History Of Freemasonry In Ohio
From 1791 to 1912
by W. M. Cunningham and John G. Reeves
THE HISTORY OF THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE
By W. M. CUNNINGHAM, M. A.,
Copyright, 1914 By J. H. Bromwell Grand Secretary Cincinnati, Ohio
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio:
Your committee, appointed for the preparation of a history of this W.·. M.·.Grand Lodge, its subordinate lodges, and of Freemasonry in Ohio, finding cooperative editorial work in this connection not only ill advised and unsatisfactory, but difficult in execution, and deeming it to be for the best interests of the purposed historical work, have therefore, with your concurrence, delegated its compilation and the work in that connection to the chairman of this committee, subsequently designated by the W.·. M.·. Grand Master as Grand Historian.
In accordance with the foregoing explanatory statement the first part or volume of the proposed history, complete in itself, and covering a period from the introduction of Freemasonry in that part of the Northwest Territory of the United States now known as Ohio in 1791, at Marietta by American Union Lodge No.1, an army lodge, and in 1790, by Mingo Lodge No.78, chartered by the W.·. M.·. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, at Old Mingo Town, the history of the W.·. M.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio, from its organization in 1808 until 1844 inclusive, and a brief history of its pioneer subordinate lodges organized prior to 1825 carefully compiled by its editor, is herewith respectfully submitted,
W. M. Cunningham,
PIONEER FREEMASONRY IN OHIO
The first permanent white settlement in the Northwest Territory, now named Ohio, was made by General Rufus Putnam with the help of others of the Ohio Company, April, 1788.
On January 10, 1786, General Rufus Putnam and General Benjamin Tupper, two of the surveyors appointed by Congress in 1786 to survey the lands in the territory northwest of the Ohio River, secured by treaty with the Indians at Fort McIntosh, gave a public notice to all citizens who were disposed to join in the settlement of the Ohio country to meet in Boston on the first of March, 1786, by delegates chosen in the several counties interested.
A convention was accordingly held upon that date at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, long a well-known and favorite place of Boston Freemasons, and the Ohio Company was organized by the election of General Rufus Putnam as Chairman and Major Winthrop Sargeant as Secretary.
The other delegates to the convention were the Reverend Manasseh Cutler, Governor John Brooks, Benjamin Tupper, Crocker Sampson, John Patterson, Johlabel Woodbridge, and Abraham Williams.
The capital stock of the Company was to be a fund not exceeding one million dollars in Continental certificates, "each share to be one thousand dollars and ten dollars in silver or gold." The gold and silver was to be used in the payment of agents and employees and for contingent expenses.
One year's interest was to be used in "making a settlement and assisting those not able to remove there selves thither."
On March 8, 1787, the second meeting of the Company was held in Boston, and the record states that General Samuel H. Parsons, General Rufus Putnam, and the Reverend Manasseh Cutler were the committee that applied to Congress to purchase the land.
After much worry in their efforts to obtain satisfactory results in their mission, on August 29th of that year the Reverend Manasseh Cutler, for their committee, reported "that one million acres could be obtained, one dollar an acre, half down, a deduction of one-third for bad lards, and ray for surveys," which was approved by the Ohio Company.
The hostile character of the Indians did not deter Ohio Company from carrying out its plans. In the Winter of 1787, General Rufus Putnam and forty-seven pioneers advanced to the mouth of the Youghiogheny River, and began building a boat for transportation down the Ohio in the spring. The boat was the largest craft that had ever descended the river, and, in allusion to their Pilgrim Fathers, the settlers called it the Mayflower. It was forty-five feet long and twelve feet wide, and estimated at fifty tons burden. On the 2nd of April the Mayflower was launched, and for five days the little band of pioneers sailed down the Monongahela and the Ohio, and on the 7th they landed at the mouth of the Muskingum. There, opposite Fort Harmar, they chose a location, moored their boat for a temporary shelter, and began to erect houses for their occupation. Fort Harmar was built in 1785 by a detachment of United States soldiers under command of Major John Doughty. It was named in honor of Colonel Josiah Harmar to whose regiment Major Doughty was attached. It was the first military post erected by the Americans within the limits of Ohio except Fort Laurens, a temporary structure built in 1778. When Marietta was founded it was the military post of that part of the country, and it was for many years an important station.
Thus was begun the first English settlement in the Ohio Valley. About the first of July the settlers were reinforced by the arrival of a second colony from Massachusetts. It had been nine weeks on the way. It had hauled its wagons and driven its stock to Wheeling, where, constructing flatboats, it had floated down the river to the settlement.
The long and tedious journey beset with dangers was made across rivers and mountains to the Ohio River, and thence down that beautiful stream to its confluence with the Muskingum River, where on April 7, 1788, the pioneer colony of settlers had previously landed under the leadership of General Putnam.
Plans for a city, now Marietta, had been adopted on November 21, 1787, by the directors and agents of the company at a meeting in Boston. Four thousand acres were reserved for the city.
At this meeting General Rufus Putnam, Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, Anselm Tupper, John Matthew, and Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs were chosen as surveyors of the Ohio Company, General Putnam being the Superintendent.
Many of the families in Washington, Adams, Muskingum, and adjoining counties are the descendants of the Masonic pioneer settlers of the Ohio Company.
In less than a year after the settlement occurred the first Masonic incident of note. On January 10, 1789, the Brethren assembled to bury with Masonic honors an eminent and distinguished Brother and Revolutionary hero, Judge James Mitchell Varnum. Captain David Zeigler, who was subsequently prominent as a member of the military lodge located at Fort Washington, Cincinnati, led the military. Brother Paul Fearing, afterwards the first territorial delegate to Congress, bore the Masonic insignia on a cushion, and the Indian Chiefs-who were there negotiating the treaty of peace which had just been concluded, "two and two united in the solemn procession.
The Indian Chiefs referred to were the representatives of the Six Nations and of the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawattomies, and Sacs, who had been in conference at Fort Harmar, opposite Marietta, for ma king the treaty mentioned.
The Wabash Indians refused to send representatives to the peace convention and subsequently gave the Ohio pioneers much trouble, but they were finally compelled to make peace.
The interest manifested by those Indian Chiefs in the solemnities of the funeral occasion may reasonably be inferred to be another incidental evidence that they had a knowledge of the mysteries that we call Freemasonry. As claimed by that eminent Masonic scholar, the late M..·. W.·. Brother H. P. H. Bromwell, and other reliable authorities there are many evidences of their knowledge of Masonic signs and symbolism. In this connection, nearly a half century since, the writer became acquainted with a large, fine-looking, intelligent Cherokee Indian Mason, thoroughly up in the work, and although he was himself made a Mason in an American lodge, yet he claimed that there was a knowledge of Masonic mysteries in some of the Indian tribes. That Indians become enthusiastic Masons when initiated in American lodges is doubtless true also, but a few years since the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Indian Territory, M.·. W.·. Brother Silas B. Armstrong, was a Wyandot Indian of prominence in their tribal affairs and the United States Government, and his administration of the Masonic affairs in that Grand jurisdiction was equal to that of any of his predecessors.
The eloquent Red Jacket, Chief of the Senecas and also Chief of the Six Nations, possessed a medal presented to him by General Washington, by whom he was greatly esteemed and with whom a warm personal friendship long existed. The grandnephew of Red Jacket, to whom the medal descended, Do-ne-ho-ga-wa, a full-blooded Seneca and also Chief of the Six Nations, was an enthusiastic Freemason; he served with distinction in the United States Army from 1861 to 1865 and possibly retained his Army connection afterwards, as he was assigned to the staff of General Grant and was promoted to the rank of a general officer and was known in the army by his anglicized name of General Ely S. Parker.
Many other incidental evidences might also be adduced in the same connection if space herein permitted, and some of them, too, of an exceedingly romantic character. May not this also, if it could be shown that he was a Mason, which for many reasons was very probable, account for the immunity from harm by the savages possessed by the eccentric and noted Jonathan Chapman of that period, who was alike welcomed by the isolated pioneers and by the Indians, by whom he was doubtless regarded as a "Medicine Man?" His frequent visits among the Indians enabled him to be the means of averting disasters to many of the early settlers. In one instance, it is said, by traveling night and day from one settler to another he averted a general massacre of the pioneers. His weird cry of "Flee, flee, flee for your lives" was promptly observed and held in loving remembrance by those whom he warned against the massacre planned by the Indians.
Jonathan Chapman was a devout Swedenborgian and a disseminator of the doctrines promulgated by that distinguished seer and scientist whose many unpublished scientific manuscripts are now being given to the public by the Royal Academy of Sweden, their custodian It is of record that "he was a regularly constituted minister in the Church of the New Jerusalem" and that he was also "a constituted missionary of that faith under the authority of the regular association in the city of Boston." By those who did not know him, his eccentricities in his dress and in his manner of living caused him to be much misrepresented, not only as to his sanity but also his religious belief.* He died at an advanced age in 1845 and his name was inscribed on the Copus Pioneer Monument by loving friends.
* Brother Milton Wilton Wilson, an octogenarian writer of pioneer history, states that Jonathan Chapman was doubtless a Freemason.
AMERICAN UNION LODGE NO. 1 AT MARIETTA
On June 25, 1700, a meeting was held by Brothers Rufus Putnam (a Past Master), Benjamin Tupper, Griffin Green, Robert Oliver, Ezra Lunt, William Stacy, William Burnham, Anselm Tupper, Thomas Stanly, and Ebenezer Sproat, to consider the subject of a lodge organization.
Captain Jonathan Heart, of Fort Harmar, opposite Marietta, a Past Grand Lecturer in Connecticut, being the Worshipful Master of American Union (Army) Lodge, and Brother Rufus Putnam one of its members, a petition was unanimously signed and sent to Brother Jonathan Heart requesting him to form them into a lodge, or perhaps rather reestablished American Union Lodge, of whose charter he was the custodian, but whose membership was widely dispersed.
The reply of Worshipful Brother Heart is a paper of much interest and, although it will doubtless be reproduced in the history of the subordinate lodges of Ohio, which is to follow this general history, it is submitted herein as necessary to a right conception of the commencement of Masonic organizations in Ohio, under the auspices of American Union Lodge by the authority of Worshipful Brother Heart whose devotion to Freemasonry made him a conspicuous figure in the early history of that lodge. He had also been prominent in the lodges in Connecticut, where he was an instructor in the work, and was one of a "committee of supervision" to see that the lodges "conformed to the general regulations," among which it was ordered that the fee for the "E. A." degree should be "£4 lawful money, F. C. 12s, and for M. M. 18s. Candidates to stand proposed one month."
As the commencement of the reply of Brother Heart is rather abrupt and as the names of those to whom addressed are omitted, the quotation in the record may be incomplete. In it the Worshipful Brother says:
"Previous to the late Revolution, all authority exercised in America, with respect to Masonry, was derived from the Grand Lodge in Great Britain, delegated to deputies in and over certain districts, by virtue of which all regular lodges were then held. The Federal territories not coming within the district of any Grand Lodge holding under authority of the Grand Lodge of Great Britain, and the United States not as yet having formed a Federal head in Masonry, it may be in doubt whether, at this time, there is any power in America having jurisdiction over the Federal territories. From whence it follows, the power is still in the Grand Lodge in Great Britain, unless there can be found some power which has been delegated other ways than through the present Grand Lodges, and extending its jurisdiction to this country. Whether the warrant under which you wish to be convened affords protection is the next subject of inquiry.
"This warrant was granted in the year 1776, previous to the Declaration of Independence, by Richard Gridley, Esq., Deputy Grand Master, whose authority extended to all parts of North America where no special Grand Masters were appointed, as may appear from the Book of Constitution, and as expressed in the same instrument. It will therefore follow that, there being no special Grand Master for this territory, a more ample authority for holding a lodge in this country could not be obtained, provided there was a competent number of the former members present. But there are only two, viz., Brother Putnam and myself, who were actual enrolled members. To remove this objection it is observable there are two others who are members and resident in this country, but at present at too great a distance to attend. There are also two of the petitioners who were constant visitors of this lodge during the war, one of them a Past Master Brother Benjamin Tupper, who by custom is a member of all lodges. There are also others of the petitioners who have frequently visited the lodge at different times."
"Wherefore, under every consideration with respect to your situation, the difficulty of obtaining authority, a doubt whether more ample authority can at this time be obtained, the right which is ever retained by the individuals of incorporating themselves where there is no existing power already lodged with particulars for that purpose."
