Enciclopédia Mackey – AHOLIAB ~ AMETH




A skillful artificer of the tribe of Dan, who was appointed, together with Bezaleel, to construct the tabernacle in the wilderness and the ark of the covenant (Exodus xxxi, 6). He is referred to in the Royal Arch Degree of the English and American systems.


See Ormuzd and Ahriman, also Zoroaster.


The duty of aiding and assisting, not only all worthy distressed Master Masons, but their widows and orphans also, “wheresoever dispersed over the face of the globe, ” is one of the most important obligations that is imposed upon every Brother of the mystic tie by the whole scope and tenor of the Masonic Institution.

The regulations for the exercise of this duty are few, but rational. In the first place, a Master Mason who is in distress has a greater claim, under equal circumstances, to the aid and assistance of his brother, than one who, being in the Order, has not attained that Degree, or who, is altogether a profane. This is strictly in accordance with the natural instincts of the human heart, which will always prefer a friend to a stranger, or, as it is rather energetically expressed in the language of Long Tom Coffin “a messmate before a shipmate, a shipmate before a stranger, and a stranger before a dog”; and it is also strictly in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle to the Gentiles, who has said: “As we have therefore opportunity, Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (see Galatians vi, 10). But this exclusiveness is only to be practiced under circumstances which make a selection imperatively necessary. Where the granting of relief to the profane would incapacitate us from granting similar relief to our Brother, then must the preference be given to him who is “of the household.” But the earliest symbolic lessons of the ritual teach the Freemason not to restrict his benevolence within the narrow1imits of the Fraternity, but to acknowledge the claims of all men who need it, to assistance. Linwood has beautifully said: “The humble condition both of property and dress, of penury and want, in which you were received into the Lodge, should make you at all times sensible of the distresses of poverty, and all you can spare from the call of nature and the due care of your families, should only remain in your possessions as a ready sacrifice to the necessities of an unfortunate, distressed brother. Let the distressed cottage feel the warmth of your Masonic zeal, and, if possible, exceed even the unabating ardour of Christian charity. At your approach let the orphan cease to weep, and in the sound of your voice let the widow forget her sorrow” (Sermons, page 18).

Another restriction laid upon this duty of aid and assistance by the obligations of Freemasonry is, that the giver shall not be lavish beyond his means in the disposition of his benevolence. What he bestows must be such as he can give “without material injury to himself or family.” No man should wrong his wife or children that he may do a benefit to a stranger, or even to a Brother. The obligations laid on a Freemason to grant aid and assistance to the needy and distressed seem to be in the following gradations, first to his family; next, to his Brethren; and, lastly, to the world at large.

So far this subject has been viewed in a general reference to that spirit of kindness which should actuate all men, and which it is the object of Masonic teaching to impress on the mind of every Freemason as a common duty of humanity, and whose disposition Freemasonry only seeks to direct and guide. But there is another aspect in which this subject may be considered, namely, in that peculiar and technical one of Masonic aid and assistance due from one Freemason to another. Here there is a duty declared, and a correlative right inferred; for if it is the duty of one Freemason to assist another, it follows that every Freemason has the right to claim that assistance from his Brother. It is this duty that the obligations of Freemasonry are especially intended to enforce; it is this right that they are intended to sustain.

The symbolic ritual of Freemasonry which refers, as, for instance, in the First Degree, to the virtue of benevolence, refers to it in the general sense of a virtue which all men should practice. But when the Freemason reaches the Third Degree, he discovers new obligations which restrict and define the exercise of this duty of aid and assistance. So far as his obligations control him, the Freemason, as a Freemason, is not legally bound to extend his aid beyond the just claimants in his own Fraternity. To do good to all men is, of course, inculcated and recommended; to do good to the household of faith is enforced and made compulsory by legal enactment aud sanction.
Now, as there is here, on one side, a duty, and on the other side a right, it is proper to inquire what are the regulations or laws by which this duty is controlled and this right maintained. The duty to grant and the right to claim relief Masonically is recognized in the following passages of the Old Charges of l722:

“But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. You must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed. But you are not charged to do beyond your ability; only to prefer a poor brother, that is a good man and true, before any other poor people in the same circumstances.”

This written law agrees in its conditions and directions, so far as it goes, with the unwritten law of the Order, and from the two we may deduce the following principles:

  1. The applicant must be a Master Mason. In 1722, the charitable benefits of Freemasonry were extended, it is true, to Entered Apprentices, and an Apprentice was recognized, in the language of the law, as “a true and genuine brother.” But this was because at that time only the First Degree was conferred in subordinate Lodges, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons being made in the Grand Lodge. Hence the great mass of the Fraternity consisted of Apprentices, and many Freemasons never proceeded any further. But the Second and Third Degrees are now always conferred in subordinate Lodges, and very few initiates voluntarily stop short of the Master’s Degree. Hence the mass of the Fraternity now consists of Master Masons, and the law which formerly applied to Apprentices is, under our present organization, made applicable only to those who have become Master Masons.
  2. The applicant must be worthy. We are to presume that every Freemason is “a good man and true” until a Lodge has pronounced to the contrary. Every Freemason who is “in good standing,” that is, who is a regularly contributing member of a Lodge, is to be considered as worthy, in the technical sense of the term. An expelled, a suspended, or a nonaffiliated Freemason does not meet the required condition of ”a regularly contributing member.” Such a Freemason is therefore not worthy, and is not entitled to Masonic assistance.
  3. The giver is not expected to exceed his ability in the amount of relief. The written law says, “you are not charged to do beyond your ability”; the Unwritten law requires that your relief must be “without material injury to yourself or family.” The principle is the same in both.
  4. The widow and orphans of a Master Mason have the claim of the husband and father extended to them. The written law says nothing explicitly on this point, but the unwritten or ritualistic law expressly declares that it is our duty “to contribute to the relief of a worthy, distressed brother, his widow and orphans.”
  5. And lastly, in granting relief or assistance, the Freemason is to be preferred to the profane. He must be placed “before any other poor people in the same circumstances.”

These are the laws which regulate the doctrine of Masonic aid and assistance.

They are often charged by the enemies of Freemasonry with showing a spirit of exclusiveness. But it has been shown that they are in accordance with the exhortation of the Apostle, who would do good “especially to those who are of the household of faith,” and they have the warrant of the law of nature; for everyone will be ready to say, with that kindest-hearted of men, Charles Lamb, “I can feel for all indifferently, but I cannot feel for all alike. I can be a friend to a worthy man, who, upon another account, cannot be my mate or fellow.

I cannot like all people alike.” So also as Freemasons, while we should be charitable to all persons in need or in distress, there are only certain ones who can claim the aid and assistance of the Order, or of its disciples, under the positive sanction of Masonic law.


Also spelled ATCHESON, ACHISON. This was one of the oldest Operative Lodges consenting to the formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736. The age of this Lodge, like many or most of the oldest Lodges of Scotland, is not known. Some of its members signed the Saint Clair Charters in 1600 and 1601. The place of its meeting, Aitchison-Haven, is no longer on the map, but was in the County of Midlothian. The origin of the town was from a charter of James V, dated 1526, and probably the Lodge dated near that period. Aitchison’s-Haven was probably the first meeting-place, but they seem to have met at Musselburgh at a later period.

Lyon, in his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, speaks of trouble in the Grand Quarterly Communication respecting representatives from this Lodge when in May, 1737, it was “agreed that Atcheson’s Haven be deleted out of the books of the Grand Lodge, and no more called on the rolls of the Clerk’s highest peril.”

The Lodge was restored to the roll in 1814, but becoming dormant, it was finally cut off in 1866. The Lodge of Edinburgh has long enjoyed the distinction of having the oldest preserved Lodge Minute, which is dated July, 1599.

Just recently Brother R. E. Wallace-James has brought to light a Minute Book bearing this title: The Buik of the Actis and Ordinans of the Nobile Maisteris and fellows of Craft of the Ludg of Aitchison’s heavine, and contains a catalogue of the names of the fellows of Craft that are presently in the Zeir of God 1598.

The first page of this rare book bears in a bold hand the date 1598.

The Minute to which we have already referred is as follows :
“The IX day of Januerie the Zeir of God upon ye quhilk day Robert Widderspone was maid fellow of Craft in ye presens of Wilzam Aytone Elder, Johne Fender being Warden, Johne Pedden Thomas Pettencrief John Crafurd George Aytone Wilzame Aytone younger Hendric Petticrief all fellowis of Craft upon ye quhilk day he chois George Aytone Johne Pedded to be his intenders and instructouris and also ye said Robert hes payit his xx sh. and his gluffis to everie Maister as efferis” (see ‘volume xxiv, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum).


One of the Old Charges, or records of Freemasonry now in the custody of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, was formerly preserved in the archives of the Aitchison-Haven Lodge, which met later on at Musselburgh in Scotland. The manuscript. is engrossed in the Minute Book of Aitchison-Haven Lodge. The writer attests to his transcription in the following manner:

“Insert by me undersub and the 19″ of May, 1666, Jo. Auchinleck, clerk to the Masones of Achisones Lodge.”

This manuscript. has been reproduced, with 24 lines in facsimile, by D. Murray Lyon in his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh.


The French name of what is called in German, Aachen. A city of Germany, remarkable in Masonic history for a persecution which took place in the eighteenth century, and of which Gadicke, in his Freimaurer Lexicon, 1818 and 183l, gives the following account:

In the year 1779, Ludwig Grienemann, a Dominican monk, a follower of Dominic de Guzman, who founded an Order whose violent zeal led to the atrocities of the Inquisition in Spain and elsewhere, delivered a course of Lenten sermons, in which he attempted to prove that the Jews who crucified Christ were Freemasons, that Pilate and Herod were Wardens in a Freemason’s Lodge, that Judas, previous to his betrayal of his Master, was initiated into the Order, and that the thirty, pieces of silver, which he is said to have returned, was only the fee which he paid for his initiation. Aix-1a-Chapelle being a Roman Catholic city, the magistrates were induced, by the influence of Grienemann, to issue a decree, in which they declared that anyone who should permit a meeting of the Freemasons in his house should, for the first offense, be fined 100 florins, for the second 200, and for the third, be banished from the city. The mob became highly incensed against the Freemasons, and insulted all whom they suspected to be members of the Order.

At length Peter Schuff, a Capuchin, so called from the capuche, or pointed hood, worn by the monks of this Order, jealous of the influence which the Dominican Grienemann was exerting, began also, with augmented fervor, to preach against Freemasonry, and still more to excite the popular commotion.

In this state of affairs, the Lodge at Aix-la-Chapelle applied to the princes and Masonic Lodges in the neighboring territories for assistance and protection, which were immediately rendered. A letter in French was received by both priests, in which the Writer, who stated that he was one of the former dignitaries of the Order, strongly, reminded them of their duties, and, among other things, said that “Many priests, a pope, several cardinals, bishops, and even Dominican and Capuchin monks, had been, and still were, members of the Order.” Although this remonstrance had some effect, peace was not altogether restored until the neighboring free imperial states threatened that they would prohibit the monks from collecting alms in their territories unless they ceased to excite the popular commotion against the Freemasons.


The name given, in the ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, to one of the ruffians celebrated in the legend of the Third Degree. The word is said in the ritual to signify, an assassin. It might probably be derived from …, KaRaB. to assault or join battle; but is just as probably a word so corrupted by long oral transmission that its etymology can no longer be traced (see Abiram).


Before the institution of the Grand Lodge of Alabama several Lodges there were organized by other Grand Jurisdictions. The first of these was Madison, No. l, at. Huntsville, established by, the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, under Dispensation dated August 29, 1811. A Charter was issued to this Lodge on August 28, 1812. On June 11, 1821, a Convention was held at Cahaba in the Hall of Halo Lodge for the purpose of constituting a Grand Lodge, Nine Lodges were represented;

namely, Halo Lodge, No. 21; Madison Lodge, No. 21; Saint Stephens Lodge; Rising Virtue Lodge, No. 30; Alabama Lodge, No. 51; Farrar Lodge, No. 41; Alabama Lodge, No. 21; Moulton Lodge, No. 34; Russellville Lodge, No. 36. Brother J. W. Farrar who presided over the meeting was the first Grand Master. Charters were issued to nine Lodges on June 15, l821, and to three others at the Annual Communication of December 11, 1821.

In l826 the Anti-Masonic agitation in the United States caused the Grand Lodge of Alabama, like very many others, to fade out of existence. A meeting was held at Tuscaloosa on December 6, l836, when, as there was not a quorum present, the Grand Lodge was declared extinct. At this meeting were present twelve brethren who declared the meeting a Convention in order to form a new Constitution and create a new Grand Lodge. They appointed William Leigh, Chairman, and John H. Vincent, Secretary. Grand Lodge officers were elected and John C. Hicks was installed the first Most Worshipful Grand Master under the new Constitution. The Grand Lodge was then opened in Ample Form.

Prior to May, 1823, there were four Chapters in Alabama, all chartered by the General Grand Chapter. In May and June, 1823, delegates of these met and decided to form a Grand Chapter of Alabama.

The General Grand Chapter, however, did not sanction it because one year had not elapsed since the establishment of the Junior Chapter of the four. On June 2, 1827, the Grand Chapter was reorganized, and met annually, until l830. On December 8, l837, the delegates from the several Chapters of the State met and recognized the Grand Chapter.

By authority of John Barker, a member of the Southern Supreme Council, several Councils were established and on December 13, 1838, 27 Royal and Select Masters assembled and formed the Grand Council of Alabama.

