August 2009

The Lee Masonic Lodge No. 435 AF & AM
This Month's Featured Small Town Lodge

The Lee Masonic Lodge Building In Prosper Texas 1904-1967

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Lee Masonic Lodge No. 435 AF & AM

When the War Stood Still in Galveston

A Tour Of The American Grand Lodges Series

"More Questions Than Answers

...And A Cable-Tow...

The Eye in the Pyramid

Angles And Demons - The Movie

The Masonic Lodge Pipe Organ

Stephen F. Austin Mural

Handshakes And Goat Blood

William Morgan, Anti-Mason.

My Brother's Keeper. Open Racism In Georgia Freemasonry.

What Drives The Anti-Masons?

The Elusive Bro DeKalb

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Page III
Lee Lodge #435 AF & AM

History of Lee Lodge # 435

While Lee Lodge # 435 is located in Prosper, TX, this is not where it started or operated for it's first 28 years. To obtain a solid understanding of the history of Lee Lodge, it is necessary to achieve an understanding of the community and something of the men who founded the lodge.

The Rhea's Mills Community

Rhea's Mills, a rural community, was founded by the Rhea family about 1856 and was located some ten or twelve miles northwest of McKinney and about five miles northeast of the town of Prosper, Collin County, Texas. Prior to the Civil War three members of this family stood out prominently in the community. These men were interested not only in themselves but also in the building up of a community spirit. The sterling character of these three brothers was no doubt responsible for the building of such a fine community.

Unfortunately, they were not able to carry out the designs they had drawn on the trestle board due to the fact that they were interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War. Heeding the call to the colors, these brothers volunteered their services for the defense of the Confederacy. This struggle was destined to change their plans still more. In the conflict, John W. Rhea gave his life on the field of battle while his brother, William A. Rhea, received a wound which incapacitated him for further military service and he returned home before the close of the war. The third brother, James C. Rhea, was perhaps more fortunate than the other two for he came through the whole struggle all in one piece.

Just before the outbreak of the war, William A. and James C. Rhea started the first business in the Rhea community. This business was in the form of a carding machine. It is said, and on good authority, that the wool growers from over a great section of North Texas brought their wool to this place to be carded. While the Rhea brothers were in the army, the carding machine was burned by a rebellious worker. This was naturally a great loss but we find that the business was soon re-established.

During the days of reconstruction following the Civil War, conditions in the Rhea community were not unlike that of thousands of other communities in the Southern States. It was during these years that the Rheas decided to expand their business. Therefore, about 1866, a store was established. This expansion of the business naturally brought more people into the community and Rhea's Mills was soon to become a trading center for a great part of the western portion of Collin County. James C. Rhea was the buyer for the firm and made practically all of his purchases in St. Louis where, due to the condition of the time, he was compelled to pay cash. The goods were conveyed over rail to Jefferson, Texas, thence overland to Rhea's Mills where they were set up and adjusted ready for sale.

By 1873, the business had grown to such an extent that a flourmill was established and in the following year a corn mill was added to the list. Positive proof has not been secured but it is believed that it was not until this time that the community came to be known as Rhea's Mills. In more recent years, it has been called "Rhea Mills" and "Rhea's Mill" but no one seems to know when or why the change was made.

The Rhea's Mills community grew so rapidly and so many people settled there that it was soon found both convenient and necessary to establish a post office. This was done about 1875 and James C. Rhea was made the first Post Master. The post office was operated in connection with the other business.

The Organization of Lee Lodge

From the earliest days of the Rhea's Mills community, it has been made up of an honorable and highly esteemed citizenship. This being true, it is not unreasonable to believe that a good number of these hardy pioneers were Masons. The nearest Masonic lodge was located in McKinney, some ten or twelve miles away, and the mode of travel of the day made it very difficult for them to attend regularly. Due to this fact, it was decided to form a lodge at Rhea's Mills and, accordingly, the Grand Lodge was petitioned for a dispensation. The following is a copy of the dispensation as granted by the Grand Lodge:

"Whereas the following Dispensation has been granted to wit:

In the name and by the authority of the Grand Lodge of Texas A. F. & A. M.

Whereas, a Petition has been presented to me by sundry Brethren, to Wit: Brothers William Miller, William D. Davis, Samuel R. Muncy, Alexander Newman, William F.Rubottom, William A. Rhea, James C. Rhea, Jeremiah Martin, George Horn, David Doyle, John J. Muncy, William J. Muncy, John R. Black, and D.J. Franklin residing at or near Rhea's Mills in the County of Collin and State of Texas, (Rhea's Mills, P.O.) praying to be congregated into a regular Lodge, and promising to render obedience to the ancient usages and landmarks of the Fraternity, and the laws of the Grand Lodge; and whereas, said petitioners have been recommended to me as Master Masons in good standing by the Master, Wardens and Brethren of St. Johns Lodge No 51 under our jurisdiction, and, also, by R. W. Brother D. J. Eddleman, District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh District: Therefore, I Thomas R. Bonner, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A. F. and A. Masons of Texas, reposing full confidence in the recommendation aforesaid, and in the Masonic integrity and ability of the petitioners do, by virtue of the authority in me vested hereby grant this Dispensation empowering and authorizing our trusty and well beloved Brethren aforesaid to form and open a Lodge named LEE after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and therein to admit and make Free Masons according to the Ancient customs and not otherwise, in said Lee Lodge, under this Dispensation.

This Dispensation is to continue in full force until the next Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge aforesaid, unless sooner revoked by constitutional authority.

And I do hereby appoint Brother William Miller to be the first Master, Brother William D. Davis to the be first Senior Warden, and Brother Alexander Newman to be the first Junior Warden of said Lodge.

And it shall be their duty, and they are hereby required to return this Dispensation, with a correct manuscript of all proceedings had under the authority of the same, together with an attested copy of the By-Laws adopted, to our Grand Lodge aforesaid, at the expiration of the time herein specified, for examination and for such further action in the premises as there shall be deemed wise and proper.

Given under my Hand and Seal, by the authority of the Grand Lodge, at Tyler this 3rd day of December A. D. 1874 A. L. 5874."

T.R. Bonner
Grand Master

On January 2nd, 1875, a constituting meeting was held for the purpose of formally opening Lee Lodge. Exactly where this meeting was held is not known since no mention of it is made in the minutes. However, from the minutes of that meeting we learn that

"On motion, Brothers W.A. Rhea, W.F. Rubottom and W.D. Davis were appointed a committee to make permanent arrangements for a Lodge room and report at the next stated meeting. On motion the Worshipful Master was added to said committee."

At the next stated meeting held on January 30th 1875, the above-mentioned committee reported that they had made arrangements with Brothers W.A. and J.C. Rhea for the use of one of their rooms. No mention is made of where this room was located, but from other sources, the information comes that it was located on the second floor of a building just south of the store. The lower floor of this building was used for school purposes. According to this agreement, the Lodge was to have use of the room for a period of three years for a consideration of seventy-two dollars per annum. The Lodge authorized Brothers Rhea to have the stations made, for a portable character and put in place. The Lodge agreeing to reimburse them for said stations.

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Lee Lodge #435 AF & AM
Continued From Page III

The first degree conferred by Lee Lodge was on March 27, 1875 when Brother R. W. Hunt was passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft. They had previously obtained a waiver of Jurisdiction from St. Johns Lodge No. 51, at McKinney, where he was initiated. However, we find that the first to be initiated, passed and raised was Brother Thomas McNeil.

At this time, the Grand Lodge met in June and we now find our brethren making preparations to secure a charter for Lee Lodge. From the minutes of April 24th, of that year, we find,

"By order of the Worshipful Master the By-Laws in Taylor's Monitor were read by the Secretary, and on motion, were unanimously adopted for the guidance and government of this lodge, retaining the name LEE, exempting the Treasurer, Secretary and Tiler from payment of dues as compensation for their services as such, fixing the Lodge dues at twenty-five cents a month for each and every Mason member of this Lodge, and appointing the Fourth Saturday in each month, at 2 P.M. the time for holding our stated meetings.

On motion, the Secretary was instructed to apply to our Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for a charter and to draw upon the Treasurer for the sum of $25.00 to accompany said application."

The application was accepted by the Grand Lodge and the Charter was granted on the 5th day of June 1875, being signed by Grand Master Joseph D. Sayers. The first meeting held after the Charter was granted was on the 26th day of June with the following members present: William Miller, W.D. Davis, W.A. Rhea, J.C. Rhea, W. F. Rubottom, S.R. Muncy, David Doyle, M.W. Pafford, and John J. Muncy and W.P. Cloyd and E. F. Brown visiting. "Brother Cloyd then took charge of the Lodge and by the authority of the R.W. District Deputy Grand Master, organized us into a regular lodge No. 435 F.&A. Masons."

During the next few years following the granting of that charter, Lee Lodge enjoyed a very steady growth. However, they were not so anxious for growth that they would sacrifice quality for quantity, which is evidenced by the fact that during this time several applicants were rejected both for initiation and affiliation. It is natural to expect that the lodge would have some years very difficult to get through in a financial way. Probably due to this fact, or out of sheer generosity, the Brothers Rhea on February 28, 1878 "agree to furnish gratis room now used by the Lodge, for a period of one year beginning January 1st, 1878 and ending December 31st, 1878."

In 1883 the residence of Brother W.F. Rubottom was burned. Brother Rubottom was at that time Secretary of the Lodge and evidently kept the meeting minute books at his home, for one of the books, covering the proceedings of the Lodge from April 3rd, 1879 to October 30th, 1883. A historical and Statistical Committee, composed of James C. Rhea, W.F. Rubottom and William A. Rhea, was appointed to work up a record of the proceeding of the Lodge to replace the book that was destroyed. Each year's work is summarized at that end of the year and from this summary we get a very good idea of the general condition of the Lodge. Summarizing the work of the year ending June 24th, 1881, we find:

"Ten stated communications and on called meeting were held. The Follow Craft's and Master Mason's degrees were conferred on one brother. Two brethren were affiliated and three members were demitted from the Lodge. As usual, the Lodge exercised a discriminating charity in the bestowal of alms upon the many who appealed to her for aid, but the deeds of benevolence are no doubt, gratefully remembered by the worthy recipients of the charitable gifts. The moral status of the Lodge has been fully sustained. Peace and harmony have prevailed among the brethren. The practice of the Masonic virtues have not been lost sight of. Strict obedience of the Law and the recognized usages of the fraternity have been taught by the officers and practiced by the members generally; and we realized indeed that it is both pleasant and profitable for brethren to dwell together in unity. The number of members on the roll has neither been increased nor diminished, but we stand today just where we did twelve months ago with twenty-nine members."

During these first eight years of it's existence, Lee Lodge enjoyed a very steady growth. From all indications, the members were very interested in the work and much enthusiasm was manifested.