"Wherefore, being the present Master of the lodge under authority of said warrant, as may appear by having recourse to the records deposited in Frederick Lodge, held at Farmington, State of Connecticut, and being the eldest Ancient Mason within said territory, I have thought proper, with the advice of Brother Putnam, member, and Brother Benjamin Tupper, Past Master, to grant the request contained in your petition, and will meet you in Cainpus Martius, on Monday, the 28th inst., at six o'clock P. M., for the purpose of forming you into a lodge."
"I am, with every sentiment of respect,
"Marietta, June 28, 1790. The Brethren, being convened by order of the Worshipful Jonathan Heart, agreeably to the directions in his answers to the petition of the Brethren, proceeded to open the lodge in due form: Worshipful Jonathan Heart, Master; Worshipful Brother Benjamin Tupper, Past Master Hampshire Lodge, acting as Senior Warden Brother Rufus Putnam Junior Warden; Brother Thomas Stanly, Brother William Burnham, Brother Griffin Green, Brother William Mills, Brother Robert Oliver, Brother William Stacy."
The warrant of the 15th of February, 1776, of American Union Lodge was then read; when on motion of Brother Putnam the seven Brothers were proposed as members, and being balloted for were admitted as members."
The business affairs of all lodges at that period were transacted in the Entered Apprentice's degree.
A lodge meeting was held July 15th, and an address delivered by Brother Anselm Tupper, the Secretary of the lodge, was the feature of the occasion.
At the meeting on August 2nd, "Brother John Doughty, of the artillery, attended as a visiting Brother. He had just returned from erecting, at a spot now within Cincinnati, Fort Washington."
On September 6th their first petitioner is stated to have been Francis Choate and at the October meeting the petitioners were the Reverend Daniel Story, late of Boston, clergymen of the different settlements of the Ohio Company, and Captain Josiah Munroe.
At the November meeting there were several distinguished French visitors in attendance, viz., Marquis de Marnesia, Brothers DeBasly, Guerin, Schowman, Prevost, and Delmere.
The election of officers was held December
6th and W. Brother Heart was elected Master. At this meeting Colonel
R. J. Meigs, Sr., Colonel R. J. Meigs, Jr., and Charles Green were initiated,
and Brother Nathaniel Cushing, a Revolutionary officer, was present
as a visitor.
December 27, 1790, the Festival of St. John was held, and at eleven o'clock the lodge Marched in procession to the courthouse and after prayer by the Reverend Brother Story an address was delivered by Brother Anselm Tupper.
The records of these meetings are of much interest and will be found at some length in the history of American Union Lodge, which will occur in its order in the history of the subordinate lodges of the F. & A. M. of Ohio following this history.
In this connection, however, this introductory would be incomplete if the recognition accorded the reestablished American Union Lodge No.1 by the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were omitted.
A committee, of which W. Brother Heart was chairman, having been appointed to address those Grand Lodges and the Grand Lodge of New York in relation thereto, no reply is mentioned as having been received from the Grand Lodge of New York.
The following, however, were received from the two other Grand Bodies:
"Recognition by the Grand Lodge of
"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."
"Recognition by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. "1791, December 6." 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 cue, 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 tile 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."
In this connection it is pertinent to state that upon the subsequent loss by fire of the charter of American Union Lodge the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania declined to issue another warrant, but the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts issued a dispensation authorizing their continuance as a regular lodge until a Grand Lodge should be organized in Ohio.
Among the many distinguished Masons made in American Union Lodge at Marietta it is proper to state that in 1803 General Lewis Cass was made a Mason. M.·. W.·. Brother Cass had the unusual honor of serving as Grand Master of Masons in Ohio, and subsequently on his removal to the State of Michigan to serve as Grand Master of Masons in that State also.
On August 26, 1191, Captain Josiah Munroe, of the Revolutionary Army and first postmaster of Marietta, was raised as a Master Mason, W.·. Brother Heart presiding.
In the same year, on November 4th, Worshipful Brother Major Jonathan Heart "fell on the field of battle, in St. Clair's defeat, within the bounds of the present Darke County, Ohio."
The Worshipful Masters succeeding W.·. Bother Heart as Master of American Union Lodge No.1 were Brothers Rufus Putnam, Robert Oliver, the Reverend Daniel Story, Charles Green, Josiah Munroe, Griffin Green, Return Jonathan Meigs, afterwards Governor of Ohio, and Ichabod Nye.
The terms of service as Worshipful Master being for two or more years in some instances, and alternating in some cases, only their order of precedence in their election is therefore given.
Before completing the history of American Union Lodge, prior to its connection with the Grand Lodge, F.& A. M. of Ohio, it will doubtless be of interest to note that in this body Royal Arch Masonry had its first organized existence in the State of Ohio.
"'Under the auspices of American Union Lodge No.1, there was organized a Royal Arch Chapter, an Arch Lodge, at Marietta as early as 1792, June 6th, with officers Robert Oliver, Rufus Putnam, and Griffin Green, who advanced through the various grades, from the third to the seventh step of Masonry, Brothers Daniel Story, Return J. Meigs and Joseph Wood. 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 prescribed, 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 was sent to every Arch Mason resident within sixteen miles of Marietta, at expense of candidate.
"This chapter was continued in existence to March 22, 1801, when the Lodge Hall, Charter, and papers were burned."
The lodge, however, was reorganized in January, 1804, under a conditional dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which was to remain in full force and effect until the establishment of a Grand Lodge in Ohio.
A new building subsequently erected by General Rufus Putnam was called "Union Hall" and tendered to the Craft for lodge purposes.
MINGO LODGE NO. 78 AT OLD MINGO TOWN
The next lodge of Free and Accepted Masons established in the Northwest Territory was one warranted by the R.· . W.·. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1799 and located in the Old Mingo Town, three miles below the present city of Steubenville.
This was a place of note among the pioneer settlements of that early period. It was known as the home of the celebrated Mingo Chief "Logan," of whom it was well said that his "form was striking and manly and whose magnanimity and eloquence have seldom been equaled." In retaliation for the treacherous murder of his family at the massacre at the month of Yellow Creek he became an enemy to the whites instead of the warm friend that had previously endeared him to the pioneers.
"Old Mingo Town" was also noted as the rendezvous of the troops of Colonel Williamson in the justly called "infamous" Moravian massacre at Gnadenhutten. It was also the starting-point of the troops of Colonel Crawford in the unfortunate campaign against the Sandusky Indians, which resulted in his own horrible death and disastrously to his men.
Whilst this lodge had a brief existence of but seven years, yet its history as the second lodge established in what was then termed the Northwest Territory will doubtless be of much interest.
Through the courtesy of R.·. W.·. Brother Hon. George B. Orlady, Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, a copy of the petition for the lodge and a copy of its warrant are herewith submitted with its list of members.
As may be noted, the letter asking for the warrant was written on the Virginia (now West Virginia) side of the Ohio River.
Charlestown, November 20, 1798
"Dear Sir: Early in the summer I forwarded a letter to you, enclosing an application to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a warrant with a bank note enclosed to pay the expenses thereof if procured; since which I have been anxiously waiting an answer thereto. The Brethren who have joined me in the application have been incessant in their inquires about our success, and I feel awkward in my answers, knowing as little about it as themselves. I would therefore be much obliged by your forwarding immediately an account of the business, whether favorable or unfavorable."
"In my letter I expressed some doubts whether the Grand lodge of Pennsylvania would grant a warrant in Virginia, being out of its Jurisdiction. To remedy therefore any clashing between the Grand Lodges of the two States, we are willing to take our warrant authorizing us to hold a lodge at the Old Mingo Town, in the Northwestern Territory, or within five miles of the same. This place being out of the Jurisdiction of both the Grand Lodges, no interference can possibly arise, and I should suppose no difficulties could arise on this score, as the Washington Lodge furnished a precedent for its king held in Washington, or within five miles thereof."
"I have forwarded by Absalom Baird, Esq'r, a certificate of my being a Royal Arch Mason, by which it will be known to those of this degree that I am a Past Master. To yourself Thomas McK. Thompson and myself are known to be Masons, and I trust by an application to the New Castle Lodge we will be found of good standing. Two more of the applicants, Mess's. James Clark and John Agnew, can be vouched for by Doctor Baird, as they were made and now belong to the lodge of which he is a member."
"I am going this day to Washington to converse with Doctor Baird on the subject, and to give this letter in his charge. I would therefore wish you to have a free conference with him on our application, who may remove any objections that may eventually arise, and by this means our wishes may soon and certainly be gratified."
"I suggested in my former letter that the constituting of a Lodge in this place depends wholly on the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, as the distance from and the difficulty of communicating with that of the State of Virginia made an effectual bar to our application. The same reasons still operate, and it rests with your Grand Lodge whether the work of Masonry will be extended to this new part of our Western world."
"If there is any formality wanting in our application, let it be known, and it shall be rectified forth-with; and if upon no terms our desires can be granted, be so obliging as to communicate to us, that we may be relieved from that state of suspense in which we are thrown by the delay of an answer, which we are willing to ascribe to adventitious circumstances and the distressing calamities with which the city has been visited."
"I am, dear Sir, with much respect
The letter is endorsed by the Grand Secretary as follows:
"Petition for a Warrant for holding a Lodge at the Old Mingo Town, Northwestern Territory, read in G. L., 4th March, 1799. Granted No.78."
The warrant was accordingly issued as follows:
"The Right Worshipful Jonathan Bayard Smith, Esquire, Grand Master of Masons in and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Masonic Jurisdiction thereunto belonging,
"To Brother Absalom Baird, a Past Master Mason, and member of Lodge No.54, held at the Town of Washington,"
"Reposing the greatest confidence in your Zeal, Fervor and Constancy in the Craft We Do, by virtue of the Powers and Authorities in Us vested, hereby authorize, Empower and request you to call to your assistance a sufficient number of known and approved Past Master Masons to open and constitute a Lodge at the Old Mingo Town, in the Northwestern Territory and there to proceed to the Installation of Our Worthy Brother William Mckennan, Master Elect, and other the Officers of a New Lodge there to be established and constituted Number Seventy-Eight, according to the most Ancient and honorable Custom of the Royal Craft in all ages, and amongst all nations throughout the known World and not contrarywise, and to make Report of Your proceedings. This Dispensation to remain in force for Three Months from the Date hereof and no longer."
"Given under Our hand and the Seal
of Our Grand Lodge at the City of Philadelphia, the Tenth Day of April,
Anne Lucis, Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Nine."
The above dispensation on its return to the Grand Lodge was endorsed as follows:
"I do hereby certify that the officers of Lodge No.78 were installed in due form agreeably to the within Dispensation on the 21st May, 1799."
In their return on St. John's Day, December 27, A. L. 5799, is the following list of members belonging to Lodge No.78
William McKennan, Master; Lenas Kimberlee, Senior Warden; John Agnew, Junior Warden; Philip Doddridge, Secretary; Allen W. Griffin, Treasurer; James Clark, Thomas McKean Thompson, Robert Marshel, William McCluney, Joseph Doddridge, Zaccheus Biggs, and Nochel Dorsey.
THE GRAND LODGE
In accordance with the order of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio the following history is herewith submitted. Of its preparation your Historian maybe permitted to say that, whilst a history of the Grand Lodge necessarily involves to some extent a history of the subordinate lodge of which it was and is composed, yet its continuous history, from its organization in 1808 to the completion of its centennial period in 1908, doubtless will in its limits preclude other than a brief historical mention of each subordinate lodge in its connection with the Grand Lodge or inl the order of its creation by the Grand Lodge.
In this history it is proposed to give precedence to all important and salient features of Grand Lodge legislation, contemporaneous history, and its foreign and home relations.
The historical sketches of the subordinate lodges will be divested, as nearly as possible, of all unnecessary extraneous matter, disciplinary affairs, romance, and mere sentiment.
The history of each lodge will also, as nearly as may be, occur in the order of its connection with the Grand Lodge or its creation by that body.
Those lodges that have maintained a continuous existence during the centennial period will of course have precedence, in most instances at least.
The history of those lodges that ceased their existence and lost their charters will be brought down to their close by the Grand Lodge, and in such cases wherein the forfeited charters have been subsequently restored by the Grand Lodge, their history, with the hiatus noted, will be continuous.
The history of those lodges that have been accorded, under new charters, the names and numbers of defunct lodges will commence at the date of the charters under which they have their present existence (in some instances, where held on probation for some time previous to receiving charters the history may commence with the (late of their dispensations).
The date of the charter under which a subordinate lodge holds its existence, giving it its rank and standing in Grand Lodge, the importance of a correct historical roster, is self-apparent.