The first Commandery to be established in Alabama was Washington, No. l, at Marion, which was chartered in l844. This Commandery with four others, Mobile, No. 2; Montgomery, No. 4; Selma, No. 5 ; Tuscumbia, No. 3, agreed to meet of December 1, 1860, and they organized the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar for the State of Alabama. At the actual meeting the representative of Washington, No, l, was absent.

A Consistory of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Alabama, No. 1, at Birmingham, was chartered on December 27, 1900, and a Council of Kadosh was established at Birmingham, No. 1, on September 21, 1599. Hermes, No. 1, at Montgomery, was constituted a Chapter of Rose Croix by Letters Temporary and a Charter was given to Alabama, No. 1, as a Lodge of Perfection on April 13, 1574.


A Latin word signifying a blow on the cheek with the open hand. Such a blow was given by the master to his manumitted slave as a symbol of manumission, and as a reminder that it was the last unrequited indignity which he was to receive. In fact, the very word manumit is derived from two Latin words meaning to send by hand. Hence, in medieval times, the same word was applied to the blow inflicted on the cheek of the newly created knight by the sovereign who created him, with the same symbolic signification. This was sometimes represented by the blow on the shoulder with the flat of a sword, which has erroneously been called the accolade (see Knighthood).


The verb to alarm signifies, in Freemasonry, to give notice of the approach of some one desirinq admission. Thus, to alarm the Lodge is to inform the Lodge that there is some one without who is seeking entrance.

As a noun, the word alarm has two significations :

  1. An alarm is a warning given by the Tiler, or other appropriate officer, by which he seeks to communicate with the interior of the Lodge or Chapter. In this sense the expression so often used, “an alarm at the door,” simply signifies that the officer outside has given notice of his desire to communicate with the Lodge.
  2. An alarm is also the peculiar mode in which this notice is to be given. In modern Masonic works, the number of knocks given in an alarm is generally expressed by musical notes. Thus, three distinct knocks would be designated thus, . . .; two rapid and two slow ones thus,. . . – – and three knocks , three times repeated thus, . . ./. . . /. . . , etc. The word comes from the French alarme, which in return comes from the Italian all’arme, literally a cry to arms, uttered by sentinels surprised by the enemy. The legal meaning of to alarm is not to frighten, but to make one aware of the necessity of defense or protection.

This is precisely the Masonic signification of the world.


The Grand Master of the Territory, of Washington issued, on April 14, 1868, a Dispensation to form a Lodge at Sitka, Alaska. This Dispensation was renewed on October 13, 1868, and on September 17, 1869, a Charter was granted to Alaska Lodge, No. 14. This Charter was revoked on October 28, 1872. A Commission as Deputy Grand Master for Alaska Was, on September 18, 1869, issued under the same authority to Brother W. H. Wood, P.D. G.M. December 9, 1879, a Dispensation was issued by the Grand Lodge of the Territory of Washington for a new Lodge at Sitka and in due course a Charter Was granted to Jamestown Lodge, No. 33, on January 3, 1880. This Charter was returned and canceled on June 4, 1886. A Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Washington was issued on November 15, 1900, and a Charter granted on June 12, 1901, to White Pass Lodge, No. 113, of Skagway. Other Lodges chartered in Alaska by the same Grand Lodge have been Gastineaux Lodge, No. 124, at Douglas, on June 10, 1903; Anvil Lodge, No. 140, at Nome, on June 14, 1905; Mt. Juneau Lodge, No. 147, at Juneau, on June 14, 1905; Ketchikan Lodge, No. 159, at Ketchikan, on June 12, 1907; Tanana Lodge, No. l62, at Fairbanks, on June 17, 1908; Valdez Lodge, No, 168, at Valdez, on June 17, 1908; Mount McKinley Lodge, No, 183, at Cordova, on June 14, 1911; Seward Lodge, No. 219, at Seward, on June 14, 1917; Anchorage Lodge, No. 221, at Anchorage, on June 14, 1917.

A Royal Arch Chapter was authorized at Fairbanks by Dispensation from the General Grand High Priest Nathan Kingsley, on June 15, 1909, and this Chapter was granted a Charter on November 12, 1909. Seward Chapter at Nome received a Dispensation dated July 13, 1911, from General Grand High Priest Bernard G. Witt, and a Charter was granted on September 12, 1912. A third Chapter received a Dispensation from General Grand High Priest Frederick W. Craig dated January 16, 1919, and Charter was granted on September 29, 1921, to Anchorage Chapter at Anchorage.

The first Council of Royal and Select Masters was authorized at Fairbanks on March 16, 1914, and was granted a Charter as Artic Council, No. l, by the General Grand Council on August 31, 1915.

Alaska Commandery, No. l, was authorized by the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar of the United States, on August 14, 1913, at Fairbanks, and a Dispensation for Anchorage Commandery, No. 2, at Anchorage was issued on July 1, 1920, by Grand Master Joseph K. Orr. Alaska No, I, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, at Juneau, was established a Consistory by Charter granted October 22, 1915.

By Charters granted October 22, 1915, October 23, 1915, and October 16, 1911, respectively, at the same body were established a Council of Kadosh, a Chapter of Rose Croix and a Lodge of Perfection.


Famous Spanish General, Aide-de-Camp under the Duke of Wellington and in 1814 imprisoned for being a Freemason.


See Saint Alban


(Canada). The Grand Lodge of Manitoba had jurisdiction over the Lodges in the Northwest Territories of Canada but the division of these into Provinces, on September 1, 1905, influenced Medicine Hat Lodge, No. 31, to invoke the oldest Masonic Body, Bow River Lodge, No. 28, to call a preliminary Convention at Calgary on May 25, 1905.

This was followed by another meeting on October 12, 1905, when seventeen lodges were represented by seventy-nine delegates, the Grand Lodge of Alberta was duly organized, and Brother Dr. George MacDonald elected Grand Master and was installed by Grand Master W. G. Scott of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.


A scholastic philosopher of the Middle Ages, of great learning, but who had among the vulgar the reputation of being a magician.

He was born at Lauingen, Swabia, in 1205, of an illustrious family, his subtitle being that of Count of Bollstadt. He studied at Padua, and in 1223 entered the Order of the Dominicans. In 1249 he became head-master of the school at Cologne. In 1260 Pope Alexander VI conferred upon him the bishopric of Ratisbon. In 1262 he resigned the episcopate and returned to Cologne, and, devoting himself to philosophic pursuits for the remainder of his life, died there in 1280. His writings were very voluminous, the edition published at Lyons, in 1651, amounting to twenty-one large folio volumes.

Albertus Magnus has been connected with the Operative Freemasonry of the Middle Ages because he has been supposed by many to have been the real inventor of the German Gothic style of architecture.

Heideloff, in his Bauhhutte des Mittelalters, says that “he recalled into life the symbolic language of the ancients, which had so long lain dormant, and adapted it to suit architectural forms. ” The Freemasons were said to have accepted his instructions, with a system of symbols which was secretly communicated only to the members of their own body, and served even as a medium of intercommunication. He is asserted to have designed the pian for the construction of the cathedral of cologne, and to have altered the Constitution of the Freemasons, and to have given to them a new set of laws.


A German author, who published at Hamburg, in 1792, the first and only part of a work entitled Materialen zu einer kritischen Geschichte der Freimaurerei, meaning Collections towards a Critical History of Freemasonry.

Kloss says that this was one of the first attempts at a clear and rational history of the Order. Unfortunately, the author never completed his task, and only the first part of the work ever appeared. Albrecht was the author also of another work entitled Geheime Geschichte eines Rosenkreuzers, or Secret History of a Rosicrucian, and of a series of papers which appeared in the Berlin Archive der Zeit, containing Notices of Freemasonry in the first half of the Sixteenth Century.

Albrecht adopted the theory first advanced by the Abb‚ Grandidier, that Freemasonry owes its origin to the Steinmetzen of Germany (see Stone-masons of the Middle Ages ).


The Neo-Platonicians introduced at an early period of the Christian era an apparently new science, which they called ……………., or the Sacred Science, which materially influenced the subsequent condition of the arts and sciences. In the fifth century arose, as the name of the science, alchemia, derived from the Arabic definite article al being added to chemia, a Greek word used in Diocletian’s decree against Egyptian works treating of the …… or transmutation of metals; the word seems simply to mean “the Egyptian Art,” ……, or the land of black earth, being the Egyptian name for Egypt, and Julius Firmicius, in a work On the Influence of the Stars upon the Fate of Man, uses the phrase scientia alchemiac. From this time the study” Of alchemy was openly followed. In the Middle Ages, and up to the end of the seventeenth century, it was an important science, studied by some of the most distinguished philosophers, such as Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lulli, Roger Bacon, Elias Ashmole, and many others. Alchemy has also been called the Hermetic Philosophy, because it is said to have been first taught in Egypt by Hermes Trismegistus.

Alchemists are those who practised the art or science of alchemy, the pioneer chemistry of the Middle Ages, either alone or in a group with others seeking the transmutation of base metals into gold the elixir of life, etc, The word alchemy is evidently from the same root as chemistry and is related to Khem, the name of the Egyptian god of curative herbs. The Greeks called Egypt Chemita and in the ancient Egyptian, according to Plutarch, the country was called Khem because of the black color of the soil but the standard Dictionary prefers the first of these explanations. An Egyptian priest, Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice-greatest Hermes, supposed to have lived about 2000 B.C., was one of the first to practice alchemy. Although our accounts of him are of a purely legendary character; so closely has the name of alchemy been connected with him that it became generally referred to as the Hermetic Art.

Toward the end of the eighth century. we have another famous alchemist, Geber, who wrote many books and treatises in Latin on the transmutation of metals and kindred subjects, setting forth many of the formulas, as well as the scientific, mystical and philosophical aspects of the art at that early period.

In the tenth century there was an Arabian medical philosopher named Rhazes or Rhasis, who numbered among his writings one, The Establishment of Alchemy, which caused him great misfortune. It is said that he presented a copy of this work to his prince, who immediately demanded that he verify some of his experiments. Failing in this, he was struck across the face with a whip so violently by the prince that he was blinded. During the next three or four centuries alchemy was studied by the scientists or chemists, as they are called today, and to them must be reedited the development of science such as it was until the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, the mystical terms in which the art was clothed, the great secrecy in which all knowledge was kept and the esoteric quality of the teaching made it a natural prey of the charlatans, quacks, necromancers and fortune-tellers who thrived upon the ignorance and superstition of the people. There are on record several instances of these adepts being put to death as a result of their inability to demonstrate certain claims made by them. Many sincere and learned scientific men came under the ban owing to the disrepute into which the art had failed and their work had to be done in secret to avoid punishment and death. J. E. Mercer in his Alchenly says that Marie Ziglerin was bummed to death by Duke Julius of Brunswick in 1575. David Benther killed himself in fear of the anger of the Elector Augustus of Saxony. In 1590 the Elector of Bavaria had Bragadino hanged and the Margrave of Bayreuth caused a like fate to befall William de Krohnemann.

A well-known example of the use to which alchemy was put was the case of Cagliostro. Kings and rulers retained alchemists in their employ, consulting them as to future events and often basing their campaigns upon the prophecies of their wise men. It was when these prophecies turned out contrary to expectations that the rulers took their revenge by condemning their counselors to death or imprisonment.

The first man of record to put alchemy to medical use was Paracelsus, probably born near Zurich, in 1493 and dying in 1541. He became a great teacher of medicine and has been proclaimed by the Encyclopedia Britannica as ”the pioneer of modern chemists and the prophet of a revolution in science. ” Many new and powerful drugs were produced in his laboratory among which was laudanum. He was in great disfavor with the medical men of his time, he having done much to destroy many of the traditions and errors practiced by them, After his death a score of alchemists claimed the power of euring bodily ailments by the mystical powers of the philosopher’s Stone, health and long life being among the benefits supposed to be derived from the art. Thory says that there was a society of alchemists at The Hague in 1622 which called itself Rose Croiz. It is claimed that Rosenkreutz founded the Order in 1459 with the ordinance that its existence should be kept a secret for two hundred years. Another organization of alchemists was known to have been in existence in 1790 in Westphalia, the Hermetic Society, which continued to flourish until about 1819. During the Middle Ages alchemy came in for the attention and study at least of many of the foremost men of the time. Raymond.

Lully, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas made it the subject of many of their writings and it was not until the middle of the fifteenth century that the science as practised by the earlier artificers was relegated to the past. At that time an alchemical center was established in England at Oxford, Robert Boyle organizing a class for experiment and research. Such men as Elias Ashmole and Sir Isaac Newton assisted in the project and John Locke and Christopher Wren were among the pupils. A renowned Rosicrucian chemist was brought over from Strasburg. As a result of this determined and consistent work a new understanding of chemistry and physics was developed, marking the beginning of the modern science as it is known today.

For a more detailed account see J. E. Mercer’s Alchemy, M. M. Pattison Muir”s The Story of Alchemy and Lewis Spence’s An Encyclopedia of Occultism.

Astrology and the magic arts are usually associated with alchemy but we may fairly look upon it as having had a wider scientific scope. Indeed alchemy was the pioneer of our modern systematic chemistry. The alchemists of old sought by observation and experiment, by research and reflection, to gain the secret of nature’s operations. Their early dreams were ambitious but not idle of a discovery of the means to change base metals into gold, and the concoction of an elixir to cure all diseases and overcome death.