The first mention made of moving the lodge was in the minutes of September 22, 1894 when a motion was made to relocate to Walnut Grove, TX. Nothing is further shown in any records regarding this proposal. Subsequent records show on three different occasions where several members submitted proposals to erect a two-story building at Rhea's Mills that would be suitable for a school house on the lower floor and the upper floor to be used for lodge purposes. However, all of these proposals were rejected due to the lodge not being able to secure the kind of title they wanted to the land on which to build. From all indications, this was the primary cause for moving the lodge away from Rhea's Mills. No doubt this question was discussed frequently in subsequent meetings, but nothing further appears in the meeting minutes until May 25, 1901. On this date, a committee was appointed consisting of three men, McKindra Smith, Jeremiah Martin and R.L. Horn. This committee was charged to locate a new place for the Lee Lodge building and make a report back to the lodge. As each of these men were farmers and given the time of season coinciding with their livelihood, it is suspected that this caused a considerable delay in the committee's work towards their charge.

At the stated meeting of March 22, 1902, the committee made the following report:

"We, your committee appointed to investigate and look out a location for a suitable place to build a lodge would respectfully report: That we have conferred with the Brothers Rhea and they propose to donate to donate a lot of suitable size for lodge anywhere we may desire. We have also made a selection of a lot at Prosper, forty by one hundred and fifty feet, which will be donated, provided we build a brick, if of wood structure it will cost one hundred dollars. All of which is respectfully submitted, Mckindra Smith, Jeremiah Martin, R.L. Horn."

In the minutes from April 26, 1902, the decision was made to move the lodge to Prosper. There were seventeen members present at the meeting, 10 voted for the move and 7 voted against it.

Special permission was obtained from the Grand Lodge for the move as soon as the building was completed. In the minutes of May 23, 1903, a notation was made to the effect the Brother W.T. Settle was allowed two dollars and fifty cents for moving the lodge furniture from Rhea's Mills to Prosper.

Lee Lodge # 435 - Prosper, TX

The first meeting of Lee Lodge held in Prosper was on February 28, 1903. The exact place of this meeting is not known. It is evident that they did not meet in the new lodge pictured above, for from the minutes of November 29, 1904, "A Master Masons Lodge was opened in due and ancient form by District Deputy Grand Master W.P. Abernathy, who had made the call meeting of Lee Lodge in order to examine our new hall. After his examination he reported it is in good condition and gives Lee Lodge permission to commence work in it's new hall."

This lodge building served the fraternity until 1967, when the current lodge facility was erected.

Lee Lodge # 435 has continued to be an important part of the Prosper community. In addition to the regular Masonic activities, the lodge also serves as the meeting place for Rainbow Girls - Elm Valley Chapter.

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This Issue's Visit In Texas Masonic History

When the War Stood Still in Galveston

by Duncan Howard, PGM
Reprint From The Texas Mason, Spring 1994

The recapture of Galveston by Confederate forces is little known in the annals of war. But Masons, wherever dispersed, take a special pride and share a certain feeling when the war stood still in Galveston while Worshipful Master Philip C. Tucker, Jr. opened Harmony Lodge No. 6 and conducted the Masonic burial of a Northern Brother, "appreciating the spirit and force of Masonic ties." It is a Masonic legacy for all Masons to cherish until time shall be no more.

By way of background, the Union Navy established a blockade of Port Galveston on October 6, 1862. Later, on Christmas Day, Federal troops landed and placed the entire island under Northern control. In the meantime, Texas gained a battle-tested hero as Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder, nicknamed "Prince John" for his dramatic flair and goldbraided pomp, was transferred to command the War Department of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona on October 10, 1862.

Magruder earned the nickname "Prince John" for his stylish uniforms and theatrical mannerisms. Texas State Library, Austin
General Magruder, a West Pointer, had been thrice promoted in the Mexican War for "gallant and meritorious conduct" and was credited with directing and winning the first land battle in the Civil War for Southern Independence. Describing the battle, the Richmond Dispatch reported that Magruder had met a flag of truce in the conflict and granted the removal of a slain Federal officer. In parting, he had shaken hands with a Union Lieutenant and said, "We part as friends, but on the field of battle we meet as enemies." Although politicians might differ, General Magruder had expressed the feeling of most Masons and most combat soldiers of either North or South. And, it is interesting to note that Magruder had become an Entered Apprenticed Mason in San Diego Lodge No. 35 while stationed in California after the Mexican War, but his advancement was stopped due to a duel with the Lodge Treasurer.

When General Magruder arrived in Texas, he recognized that the economy of the state was held hostage by Union blockades along the Texas coast and immediately planned a land/sea attack to retake Galveston Island. In preparation, two small steamboats -the Bayou City and the Neptune - were fitted with guns and armored with bales of cotton which Magruder said gave "an appearance of protection" to the volunteers who manned them. Then, under cover of New Year's Eve night of 1862, the cotton-clad boats with makeshift tenders cruised to rendezvous with eight Northern ships in Galveston Harbor. At the same time a land force of Texas volunteers secretly crossed Galveston Bay on the railway bridge that still connected the island to the mainland and stationed themselves in a semicircle around Kuhn's Wharf where Union troops were garrisoned. No doubt, the Union soldiers were startled from sleep about three o'clock in the morning on New Year's Day, 1863, when General Magruder fired the first cannon shot as a signal for the Battle of Galveston to begin. After firing the cannon, a little of "Prince John" slipped out as a jovial Magruder remarked to his closeby troops, "Now I've done my duty as a private and I will go now and attend my duties as a General."

The outcome of the battle centered around the Union ship Harriet Lane, a copper-sheathed gunboat commanded by Commander Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, Jr., the forty-one year old son of Protestant Episcopal Bishop Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, Sr. of New York and the grandfather of Masonic General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright III of World War 11 fame. The second in command was Lieutenant Commander Edward Lea, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1855, and a family relation of Margaret Moffette Lea Houston, wife of the Masonic General Sam Houston.

Upon entering the harbor, the Bayou City and Neptune opened fire and attempted to ram the Harriet Lane. The Harriet Lane returned fire in like kind and sank the Neptune in the shallow bay. Finally, the Bayou City managed to ram the Harriet Lane in such a way that the vessels locked together. At this time the Harriet Lane was boarded and captured during hand-to-hand combat. Following the seizure of the Harriet Lane, a flag of truce was sent to the Union Commodore Renshaw whose flagship Westfield had run aground. In truce, General Magruder demanded surrender of the entire fleet and gave three hours for consideration, After demands were met, the Northern ships were brought to anchor, flying the white flags of truce. In this interim, Commodore Renshaw was killed in an explosion that he set to scuttle his flagship Westfield and the Union gunboats, Clifton and Owasco, steamed from the harbor with their white flags still flying. Seeing they were abandoned by their fleeing fleet, the Union soldiers fighting at Kuhn's Wharf accepted unconditional surrender. The Battle of Galveston was over and the Island remained in Southern control until the end of the Confederate Nation.

At the time the Confederates boarded the Harriet Lane both Wainwright and Lea refused to surrender and both fought valiantly to save their ship. Commander Wainwright sustained injuries to his head and left thigh before he was killed by a shot to the head from the Mason, Commodore Leon Smith, Commander of the Bayou City and a brother of Past Grand Master of Indiana Caleb B. Smith who served as Secretary of the Interior in Lincoln's first cabinet. Mortally wounded, Lieutenant Commander Edward Lea lay dying on the ship deck. When the Confederate Major Albert Miller Lea boarded the ship, he recognized his son Edward, whom he had not seen since the war began, and rushed to comfort him. As he knelt by his son, Edward, barely conscious, whispered to a shipmate, "My father is here." Then, he died.

Masonic prisoners from the Harriet Lane vouched to Confederate Masons that Wainwright was a Mason in good standing. Although they asked nothing for themselves, they requested a Masonic burial for their late Commander and Masonic Brother. When this information reached Philip C. Tucker, Jr., a Major on Magruder's staff and Worshipful Master of Harmony Lodge No. 6 in Galveston, plans were made to open the Lodge for Masonic burial.

As soon as Brother Tucker reported to the Confederate headquarters located in the Roman Catholic Bishop's palace, General Magruder accosted him with: "Major Tucker, I hear you intend to bury the remains of Commander Wainwright tomorrow with Masonic honors. Is this true?" Major Tucker saluted and answered, "Yes, Sir. And I hope General Magruder will give it military honors." The reply was, "Who in H--l ever heard of burying a dead enemy with Masonic and military honors?" The response was, "General Magruder, when Lieutenant Colonel Rogers of the Second Texas fell, the Federal authorities gave the body Masonic and military burial (unconfirmed), and it is said that you are never to be outdone in courtesy to a friend or enemy." The rebuttal was, "Not by a d---d sight. Colonel DeBray (a Mason and former Secretary of Austin Lodge No. 12), turn out your regiment for escort duty tomorrow at the Masonic burial of Lieutenant Commander Wainwright of the Harriet Lane."

On January 2, 1863, Harmony Lodge opened and resolved, "that the members of this Lodge, appreciating the spirit and force of Masonic ties, will not allow their feelings and prejudice and love of righteous cause to obliterate from their hearts and minds the merciful teachings of the Order; that it does not conflict with their duties as patriotic citizens to respond to calls of mercy by a prostrate political foe, or to administer the last rite of the Order to the remains of a Mason of moral worth, although yesterday they met as an armed enemy in mortal combat in which the deceased parted with his life-. . . . "

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"When the War Stood Still in Galveston
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The Lodge minutes continue, "Whereupon the Lodge was called upon to bury the dead. A public procession formed in which appeared both friends and foes wearing the insignia of the Order, and accompanied with a proper military escort under the command of Col. and Brother H. B. Debray, among which was the Major General Commanding J. Bankhead Magruder. The body of Bro. Wainwright was borne to its grave in the Episcopal Cemetery where it was deposited with rites of Masons and military. Lodge called from burying the dead and closed in due form."

Although the preceding quotes do not include reference to Lieutenant Commander Lea, his body was borne to the cemetery and buried in a single grave with Commander Wainwright. In his official report of the Battle of Galveston to President Jefferson Davis, the Entered Apprentice Mason General Magruder wrote, "Captain Wainwright and Lieutenant Lea of the Federal Navy were buried with Masonic and military honors in the same grave; Major Lea, of the Confederate Army, father of Lieutenant Lea, performing the funeral service." In addition, the book History of DeBray's Regiment includes the statement, "the bodies of Lieutenant Commander Wainwright, killed in action, and of Lieutenant Lea were buried in the Galveston Cemetery with military and Masonic honors, the Confederate father reading over his Federal son's grave the solemn funeral service of the Episcopal Church. The witnesses of that heart-rending scene can never forget it."

After graduation from West Point, Albert Miller Lea was assigned to frontier duty at Fort Des Moines on topographical duty. Later, his published notes gave the state of Iowa its name. Although the Grand Lodge of Iowa has no record of Masonic membership for Albert Miller Lea, it supplied an article of the Iowa Historical Society written by Lea just before his death. The article confirms his service in the Battle of Galveston and states, "I met in battle my oldest son, and said the Grand Service of the Church over his Captain, Wainwright, son of the late Bishop of New York, and himself, buried in one grave."

