use by a
In its own time it almost escaped notice, at least by the general
Yet, after a time it came to be to the Craft in general what the Old
to lodges in the Operative period, and continues so to be in spite of
the feet that
since R. F. Gould, Anderson's work and Masonic record have been
merciless severity, one of the results being that his attempt at
writing a Masonic
history has been discounted almost to the vanishing point.
it would be difficult," writes Bro. Vibert, "to estimate its influence
on the history of the Craft. Notwithstanding the way in which Grand
the work after its publication, it took its place as the official
manual, so that
the feet that it was not official but essentially a private affair was
lost sight of. It was taken by the Grand Lodge of Ireland as the model
Book of Constitutions in 1730. It was reprinted verbatim for use in
America by Franklin
in 1734. It was pirated in London and later in Dublin by Smith in 1735.
author's reputation was great enough to carry off the History he wrote
for his second
edition of 1738, and led the Craft for a century and a half to accept
it and reprint
it as a serious contribution to the subject. Today we value the
less highly, but the Constitutions of 1723 is nevertheless one of the
records of the Craft.
Begemann undertook a detailed analysis of the text in the second volume
of his Freimaurerei
in England [Lib*], being, I believe, the first to essay the task. My
own paper on
similar lines will be found in the Transactions of the Lodge of the
for 1923, vii. xxxvi [Lib*], and it is mainly from the material there
that this present introduction has been put together.” (Page lii.)
* * *
Ammunition for Speech-Makers
ANECDOTES [Lib*], by Paul W. Kearney. Published by Edward J. Clode, New
be purchased through National Masonic Research Book Department. Blue
pages; $1.00 net.
no earthly excuse for a man boggling a speech in lodge, not when there
are so many
helps available for budding orators. Here for instance is this Toasts
It was not designed for the man who knows how, but for the fellow that
and it fills the bill for its purpose. Like Caesar's Gaul it is divided
parts, the first of which is filled up with toasts for various
occasions, most of
which run somewhat after this manner: "To our ancestors. We forgive
trust that they forgive us." Or this: "A health to our widows. If they
ever marry again may they do as well."
part is made up of a miscellany of verse and prose quotations from
for use on appropriate occasions. Here is one chosen at random that
to give point to a Masonic talk: "Many men build as cathedrals were
the part nearest the ground finished; but that part which soars toward
turrets and the spires, for ever incomplete." This is credited to Henry
Beecher. There are scores more of such character, each chosen for its
collection of historical anecdotes fills up section three, the best in
Two specimens will suffice:
"John Marshall, pleading a case
bar, was once fined thirty dollars for contempt of court because of a
remark made about the presiding judge.
"With a profuse apology and a
low bow Marshall
said: 'Your Honor, I have the greatest respect for this court and the
presides over it. I intend to carry out every wish of this court, sir,
and I will
therefore pay this fine immediately.
"'As it happens, however, I
have not the
full amount of thirty dollars with me at the moment, and since no one
in this court
room knows me better than yourself, Your Honor, I must ask you to lend
me that amount
so that I may pay off this assessment at once.'
"The judge cleared his throat
and then recovered
his wit. Turning to the clerk he said in his sternest voice: 'Clerk,
fine. The United States Government can better afford to lose thirty
"One day President Lincoln was
a carriage with a typical Southern gentleman when they passed an old
who bowed low and doffed his ragged hat. Lincoln smiled in
acknowledgment of the
greeting and tipped his own hat in return. 'Why,' asked his companion,
tip your hat to a nigger?' 'Because,' answered Lincoln quietly, 'I
prefer not to
be outdone in courtesy by anyone.'"
* * *
The Bound Volume of The
Builder For 1923
to its usual custom the National Masonic Research Society has issued a
of THE BUILDER for the past year. For the benefit of newcomers in our
may be said that in this volume are included all twelve issues of the
covers and bound up, with a complete descriptive index, in substantial
who make a point of securing each volume as it appears in order to keep
complete are urged to order at once that they may not be disappointed
the supply exhausted. The supply of bound volumes for 1918 is so nearly
copies are now sold with complete sets only; owing to an unprecedented
it the volume for 1923 will soon be as scarce. Each bound volume
retails for $3.75.
The binding is goldenrod buckram.