From these hopes have come less revolutionary results but the gains have nevertheless been wondrously beneficial. Even the language of the ancient alchemists persists with a curious tenacity. They applied moral qualities, virtues and vices, to things of nature and today we still speak of noble and base metals, of gases perfect and imperfect, of good and bad electrical conductors, and so on. A meed of gratitude is due from us to these laborers who trod a thorny path in their zealous studies of physical forces. Against the prevailing superstitions, the lack of ready communications with other investigators and of a complete practical working knowledge of recent or remote discoveries, these hardy students laid the foundation for later conquests.
Fraud was tempting, fakers were easily made, yet honesty and fervor was manifest in so much of what was accomplished that we owe a distinct debt to the alchemists. Poor they were, yet rich, for as Alexander Pope says of them and their successors in his Essay on Man (ii, line 269) : “The starving chemist in his golden views, supremely blest.”

Freemasonry and alchemy have sought the same results (the lesson of Divine Truth and the doctrine of immortal life), and they have both sought it by the same method of symbolism. It is not, therefore, strange that in the eighteenth century, and perhaps before, we find an incorporation of much of the science of alchemy into that of Freemasonry. Hermetic Rites and Hermetic Degrees were common, and their relics are still to be found existing in degrees which do not absolutely trace their origin to alchemy, but which show some of its traces in their rituals.

The Twenty-eighth Degree of the Scottish Rite, or the Knight of the Sun, is entirely a Hermetic study, and claims its parentage in the title of Adept of Masonry, by which it is sometimes known.


This lady, who is well known as the Lady Freemason, was the Hon.Elizabeth St. Leger, daughter of Lord Doneraile of Doneraile Court, County Cork, Ireland. She was born in 1693, and married in 1713 to Richard Aldworth, Esq., of Newmarket Court, County Cork.

There appears to be no doubt that while a girl she received the First and Second Degrees of Freemasonry in Ireland, but of the actual circumstances of her initiation several different accounts have been given. Of these the most authentic appears to be one issued at Cork, with the authority of the family, in 1811, and afterward republished in London. From this narrative it appears that her father, Viscount Doneraile, together with bisons and a few friends, was accustomed to open a Lodge and carry on the ordinary ceremonies at Doneraile Court, and it was during one of these meetings that the occurrence took place which is thus related:

“It happened on this particular occasion that the Lodge was held in a room separated from another, as is often the case, by stud and brickwork. The young lady, being giddy and thoughtless, and determined to gratify her curiosity, made her arrangements accordingly, and, with a pair of scissors (as she herself related to the mother of our informant), removed a portion of a brick from the wall, and placed herself so as to command a full view of everything which occurred in the next room; so placed, she witnessed the first two degrees in Freemasonry, which was the extent of the proceedings of the Lodge on that night.

Becoming aware, from what she heard, that the Brethren were about to separate, for the first time she felt tremblingly alive to the awkwardness and danger of her situation, and began to consider how she could retire without observation. She became nervous and agitated, and nearly fainted, but so far recovered herself as to be fully aware of the necessity of withdrawing as quickly as possible; in the act of doing so, being in the dark, she stumbled against and overthrew something, said to be a chair or some ornamental piece of furniture.

“The crash was loud ; and the Tiler, who was on the lobby or landing on which the doors both of the Lodge room and that where the Honorable Miss St. Leger was, opened, gave the alarm, burst open the door and, with a light in one hand and a drawn sword in the other, appeared to the now terrified and fainting Lady. He was soon joined by the members of the Lodge present, and luckily; for it is asserted that but for the prompt appearance of her brother, Lord Doneraile, and other steady members, her life would have fallen a sacrifice to what was then esteemed her crime. The first care of his Lordship was to resuscitate the unfortunate Lady without alarming the house, and endeavor to learn from her an explanation of what had occurred; having done so, many of the members being furious at the transaction, she was placed under guard of the Tiler and a member, in the room where she was found. The members reassembled and deliberated as to what, under the circumstances, was to be done, and over two long hours she could hear the angry discussion and her death deliberately proposed and seconded.

“At length the good sense of the majority succeeded in calming, in some measure, the angry and irritated feeling of the rest of the members, when, after much had been said and many. things proposed, it was resolved to give her the option of submitting to the Masonic ordeal to the extent she had witnessed (Fellow Craft), and if she refused, the brethren were again to consult. Being waited on to decide, Miss St. Leger, exhausted and terrified by the storminess of the debate, which she could not avoid partially hearing, and yet, notwithstanding all, with a secret pleasure, gladly and unhesitatingly accepted the offer.

She was accordingly initiated.”

The above reference to Lord Doneraile, her brother, is a mistake ; her father, the first Lord Doneraile, was then alive. He did not die until 1727, when his daughter had been married for fourteen years.

A very different account is given in the Freemason’s Quarterly Review for 1839 (page 322 ), being reprinted from the Cork Standard of May. 29, 1839.

According to this story Mirs. Aldworth was seized with curiosity about the mysteries of Freemasonry and set herself to discover them ; so she made friends with the landlady of an inn in Cork in which a Lodge used to meet, and with her connivance was concealed in a clock case which was placed in the Lodge room; however, she was unable to endure the discomfort of her confinement in such narrow quarters and betrayed herself by a scream, on which she was discovered by the members of the Lodge and then and there initiated.

It will be observed that according to this version the lady. was already married before she was initiated.

The story is said to be supported by the testimony of two members of Lodge 71, at Cork, in which Lodge the initiation is said to have taken place. However, this can hardly be correct, for that Lodge did not meet at Cork until 1777, whereas, Mrs. Aldworth died in1773.

If, however, the commoner version of the story is preferred, according to which Miss St. Leger was initiated as a young girl, then the occurrence must have taken place before her marriage in 1713, and therefore before the establishment of Grand Lodges and the introduction of warranted and numbered Lodges, and it is therefore a proof of the existence of at least one Lodge of Speculative Freemasons in Ireland at an early period.

After her marriage Mrs. Aldworth seems to have kept up her connection with the Craft, for her portrait in Masonic clothing, her apron and jewels, are still in existence, and her name occurs among the subscribers to Dassigny’s Enquiry of 1744, her name being the second on the list and immediately following that of the Grand Master of Ireland, the accompanying names all being brethren ; and it has even been stated that she presided as Master of her Lodge.

The story has been fully discussed by Brothers Conder, Crawley, and others in the eighth volume (1895) of the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London, to which the curious are referred for further information.


Greek for Lovers of Truth.
Graf von Manteuffel as president organized this society in Berlin, 1736, upon Wolf’s philosophical teaching, the search after positive truth. Kenning’s Cydopaedia of Freemasonry says they. adopted a hexalogue (from the Greek, six and words) of axioms, of which two only are given by Lenning :

  1. Let truth be the only end and only object of your understanding and will.
  2. Hold nothing for truth, Hold nothing for falsehood, as long as you are not convinced of either by some sufficient grounds. In the system of the African Builders, the fifth grade was called Alethophile, some connection seeming to have existed between the two societies.


Lover of Truth. Given by Thory as the Fifth Degree of the Order of African Architects (see his Acta Latatomorum, 1, page 292).


I, Emperor of Russia. Alexander I succeeded Paul I in the year 1801, and immediately after his accession renewed the severe prohibitions of his predecessor against all secret societies, and especially Freemasonry. In1803, M. Boeber, counselor of state and director of the military school at St.Petersburg, resolved to remove, if possible, from the mind of the Emperor the prejudices which he had conceived against the Order. Accordingly, in an audience which he had solicited and obtained, he described the object of the Institution and the doctrine of its mysteries in such a way as to lead the Emperor to rescind the obnoxious decrees, and to add these words:
“What you have told me of the Institution not only induces me to grant it my protection and patronage, but even to ask for initiation into its mysteries. Is this possible to be obtained?” To this question M. Boeber replied:

“Sire, I cannot myself reply to the question. But I will call together the Masons of your capital, and make your Majesty`s desire known; and I have no doubt that they will be eager to comply. with jour wishes.”

Accordingly Alexander was soon after initiated, and the Grand Orient of all the Russias was in consequence established with M. Boeber as Grand Master (see Thory’s Acta Latomorum1, page 218)


king of Scotland, and legend tells us that he favored Freemasons and that Kilwinning Abbey was built under his guidance. Claims have been made that these facts refer rather to his son, David I. The ritual of the Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew credits Alexander as Protector of the Masonic Order.


When Alexander built the city of Alexandria in Egypt, with the intention of making it the seat of his empire, he invited thither learned men from all nations, who brought with them their peculiar notions. The Alexandria School of Philosophy which was thus established, by the commingling of Orientalists, Jews, Egyptians, and Greeks, became eclectic in character, and exhibited a heterogeneous mixture of the opinions of the Egyptian priests, of the Jewish Rabbis, of Arabic teachers, and of the disciples of Plato and Pythagoras.

From this school we derive Gnosticism and the Cabala, and, above all, the system of symbolism and allegory which lay at the foundation of the Masonic philosophy. To no ancient sect, indeed, except perhaps the Pythagoreans, have the Masonic teachers been so much indebted for the substance of their doctrines, as well as the esoteric method of communicating them, as to that of the School of Alexandria. Both Aristobulus and Philo, the two most celebrated chiefs of this school, taught, although a century intervened between their births, the same , theory, that the sacred writings of the Hebrews were, by their system of allegories, the true source of all religious and philosophic doctrine, the literal meaning of which alone was for the common people, the esoteric or hidden meaning being kept for the initiated. Freemasonry still carries into practice the same theory.


The number of Lodges in Algeria is, in comparison with the size of the State, quite large. Several are controlled by the Grand Lodge of France and many more are under the Grand Orient of that country, the Grand Orient having organized Bélisaire Lodge at Alger on March 1, 1832, and Hippone Lodge at Bone on July 13, 1832.


A French gentleman, who, in the year 1776, was sent with Don Oyres de Ornellas Praçao, a Portuguese nobleman, to prison, by the governor of the island of Madeira, for being Freemasons. They were afterward sent to Lisbon, and confined in a common jail for fourteen months, where they would have perished had not the Freemasons of Lisbon supported them, through whose intercession , with Don Martinio de Mello they were at last released (see Captain George Smith’s Use and Abuse of Freemasonry, page 206).


English author, born December 29, 1792, at Kenley, Shropshire, England; died at Glasgow, Scotland, May 23, 1867. A member of Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge, having received his Degrees in 1837 (see New Age, May.,1925).


Assyrian, ilu; Aramaic, elah,’ Hebrew, eloah. The Arabic name of God, derived from hah, god, and the article al, expressing the God by way of eminence. In the great profession of the Unity, on which is founded the religion of Islam, both terms are used, as pronounced La ilaha ill`Allah, there is no god but God, the real meaning of the expression being, There id only one God.

Mohammed relates that in his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, on ascending through the seven heavens, he beheld above the throne of God this formula; and the green standard of the Prophet was adorned with the mystic sentence.

It is the first phrase lisped by the infant, and the devout Moslem utters the profession of the faith at all times, in joy, in sorrow, in praise, in prayer, in battle, and with his departing breath the words are wafted to heaven; for among the peculiar virtues of these words is that they may be spoken without any motion of the lips. The mourners on their way to the grave continue the strain in melancholy tones.

Around the supreme name is clustered the masbaha, or rosary, of the ninety-nine beautiful names of God, which are often repeated by the Mohammedan in his devotions.


Every Freemason owes allegiance to the Lodge, Chapter, or other body of which he is a member, and also to the Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter or other supreme authority from which that body has received its charter. But this is not a divided allegiance. If, for instance, the edicts of a Grand and a Subordinate Lodge conflict, there is no question which is to be obeyed. Supreme or governing bodies in Freemasonry claim and must receive a paramount allegiance.


A discourse or narrative in which there is a literal and a figurative sense, a patent and a concealed meaning ; the literal or patent sense being intended, by analogy or comparison, to indicate the figurative or concealed one. Its derivation from the Greek, … and , to say something different, that is, to say something where the language is one thing and the true meaning another, exactly expresses the character of an allegory. It has been said that there is no essential difference between an allegory and a symbol. There is not in design, but there is in their character.

An allegory may be interpreted without any previous conventional agreement, but a symbol cannot.
Thus, the legend of the Third Degree is an allegory, evidently to be interpreted as teaching a restoration to life ; and this we learn from the legend itself, without any previous understanding. The sprig of acacia is a symbol of the immortality of the soul. But this we know only because such meaning had been conventionally determined when the symbol was first established. It is evident, then, that an allegory whose meaning is obscure is imperfect. The enigmatical meaning should be easy of interpretation ; and hence Lemiére, a French poet, has said: “L`allégorie habits un palais diaphane;” meaning Allegory lives in a transparent palace.

All the legends of Freemasonry are more or less allegorical, and whatever truth there may be in some of them in an historical point of view, it is only as allegories or legendary symbols that they are of importance. The English lectures have therefore very properly defined Freemasonry to be “a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”

The allegory was a favorite figure among the ancients, and to the allegorizing spirit are we to trace the construction of the entire Greek and Roman mythology. Not less did it prevail among the older Aryan nations, and its abundant use is exhibited in the religions of Brahma and Zoroaster. The Jewish Rabbis were greatly addicted to it, and carried its employment, as Maimonides intimates, in his More Nevochim (III, xliii), sometimes to an excess. Their Midrash, or system of commentaries on the sacred book, is almost altogether allegorical. Aben Ezra, a learned Rabbi of the twelfth century:, says, “The Scriptures are like bodies, and allegories are like the garments with which they are clothed. Some are thin like fine silk, and others are coarse and thick like sackcloth.”

Jesus, to whom this spirit of the Jewish teachers in his day was familiar, taught many truths in parables, all of which were allegories. The primitive Fathers of the Christian Church were thus infected; and Origen, the most famous and influential Christian writer of his time, 186 to 254 A.D., who was especially addicted to the habit, tells us that all the Pagan philosophers should be read in this spirit : “hoe facere solemus quando philosophos legimus.”