Since Lea makes no mention of the Masonic burial of his son, perhaps it is more correct to put on record that Harmony Lodge extended the courtesy of escorting both Wainwright and Lea to the cemetery, conducted the Masonic burial of Wainwright, and attended the Episcopal Church service that committed both Federal officers to rest in a single grave. Following the war, the body of Wainwright was moved to New York and interred near his father, Bishop Wainwright, in the cemetery of Trinity Church. No mention is discovered whether the honor of Masonic burial was conducted during this second burial.

July 9, 1994, marks the hundredth year since Philip C. Tucker, Jr. walked among Masonic Brothers. Yet, his Masonic labors live on and his achievements continue to strengthen Freemasonry in general, and in Texas, in particular.

Brother Tucker was born on February 14, 1826, in Vergennes, Vermont. There he spent his early life and was educated as an attorney by reading law in his father's office and beginning practice under his father's guidance. Upon attaining the age of twenty-one, Philip was raised a Mason in Dorchester Lodge in 1847. During the next five years, he worked three years as assistant Grand Secretary, served twice as Worshipful Master of Dorchester Lodge, and was District Deputy Grand Master for three terms. In addition, he joined York Rite Freemasonry and served as Thrice Illustrious Master of his Council.

In 1852, just as he turned twenty-six years old, Brother Tucker moved to Galveston, Texas, where he established a successful law practice, became active in the Trinity Episcopal Church, was a community leader and affiliated with Harmony Lodge and the York Rite Bodies in Galveston. Later, he affiliated with Tucker Lodge No. 297 that was named in his honor. He was Worshipful Master of Harmony for six years, Commander of San Felipe Commandery for fourteen years, and served as High Priest of San Felipe Chapter.

In Grand Bodies, he became Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Texas in 1864, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1865, and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1869.

His continued enthusiasm for Masonry prompted Brother Tucker to accept an invitation from Grand Commander Albert Pike of the Supreme Council, 33 Degree, of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry to become involved in introducing the Scottish Rite System of Freemasonry into Texas. On February 4-5, 1867, Brother Tucker traveled to New Orleans where the Scottish Rite degrees were communicated to him by dispensation from Grand Commander Pike. At the same time, he was commissioned as Deputy Grand Inspector General in Texas. Later, on May 17, 1867, Deputy Grand Inspector General Tucker granted Letters Temporary for the organization of San Felipe de Austin Lodge of Perfection in Galveston, Texas.

Grand Inspector General Tucker was an active and productive member of the Supreme Council in Washington, D.C., and on July 28, 1893, he was elected as Grand Commander. At the age of sixty-seven, he moved to Washington to perform the duties of Grand Commander. But, unfortunately, his tenure was suddenly terminated by death on July 9, 1894. His body was returned home to Galveston and buried with Masonic honors not far from the grave in which he placed Lieutenant Commanders Wainwright and Lea and where Lieutenant Lea still rests.

Brother Tucker was essential to the fulfillment of the Masonic legacy when the war stood still in Galveston. Apparently, under his leadership in the years of the Civil War for Southern Independence, Harmony Lodge is the only Lodge, North or South, to conduct the Masonic burial service for a Mason killed in mortal combat as an enemy.

What pride and respect we hold for the masons of yesteryear who held Masonry firm and stable, "appreciating the spirit and force of Masonic ties," while states separated, churches divided and families split over political differences.

General Magruder is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, Helen and his son, Munro.
As word of the planned Masonic burial spread over town, most citizens and some Masons denounced it as "Treason to the Confederacy." And certainly, discussion of Tucker's birth up North added fuel to the beginning fire which was quickly quenched when Magruder added support to Tucker and the Lodge by taking military honors to the burial service. No one could accuse General Magruder with "Treason to the Confederacy" and, suddenly, the Masonic burial with military honors seemed the thing to do.

General Magruder had a sad life following the war. Instead of surrendering, he went to Mexico and served as a general in the army of Maximilian. After the defeat of Maximilian, he returned to Houston. There, almost in poverty, he died in 1871 and was buried in the cemetery lot of a friend. Later, spirited citizens of Galveston wanted Magruder buried on the Island he saved. They had his body moved to Galveston where it waited for several years in a funeral vault for enough money to be contributed for final interment.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
A Tour Of The American Grand Lodges Series

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas

Reprinted With Permission Of The Author
Brother Greg Stewart- The Masonic Traveler
Masonic Information

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas is the next stop on the tour of American Grand Lodges.

Arkansas Masonic membership:
17,082 - 2006
16,524 - 2007
gain/loss - 558

Data from MSANA

State population: 2,834,797 as of 2007 (estimated),

About the Grand Lodge:

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas does not have a listing on Wikipedia.

"Organized Masonry came to Arkansas soon after the formation of the Arkansas Territory in 1819. The first lodge was established at Arkansas Post, the seat of the new Territorial Government, under a dispensation by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. By 1819, Arkansas Post was a village of about one hundred persons. Since Masonry had been active for a long time in the older states east of the Mississippi, it was quite natural that some of those coming to Arkansas Post would be members of the Masonic Fraternity. Many of them were prominent in the affairs of the Territorial Capitol, and as a result of their efforts, a Masonic Lodge was established there. No records remain of that Lodge except the scattered entries in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky from whom the dispensations, and later a charter, were obtained".

From the Grand Lodge website on Freemasonry in Arkansas

Some of what I found on my visit:

URL: The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has a very straight forward URL at which easily appears on a quick search at Google. The URL is clever in that it implements the short AR U.S. Post Office abbreviation for the state which is a very utilitarian approach to a field that it otherwise saturated with non state specific names.

Visually, as you arrive at the site, as with the name, it immediately appears as a very straight forward construction that is both purposeful and well formed. A big attention grabber is the Grand Lodge logo and deep red banner at the top and the stately gray background, with the photo of the Grand Master in the middle. It definitely gives the feeling of authority and leadership, which carries through in the structure. Generally speaking, the site at first glance seems to have much to offer by way of content.

Built in one of the most scalable formats with navigation across the top and on the left side, the site can go a long way in adding future content. On the top navigation, there are a number of drop down tabs that a visitor can follow to their destination pages which emulates the side navigation (except when encountering password controlled lodge operations pages).

The site overall all has a good look and feel. Once the visitor gets into the navigation pages, they are treated to a variety of content anchored with images and icons. Unfortunately there was a lack of uniformity to the artwork and the various icon art the quality and tone detracting from the authoritative red/grey/and black color scheme.

On the front of the site, there is a great depth of navigation but not much to connect it visually to the state. Unlike the Grand Lodge of Arizona, with their immediate extensive use of imagery, here we find the opposite, in that there is no real visual connection to the state other than a small silhouette logo on the bottom right corner.

Informational Content:

I did find that the site has a lot of information in it. My favorite bits included the biography of Albert Pike and the well developed history of the Grand Lodge. Both of these elements added a great deal of depth, and give an impression of its connectivity to the fraternity.

Additionally, there is a great wealth of information for new Masons under the education link including break downs of the various Masonic symbols. This is a great asset that any visitor could make use of, particularly brothers from that state. The educational snippets, Awards programs, and the charitable endowment plans are good ways to let the membership know what is going on and how they can interact.

However, as the site has a lot of good Masonic information, it is very light of any conversion mechanism, meaning that for as much as any Masonic visitor would find the information interesting there isn't much to showcase to a young first time visitor who may have an interest what Arkansas Masonry is about. On one hand, this seems to support the word of mouth development, but in an age increasingly shopping on line first, the site disengages the new or first time visitor with a lot of information.

Let me qualify this by saying that there is a "How to become a Mason" page, that is very thorough. It approaches the situation in a Q & A style FAQ by going through the myriad questions that a petitioner may have. This is not, by itself a bad system, but in an age when a visitor to a website spends about 90 seconds on content, the particulars of "How To" get lost in the volume of content. At the very bottom of that page is a link to "Contact the Membership Team" which leads to a form page for the aspirant to fill in, which is a great way to capture the information. The only thing I would suggest is to move that contact form to the top and with its own abbreviated "How To" and then insert it into the top level navigation so it stands out. As it stands now, it is three clicks deep (with the submission) from the main page, and buried in the site.

At the bottom of the left side navigation is the sites links page, with images to the appendant bodies and various organizations important to the state. It was good to see that the Grand Lodge recognized many of the various groups and listed them so a user could quickly click in and check them out. Some of the interesting links I found were the Ruffian Chapter of the Order of the Widow's Sons (a Masonic motor cycle club), and the Scimitar Shrine of Little Rock. The links pages use of images in the navigation, I think, is a dynamic way to entice the viewer to look deeper into the content.

One thing I did not see was a page dedicated to contacting the Grand Lodge. The site does include its contact information at the bottom of each page with the address and phone number, but it limits users who want to send an electronic correspondence, unless it is to the webmaster. The quickest remedy to this is to add a page that could include addresses, maps, contact names, numbers, and email, and so on. Ideally this would also be in the mix of the top level navigation.

Calendar/Events/Call to Action:

The troubling thing I noticed right off was that the front page news tab was devoid of any news. This seems a natural place to include upcoming calendar items and events. As I ventured through the site, I did not easily find the calendar of activities around the state, or any informational mentioning anything that was going. Once at the calendar (located in the General Grand Lodge Links) I found a wide variety of information, from degrees, conferences, educational programs, banquets and so on. From a visitor stand point, because of its location, it leaves one wondering what to do when visiting or traveling to the state and it is not until after significant searching (clicking) that its activities became obvious. From an organizational stand point, the calendar would be an excellent inclusion for the front page news or to be grouped with the news so that it is easier to find.


Generally, the sites informational content is good, and goes a long way to communicate to the membership about the Grand Lodge and its operations. But it does not address clearly the how and why to become a Mason efficiently, in that where it does go into detail it is to much information. It definitely gives a rich textual experience of what the state offers but misses tying it into some visual aspects of the state.

From the first time visitor stand point the site does not immediately engage with any conversion mechanism (look, click, sign-up). That may be overstating the purpose of the site, but it does not seem to take into consideration the non Mason who may visit with a keen interest to find out about Arkansas Masonry. As a quick comparison, the link mentioned above to the Scimitar Shrine is a very advanced and developed site with video and some interactivity which may be a glimpse into the level of importance (value) that the bodies place in their activities.

As a visiting Mason, the site is enjoyable and does entice additional time spent to look at its wealth of resources and goings on to get a feel for what Masonic life is like there. As a visiting non Mason, it definitely leaves me wondering why becoming a Arkansas Mason is valuable. Coming up next - The Grand Lodge of California

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More Questions Than Answers
From The Cross Keys
The Monthly Newsletter of Lodge Houstoun St. Johnstone

/Tlhis rather striking quote comes from an kx Grand secretary in the Grand Lodge of Scotland who got us thinking about the role that Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge and the various daughter lodges should be adopting in today's Masonic world.

"Devoting itself almost entirely to legislation and to tite administration of its laws, to the settlement of differences between Breihirn on Masonic points and the inanagentent of its finances. Grand Lodge does little or nothing to instruct in the practice and history of Masonry " Source: Brother Murray Lyon, ss Grand Secretary in his History of No 1

There are a number of points to consider here. Does regular Freemasonry (Grand Lodges in the UK) satisfy the needs of the brethren? With so many brethren complaining about Grand Lodge then perhaps the answer is No!