* * *
The English Ritual
RITUAL, Described, Compared and Explained [Lib*], by J. Walter Hobbs,
London ‒ The
Masonic Record, Ltd. 80 pages. Cloth.
book, though written by one of our English brothers and dealing
entirely with the
English ritual, may well be read with pleasure and profit by American
author expressly disclaims any attempt to present an exhaustive
narration of the
history and development of the ritual, yet he is convinced from long
as Preceptor of several Lodges of Instruction that "there is a great
enlightenment on the subject of the ritual," a sentiment to which we
In an interesting
manner, Brother Hobbs takes up the purpose of the ritual, its growth
in England, comparisons of current "workings," methods of instruction
and uniformity. The limit of space he imposes on himself renders his
the growth and development of the English ritual too sketchy to be of
Unlike the majority of American Grand Lodges, the Grand Lodge of
England has never
adopted or recognized any standard ritual. The author tells us the
are Emulation, Stability, Westend, Oxford, Logic, West London, North
Metropolitan. No doubt there are others, especially outside of London.
He then devotes
three chapters to a comparison of verbal differences among the first
five of these.
He makes no attempt to trace them back to show when or why these
In many instances he would find they had their genesis prior to the
Union of 1813.
is at his best in writing on the "Object and Function" of the ritual.
This chapter alone would commend the book. One paragraph especially is
here, for it sets forth what is, in our humble opinion, the true intent
"I am aware that the foregoing
to some extent
limits the purpose of Masonry to a right attitude of Man to Man, that
is, to recover
a lost Brotherhood. Such I believe it to be, but there are those who
take the purpose
to be a quest or search for that which was lost, and remains to be
found, the knowledge
of and union with the Deity. It may be so, I know not, but this I
the task of every true man is to love his neighbor as himself, and the
of this by ritual, and the constant practice of that principle of
of necessity, bring us nearer to the source of all Life and Light."
We need an
adequate literature which will bring us to know and understand our
ritual and which
will enable us to see something more in it than an elaborated Robert's
of Order." Towards that end this little book is a most acceptable
The Prentice Pillar
me what was the legend of "the Prentice pillar."
F. H. B., Idaho.
probability your question refers to the legend that has grown up about
that stands in the south end of Roslyn Castle, Scotland. It is a fluted
and capital richly ornamented, with a garland twined about it.
According to one
version of the legend the plans, which had been sent from Rome, did not
the details of its construction; another version has it that a portion
of the plans
had become lost; in either event the Master Builder had to go to Rome.
absence a skilful young apprentice carved out the pillar and had it in
for its place upon the return of the Master, who, seeing before him
such a masterpiece,
was so filled with jealousy that he killed the youth with a blow on the
from a setting maul. The boy was the son of a widow. The relevancy of
this to a
study of the legend of Hiram Abif is immediately apparent. This is but
one of a
large number of legends of human martyrdom or sacrifice in connection
buildings, a subject dealt with in masterly style by George William
Speth in his
Builders' Rites [Lib*], a book somewhat hard to obtain but well worth
* * *
Missouri "Blue Lodges"
James Ford Rhodes' History of the United States From the Compromise to
1850 I came
across this statement, which has aroused my curiosity: "In October 1854
Lodges were formed in Missouri. These were secret societies, with the
paraphernalia of an organization, whose members were bound together by
Their purpose was to extend slavery into Kansas. Popular sovereignty
meant to them
the right of Missourians to vote at the territorial elections in
the design which had given rise to the Blue Lodges." I would appreciate
much if you could tell me if these Blue Lodges had their origin, or
name, from the Masonic Fraternity.
W. B. B., New York.
Bro. Bragdon, was referred to Mr. Rhodes himself, and to Bro. Albert K.
Grand Secretary, Kansas. The former replied in this wise:
that I cannot answer your question. It is over thirty years ago when I
words which you cite and when I had all the material of the subject
before me. It
is impossible for me to recover the same even if I were in my own
library and knew
where to make a search for it. But away from my library the task is
a general proposition however I should say that the Blue Lodges of
in no way connected with the Masonic Fraternity. You know in 1854 there
at the North who were Masons and a distinctly pro-slavery organization
aroused objections on their part.
James Ford Rhodes.
letter may also be given in full:
your quotation from James F. Rhodes' History of the United States From
to 1850 [Lib 1920 (8 Volumes –
see Bibliography)]and in reply will say that there
is either a glaring error in the statement that in October 1854 Blue
formed in Missouri, or you have made a mistake in copying the excerpt.
are that the Grand Lodge of Missouri issued letters of dispensation and
charters in 1854 for the establishment of our first three lodges in
in 1855 two others. If, however, your quotation is correct, then I can
no light on the subject as it deals exclusively with Missouri. If such
was ever organized in that state I do not believe it entered into the
of eastern Kansas, or at least there is no record of that kind
concerning our state.