Of modern allegorizing writers, the most interesting to Freemasons are Samuel Lee, the author of Orbis Miraculum or the Temple of Solomon portrayed by Scripture Light, and John Bunyan, who wrote Solomon’s Temle Spirituatized.

William Durand, or to use his Latin name, Guillelmus Durandus, who lived A. D, 1230 to 1296, wrote a treatise in Italy before 1286 on the origin and symbolic sense of the Christian Ritual, the ceremonies and teaching related to the church buildings. An English edition of this work entitled The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments, by J. M. Neale and Benjamin Webb, was published at London, 1906, and is a most suggestive treatise.


From 1744 to 1745 Brother Allen was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.


An organization of twenty-one brethren possessing the ultimate degree of the Scottish Rite, was formed in New York September 19, 1872, to assemble annually on that day. One by one, in the due course of time, this Assembly was to decrease until the sad duty devolved on some one to banquet alone with twenty draped chairs and covers occupied by the imaginary presence of his fellows. This body was instituted to commemorate the breaking of a deadlock in the close corporation of the Supreme Council by the admission of four very prominent members of the Fraternity.


A body has been formed in England called the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees, in order to govern various Degrees or Orders having no central authority of their own. The principal degrees controlled by it are those of St. Lawrence the Martyr, Knight of Constantinople, Grand Tiler of King Solomon, Secret Monitor, Red Cross of Babylon, and Grand High Priest, besides a large number, perhaps about fifty, of side degrees, of which some are actively worked and some are not (see Council of Allied Masonic Degrees).


A word of Latin origin and meaning something spoken to. The address of the presiding officer of a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is sometimes so called. First used by the Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, the expression is derived from the usage of the Roman Church, where certain addresses of the Pope to the Cardinals are called allocations, and this in turn is to be traced to the customs of Pagan Rome, where the harangues or forcible speeches of the Generals to their soldiers were called attocutions.


In the old manuscript Constitutions, this word that is now unusual is found in the sense of accepted. Thus, “Every Mason of the Craft that is Mason allowed, ye shall do to him as ye would be done unto yourself” as in the Lansdowne Manuscript, of about 1600 A.D., Mason allowed means Mason accepted, that is, approved. Phillips, in his New World of Words, 1690, defines the verb allow, “to give or grant; to approve of; to permit or suffer.”
Latimer, in one of his sermons, uses it in this sense of approving or accepting, thus : ”Saint Peter, in forsaking his old boat and nets, was allowed as much before God as if he had forsaken all the riches in the world.” In a similar sense is the word used in the Office of Public Baptism of Infants, in the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England.

The Bible (see Romans xiv, 22), also has “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” Halliwell’s Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words suggests the connection of the word with the Anglo-Norman alone, meaning to praise.


An important symbol of the Supreme Being, borrowed by the Freemasons from the nations of antiquity. Both the Hebrews and the Egyptians appear to have derived its use from that natural inclination of figurative minds to select an organ as the symbol of the function which it is intended peculiarly to discharge. Thus, the foot was often adopted as the symbol of swiftness, the arm of strength, and the hand of fidelity.

On the same principle, the open eye was selected as the symbol of watchfulness, and the eye of God as the symbol of Divine watchfulness and care of the universe. The use of the symbol in this sense is repeatedly to be found in the Hebrew writers. Thus, the Psalmist says, Psalm xxxiv, 15 : “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry,” which explains a subsequent passage (Psalm cxxi, 4), in which it is said: “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. ”

In the Apocryphal Book of the Conversation of God with Moses on Mount Sinai, translated by the Rev.WT. Cureton from an Arabic manuscript of the fifteenth century, and published by the Philobibion Society of London, the idea of the eternal watchfulness of God is thus beautifully allegorized:

“Then Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, dost thou sleep or not? The Lord said unto Moses, I never sleep: but take a cup and fill it with water. Then Moses took a cup and filled it with water, as the Lord commanded him. Then the Lord cast into the heart of Moses the breath of slumber; so he slept, and the cup fell from his hand, and the water which was therein was spilled. Then Moses awoke from his sleep.

Then said God to Moses, I declare by my power, and by my glory, that if I were to withdraw my providence from the heavens and the earth, for no longer a space of time than thou hast slept, they would at once fall to ruin and confusion, like as the cup fell from thy hand.”

On the same principle, the Egyptians represented Osiris, their chief deity, by the symbol of an open aye, and placed this hieroglyphic of him in all their Temples. His symbolic name, on the monuments, has represented by the eye accompanying a throne, to which was sometimes added an abbreviated figure of the god, and sometimes what has been called a hatchet, but which may as correctly be supposed to be a representation of a square.

The All-Seeing Eye may then be considered as a symbol of God manifested in his omnipresence—his guardian and preserving character-to which Solomon alludes in the Book of Proverbs (xv, 3), where he says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding (or, as in the Revised Version, keeping watch upon) the evil and the good.” It is a symbol of the Omnipresent Deity.


A day set apart for prayers in behalf of all the faithful dead. A festival established in 998 A.D. by an Abbot Odilo of Cluny in France.

The feast falls on the 2nd of November, or on the 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday or a festival of the first class. The celebration of the day was abolished in the Church of England at the Reformation but has had some revival there. On the Continent of Europe the practise has been longer maintained among Protestants. The date is observed as a feast day by Chapters of Rose Croix.


Almanacs for the special use of the Fraternity are annually published in many countries of Europe, but the custom has not been so favored in America. As early as 1752 we find an Almanach des Francs-Maçons en Ecosse published at the Hague. This, or a similar work, continued to be published annually at the same place until the year 1778 (see Kloss, Bibliographie, Nos. 107-9). The first in English appeared in 1775, under the title of:

The Freemason’s Calendar, or an Almanac for the year 1775, containing, besides an accurate and useful Calendar of all remarkable occurrences for the year, many useful and curious particulars relating to Masonry. Inscribed to Lord Petre, G.M., by a Society of Brethren. London, printed for the Society of Stationers.

This work was without any official authority, but two years later the Freemason’s Calendar for 1777 was Published “under the sanction of the Grand Lodge of England.” A Masonic Year Book has been issued annually by the Grand Lodge of England, and most of the English Provinces have published Masonic Almanacs.

The first German work of this class was the Freimaurer Kalendar auf das Jahr 1771 and the first French was Etrennes Intéressantes, ou Almanach pour les années1796 et 1797, the latter meaning in English Interesting Gifts, or Almanac for the years 1796 and 1797. The Masonic Year, an annual digest of timely facts from reliable sources to show the scope and success of Freemasonry, was first published for the year1920 by the Masonic History Company, Chicago, and edited by R. I. Clegg.


In Hebrew …., pronounced Ale Shad-dahee. The name by which God was known to the patriarchs before He announced Himself to Moses by His Tetragrammatonic name of Jehovah (see Exodus vi, 3). Almighty refers to His power and might as the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and hence is translated in the Septuagint by ….., and in the Vulgate by Omnipotens. The word Tetragrammaton is used for the four consonants of the sacred name YHVH.


The annual almanac was the Eighteenth Century’s monthly magazine, encyclopedia, calendar, a repository of literature, and what not, and is the mirror of the American mind between 1700 and the Revolution. Benjamin Franklin made his name with one, but his Poor Richard was not the first of the species nor, by long odds, was it the last (it is impossible to draw a line between almanacs and magazines in the history of American journalism).

James Franklin issued his Rhode Island Almanac five years before Poor Richard appeared in Philadelphia; and Nathaniel Ames, of Dedham, Mass., issued his eight years before, in 1725. This last was, except for Poor Richard, the most famous of the almanacs, and it was among the longest lived. Its author was physician, inn-keeper, scholar, wit, orator, and one of the brightest stars in the constellation of the famous Ames family. His biography was written and his works edited in 1891, in a volume entitled The Essays, Humor, and Poems of Nathaniel Ames, father and son, of Dedham, Mass., from their Almanacs, 1726-1775 with notes and comments, by Sam Briggs (Cleveland, Ohio). From this delicious old volume which should be read with a pipe and bowl of apples in front of the fireplace, it transpires that Bro. Ames was a member of Constellation Lodge in Dedham, and more than once aimed his skits and verses at the Fraternity. Thus, on page 116, in a poem are the lines: “So Masonry and Death are both the same, Tho’ of a different name” ; meaning that a man knows nothing of either until be bas been initiated.
Of these words Editor Briggs notes that “These few lines of verse are the first I have noticed in any publication of the kind, adverting to the institution, which had been but lately introduced to the [New England] Colonists, through the office of Henry Price, who established the first Lodge in New England, in 1733.” On page 203 is a verse for the month of October, not easily construed:

“Heaven’s Candidates go clothed with foul Disguise,
And Heaven’s Reports are damned for senseless lies :
Tremendous Mysteries are (so Hell prevails)
Lampooned for Jargon and fantastic Tales.”

Bro. Briggs says be can make nothing of this. As a guess Ames bad been reading exposés and Anti-Masonic lampoons brought over from England. Beginning on page 464 is a long Hudibrastic poem entitled “Entertainment for a Winter’s Evening” which runs to six pages, describes a Masonic church service with wit and satire, and contains dozens of topical allusions, some very obscure ; it was written by Joseph Greene, an alumnus of Harvard University of the class of 1726, a Tory who fled to England, where he resided until his death in 1780. It is recommended to some member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research that he edit this (in its way) important document and publish it in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.

On page 34: Vol. I of The Book-worm (A. C. Armstrong & Son; 1888) is a paragraph about the first American almanac.

”It is a fact upon which most bibliographers are agreed, that the first almanac printed in America came out in 1639, and was entitled ‘An Almanac Calculated for New England,’ by Mr. Pierce, Mariner: The printer was Stephen Day, or Daye, to whom belongs the title of first printer in North Arnerica. The press was at Cambridge, Mass., and its introduction was effected mainly through the Rev. Jesse Glover, a wealthy Non-conformist minister who had only recently left England. Some Amsterdam gentlemen ‘gave towards furnishing of a printing-pre’ with letters, forty-nine pounds and something more.’ The first book issued was the ‘Bay Psalm-Book,’ in 1640.” (Day is a famous and frequent name in the history of printing. The John Day Company of New York was named in honor of one of them.)


In an article contributed to the New York Masonic Outlook, in 1931, Brother Sir Alfred Robbins, President of the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England, and present in America at the time as personal representative of the Grand Master of Masons in England, the Duke of Connaught, commented on certain “Americanisms” which he had observed in his visits to Lodges and Grand Lodges.

He singled out the Ancient Land- marks, which he said the English Craft seldom mentioned ; and the Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction. He could have included the “Due guard,” the Weeping Virgin symbol, the Working Tool of the Third Degree, etc. In discussing these points Bro. Robbins was carrying on what had come to be almost a tradition among English Brothers of animadverting upon what they have called “Americanisms,” a tradition as old as the Rev. George Oliver’s works. Usually, by an Americanism bas been meant some symbol, rite, rule, etc., invented here in this country, and in the majority of instances, in British eyes, a corruption of the original design of Masonry.

When making his comments Bro. Robbins apparently had not familiarized himself with the researches made in that particular subject by a large number of Masonic scholars in America over a quarter of a century. Those findings connect themselves with a carefully-considered statement which Sir Alfred made in a conversation with the writer during the two or three days be spent at the headquarters of the Nationa1 Masonic Research Society; and, considering Sir Alfred’s own great Masonic experience, and his authorship of a history of English-speaking Masonry, is of an importance which calls for its being permanently recorded in print: not in his owrl words but with the following unambiguous meaning, Sir Alfred said that after witnessing the conferring of Degrees in Lodges and Grand Lodges be was both surprised and gratified to discover that we in the United States are still using the original Ritual practiced by English Lodges in the middle of the Eighteenth Century; and that if American ceremonies differ from those used in present-day English Lodges the difference is not because we have altered the old Working, but because we have not altered it.

The majority of those elements of American Lodge practice and ceremonies which so many English writers have called, and often (vide Hughan !) have stigmatized, as “Americanisms,” turn out to be a continuation of sound Lodge working in England as it was a half century or so before the Union of 1813. Interest in the Ancient Landmarks is not peculiar to America ; the Minutes of the oldest English Lodges refer to them a large number of times, they were the whole point at issue in the controversy between the Ancient and the Modern Grand Lodges, and English Lodges give as much attention to them as do American Lodges but not by name. the Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is not peculiar to us ; the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, and Ireland practice it.

The now obsolescent ” York” as a name for the Craft and Royal Arch Degrees came into use here from Britain via Canada. the Weeping Virgin symbol, which a few Grand Lodges retain as a relic in memory of Jeremy Cross, was not invented in America. Cross may have found it in some old French engravings which he took to be of English origin. “Due guard” appears to be Peculiar to American working but certainly is not an “Americanism”; it also is very possibly of French origin. In many early Eighteenth Century English and Irish engravings and portraits the Trowel is a jewel hung round the neck, and appears in a majority of old Tracing Boards; its prominence in the Third Degree is not modern but old, is not American but is British.

Our English colleagues, having what they have taken to be Americanisms in the forefront of their minds, refer again and again to “American” Masonry as if it differed from their Masonry. They speak of French Masonry, because the French altered Masonry, because the French altered Masonry (and War hatreds was one of the reasons for their unwisely doing so) and of Swedish Masonry, because the Swedes altered Masonry. In that sense there is no “American ” Masonry; there is Freemasonry in America and it is the same, unaltered Freemasonry that it was in England about 1750.