Grand Lodge (GL) going by the statement by Brother Lyon is all about money. Ft is a costly organisation to administer, from the maintenance of its premises in Edinburgh to the responsibility of paying salaries to its full time employees.

However, at a recent GL Communication, it was pleasing to hear that a significant sum of money is being accrued by renting the building out to various users, something that is long over due and perhaps a consideration that should be looked into by all lodges who own their building as a means of augmenting their income to pay their just and lawful dues.

Many Provincial Grand Lodges are no more than meddlers and provide little tangible assistance to struggling lodges. Is it now the time for daughter lodges to look elsewhere for governance by looking instead to a GL or even a Grand Orient (GO) that will not bleed us dry?

Nowadays many lodges (ourselves included) arc struggling to pay the capitation fees levied by GL on its membership (perhaps a "Subject" for future comment). Is it any wonder that life members appear to be mysteriously dying of in droves in so many of the daughter lodges?

A question which is rarely asked: does GL ever offer loans to lodges to, for example, repair a roof? GL is raising money for the refurbishment of the organ which may indeed be a very fine musical instrument, but how many brethren have heard it more than a handful of times?

Sadly in this day and age, at a time when the economy is on the verge of going into a recession it is right and proper that the lodges in the Scottish Constitution (GL included) should be prudent with their financial resources. An unfortunate side effect of whkh, is one in which we appear to be getting further and further away from practising traditional Freemasonry and more and more towards an essential priority - raising funds to survive.

Would GL ever think of operating from various lodge rooms throughout Scotland and selling of f its head quarters in George Street in Edinburgh?

OK, perhaps we are a tad to radical in our thought process, alternatively though, why not once year or even every two years, have a large meeting outside Edinburgh on a Saturday in a location such as a concert hall, or the likes of the SECC etc, where more than a thousand masons could attend?

Placing Brother Lyon's financial concerns aside let us now address what he says is the lack of instruction about the practise and history of Freemasonry - Us wonderful traditions.

Perhaps a return to a more esoteric approach in Freemasonry which is lead by a GL is necessary - very little comes from GLs in this sense. Why not? Should GL not be more proactive in encouraging the Brethren to think more about the Craft and its invaluable teachings? The reading of the Aims and Relationships at an annual installation is about as good as it gets when it comes to GL imparting the philosophy of the craft - however that is a bone of contention for many Brethren and perhaps another "subject for comment" at a future date.

Reading our article above, we maybe perceived by some, to come across as being somewhat disparaging towards some Provincial Grand Lodges - our comments were purely about the financial aspects affecting Scottish Freemasonry and the inability which precludes them ( PGL) at this time from granting any significant financial assistance to daughter lodges and not to the promotion of the philosophic lessons behind the meaning of our ritual. Therefore in the spirit of fairness we do acknowledge that our own PGL in Renfrewshire East and that of our neighbour in Renfrewshire West have been at the forefront of educating the Brethren (especially our newly made entered apprentices) over the course of the past few years by holding various seminars with comparative success and are to be commended for doing so. There are many issues relating to the Scottish Craft which must be addressed by those in a position to effect change without abandoning our core beliefs - after all Freemasonry is supposed to be a progressive science, k it not?

Brother Lyon in his statement about Grand Lodge may have raised more questions than we have the answers for, but at the every least he did get us thinking about the future of the craft here in Scotland. What are your thoughts on it?

An Informed Mason - Is att involved Mason

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Page IX
...And A Cable-Tow...

By William Larson

We are all familiar with that phrase; "and a cable-tow,...", it is phrase we've all said with really no understanding of its origin, or its original meaning. The cable-tow, like so many other Masonic symbols, is often misunderstood and considered as an enhancement for the candidate, rather then a teaching tool. Each and every Mason has worn the cable-tow. It is usually thought of as an adornment for the candidate rather then what its true meaning is. And worst of all, if the meaning is understood by the candidates coach, it is rarely passed on to the candidate.

Over the next few months, I'm going to do my best and try to explain some of our Masonic symbols that are familiar to every Mason. Many of our symbols have been regarded as "just being there "or "something that we take for granted. " The true lessons that they were originally intended to teach are lost in antiquity. Each of us as Mason's, should treat these symbols as they apply to us, and our daily lives. There is never a right lesson or a wrong lesson to be learned from our symbols, only that the individual Mason should apply the meaning of them to himself. So, let's take a look at the cable-tow and why it is placed around the neck in the Entered Apprentice degree; the right arm in the Fellow Craft degree; and finally around the body in the Master Mason degree. First let's see what Merriam-Webster has to say about a "cable tow." That was easy...nothing! Merriam-Webster has nothing even close. So now let's look at the Masonic dictionary in Masonic

CABLE TOW: The tie by which the candidate is bound to his brethren; the length of a Mason's cable tow is the scope of his ability to go to the relief of a brother in need. In early years the distance was three miles; in present time it is usually considered about forty miles.

That gives us a little better meaning, but look deeper into the symbolism. Start with the cable low itself. It is nothing more then a simple rope, and usually a short rope at that. For here is an article that is actually many, many small strands of material woven together to form one. The more small strands there are to forma cable-tow, the stronger it becomes when the strands work in pulling together. It is telling us that Freemasonry is a strong brotherhood since its many members pull and work as one in battling for the truth, light and knowledge. The cable-tow is always flexible so that it fits all who wear it.

The cable-tow of our ancient brethren had an entirely different meaning and use. In the times long past; in the times when our ancient stonemason brethren were building the stone Cathedrals of Europe, the water viaducts of Rome and the castles of England, the cable-tow was more meaningful then symbolic. As men of age came into the craft, they would find they were to serve a number of years before they could advance into the first degree. In their first degree, the cable-tow, which was in the form of a hangman's noose, was placed about their neck and they were led by the noose into the- lodge area fully blindfolded. As with today, they were asked if they would be willing to take an obligation. Should there be a refusal by the candidate, the noose would be tightened about his neck and he would be warned that any mention by him as to the happenings, the noose would be his demise. They were then led for the lodge area and told to disperse themself.

After a period of at least seven years, and usually quite a few more, they could apply for admission into the second degree. In the second degree the cable-tow was placed about their right arm. The symbolism was to teach them that in all their labors before the world, they were to strive to be upright in every endeavor. For the right side of man has ever been deemed the stronger side. Untold numbers of men who have attained the second degree never advanced past this point to the third degree. More often than not, it was the fact that their talents with the stone limited them to advancement. Even those who did advance would be destined to spend upwards of ten years in the quarries before advancement.

Only about one out of twenty-five advanced to the third degree. The cable-tow had now become more symbolic to them. They were instructed that its meaning was to be secretly guarded. The cable-tow, which was three times about their body, had the meaning of reaching out to aid any fallen brother. To come to the aid of him and offer assistance to his family. To know and understand that they must offer help at all times. The three times about their body was to remind them of the three degrees and the meanings that they were taught. The three times about their body was to remind them of the three faces of God and of life everlasting. The three times about the body was for them to remember the three stages of human life and to live it to its fullest.

The next time you prepare a candidate, remember what the cable-tow has to teach. As you place it about him, mention a little of its meaning. Should you be sitting on the sidelines, look at that cable-tow and think about how you can apply it to your life. For never forget, our whole Lodge room is a symbol for teaching us how to lead a belter life and be of help to out fellow man.

.Membership Growth Remains Strong and Steady

by James Eanta \ From the California Freemason

In 2007, California lodges continued the upward trend in degree conferrals, which began seven years ago. Between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, our lodges conferred 4,405 degrees. A breakout of this number reveals that lodges initiated 1,951 Entered Apprentices, passed 1,236 Fellowcrafts, and raised 1,218 Master Masons. At the end of Fiscal Year 2006 (June 30), for comparison, 1,840 Entered Apprentices were initiated, 1,223 Fellowcraft were passed, and 1,197 Master Masons were raised, totaling 4,260 degree conferrals.

California lodges made more Entered Apprentice Masons in 2007 than in any other year since 1988 and our lodges conferred more total degrees than any year since 1991. The conferral of so many Entered Apprentice degrees highlights the fact that we are embarking upon an era of exciting progress and unparalleled opportunities in California

Freemasonry. In 2002, 1,191 men sought membership with us. By 2007, that number had risen to 1,968. If this trend continues, we will witness more than 2,000 men joining our lodges next year, reaffirming Masonry's new vitality.

Our membership gains show that men in ever-growing numbers are being drawn to Masonry. There is no reason to believe an end to this trend is in sight. In fact, some lodges are redoubling their efforts to be prepared for new applicants with improved Web sites, strong membership committees, and use of the Pass It On program.

A recent study showed that 55% of California lodges are using the Pass It On program. These lodges averaged 14 degree conferrals in 2007, nearly 50% more than lodges not using a membership program. For more information about Pass It On, go to

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Page X
The Eye in the Pyramid

By: S. Brent Morris, P.M.
[US Great Seal a/k/ 'Eye in Pyramid']

In, at times, a strongly worded article Dr. S. Morris, a member and Past Master of Patmos Lodge #70, Ellicott City, Maryland, has "set the record straight" on the myth that the Great Seal of the United States represents a Masonic symbol. The facts are clearly presented, together with several examples of the use of the "All Seeing Eye" prior to any known Masonic use. This straightforward article is being presented as a STB so that Freemasons may have an answer when the question is asked "Is the Seal of the United States a Masonic symbol?"

HISTORIANS must be cautious about many well-known "facts." George Washington chopped down a cherry tree when a boy and confessed the deed to his father. Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball. Freemasons inserted some of their emblems (chief among them the eye in the pyramid) into the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States. These historical "facts" are widely popular, commonly accepted, and equally false.

The eye in the pyramid (emblazoned on the dollar bill, no less) is often cited as "evidence" that sinister conspiracies abound which will impose a "New World Order" on an unsuspecting populace. Depending on whom you hear it from, the Masons are planning the takeover themselves, or are working in concert with European bankers, or are leading (or perhaps being led by) the Illuminati (whoever they are). The notion of a world-wide Masonic conspiracy would be laughable, if it weren't being repeated with such earnest gullibility by conspiracists like Pat Robertson.

Sadly, Masons are sometimes counted among the gullible who repeat the tall tale of the eye in the pyramid, often with a touch of pride. They may be guilty of nothing worse than innocently puffing the importance of their fraternity (as well as themselves), but they're guilty nonetheless. The time has come to state the truth plainly and simply!

The Great Seal of the United States is not a Masonic emblem, nor does it contain hidden Masonic symbols.

The details are there for anyone to check, who's willing to rely on historical fact, rather than hysterical fiction.

    * Benjamin Franklin was the only Mason on the first design committee, and his suggestions had no Masonic content.
    * None of the final designers of the seal were Masons.
    * The interpretation of the eye on the seal is subtly different from the interpretation used by Masons.
    * The eye in the pyramid is not nor has it ever been a Masonic symbol.

