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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 16 - number 3
Freemasonry in Egypt
By BRO. ROBERT C. WRIGHT, Oregon
OUR estimable Grand Secretary, Bro. D. R. Cheney, receives many communications and pamphlets in several different foreign languages. Not being adept in them, he has for some years past enlisted the writer's assistance to translate important matters.
Last summer he informed the writer that he had heard of some trouble in the Grand Lodge in Egypt, and asked for examination and report of what was in a copy of its 1928 proceedings, which he furnished. This pamphlet turned out to be partly in Syrian and partly in French. A brief report was furnished to the Grand Secretary for his files. Discovering the name of our Grand Secretary mentioned in Syrian, because he had sent them his photograph, a copy of his name was sent to him. He said it looked easy but was hard to write, so he gave up using it officially.
Believing that something about Egyptian Masonry and their dissension might interest others, this article has been prepared. The proceedings mentioned contain much detail of the unfortunate events. Therefore only a summary of this will be given and a little space taken in addition to tell of the splendid humanitarian work carried on by that Grand Lodge.
Sometime in 1900 or 1901, Abd el Meguid Youne was Grand Secretary of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt. During that time Prince Mohammed Aly, brother of the ex-khedive, was initiated but held no office. Youne and some colleagues conspired with the Prince virtually to capture the Grand Lodge, and to amend its constitution or by-laws to allow the election of the Prince as Grand Master. Youne and the Prince were both well known in foreign jurisdictions. The official signature of the former was very familiar.
In 1901 an attempt was made to carry out their plans. This brought a strong reproof from Idris Ragheb, then Grand Master, who obtained from the Prince a letter dated April 6, 1901, written on Grand Lodge stationery, signed by Mohammed Aly and endorsed by Idris as witness. Therein the Prince acknowledged fidelity to his Masonic obligations, and promised obedience to the laws and rules of the National Grand Lodge, which he thereby also recognized. A photo print of this letter is published, showing the original signatures.
Evidently Youne and his fellow conspirators were not done. They wanted the prestige of the Prince, and the latter's conceit was so flattered that he was willing to join them and become a party to these iniquitous schemes. Thus the disturbances were continued until 1922, when the Prince was in it personally.
In the summer of 1922 some brethren who were not in good standing, and lodges suspended for cause, combined to petition for a change of the laws in order to make the Prince eligible as Grand Master. It appears a Grand Master was to be elected later, and this was the time when they proposed to act. The Prince agreed to be a candidate. He had never been warden or master, not even what they term an "active member" of a lodge, and according to the constitution was ineligible.
Idris Ragheb was again Grand Master that year. After a perusal, he issued a decree denying the petition, and cited laws forbidding its allowance. The dissident group then sought to arrange matters by making the Prince an active member of Lodge "The Nile." The Grand Master responded by giving that lodge a certain time to rescind its irregular action. It refused to do so and its charter was suspended, and some members of other lodges who were involved in promoting the action were also suspended. The Prince was not disciplined on the ground of his ignorance of Masonic law, and that he was supposed to have acted in good faith.
The suspended members organized to go to the Grand Lodge meeting of September 28, 1922, to carry out their schemes. They appeared in force, invaded the Grand Master's office and demanded their reinstatement. To restore quiet he said those qualified as delegates could take part in the work. After inquiry from the chair as to whether all present were lawfully there, he began the session. Immediately a demand was made to change the laws to allow the candidacy of the Prince. The Grand Master ruled it out of order and refused any debate. The revolting group persisted in discussion and caused a tumult and confusion. To safeguard the dignity of Masonry, the Grand Master was obliged to close the Grand Lodge, which was done in form, the election being postponed to a later date to be announced. The officers then left the room.
Thereupon an assistant deputy Grand Master, Taha Ibrahim, seized the gavel and caused those present to proceed with the election. The Prince was declared elected Grand Master by acclamation.
The following day Grand Master Idris Ragheb and brethren went to the temple in the morning, as was customary, but the rebellious group, assisted by profane, roughly refused them admittance. On October 3 the Grand Lodge met again and re-elected Idris Ragheb, and elected other officers, including Mohammed Rifaat as Grand Secretary, who is still in that office. Since then, however, Sayed Aly has been elected Grand Master and was in office when the proceedings were published.
Youne took the records, seals and archives and used them to send out communications in the name of the schismatic party, under the name of the Grand Lodge. They took possession of furniture and personal property, which they were later forced to return by court proceedings.
Prince Mohammed also had the audacity to pretend to be Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite. This brought forth a decree on March 20,1925, from Mohammed Heddaya, the real Sovereign Grand Commander, suspending the Prince and depriving him of all his rights and privileges. It would appear that he is still suspended and persona non grata.
The conduct of Youne, and the lack of information, has caused confusion in foreign jurisdictions. The Grand Lodge of Montana in 1927 returned to the rightful Egyptian Grand Lodge the appointment certificate of a Grand Representative. Later learning of the mistake, an apology was made, accompanied by a request that the certificate be returned to them. This shows the result brought about by such unfortunate troubles, which are not to be overcome for years.
All through this lengthy period the Grand Lodge not only had to deal with the fraud and misrepresentations of Youne and his associates, in deceiving well-disposed persons in Egypt, and seriously interfering with domestic Masonic activities, but it was continually annoyed by these acts carried on in foreign jurisdictions. In June, 1926, they took advantage of the visit in Egypt of Bro. John Er. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R. They appealed to him to make a careful investigation of official documents. This he did and delivered to them a certificate stating that he found the regular and recognized Grand Lodge is the one of which Ferik Sayed Aly was then the Grand Master. This was deposited in its archives, and later an article relating this was published in The New Age.