Apropos of the subject of so-called “Americanisms” as a whole and in principle, as it is referred to, and somewhat frequently, by British Bothers in their Masonic magazines and Research Lodge Transactions, it may be recalled to them that they continually overlook the fact that the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Ancient Grand Lodge of England together, both directly and indirectly, bad a larger part in shaping pre-Revolutionary American Masonry than did the Modern Grand Lodge of England. And not only because Modern Lodges in the Colonies were filled with members on the Tory side for years before 1775, but more largely because the Ancient and Ireland sent over so many military and naval Lodges; and because so many of the Masons among the immigrants between 1760 and 1775 were members of Ancient and Irish Lodges. What often may appear as an “Americanism” or an innovation to an English student whose mind is saturated with the history of the Modern Grand Lodge, is neither an Americanism nor an innovation but is a continuation of the standard Working in the Ancient and Irish Lodges of that period; and which at that time differed so essentially from Modern Workings that it took nearly twenty years to bring Moderns and Ancient into Union.

The true basis for an understanding of the history of Freemasonry in America is not in the history of the Modern Grand Lodge, for Masonry in America from 1760 on differed from Modern practices fundamentally ; it is in the history of Ireland, and of the Ancient Grand Lodge which was Irish in origin. Bro. Melvin M. Johnson spoke truly when in his Foreword to Gould’s History of Freemasonry (Scribners’; New York) he wrote: “Gould was the Thucydides of Masonic history” ; but the true Thucydides for the student specializing in American Masonic history is not Gould but is a double-headed Thucydides in the persons of Chetwode Crawley and Henry Sadler. Gould suffered from fundamental misunderstandings of Freemasonry in Colonial and Revolutionary America because be hated the Ancient, and against the pleas of his own colleagues stubbornly insisted on calling them Schismatics; and because be left out of account the role of Ireland in the establishment of American Lodges and practices, so that it is necessary for American students of Masonic history to keep revising Gould in the act of reading him whenever what be is writing bears on the American Craft.


In its issue for February, 1941 (page 184), the American Mercury, a national monthly magazine specializing in non-fiction articles for the well educated, published “The Annihilation of Freemasonry,” by Sven Lunden.

The article in itself was sound, competent, unexceptionable, but is here placed on record among the memorabilia of the Fraternity not for its content but because it marks a mile-stone in the history of American Freemasonry. For the whole length of the period between World War I and World War II Freemasonry was publicly and freely discussed in Europe in books, newspapers, magazines, and from the platform by Masons and non-Masons alike, and in the same manner as any other subject important to the public; but during the same period in the United States Masonry almost never appeared in the public prints except incidentally, and in what journalists call “spot news”; certainly its principles were not discussed nor was there any public awareness of its role in American ways of life. The American Mercury article was the first of its kind; it is possible that it may be one of very few; it is more probable that by 1950 it will be proved to have been the first of innumerable instances.

One of the indications of this latter probability is the rapidly increasing number of books in which Freemasonry is discussed (most of them by anti-masons) that are appearing on the shelves of public libraries.

Mr. H. L. Mencken, the founder-editor of The American Mercury, once undertook a campaign of derision against those whom he described as “joiners,” but his campaign recoiled upon his own head because be discovered that more than thirty million American men and women held membership in at least one fraternity, and be was unable even to convince himself that almost one-third of the population could be “playing at Indian” or belonged to “the booboisie.”


European and American Roman Catholic writers link the American Protective Association with Freemasonry, and classify it as either a camouflaged “political arm” of the Craft or as a Side Order. This is not true. It is a matter of known history, of which the records are preserved, that the A.P.A, was never in any manner either connected with Masonry or encouraged by it. The A.P.A, was founded in Clinton, Iowa (a small town in an agricultural district), by seven men “to combat Roman Catholic influence in public schools and in politics.” Its founders announced that they did not oppose Roman Catholicism as a religion; nor Roman Catholics as foreigners; they denied that theirs was a “nativistic” movement, or that it was based on racial issues like the Ku Klux Klan; and insisted that they were only opposed to church interference in politics and the schools. The founder, H. F. Bowers, a Clinton attorney and a Methodist, was Supreme President until 1893, when he was succeeded by W. J. H. Traynor. The A.P.A. was an active force in politics throughout the 1890’s, and established branches in Canada, England, and Mexico. It was at one period closely connected with the Junior Order of United American Mechanics.

Though not one of the “nativistic” crusades it nevertheless followed the same curve as they of rapid early development followed by a general decline, of which the typical case was the once famous Know-Nothing Party. Historians recognize four well-established reasons for the general lack of success of patriotic secret societies: their field is too narrow to keep members interested; they are captured by professional politicians; they tend to split up; and Americans, like English-speaking peoples everywhere, dislike secret political or patriotic organizations and prefer to keep their politics in the public forum of open discussion.


The once universally established custom of describing the branches of Freemasonry as the York Rite and the Scottish Rite is falling into a disuse which an increasing number of Grand Bodies are hoping will become complete.

The two names have always been anomalous, ambiguous, confusing, and mistaken in fact. Knight Templarism was never in one “Rite” with the Royal Arch, and of itself had never been associated with York; neither the Royal Arch itself nor the Craft Degrees to which it once belonged had originated in York—or, if a Mason prefers to accept the Prince Edwin tradition, they had no connection with it for centuries.

The Scottish Rite had not originated in Scotland; moreover a number of its Degrees are themselves Royal Arch or Knight Templar in character. To add to the confusion, the Lodges under the Ancient Grand Lodge of England (1751) called themselves York Masonry, and the name as thus used is still incorporated in the titles of two or three American Grand Lodges. In the process of taking on so many meanings the name “York” lost any meaning that may ever have properly belonged to it. There was once a Grand Lodge of All England at York, but it did not last many years, and Chartered no Lodges in America ; a second Grand Lodge sponsored by it, and called the Grand Lodge of England South of the River Trent, lasted for an even shorter time. If the tradition about Prince Edwin which is enshrined in the Old Charges is accepted as historical (as is seldom done) it gives no peculiar precedence to Freemasonry in York, because the City of York was merely the place where a General Assembly was held, and the Fraternity said to have been Chartered there had no more connection with Freemasonry in York than with Freemasonry in London.

The phrases “York Rite” and “Scottish Rite” are giving way to the more descriptive and historically correct phrase of The American Masonic System.

This System consists of a set of five Rites in which each maintains undivided its own independence and its own sovereignty, and yet are bound together by the rules of comity; these rules rest on the authority of honor, general agreement, and common consent.

These five are: Ancient Craft (or Symbolic-“Blue Lodge” is slang) Masonry; Royal Arch Masonry; Cryptic Masonry; Knight Templarism; the Scottish Rite (with 29 Degrees, not including the 33 ).

Each of the latter four Rites requires that any one of its own members must be also a member in good standing in a Regular Lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry, thereby guaranteeing that American Freemasonry shall not split into a number of separate Freemasonries as has occurred in European countries. The Ancient Craft Rite is organized under forty-nine Grand Lodges, each one independent and sovereign.

The Royal Arch and Cryptic Rites and the Knight Templar Orders are organized under State and National Grand Bodies; the Scottish Rite is organized under Consistories which belong to either of two Jurisdictions: the Northern with its seat at Boston, Mass.; the Southern with its seat at Washington, D.C. Of the “Side Orders” the largest are the Shrine, the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Grotto ; no one of these belongs to the American System but each and every one, and of its own volition, has made it a qualification that each of its own members shall have some connection, by membership or by family relationship, with one or more of the five Rites in The American System.

No satisfactory adjectival phrase for distinguishing the Degrees after the Third from Ancient Craft Masonry bas as yet been found; at least, none has been officially adopted. They are called “Concordant Orders,” “High Degrees,” etc.; according to the canons of historical usage “High Grades” would be most nearly correct; but the “high” has a special sense and does not mean that other Degrees are higher than the Master Mason Degree, except as 32 is a “higher” number than three. In two respects Ancient Craft Masonry is in a unique position by comparison with the other four Rites : it guards the doors to Freemasonry as a whole, so that no Mason can be in any Rite unless be is a member in it; and its own Ritual was that out of which the other Rituals were formed, or which they elaborated and expanded, or served as their point of departure: and in addition it bolds a great primacy in antiquity, for while there are existing records of Craft Lodges at least as early as the Fourteenth Century the oldest known record of any High Grade is of the 1740’s.


When it is said in the passage of Scripture from the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, sometimes read during the ceremonies of the Third Degree, “the almond tree shall flourish,” reference is made to the white flowers of that tree, and the allegory signification is to old age, when the hairs of the head shall become gray.

But the pinkish tinge of the flower has aroused some criticism of the above explanation. However, Doctor Mackey’s study of the allegory is supported by Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible which says, ”Probably the whiteness of the blossom from a little distance—the delicate pink at the bases of the petals being visible only on closer inspection-suggested its comparison to the white hair of age” (see Ecclesiastes xii, 5).

A poetic view of the flower is to be seen in Edwin Arnold’s Light of the World (book1, page 57), thus:

“The almond’s crimson snow, rained upon crocus, lily, and cyclamen, at feet of feathery palms’.” There is another Bible reference in Jeremiah (1,11, 12), where we find a curious play upon the Hebrew word for almond, meaning also to watch, and in the same language an almost identical word, save only for a slight alteration of a vowel sound, meaning I wi1 hasten.

From these noteworthy examples the Freemason may make his own choice of the most useful instruction for practical application, though the suggestion given by Doctor Mackey has received general favor.


An officer elected or appointed in the Continental Lodges of Europe to take charge of the contents of the alms-box, to carry into effect the charitable resolutions of the Lodge, and to visit sick and needy brethren. A physician is usually selected in preference to any other member for this office. An Almoner may also be appointed among the officers of an English Lodge. In the United States the officer does not exist, his duties being performed by a Committee of Charity. However, it is an important office in all bodies of the Scottish Rite.


A box which, toward the close of the Lodge, is handed around by an appropriate officer for the reception of such donations for general objects of charity as the brethren may feel disposed to bestow. This laudable custom is very generally practiced in the Lodges of England, Scotland, and Ireland and universally in those of the Continent. The newly initiated candidate is expected to contribute.

Brother Hyde Clarke says in the Freemasons’ Magazine (London, 1859, page 1166) that “Some brethren are in the habit, on an occasion of thanksgiving with them, to contribute to the box of the Lodge more than on other occasions.”

This custom has not been adopted in the Lodges of America, except in those of French origin and in those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


Although almsgiving, or the pecuniary relief of the destitute, was not one of the original objects for which the Institution of Freemasonry was established, yet, as in every society of men bound together by a common tie, it becomes incidentally, yet necessarily, a duty to be practiced by all its members in their individual as well as in their corporate capacity.

In fact, this virtue is intimately interwoven with the whole superstructure of the Institution, and its practice is a necessary corollary from all its principles. At an early period in his initiation the candidate is instructed in the beauty of charity by the most impressive ceremonies, which are not easily to be forgotten, and which, with the same benevolent design, are repeated from time to time during his advancement to higher degrees, in various forms and under different circumstances.

“The true Freemason,” says Brother Pike, ‘”must be, and must have a right to be, content with himself; and he can be so only when he lives not for himself alone, but for others ,,who need his assistance and have a claim upon his sympathy.”

The same eloquent writer lays down this rule for a Freemason’s almsgiving: “Give, looking for nothing again, without consideration of future advantages; give to children, to old men, to the unthankful, and the dying, and to those you shall never see again ;

for else your alms or courtesy is not charity, but traffic and merchandise. And omit not to relieve the needs of your enemy and him who does you injury” ( see Exclusiveness of Freemasonry).


This manuscript is written on twelve quarto pages as a preface to the Minute Book of the Company and Fellowship of Freemasons of a Lodge held at Alnwick, where it appears under the heading of The Masons’ Constitutions. The document tells us of the “Orders to be observed by the Company and Fellowship of Freemasons at a Lodge held at Alnwick, September 29, 1701, being the General Head Meeting Day.”

Among the items are the fifth and ninth which are of especial interest to us:

“No mason shall take any Apprentice (but he must) enter him and give him his charge within one whole year after.”

“There shall no apprentice after he have served seven years be admitted or accepted but upon the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. ”

But, the festival was in 1704 changed to that of Saint John the Evangelist and later entries of'” made Free December 27th” indicate clearly that. those, who had served their time were admitted or accepted on that date according to the purpose of the ninth “Order.”

This record was first published in 1871 in Hughan’s Masonic Sketches and Reprints, American edition, and again in 1872 by, the same author in his Old Charges of the British Freemasons. In this latter work, Brother Hughan says of the records of this old Lodge that, “ranging from 1703 to 1757 they mostly, refer to indentures, fines, and initiations, the Lodge from first to last remaining true to its operative origin.

The members were required annually to ‘appear at the Parish Church of Alnwicke with their aprons on and common squares as aforesaid on Saint John’s Day in Christmas, when a sermon was provided and preached by some clergyman at their appointment.’ A. D. 1708.” The manuscript was reproduced in facsimile by the Newcastle College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1895.


In the Egyptian mysteries, this is said to have been the name given to the aspirant in the highest degree as the secret name of the Supreme Being. In its component parts we may recognize the …. ALE or EL of the Hebrews, the AUM or trilateral name of the Indian mysteries, and the …JAH of the Syrians.


The word Atoyau is the French name for a sirloin of beef and hence the title of this society in English would be The Society of the Sirloin. This was a Masonic association, which existed in France before the Revolution of 1789, until its members were dispersed at that time.