In completing its centennial period, the
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio has the satisfaction of knowing
that its formation antedates that of the Most Worshipful united Grand
Lodge of England five years. In this connection we are informed in Gould's
Concise history of Freemasonry that on May 13, 1813, the Duke of Sussex
was installed as the M.·. W.·. Grand
In the order of its constitution the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio was the sixteenth Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons established in the United States of America.
The M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge Of North Carolina was established in 1771.
Massachusetts and Virginia, established in 1777.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia, established in 1786.
Maryland, New York, and South Carolina, established in 1181.
Connecticut and New Hampshire, established in 1789.
Rhode Island, established in 1791.
As hitherto stated, the history of the M..·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio will he followed by a history of its subordinate lodges, in their order as established,. giving therein a more satisfactory account of Freemasonry in Ohio than the limits of the history of the Grand Lodge will permit.
HISTORY OF THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND
On January 4, A. D. 1808, A. L. 5808, a meeting of delegates from the six Masonic lodges then in Ohio was held at Chillicothe to consider the propriety of forming a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of Ohio.
The six lodges whose delegates met in this convention were American Union No.1 of Marietta, Cincinnati Lodge No.13 of Cincinnati, Scioto Lodge No.2 of Chillicothe, New England Lodge No.48 of Worthington, Erie Lodge No.47 of Warren, and Amity Lodge No.105 of Zanesville.
The old record states that the representatives in attendance were Brothers Robert Oliver, R. A., William Skinner, R. A., and Ichabod Nye, R. A., of American Union Lodge; Thomas Henderson, M. M., and Francis Mennesier, M. M., from Cincinnati Lodge; Thomas Gibson, R. A., and Elias Langham, R. A., from Scioto Lodge; James Killbourn from New England Lodge; George Tod, P. M., and John Seely, P. M., of Erie Lodge; and Isaac Van Horn, R. A., and Lewis Cass, R. A., from Amity Lodge.
(As lodges of Craft Masonry having a constitutional number of Royal Arch Masons in their membership were usually authorized to confer the Capitular Degrees, the Masonic grade of each Brother is noted.)
Brother Robert Oliver of Marietta was made chairman of the convention, and Brother George Tod of Warren was appointed secretary.
The credentials of all the lodges were found upon examination to be satisfactory except those of New England Lodge No.48 of Worthington, and after its reference to a committee thereon the convention ruled that the delegate from New England Lodge could not have a seat in the convention.
No representative from New England Lodge being in attendance upon the Grand Lodge in 1809, a resolution was adopted authorizing the Grand Secretary to invite the Worshipful Master, Wardens, and Brethren of "the lodge at Worthington to co-operate with the other lodges" of the Grand Lodge and "be represented in Grand Lodge at the next Grand Communication." Accordingly in 1810 New England Lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by the Reverend Brother James Killbourn, who for some then unexplained reason was debarred as a representative of that lodge in tile convention in 1808. (The reason subsequently given was the absence of his credentials, which did not reach him until after the close of the convention.)
After the organization of the convention, pending the discussion of a resolution "that it is expedient to form a Grand Lodge in this State," an adjournment was taken until the evening of the following day. Upon reassembling, the convention unanimous adopted the pending resolution, and on motion of Brother Langham, seconded by Brother Cass, a "commission of five" was appointed to prepare rules necessary to carry it into effect. "Brothers Oliver, Nye, Van Horn, Henderson, and Gibson" were appointed to compose that commission. The convention then adjourned until the evening of the following day.
In accordance with the adjournment the convention met in its third session on the evening of January 7, 1808.
Upon the report of the commission appointed to formulate the necessary procedure for the organization of the Grand Lodge, the following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved, That a Grand Lodge be formed, to be known and styled the Grand Lodge of Ohio, whose powers shall be to grant charters and dispensations, on proper application, to all such as shall apply and shalt be deemed worthy, and shall have jurisdiction over the same, and shall in all. respects be clothed with fun powers, as a Grand Lodge, according to ancient and due form, and agreeable to the rules and landmarks of Masonry.
Resolved, That this convention now proceed to the choice of Grand Officers to compose the said Grand Lodge.
Resolved, That the said Grand Lodge do hold their first Grand Communication on the first Monday of January, in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine, unless sooner convened by the order of the R.·. W.·. Grand Master, which Grand Communication shall be held at whatever place the Legislature of Ohio shall then be in session,
Provided, That if the Right Worshipful Grand Master shall think proper to call a Grand Communication before the first Monday of January next, the same shall convene at; Chillicothe.
Resolved, That the several lodges now represented in this convention, prior to the first Grand Communication of the proposed Grand Lodge, do transmit to their respective Grand Lodges their several lodge dues, and request a certificate thereof.
Resolved, That at the first Grand Communication it shall be the duty of each lodge now in convention to transmit their several charters, and a copy of their bylaws, together with the certificates obtained from their respective Grand Lodges, which charters shall be disposed of as the Grand Lodge shall direct and they shall issue new charters to the said lodges herein represented, numbering them in their order beginning with the charter of the most ancient date.
Resolved, That the secretary of this convention do transmit to the Grand Master-elect a certified copy of the proceedings of this convention, and in its name request his acceptance of the office he is elected to fill, and that he take such measures as to him shall seem proper, in order to carry into effect the foregoing resolutions.
The resolutions were then formally read by the Secretary and severally agreed to, and the convention "then proceeded to elect, by ballot, the following officers of the Grand Lodge:
Brother Ruffs Putnam, R.·. W.·.
It is stated in the record that "convention then adjourned until Saturday evening, six o'clock." (From the record of the next session there is evidently an error, either in the day mentioned or in the date of the adjourned session, as the date of that meeting is attested as the "8th," which from the record of the other sessions was doubtless Friday.)
On January 8th in pursuance to adjournment, the convention met" in final session, and it was
Resolved, That the members of this convention subscribe these their proceedings; and that the secretary furnish the delegates of each lodge in this convention with an accurate copy thereof."
"Done in convention, at Chillicothe, the eighth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight."
Delegates from Union Lodge No.1.
Delegates from. Cincinnati Lodge No.13.
Delegates from Scioto Lodge No. 2.
Delegates from Erie Lodge No. 47.
Delegates from Amity Lodge No. 105.
"This certifies that the preceding is a correct copy of the original in my possession. George Tod, Secretary." *
The selection of the eminent patriot general, Rufus Putnam as the first Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Ohio was a fitting recognition of his services as a soldier, statesman, and Freemason.
The next "Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio" was held at Chillicothe, Monday, January 2, A. D. 1809, A. L. 5809, being the day appointed by the grand convention for the first Grand Communication of said Grand Lodge." There were present:
Brother Thomas Henderson, R.·. W.·.
D. G. Master, in the chair
The Most Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Rufus Putnam, not being in attendance, the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Brother Thomas Henderson, "took the chair and the lodge was opened due form and according to ancient usage."
The Grand Lodge consisted of the accredited delegates of but four of the lodges that met in convention and organized the Grand Lodge, the American Union No.1 of Marietta not being represented, and the credentials of New England Lodge not having been approved. The four lodges surrendering their charters and submitting their bylaws were Scioto Lodge No.2 of Chillicothe, Amity Lodge No.105 of Zanesville, Erie Lodge No.47 of Warren, and Cincinnati Lodge No.13 of Cincinnati.
The lodges named were represented by the following accredited delegates:
From Scioto Lodge No.2, Brothers Charles A. Stewart, F.M., Henry Brush, P. M.., and John Woodbridge, M.. M.
From Amity Lodge No.105, Brothers Lewis
(*In the list of lodges attending the convention "Union Lodge No.1" is named instead of American Union No.1, which doubtless was its correct title.)
From Erie Lodge No.47, Brothers S. Huntington, R. A.., George Tod and John H. Adgate, M. M.
From Cincinnati Lodge No.13, Brothers Thomas Henderson, Francis Mennessier, and Thomas Dugan.
Brother William Skinner, R. A., Senior Warden-elect of American Union Lodge No.1, was in attendance, but, in the absence of credentials as the representative of that lodge, a suggestion of the committee on credentials upon the "propriety of admitting Brother William Skinner to a seat among us as proxy for the lodge at Marietta" was "tabled."
Although the Grand Lodge had been regularly organized by five lodges the previous year, yet the legality of continuing its existence with a representation from but four lodges seems to have been a matter of grave doubt, as the subject was referred to an able committee, of which the Honorable Brother Lewis Case was chairman. The conservative views of the Brethren of the Grand Lodge will be best understood by the resolutions adopted in that connection, viz.:
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to examine whether this Grand Lodge is now organized and competent to transact the business now necessary to be done, with the present representation from four lodges only, and that they report to this Grand Lodge tomorrow evening their opinion together with the reasons which may influence them in forming it.
Resolved, also, That if the above committee should be of the opinion that it is not competent to this Grand Lodge to proceed to its organization with the present representation, that they then inquire into what measures it may be expedient for this Grand Lodge to adopt in the novel and difficult situation in which it is placed, and that they report upon this resolution tomorrow evening."
Brothers Cass, Stewart, and Brush were thereupon appointed the said committee in accordance with said resolutions, and the Grand Lodge "was adjourned and closed in harmony" until the following evening.
Pursuant to its own adjournment the Grand Lodge convened in its session of the second day.
The Grand Lodge was "opened in due
form" with the attendance of the officers and members of the preceding
day. There were also present Brothers Henry Massie, P. P. M.; Corry,
P. M.; Stephen Wood, M. M.; John Waddle, M. M.; John Carlisle, M. M.;
William McDonald, M. M.;
The exhaustive report of the committee on the legal status of the Grand Lodge, and adopted by the Grand Lodge, is embodied in the following able circular letter addressed to all other Grand Lodges "in the Union:"
"We are directed by the Grand Lodge of this State to announce to you its organization; to state the reasons which have influenced us, and the circumstances under which we have carried this measure into operation.
"The experience of many years has tested the utility and necessity of Grand Lodges. It is of vital importance to our order, that a uniform mode of working should be adopted, and that unanimity which is the Keystone of Masonry should be preserved and secured. The lodges established in this State have derived their charters from the different Grand Lodges of our sister States, and have been accountable to them for their proceedings. The remoteness of our situation, and the expense inseparably incident upon a frequent communication, have deprived us of most of those advantages to be desired and expected from a Grand Lodge. We are of the opinion, also, that in the government of lodges it is expedient to conform, as much as practicable, to the municipal regulations of the country in which they are established. We are aware that our order depends not upon the arm of the law for its support; its obligations are dependent upon a higher authority, upon Him who is the Supreme Legislator and Omnipotent Architect. But where the landmarks (laws) of tile country can be respected, and the landmarks of Masonry be preserved, their union will add strength to our institutions, and diminish that jealousy with which the weak and illiberal are too apt to regard us. Influenced by these considerations, and authorized by the sanction of precedent, we have congregated together and established ourselves into a Grand Lodge."
"The circumstances under which we have proceeded to our organization were at first novel and embarrassing. From an attentive examination and diligent inquiry the doubts which hung over us have been dissipated, and the meridian sun has illumed us in our course. Agreeably to a previous arrangement, on the first Monday in January, 1808, a legal representation from the Lodges at Warren, at Zanesville, at Marietta, at Chillicothe, and at Cincinnati convened at this place for the purpose of establishing a Grand Lodge. They then formed a convention, adopted some necessary regulations, elected the officers of a Grand Lodge, and appointed the first Monday of January, 1809, for them to convene and proceed to their installation. Accordingly on that day the officers so elected did appear, and a representation from all the above-named lodges, except that at Marietta. So entirely ignorant are we upon the subject, that we can conjecture but one reason which could have prevented the officers of that lodge from attending. About the time when it would have been necessary for them to commence their journey, an alarming and unprecedented inundation had laid that town under water, and the distress and confusion inseparable from such a situation probably prevented the attendance of their delegation. Under these circumstances it became a serious object of inquiry whether it was essentially necessary to the existence of a Grand Lodge that a representation from five lodges should be present."
"We have examined this question, and the result of our deliberations we are now about to state. Any abstract reasoning upon this subject would be as improper as it would be indecorous; we can only resort to the opinion of eminent Brethren who have preceded us, and to the regulations which have been published under the authority of other Grand Lodges. From an examination of these data, we are clearly of the opinion that the rule requiring a representation of five lodges to be present at the establishment of a Grand Lodge is a municipal regulation, adopted for its propriety, and not a fundamental principle of our order."