In spite of these exasperating occurrences, the Grand Lodge shows it is not revengeful. It states in the 1928 proceedings, forgetting the evils caused by the dissidents, it has charitably opened its doors. More than once has it offered them its hand in the hope Masonry would pardon them upon repenting. In recalling to the sheep-fold these misguided brothers, the Grand Lodge would rejoice in their presence, regretfully broken since their departure. This noble sentiment rings clear and true. The Grand Officers are men of high reputation and occupy responsible government and civil positions.
Now what has this harassed Grand Body done for humanity? The National Grand Lodge of Egypt has founded an orphanage. Poor lads from seven to twelve are accepted, regardless of their religion. They receive school instruction and are taught trades. There are illustrations showing the boys in comfortable surroundings, being instructed in carpentry, chairmaking, weaving rugs, printing, etc. It is intended to use land about the buildings for a course in agriculture. One illustration shows a real lively band in uniform and with modern instruments, led by their adult instructor. King Fuad I gave this orphanage a liberal donation and is friendly to Masonry, although probably not a member of the Order.
The Grand Lodge has also taken great interest in education. It has a strong desire to eliminate ignorance in its native country. Promoting this object they founded and carry on the "Wadinnil" primary school. They found a demand for secondary or advanced grades, of which many children were deprived in the state schools for lack of accommodation. They met this need by organizing a secondary school. Boys and girls are admitted in both schools and the illustrations show a contented and happy lot of teachers and pupils.
Thus Masonry is doing its duty for little brothers and sisters in Egypt, just as we aim to do in our great and powerful country. It proves that Masonry is universal, knows but one Supreme Architect, and recognizes no political boundaries in its good works. When the true and noble realm of the brotherhood of man is recognized, a clear vision discovers there no battleships, no poison gases. That vision believes in what an Italian proverb says, " with the dawn of every day, a happiness." Let that be the unceasing work inherited from the Tyrian Grand Master, whose monument our real masters never have forgotten - never shall forget.
Since preparing the preceding article the writer's attention is directed to the 1929 Foreign Correspondence Report of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, covering Egypt for 1927. It is only fair to my readers that the claims of the opposition be stated. The only present source available is that mentioned, the writer not having the original proceedings in hand.
Prince Mohammed Aly appears as Grand Master of the schismatic body, and in his address of 1927 states that their foreign affairs are "marvelously good." Grand Officers of New York visited them. Following this are statistics relating to what they label "The National Grand Lodge of Egypt." There are seventy-five lodges, working in Greek, Arab, Hebrew, French and English, "approximately 6,000 members." It is asserted that the Grand Lodge, of which M.W. Bro. His Highness Prince Mohammed Aly is Grand Master, is the lawful continuation of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, of which M.W.Bro. Idris Bey Ragheb was Grand Master for thirty-five years. The schism dates from 1922, when a majority, wanting a change, elected the Prince by a large vote. Idris left with a minority, and under this aged leader they continued to function under the official title. The courts decided against this organization in "several actions" which were instituted. In 1924-25, ninety-eight old members "returned" to this organization. It is recognized by forty-five Grand Jurisdictions, among them England, Ireland, Scotland and "several" Canadian, Australian and United States Grand Lodges. Mohammed Aly and Younis are Grand Master and Grand Secretary.
The account of the meeting Sept. 28, 1922, is recited as above, except it is said that there was a dispute about constitutional qualifications for Grand Master, and the Grand Treasurer asked that it be submitted to vote. ldris, refusing this, vacated the chair "sor a moment," returned, disposed of a few matters, left with his Deputy Grand Master and seventeen members, taking home with him, "so it is reported, " the great seal and important registers of the Grand Lodge.
Then election took place and the Prince was declared elected by overwhelming vote. Idris formed his own organization and used the Scottish Rite to defeat his opponents, which prevented healing of the breach.
The Connecticut writer remarks in his review as follows:
It is regretted that a small fraction of members endeavor to function as schismatic Grand Lodge, headed by a deposed Grand Master. There is some surface evidence that they are encouraged by certain U.S. Scottish Rite influences.. This has caused inadvertent errors on the part of some U.S. Grand Secretaries, the writer among them, who wrongly listed in 1928 proceedings Mohammed Rifaat as Grand Secretary. The legitimate Grand Secretary is Abdul Meguid Younis. Prince Mohammed Aly continues as Grand Master.
The present writer regrets that he has not access to the original 1927 text that the good Connecticut brother reviewed, also that this brother did not have the 1928 answer of the other body hereinbefore reviewed. It might have altered his judicial opinion of who are the legitimate Egyptian Grand officers, and also as to Scottish Rite interference.
It is appropriate, however, to mention a few other things for the better guidance of American Freemasonry. The 1928 proceedings evidently try to answer the accusations with great length and care. The exact text of parts of the constitution involved is set out.
Art. 29. No brother can be elected Grand Master if he is not an active and contributing member of a constituent lodge of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, and unless he has filled the office of Grand Warden.
The amendment petitioned for was:
A prince of the royal family having the degree of Master may be elected Grand Master, setting aside the conditions required by Art. 29
The "aged" Grand Master directed attention to other articles, which forbade receiving any proposition contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry. That the petition modifying Art. 29 was solely in favor of a member of the royal family, and manifestly opposed to the principle of equality, a basis of our Order. That the decree of the Grand Master was legal on this fact.
Furthermore he sets out Art. 49, that all amendments must be submitted to the Permanent Committee one month before meeting of the Grand Lodge which is to consider them. That statutes cannot be altered except by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the members of the Grand Lodge. Also that no proposition for amendment can be considered unless in writing, signed and supported by one- third of the members present at the Grand Lodge. The petitioners ignored the Permanent (i.e. Standing) Committee. The Grand Lodge had 408 members, the petition had 110, a protest had 144.