They professed to be possessors of many valuable documents relating to the Knights Templar and, according to the Acta Latomorum (i, page 292), they claimed to be their successors (see Temple Order of the ).


The first, and last letters of the Greek alphabet, referred to in the Royal Master and some of the advanced degrees. They are explained by this passage in Revelations &hibar; xxii, 13 ‘1: ”1 am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Alpha and Omega is, therefore, one of the appellations of God, equivalent to the beginning and end of all things, and so referred to in Isaiah (xiiv, 6), “1 am the first and 1 am the last.”


In the old rituals of the Fourth or Secret Master’s Degree of the Scottish and some other Rites, we find this passage : ”The seventy-two names, like the name of the Divinity, are to be taken to the Caballstic Tree and the Angels’ Alphabet.” The Caballstic Tree is a name given by the Cabalists to the arrangement of the ten Sephiroth (which see). The Angels’ Alphabet is called by the Hebrews …., chetab hamalachim, or the writing of the angels.

Gabffarel (Curios. Inouis., xiii, 2) says that the stars, according to the opinion of the Hebrew writers, are ranged in the heavens in the form of letters, and that it is possible to read there whatsoever of importance is to happen throughout the universe.

The great English Hermetic philosopher, Robert Fludd, says, in his Apology for the Brethren of the Rosy Cross, that there are characters in the heavens formed from the disposition of the stars, just as geometric lines and ordinary letters are formed from points; and he adds, that those to whom God has granted the hidden knowledge of reading these characters will also know. not only whatever is to happen, but all the secrets of philosophy. The letters thus arranged in the form of stars are called the Angels’ Alphabet. They have the power and articulation but not the form of the Hebrew letters, and the Cabalists say that in them Moses wrote the Tables of the Law.”

The astrologers, and after them the alchemists, made much use of this alphabet; and its introduction into any of the high degree rituals is an evidence of the influence exerted on these degrees by the Hermetic philosophy.

Agrippa, in his Occult Philosophy, and Kircher, in his Oedipus Egyptiacus, and some other writers, have given copies of this alphabet. lt may also be found in Johnson’s Typographia, But it is in the mystical books of the Cabalists that we must look for full instructions on this subject.


figuur Nearly all of the significant words in the Masonic Rituals are of Hebraic origin, and in writing them in the rituals the Hebrew letters are frequently used. For convenience of reference, that alphabet is here given. The Hebrews, like other ancient nations, had no figures, and therefore made use of the letters of their alphabet instead of numbers, each letter having a particular numerical value. They are, therefore, affixed in the following table :


See Cipher Writing


In the Sandwich Island alphabet there are 12 letters; the Burmese, 19; Italian, 20; Bengalese, 21; Hebrew, Syrian, Chaldee, Phoenician, and Samaritan, 22 each; Latin, 23; Greek, 24; French, 25; German, Dutch, and English, 26 each ; Spanish and Sclavonic, 27 each ; Persian and Coptic, 32 each; Georgian, 35 ; Armenian, 35; Russian, 41; Muscovite, 43; Sanskrit and Japanese, 50 each; Ethiopic and Tartarian, 202 each.


figuur It is believed by Scholars that, previous to the captivity, the alphabet now called the Samaritan was employed by the Jews in transcribing the copies of the law, and that it was not until their return from Babylon that they adopted, instead of their ancient characters, the Chaldee or square letters, now called the Hebrew, in which the sacred text, as restored by Ezra, was written. Hence, in some rituals, especially those used in the United States, the Samaritan characters find use. For convenience of reference, the Samaritan alphabet is therefore here inserted. The letters are the same in number as the Hebrew, with the same power and the same names; the only difference is in form.


Shortly after the Civil War a constitutional number of white citizens asked for a Dispensation to organize a Lodge at Newark, New Jersey. The Grand Master issued such authority. In due course the Grand Lodge authorized a Charter to Alpha Lodge No. 116 under date of January 19, 1871. At the time following the war many negroes found a haven in the neighborhood and petitions were received from them by the Lodge. Some of these petitioners were elected by the Lodge to membership. As a result several Grand Lodges withdrew their recognition from New Jersey but they all subsequently rescinded this action, Mississippi finally agreeing in 1927 to renew former relations.


refers to the Grand Lodge of Switzerland. A Lodge was organized at Geneva in 1736, the Worshipful Master, a Scotchman, being the following year appointed a Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of England. This Lodge was forbidden by the Government to initiate native citizens. Notwithstanding this handicap, the Institution thrived. Nine Lodges met in Convention on June 1, 1769, and on June 24 of that year they formed the Independent Grand Lodge of Geneva. ,another Lodge, named Espérance, meaning Hope, was chartered at Berne by the Grand Orient of France on September 14, 1802.

This became a Provincial Grand Lodge under an English Warrant in 1815. The Helvetic Grand Orient was formed in 1810. Several of the Lodges working under these two organizations founded the National Grand Lodge of Switzerland. There were also some other Lodges using the ritual of the Rectified Rite under the control of a Grand Directorate. This lack of unity led to various efforts at organized cooperation and several General Assemblies of Freemasons in Switzerland were held at Zurich, Bern and Basle in 1836 and for some years later. The union so long patiently sought was perfected at a Convention held at Zurich, July 22 to 24, 1844, when fourteen Lodges agreed to a Constitution and organized the Grand Lodge Alpina, the name being a happy allusion to the Alps, a picturesque mountain range.


The most important article of furniture in a Lodge-room is undoubtedly the altar. It is worth while, then, to investigate its character and its relation to the altars of other religious institutions.

The definition of an altar is very simple. It is a structure elevated above the ground, and appropriated to some service connected with worship, such as the offering of oblations, sacrifices, or prayers.

Altars, among the ancients, were generally made of turf or stone. when permanently erected and not on any sudden emergency, they were generally built in regular courses of Freemasonry, and usually in a cubical form. Altars were erected long before temples. Thus, Noah is said to have erected one as soon as he came forth from the ark. Herodotus gives the Egyptians the credit of being the first among the heathen nations who invented altars.

Among the ancients, both Jews and Gentiles, altars were of two kinds-for incense and for sacrifice. The latter were always erected in the open air, outside and in front of the Temple. Altars of incense only were permitted within the Temple walls. Animals were slain, and offered on the altars of burnt-offerings. On the altars of incense, bloodless sacrifices were presented and incense was burnt to the Deity.

The Masonic altar, which, like everything else in Freemasonry, is symbolic, appears to combine the character and uses of both of these altars. It is an altar of sacrifice, for on it the candidate is directed to lay his passions and vices as an oblation to the Deity, while he offers up the thoughts of a pure heart as a fitting incense to the Grand Architect of the Universe.

The altar is, therefore, the most holy place in a Lodge.

Among the ancients, the altar was always invested with peculiar sanctity. Altars were places of refuge, and the supplicants who fled to them were considered as having placed themselves under the protection of the Deity to whom the altar was consecrated, and to do violence even to slaves and criminals at the altar, or to drag them from it, was regarded as an act of violence to the Deity himself, and was hence a sacrilegious crime.

The marriage covenant among the ancients was always solemnized at the altar, and men were accustomed to make all their solemn contracts and treaties by taking oaths at altars. An oath taken or a vow made at the altar was considered as more solemn and binding than one assumed under other circumstances.

Hence, Hannibal’s father brought him to the Carthaginian altar when he was about to make him swear eternal enmity to the Roman power.

In all the religions of antiquity, it was the usage of the priests and the people to pass around the altar in the course of the sun, that is to say, from the east, by the way of the south, to the west, singing paeans or hymns of praise as a part of their worship.

From all this we see that the altar in Freemasonry is not merely a convenient article of furniture, intended, like a table, to hold a Bible. It is a sacred utensil of religion, intended, like the altars of the ancient temples, for religious uses, and thus identifying Freemasonry, by its necessary existence in our Lodges, as a religious institution. Its presence should also lead the contemplative Freemason to view the ceremonies in which it is employed with solemn reverence, as being part of a really religious worship.

The situation of the altar in the French and frequently in the Scottish Rites is in front of the Worshipfu1 Master, and, therefore, in the East. In the York Rite, the altar is placed in the center of the room, or more property a little to the East of the center.

The form of a Masonic altar should be a cube, about three feet high, and of corresponding proportions as to length and width, having, in imitation of the Jewish altar, four horns, one at each corner.

The Holy Bible with the Square and Compasses should be spread open upon it, while around it are to be placed three lights.

These lights are to be in the East, West, and South, and should be arranged as in the annexed diagram. The stars show the position of the lights in the East, West, and South. The black dot represents the position North of the altar where there is no light, because in Freemasonry the North is the place of darkness.


Altenburg is a town in Germany about twenty-three miles south of Leipzig and capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Aitenburg. Here in the month of June, 1764, the notorious Johnson, or Leucht, who called himself the Grand Master of the Knights Templar and the head of the Rite of Strict Observance, assembled a Masonic Congress for the purpose of establishing this Rite and its system of Templar Freemasonry-.

But he was denounced and expelled by the Baron de Hund, who, having proved Johnson to be an imposter and charlatan, was himself proclaimed Grand Master of the German Freemasons by the Congress (see Johnson and Hund; also Strict Observance, Rite of).


One of the oldest Lodges in Germany is the Lodge of Archimedes of the Three Tracing Boards, or Archimedes zu den drei Reissbrettern, in Altenburg. This Lodge was instituted on January 31, 1742, by a Deputation from Leipzig. In 1775 the Lodge joined the Grand Lodge of Berlin, but in 1788 attached itself to the Eclectic Union at Frankfort-on-the-Main, which body it left in 1801, and established a Directorate of its own, and installed a Lodge at Gera and another at Scheeberg. The Lodge published a Book of Constitutions in the year 1803 in a folio of 244 pages, a work which is now rare, and which Lenning says is one of the most valuable contributions to Masonic literature. Three Masonic journals were also produced by the Altenburg school of historians and students, one of which -the Bruderblatter, Fraternal Periodical-continued to appear until 1854. The Lodge struck a medal in 1804 upon the occasion of erecting a new hall, ln 1842 the Lodge celebrated its centennial anniversary.


Great labor. The name of the fifth step of the mystic ladder of Kadosh, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


A plant well known to the ancients, the Greek name of which signifies never withering. It is the Cetosia cristata of the botanists. The dry nature of the flowers causes them to retain their freshness for a very long time, and Pliny says, although incorrectly, that if thrown into water they will bloom anew.

Hence it is a symbol of immortality and was used by the ancients in their funeral rites.
The flower is often placed on coffins at the present day with a like symbolic meaning, and therefore is one of the decorations of a Lodge of Sorrow.


An organization instituted by Queen Christina of Sweden in 1653 and numbering thirty-one members, there being fifteen knights and fifteen ladies, and the Queen officiating as Grand Mistress. The insignia consisted two letters A interlaced, one being inverted, within a laurel crown, and bearing the motto Dolce nella memoria, these Words being the Italian for Sweet to the memory. The annual festival of this equestrian and chivalric Order was held at the Epiphany. A society of a similar name was arranged by J. B. Taylor at Newark, New Jersey, and was developed by Robert Macoy of New York City in 1883. A Supreme Council was organized June 14, 1883 with Brother Robert Macoy as Supreme Patron and Dr. Rob Morris as Supreme Recorder. In 1887 he published the Rite of Adoption containing the standard ritual of Degrees of the Eastern Star, the Queen of the South, and the Amaranth. Brother Willis D. Engle, in his History of the Order of the Eastern Star (page 135), says that the Amaranth was intended by Brother Macoy as the Third and Highest Degree in his revised system of Adoptive Masonry.

The ritualistic ceremonies planned by Brother Macoy were changed in 1915. The work is military in character. The object of the instruction is charity.

The organization has been incorporated, owns its own ritual and emblem, and has Courts in the several States of the Union, and in Canada, British Columbia, and the Philippines. The membership comprises Master Masons and their Wives, Mothers, Sisters, Widows, and Daughters.


Hebrew …., God spake; a significant word in the high degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Strong prefers the pronunciation am-ar-yaw- or am-ar-yaw-hoo for the expression in Hebrew of God has said.


Sometimes used as a response to a Masonnic prayer, though in England, as well as in the United States, The formula is so mote it be. The word Amen signifies in Hebrew verily, truly, certainty. “Its proper place,” says Gesenius, “is where one person confirms the words of another, and adds his wish for success to the other”s vows.” It is evident, then, that it is the brethren of the Lodge, and not the Master or Chaplain, who should pronounce the word. Yet the custom in the United Sates is for the Master or Captain to say “Amen ” and the brethren respond, “So mote it be”It is a response to the prayer.

We note with interest that line 793 of the Regius Manuscript, that the ancient Masonic poem of about 1390 says: Amen, Amen! so mot it be!”

The word in old English manuscripts is spelled mot or mote and in each case means may or must, from the Anglo Saxon motan, meaning to be obliged or compelled. The Talmudists have many superstitious notions in respect to this word. thus in one trease (Uber musar) it is said that whosoever pronounces the word with fixed attention and devotion, to him the gates of Paradise will be opened ; and, again, Whosoever enunciates the Word rapidly, his days shall pass rapidly away, and whosoever dwells upon it, pronouncing it distinctly and slowly, his life shall be prolonged.


All amendments to the by-laws of a Lodge must be submitted to the Grand or Provincial or District Lodge for its approval.

An amendment to a motion pending before a Lodge takes precedence of the original motion, and the question must be put upon the amendment first. If the amendment be lost, then the question will be on the motion ; if the amendment be adopted, then the question will be on the original motion as so amended ; and if then this question be lost, the whole motion falls to the ground.