"In Preston's Illustrations of Masonry,
page 199, is the following account of the first establishment of a Grand
Lodge in London: With this view, the lodges at the Goose and Gridiron,
in St. Paul's Churchyard, the Crown in Parker's Lane, near Drury's Lane,
the Appletree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden, and the Rummer
and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row,
"After the lodges in this State shall have been increased, there is no doubt but the Grand Lodge will deem it proper and useful to establish such a principle; but while these considerations, paramount to all others except a regard to the ancient landmarks, prevent its observance, if the present opportunity should pass, and the work we have already performed be lost, we have little prospect of the establishment of a Grand Lodge in this State for an indefinite period. A spirit of discord might thence prevail; a difference in working become established, and distressed Brethren fail of receiving that relief to which they are entitled. We trust therefore, that the Grand Lodge of ----- will duly appreciate our motives, and recognize in this proceeding an earnest wish to promote the welfare and perpetuate the blessings of Masonry. We offer to the Grand Lodge of ----- an interchange of communication, and invite them to a fraternal correspondence. We have enclosed a list of our officers, and must conclude by praying to the Supreme Grand Architect to guide you in your deliberations, to your own honor and to the prosperity of the Royal Art."
The Committee on Credentials reported that the credentials of the delegates of the four lodges in attendance were in all respects satisfactory, which was concurred in by the Grand Lodge, and the delegates were seated as the representatives of said lodges.
A committee was appointed to "prepare a constitution for the regulation and government of this Grand Lodge," and an adjournment was had until the next evening.
On Thursday evening, January 5, A. L. 5809, the Grand Lodge convened in its fourth session "pursuant to adjournment, and opened in due form."
The constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky was adopted for temporary use. "The Lodge, in the third degree of Masonry, was then closed, and a Past Master Mason's Lodge was opened. The R.·. W.·. Deputy Grand Master was then introduced by the W. G. S. W. and duly installed into that office. The Past Master Mason's Lodge was then closed, and a Master Mason's Lodge opened" and the other officers elected by the Grand Convention who were in attendance were then regularly installed into their respective offices by the R.·. W.·. Deputy Grand Master.
The R.·. W.·. Senior Grand Warden, Brother George Tod, submitted the following letter from the Grand Master-elect, M. W. Brother General Rufus Putnam:
"To the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Ohio, your Brother sendeth.
"Greetings: It was with high sensibility and gratitude I received the information that the Grand Convention of Masons, convened at Chillicothe in January last, elected me to the office of Grand Master of your most ancient and honorable society; but however sensibly I feel the high honor done me by the convention, and am disposed to promote the interest of the Craft in general, and in this State in particular, I must decline the appointment. My sun is far past the meridian; it is almost set; a few sands only remain in my glass; I am unable to undergo the necessary labors of that high and important office; unable to make you a visit at this time, without a sacrifice and hazard of health which prudence forbids."
"May the Great Architect, under whom all-seeing eye all Masons profess to labor, have you in His holy keeping, that when our labors bore are finished, we may, through the merits of Him that was dead, but now is alive, and lives for evermore, be admitted into that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; Amen. So prays your friend and Brother."
"Marietta, December 26, 1808"
At this session of the Grand Lodge on the fourth day the annual election of officers was held, and the following named Brethren were duly elected and installed as such:
Brother Samuel Huntington of Warren (Governor
of Ohio 1808-10), M.·. W.·. Grand Master
Before the installation of the Grand Officers, "The lodge sitting in the third degree was closed and a Past Master Mason's Lodge opened," and Brethren entitled thereto, "being in waiting and duly prepared, were introduced and severally passed the chair." After the installation of the Grand Officers, "an engaging and animating address" was delivered by the retiring acting Grand Master, R.·. W.·. Brother Thomas Henderson, and the Grand Lodge "was closed in harmony" until the following evening.
All "actual" Past Masters were
evidently deemed members of the Grand Lodge, but doubtless, as subsequently
indicated, with a restricted or collective vote. All Royal Arch Masons
were accorded seats in Grand Lodge, but no mention is made as to any
membership therein as such.
Chillicothe at this period being the Capital of Ohio, the members and officers of the Grand Lodge of Ohio were in many instances Legislative or other State officials, and Communications of the Grand Lodge were accordingly held in the evening, mostly, when its sessions were held at Chillicothe.
As our pioneer Brethren, except those residing near a river, were obliged to travel by horseback or to walk, and as canoeing was then beset with many difficulties and dangers, lodges were glad to avail themselves of the services as representatives, where possible, of Masons who were State officials or employees.
In this connection the election of Governor Huntington as M.·. W.·. Grand Master was especially appropriate.
At the session of the Grand Lodge held on the following evening, January 6, 1809, the consideration of their proposed constitution and bylaws occupied their attention, the bylaws containing much that is illustrative of the conservative character of their legislation and regulations ----- some of which are now obsolete ----- are submitted herewith:
Article 1. The Grand Lodge shall hold a Grand Communication once in every year, on the first Monday in January.
Article 2. There shall not be any Grand Lodge opened to work unless there be present a representation from a majority of the subordinate lodges under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge.
Article 3. The members of the Grand Lodge are the Grand Officers, Past Grand Officers, Past Masters; officers of subordinate lodges, and representatives from said lodges.
Article 4. Subordinate lodges who can not send representatives to the Grand Lodge are permitted to appoint proxies, who must be Master Masons and members of some lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge.
Article 5. The appointment of the representatives and proxies must be certified by the Secretary of the lodge making the appointment, and have the seal of said lodge affixed to the certificate.
Article 6. The duty of the Grand Lodge is to receive appeals, redress grievances, and remove all complaints of the private lodges; to grant warrants and authorize new lodges to work; to reprehend mal-conduct in any of its private lodges or members; to relieve distressed Brethren, their widows or children; to assess such economical contributions for charity and other exigencies, from time to time, as shall appear proper for the good of the Craft; to correspond with every Grand Lodge on the terrestrial globe that they shall deem right for the good of the Fraternity; to devise and design plans, problems, and propositions for the private lodges; to execute and also to choose and elect, by written ballot, annually, and duly install all the Grand Officers.
Article 7. It is the duty of every Grand Officer, in proportion to his superiority, during the vacation of the Grand Lodge, to have special care of the private lodges, directing all their designs, plans, problems, and propositions on which they work, to be executed according to, and within, the extent and limits of the ancient landmarks, usages, and customs of the sublime Order of Free and Accepted Masonry.
Article 8. All matter of controversy before the Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority of votes; that is to say, the Grand Master, or presiding officer, having one vote (unless in case of an equal division, and then two) ; the Deputy Grand Master one vote; the Grand Wardens, for the time being, collectively, one vote; the Past Grand Officers and Past Masters, collectively, one vote; and the officers, or their representatives, of each subordinate lodge, collectively, one vote; it is however understood that no Brother can vote in a double capacity.
Article 9. Every Grand Officer shall be elected annually by a majority of written ballots, taken agreeably to Article 8, which ballots shall be collected by the Senior Grand Deacon, and shall be by him delivered to the M.·. W.·. Grand Master, for the time being, to emit, who shall order the Grand Secretary to proclaim the officer elected. During the time that the Grand Deacon is collecting the ballots, and until the Grand Secretary has proclaimed the officer balloted in, every member shall be silent and keep his seat. The Senior Grand Deacon shall not present the ballot to any voter until the Grand Secretary has called upon him to answer beginning with the M.·. W.·. Grand Master, and continue the voters according to rank and seniority. If it is found by the M.·. W.·. Grand Master on counting that there are more ballots than votes he shall charge the members to be more attentive to their a new election, and if any member is convected of putting more ballots in the box than he is entitled to, he shall be forever suspended from a seat in the Grand lodge.
Article 10. Every Grand Officer shall be chosen among the working members of the several subordinate lodges; Provided, he is not thereby raised to a degree higher than what he may have attained in his said lodge.
Article 11. The officers to be elected by the Grand Lodge are the M.·. W.·. Grand Master, the two Grand Wardens, the Grand Chaplain, the Grand Orator, the Grand Treasure; and the Grand Steward. The officers, however, having the authority of making the other appointments may waive the privilege whenever they may think proper.
Article 12. The Grand Officers shall be titled and ranked in the following order:
1 The Most Worshipful Grand Master
Article 13. No elected officer of the Grand Lodge, or of any private lodge, shall act as such until he is duly installed.
Article 14. On the day appointed for the assembly of the Grand Lodge, the members shall collect with all possible punctuality, the lodge shall be opened in the most strict Masonic order, prayers said, and the proceedings of the last Grand Communication read; and immediately after the several returns are examined the following committees shall be appointed for the several special purposes, and they shall continue only during the session of the Grand Lodge:
1. A committee of three members, who shall be deputies from three different subordinate lodges, to examine the books and vouchers of the Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, and Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund, and they shall report a statement thereof; they shall also ascertain the expenses of the Grand Communication.
2. A committee of two members shall be appointed to examine attendants and visiting Brethren, observing that none can be admitted under the degree of Master Mason.
3. A committee of three members shall be appointed to hear grievances and examine into the same, and make due report thereof to the Grand Lodge.
Article 15. The M.·. W.·. Grand Master is invested with the power of convening the Grand Lodge time when there shall appear to him an emergent occasion.
Article 16. In case of the death of any Grand Officer of in case of any Brother refusing to serve or install according to appointment to any Grand Office, the M.·. W.·. Grand Master is invested with power to appoint, and install such other Brethren to fill all such vacancies of office as shall meet his pleasure and discretion.
Article 17. The M.·. W.·. Grand Master has the command of every other officer and may call on any and all of them, at any time, for advice and assistance on any business relative to the Craft.
Article 18. The M.·. W.·. Grand Master is not authorized to make or second any motion.
Article 19. The M.·. W.·. G. M. and M.·. W.·. D. G. M., or either of them, shall be vested with the privilege of granting dispensations at their discretion, during the recess of the Grand Lodge.
Article 20. In case of the death of the M.·. W.·. Grand Master during the time for which he is elected and installed to serve, or in case of his refusal to server or install according to appointment, all the powers and privileges shall devolve and become the inherent right of the following Brethren, according to the grad here mentioned:
1. The Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master.
Article 21. It is the duty of the M.·. W.·. Grand Master to install his Deputy, but he may deputize whom he pleases to install all the other officers, an also any officer of a private lodge.
Article 22. It is the duty of the M.·. W.·. Grand Master, in officio or pro tem., to subscribe, in presence of the Grand Lodge, a fair and true transcript of their proceedings: Provided, the proceedings are first read by the Grand Secretary, and agreed to by a majority of the Brethren assembled, and the proceedings subscribed, he is to deliver to the Grand Secretary with direction to have them truly registered and filed.
Article 23. Every subordinate lodge, which shall not be represented for three successive Grand Communications, or who shall be in arrears to the lodge for two years, shall be suspended from all the privileges of the order until they shall comply with both the requisitions; and upon an order from the Grand Lodge to that effect, at a time to be specified therein shall be finally stricken off the list of lodges and have their carter withdrawn; having due notice of such or to be communicated to them by the Grand Secretary for the time being.
Article 24. Every member of the Grand Lodge, and also member of every subordinate lodge, shall pay dues submission and obedience to the respective officers.
Article 25. It is the duty of every Freemason to live peace, harmony, and love with all mankind; to despise in hatred, malice, and calumny; to practice universal charity and benevolence; to avoid, as much as possible, all law suits, and to submit all differences that may arise between Brethren, except such as may relate to real or personal property, to be reconciled by the several lodges to which they belong, or by the Grand Lodge.
Article 26. Every Freemason is enjoined always to avoid addressing a Brother or a Cowan as a Freemason unless they are in private or in open lodge, under the penalty of a severe reprimand.
Article 27. Every set of Masons that may hereafter obtain permission from the Grand Lodge to authorize them to congregate and work as a regular lodge of Free Masons, shall for the same pay into the Grand Charity Fund thirty dollars before the said warrant shall be issued, and shall also pay as a fee to the Grand Secretary, for engrossing and affixing the seal of office, parchment, and recording, six dollars.
Article 28. Every set of Masons that may hereafter obtain from the proper officer permission to receive from the Grand Secretary a dispensation to congregate and work as a warranted lodge of Free Masons, not exceeding twelve months, shall pay into the Grand Charity Fund for the same five dollars, and three dollars to the Grand Secretary.