In 1928 we find that Taha Ibrahim is member of a standing committee, having evidently regretted his part in that disorderly proceeding. "Al Nil" Lodge, No. 243, is on the list and appears in good standing again.
Sayed Aly, Grand Master, is a Division General, and Secretary to the Minister of War and Marine; other Grand Lodge Officers hold notable positions under the government, and are evidently dignified and respected citizens.
The roster shows actual names and addresses of 103 lodges and officers. There are 71 Arab, 11 French, 9 Greek, 6 Italian, 4 Armenian, 1 Russian, 1 Turkish.
In the disorderly meeting, a Bro. Bryant was a leader of the petitioners. No English lodge is on this list, and the Prince's organization seems to have them. It leads to a suspicion of some political quarrel having brought on the strife. This may have led to recognition by English Grand Lodges. How, ever that may be, Idris appears to have presented a very strong ease on both facts and law, in favor of the lodge he represents.
In the foreign section they name a number of U.S. Grand Lodges, a large number of European and South American, New Zealand, the Scottish Rite Northern and Southern of U. S. and of Canada, as all recognizing that body.
The Prince's body does not seem to show any Masonic charity work, or any answer whatever to the constitutional questions distinctly involved in proper upholding of that organization. It is certainly not clear how the constitution was amended to make the Prince lawful Grand Master. There is no assertion on his part that the text stated by Idris, or the amending petition are incorrectly quoted. Nor any explanation by him how the constitution was law fully changed to qualify him a Grand Master. No explanation or denial of his letter is referred to. The Grand Lodges of America would do well to call for complete translation of the Egyptian constitution, and a complete statement, with proper exhibits, in behalf of the Prince, as to changes which make him Grand Master or his organization legal.
It should be kept in mind his body claims to continue from the admittedly legal one, of which Idris was Grand Master, therefore the succession must be proved to be legal Grand Lodges would then be in better position judicially to decide which is the lawful body in Egypt than to have the Prince, or some Prince's ghost writer, settle it for them.
The 1927 report of the Prince Aly organization gives seventy five lodges as adhering to it. The Annuaire published by the International Masonic Association, lists seventy-seven. These are grouped by localities, and apparently retain their original numbers. The lowest number is 37, and the highest is 278. Al Nil, No 243, mentioned in the article, appears on this list so that it has evidently returned to the allegiance of the other Grand Lodge since this list was compiled.
It is evident that the group headed by Prince Aly has had a "better press" than its rival. The Annuaire has no information to offer about the latter except the names of the Grand Master his Deputy, and the Grand Treasurer and the Grand Secretary. It offers no opinion as to the rights and wrongs of the Schism. - Ed.
The Broken Men of the Great War
BY BRO. LEONARD G. COOP, Missouri
It is almost a general rule that knowledge of the man is the force that gives life to his cause. For this reason we here give a brief account of the author of this article, in spite of his reluctance to allow us to do so.
Bro. Coop was rejected as medically unfit for Service soon after war broke out, and in 1918 was appointed to the U. S. Public Health Service and stationed in the training camps. He was Assistant Superintendent of the Health Department at Camp Kearney, and at the San Diego Naval Training Station, in 1917, and in 1918 was assisting the Draft Board at Fort Worth. In 1919 he entered the Service of the American Red Cross, and was engaged in demobilization and hospital work. In 1923 he was sent to St. Louis to act as Liaison Representative of the American Red Cross at the Veterans' Bureau, and he continued in this position till the end of 1928. A growing dissatisfaction with the functioning of the Veterans' Bureau led him to resign, and to undertake the voluntary and unremunerated task of assisting those veterans who had equitable and well-founded claims, but whose applications had been rejected on technicalities. In this work he has had marked success so far as he has been able to go, and he has, incidentally, also succeeded in very seriously disturbing and annoying the executives of the Bureau; for it seems as i! it may become necessary to consider the merits of a case as well as the comfortable, well-worn precedents and technicalities of the department, and, worst of all, that the beautiful webs of red tape that have been spun may have to be broken through.
Something of the condition of affairs may be gathered from the article, restrained as it is, and the author will be only too glad to give further information to anyone interested. And his information is not generalities or impressions, but cases, with all the documents.
In addition it may be mentioned that Bro. Coop is a First Lieutenant of the Medical Administration Reserve, and is also a member of the Sojourners' Club.
EVEN the casual reader of THE BUILDER may note that mention is frequently made of Masons who have served their country, either during the World War or in other conflicts in which the United States has been engaged from time to time. The pages of history are replete with outstanding Masons who served their country faithfully and well.
The World War has passed, but its hideous aftermath has not, and I bespeak space in your valuable publication for a few words concerning what might be termed the "Forgotten Legion," for such there are, even although they may be somewhat unknown to the general public.
The United States Veterans' Bureau is the Federal organization charged with the responsibility of furnishing relief to the veterans who became, or have become, disabled in the service of their country, and whose disabilities may be justly considered as "due to service."
The laws under which this Bureau functions are generous in their intent, in fact it is doubtful if any country in the world has provided such liberal benefits in recognition of their disabled veterans as obtains in these United States.
But unfortunately there is a phase of the administration of the law which is defeating its basic purpose, and, so long as it continues, will bring much dissatisfaction, suffering and privation, all of which are entirely unnecessary.
To attempt to condense this very vital matter in a few words is a difficult undertaking, for it is most complex and has numerous ramifications that would lead to much discussion.
My object is to stress a few of the main points; based upon eleven years' practical experience on the draft board, in the camps, during demobilization, in hospital work, and six years endeavoring to straighten out some of the more complicated claims of the disabled veterans. What I have to say may be conveniently submitted under three headings, CAUSE, EFFECT, CURE, but before these are discussed it is necessary that we know that a problem does exist, and in what that problem consists.