So far as Kansas is concerned, I can say there were no spurious lodges
in our territory and if any were created it was in some other
‒ Albert K. Wilson, G. S., Kansas.
therefore remains on the table. Can any reader throw further light on
it? If so,
let us have a word from you.
* * *
Authentic Books on Folklore,
I want a
list of books to read on savage customs, religions, and ceremonies. I
think we can
learn much about Freemasonry's symbols and ritual in that field.
W. J. H., New Jersey.
C. Parker, Associate Editor, is an expert in that field; he recommends
J. G., The Golden Bough, a Study in Myth, Magic and Religion (10 vols)
[Lib 1922 (in one volume)]
Tylor, Edward B., Primitive Culture [Lib 1920; Vol
2], John Murray, London.
Gray, L. H., Editor, Mythology of All Races [Lib 1916-64; (13 volumes –
Marshall Jones, 1916.
Murray, Alex S., Manual of Mythology [Lib 1895], Scribner.
Encyclopedia of Superstitions and Occult Sciences [Lib 1971], J. H. Yewdall &
Sons, Chicago and Milwaukee, 1903.
Lang, Andrew, Myth,
Ritual and Religion [Lib 1901; Vol
2], Longmans, Green;
Lang, Andrew, Custom and Myth; [Lib 1910], Longmans, Green;
Lang, Andrew, The Secret of the Totem [Lib 1905], Longmans, Green;
Muller, F. Max, Collected Works of F. Max Muller [Lib*], about 30
Summer, William G., Folkways [Lib 1906].
Osborn, H. F., Men of the Old Stone Age [Lib 1915], Scribner, 1918.
Beddoe, John, Anthropological History of Europe [Lib 1912], Paisley: Alex Gardner, 1912.
E. W. Hopkins, Origin and Evolution of Religion [Lib*], Yale University
Duckworth, W. L. H., Morphology and Anthropology [Lib 1915; Vol
1], Cambridge University Press.
Journal of American Folklore, F. Boas, Editor, American Museum of
New York. The American Anthropologist, care American Museum of Natural
New York. Folklore, British Folklore Society, London.
* * *
Was Daniel Hunt The First
One of our
brethren here is descended from Captain Daniel Hunt, who commanded the
in the U. S. Navy about 1814-1816. The ship was registered at Portland,
it is alleged that Daniel Hunt was one of the very first, and perchance
Knight Templar in America. I have only the family tradition at present
but the elderly brother who asked me to look into the matter claims
that it is true,
and I wonder if you can assist me in digging up the facts. The above is
definite information I have to work on, as I do not know to what Blue
Hunt belonged. Probably it was an English lodge, or it may have been a
lodge. If you can help me in any manner I shall appreciate it very
J. Edwin Walker,
P. O. Box
410, Atlanta, Ga.
* * *
Lodges Not Involved In Oklahoma
to reply to a number of inquirers a letter was addressed to Bro. Wm. M.
Grand Secretary, Oklahoma, to ask if the Masonic lodges in that state
had been in
any way involved in the troubles that circled about former Governor
response is here given in full:
to your request of some days ago I am very glad to be able to state
that the Masonic
lodges in the state of Oklahoma have not been connected with the
that have circled about Governor Walton."
Wm. M. Anderson, Grand Secretary, Guthrie, Okla.
Information Wanted Concerning
I enclose you a photo taken from a print of an ancient chart which came
possession some time ago. I should be pleased if any of our eminent
can supply me with a descriptive reading of the same or any other
footnote reads as follows:
original was brought from Jerusalem; now in the possession of Bro.
Philadelphia. Entered under act Congress for the proprietor by Bro.
I would be
extremely obliged if you could supply the following particulars, viz.:
A descriptive reading of the
If I could possibly ascertain
the address of Bro. Col. Wilkins.
If it is possible to ascertain
the year these prints were made in New York
and the number of copies made by Bro. W. H. Holbrook and also his
you in anticipation for any information that you can give me in this
60 Lime street,
* * *
Lincoln, Farragut, Grant,
In the September
number Brother Rose of New Jersey comments on "Great Men Who Were Not
He is correct in stating that Lincoln was not a Mason; the Grand Master
at the time of the Lincoln funeral so stated, although the Grand
shows that the Grand Lodge had incurred expense on account of the
for floral offerings. The Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Illinois
for 1865 will
serve as reference.