The principal parliamentary rules in relation to amendments which are applicable to the business of a Masonic Lodge are the following :

  1. An amendment must be made in one of three ways: by adding or inserting certain words, by striking out certain words, or by striking out certain words and inserting others.
  2. Every amendment is susceptible of an amendment of itself, but there can be no amendment of the amendment of an amendment ; such a piling of questions one upon another would tend to embarrass rather than to facilitate business. The object which is proposed to be effected by such a proceeding must be sought by rejecting the amendment to the amendment, and then submitting the proposition in the form of an amendment of the first amendment in the form desired.Luther S. Cushing (Lex parliamentaria Americana; elements of the law and practice of legislative assemblies in the United States) illustrates this as follows : ”If a proposition consists of AB, and it is proposed to amend by inserting CD, it may be moved to amend the amendment by inserting EF; but it cannot be moved to amend this amendment, as, for example, by inserting G. The only mode by which this can be reached is to reject the amendment in the form in which it is presented, namely, to insert EF, and to move it in the form in which it is desired to be amended, namely, to insert EFG.”
  3. An amendment once rejected cannot be again proposed.
  4. An amendment to strike out certain words having prevailed, a subsequent motion to restore them is out of order.
  5. An amendment may be proposed which will entirely change the character and substance of the original motion. The inconsistency or incompatibility of a proposed amendment with the proposition to be amended, though an argument, perhaps, for its rejection by the Lodge, is no reason for its suppression by the presiding officer. Of course an amendment is not in order if it fails to relate to the question to be amended; if it is merely equal to the negative of the original question ; if it is identical with a question previously decided; if it only changes one form of amendment or motion to another form.
  6. An amendment, before it has been proposed to the body for discussion, may be withdrawn by the mover; but after it has once been in possession of the Lodge, it can only be withdrawn by leave of the Lodge. In the Congress of the United States, leave must be obtained by unanimous consent but the usage in Masonic bodies is to require only a majority vote.
  7. 7. An amendment having been withdrawn by the mover, may be again proposed by another member.
    8. Several amendments may be proposed to a motion or several amendments to an amendment, and the question will be put on them in the order of their presentation. But as an amendment takes precedence of a motion, so an amendment to an amendment takes precedence of the original amendment.
  8. 9. An amendment does not require a seconder, although an original motion always does. There are many other rules relative to amendments which prevail in parliamentary bodies, and are discussed in detail in General Henry M. Robert’s Rules of Order Revised (page 134, edition 1921), but these appear to be the principal ones which regulate this subject in Masonic assemblies.


See Book of the Dead


See Free and Accepted Americans


See Clandestine


Among the many evidences of a former state of civilization among the aborigines of America which seem to prove their origin from the races that inhabit the Eastern hemisphere, not the least remarkable is the existence of Fraternities bound by mystic ties, and claiming, like the Freemasons, to possess an esoteric knowledge, which they carefully conceal from all but the initiated.

De Witt Clinton relates, on the authority of a respectable native minister, who had received the signs, the existence of such a society among the Iroquois. The number of the members was limited to fifteen, of whom six were to be of the Seneca tribe, five of the Oneidas, two of the Cayugas, and two of the St. Regis. They claimed that their institution had existed from the era of the creation. The times of their meeting they kept secret, and threw much mystery over all their proceedings.

Brinton tells us in his interesting and instructive work on The Myths of the New World (page 285), that among the red race of America “the priests formed societies of different grades of illumination, only to be entered by those willing to undergo trying ordeals, whose secrets were not to be revealed under the severest penalties. The Algonkins had three such grades-the waubeno, the meda, and the jossakeed, the last being the highest. To this no white man was ever admitted. All tribes appear to have been controlled by these secret societies. Alexander von Humboldt mentions one, called that of the Botuto, or Holy Trumpet, among the Indians of the Orinoco, whose members must vow celibacy, and submit to severe scourgings and fasts. The Collahuayas of Peru were a gild of itinerant quacks and magicians, who never remained permanently in one spot.”

Brother Robert C. Wright has, in a later work (Indian Masonry, 1907, Ann Arbor, Michigan), made a collection of information on this subject enriched with many shrewd and helpful comments by way of comparison and appraisal of Freemasonry among the aboriginal races of the new world and those who practice the rites from other lands. Brother Wright cherishes no illusions and in regard to claims that Masonic signs have been observed among Indians says:

“Masonic signs, which are simply gestures given to convey ideas, no doubt have taken their origin from the same signs or like signs now corrupted but which meant something different in the beginning. Were we able to trace these signs we would then at once jump to the conclusion that the people who used them were Freemasons the same as we ourselves.

The signs which have just been mentioned as given by the Indians could easily be mistaken for Masonic signs by an enthusiastic Freemason, more anxious to find what he thinks is in them than to indulge in sober analysis of the sign and its meaning.”
Brother Wright shows clearly how the like sentiments and aspirations among mankind are exhibited in signs and ceremonies and his book is a mine of useful information.

Another instructive work of great value is that by Mrs. Zelia Nuttall, The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations, 1901, published by the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is a comparative research based on a study of the ancient Mexican religions, sociological and calendrical systems. The work is elaborate and leads to the conclusion that the Men of Tyre, the Phoenicians, had a greater part in the civilization of the world than has been supposed and that they even established colonies in America.

Much that has long been mysterious in the prehistoric remains discovered in America is given light by this book. That there were analogies and resemblances of old and new world civilizations has often been claimed but the work in question does pioneer service in showing how the American continent could have become an area of preservation of primitive forms of civilization, religious cults, symbolism and industries, drawn at different epochs, from the centers or the outposts of old world culture.


This Body was organized at Cleveland, Ohio, at a General Convocation held on June 2, 1902. The Martinist Body from which this American organization obtained its powers was established at Paris in 1887, and traces its ancestry to Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, who initiated M. de Chaptal and the Dr. Gerard Encausse, best known under his pen name as Papus. The organizer in America was Dr. Edouard Blitz. The American Body separated from the Supreme Martinist Council of France, and among other differences of action restricted itself to admitting Freemasons exclusively. A manifesto explaining the attitude of the American organization was issued under the direction of the Brethren who met at Cleveland on the above date. An Independent and Rectified Rite of Martinism was constituted in England the same year, 1902, but while in sympathy with the American project was not restricted to Freemasons. See also a paper, Martinisine, by Brother N. Choumitsky, of Saint Claudius Lodge No. 21, Paris, June 4, 1926, where the author discusses the periods of Dom Martines de Pasqualiy (1767-74) ; J. B. Villermo (1752-80) ; Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1805), and their successors, Doctors Encausse (Papus), M. Detre (Jeder) and others.

Martinism has three principal degrees :

Associate, Initiate, and secret Superior. Members in session wear red cloaks and masks. To elevate the soul toward heaven, to labor for the good of humanity, and all to the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe, were the avowed purposes of the Order.


The argument for the use of this term is given by Doctor Mackey thus:

“it has been proposed, and I think with propriety, to give this name to the series of degrees conferred in the United States. The York Rite, which is the name by which they are usually designated, is certainly a misnomer, for the York Rite properly consists of only the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, including in the last degree the Holy Royal Arch. This was the Freemasonry that existed in England at the time of the revival of the Grand Lodge in 1717.

The abstraction of the Royal Arch from the Master’s Degree, and its location as a separate degree, produced that modification of the York Rite which now exists in England, and which should properly be called the Modern York Rite, to distinguish it from the Ancient York Rite, which consisted of only three degrees. But in the United States still greater additions have been made to the Rite, through the labors of Webb and other lecturers, and the influence insensibly exerted on the Order by the introduction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite into the United States. The American modification of the York Rite, or the American Rite, consists of nine degrees, namely:

  1. Given in Symbolic Lodges, and under the control of Grand Lodges.
    1. Entered Apprentice.
    2. Fellow Craft.
    3. Master Mason.
  2. Given in Councils, and under the control of Grand Councils.
    1. Mark Master.
    2. Past Master.
    3. Most Excellent Master.
    4. Holy Royal Arch.Given in Chapters, and under the control of Grand Chapters.
    5. Royal Master.
    6. Select Master.

“A tenth degree, called Super-Excellent Master, is conferred in some Councils as an honorary rather than as a regular degree ; but even as such it has been repudiated by many Grand Councils. To these, perhaps, should be added three more degrees, namely, Knight of the Red Cross, Knight of Malta, and Knight Templar, or Order of the Temple, which are given in Commanderies, and are under the control of Grand Commanderies, or, as they are sometimes called, Grand Encampments. But the degrees of the Commandery, which are also known as the Degrees of Chivalry, can hardly be called a part of the American Rite. The possession of the Eighth and Ninth Degrees is not considered a necessary qualification for receiving them. The true American Rite consists only of the nine degrees above enumerated.

“There is, or may be, a Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, Grand Council, Grand Commandery in each State, whose jurisdiction is distinct and sovereign within its own territory. There has been no General Grand Lodge, or Grand Lodge of the United States, though several efforts have been made to form one (see General Grand Lodge). There is a General Grand Chapter, but all Grand Chapters have not been subject to it, and a Grand Encampment to which Grand commanderies of the States are subject.”

In 1776 six Master Masons, four Fellow Crafts, and one Entered Apprentice, all but one officers in the Connecticut Line of the Continental army, in camp at Roxbury, Massachusetts, petitioned Richard Gridley, Deputy Grand Master of St. ,John’s Grand Lodge, for a Warrant to form them into a regular Lodge. On the 1sth of February a warrant was issued to Joel Clark, appointing and constituting him First Master of American Union Lodge, “erected at Roxbury, or wherever your body shall remove on the Continent of America, provided it is where no Grand Master is appointed.”

The Lodge was duly constituted and almost immediately moved to New York, and met on April 23, 1776, by permission of Dr. Peter Middleton, Grand Master of Freemasons in the Province of New York.

It was agreed at this meeting to petition him to confirm the Massachusetts warrant as, under its terms, they were without authority to meet in New York.

Doctor Middleton would not confirm the warrant of American Union Lodge, but in April, 1776, caused a new warrant to be issued to the same Brethren, under the name of Military Union Lodge, No. 1, without recalling the former Warrant. They thus presented an anomaly of a Lodge holding Warrants from and yielding obedience to two Grand Bodies in different jurisdictions.

The spirit of the Brethren, though, is shown in their adherence to the name American Union in their Minutes, and the only direct acknowledgment of the new name is in a Minute providing that the Lodge furniture purchased by American Union “be considered only as lent to the Military Union Lodge.”

This Lodge followed the Connecticut Line of the continental Army throughout the War of Independence. It was Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons of American Union who returned to the British Army Lodge Unity, No. 18, their Warrant, which had come into possession of the American army at the taking of Stony Point in 1779. American Union participated in a Convention at Morristown, N. J., January 31, 1780, when it was proposed to nominate General Washington as “Grand Master over the thirteen United States of America, ” and it was on the suggestion of Rev. Israel Evans of American Union that the ”Temple of Virtue, ” for the use of the army and the Army Lodges, was erected at New Windsor, Newburgh, New York, during the winter of 1782-3.

The Lodge followed the army to the Northwest Territory after the War of Independence, and participated in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.

Shortly afterward the Lodge withdrew from the Grand Lodge of Ohio and did not appear on the roll thereafter, but pursued an independent existence for some years.

When the Brethren first established the Lodge at Marietta there was some question among them as to whether there was any Masonic power then in America having jurisdiction over that particular territory. Brother Jonathan Heart, the Worshipful Master, decided that there was a doubt as to more ample authority being obtainable elsewhere and he opened a Lodge in due form on June 28, 1790. However, Brother Heart was chairman of a Committee to bring the matter of regularity and recognition to the attention of Grand Lodges. Replies were received from the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and their history interest and fraternal spirit prompts their appearance here.

May 21, 1792, a letter was received from Brother Pierre Le Barbier Duplessis, Grand Secretary, as follows:

“It was with equal surprise and pleasure the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania received the intelligence of the formation of a Lodge in the midst of the immense wilderness of the West, where but lately wild beasts and savage men were the only inhabitants, and where ignorance and ferocity contributed to deepen the gloom which has covered that part of the earth from the creation. This ray of light which has thus broke in upon the gloom and darkness of ages, they consider as a happy presage that the time is fast approaching when the knowledge of Masonry will completely encircle the globe, and the most distant regions of the Western Hemisphere rival those of the Eastern in Masonic splendor. As the account which you have given of the origin of your Warrant is perfectly satisfactory, and as the succession to the chair has been uninterrupted, your authority for renewing your work appears to be incontestable, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania do therefore fully and cheerfully recognize the American Union Lodge, No. 1, as a just and regular lodge, whose members ought to be received as lawful Brethren in all the Lodges of the two hemispheres.”

December 6, 1791, Brother Moses M. Hays, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, wrote that his Grand Lodge:

“Applauds and commends your views and pursuits, and have desired me to signify how much they are pleased with your laudable undertaking. Your warrant is, beyond doubt, a perfect and good one, and must have its force and operation where you are until a Grand Lodge is founded and established in your territory, when it will become your duty to surrender it and obtain in its place a Warrant from the Grand Lodge that may have the government of Masonry in your State. I confirm your Warrant as good and perfect, as you are where no Grand Lodge is established. I wish you health and happiness, with the enjoyment of every earthly felicity.”

As early as June 6, 1792, under the auspices of this Lodge there was organized a Royal Arch Chapter which advanced Brethren through the various grades from the third to the seventh step in Freemasonry.