"Figures may lie and liars may figure," so that I shall not discuss dry statistics, but will content myself with making but one statement, and then endeavor to show conditions as they really are.
A recent official Veterans ' Bureau report shows that nearly 900,000 claims have been filed for compensation, and out of that number 436,000 have been denied.
Allowing for "Gold Bricks," "Compensation Hunters" and claims that may be fairly classed as questionable, a very liberal estimate (even from the standpoint of the Bureau) would be, that 94 per cent of these disallowed claims are without merit. In my opinion such a percentage is grotesquely fantastic, but we will, for the sake of argument, give the Bureau the benefit of the doubt. Now eliminating all of this 94 per cent it may be observed that there yet remains over 26,000 disabled veterans who have been denied compensation.
It is my positive belief, based upon a very extensive personal study of the question, that there are over 25,000 veterans who are seriously disabled, whose disabilities are undoubtedly due to their service, but who are receiving no compensation from the Veterans' Bureau.
Before discussing the three main headings I desire to make one or two statements that will tend to render my personal conclusions more readily comprehensible.
In my estimation the majority of the disabled U. S. veterans of the World War are receiving more compensation than almost any other veterans who participated in that disastrous conflict.
Of these there is a substantial number who are receiving compensation which the public might fairly question as to whether their disabilities had any connection with their war service; there is abundant explanation for this statement, but space will not permit its discussion.
Last, but not least, there are far too many seriously disabled veterans whose disabilities are undoubtedly due to their service, but who are not only denied compensation, but they and their dependents are in actual want.
The reasons for this outrageous condition follow:
It would take far too long to attempt to give all of the causes that have led up to the present deplorable state of affairs. In my judgment they appear in about the following order of importance: lack of preparedness to handle such a huge undertaking; the inability of medical science to assign the precise extent of the disability of a man in any particular case, the exact cause of it, and the absolute extent to which he is disabled; the very questionable possibility of medical and legal minds to state that any given disability is a certain per cent disabling, which is particularly true in the difficult field of mental diseases; salaries, and opportunities for advancement inadequate to attract the best members of the medical profession, or to keep them upon the Medical Staff of the Veterans' Bureau; and last, the proven fact that constant and dogmatic denying of legitimate claims by means of absurd technicalities, which forces more and more liberal legislation, yet which, paradoxical as it may seem, nevertheless leaves thousands uncared for.
Dissatisfaction, injustice, suicides, death (from lack of attention), and an untold amount of unnecessary suffering and privation among the disabled veterans and their dependents, and a constant burden upon local philanthropic agencies that cannot always be carried with any degree of satisfaction to the veteran or to the organizations which are endeavoring to supply has need. And as a result, constant, widespread and thoroughly justified criticism of the Veterans' Bureau.
In order to illustrate the injustice in some of the decisions of the Veterans' Bureau (and it must be remembered that the writer has complete information on many other claims fully as meritorious and appealing) the following case is submitted: The name used is fictitious in order that the family of this deceased veteran may be saved embarrassment, authority in writing has been secured to utilize this case merely to assist in placing before the public a concrete example of what may be found in many communities of the United States.
A normal boy prior to being inducted into the Army, fond of outdoor sports, stood well in his studies, and won a scholarship in the State Agricultural college prior to service. Following the steps of his father and his elder brothers, he had sought the light of Freemasonry as soon as his age permitted.
Entered the Army September 5, 1917, served in the Infantry, was overseas, participated in several of the major engagements and his outfit suffered very heavy losses; he was wounded in action and finally discharged, May 12, 1919, with character "Excellent."
The story of the suffering of this boy from the day he was discharged until the day he committed suicide, March 5, 1924 (his mind having become affected due to his experience overseas, with little or no treatment and with no subsequent financial relief), reflects anything but credit on the Veterans' Bureau.
The denial of this claim was apparently based upon a diagnosis given at one hospital a thousand miles away from his home, where he was unknown, and where he was a patient for only a few days.
At this hospital he was considered a constitutional psychopath. After reading the report of the doctor who examined him, it is amazing that such a diagnosis could have been given on the meager information at the disposal of the Medical Officer in charge of his case.
Competent physicians who knew him intimately, both before and after his discharge, and likewise prior to and subsequent to his admittance, in July, 1923, to the hospital above noted, all agree that this diagnosis was absolutely incorrect.
Joseph a. Bolland came from a highly respected family. He was one of three brothers (all Masons) who served their country faithfully and well, and although he was greatly needed at home at the time, no complaint was made by either the father (a Mason himself, and at that time over 55 years of age) or by the son, when the call came for the last one of his boys to go.
The following excerpts are taken from a letter received by the writer while employed as Liaison Representative of the American Red Cross at the Veterans' Bureau, and as soon as it was received immediate steps were taken to try and secure treatment and compensation. The letter, however, came too late; the boy had blown his head off with a shotgun before any decision was secured from the Bureau officials:
Dear Sir: Have you any aid for a disabled ex-service soldier . . . having to work handicapped by other troubles in the way of injuries and worrying. . ., I suffered another attack of nerves . . . life has been one continual round of misery . . . not able to work, I have lost sleep so that I am in a daze. Everybody seems far away. ., . For God's sake get me into a place where I can get cured. I have lost my nerve and can't tell anyone just how I feel. I would rather be dead than be under the high nervous strain I am now.... If I don't get relief before many days it will be all off. one more disappointed man will be gone, so far I have lost in my fight for Government aid. It is driving me to insanity....
This letter was written in February, 1924, treatment was denied by the Veterans' Bureau (this will be found in the official records) and he committed suicide March 5, 1924.
While this case was being discussed with one of the Bureau physicians, a medical member of the Bureau Rating Board came up and informed us that the boy had committed suicide at his home.