The First Committee

On Independence Day, 1776 a committee was created to design a seal for the new American nation. The committee's members were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, with Pierre Du Simitiere as artist and consultant[1]. Of the four men involved, only Benjamin Franklin was a Mason, and he contributed nothing of a Masonic nature to the committee's proposed design for a seal.

Du Simitiere, the committee's consultant and a non-Mason, contributed several major design features that made their way into the ultimate design of the seal: 'the shield, E Pluribus Unum, MDCCLXXVI, and the eye of providence in a triangle."[2] The eye of providence on the seal thus can be traced, not to the Masons, but to a non-Mason consultant to the committee.

"The single eye was a well-established artistic convention for an 'omniscient Ubiquitous Deity' in the medallic art of the Renaissance. Du Simitiere, who suggested using the symbol, collected art books and was familiar with the artistic and ornamental devices used in Renaissance art."[3] This was the same cultural iconography that eventually led Masons to add the all-seeing eye to their symbols.

The Second and Third Committees

Congress declined the first committees suggestions as well as those of its 1780 committee. Francis Hopkinson, consultant to the second committee, had several ideas that eventually made it into the seal: "white and red stripes with- in a blue background for the shield, a radiant constellation of thirteen stars, and an olive branch."[4] Hopkinson's greatest contribution to the current seal came from his layout of a 1778 50-dollar colonial note in which he used an unfinished pyramid in the design. The third and last seal committee of 1782 produced a design that finally satisfied Congress. Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, and William Barton, artist and consultant, borrowed from earlier designs and sketched what at length became the United States Seal.

The misinterpretation of the seal as a Masonic emblem may have been first introduced a century later in 1884. Harvard Professor Eliot Norton wrote that the reverse was 'practically incapable of effective treatment; it can hardly, (however artistically treated by the designer), look otherwise than as a dull emblem of a Masonic fraternity.[5]

Interpreting the Symbol

The "Remarks and Explanations" of Thomson and Barton are the only explanation of the symbols' meaning. Despite what anti-Masons may believe, there's no reason to doubt the interpretation accepted by the Congress.

The Pyramid signified Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause.[6]

The committees and consultants who designed the great Seal of the United States contained only one Mason, Benjamin Franklin. The only possibly Masonic design element among the very many on the seal is the eye of providence, and the interpretation of it by the designers is different from that used by Masons. The eye on the seal represents an active intervention of God in the affairs of men, while the Masonic symbol stands for a passive awareness by God of the activities of men.

The first "official" use and definition of the all-seeing eye as a Masonic symbol seems to have come in 1797 with The Freemasons Monitor of Thomas Smith Webb -- 14 years after Congress adopted the design for the seal. Here's how Webb explains the symbol.

"[A]nd although our thoughts, words and actions, may be hidden from the eyes of man, yet that All-Seeing Eye, whom the Sun, Moon and Stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, will reward us according to our merits."[7]

Continued On Page XI

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Page XI
The Eye in the Pyramid
Conuined From Page X.

The Eye in the Pyramid

Besides the subtly different interpretations of the symbol, it is notable that Webb did not describe the eye as being in a triangle. Jeremy Ladd Cross published The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor in 1819, essentially an illustrated version of Webb's Monitor. In this first "official" depiction of Webb's symbol, Cross had illustrator Amos Doolittle depict the eye surrounded by a semicircular glory.[8]

The all-seeing eye thus appears to be a rather recent addition to Masonic symbolism. It is not found in any of the Gothic Constitutions, written from about 1390 to 1730. The eye -- sometimes in a triangle, sometimes in clouds, but nearly always surrounded by a glory -- was a popular Masonic decorative device in the latter half of the 18th century. Its use as a design element seems to have been an artistic representation of the omniscience of God, rather than some generally accepted Masonic symbol.

Its meaning in all cases, however, was that commonly given it by society at large -- a reminder of the constant presence of God. For example, in 1614 the frontispiece of The History of the World by Walter Raleigh showed an eye in a cloud labeled "Providentia" overlooking a globe. It has not been suggested that Raleigh's story is a Masonic document despite the use of the all-seeing eye.

The eye of Providence was part of the common cultural iconography of the 17th and 18th centuries. When placed in a triangle, the eye went beyond a general representation of God to a strongly Trinitarian statement. It was during this period that Masonic ritual and symbolism evolved; and it is not surprising that many symbols common to and understood by the general society made their way into Masonic ceremonies. Masons may have preferred the triangle because of the frequent use of the number 3 in their ceremonies: three degrees, three original grand masters, three principal officers, and so on. Eventually the all-seeing eye came to be used officially by Masons as a symbol for God, but this happened towards the end of the eighteenth century, after congress had adopted the seal.

A pyramid, whether incomplete or finished, however, has never been a Masonic symbol. It has no generally accepted symbolic meaning, except perhaps permanence or mystery. The combining of the eye of providence overlooking an unfinished pyramid is a uniquely American, not Masonic, icon, and must be interpreted as its designers intended. It has no Masonic context.


It's hard to know what leads some to see Masonic conspiracies behind world events, but once that hypothesis is accepted, any jot and tittle can be misinterpreted as "evidence." The Great Seal of the United States is a classic example of such a misinterpretation, and some Masons are as guilty of the exaggeration as many anti-Masons.

The Great Seal and Masonic symbolism grew out of the same cultural milieu. While the all-seeing eye had been popularized in Masonic designs of the late eighteenth century, it did not achieve any sort of official recognition until Webb's 1797 Monitor. Whatever status the symbol may have had during the design of the Great Seal, it was not adopted or approved or endorsed by any Grand Lodge.

The seal's Eye of Providence and the Mason's All Seeing Eye each express Divine Omnipotence, but they are parallel uses of a shared icon, not a single symbol.

[1] Robert Hieronimus, America's Secret Destiny (Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1989), p. 48.
[2] Patterson and Dougall in Hieronimus, p. 48..
[3] Hieronimus, p. 81..
[4] Hieronimus, p. 51..
[5] Hieronimus, p. 57..
[6] C. Thomas and W. Barton in Hieronimus, p. 54..
[7] Thomas Smith Webb, The Freemasons Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry (Salem, Mass.: Cushing and Appleton, 1821), p. 66..
[8] Jeremy Ladd Cross, The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor, 3rd ed. (New Haven, Conn.: By the Author, 1824), plate 22.


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Page XII

By: R.E. Coleberd

A fascinating subject, rarely thought of, is the role Pipe Organs played in the presentation of Masonic Ritual. Too often taken for granted, music is never thought about until it is not available. Our ritual tells us music is one of "The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences."

Mr. R.E. Coleberd has written an excellent article on The Masonic Lodge Pipe Organ. The complete article was first published in The Diapason, August, 2008. This edited (for space purposes) article is reprinted as an STB - with permission..' -- Editor For The Short Talk Bulletin

The era of the Masonic Lodge pipe organ, embracing close to 700 instruments, began in the 1860s, reached its zenith in the first three decades of the twentieth century, and with certain exceptions ended shortly after World War II. In the religious, ritualistic format of the Masonic movement, the pipe organ made a statement. It was deemed essential to crown the ambiance of the journey through the several chapters of the order (Blue Lodge, Royal Arch, Scottish Rite, Shrine and other "Rites"), and it complemented the majestic buildings, often architectural masterpieces, which contributed significantly to an attractive urban landscape. A closer look at the market, the instrument, and the builders reveals key features of this fascinating epoch, which surely belongs in the rich and colorful history of pipe organ building in America.

The Masonic Lodge was a broad-based, worldwide social and cultural movement with origins in antiquity, which counted the St. John's Lodge in Boston, established in 1733, as its beginning in this country. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were Masons. Encompassing immigration, urbanization, social solidarity and individual identity, it satisfied a desire to belong. Lodge membership was a mark of recognition and status in the community, and a transcending emotional experience in ritual and decor in the otherwise anonymous atmosphere of urban life. A noted German sociologist, Max Weber, visiting America in 1905, spoke of voluntary associations "as bridging the transition between the closed hierarchical society of the Old World and the fragmented individualism of the New World" and saw them performing a "crucial social function" in American life. The well-known social commentator and newspaper columnist. Max Lerner, in his epic work America as a Civilization, saw one of the motivations behind "joining" as "the integrative impulse of forming ties with like-minded people and thus finding status in the community." Ray Willard, organist at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Joplin, Missouri (M. P. Moller Opus 3441, 1922), observes that membership embraced all walks of life: from business and professional men. many of them community leaders and perhaps well-to-do, to everyday citizens.

Of special interest is the long-recognized connection between the railroad industry and the Masonic Lodge. Railroad men were lodge men, and railroad towns were lodge towns. The railroad was the predominant conveyance in freight and passenger travel in the first decades of the last century. In 1916, railroad mileage in this country peaked at 254,000 miles, and in 1922, railroad employment reached over two million workers, the largest labor force in the American economy. These totals reflected the number of trains and crews, station, yard and track workers, and the maintenance demands of the steam locomotive. The comparatively well-paid railroad workers were no doubt important in building Masonic temples. In 1920. average wages in the railroad industry were 33 percent above those in anufacturing. In one of what must have been numerous examples. Masonic employees of the Big Four Railroad in Indianapolis donated eight art-glass windows on the east wall of the second floor foyer of the Scottish Rite Cathedral there."

The Masonic Lodge pipe organ era began in 1860 when E. & G. G. Hook built one-manual instruments for temples in Massachusetts.

The Masonic Lodge market differed significantly from other pipe organ markets. For the larger facilities in metropolitan locations, the Masonic building was typically a matrix of rooms, often on several stories, and each with a different decor, e.g., Corinthian Hall. Gothic Hall. Ionic Hall.

In 1863, William A. Johnson built a one-manual instrument of nine registers, Opus 144, for the lodge in Geneva, New York. In 1867, Joseph Mayer, California's first organ builder, built an instrument for the "Free Masons" in San Francisco. The three organs built by Jardine in 1869 for New York City, in this case for the Odd Fellows Hall, marked the beginning of what would become a salient feature of the lodge market: multiple instruments for one building, often under one contract and several with identical stoplists. One particularly interesting example was the three instruments Hutchings built for the Masonic Lodge in Boston in 1899. The stoplists were identical (q.v.), but each one was in a different cast to conform to the decor of the room. Wind from a single blower was directed to one instrument by a valve opened when the console lid was raised, turning on the blower.

The pinnacle of the multiple contract practice came first in 1909, when Austin built twelve organs for the Masonic Lodge in New York City, and in 1927, when Moller built nine for a temple in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eleven of the twelve Austins were identical two-manual instruments, eight of the nine Mollers. An Austin stock model that found its way into the Masonic market was the Chorophone, introduced in 1916. Austin sold nine of these instruments to Masonic Lodges. Opus 896 was exported to the lodge in Manila, the Philippine Islands, in 1920.

By the 1920s, the Golden Age of the Masonic Lodge pipe organ, the three- or four-manual organ in the lodge auditorium was frequently an eclectic instrument, embracing theatre stops and even toy counters in addition to traditional liturgical stops. Add to this a "quaint" stop now and then, i.e.. a bugle call. Did you ever hear of Solomon's Trumpet? (See 1926-2000 Kimball, Guthrie, Oklahoma q.v.). As Willard points out, these instruments were designed to play the marches, patriotic selections, and orchestral and opera transcriptions used in ritual work, as well as theatre organ and popular music of the day when the auditorium was used for entertainment.

The Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner five-manual, eight-division, 77-rank, 81-stop, 5,022-pipe organ in the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis, Opus 696-696B, is the largest instrument in the Masonic movement in America today.

The Masonic Lodge pipe organ is another illustration of the role of the King of Instruments in American culture. The Masons, a culturally and socially prominent feature of American life, found the instrument an economic and efficient vehicle in meeting the musical needs of their ritual proceedings. The tonal resources of the larger instruments afforded almost unlimited capabilities in the full spectrum of instrumental music. This was made possible by technological advances in organ building, which mark a singular achievement of the American industry. In many locations, these magnificent instruments enjoy the respect and admiration of today's Masonic membership, and in the larger organ world are recognized as a vital segment in the rich and colorful history of pipe organ building in America.

R. E. Coleberd is a contributing editor of the diapason.

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Stephen F. Austin Mural

Austin, Texas
March 4th, 2009

The Save Texas History project of the Texas General Land office, headed by Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, unveiled today a new mural of Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas. The General Land Office is housed in the Stephen F. Austin building at the state capitol, and the new mural is displayed in the main lobby hallway of the building.

Artist Sara Lee Cely Grand Master David Counts addresses the audience with story of Austin's Masonic background
The unveiling program, which was attended by over 100 Texans, consisted of a welcome from General Land Officer Commissioner Jerry Patterson and a brief description of how the mural was created. After an excellent program on Stephen F. Austin, Grand Master David Counts was introduced, and he spoke about the role that the Masonic Fraternity played in early Texas History.

Stephen F. Austin was a Mason when he came to Texas, and he was named the Worshipful Master of the first lodge in Texas. It was organized in San Felipe in 1828, and a petition for a charter was sent to Mexico City. The petition was never answered, and that first lodge was never fully realized. Brother Austin died soon after Texas Independence was won, and thus never saw the foothold that Masonry obtained in the Republic of Texas.

Artist Sara Lee Cely
The "Masonic connection" was made when Sara Cely, the artist, was made aware of Austin's Masonic background by Brother Jonathan Pascoe. Jonathan contacted his father Chuck, and Chuck contacted the Texas History Committee of Grand Lodge, who provided information to the artist. Part of this information included pictures of a MASONIC RIFLE that was built sometime after the Texas Revolution, but was of the same type used during the 1830's. (More on this rifle, later!) The rifle is shown in the Mural, slung over the shoulder of a rider, and the Masonic emblems are clearly visible on the stock. Square and Compasses are also shown on the buttons on the coats of both Stephen F. Austin and Erasmo Seguin, and on the butt of the pistol carried in Austin's belt.

Press release from the General Land Office


The Stephen F. Austin Mural:
Spanish Land, Texas Home
by Sara Lee Cely
(135 inches by 45 inches * Giclee from oil on canvas)

Commissioned by the Texas General Land Office
Save Texas History program
Jerry Patterson, Commissioner
March 2009

This mural honors the life of Stephen F. Austin, his importance to Texas history and his connection to the Texas General Land Office.

Section of the mural showing Erasmo Seguin (shaking hands, on the left) and some of the
"Old 300" families arriving in Texas
In the mural, Austin stands along the banks of the Brazos River, surrounded by the Old Three Hundred the colonists he helped settle in Texas. His hand rests on his Registro, or colony record book, the original of which is kept here in the Archives of the Texas General Land Office. Austin's vital role in Texas cartography is represented by his position astride an 1834 version of his landmark map of Texas. First issued in March 1830 by H.S. Tanner of Philadelphia, Austins map was the first widely available map of Texas. Reissued several times during the decade, the version depicted in the mural recreates the same language and spellings used by Austin.

Thoroughly researched, the mural strives for historical accuracy. Note the accurate caretta carts, period clothing and weaponry, including the Masonic symbols on Austin's coat and his flintlock pistol. Tejanos, African-Americans and Native Americans are represented here in recognition of their role in the story of Austins colony.

From the loblolly pines to the longhorn steer, the indigenous flora and fauna of early Texas are also depicted in great detail. The flow of settlers from the far distance represents the ongoing settlement of Austins Texas colony.


Created by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in 2004, the Texas General Land Office Save Texas History program is a highly successful initiative to conserve the historic maps and documents in the Land Office Archives while promoting the history those documents portray. First compiled after the Texas Revolution, the Texas General Land Office Archives now contains over 35 million documents dating back to 1720.

Detail of rider carrying Masonic Rifle.
Note the symbols on the stock.
Detail of buttons on Stephen F. Austin's coat

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page XIV
Handshakes And Goat Blood

From the
"New Zealand Freemason"
Reprinted With Permission Of The Editor

Stan Barker, incoming Grand Master of Freemasons New Zealand.
Christchurch lawyer Stan Barker seems like an ordinary fellow when I meet him in his city law office overlooking Victoria Square. His desk may be covered in a proliferation of ornamental owls - "mostly gifts from clients" - but his handshake seems normal. There are no hints of a man about to become leader of a secretive organization that dates back more than 300 years.

On November 21, however, Stan will don an elaborate ceremonial costume for his Grand Installation as the new Grand Master of Freemasons New Zealand at the Christchurch Town Hall. He seems quietly confident and ready for the challenge. He has, after all, held the posts of Grand Registrar, President of the Board of General Purposes and Grand Master Elect. With 33 years of experience and accumulated knowledge as a Freemason, he is ready to make his mark. Luckily for Avenues, that includes a rare glimpse into one of the lodges and 'lifting the lid' on some of the enduring myths linked to Freemasonry - myths that hint at bizarre rituals, blood oaths, passwords and secret gestures.

"Freemasonry is strongly based on centuries of tradition and I'm sure many today see that as archaic. That's why, as a group, we are beginning to allow more visibility - and not only in our charity work. My installation as Grand Master, for instance, like all installations in Australasia, will be done in public. We're also re-structuring elements of the association and allowing potential new members to actually visit lodges prior to their initiation.

But change is a very slow process and some 'closed' aspects, like male-only membership, the initiation ceremony and the secret gestures and handshakes, for instance, will never change," Stan says. Freemasonry's core tenets of tolerance, respect, kindness, moral living, philanthropy, personal growth and reflection - all designed to make good men better - will also remain the same and Stan Barker, for one, is happy about that.

Freemasonry's exact origins are unclear, but it is accepted that the organization evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. Like most guilds of the time, they used signs and symbols to identify each other, and as the number of operative masons declined in the 16th and 17th centuries, they accepted outsiders (Free and Accepted Masons) into the fold. From then on, Freemasons went from an operative 'cathedral-building' organization to a spiritual one, with the first Grand Lodge founded in England in 1717. The Grand Lodge of New Zealand was formed in 1895.

From the outset, the organization has been beset with speculative stories of secrecy and conspiracy. The rumors and myths have endured over centuries, despite the fact many have been disproved. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2001 that Freemasonry was "neither secret, criminal nor illegal and that in job decisions it was illegal to discriminate against Freemasons", but, nevertheless, suspicions still linger. When pressed on the matter of secrecy and the initiation ceremony, Stan is loyal to his Freemasonry oaths and commitments.

"There have been books written exposing Freemasonry for 300 years and, nowadays, the information is available in libraries and on the internet, but I won't tell you anything. I take an undertaking not to disclose that sort of information and I believe I would be letting myself down if I told you anything," he says. "Besides, I don't think the available information has much meaning to people. A purist rugby fan will tell you that you have to go to a match to get a real feel for the game. Freemasonry is the same. Unless you are a Freemason, you have no idea of the atmosphere, the emotional and physical experience that an initiation ceremony brings. Most Freemasons will tell you that they learn something new from every ceremony they attend."

Neville Patrick, current President of the Board of General Purposes for Freemasons New Zealand.
Christchurch's Neville Patrick, the current President of the Board of General Purposes for Freemasons New Zealand, agrees. "I knew very little about Freemasons when I joined in 1984 and I was totally bewildered by my initiation. You have no idea what's going on because of the language and the mystique attached to the ceremony. In hindsight, that's the way it should be, and that's why a Freemason won't personally disclose what goes on. It's full of symbolism and allegory and it's where our lessons come from. We want to protect the power of that experience for new members," he says. To halt the decline in their membership, it is now not uncommon for potential candidates to be shown through a lodge building before officially joining, to familiarize them with the surroundings. "Our numbers peaked in New Zealand in the 1960s (from over 45,000) and now stand at around 10,000, and it's only been in recent years that we've realized we need to do something about membership," Neville says. Stan agrees: "Freemasonry numbers are dropping internationally. Some of that is the natural attrition of older members; some is related to the pressure on younger members and the greater range of choices they have. We live in a different society now and many clubs, churches and societies are in the same boat."

Revamping Freemasonry to attract new membership is well under way.

"In my earlier role as President of the Board of General Purposes, I helped set up education and lodge planning programs that would help retain members. In 2007, we initiated 300 new candidates nationally, but we've probably already lost 150 of those. The reasons for that are many and varied, but young men are no longer happy to listen to dull, boring speeches. I don't want to be critical of the organization, but we need to make changes to cater for the needs of younger men. A lot of older members, though, are resistant to change; some don't even recognize the need to change; so progress is slow."

In the interests of furthering change, this writer asks about the chances of a female journalist being allowed a peek inside Stan's lodge base, Cashmere Lodge 271. I'm surprised when he agrees - and even allows himself to be photographed there, in front of the elaborate historic tracing boards that once adorned the old Lyttelton Lodge building.

Tracing boards were originally drawn on the floors of churches or taverns where the Freemasons met and it was the job of the Tyler to erase them after each meeting. Floor cloths were then introduced and they were later followed by the painted or printed illustrations that adorn most lodges today. Depicting the symbols and emblems of Freemasonry, they are used during lectures on the three Masonic degrees that new members graduate through to become a fully fledged Master Mason, able to attend a Grand Lodge.

While numerous illustrations of tracing boards are available on the internet, it is still a thrill to see those in Cashmere Lodge. There is an undeniable atmosphere about the strange windowless room filled with ornate furniture and the trappings of Masonry. It feels slightly daunting and my eyes dart about the formal space trying to find clues to secret doings - I can't help myself. The power of myth and secrets is strong, but Stan and Neville are tolerant.

They're well used to that. "There are a lot of unusual ideas about us - still," Neville says. "The goats, the sacrifices - all ridiculous stories that persist, despite the fact that we have become a lot more public."

It is perhaps pertinent to consider Neville's parting questions: "Would you be able to get into any corporate board meeting you fancied? Would you be told what was going on at that meeting?" Not likely. So does that make the organization a secret society?

"Yes, we do have meetings behind closed doors, but the nature of those meetings is no longer secret. It is widely available in libraries. Yes, there is a secret handshake, but it's subtle. It's not about wriggling fingers and tickling palms, or any of that rubbish," he says.