As to Admiral
Farragut. Grand Master Holbrook of New Hampshire, May 17, 1871,
announced the death
of this naval hero. The particulars as to which lodge held his
membership is not
stated. (Reference: Page LXII, Correspondence, Grand Lodge, Illinois,
might be interested to know that in 1859 Captain U.S. Grant petitioned
Lodge, No. 163, of St. Louis, Missouri; he was elected, but never
for initiation. (Page 152, Appendix Part I, Proceedings Grand Lodge,
appear that Aaron Burr was also a Mason. The records show that he
visited the Western
Star Lodge, No. 107, on the register of Pennsylvania, and located at
Illinois, the date of the visit being April 4, 1812. (Page 32, John C.
"History of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Illinois.")
G.A. Crayton, Illinois.
* * *
The American Lodge in London
In 1909 the
following foreign lodges were working in London: The Pilger Lodge, No.
the German language, came under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
1779; La France Lodge, No. 2060, working in the French language, was
in 1884; Loggia Italia, No. 2687, using Italian, was consecrated in
Cordiale Lodge, No. 2796, also working in the French language, was
1899; the Deutschland Lodge, No. 3315, was consecrated in 1908.
as these foreign lodges were all prospering and doing good work it
occurred to a
few of us here that there were a sufficient number of American Masons
to warrant our founding an American lodge. As a result America Lodge,
with twenty-one founders, all of them belonging to English lodges
meeting in London,
was consecrated on June 3, 1909. We did not expect a large membership,
that even so there was room for us and that we should be able to draw
brethren together and probably find many good initiates. The World War,
prevented us from growing very rapidly during those awful years,
met regularly, did our work, and initiated a few new members. Since
1918 we have
had many additions to our roll, one of the most notable among whom
being one of
our American Vice-Consuls in London. Today we have an active membership
The Rt. Hon. Lord Ampthill officiated as W. M. of our consecrating
consecrating officers are honorary members as well, and the list of
which also includes
the names of former President W. H. Taft; Hon. William B. Relish, P. G.
M. of Ohio;
Hon. John W. Davis, late Ambassador to the Court of St. James; Hon.
Newby, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templars, and
also the names
of the late Presidents Roosevelt and Harding.
war we received a large number of American brethren as visitors from
jurisdiction in the United States' and we now have the privilege of
every one of our meetings American brethren of prominence. This enables
us to keep
in close touch with our brethren at home and we hope that all American
will visit us when in London. As far as our funds have permitted we
to the English Masonic charities. During the war we sent out committees
the hospitals in England where there might be wounded Masonic brethren
and we have
in other ways done everything possible to give Masonic help and
assistance to American
F. C. Van
114 Southampton Row, London, W. C. 1,
* * *
Commends Block's Article
In your November
number of THE BUILDER, you issued a very interesting article, named
Day Tendencies and Dangers in Freemasonry" by Bro. Louis Block. The
is not alone very interesting and instructive, but true in every sense
of the word.
Not alone have these thoughts occurred to me, but I have time and again
sentiments regarding the deleteriousness of auxiliary branches to our
I was made a Mason in May 1895, was Senior Deacon in '96, Junior Warden
in 1898-99, and District Deputy Grand Master of the 2nd Masonic
District in 1900.
During that period we had no Past Master Association, no Senior
Deacons' or Fellowcraft
Clubs, no Wardens' Associations, Square Clubs, Masonic Associations,
as at the present day. In those days we did not initiate and raise by
ten and fifteen candidates in one night. During that period a candidate
had to be
proficient before being advanced. All instruction was given from mouth
to ear. I
well remember wandering the streets night after night receiving my
lessons in that
manner. Now everything is changed; abnormally so; now, some of our
houses sell pamphlets at ten cents each, and cypher books with which
educate themselves in direct opposition to the vows that all such
and matter would be ignored. I wish that every Master of the Brooklyn
and New York
lodges as well as lodges wherever found could be placed in possession
of a copy
of Bro. Block's article, and that it be read in lodge for the guidance
of the brothers. I know of several instances of men becoming identified
fraternity in order to become members of some social auxiliary ignoring
beautiful teachings and doctrines of Blue Lodge Masonry, in fact hardly
their lodges. Present conditions are much to be deplored and are
by the hour. The crucial question is not alone what should be done, but
the necessity that something must be done I would deem it an honor and
to co-operate with Bro. Block in his endeavor to call the attention of
to the feet that they are rapidly drifting onto the rocks of calamity
foolish as well as insane hankering after "Jazz in Masonry", instead of
adhering strictly, consistently and conscientiously to its tenets and
Philip Hertschaft, New York.
article has stirred up a great excitement, if one may judge from the
written to commend it. The above is typical of a score or more. Demands
copies of the November issue were so great as almost to exhaust the
* * *
“How Do You Examine Visitors?"