This Bureau doctor was asked if he knew him, and stated that he did, very well. He was asked to make a statement for the Bureau files, and excerpts from this doctor's statement, sworn to before a notary public are as follows:
. . . known . . . claimant all his life . . . family physician for a number of years . . . had a splendid opportunity to observe this boy prior to his enlistment,, . mentally he was an ordinary, average boy. I at no time noticed any symptoms of a mental subnormality or any psychic reaction. During the summer of 1919, shortly after discharge he was in my office a number of times. All conversations were of a rambling and disconnected nature . ., mentally he was an entirely different individual from that of the boy he was before his enlistment. . ., My impression of this contact with the claimant was that he was not mentally responsible and that he was insane.... I am very strongly of the opinion that the diagnosis of constitutional psychopathic state made in examination of July 19, 1923., at . . . hospital does this claimant a very great injustice, It is my opinion that this claimant has been suffering from some type of psychosis since discharge.
In addition two other doctors who had examined him since discharge, one who had him under observation within thirty days after his return from the Army, both gave definite symptoms and diagnoses of a form of insanity.
Section 200, of the World War Veterans' Act of 1924, in part, provides:
That an ex-service man who is shown to have or, if deceased, to have had, prior to January 1, 1925, neuropsychiatric disease . . . developing a 10 per centum degree of disability or more . . . shall be presumed to have acquired his disability in such Service....
You will recall that three physicians pronounced him insane almost from date of discharge, and that he committed suicide March 5, 1924.
There is no question of any misconduct disease in this ease and the Bureau has been given ample opportunity to know the facts, these have repeatedly been brought to their attention, in addition the Director of the Bureau has been fully advised several times regarding this particular case and it is now six years since the boy committed suicide and the claim still remains disallowed to date (Feb. 14, 1930) .
It is amazing that the Director of the Veterans' Bureau would permit the incidents surrounding this distressing case to be published, when he had it readily within his power to make a correction of this miscarriage of justice; if such had been done, this story would not have been published.
This is but another illustration of many that the writer has thoroughly investigated.
This is surely difficult if not frankly dangerous ground; and those who are not thoroughly familiar with this subject should hesitate before advocating a cure, for much damage may be done unless careful thought has been given; and any "cure" that may be suggested must be based upon abundant actual experience with all that complicates the problem as a whole and in particular.
A little medical knowledge is a dangerous thing if used without advice of competent medical men, so, to the uninformed, a little Veterans' Bureau knowledge may do more harm than good.
There is a constant stream of bills being presented to Congress, either entirely new, or yet further liberalizing the present laws covering relief for disabled veterans, and the cost is running into enormous sums. A great deal of the proposed new legislation will simply make a bad matter worse, and the current and ultimate cost will be staggering.
One of the suggestions I would urge is to endeavor to get your Senator or Representative to take up this case as presented, name and compensation number will be sent to him upon request; or if he prefers, one within his own district that illustrates the injustices that are now so common, make a direct issue of the claim, follow it through at the Veterans' Bureau and demand punishment of those responsible for the decision.
There is one bill recently presented by Representative Robert G. Simmons, Nebraska (H. R. 9112), which is now being considered by the Committee on World War Veterans Iegislation, which I am inclined to think will go far towards correcting the injustices now so prevalent, it is suggested that the reader secure a copy of this bill and endeavor to have his representative in Congress vote in its favor. I do not believe it is a "cure all," but it will at least give some measure of relief to those who are now uncompensated and will, I predict, force the Veterans' Bureau to review thoroughly many denied claims, which they will rectify before they allow them to be presented to this "Reviewing Board" provided for in the bill, which while it is a part of the Veterans' Bureau, will operate under a separate law, and will have full power to make decisions based on good judgment and equity, and will not be hampered by the fantastic technicalities that are such a fetich with the present administrators of the Veterans ' Bureau rules and regulations.
The Director of the Veterans' Bureau, Gen. Frank T. Hines, has the power, if he elects to use it, to allow relief to thousands of disabled veterans who are now uncompensated; repeated efforts have been made by many organizations and prominent individuals (with but scant success), to get him to insist that his own orders, and oft repeated wishes, are carried out with unvarying consistency.
In closing I would like to mention that delayed action, if persisted in, can be fully as fatal as an adverse decision, and the numerous needless delays, and their results, instances of which the writer can furnish in abundant measure, will prove this statement beyond the question of a doubt.
The Real Cagliostro His Memorial to the French Parliament
BY BRO. CYRUS FIELD WILLARD
BEFORE me as I write lies a little pamphlet, four and a quarter inches wide and six and three-quarters long. It is nearly one hundred and forty-four years old.
It bears the date of 1786, and though no place of publication is given, it was evidently printed at Paris. It was picked up at an auction sale in London by the agents of that well-known Mason and bibliophile, the late R.P. Bower. his collection of old and rare books was acquired by the library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1882, this pamphlet among them. By the kindness of the Iibrarian, Bro. C. C. Hunt, the present writer was permitted to borrow it and translate it.
It contains 80 pages, which are roughly cut and somewhat yellowed by age, though in the main it is remarkably well preserved. It has been bound into a cover to protect the original paper covers. Inside this outer cover is the book-plate of Theodore S. Parvin, the founder of the Iowa Masonic Library, and its first Iibrarian. This has the legend "Founded in 1844," and the motto, Vita sine litteris Mors est. "Iife without books (letters) is death."
On the outside of the original paper cover is a short title, which is rendered into English as follows:
MEMORIAL OF THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO
"M de Cagliostro asks only for tranquility and safety: Hospitality assures him these." Extract from a letter written by the Count de Vergennes, minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. Gerard, Judge of Strasburg, March 13, 1783.