Article 29. Every subordinate lodge shall hereafter be accountable for, and is hereby directed to pay to the Grand Treasurer on account of the Grand Lodge, every twelve months, the following assessments:
1. For every Mason they have initiated
during the preceding twelve months, one dollar,
Article 30. The Grand Charity Fund shall only be subject to such applications as the Grand Lodge and the Grand Charity Stewards shall direct.
Article 31. Five Brothers being members of the Grand Lodge, one of whom shall be the M.·. W.·. Grand Master, and the other four being duly elected, to be nominated and entitled Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund; any three of whom shall be a quorum of responsibility, and entitled to act.
Article 32. It is the duty of the Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund to superintend, and apply the said funds of the Grand Lodge with care and economy, and they are authorized to draw orders on the Grand Treasurer for any sum they may think proper.
Article 33. It is the duty of the Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund to inform every Assembly of the Grand Lodge, by written report, giving an account of all their proceedings during the last twelve months, and solicit the advice of the Grand Lodge in cases that may appear any way doubtful or intricate.
Article 34. It is the duty of the Most Reverend Grand Chaplain to say prayers to the congregation at the opening and closing of every Grand Lodge; also, to prepare and preach suitable occasional sermons, as may be directed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
Article 35. It is the duty of the Grand Secretary to keep a fair, true, and regular copy, registered in books for that purpose, of all the proceedings of the Grand Lodge. He shall not register any proceedings that are not duly ratified and signed in opened lodge by the Most Worshipful Grand Master; and the transcript, ratified and signed, shall be by the Grand secretary filed as an original voucher for his record.
Article 36. No warrant, certificate, or any other instrument of writing whatever shall be of any validity, if issued by the Grand Secretary, unless it be attested by his signature and has the seal of the Grand Lodge affixed thereto. The Grand Secretary shall use his private seal until a Grand Seal can be procured.
Article 37. All the books, records, paper, seal, etc., kept by the Grand Secretary shall be the property of the Grand Lodge, and to them or to their committee deliverered up whenever called for.
Article 38. The Grand Secretary shall attend personally, or by his agent, who shall be a member of the Grand Lodge with all his books and papers of office on every assembly of the Grand Lodge, under the penalty of twenty dollars.
Article 39. The Grand Secretary shall procure all the books and stationery for the Grand Lodge on the most reasonable terms, and draw on the Grand Treasurer for the amount thereof, who is hereby authorized to pay the same. He shall be entitled to the following fees as a compensation for his services:
1. He shall be paid by the Grand Lodge ten cents for every hundred words which he actually and necessarily writes for their use and by their direction.
2. He shall be paid, by the parties employing him, for copying from the records, files, and proceedings of the Grand Lodge, or any instrument of writing whatever (except as is before provided for) ten cents for every hundred words; be finding for this purpose his own stationery.
3. He shall be paid, by the parties employing him, one dollar for affixing his seal of office to any instrument of writing whatever, except it be a warrant or dispensation which is before provided for.
Article 40. The Grand Secretary shall not be entitled to any fee for affixing his seal of office to any instrument of writing ordered for the use of the Grand Lodge, such as a particular summons, copies of proceedings sent to foreign Grand Lodges, etc.
Article 41. The Grand Treasurer shall account to the Grand Lodge for all moneys received by him, nor shall he pay any money without the order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, or of the Grand Charity Stewards, except as before provided.
Article 42. He shall, on the first day of each Grand Communication, lay a statement of his accounts before the Grand Lodge.
Article 43. The Grand Secretary shall always have his books completed so far as he is in possession of documents for the same, to produce to every Grand Communication, under the penalty of twenty dollars.
Article 44. Any Grand Officer withdrawing himself, during his appointment as Grand Officer, from the private lodge to which he belonged at the time of his election, shall in that case vacate his seat in the Grand Lodge.
Article 45. No subordinate lodge shall confer the degree of Past Master, unless on those who have been regularly elected to fill the chair or as preparatory to some higher degree; and no Past Master who shall have received that degree for the latter purpose shall be entitled on that account to a seat in the Grand Lodge, nor shall they be returned as such in the communications to the Grand Lodge.
Article 46. No bylaws shall be altered or done away, or any new one adopted, until the proposed alteration, amendment, nullification, or addition, as the case may be, shall have been handed in, in open lodge, and seconded and remained for one whole vacation.
As may be noted the Past Master's degree and the "higher degrees" receive special mention.
After the adoption of the foregoing the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That the constitution and proceedings of this Grand Lodge be printed under direction of the Grand Secretary, and that a copy thereof be forwarded to each of the subordinate lodges here represented, to the lodge at Marietta, and to each of the officers of this Grand Lodge.
A petition. was received, signed by Brothers Samuel H. Smith, Nathaniel W. Little, Richard Fishback, William Little, Alexander Enos, Jr., Ichabod Nyc, and Thomas Brown, praying for a charter for a lodge to be established at the town of Clinton in Knox County, Ohio, to be named Mount Zion Lodge No-----. It was ordered by the Grand Lodge that until a charter could be issued or granted that the Brethren named should "be entitled to receive a dispensation therefor."
Brother Samuel Jr. Smith, one of the petitioners, seems to have been a member of Scioto Lodge No.2, and the Ichabod Nye mentioned was one of the Knox County Nye family and not the Ichabod Nye of American Union Lodge No.1, who is said to have been the instigator of the disaffection of American Union Lodge No.1 with the Grand Lodge, and on account of personal jealousies and disappointments was the cause of the recantation of that lodge with the Grand Lodge, as will be hereinafter noted.
The subsequent and concluding session of the Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication of 1809 was devoted to the exemplification of the "work" of the three degrees.
A note to the record states that dispensations were issued to Erie Lodge No.47, Cincinnati Lodge No.13, Scioto Lodge No.2, and the Lodge of Amity No. 5, but the dispensation to Mount Zion Lodge No,7 was "withheld by order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, until further instructions."
The official record of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio states that its "second Grand Communication" was held at Chillicothe, on Monday, the first day of January, A. L. 5810, A. D. 1810. The officers present were:
Brother Samuel Huntington of Warren, Grand
The "Brethren present" were:
The only business of importance at the first session was the appointment of a committee to prepare the form of a blank warrant or charter to be granted to subordinate lodges under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, also a device for a seal for this Grand Lodge."
At the session in the evening of the next day the annual election of Grand Lodge officers was held, resulting in the election of the distinguished soldier and statesman, the eminent Brother General Lewis Cass, as Grand Master; Jacob Burnet, Deputy Grand Master; George Tad, Senior Grand Warden; James Kilbourne, Junior Grand Warden; Philemon Beecher, Grand Treasurer; Henry Brush, Grand Secretary; H. M. Curry, Grand Chaplain; Daniel Symmes, Grand Orator; George F. Tennery, Senior Grand Deacon; Daniel Converse, Junior Grand Deacon; Ralph Osborn, Grand Marshal; Henry Vanmeter, Grand Sword-Bearer; Alexander A. Meeks, Grand Pursuivant, and Peter Spurek, Grand Steward and Tyler.
As will be observed the Grand Officers were all elected, none being appointed. Brothers Levin Belt, John Woodbridge, James Barnes, and John Waddle were also elected as Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund.
At the Thursday evening session of the Grand Lodge it was voted that a dispensation should be granted to the Brethren of Gallia County for a lodge at Gallipolis, to the Brethren of Montgomery and Miami Counties for a lodge at Dayton, and the "Brethren living near Springfield and Urbana" for a lodge at Urbana.
At the Friday evening session of the Grand Lodge a committee of one from each of the seven lodges represented in Grand Lodge was appointed "to take into consideration the constitution and bylaws thereof during the recess of the same, and to report to the next Grand Communication."
The dispensation of Mt. Zion Lodge at Clinton Knox County, having been held up on account of a complaint filed against one of its petitioners, the proposed Worshipful Master, the complaint was referred to the "Committee of Grievances," and after its careful consideration by that committee the alleged charges were declared by the committee to be "totally without foundation in fact or appearance." The report was agreed to by the Grand Lodge, and thus was happily settled the first grievance case considered by the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio.
The second Grand Communication was closed "in harmony at half past 9 o'clock Friday evening, January 5, A. L, 5810."
A Special Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio was held "at Masons' Hall, Chillicothe, on Monday, the third day of September, A. L. 5810, R.·. W.·. Brother Jacob Burnet, Deputy Grand Master, presiding ("the Most Worshipful being indisposed"). In addition to the officers present the membership consisted of "Past Grand Officers, Past Masters, Royal Arch Masons, and the representatives of the lodges in attendance."
The records of the Grand Lodge are very meager, leaving much to be inferred only by subsequent legislation, a feature probably due to their repugnance to making Masonic affairs a matter of record or publication. Their reticence, however, was far more commendable than the present publicity given Masonic affairs.
Mention was made of a communication from the Junior Grand Warden, Rev. R.·. W.·. Bro. James Kilbourn, relative to the "installation of Mount Zion Lodge, and information concerning the Brethren thereof," which was referred to a special committee, and their report was ordered to "be filed with the papers of the Grand Lodge..." As before noted, the dispensation of Mount Zion Lodge had "been held up" on personal objections to one of the petitioners, found upon investigation to be warranted. The careful procedure of referring its institution to the Junior Grand Warden is a notable evidence of the careful conservatism of the pioneer legislation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio.
In this connection it is also proper to note as there has been some question in relation thereto that Mount Zion Lodge of Clinton, Knox County, subsequently removed to Mount Vernon in the same county, was officially instituted by R.·. W.·. Brother Reverend James Kilbourne in 1810.
The receipt of communications from other Grand Lodges their reference in some instances to a committee is noted.
Official communication was ordered in behalf of Amity Lodge of Zanesville with the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania "in re" the return of its charter to that Grand Body.
A resolution was adopted at this session recommending the subordinate lodges "under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge not to confer the degree of Past Master, unless on those who have been regularly elected to fill the chair until the next Grand Communication; nor any of the higher degrees of Masonry, in any instance, until that time that the Grand Lodge may determine on the propriety of such a procedure, and give further instructions concerning the same."
The Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Gass, having recovered from his recent illness, was present and presiding at the concluding session of the Annual Communication.
The third "stated Grand Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the most ancient and honorable fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio convened in Masons' hall, in Chillicothe, on the seventh day of January, A. D. 1811, A. L. 5811."
The Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Cass, was present and presiding. The majority of the subordinate lodges being represented, "the Grand Lodge was opened in ample form; and prayers were offered up to the Divine Architect by the M.·. W.·. Grand Master," the R.·. W.·. Grand Chaplain being absent.
The M.·. W.·. Grand Master reported that "in recess of the Grand Lodge" he had granted a dispensation for the establishment of "Unity Lodge to be held at the seat of justice of Portage County," and a dispensation "to Centre Star Lodge, to be held at Granville, in Licking County."
At the session of the Grand lodge held on the evening of January 8th the annual election of officers of the Grand Lodge was held: M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Cass was reelected Grand Master, and the other Grand Officers, with but two exceptions, were re-elected. Brother John Woodbridge was elected Senior Grand Deacon instead of Brother George F. Tennery, and Brother Francis Kerr was elected Grand Pursuivant in place of Brother Andrew A. Meeks.
In accordance with a communication received from the "M.·. W.·. Grand Master of the R.·. W.·. Grand lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" suggesting its enactment, and on the recommendation of the committee to whom it was referred, the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That the lodges of Master Masons, subordinate to and working under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, can not confer any degrees of Masonry higher than that of Master without having previously obtained a charter from some Royal Arch Chapter, granting such authority.
The Annual Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1811 was very brief there having been but two sessions, one on the evening of the 7th, and one on the evening of the 8th of January, 1811.
American Union Lodge of Marietta persisting in remaining unrepresented in Grand Lodge and maintaining an independent existence not in accordance with the authority under which it was held, it was ordered, That the M.·. W.·. Grand Master be requested to address a letter to the American Union Lodge of Marietta, again inviting them to join this Grand Lodge; and he is hereby authorized to adopt any measures may deem expedient to effectuate that desirable object. On Motion Ordered, That the Grand Secretary cause the proceedings of this Grand Communication to be printed, and a copy transmitted to the subordinate lodges; to the lodge at Marietta, and the several Grand Lodges of the Union."
The State Legislature still holding its annual session at Chillicothe, the early capital of the State, it was deemed best to continue the Grand Communications of the Grand Lodge at that place, although an effort was made, but without success, to have it meet elsewhere.
Owing to the many embarrassing circumstances connected with its establishment, the difficulties of travel and the widely separated location of its lodges, in existence or proposed, the systematic organization of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio was, of necessity, very slow, and the issue of its charters and the arrangement of numbers and precedence of its subordinate lodges were still in abeyance.