I see in
your Ye Editor's Corner for October you ask for information as to "How
examine visitors?" I will answer for our own lodge and I believe it is
through this jurisdiction. First, we demand to see his receipt and we
see that the
seal of the lodge he claims to be a member is on same; he is then given
or test oath. We then have to use quite a bit of judgment in regard to
examination as we find quite a number who are what is termed rusty. But
we are rather
particular in demanding that in all three degrees that they shall know
words, signs, especially a certain one in the last, and how it is
given. This is
about all I can describe to you here. Visitors should always have their
when coming to Florida. I will also state that we have a list of all
Lodges". I feel satisfied that the above will be found pretty general
this jurisdiction. I have served on the examining committee for the
years and examined brothers from almost every state in the Union and
have had some
Lew C. Stewart, Florida.
* * *
"The Greatest Danger"
I have just
been scanning the pages of the October 1923 number and have come upon
with the query "What is the greatest danger now facing Freemasonry?"
not very old either in years of natural life or in membership I have
ever been a
keen observer both in and out of the Craft and, since my discovery of
somewhat of a student of the Fraternity. I therefore feel both the
qualification to submit an answer.
It is the
membership itself which is the ONLY "great" danger. Doubtless, I think,
a very different reply was either sought or anticipated, some reference
antipathetic organizations or unwholesome "friendly" bodies which have
come in for much notoriety. I had such things fully in mind when
framing my reply
and I submit that, after a careful analysis of their activities, I
influences are harmful to Freemasonry only in so far as our beautiful
Institution is cheapened and caused to deteriorate by a careless
selection of our
membership and by such poor membership engaging in antagonistic,
The old axiom
"two wrongs never made one right" seems to apply. In all my readings
the early periods of both national and world-wide Masonic history I
to find precedent for the mental, moral and political atmosphere which
permeate to permeate the rank and file of the Craft today. We appear to
to the level of the too numerous "lodges" when we should have
the lofty position as a Profession in Social Science, admitting to
those worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared.
Wm. Paul Babcock, New York.
Vol. I, Ars
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; both must be complete, and with St. John's
of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons," by Edward Conder.
of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry," by H. P. H. Bromwell.
of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite," by Robert Folger.
and prices to Book Department, National Masonic Research Society, 1950
St. Louis, Mo.
stupid typographical error the honored name of John Ross Robertson
appeared in this
Corner, November last, as "John Robertson Ross". Such things can
even in dry times. A Canadian brother has written to question the title
also used in the same item. My note was copied from a Canadian Grand
but it may be in error. Will some Toronto brother speak up?
* * *
problem, "How old is Ann?" (or is it Anne) must now take a seat in the
rear. A new one is going the rounds of the devotee of "ye ancien scions
geometric" as witness my hand as follows:
apples did Adam and Eve eat?
Eve 8 and Adam 2 ‒ a total of 10 orally.
Now, we figure
the thing out far differently: Eve 8 and Adam 8, also ‒ total 16.
thought we think the above figures are entirely wrong .
If Eve 8
and Adam 82, certainly the total would be 90.
men, however, on the strength of the theory that the antediluvians were
a race of
giants, reason something like this: Eve 81 and Adam 82 ‒ total, 163.
What could be clearer than if Eve 81 and Adam 812 the total was 893.
the following to be the true solution: Eve 814 Adam and Adam 8124 Eve ‒
calculation is as follows: If Eve 814 Adam, Adam 81242 oblige Eve ‒
to our Adam and Eve editor. The League of Nations will decide the
must be of mature age and unsound mind.
that Bro. Reynold E. Blight is now editor of The New Age.
Blight, and power to your arm.
* * *
We need an
article on The Order of the Cincinnati; would you care to make a study
of the subject
to that end? Let us have a word from you if you would.
* * *
Lang writes: "THE BUILDER is respected universal! In Europe where
as you know has been moving on a considerably higher plane than has
been the case
in America. I heard words of commendation from our journal wherever it
known." Thanks. Such words are encouraging.
* * *
Over an entrance
to the post office building that stands near the union station in
C., are these words: "Messenger of Sympathy and Love ‒ Servant of
‒ Consoler of the Lonely ‒ Bond of the Scattered Family ‒ Enlarger of
Life." How true they are of the mail service'. Would they not also be
in a certain sense of the Masonic Fraternity?