Inside this comes the title page, which runs to greater length, but repeats much of the short title. It is thus rendered:
MEMORIAL FOR THE COUNT CAGLIOSTRO Accused AGAINST M. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL Accuser
In the presence of M. the Cardinal de Rohan, the Countess de la Motte and other Co-Defenders.
"M. de Cagliostro asks only for Tranquility and Safety. Hospitality assures him these." Extract from a letter written by the Count de Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to M. Gerard, Judge of Strasburg, March 13, 1783.
At the foot of the page is the date, 1786. No place of publication is given as was noted above, but from a reference in the text of the petition it appears that it was printed at Paris.
There has recently been a revival of interest in Cagliostro, in part stimulated by the misleading, inaccurate and salacious work by von Guenther, a translation of which has recently been widely sold in this country. The original work appeared in Germany at the same time as the mad attacks on Freemasonry made by the quondam Chief of Staff of the Kaiser's armies, General Ludendorff. Von Guenther shows himself so willing to misrepresent and malign Masonry in his work that we can hardly avoid the suspicion that he was actuated by similar motives as Ludendorff, and that it may be regarded as part of the great push, on a world wide front, that is now being made against the Fraternity by its enemies.
A quotation from the work of Dr. Marc Haven, Le Maitre Inconnu; Cagliostro, " a historical and critical study, " which was published in Paris in 1910, will be in order here, as it exposes the source and inspiration of the continuous attacks that have been made on Cagliostro, which in itself is a most curious phenomenon. Why should a man who never injured anyone, or did any harm, be pursued through the centuries with such malignity? For it must be remembered that in spite of the torrents of abuse and accusation that have been poured upon him not one single instance of actual wrong doing has ever been alleged, excepting the famous affair of the necklace, with which his Memorial deals, and in which even his enemies have been forced to admit his complete innocence.
Returning to what Dr. Haven has to say, it will be recalled that Cagliostro went to Italy in 1789 and was arrested by the Inquisition in Rome, by which he was condemned as a Freemason, heretic and sorcerer. In defense of its action, or as a further attack on Freemasonry, the Inquisition caused to be written, and published, a Life of Joseph Balsamo. It is the work to which Dr. Haven refers.
Finally the Holy Office (the Inquisition) which at the time of his capture, knowing that it held in him one of the open or secret heads of Freemasonry, wished to make a double stroke - to tarnish forever the memory of this representative of liberal ideas which were then boiling in so many minds, and on the other hand to cause to fall on the entire Order any discredit thrown on the Grand Master of Egyptian Freemasonry.
The "Life of Joseph Balsamo," published by the direction of the Holy office as an apology for its inquisitorial action, is a masterpiece of hate and hypocrisy; the libels of Saehi and Morande and of Madame de la Motte pale beside the address of its prosecutor, and yet these three persons have not been sparing of Cagliostro.
But perfected by the Holy Office the work takes on a greater amplitude. All that they could gather of the most scandalous nature from the above named authors are found therein, mined to what the Inquisition was able to wring out, by promises or by torture, from Cagliostro and his wife, that was compromising
Add to that, all that the Italian priests in 1791 (when this alleged Life was published), when frightened by the French Revolution, were able to invent against Freemasonry in general and against the founder of a mystic rite in particular, and one will have some idea of the violence of this libel. The skillfullness with which the writer, by playing on his words, confounds, designedly, religion and Catholicism, atheism and heterodoxy, liberalism and skepticism, is such that the reader is led insensibly to follow him and accept his conclusions, if he is not cautious and does not discover the ruse.
It is this work, which was translated into other languages, and published in different countries practically at the same time as it appeared in Rome, that has served a basis for practically every notice of Cagliostro that has since appeared. By saying he was Balsamo it was possible to saddle Cagliostro with the criminal deeds of the former. But since the fresh investigation of the subject by W. H. K. Trowbridge, in Miseries and Mysteries of a Master of Magic, it is fairly well established that this identification is an impossible one, and that the Holy Office must have known that it was. Dr. Haven, too, shows that Balsamo, was a dark, ugly man, with a crushed and flattened nose. Cagliostro was fair, with a fresh colored face and a clear complexion. His appearance was agreeable and even handsome. The sculptor Houdon, who came to America to make the well-known statue of Washington, made a bust of Cagliostro, which shows him to have had a slightly acquiline nose. Dr. Haven reproduces a number of portraits and cites other evidence to show that Cagliostro and Balsamo were two different men, who did not even superficially resemble each other.
In the usual accounts of his life are to be found references to his own statement, and sometimes brief quotations or a condensed resume of it are given. From these the reader naturally gains the idea that the whole story is preposterous. Indeed the Encyclopedia Brtftanica is doubly unfair, for it says that in the affair of the necklace " Cagliostro escaped conviction by the matchless impudence of his defense," but that "he was imprisoned for other reasons in the Bastille." The French Parliament was hardly a body to acquit anyone of a serious crime with implications of high politics, because of the impudence of the accused, whether matchless or not. Nor was there any other reason for his imprisonment in the Bastille except the accusation that he was a party to the theft of the necklace, and as soon as his innocence was discovered he was released. That the Countess de la Motte was really implicated in the famous fraud, the Affair of the Necklace, is certain. That the accusations against the Cardinal de Rohan and Cagliostro were desperate attempts to shift the blame elsewhere is equally certain. In modern criminal parlance, they were to be "framed."
After having gained one's impressions of what Cagliostro was and did, from such accounts as these, it is like coming to a totally different climate to read his own account. Extraordinary as his story is, incredible as it may be judged, it is at least consistent. But it will be better to leave it to each reader to form his own opinion for himself.