The Stated (annual) Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1812 was held at Chillicothe, January 6th, with a representation from a majority of its subordinate lodges in attendance and the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Cass, present and presiding.
The lodges represented were noted in the following order: Scioto, Amity, New England, Unity, Morning Dawn, Belmont, Hiram, St. John's, Center Star, Mt. Zion, Meridian Orb, and Cincinnati.
At the first session of the Grand Communication an oration, previously delivered by him at Zanesville, was read by the Grand Master.
At the session on the second day the annual election of officers for the ensuing year was held and M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Cass was re-elected as Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother Jacob Burnet was re-elected as Deputy Grand Master. Instead of being elected by ballot as hitherto, the Grand Chaplain, Grand Deacons, Grand Marshal, Grand Sword-Bearer, Grand Pursuivant, and Grand Steward and Tyler were appointed by the Grand Master.
Papers were submitted to the Grand Lodge, soliciting mediation in the affairs of the Cincinnati and Nova Cesarea Lodges of Cincinnati, and in this connection it was Resolved, That this Grand Lodge recommends to the Cincinnati Lodge to pay their dues to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky; and have leave to withdraw their charter from this Grand Lodge, and return the same to the said Grand Lodge of Kentucky; and that they inform the Grand Lodge of New Jersey of the step thus taken, requesting them to return their original charter, with an assurance that they will pay all regular dues. And further, That the said lodge of Cincinnati be hereafter known and called by the name of Nova Cesarea Lodge, and by that name be represented in this Grand Lodge. And on complying with the above, the said lodge shall be entitled to a charter from this Grand Lodge, and not otherwise.
Resolved, also, That the M.·. W.·. Grand Master communicate the result of the proceedings of this Grand Lodge on the subject matter of this resolution to the Grand Lodges of New Jersey and Kentucky, and request their approbation and concurrence.
On motion, the following resolutions were adopted by the Grand Lodge;
Resolved, that agreeably to the prayer of the several petitions, charter do issue to the Brethren of Cleveland, to hold a lodge there by the name of Concord; to the Brethren of St. Clairsville, to hold a lodge then by the name of Belmont Lodge; to the Brethren of Delaware, to hold a lodge there by the name of Hiram Lodge; and to the Brethren of Hamilton (Butler County), to hold a lodge there by the name of Washington Lodge.
Resolved, That the Secretary be directed to number the subordinate lodges of this Grand Lodge, beginning with the No.2, and continuing progressively, agreeably to their respective charters."
On January 11, 1812, the closing session of the Grand Lodge was held, at which, on motion of the Worshipful Grand Treasurer, it was Resolved, That two hundred. copies of the oration presented to this Grand Lodge by the M.·. W.·. Grand Master be printed; and that the Secretary be directed to distribute five copies to each lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, and to the lodge at Marietta; and to each Grand Lodge in the United States."
On motion of the R.·. M.·. Deputy Grand Master, it was Resolved, That this Grand Lodge, and the subordinate lodges within its Jurisdiction, assume the usual badges of mourning for the term of six mouths, as a testimony of respect to the memory of our departed Brother Joseph Hamilton Daviess, late Grand Master of the State of Kentucky, who fell fighting gallantly in the late engagement on the banks of the Wabash.
The Grand Communication of 1812 was closed in harmony and its proceedings were attested by the newly elected Grand Secretary, R.·. M.·. Brother Angus Lewis Langham.
The Annual Grand Communication for 1813 was held "in the town of Chillicothe, State of Ohio, on Monday, the fourth day of January, 1813, A. L. 5813."
The Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis Cass, was in the Grand East. R.·. M.·.Brother Jacob Burnet, Deputy Grand Master, was the only other elected Grand Officer in attendance at the opening of Grand Lodge, the absentees being represented by pro term officers.
"A representation from a majority of the subordinate lodges within the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge being present, the Grand Lodge was opened on the third degree of Masonry, in ample form."
Twelve subordinate lodges were represented in Grand Lodge: Cincinnati No.2, New England No.4, Scioto No.6, Morning Dawn No.7, Harmony No.8, Center Star No.11, Unity No.12, Concord No.15, Belmont No.16, Washington No.17, Hiram No.18, and Farmers No.20 (of Belpre, Washington County, the present lodge of that name being at Fredonia in Licking County). Mount Zion Lodge No.9 was represented at the second day's session.
At the second session of the Grand Lodge, on report and recommendation of the committee to whom referred, it was enacted as follows:
Whereas, It appears to this Grand Lodge, that the Brethren of Cincinnati Lodge, working by virtue of a charter from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and the Brethren of Nova Cesarea Lodge, subordinate to the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, residents in the county of Hamilton, and State of Ohio, having obtained a legal discharge from the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodges aforesaid, by having paid up their dues and returned their charters:
And, Whereas, It is made further to appear to this Grand Lodge, that the said Cincinnati and Nova Cesarea Lodges are desirous to unite themselves into one Lodge, and thus place themselves under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge: Therefore
Resolved by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, That the aforesaid Cincinnati and Nova Cesarea Lodges are hereby declared to be incorporated into one lodge, to be known and recognized by the name of the Nova Cesarea Harmony Lodge No.2, to be held in the town of Cincinnati, and State aforesaid.
Resolved, That the Nova Cesarea Harmony Lodge is declared a subordinate lodge, and entitled to like privileges and benefits with other subordinate lodges, within the Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge.
Resolved, That the Grand Secretary be authorized to issue a charter to the said Nova Cesarea Harmony Lodge No.2 accordingly; and that the name Cincinnati Lodge No.2 be abolished, and engrossed in the aforesaid title and number.
By this consolidation these two pioneer lodges became one under their new name and were accorded the number justly held by Cincinnati Lodge, as will be further noted herein.
Loyal to Freemasonry under all the vicissitudes incident to a pioneer existence, and to the Grand Lodge while it was under the ban of fanaticism and persecution, N. C. Harmony Lodge never wavered in its fealty to or attendance upon the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio throughout the whole of the so-called "Morgan excitement" from 1829 to a variable later date according to local influences prevailing at that period.
The history of N. C. Harmony Lodge No.2, in the history of the lodges subordinate to the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio, will be found to be of much interest, not only as a Masonic paper, but also in its pioneer features in connection with the early history of Ohio.
In the history of this Grand Lodge, it being necessary to a full understanding of its organization and autonomy to refer briefly to the organization and early history of the subordinate lodges, it is in place to state that N. C. harmony Lodge was formed by a union of Nova Cesarea Lodge No.10, warranted by the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of New Jersey, September 8, 1791; and Cincinnati Lodge No.13, working under a dispensation from the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Kentucky dated March 20, 1806, and recognized as No.2 in the Grand Lodge Convention.
Nova Cesarea Lodge was not organized under its warrant until December 27, 1794, and its first elected officers were: Edward Day, M.·. W.·.; John S. Gano, S. W.; Calvin Morrel, J. W.; James Brady, Treasurer; Elias Wallin, Secretary; John Allen, S. D.; Patrick Dickey, J. D., and Nathaniel Stokes, Tyler.
The second meeting of the lodge was held in the house of Brother Gordon, a member of an army lodge came to that locality with the army when the country was a wilderness, and doubtless remained in Cincinnati or its vicinity until the organization of Nova Cesarea Lodge. The latter continued in active existence for a period of over ten years, when dissensions and disagreements seem to have arisen in tho lodge flow, however, not only not understood but absolutely inexplicable.
On December 10, 1805, the Master of the Lodge, W. Brother Matthew Nimmo, returned the warrant of Nova Cesarea Lodge to the M.·. W.·. Grand Ledge of New Jersey. In his letter to the at Grand Lodge he says: "The painful duty has devolved upon me of announcing to you the dissolution of Nova Cesarea Lodge No.10, and of enclosing to you the charter upon which, for upwards of fourteen years, that lodge has acted. In doing this, I not only express my own feelings but the feelings of most of my Brothers, which I say it is with sensations of deepest regret that you are addressed on the present occasion." This is followed by his explanation of the cause of the action of the lodge in the surrender of its charter, bat which would, however, see in to be very unsatisfactory in the light of subsequent events in that connection.
On December 18th the Lodge record shows the resumption of its labors under the title of "Cincinnati Lodge" No.13. "By virtue of a dispensation of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Charles Kilgore, Griffith Yeatman, and Matthew Nimmo, Master, were authorized to install William Goforth Master of Cincinnati Lodge, No.13." The first election of officers resulted in the election of William Goforth, W. M.; John Mahard, S. W.; William McFarland, J. W.; Griffin Yeatman, Treasurer; Matthew Nimmo, Secretary; Thomas Ramsey, S. D.; Robert Brasher, J. D., and Andrew Brannon, Tyler.
Cincinnati Lodge No.13 existed as such for but a few years, as "At the stated meeting December 7, 1808, it was Resolved, That this Lodge return their dispensation to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and that Brother Thomas Dugan be a committee to procure a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Ohio."
At a stated Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of New Jersey in 1807 a petition was received signed by Francis Mennessier, William Goforth, Jr., Burrows Smith, Thomas Ramsey, Robert Brasher, and Dudley Avery, requesting the Grand Lodge of New Jersey to return the warrant of Nova Cesarea Lodge No.10.
The appeal was not granted and, after an appeal to the newly established M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio, in 1810 another petition signed by John S. Gano and nineteen other members of the late Nova Cesarea Lodge No.10 was presented to the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of New Jersey, "praying for certain reasons therein set forth that the warrant of their lodge may be returned to them.''
In their communication the petitioners claim that the action in the surrender of the charter, at a called meeting, was unwarranted, irregular, and without proper notice to the members of the lodge, and that "every advantage and intrigue was practiced to effect their scheme, in sending back the warrant and in getting a dispensation from Kentucky Grand Lodge," etc., followed by further statements of like character.
While the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of New Jersey did not deem it practicable or wise to restore the charter for the re-establishment of their lodge, they recommended the Brethren and their petition to the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio, by which body the controversy was happily settled by the consecration of the two lodges.
The dormant Nova Cesarea Lodge No.10 and Cincinnati Lodge No.13 which was one of the lodges that participated in the convention that organized the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio and thereafter was a faithful subordinate thereto were united under the name of Nova Cesarea Harmony Lodge No.2 on the roster of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. Why it was not designated as No.1, as it would seem to have been entitled, was doubtless in accordance with the resolution of the Convention of 1808, that lodges should be numbered in their order "beginning with the charter of most ancient date," no defection then being anticipated. Another reason perhaps added weight thereto, that it would be an inducement to American Union Lodge to become loyal to the Grand Lodge and thereby have the distinction of being designated as No.1 on its roster of subordinate lodges.
At this Communication of the Grand Lodge the Constitution was amended by the addition of a Grand Lecturer to its list of Grand Officers.
The election of Grand Officers resulted in the election of M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush of Chillicothe, Grand Master; M.·. W.·. Brother James Kilbonrn of Worthington, Deputy Grand Master; M.·. W.·. Brother Edward W. Tupper of Gallipolis, Grand Senior Warden; W. Brother Levin Belt of Chiflicothe, Grand Junior Warden; W. Brother David Kinkead of Chillicothe, Grand Treasurer; and M.·. W.·. Brother Robert Kercheval of Chillicothe, Grand Secretary.
The following additional amendment to the constitution was also adopted by the Grand Lodge at this session, Article 8 of the bylaws being amended to read:
Article 8. The matters of controversy before the Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority of votes; that is to say, the Grand Master or presiding officer having one vote, unless in eases of an equal division, and then two, the Deputy Grand Master one vote, the Grand Wardens for the time collectively one vote, the Past Grand Officers and Past Masters who are entitled to seats in the Grand Lodge collectively one vote, and the officers, or representatives, of each subordinate lodge collectively one vote. It is, however, understood that no Brother can vote in a double capacity."
The following preamble and resolutions, after a few short but impressive remarks, were introduced by the Past Grand Master, Brother Lewis Cass:
"The East, the West, and the South of the Grand Lodge of Ohio do declare: That the defenders of their country have a right to expect their country's approbation. The lamented death of Brother Benoni Pierce, who died nobly while fighting bravely the battles of his country, demands the expression of our grief for his loss, and our affection for his memory. Therefore
Resolved by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, That this Grand Lodge, and the subordinate lodges within its Jurisdiction, assume the usual badges of mourning for the term of three months, as a testimony of respect for the memory of our departed Brother, Captain Benoni Pierce, who fell in the late engagement on the Mississinawa River.