A Concise History of
Gou51 / auth. Gould Robert F / ed. Crowe Frederick J. W.. - London :
Gale & Polden Limited, 1951. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 401. - 10.3 MB.
An Encyclopeadia of Freemasonry
and its Kindred Sciences
Mac14 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : The Masonic History
Company, 1914. - Vol. 1+2 : 1 : p. 947. - 63.2 MB - Two Volumes in One
Ancient Civilizations of Mexico
and Central America
Spi17 / auth. Spinden Herbert J. - New York : American Museum of
Natural History, 1917. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 239. - 7.6 MB.
Anthropological History of
Bed12 / auth. Beddoe John. - Paisley : Alexander Gardner, 1912. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 196. - 5.3 MB.
Book of Constitutions
And23 / auth. Anderson James. - London : William Hunter, 1723. -
Fac-Simile by Jno. W. Leonard & Co., New York, 1855 : Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 119. - 6.0 MB.
Book of Constitutions
And34 / auth. Anderson James / ed. Franklin Benjamin. - Philadelphia :
Unknown, 1734. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 52. - 1.1 MB.
Collected Essays &
Papers Related to Freemasonry
Gou131 / auth. Gould Robert F. - Belfast : William Tait, 1913. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 313. - 14.3 MB.
Coo00 / auth. Cooke Manuscript. - [s.l.] : Unknown, 1400. - Vol. 1 : 1
: p. 16. - 0.2 MB.
Custom and Myth
Lan10 / auth. Lang Andrew. - New York : Longmans, Green and Co, 1910. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 321. - 10.6 MB.
Economic History of England
Mer08 / auth. Meredith Hugh O. - London : Sir Isaac Pitman &
Sons, 1908. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 369. - 20.1 MB.
Encyclopaedia of Superstition
Dan71 / auth. Daniels Cora L. - Detroit : Gale Research Co, 1971. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 500. - 22.7 MB.
Smi70 / auth. Smith Toulmin. - London : The Early English Text Society,
1870. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 683. - 41.9 MB.
English Society in the 11th
Vin08 / auth. Vinogradoff Paul. - Oxford : The Clarendon Press, 1908. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 612. - 48.4 MB.
Sum06 / auth. Sumner William G. - Boston : Ginn and Company, 1906. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 707. - 33.6 MB.
Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges
Vib10 / auth. Vibert Lionel. - London : Spencer & Co., 2010. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 163. - 0.5 MB.
Pal02 / auth. Paley Frederick. - Cleveland : Carl Wendelin Kuehny,
1902. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 164. - Illustrated - 5.0 MB.
History of Freemasonry
Fin66 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - London : Asher & Co., 1866. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 742. - Translated from the German - 17.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 1
Gou84Yorston1 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 1 : 4 : p. 412. - 32.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 2
Gou84Yorston2 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 2 : 4 : p. 404. - 31.5 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 3
Gou84Yorston3 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 3 : 4 : p. 492. - 38.7 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 4
Gou84Yorston4 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co, 1884. - Vol. 4 : 4 : p. 748. - 59.0 MB.
History of the United States
Ban48HU01 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Charles C Little and
James Brown, 1848. - 14th : Vol. 1 : 10 : p. 496. - 28.2 MB.
History of the United States
Ban48HU02 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Charles C Little and
James Brown, 1848. - 14th : Vol. 2 : 10 : p. 488. - 21.2 MB.
History of the United States
Ban75HU03 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1875. - 21st : Vol. 3 : 10 : p. 490. - 23.4 MB.
History of the United States
Ban74HU04 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1874. - 23rd : Vol. 4 : 10 : p. 488. - 28.9 MB.
History of the United States
Ban75HU05 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1875. - 20th : Vol. 5 : 10 : p. 471. - 23.0 MB.
History of the United States
Ban76HU06 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1876. - Vol. 6 : 10 : p. 550. - 24.0 MB.
History of the United States
Ban75HU07 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1875. - 12th : Vol. 7 : 10 : p. 445. - 22.2 MB.
History of the United States
Ban78HU08 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1878. - 9th : Vol. 8 : 10 : p. 481. - 25.1 MB.
History of the United States
Ban75HU09 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1875. - Vol. 9 : 10 : p. 517. - 28.5 MB.