It is a shame that conspiracy theories and talk of secrecy too often overshadow the good work Freemasons do within the New Zealand community, he says. "I'm very proud to be a Freemason; to be part of something that has endured centuries. I enjoy it and it has made me a better man."

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page XV
William Morgan, Anti-Mason


William Morgan (1774-1826?) was a resident of Batavia, New York whose disappearance ignited a powerful anti-Freemason movement in the United States in the early 19th century. After stating his intention to write a book exposing Freemasonry's "secrets", Morgan was arrested, kidnapped, and then apparently killed. His disappearance sparked a public outcry and launched the formation of a new Anti-MBataviaasonic Party

Early Life

Morgan was born in Culpeper, Virginia in 1774. His birth date is sometimes listed as August 7, but no source for this is given. He was apprenticed as a bricklayer or stone cutter, then briefly was a brewer in Canada, before returning to quarry work in Rochester, New York.

In October 1819, when he was 44, Morgan married 16-year old Lucinda Pendleton in Richmond. They had two children, Lucinda Wesley Morgan and Thomas Jefferson Morgan Two years after his marriage, he moved for unknown reasons to York, Upper Canada, where he operated a brewery. He has been described as a heavy drinker and a gambler.

When his business was destroyed in a fire, Morgan was reduced to poverty. He returned to the United States, settling first at Rochester, New York, and later in Batavia. Morgan claimed to have served with distinction as a captain during the War of 1812, though there is no evidence that he did so. Several men named William Morgan appear in the Virginia militia rolls, but none held the rank of captain.

Association With Freemasonry

Morgan attempted to join the Masonic lodge in Batavia, but was denied admission. He is known to have received the York Rite Royal Arch degree at Leroy, New York, in 1825, and when a new chapter was being formed in Batavia, Morgan's name was on the list of petitioners for a charter. Allegedly, some Masons objected and a new petition was drawn up without Morgan on it. Angered by his rejection, Morgan declared that it was his intention to publish a book entitled Illustrations of Masonry, critical of the Freemasons and describing their secret degree work in great detail.

Morgan announced that a local newspaper publisher, David Cade Miller, had given him a sizable advance for the work. Miller is said to have received the entered apprentice degree (the first degree of Freemasonry), but had then been stopped from advancement by the objection of one or more of the Batavia lodge members. This would have given him motivation to join with Morgan. In fact, it appears that Morgan had entered into a $500,000 penal bond with three men: Miller, John Davids (Morgan's landlord) and one Russel Dyer.

The Morgan Affair

If the local Masons had simply ignored Morgan's actions, that would have been the end of the matter. But some members of the Batavia lodge responded to Morgan's "betrayal" by publishing an advertisement denouncing Morgan, and several attempts were made by unknown individuals to set fire to Miller's newspaper office.

When these efforts failed, a group of Masons gathered at Morgan's house claiming that he owed them money. On 11 September 1826, Morgan was arrested; according to the law, he could be held in debtor's prison until the debt was paid. Learning of this, Miller went to the jail to pay the debt. After several failed attempts, he finally secured Morgan's release.

A few hours later, Morgan was arrested again, now for a loan it was claimed he had not paid back; and for supposedly stealing clothing. He was jailed again, this time in Canandaigua. On the night of 11 September, someone appeared, claiming to be a friend of Morgan's and offering to pay his debt and have him released. Morgan was taken to a carriage that was waiting for him outside the prison. The next day, the carriage arrived at Fort Niagara.

There are several tales of what happened next. The most common one is that Morgan was taken in a boat to the middle of the Niagara River and drowned. A man named Henry L. Valance allegedly confessed to his part in the murder in 1848 and his deathbed confession is recounted in chapter two of Reverend C. G. Finney's book The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry. About a month after Morgan left the jail, in October, 1827, a badly decomposed body that washed up on the shores of Lake Ontario was presumed by many to be Morgan, and was buried as such, but the clothing was positively identified as that of a Canadian, Timothy Monroe, by his widow. Freemasons deny that Morgan was killed, saying instead that he was paid $500 to leave the country. There have been numerous reports of Morgan being seen in other countries, but none has been confirmed. Three Masons, Loton Lawon, Nicholas Chesebro and Edward Sawyer, were charged with, convicted and served sentences for kidnapping Morgan.

The Aftermath: The Anti-Masonic Movement

Soon after Morgan disappeared, Miller published Morgan's book. It became a bestseller and some people have speculated that the disappearance was an elaborate publicity stunt, especially since Miller made no claim that Morgan had been murdered, saying simply he had been "carried away". According to them, Morgan assumed a new identity and settled in Albany, in Canada, or the Cayman Islands, or even was hanged as a pirate. New York governor De Witt Clinton, himself a Mason, offered a $1,000 reward for information about Morgan's whereabouts, but no one ever claimed it.

Monument To Morgan

On 13 September 1882 a large monument [12] praising Morgan was unveiled in the Batavia cemetery by the National Christian Association, a group opposed to secret societies. The ceremony was witnessed by 1000 people, including representatives from local Masonic lodges.[13][14] The monument reads:

Sacred to the memory of Wm. Morgan, a native of Virginia, a Capt. in the War of 1812, a respectable citizen of Batavia, and a martyr to the freedom of writing, printing and speaking the truth. He was abducted from near this spot in the year 1826, by Freemasons and murdered for revealing the secrets of their order. The court records of Genesee County, and the files of the Batavia Advocate, kept in the Recorders office contain the history of the events that caused the erection of this monument.

In June 1881 in Pembroke, New York, a grave was discovered in a quarry two miles south of the Indian reservation, and in it a metal box containing a crumpled paper with a few still-readable words hinting that the body might have been Morgan's.

Morgan's disappearance-and the minimal punishment received by his kidnappers-sparked a series of protests against the Freemasons throughout New York and the neighboring states. Despite the prompt disavowal of the actions of the kidnappers by the Masonic hierarchy, all Masons found themselves being criticized. Under the leadership of a New York politician named Thurlow Weed, an anti-Masonic and anti-Andrew Jackson (Jackson was a Mason) movement was formed, the Anti-Masonic political party, which ran a candidate for the presidency in 1828, gaining the support of such politicians as William H. Seward.

Its influence was such that other Jackson rivals, including John Quincy Adams, joined in denouncing the Masons. Adams in 1847 wrote a widely distributed book titled Letters on the Masonic Institution that was also highly critical of the Masons. In 1832, the party fielded William Wirt as its presidential candidate, though the party only received seven electoral votes. Three years later, the party had become moribund everywhere but Pennsylvania, as other issues, such as slavery, became the focus of national attention. Morgan's widow Lucinda Pendleton later became one of the plural wives of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. Subsequent confrontations between Freemasonry and the Mormon church included controversy surrounding the church's alleged adoption of Masonic rituals and regalia. William Morgan was given one of the first official baptisms for the dead into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page XVI
My Brother's Keeper. Open Racism In Georgia Freemasonry.

Reprinted With Permission Of The Author
Brother Greg Stewart- The Masonic Traveler
At Masonic Information

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"

"I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"

The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

Genesis 4: 8-12 N.I.V.

The Grand Lodge of Georgia has openly documented its policy of racial exclusion of "non-white men".

In a court filing to the Superior Court of Dekalb county - civil action 09CV7552-8, are documents (attached below) which include the charges brought against the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge No. 2.

The charges as filled were quantified as a Violation of the Moral Law.

Specification 1 in this - That said worshipful master xx xx did in fact raise or allow to be raised in and about February 2009 in the lodge that he is the Worshipful Master, a non-white man, xx xx.

Specification 2 - This said worshipful master xx xx did commit overt act or acts against moral laws of Free and Accepted Masons and the moral duties as the Worshipful Master of Gate City lodge no 2 as follows:

- Violation of moral law from word of mouth

- Violation of moral obligation to the ancient landmarks, ancient customs, ancient traditions, ancient usages, constitution, laws and edicts working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

- Violation of moral official obligation was taken at the time of installation of officers.

- Violation of moral obligations of not upholding the charter of Gate City Lodge #2

- Violation of moral obligation of keeping peace and harmony in the craft by allowing the operation of a Cabal in Gate City Lodge #2

- Violation of moral obligation as pursuant to Masonic Code 1-104 without having obtained the sanction of the grand Lodge are hereby declared spurious and clandestine and of no Masonic authority whatsoever.

The Master of gate City Lodge, proclaiming his innocence, was then charged in the following manner.

Violation of the Laws of Masonry

Specification 1 In This: That said Worshipful Master xx xx did in fact embrace a formed Cabal to secretly unite to bring about and overturn with usurpation of the constitution, laws, ancient landmarks, customs and traditions of Free and Accepted Masons working under the jurisdiction of ancient landmarks, customs and traditions of Free & Accepted Masons working under the jurisdiction of the grand Lodge of the state of Georgia, when he was elected Worshipful Master in December 2008.

Specification 2 in this - The worshipful master xx xx knowingly and willfully did in fact allow a raising of a non-white man in February 2009, which has never been done working under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge of the state of Georgia. According to the old customs of the Grand Lodge of the state of Georgia which has existed continuously since February 21, 1734. After the fact, xx xx did allow parading xx xx to other Masonic Lodges, presenting him as a Master Mason accompanied by a letter dated February 25, 2008 on gate city Lodge#2 letterhead with the typed from xx xx xx, Grand Master.

Specification 3 In this: That the said worshipful Master xx xx did commit act or acts of destroying peace and harmony throughout the craft of Masonry in the state of Georgia.

Specification 4 in this: that said worshipful master xx xx of Gate City Lodge #2 did in fact knowingly and willfully commit this act or acts which is in conflict with the ancient landmarks and Masonic code sections 71-101, 4-101#6, 1-101, 1-201, 1-202, 1-205. Worshipful Master xx xx committed act or acts knowingly and willfully that conflicts with the ancient customs and traditions which are the immemorial usages and fundamentals of the craft which have existed from time immemorial and are unchangeable.

Specification 5 in this: That said worshipful Master xx xx of gate city lodge #2 must be tried by a trial of present and or past masters pursuant to Masonic code 83-401 and when found guilty of this charge of violation of the laws of Masonry as he would be under no less penalty than that established by Masonic code 21.106 and 21.107.

Masonic Law speak, the charges are based on committing act or acts of destroying peace and harmony, but involving the moral law as to the cabal behind the making of an "non-white" man a Mason. The disharmony seems to have stemmed from the "parading" of an African American Georgia Freemason, which is apparently now, a violation of their moral law. Never mind that the brother was made and recognized by the state, and never mind that he was acknowledged in a tiled lodge as such

Some speculation suggests that rather than drop the proceedings, the Grand Master will hold the trial to quell the misconception of racism and set the record straight, but this remains to be seen.

In the mean time, a civil filing by the Worshipful Master turned Plaintiff suggests that the Grand Lodge is in violation of its Non-Profit Status as it is now openly admitting that it discriminates based on race, which is against the public policy of the State. In the filing, it is also points out in several sections where the Grand Lodge is . . .an enemy of bigotry or intolerance. . . and also states the the Grand Lodge in leveling the charges is in violation of its contract with the member(s) when facing revocation of charters and membership privileges as members have a value property investment (contract) from their dues. Interesting to point out, the filing also says openly that "Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs show that there are currently in Georgia active, regular Master Masons of at least the following extractions in whole or in part: American Indians, East Indian, Arab/Lebanese/Egyptian, Persian/Iranian, Vietnamese, Chinese, non white Mexican/Hispanic, African-American, and Filipino, in addition to those of white/Caucasian ancestry." So, now there seems to be a provision of the fraternity being not strictly white, which seems to countermand the white only exclusion.