Resolved, That the Grand Master be requested to transmit to the widow of our deceased Brother a letter of condolence, expressing the regret which the Grand Lodge feels in the irreparable loss she has sustained.
Resolved, That the Grand Master do also, out of the Grand Charity Fund, transmit to the widow of our deceased Brother the sum of fifty dollars.
In accordance with the amendment of the Constitution creating the office of Grand Lecture, W. Brother Robert Safford of Gallipolis "was proclaimed duly elected" to that office.
The concluding session of the 1818 Annual Communication on January 8th was brief. At this Grand Communication dispensations were granted to Farmers Lodge at Belpre, Washington County; Pickaway Lodge, at Circleville, Pickaway County; Rising Sun Lodge at Ashtabula, Ashtabula County; Western Star Lodge, and Canfleld, Trumbull County, and Jerusalem Lodge at Hartford, Trunbull County.
The Annual Grand Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1814 was held at Chillicothe January 8th of that year. The Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush, was present and presiding. In accordance with the order previously made by the Grand Lodge the subordinate lodges were consecutively numbered, commencing with No.2. The last two lodges on the list, Army Lodge No.24 and Paramuthia Lodge No.25 at Athens, received dispensations during the recess of the Grand Lodge and their names are here first mentioned. No.1 was evidently yet reserved for American Union of Marietta.
Up to this time but few, if any, of the subordinate lodges had yet received a charter from the Grand Lodge of Ohio and although in some instances voted a charter, a certificate or their dispensation constituted their authority. In this connection it is pertinent to state that there is apparently no record whatever in the printed Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the actual date of some of the charters of its subordinate lodges up to this year; and it is not until after the Proceedings of the following year were printed that a complete list of the chartered lodges is published. The date even on the charter without other evidence is not proof, in itself, of the actual date of issue; as some of the charters may have been given an earlier date than when issued; where so voted to replace original charters surrendered or to replace certificates issued therefor, before blank charters were procured. The approximate dates of the early charters issued by the Grand Lodge of Ohio may be reasonably inferred, however, in the printed Proceedings.
At this Grand Communication Erie Lodge No.3, at Warren, and New England Lodge No.4 at Worthington "were chartered by order of the Grand Lodge." Charters were also voted to Jerusalem Lodge No.19 and Paramuthia Lodge No.25 in 1814. The Army Lodge mentioned above as No.24 on the list of subordinate lodges, was established "at Camp Meigs, or at any other place where the casualties of war may direct, September 13, 1813." "Colonel William C. Anderson of the 24th Regiment U. S. Infantry, Master; Camel Wm. McMillan, of 17th Regiment U. S. Infantry, Senior Warden; Captain Charles Gratiot, of the Corps of Engineers, Junior Warden."
As may he noted the military element of the country has always had its deserved prominence in the annals of Grand Lodge; and although with but few exceptions their records were, necessarily doubtless, in many respects meager and unsatisfactory and their returns irregular, the Grand Lodge of Ohio has always patriotically acquiesced in their establishment. This may also be said to be a marked feature in all of the English speaking Grand Lodges.
With fraternal patience and tolerance the Grand Lodge leniently Resolved, That the M.·. W.·. Grand Master be requested to open a correspondence with the lodge at Marietta, on the subject of rendering themselves subordinate to this Grand Lodge, and that he report the result thereof to the next Grand Communication.
There were, even at that early period, traveling frauds; as at the session of the second day it was ordered by the Grand Lodge that a circular should be sent to all of the subordinate lodges in Ohio and to each of the other Grand Lodges, warning them against two foreigners, discovered to be impostors, who were soliciting money "for the relief of six Brethren held in captivity in a foreign country."
At this session the annual election of Grand Officers was held, which resulted in the re-election of all the elective Grand Officers, except the Grand Lecturer, as W. Brother Edwin Matthews of N. C. Harmony Lodge of Cincinnati was chosen to succeed W. Brother Robert Safford of Morning Dawn Lodge of Gallipolis.
The sessions of the Grand Lodge on each day were regularly opened and closed "in ample form."
At the meeting on the third day fifty dollars was voted to the relief of two Masonic widows.
The Grand Lodge adopted a resolution exempting those lodges working under "legal authority in this State at the time of the first Convention of this Grand Lodge" from the payment of charter fees.
The Annual Communication of 1814 lasted five days, being held in the evening only, however, of each day.
The Proceedings of the current year are supplemented with a roster of the subordinate lodges, from which we gather the following information concerning each lodge:
With the addition of the unaffiliated Masons, the number of Masons in Ohio at that date was doubtless not less than seven hundred.
The Annual Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio for 1815 was held in the town of Chillicothe on the 2nd day of January, A. L. 5815, M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush, Grand Master, in the Grand East. Representatives from "a majority of all the lodges being present, the Grand Lodge was opened on the third degree of Masonry in ample form."
At the first session, a communication from Immanuel de la Motta of New York, "denouncing a certain 'Joseph Cerneua' as an imposter," etc., was received, and "which from its interesting contents was referred to a committee." On report of the committee the communication was placed on file.
A communication from the Grand Lodge of South Carolina announcing the settlement of the division that had prevailed in that jurisdiction was received, and the congratulations of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was subsequently extended to that Grand Lodge.
Before the close of the Annual Communication twenty-three subordinate lodges were represented in Grand Lodge.
At the annual election of officers held on the second day, M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush was re-elected Grand Master. The following officers were also elected: M.·. W.·. Thomas Kirtand, Deputy Grand Master; W. Edward W. Lipper, Senior Grand Warden; W. Chester Griswold, Grand Junior Warden; Brother Robert Kercheval, Grand Secretary; Brother David Kinkead, Grand Treasurer; Brother Edwin Matthews, Grand Lecturer; Brother Jacob Burnet, Grand Orator; Brother Hiram N. Curry, Grand Chaplain, and Brother Peter Spurek, Grand Steward and Tyler. The other officers were appointed by the Grand Master.
The following interesting legislation was enacted in relation to Harmony Lodge of "Urbana and Springfield:"
Whereas, It has become inconvenient and difficult for the Brethren of Harmony Lodge No.8 to work under their present charter, inasmuch as the same requires them to labor alternately at Urbana and Springfield, Champaign County: and whereas, it has been represented to this Grand Lodge that the Brethren of said lodge have a desire to surrender their said charter, and to form separate lodges at each of the said places: Therefore,
Resolved, by the Grand Lodge, That on the surrendering, by the said Brethren of Harmony Lodge No.8, of their present charter, and on application in the form being made by the Brethren of the said lodge from Urbana and Springfield, respectively, that the M.·. W.·. Grand Master do grant to them, respectively, dispensations authorizing them to labor until the next annual Grand Communication, at each of said places; at which time, if no reasons shall appear to the contrary, they shall be respectively entitled to receive charters, on paying to the Grand Lodge dues for one charter only, to be paid by the said contemplated new lodges in proportion to their respective members the said contemplated new lodges respectively paying the Grand Secretary the fees which by the Constitution and By-laws he is entitled to receive."
At the session of the Grand Lodge on the third day, the committee appointed to report on the subject of the correspondence of the Grand Lodge and American Union Lodge No.1 made the following report:
The committee to whom was referred the correspondence of our M.·. W.·. Grand Master with American Union Lodge No.1, in relation to the unhappy disagreement existing between the Grand Lodge of Ohio and that ledge, having had the same under consideration, beg leave to report:
That American Union Lodge No.1 was established at Marietta some time in the year 1792, in virtue of a charter dated (as represented by that lodge) in February, 1776, granted in England as a traveling charter, and signed by the Provincial Grand Master.
That lodge, when established by virtue of this charter, was recognized as a regular lodge by the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and continued their labors for several years, and until its lodge room and charter were by fire destroyed, a copy of this charter having been previously forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and (it is believed) Massachusetts. On the loss of their charter, Union Lodge first applied to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to renew its provisions and authorize that lodge to continue its labors under an approved copy. But that Grand Lodge, on examining the copy, finding it contained a provision nearly in these words "to work in Roxberry or any place (or any where) on the continent of America, where no Grand Lodge is established" refused to renew their charter without making it tributary and subordinate to that Grand Lodge.
From this lodge application was made to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, praying the same privileges. After a considerable length of time that Grand Lodge authorized Union Lodge to reassume their labors, under a copy of their original charter, but with an express provision that the charter so renewed and recognized "should be surrendered whenever a Grand Lodge should be formed within this State or Territory," The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts reserving to itself the right of exacting dues, as an acknowledgment of her dependency.
Such were the circumstances under which American Union Lodge again commenced her labors, after a suspension of near two years, at the same time compelled to acknowledge her dependency on the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
When a number of lodges in this State authorized the forming of a Grand lodge American Union Lodge was among the first to propose the convention, where she was duly represented and assisted in forming the Grand Lodge. Soon after the Grand Lodge was formed, and the several lodges in this State were required to surrender their charters, Union Lodge refused by various pretenses to comply with the requisition of the Grand Lodge, and has since ceased, and refused to be represented at thee Grand Communications.
"From that time, various have been the amicable means resorted to by the Grand Lodge of Ohio to convince that lodge that she was wandering from the path of her duty, and to restore her to peace, to happiness, and to the confidence and affection of her sister lodges; this hope, so fondly cherished from the purity of its motives, looked forward to the happy moment when this wandering sister, convinced of her errors, should place herself under the guidance and protection of this lodge; but such a hope must no longer be cherished.
That lodge by her solemn act, in July last, while acting on the invitation of this Grand Lodge, through our M.·. W.·. Grand Master, begging her to come in and unite with the family of her sister lodges, rejects the invitation and declares her independence.
To reclaim a wanderer who is straying from virtue's paths; to restore her to honor and a sense of her duty, connection must often be applied, though distressing to the hand that administers it. The history of Masonry affords many examples of this last and painful resort.
Your Committee can not, therefore, in pursuance of the duty they owe the Craft in general, and to the happy and dutiful lodges of this Grand Communication in particular, refrain from recommending the adoption of the following resolutions:
Resolved, That American Union Lodge No.1, at Marietta, by refusing to surrender her charter, and denying the Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, has forfeited her privileges to labor, and has become an unauthorized and unwarranted lodge.
Resolved, That no member of any lodge of the State of Ohio, who may enter that lodge, after a knowledge of these resolutions, and labor in any of the duties appertaining to the Craft, or any member of that lodge, who shall sit in or assist in any labor (while working under their present charter) shall ever again be received in any lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge: provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent American Union Lodge from once meeting for the sole purpose of considering on these resolutions.
Resolved, That no person hereafter initiated in that lodge, under its present charter, shall ever be considered or acknowledged as a Mason, in any lodge within the Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, by virtue of such initiation.
Resolved, That our Most Worshipful Grand Master be required to forward immediately to the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts copies of this report and these resolutions, under the seal of this Grand Lodge, and request their aid in reclaiming that wandering lodge and that our Most Worshipful Grand Master be so requested to forward a copy of this report and these resolutions to the Master of American Union lodge.
Resolved, That whenever American Union Lodge shall surrender her charter and acknowledge the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, it shall be lawful for our M.·. W.·. Grand Master to grant to said lodge his dispensation, authorizing the continuance of its labors until the next Grand Communication.
(Signed) Edw. W. Tupper
"And on motion that the Grand Lodge adopt the report it was unanimously decided in the affirmative tale lodges."
The Annul Communication of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio pursuant to its own order was held at Chillicothe, January 1, A. D. 1816, A. L. 5816. M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush, Grand Master, was in attendance and presided. Other Grand Officers and the representatives of sixteen subordinate lodges were present.
"The Grand Lodge was opened on the third degree of Masonry in ample form."
The usual committees were appointed and it was "ordered that the Grand Communication be adjourned until tomorrow evening." At the next session, Jan.24, twenty subordinate lodges were represented and the record states that the "Grand Lodge was opened on the third degree of Masonry in ample form."
A charter was ordered for Ohio Lodge No.30.
