September 23
This day In Masonry

John Sevier, Mason, Pioneer, Frontiersman, Revolutionary soldier, Indian fighter, first governor of Tennessee, and first and only governor of the briefly historic "State of Franklin." John was born on Sept. 23, 1745 in Rockingham Co., Va. Educated until the age of 16 at the academy in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He married the next year, and founded the village of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley. Here he became celebrated as an Indian fighter, and was victor in many battles with neighboring tribes. He was involved in the Revolutionary War. Fabien Sevitzky appointed captain in the Virginia line in 1772, moving then to Watauga on the Western slope of the Alleghenies. He took part in the Indian battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He petitioned the North Carolina legislature, asking them to annex his colony so they might help in the Revolution under official state authority. The petition was granted, and the whole of what is now Tennessee was organized into a county of North Carolina, then known as "Washington district." Sevier was then chosen as a delegate to the state convention. He organized every able-bodied man between 16 and 50 years in the militia and became their colonel. This group fought many successful conflicts with the border Indians, burning their towns and raiding their camps. They won the Battle of Boyd's Creek, and with Colonel Isaac Shelby, won the Battle of King's Mountain. At the end of the war, North Carolina felt that they could not afford the large territory which Sevier had organized, as it increased their portion of the Federal debt. Therefore they ceded it to the Federal government. When the news of this reached the settlers, they formed their own government, called a convention on August 23, 1784, organized a constitution and state government, elected Sevier governor, and named their State of "Franklin." North Carolina then reversed its decision to cede the "state" and set up a militia with Sevier as its general, and a Superior court. The natives did not like this, and were determined to have their own state. Sevier advised them against this independent action, but went along with them. Gov. Richard Caswell, , declared a revolt existed in the territory and sent troops into "The State of Franklin," capturing and imprisoning Sevier, who was later rescued. Finally the territory was ceded by North Carolina, and Sevier then took an oath of allegiance to the U.S., was commissioned brigadier general in 1789, and the following year chosen to Congress as the first representative from the valley of the Mississippi. He continued his campaigns against the Creeks and Cherokees, and broke their will to fight in the Etowah campaign of 1793. When Tennessee was admitted to the Union in 1796, he became the first governor, serving until 1801, and again from 1803 to 1809. Was elected to congress in 1811 and again in 1815, but died in the latter year before he could take his seat. His original lodge is not known, but he was the first master of Tennessee Lodge No. 41 (under North Carolina jurisdiction) in 1800, while governor. This lodge later became Tennessee Lodge No. 2, under the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. The charter was arrested in October, 1827. His name also appears as a member of Greenville Lodge No. 3 (No. 43 under North Carolina) in 1805. He entered the Celestial Lodge on September 24, 1815.

On this day in 1779, during the American Revolution, the US Ship Bonhomme Richard, Commanded by Mason John Paul Jones, wins a hard fought engagement against the British ships of war "Serapis" and the “Countess of Scarborough,” off the eastern coast of England. A United States Aircraft Carrier was later named the USS Bonhomme Richard nicknamed the Bonny Dick.

On this day in 1749, in a surprisingly low-key and carefully worded statement Mason and President Harry S. Truman informs the American public that the Soviet Union has exploded a nuclear bomb. This caused a panic in the American Government.

On this day in 1886, with much excitement, American Explorers, Mason, Lewis Meriweather and Mason, William Clark return to St. Louis from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and back. The lewis and Clark expedition had set off more than two years before to explore the territory soon to become the Louisiana Purchase.

On this day in 1944, during a campaign dinner with the international Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, Mason and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt makes a reference to his small dog, Fata, who had recently been the subject of a Republican political attack. The offense prompted FDR to defend the dog’s honor and his own reputation.