The memorial proper begins on the fifth page of the pamphlet, and is headed thus:
PETITION TO THE PARLIAMENT IN CHAMBERS ASSEMBLED Declared to the Attorney-General the 24th February, 1786. To Serve as an Addition to the Memorial Distributed the 18th of the same month:
TO OUR LORDS OE PARLIAMENT
IN CHAMBERS ASSEMBLED.
Humbly Implores Alexander, Count de Cagliostro, in his own Name and as Husband and Exercising the Rights of Seraphina Feliciani, His Wife.
Saying that he has every reason to hope that the first Senate of France will not reject the Petition of a Foreigner who asks for the liberty of his Wife, who is dying in the dungeons of the Bastille.
The Petitioner and his Wife have been arrested by orders of the King, and taken to the Bastille, August 22, 1785.
They have learned that a few days after their being taken away, the Court, on the information of one of the gentlemen, was occupied with the fate of the prisoners, and that the Assembly had been continued to an early date.
The Grand Chamber assembled and having since been made acquainted with the details of the offense when the administrative warrants [lettres de cachet] were issued, the Court has not taken up the continued deliberations on this subject.
The Count de Cagliostro implores it to be kind enough to take into consideration as soon as possible the alarming circumstances in which he finds himself.
The Petitioner asks nothing for himself. Decreed under arrest, he will wait in chains the moment when Justice, at last undeceived, will render a brilliant testimony to his innocence.
But his wife is neither decreed against nor accused; she has not, they say, even been called to testify, and yet she has been confined for six months in the Bastille without the Petitioner being able to obtain permission to see her.
Today when it is no longer possible for those who surround him to conceal from him the condition of this unfortunate wife and the danger which threatens her life, the Petitioner is penetrated with the most profound affliction and seeks shelter with confidence in the hearts of the magistrates and beseeches them in the name of the Sovereign Judge to be kind enough not to betray her and to convey to the feet of the Throne his respectful protest.
The Parliament is not only the dispenser of the supreme Justice of the King; if it is by it that the will of the legislator is manifested to the People, it is also by it that the groans of the people come to the ear of the Sovereign.
The Petitioner asks that Parliament will today be kind enough to use in her favor the most beautiful of its rights - the right to enlighten authority and lighten oppression.
The Petitioner and his wife, it is true, are both foreigners. But since when was it forbidden to oppressed foreigners to make their groaning voices heard in the Courts of Justice?
All Europe has its open eyes on this famous law suit, at whose beginning my wife and I were taken to the Bastille. The slightest circumstance becomes fuel for the universal curiosity. The Parliament knows of the innocence and the imprisonment of the Countess de la Cagliostro, and the Petitioner has informed it publicly of the illness which threatens her life. Will it allow her to perish without being able to receive the help of the medicinal art exercised by her husband? And if it be true that the latter has had the happiness to snatch from the arms of Death a thousand Frenchmen, will he be condemned to suffer his poor unfortunate wife to perish near him without being able to give her either attention or consolation?
The Petitioner has tried every means without avail to make known to the Dispensers of Power the frightful situation in which he now finds himself. He thought that the Memorial which he caused to be distributed some days ago, which carried in it the unanswerable proofs of his innocence and that of his wife, would bring at least the liberty of the latter. Vain hope ! The public voice is for him, and yet his wife is dying in the Bastille without his being permitted to receive her last breath, or to attempt some means whereby he might restore her to life.
The only resource which now remains to the Petitioner is in the justice and generosity of the Magistrates. Informed as they are of all the circumstances of this Trial, they can testify to the innocence of the Countess de Cagliostro. Should the Petitioner fear refusal when the only favor he asks is that the Truth be made to reach the feet of the Throne?
The Lady la Tour, sister of the Count de la Motte, who was detained for several months at the Bastille, has just been set at liberty. Is she any more innocent than the Countess de Cagliostro or should the latter have less right to the kindness and justice of the King because she is a foreigner, and because she is my wife?
Far from us be such an idea, for the sentiments which animate His Majesty are known to all Europe. They are particularly so known to the Petitioner for they are recorded in the three letters written in his name in 1783 by M. the Keeper of the Seals, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of War.
It is on the faith of this Royal Protection and of the promised hospitality that the Petitioner came to live in France with the intention to here end his days.
Persecuted, arrested and calumniated, he has not despaired of Justice and is persuaded that the French magistrates will not act contrary to the desires of a foreigner who, without complaining of the error which fetters his liberty, limits his wishes to the liberty of his wife.
Do they fear on the part of the Countess de Cagliostro troublesome proceedings, vain solicitations and powerless tears? Ah, well. Let the gates of the Bastille be closed on her, but let at least her unhappy husband have the sad satisfaction of giving her relief, and if that is of no avail, then that of closing her eyes in death.
THIS BEING CONSIDERED, MY LORDS, May it please you to give permission to the Petitioner to put the lady, Countess de Cagliostro, his wife, under the protection and safeguard of the Court and to order in consequence that the Court will interpose its good offices with His Majesty to the effect of obtaining the revocation of the lettre-de-cachet by virtue of which the said Countess de Cagliostro is detained in the prison of the Bastille, with the permission for her to come to see the Petitioner when the state of her health will permit; and you will do well.
(Signed) THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO, M. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, M. THILORIER, Barrister. BRAZEN. Solicitor.
I have fulfilled everywhere the duties of a citizen; everywhere I have respected religion, the laws and the government. Such is my life history.
Settled for the past six years with an intellectual, generous and hospitable people, I thought I had found my adopted country. I congratulated myself in advance on the good I could do to my new fellow citizens.
Like a flash of lightning the illusion has been destroyed and I have been thrown headlong into the dungeons of the Bastille. My wife, the most amiable and virtuous of women, has been drawn into the same abyss. Thick walls and multiplied bolts separated her from me; she groans and I cannot hear her.