The long and short of this convoluted tale comes squarely to rest on the odious claim that a "non-white man" can not be a Freemason.

I affirm, that racism is not tolerable, and bigotry, open or otherwise, is not included in our Moral Law. The brothers of Georgia are sorely mistaken in this assertion.

As I AM my brother's keeper my ". . . brother's blood cries out to me from the ground". To let this go will put the fraternity under a curse that will send us ". . . driven from the ground".

If not addressed this open proclamation could destroy the fraternity.

This is not Freemasonry in the 21st Century. This is not tolerable, on a personal level or from a Grand Lodge level, especially our Grand Lodges are an electable body from the craft lodge. Recognition of Georgian Freemasonry must be held in questioned especially if they are so ignorant to hold these ideas to be Moral Laws. If in fact they do then Recognition must be terminated.

We are our brother's keepers and only have the Great Architect to answer to. How will we respond when he asks us how we addressed this?

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
What Drives The Anti-Masons?

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
"A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry"

At Masonic Information

To find an Anti-Mason, you need look no further than the Internet for there is an abundance of discourse on the Net berating and misrepresenting the fraternity. As Freemasons, we are blamed for everything from the assassination of JFK, to World War I, both Gulf Wars, and God knows what else. The same people who track UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Elvis, are the same people tracking Freemasonry. Why? Because we make a convenient target. As a "society with secrets" (not a "secret society") it is easy to draw erroneous conclusions about our motives and activities. And make no mistake, the Anti-Masons are capitalizing on the naivete of the general public in the same manner as the supermarket tabloids do and for the same reason: to make a buck.

In researching this subject, I visited numerous Anti-Masonic web sites on the Internet. Even though they are all closely related, I have categorized the Anti-Masons into three groups: Conspiracists, Religious Zealots, and Wackos.


I like to refer to these type of Anti-Masons as Michael Moore "wannabees" as they are alarmists claiming that the sky is falling. They are all self-proclaimed freedom fighters acting as watchdogs of the fraternity. They write numerous exposes on Freemasonry with just enough research to make them look authoritative on the subject. What is disturbing here is that although Freemasons can easily see through the malarkey in their writings, the general public cannot.

At the root of their argument is the premise that Freemasons are overtly concerned about the social engineering of the planet. Under their scenario, the Masonic Fraternity is an inherent member of the Illuminati, a group of international bankers and power brokers who are obsessed with enslaving the human race and putting all of the world's wealth into their hands. If this was true, I wish the Illuminati would share some of their wealth with the many Craft Lodges who are struggling to make ends meet.

Religious Zealots

In a nutshell, the religious zealots portray Freemasonry as either an autonomous religion or as one dedicated to Satan. We also have people claiming to have been Masons but have "seen the light" and recanted their membership. Frankly, their membership in the Masons are somewhat questionable as their description of Masonic activities doesn't jive with what we have learned.

"Ex-Masons for Jesus" is an organization of Christian men and women who claim to have been members of a Masonic Lodge or one of the affiliated Masonic organizations such as Eastern Star, DeMolay, Job's Daughters or Rainbow Girls. "We have left Masonry because of our commitment to Jesus Christ and a realization that Masonry is not consistent with a sincere expression of the Christian faith. We have found that participation in Freemasonry interferes with a close relationship with Jesus Christ." Nuts.


Finally, we come to the offbeat critics of the fraternity who attack it for a variety of reasons, such as child abuse and other forms of sexual misconduct.

To prove their point, the Anti-Masons turn to Masonic and news quotations to support their claims. In reality, the sources are either misquoted or quoted out of context. However, accuracy of reporting and truthfulness is not the forte of the Anti-Masons.


As Masons we are charged not to suffer our zeal for the institution to lead us into arguments with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it. But because we often cloak our ceremonies in secrecy, we make a convenient target to be cast in the role of "bogeyman." Laugh as we might at our critics, they do have an effect on the general public. Let me give you an example, I know of a young Mason in the Tampa Bay area of Florida who was initiated an Entered Apprentice and passed to the degree of Fellow Craft before falling in love with a young woman who frequents the Internet and became suspicious of the fraternity her fiance had joined. Frankly, I think she jealously saw Freemasonry as something that would divert his attention from her. Nonetheless, she read a lot of the propaganda and came to the erroneous conclusion that Freemasonry was anti-Christian with hidden motives and, consequently, swayed her fiance to halt his Masonic involvement.

Whether we like to portray ourselves as a "secret society" or a "society with secrets," we have become fodder for every crackpot accusation imaginable. This puts us in the unenviable position of having to defend ourselves of every charge brought against us. As Masons, we can readily see through a lot of these falsehoods, but how do you defend yourself against a crime you didn't commit? Unlike American jurisprudence where a man is "innocent until proven guilty" we find ourselves in the predicament of being "guilty until proven innocent." Our critics know this and use it to their advantage by charging us with any ludicrous accusation they can dream up. Their motto seems to be, "When in doubt, blame the Masons."

What our critics don't seem to understand is how we investigate the background of everyone who petitions to join the fraternity. The only general criteria for joining is that a person believe in a Supreme Being (based on their religion of choice), that he does not believe in the overthrow of his resident government, and that he hasn't committed any heinous crime. From this perspective, we are God-fearing peaceful citizens who happen to enjoy the company of other God-fearing peaceful citizens. If this is a crime, I plead guilty, most guilty.

In reality, our critics are well aware of this, and if they were to honestly answer you, they would have to admit as such.

So what is their motive? Why do they find it necessary to harass Freemasons? Is it because some of them were blackballed? Perhaps a woman feels scorned? Perhaps. More likely, it goes back to a simple human trait: Greed. If you look at the background of the Anti-Masons you will find people who have failed in business, but having an aptitude for writing, have concocted inflammatory stories which appeal to conspiricists, the religious right, and other wackos. Bottom-line: they are out to make a buck at the expense of Freemasonry. To do so, they build arguments out of minuscule incidents from our past and paint a picture of distrust and felonious activities with the truth sacrificed in the process. Even the noted author, Dan Brown, uses this to his advantage with his highly acclaimed books, such as "The Da Vinci Code" and the upcoming "The Solomon Key." But unlike the Anti-Masons, and to his credit, Brown is quick to point out his stories are works of fiction. Bottom-line, the Anti-Masons are capitalizing on the ignorance of the public to sell books and make public appearances. Plain and simply, it's all about money. They take a little Masonic knowledge and blow it out of proportion knowing we cannot or will not defend ourselves.

Continued On Page XVIII

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
What Drives The Anti-Masons?

Continued from Page XVII

One interesting attribute of all of the Anti-Masons is that they strongly safeguard their identity. In fact, they are cloaked in more secrecy than a Masonic Communications. You won't find too many photos of our detractors, and their whereabouts on this planet are strongly guarded. To communicate with them, you must go through a "cloak and dagger" e-mail process which I find to be particularly ironic as they often accuse Freemasonry of being too secretive. Fortunately, their anonymity hurts their credibility with the public.

Understand this, Freemasonry wouldn't be plagued by such voluminous false accusations today had it not been for the Internet, a powerful communications medium that can carry the Anti-Masons messages to the masses at little cost. Sure, Freemasonry has had detractors in the past, but the Internet has accelerated the volume of contrived nonsense being presented to the public.

Also, many young people are caught up in the Anti-Mason movement which may be natural since young people find it fascinating to discuss cover-ups and conspiracies of world domination. Let us not forget that we live in a day and age of extremists who can readily communicate through this powerful medium.

So what should Masons do, turn the other cheek and let our critics run all over us? As Masons we are taught to subdue our passions and not directly engage our critics. Maybe. However, when flagrant errors appear in print, they should not go uncontested, otherwise the public will think the detractor is correct. As an example,

I do not encourage our Brothers to get directly into arguments with our critics, but I think we have a responsibility from time to time to clarify our position, if for no other reason, to dispel misinterpretations that might hurt our membership. I am reminded of what M:.W:.Harold G. Ballard, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, said, "Masons should never forget, nor miss an opportunity to inform the uninitiated that Freemasonry is a fraternity of men from all walks of life who meet as equals in a common quest for knowledge and a better life, both philosophical and material, for all mankind."

In other words, I recommend we become proactive in our communications with the general public, not reactive as we have been.

Just remember, the anti-Masons are not interested in the truth. If they truly did their homework, they would inevitably arrive at a different conclusion. As evidence, consider the work of Dr. Jessica Harland-Jacobs who wrote Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927 a non-Mason who thoroughly researched our background and "gets it."

So, what drives the anti-Masons? In a nutshell: Money. Why do they continue to argue with the fraternity? Because we represent a threat to their livelihood. It's as simple as that.

Keep the Faith.

The Elusive Bro DeKalb

The Palmetto Bug blog

So there lies the brave De Kalb; the generous stranger who came from a distant land to fight our battles, and to water with his blood the tree of our liberty. Would to God he had lived to share its fruits!

- George Washington as he gazed upon De Kalb's grave.

The Baron de Kalb's heroics during the American Revolution - as well as his military activities in France prior to him arriving in the Colonies - are rather well documented but there remains an elusive aspect of De Kalb's life. The particulars pertaining to where and when De Kalb became a Freemason continue to hide themselves from researchers.

That De Kalb was a Freemason there is little doubt as his contemporaries clearly regarded him as such. Following his death on 19 August 1780 from wounds received at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina, he was buried with Masonic honors by a military lodge attached to the very British Army that he had opposed and the British commander, Lord Cornwallis, reportedly personally performed the Masonic ceremony.

There is another well documented acknowledgement of De Kalb's membership in the fraternity of Freemasons. Known Freemason, close friend of De Kalb, and fellow Revolutionary War general - the Marquis de Lafayette - returned to the United States from France in 1824 and - on 9 March of the following year - presided over the Masonic cornerstone laying ceremony at the monument erected at the site in Camden, South Carolina, where De Kalb's remains had been re-interred. The fact remains, however, that no researcher has been able to pinpoint with accuracy the time and place that De Kalb became a Freemason - though there is one very plausible theory that involves General Mordecai Gist and a military lodge. Gist, who would later become the second Grand Master of the Ancient York Masons of South Carolina, was in proximity to De Kalb on the right side of the Patriot line during the Battle of Camden. Gist - at the time of the battle - was the Master of Army Lodge Number 27, which had been warranted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and commander of the Second Maryland Brigade, which was part of the Maryland Line commanded by De Kalb.

. . . and the Baron DeKalb, if not made in it [Army Lodge No. 27], doubtless affiliated therein, while the "Maryland Line" were serving under his command in General Gates' army of the South. The search for Brother De Kalb's elusive Masonic beginnings continues.

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