"A petition in company with sundry papers from a number of the Brethren formerly of the American Union Lodge No.1 at Marietta, praying to be created into a new lodge, was read and on motion referred to a select committee of three members" for its consideration. At the session of the Grand Lodge upon the next day the following report in that connection was submitted by the committee:
The committee to whom was referred the petition of Brother Stephen Lindsley and others, praying for a warrant of constitution together with the documents accompanying the same, beg leave to report, that from the nature of the petition and the consequences that might arise from granting the prayer which it contains, they have been induced to take a view of the present situation and pretensions of those individuals, at and in the neighborhood of Marietta, who claim the right of continuing to work under the traveling charter formerly granted by the Grand Lodge of the State of Massachusetts; the result of which inquiry has been a perfect conviction that that instrument, both in its pre amble and conclusion, contained terms of limitation by which it was restricted in its duration to the period when a Grand Lodge should be formed in the State or Territory in which the lodge might be established. It was certainly no more decorous and proper for that Grand Lodge, in granting a charter for a lodge beyond the limits of its own Jurisdiction, thus to restrict it. But if the charter had contained no express limitation, it appears to your committee to be a just inference from the nature of authority, and the boundaries of the various Masonic Jurisdictions, as they are settled and established within the United States, that the operation and effect of the instrument would cease on the formation of a Grand Lodge within the State. In addition to which it may be observed that the part which American Union Lodge No.1 has taken in the formation of the Grand Lodge is sufficient to bind them, and to bring them on the ground of consent or convention within the jurisdiction and control of this body. The idea of a subordinate lodge existing within the jurisdictional limits of a Grand Lodge, not only independent of its authority, but avowing themselves jurisprudence of every other Grand Lodge on the face of the earth, is truly novel and seems to be subversive of all system, order, and harmony; and tending in its consequences to introduce principles wholly inconsistent with the prosperity, if not the existence of the Craft.
The period to which the duration of the charter in question was limited having arrived, it has necessarily become null and void; the power and privileges which it conferred have ceased, and consequently the individuals who continue to congregate and work, under a pretext that it authorizes them to do so, are proceeding without authority, in contempt of every rule and landmark of Masonry, and in violation of their most sacred duties and obligations. It being therefore manifest that American Union Lodge No.1 has ceased to exist, and that the petitioning brethren were members of that lodge and the only members who have manifested a desire to have it revived and organized under this Grand Lodge, your committee are of the opinion that they are the proper and legal representatives of the late American Union Lodge No.1, and that, as such, they are entitled to a renewal of their charter by this Grand Lodge. Your committee therefore recommend that a charter be granted to the petitioners, by the name and description set forth in their petition, having such a reference to their former charter from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as will show that it is a revival of the former lodge, whereby they may be entitled to the books, furniture, jewels, and funds which belonged to that lodge.
(Signed) Jacob Burnet,
Which report was unanimously agreed to voting by lodges.
In the same communication the following was adopted at Thursday's session of the Grand Lodge:
Resolved, That the American Union Lodge No.1, working under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, be authorized to receive and reinstate in the privileges of Masonry such members of the late American Union Lodge as have continued to congregate and labor since the said Grand Lodge at their last Grand Annual Communication prohibited such labor: Provided, satisfactory assurance be given to the American Union Lodge No.1 of their readiness to comply with the rules and resignations of this Grand Lodge.
Thus it will be seen that whilst American Union Lodge No.1 was practically a new lodge, chartered in 1816, it was justly authorized by the Grand Lodge to assume the name, number, and property of that lodge justly forfeited by its repudiation of its implied contract in the Convention of 1808, in which it participated, and its bad faith and un-masonic conduct in its subsequent rebellious action.
In justice to those loyal Brethren of American Union Lodge No. 1, who acknowledged fealty to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio, a transcript of the first communication of that lodge, held under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, is given as follows, copied from the original record for this history by W. Brother Jewett Palmer of American Union lodge:
January 15, 1816.
"The members of American Union Lodge No.1 met in consequence of having received a charter from the Grand Lodge of Ohio authorizing them to work under its authority.
Brother Levi Barber, W. M.
"Lodge opened on the first degree in due form. On motion voted to proceed to the election of officers for the ensuing year, the following members were elected:
Brother Augustus Stone, Master
The elected officers were duly installed. Brethren Sardine Stone and James McColloch were appointed Deacons by the Worshipful Master. Brother S. Whipple was appointed Steward.
The bylaws were read and unanimously accepted. Brother S. Hoit presented the petition of D. H. Buell praying to be initiated a member of the Fraternity . Five dollars, being the legal deposit, accompanied the petition.
The lodge then closed in due form to meet
again on the Tuesday preceding the full moon, being the regular lodge
communication agreeable to bylaws.
From 1825 to 1829, a period of four years, American Union Lodge No.1 had no representative in attendance at Grand Lodge, and although it was represented in 1829 and on the subsequent list of "Existing Lodges," the Grand Lodge record states that it ceased its existence from 1828 although the record is a year at least later, resuming in 1845. From 1829 until 1845, a period of sixteen years, it was not represented in Grand Lodge. In 1843, a resolution was adopted by the Grand Lodge, at its Annual Communication in October, authorizing American Union Lodge No.1 "to resume its labors at Marietta" and remitting its dues "during the time its labors were suspended."
At another session of that Annual Communication a resolution was adopted restoring the charter of American Union Lodge No.1 and authorizing the return of its jewels and furniture, if any, "in the possession of the Grand Lodge." From that period to the present writing American Union Lodge No.1 has evidently had a prospers and harmonious existence and its local history following this will be found to be of much interest.
In his careful examination of the old records of American Union No.1, W. Brother Jewett Palmer of that lodge states that he finds no reference whatever to any proposed discontinuance of its existence or any explanation of its suspension of work.
The records show that a regular communication was held in 1828, and officers were installed and "one petition referred." A regular meeting was held on January 13, 1829, "a candidate was elected and initiated," and a bylaw was proposed and laid over."
A regular meeting was held June 24, 1830, at which it is said a candidate was elected and passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft.
No record then occurs until November 6, 1843, when it is stated that a special meeting was held by some of the late members of A. U. Lodge No.1 to consider a proposition of the Grand Lodge authorizing American Union Lodge No.1 to resume work and "discharging the lodge from dues during the time its labors were suspended." The proposition for resumption was accepted, and in 1845 American Union Lodge No.1 was again represented in the Grand Lodge of Ohio and as hitherto stated since that period has prospered beyond measure.
At the Annual Grand Communication in 1816, M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush was re-elected Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother John S. Gano was elected Deputy Grand Master, W. Brother Chester Griswold Senior Grand Warden, W. Brother Edwin Matthews Junior Grand Warden, and W. Brother Robert Kereheval Grand Secretary.
As the record of its closing ceremonies it is stated that "the Grand Lodge, in the name of the holy Craft, was duly dosed."
The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1817 was held at Chillicothe, January 6th. M.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brush, Grand Master, was in the Grand East. Fifteen of the thirty-five lodge on the role were represented in Grand Lodge at its session of the first day. On the second day twenty-four of its subordinate lodges were duly represented in Grand Lodge.
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio was now firmly established with thirty-five lodges on its roster at the opening of Grand Lodge, and three more were added before its close.
An amendment of the Constitution and Bylaws was adopted changing the time of its Annual Grand Communications as follows: "The Grand Lodge shall hold its Communications once in every year, on the first Monday in August."
The Grand Lodge was very conservative in its consideration of the disciplinary matters submitted for its consideration, and all such were not determined until after careful investigation.
The high estimation in which the Masonic Institution was held by our pioneer Brethren is apparent in the following circular letter, which was prepared by a committee appointed for that purpose and ordered to be sent to each of the subordinate lodges:
"A Circular from the Grand Lodge of Ohio to the subordinate lodges under its jurisdiction.
Brethren: While assembled, and solemnly engaged for the general welfare and prosperity of the most excellent Order of Masonry as the parent and guardian of the institution in this section of our beloved country, the Grand Lodge of the State of Ohio affectionately claims the serious attention of its subordinate lodges to a subject which is judged of vital importance to the honor and prosperity of American Masonry, viz.: the imperious necessity of an increased degree of caution in admissions to the order, and a more energetic discipline among the Craft. It is in vain to attempt the concealment of the frequent departure of many branches of the Masonic family from the pure principles and simple practice of their ancient and venerable ancestry.
The prodigality with which their inheritance has been squandered among undeserving and profligate associates has in a great degree portended the universal sway of ruin and dilapidation.
And this destruction has hitherto been prevented only by the counteracting influence of those who have remained faithful to the ancient and honorable principles of this ancient and enduring establishment; and who, with unwearied vigilance, have trembled for the Ark of the Covenant.
While it is considered worthy of congratulation and encouragement that the bewildering shades of ignorance and prejudice are fast receding from the increased splendor of refined illumination; and that the Masonic system, at this day more than at any previous period, is correctly estimated: there is also discovered much cause for regret and severe reprehension. Truly, the Masonic Temple may be veiled in sackcloth, and its votaries mourn that the Great Lights of the Order are so feebly reflected in their lives and conversation.
"Brethren, a great and invaluable deposit has been committed to your trust. You hold the keys of the sanctuary, and command the avenue to the treasury of mystery. How critical, then, and important is your station while the gates of the Temple are beset with the importunate applications of an indiscriminate multitude of the skeptical, profligate, and ignorant; especially when it is considered that by an improper initiation the principal characteristics of the order become sulked, and deeply stained with the blood of an unworthy Brother; and the great probability, if not certainty, that by the admission of a single degenerate plant into the garden of the lodge, disease and ruin will be extended to the healthy and vigorous within its vicinity. The celebrity and utility of Masonry depends not on the number, but on the purity and uprightness of its votaries. Therefore, in every admission, a strict observance of the Three Great Lights of Masonry is solemnly requested and enjoined. A satisfactory belief in the infallible rule of our faith and practice is ever to be required, as an essential prerequisite for initiation: nothing short of which can possibly warrant an expectation that its influence will be duly realized. Integrity of heart and uprightness of deportment, together with temperance and virtuous morality, can not in this case be correctly dispensed with. And as these qualifications are essential in admission, it is evident that their continual possession and exercise is ever after most reasonably to be expected and required. Then let t it be remembered that an irrevocable decree of exclusion is solemnly passed against every impropriety that has ever introduced itself among this, as Masons; and that every initiation into a subordinate lodge will be expected to take place without deviation from the indispensable rules and ancient landmarks of our order.
Animated by a determination to raise our honorable institution to the dignity and estimation which it has a right to claim, no difficulties should appall the conductors of this great work. Vigorous exertions for its external embellishment are not only necessary, but also the most assiduous attention to the superintendence of its internal affairs, in order that there may be excited fresh expectations of increased attainments in the moral harmony and beauty of its proceedings.
The most anxious aim of all your official labors is to be directed to the elevation of the minds of the Brethren to a right apprehension of the sublimity and grandeur of the institution; to stimulate them to a corresponding course of personal demeanor in the conduct of its concerns; to banish all low and groveling ideas of the meaner purposes to which ignorance and folly have frequently debased it; and to recommend its important benefits to the acceptance of the wise and the good.
The lovely image of Masonry is as a city set on a hill. If her features are sullied, or the symmetry of her habiliments deranged, the world will witness and deride our folly; and the publicity of her exposure will make her deformity an object of universal aversion and disgust. On the contrary, arrayed in her native simplicity and purity, she will attract to the vestibule of their sacred temple the upright and the good: your gates will be crowded with visitants the most desirable, and the votaries of religion and of science will not withhold their sanction and support in the conduct of your mysteries.
And now, beloved Brethren, commending you
to the protection of our Supreme Grand Master, and beseeching Him to
shower down His blessings open you, it is confidently believed that
with cheerfulness you will receive your commands from the East, and
with healthful repose your refreshments in the South; that at length,
when you have finished your course of exalted labor, you may receive
a satisfactory reward in the West. Then shall our Great High Priest,
our Glorious Sojourner and Intercessor, grant you the pass into that
Grand Lodge above; where the noise of the hammer is no more heard where
the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
At the session on the last day of the Annual Communication, it was ordered "that the Grand Secretary write to Colonel Anderson, the Master of Army Lodge No.24, inquiring into the situation of that lodge."
Matters at Marietta not yet being in a
satisfactory condition, the Grand Lodge "Ordered, that the Grand
Master and D. G. Master be a committee to prepare a publication for
the public prints, in relation to the unwarrantable conduct of Ichabod
Nye and his associates at Marietta, who have been working as Masons
since the first of February, 1816, contrary to an express resolution
of the Grand Lodge;" and it was further Resolved by the Grand Lodge
of Ohio, that all subordinate
This legislation seems to have been a satisfactory and final settlement of the annoyance given by the proposed Clandestine body.
Although there has been an apparent digression from the continuity of recital intended in this history, yet before again resuming the continuous history of the Grand Lodge it will be in order to give a brief history of the lodges chartered by Grand Lodges of other States that assisted in the organization of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio: and also, in their order, the necessary historical reference to its other early subordinate lodges organized before 1825.