We are told that “It was resolved that the Lodge was competent, both as to numbers and abilities, to hold Lodges of a higher Degree than that of a Master.

and no fees having been stipulated for any higher degrees in Masonry, nor any rules preseribed, fees were agreed on and new rules were added. The Lodge fixed the fees : for Passing the Chair, $2 ; benefit of the Mark, $2; Most Excellent, $2 ; Royal Arch, $4. Whenever an Exaltation took place notice to be sent to every Arch Mason resident within sixteen miles of Marietta, at expense of candidate.”

The fees for the above Degrees may be compared with those earlier established by a Committee of which Brother Heart was chairman, and which provided that the “E. A, should be four pounds lawful money, F. C. twelve shillings, and for M. M. eighteen shillings.

Candidates to stand proposed one month.” Brother Jonathan Heart, then Major, was killed in Saint Clair’s defeat, November 4, 1791, and this tragic event undoubtedly had serious consequences for the Lodge.

Moreover, the Lodge Hall, Charter and other documents were destroyed by fire on March 22, 1801.

But a reorganization took place in January, 1804, under a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts which was to remain in full force and effect until a Grand Lodge should be founded in Ohio.

The present American Union Lodge at Marietta, Ohio, No, l on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, was organized by members of the old Lodge.

The first Minute-Book, from the original constitution to April 23, 1783, is in the library of the Grand Lodge of New York. During the war many prominent patriots were members, and several times Washington was recorded as a visitor.

The operations of this Lodge, American Union Lodge, Connecticut Line, during the War of the American Revolution, form a most important link in the chain of Masonic history, inasmuch as it embraced, in its membership and among its initiates, gentlemen attached to the Army, coming from various States of the Union, who, “When the storm of war was done,” were separated by the return of peace, and permitted to repair to their respective homes; not, as we are bound to believe, to forget or misapply the numerous impressive lessons taught in the Lodge, but to cultivate and extend the philanthropie principles of “Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love,” by fraternal intercourse and correspondence, resulting finally in the further establishment of Lodges in almost every part of the country.

A prominent object in publishing these Lodge proceedings in detail, is to show the character of the American Masonic Institution in its infancy, by showing who were its members, who visited its assemblies, and who performed its mystic ceremonies and observed its mystic rites. For this purpose we copy from the original Minute-Book of the American Union Lodge, giving the names of all who were received in it, whether by initiation, admission, or visitation, as it moved with the Army, as a pillar of “Light,” in parts of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

During the suspension of the meetings of the Grand Lodge at Boston, in 1776, the following Dispensation was issued by the Grand Master:

JOHN ROWE, Grand Master,
To Joel Clark, Esq.-Greeting.

By virtue of authority invested in me, I hereby, reposing special trust and confidence in your knowledge and skill of the Ancient Craft, do appoint and constitute you, the said Joel Clark, Esquire, Master of the AMERICAN UNION LODGE, now erected in Roxbury, or wherever your Body shall remove on the Continent of America, provided it is where no Grand Master is appointed.

You are to promote in your Lodge the utmost Harmony and Brotherly Love, and to keep up to the Constitutions, for the reputation of the Craft. In your makings you are to be very cautious of the Moral Character of such persons, and also of visitors, and such as desire to become Members of your Lodge (such as were not made in it).

You are to transmit to the Grand Lodge a fair account of the choice of your officers, as well as present as future.

Any matters coming before your Lodge that cannot be adjusted, you are to appeal to and lay the same before the Grand Lodge for a decision. You are, as often as the Grand Lodge meets, to attend with your two Wardens; of the time and place the Grand Lodge shall meet, you will have previous notice.

In order to support the Grand Lodge, your Lodge is to pay into the hands of the Grand Secretary, each Quarierly Night, the sum of 12 shillings lawful money; all of which you will pay due regard to.

This Commission to remain in full force and virtue until recalled by me or my successor in office. Given under my hand, and the hands of the Grand Wardens, (the seal of the Grand Lodge first after fixed,) this the 15th day of February, Anno Mundi 5776, of Salvation 1776.
(L. S.) Richard Gridley, D. G. M.
William Burbeck, S. G, W.
J. G. W.
Per order of the G. Master. Recorded, Wm. Hoskins, G. Secretary.


  1. That the members of this Lodge shall consist of forty-five and no more, unless it shall hereafter appear necessary for the benefit of Masonry, in which ease it shall be determined by a majority of the members present-the Master having a casting vote in this and all other matters that concern the true interest of this Lodge, except in cases hereafter mentioned.
  2. That this Lodge shall be held from time to time at such place as by adjournment it shall be ordered, of which the members are desired to take particular notice and attend punctually.
  3. In order to preserve the credit of the Craft and the harmony of Masonry in general, no candidate shall be made in this Lodge unless his character is well avouched by one or more of the Brothers present. Every Brother proposing a candidate shall stand up and address the Master, and at the same time shall deposit four dollars in advance towards his making, into the hands of the Secretary, and if he is accepted shall be in part of his making; if he is not accepted it shall be returned, and if he is accepted and does not attend it shall be forfeited for the use of the Lodge, casualties excepted.
  4. No candidate shall be made on the Lodge night he is proposed, unless it shall appear that he is under such circumstances that he cannot with convenience attend the next Lodge night, in which case it shall be submitted to the Lodge. But this rule may be dispensed at discretion of the Lodge.
  5. Every candidate proposed shall stand on the Minutes until the next Entered Apprentice Lodge night after he is proposed, and then shall be balloted for; if one negative only shall appear then he shall have the benefit of a second ballot, and if one negative shall still appear he shall have the benefit of a third ballot, and if a negative still appear, the candidate shall then be dismissed and his money refunded : provided, this by-law does not annul the provision made in the immediate foregoing article.
  6. Every Brother made in his Lodge shall pay ten dollars for his making, of which the deposit money shall be considered as part.
  7. A Lodge of emergency may be called for making, passing or raising a brother, they paying the expense of the evening.
  8. Every brother made in this Lodge and shall sign the By-Laws, shall commence member thereof, and shall be considered as such until he signifies his intentions to the contrary to the Master and Wardens of the Lodge.
  9. Every member shall pay into the hands of the Secretary one shilling, equal to one-sixth of a dollar, for every night’s attendance, to be paid quarterly.
  10. Every brother visiting this Lodge shall pay one shilling each night he visits, except the first night, when he shall be excused.
  11. Any visiting brother who shall desire to become a member of this Lodge, being properly recommended, shall have the benefit of a ballot (the same as a candidate), and if accepted shall pay nine shillings.
  12. No person who may have clandestinely obtained any part or parts of the secrets of Masonry shall be suffered to visit this Lodge until he has made due submission and gone through the necessary forms, in which case he shall pay for making, at the discretion of the Lodge, not exceeding the usual fees.
  13. No person made a Mason in a traveling Lodge, being an inhabitant of any metropolis or city where there is a regular Lodge established, shall be admitted as a member or visitor in this Lodge until he has complied with tho restrictions in the immediate foregoing article.
  14. Whenever the Master shall strike upon the table the members shall repair to their places and keep a profound silence. No Brother is to interrupt the business or harmony of the Lodge, under penalty of receiving a severe reprimand from the Master for the first offence, and if he shall remain contumaciously obstinate shall be expelled the Lodge.
  15. When a brother has anything to propose he shall stand up and address the Master, and no brother shall interrupt another while speaking, under penalty of a rebuke from the Master.
  16. The By-Laws shall be read every Lodge night by the Secretary, to which every member is to give due attention.
  17. That every member of the Lodge shall endeavor to keep in mind what passes in Lodge, that when the Master shall examine them on the mysteries of the craft he may not be under necessity of answering for them.
  18. That the officers of this Lodge shall be chosen on the first. Lodge night preceding the Festival of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, and oftener in case of vacancies by death or any other casualties, at the discretion of the Lodge.
  19. The Secretary. shall keep true and fair accounts of all the transactions of the Lodge, and shall pay all moneys collected into the hands of the Treasurer.
  20. The Treasurer shall keep fair and true accounts of all moneys received and paid, and shall exhibit. the same when called upon by. the Master and Wardens for that purpose ; and when a new Treasurer is chosen the late Treasurer shall pay such balance as shall appear to remain in his hands to the new Treasurer.
  21. No brother shall leave the Lodge Room until he obtains permition from the Master for that purpose.
  22. The outside Tyler shall be allowed one shilling and six pence for each night’s attendance, also three shillings more for each new made, passed or raised brother, which shall be paid them exclusive of the premiums paid to the Lodge; the inside Tyler shall be excused from paying quarterages.
  23. Any brother who shall disclose the secret transactions of this Lodge or who shall be privy to the same done by any other brother, and does not inform the Lodge at the nem meeting thereof, shall be expelled the Lodge, never to be readmitted.
  24. Any brother who shall remain in the Lodge Room after the Lodge is closed, and shall be guilty of or accessory to any conduct by which the craft shall be subjected to aspersions or the censure of the world, of which the Lodge shall be judge, shall for the first offence be severely reprimanded by the Master the first time he appears at Lodge; for the second offence he shall be expelled the Lodge.
  25. Any brother who shall refuse to pay obedience to the foregoing regulations, or shall dispute the payment of any fine laid thereby, or adjudged to be inflicted by a majority of the Lodge, shall be expelled the Lodge.
  26. That every brother (being a member of this Lodge) who shall be passed a Fellow Craft, shall pay twelve shillings, and fifteen for being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason; and that. any brother (not a member) shall, for being passed, pay twenty-four shillings, and thirty-six for being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
  27. No visiting brother shall be allowed to speak in matters of debate, unless he be desired by the Master to give his opinion.
  28. Whereas, many matters may come before this Lodge not particularly provided for in the foregoing By-Laws, the same shall be submitted to the determination of the Lodge by a majority of votes; the Lodge shall reserve to themselves to alter, amend, diminish or augment the aforesaid By-Laws, as shall appear necessary, by the majority of the members in Lodge assembled.

And whereas, from the present depreciation of our money, it will be impossible to maintain the dignity of the Lodge by the premiums arising from the By-Laws, it is ordered by a unanimous vote of this Lodge that the fees for a new made brother be thirty dollars; passing a brother (being a member), six dollars ; and raising, seven dollars and one-half ; and all other perquisites, so far as relates to the gentlemen of the army, be raised three fold to what is prescribed in the By-Laws; and in all other cases, that the fees and perquisites be at the discretion of the majority of the members in Lodge assembled, except the fees of the outside Tyler, which for making, passing and raising shall be six fold, to be paid agreeably to the 22d Article of the By-Laws. Signed by Jonathan Heart, Reuben Pride, Elihu Marshall, Timothy Hosmer, William Redfield, John Hobart, Oliver Lawrence, Jabez Parsons, Hezekiah Holdridge, Josiah Lacey., William Richards, Jonathan Brown, Eben Gray, Willis Clift, Prentice Hosmer, David F. Sill, Simeon Belding, Thomas Grosvenor, Henry Champion, Robert Warner, JohnRWatrous, Richard Sill,
Reading, February 7th, 1779.

On the application of a number of gentlemen brethren of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons to the members of American Union Lodge held by authority, under the Right Worship John Rowe, Esq., Grand Master of all Masons in North America, where no special Grand Master is appointed, requesting that the said American Union Lodge may be convened for the purpose of re-establishing the Ancient Craft in the same. Agreeable to which a summons was issued desiring the members of the American Union Lodge to meet at Widow Sanford`s near Reading Old Meeting House on Monday the 15th of inst. February at 4 o’clock and an invitation sent to the others, the brethren of the Past M.
Secretary American Union Lodge.

Feb. 10th, Anno Mundi 5779, Salutis 1779.

Reading, viz. Mrs. Sanford’s, Feb. isth, 1779. Agreeable to summons, the members of the Ancient American Union Lodge assembled. Brother Jonathan Heart in the chair. Present-Joseph Hoit, Sen Warden ; William Judd, member; Charles Peck, Tyler. Visitors-Brs. Elihu Marshall, John Brown, Isaac Sherman, William Redfield, Coleman.

Lodge opened, when Brs. Elihu Marshall, John Brown, Isaae Sherman, and William Redfield, were separately proposed to become members of this Lodge, balloted for and accepted.

Then proceeded to elect a Master to fill the chair in room of the Worshipful Joel Clark, Esq., deceased, when the Hon. Samuel Holden Parsons was unanimously elected. Then proceeded to elect a Secretary when William Judd was elected.

As the Worshipful Master elect was absent and not likely to return soon or attend the brethren unanimously agreed to dispense with the regulation of the master`s being present at the election of the other officers, and therefore proceeded to the choice of a Senior Warden, when Bro. Heart was elected , who having taken the chair proceeded to the choice of the other officers, and duly elected Bro. Marshall, Junior Warden Bro. Sherman, Treasurer, and Charles Peck, Tyler. The newly elected officers (the Worshipful excepted, who was absent), having with the usual ceremonies taken their seats, proceeded to the consideration of the By-Laws, and unanimously agreed that the same continue in full force, With this proviso:

That the fees for admission of the candidates be thirty dollars, passing six dollars, and raising, seven and one-half dollars, and all other perquisites, &c., so far as relates to the gentlemen of the army, be raised three fold, and in all other cases the fees and perquisites be at the discretion of the majority of the brethren members in Lodge assembled; that the Tyler’s fees for new admitted brethren, passing and raising be three dollars, exclusive of all other fees. Lieut. Col. Thomas Grosvenor and Capt. Henry Champion, of the Third Connecticut Battalion, and Simeon Belding, Division Quarter Master, were proposed to be made Entered Apprentices by Bro. Heart. Lodge closed until 17th February, 5 o’clock, P.M.


Properly Emeth, which see.

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