History of the United States
Ban75HU10 / auth. Bankroft George. - Boston : Little, Brown, and
Company, 1875. - Vol. 10 : 10 : p. 745. - 34.5 MB.
History of the USA Vol 1 -
Rho20HU1 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 1 : 9 : p. 568. - 16.5 MB.
History of the USA Vol 2 -
Rho20HU2 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 2 : 9 : p. 588. - 14.8 MB.
History of the USA Vol 3 -
Rho20HU3 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 3 : 9 : p. 539. - 15.2 MB.
History of the USA Vol 4 -
Rho20HU4 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 4 : 9 : p. 572. - 18.8 MB.
History of the USA Vol 5 -
Rho20HU5 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 5 : 9 : p. 534. - 16.2 MB.
History of the USA Vol 6 -
Rho20HU6 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 6 : 9 : p. 508. - 25.0 MB.
History of the USA Vol 7 -
Rho20HU7 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 7 : 9 : p. 372. - 18.6 MB.
History of the USA Vol 8 -
Rho20HU8 / auth. Rhodes James F. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1920. - Vol. 8 : 9 : p. 633. - 28.4 MB.
Illustrations of Masonry
Pre67 / auth. Preston William and Oliver George. - New York : Masonic
Publishing and Manufacturing, 1867. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 404. - 25.3 MB.
Manual of Mythology
Mur95 / auth. Murray Alexander S. - Philadelphia : David McKay, 1895. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 420. - Illustrated - 23.1 MB.
Medieval Architecture Vol 1
Por09MA1 / auth. Porter Arthur K. - New York : The Baker and Taylor
Group, 1909. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 606. - 19.8 MB.
Medieval Architecture Vol 2
Por09MA2 / auth. Porter Arthur K. - New York : The Baker and Taylor
Group, 1909. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 620. - 23.2 MB.
Let04 / auth. Lethaby William R. - London : Duckworth & Co,
1904. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 396. - 24.4 MB.
Men of the Old Stone Age
Osb15 / auth. Osborn Henry F. - New York : Charles Scribner's Sons,
1915. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 566. - 35.7 MB.
Morphology and Anthropology Vol
Duc15MA1 / auth. Duckworth Wynfrid L H. - Cambridge : Cambridge
University Press, 1915. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 322. - 18.7 MB.
Myth, Ritual, and Religion Vol 1
Lan01 / auth. Lang Andrew. - London : Longmans, Green, and Company,
1901. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 380. - 15.3 MB.
Myth, Ritual, and Religion Vol 2
Lan011 / auth. Lang Andrew. - London : Longmans, Green, and Company,
1901. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 392. - 17.1 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 01 -
Greek and Roman
Gra16MR01 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1916. - Vol.
1 : 13 : p. 530. - Illustrated - 19.7 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 02 -
Eddic - Volume not found
Gra16MR02 / auth. Gray Louis H. - 1916. - Vol. 2 : 13. - Volume not
Mythology of all Races Vol 03 -
Celtic and Slavic
Gra18MR03 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1918. - Vol.
3 : 13 : p. 466. - Illustrated - 18.4 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 04 -
Gra64MR04 / auth. Gray Louis H. - New York : Cooper Square Inc, 1964. -
Vol. 4 : 13 : p. 716. - Illustrated - 26.2 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 05 -
Gra64MR05 / auth. Gray Louis H. - New York : Cooper Square Inc, 1964. -
Vol. 5 : 13 : p. 470. - Illustrated - 16.0 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 06 -
Indian and Iranian
Gra17MR06 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1917. - Vol.
6 : 13 : p. 494. - Illustrated - 21.6 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 07 -
Armenian & African
Gra25MR07 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1925. - Vol.
7 : 13 : p. 525. - Illustrated - 50.6 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 08 -
Chinese & Japanese
Gra18MR08 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1918. - Vol.
8 : 13 : p. 489. - Illustrated - 20.8 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 09 -
Gra16MR09 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1916. - Vol.
9 : 13 : p. 398. - Illustrated - 14.2 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 10 -
Gra16MR10 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1916. - Vol.
10 : 13 : p. 379. - Illustrated - 14.9 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 11 -
Gra20MR11 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1920. - Vol.
11 : 13 : p. 520. - Illustrated - 22.6 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 12 -
Egyptian & Indo-Chinese
Gra18MR12 / auth. Gray Louis H. - Boston : Marshall Jones, 1918. - Vol.
12 : 13 : p. 498. - Illustrated - 20.3 MB.
Mythology of all Races Vol 13 -
Gra64MR13 / auth. Gray Louis H. - New York : Cooper Square, 1964. -
Vol. 13 : 13 : p. 482. - 20.0 MB.
Old Charges of British
Hug72 / auth. Hughan William J. - London : Simpkins, Marshall &
Co., 1872. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 113. - 8.2 MB.
Origin of the English Rite of
Hug84 / auth. Hughan William J. - London : George Kenning, 1884. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 166. - 5.1 MB.
Primitive Culture Vol 1
Tyl20PC1 / auth. Tylor Edward B. - London : John Murray, 1920. - Vol. 1
: 2 : p. 517. - 24.1 MB.
Primitive Culture Vol 2
Tyl20PC2 / auth. Tylor Edward B. - London : John Murray, 1920. - Vol. 2
: 2 : p. 481. - 16.2 MB.
Sacred Mysteries among the
Mayas and Quiches
Plo09 / auth. Plongeon Augustus Le. - New York : Theosophical
Publishing Company, 1909. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 207. - 7.3 MB - Illustrated.
Social History of England
Wil201 / auth. Wilmot-Buxton Ethel M. - London : Methuen & Co
Ltd, 1920. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 235. - 18.1 MB.
For14 / auth. Newton Joseph F. - Cedar Rapids : The Torch Press, 1914.
- 5th : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 317. - Original pagination for reference - 0.6
The Cathedral Builders
Sco99 / auth. Scott Leader. - London : Sampson Low, Marston &
Co., 1899. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 520. - 16.1 MB.
The Comacines Their
Predecessors & Their Successors
Rav10 / auth. Ravenscroft W.. - London : Elliot Stock, 1910. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 94. - 3.4 MB.
The Customs of Old England
Sne62 / auth. Snell Frederick J. - London : Methuen & Co.,
Ltd., 1862. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 144. - 0.8 MB.
The Early History and
Antiquities of Freemasonry
For81 / auth. Fort George F.. - Philadelphia : Bradley & Co.,
1881. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 514. - 21.2 MB.
The Four Old Lodges
Gou79 / auth. Gould Robert F. - London : Spencer's Masonic Depot, 1879.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 90. - 4.6 MB.
The Golden Bough
Fra221 / auth. Frazer James G. - [s.l.] : Project Gutenberg, 1922. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 664. - Formatted and Indexed from Project Gutenberg
File by rhm - 2.6 MB.
The History of Free Masonry
Bre04 / auth. Brewster Sir David. - Edinburgh : Alex Lawrie, 1804. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 363. - 13.7 MB.
The Jews and Masonry in the
United States Before 1810
Opp10 / auth. Oppenheim Samuel. - New York : The Jewish Historical
Society, 1910. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 104. - 2.9 MB.
The Life and Times of John
Carroll Vol 1
Gui22JC1 / auth. Guilday Peter. - New York : The Encyclopedia Press,
1922. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 434. - 20.3 MB.
The Life and Times of John
Carroll Vol 2
Gui22JC2 / auth. Guilday Peter. - New York : The Encyclopedia Press,
1922. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 466. - 22.1 MB.
The Lodge of Edinburgh
Lyo73 / auth. Lyon David M. - Edinburgh : Blackwood and Sons, 1873. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 480. - 17.4 MB.
Sal77 / auth. Salisbury Stephen. - Worchester : Charles Hamilton, 1877.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 108. - 6.7 MB.
The Middle Ages
Fun22 / auth. Funck-Brentano Fr. - London : William Heinemann, 1922. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 566. - 22.7 MB.
The Natural History of
Plo86 / auth. Plot Robert. - Oxford : At the Theater, 1686. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 532. - 56.6 MB.
The Secret of the Totem
Lan05 / auth. Lang Andrew. - London : Longmans, Green and Co, 1905. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 225. - 14.4 MB.
The Soul of Ulster
Ham17 / auth. Hamilton Ernest W. - New York : E P Dutton & Co,
1917. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 184. - 53.3 MB.
The Twelve Livery Companies Vol
Her36LC1 / auth. Herbert William. - London : William Herbert, 1836. -
Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 521. - 25.2 MB.
The Twelve Livery Companies Vol
Her36LC2 / auth. Herbert William. - London : William Herbert, 1836. -
Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 686. - 30.5 MB.
Traditions of Freemasonry
Pie70 / auth. Pierson Arthur P. - New York : Masonic Publishing
Company, 1870. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 383. - 36.6 MB.
Let06 / auth. Lethaby W R. - London : Duckworth & Co, 1906. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 394. - 8.6 MB.