I question my jailers; they are silent. Perhaps, alas, she no longer exists. A feeble and suffering creature, how will she able to live six months in a place where men have need of all their strength, all their courage and all their resignation to fight against despair. But I am entertaining the reader with my troubles and forget I am ordered to vindicate myself.
I am decreed prise de corps(1). What crime have I committed? of what am I accused? Who is my accuser? Are there any witnesses testifying against me, I do not know. They do not even give me any knowledge of the complaint on which this decree was rendered, and yet they want me to vindicate myself How ward off the blows struck by an invisible power? They answer that the criminal laws wish it thus. I hold my peace, and bow myself, with groans, before a law so harsh and alarming for accused innocence.
Then I can only suspect the kind of offense of which I am accused. If I am wrong, then I will have fought creatures of the imagination and shall have spoken, at least, in favor of Truth, and put the sound part of the Public in a state to understand the libels circulated against an unfortunate man, when he is a prisoner in chains and threatened with the double sword of Justice and regal authority.
STATE OF THE CASE
It appears certain that Messrs. Bohmer and Bassanges have delivered to M. the Cardinal de Rohan, a necklace of diamonds of the value of 1,600,000 francs;
It is also equally certain that M. the Cardinal de Rohan announced to the jewelers that he was only the negotiator of this purchase, that the real buyer was the Queen and that he showed them a writing to this effect which contained the conditions of the sale and in the margin of which were the words " good - good - approved - Marie Antoinette de France?
The Queen has declared that she has never given any orders for the purchase of the necklace, that she never approved any condition of purchase and that she has not received the necklace.
There exists then an assured body of offense. What is this offense?
Common sense and my counsellors tell me that this is not a real forgery. No one has sought to imitate the writing of the Queen, and the signature which deluded Bohmer and Bassanges is not even the one the Queen is in the habit of using.
What is it then? It is a supposition of a signature, imagined in order to deceive the jewelers and engage them to deliver, on credit, jewels of great value, which they otherwise might not have delivered, if they had known that it was intended for someone other than the Queen.
What is the penalty for this offense? For the abuse of a sacred name? I do not know and have no interest in knowing. In this affair I confine myself to asking justice for myself and forgiveness for the guilty. Resigned innocence has the right to express itself thus.
But who is the guilty one ?
Did the Cardinal de Rohan know that the signature was false? Did he know that the Queen had given no orders for buying the necklace? Did he know that the necklace would not be delivered to the Queen, after all? Has he not been the innocent author of a deceit of which he was the first victim? Did he not believe, was he not obliged to believe, that he had been chosen as the negotiator of a transaction pleasing to the Queen and that Her Majesty wished to envelope it with the shadows of secrecy for some time ?
Involved, I do not know how, in such great interests, I shall not deny on this occasion the title of friend to men who have conferred it on me at some other time and which I have perhaps deserved. I shall, however, defend my own innocence without taking sides. Slandered in the strangest manner by a woman to whom I have never done any wrong, I utter the most sincere wish that she may be able to vindicate herself. I shall be happy if Justice finds no guilty one to punish in this affair.
M. the Cardinal de Rohan has claimed that he was deceived by the Countess de la Motte. The latter, before there was any decree, hastened to have a memorial appear in whieh she accused me of swindle, sorcery, and theft, and particularly of having coneeived and executed this project in order to ruin the Cardinal de Rohan and take possession of the necklace of which I was the depositary, in order to enlarge with it the occult treasure of an unheard-of fortune.
Such in a few words are the accusations inserted in the examination of the prosecutor which caused my wife and myself to be taken to the dungeons of the Bastille, and which she has repeated sinee in a memorial, imagined at leisure and printed with atrocious details which caused a decree of prise de corps to issue against me.
Since I am obliged to do so, I shall answer these charges, which under other circumstances I would scorn to notice.
But first I believe that I should describe myself as I really am. It is time that people should know who is the Count de Cagliostro about whom there have been circulated so many extravagant stories. As long as it was permitted for me to live as an obscure man, I constantly refused to satisfy public curiosity. Today, when I am in chains and when the law demands an account of my actions, I shall speak, and will say with frankness what I know of myself. Perhaps the story of my life will not be the least important evidence in this vindication.
CONFESSION OF THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO
I do not know the place where I was born nor the parents who gave me birth. Different circumstances in my life have aroused in me doubts and suspicions which the reader may share. But I repeat that all my researches in this respect have resulted only in giving me, it is true, great but vague and uncertain ideas as to my birth.
I passed the first part of my childhood in the city of Medinah, in Arabia. I was educated there under the name of Acharat, a name which I kept in my travels in Asia and Africa. I lived in the palace of the Mufti Salahaym (2).
I remember perfectly that I had around me four persons, a tutor aged from 55 to 60 years, named Althotas, and three servants, one white, who served me as valet, and two blacks, of whom one or other was with me day and night.
My tutor always told me that I was left an orphan at the age of three months, and that my parents were noble and Christians, but he kept the most absolute secrecy as to their name and the place of my birth. Some words spoken at random have made me suspect that I was born at Malta, but this is a matter which it has always been impossible to verify.
Althotas, whose name it is impossible for me to pronounce without emotion, had for me the care and affection of a father. It was a pleasure for him to cultivate the tendencies for the sciences which I showed. I can say that he possessed them all, from the most abstract to that of ornaments of dress. Botany, physics and medicine were those in which I made the most progress.
It was he who taught me to adore God, to love and serve my neighbor, and to respect religion and the law in all places .
I wore the Mahometan dress as he did, but the True Religion was impressed on our hearts, although we professed Mahometanism in appearance.
The Mufti came to see me often; he treated me with kindness and appeared to have a great deal of esteem for my tutor.
The latter taught me most of the languages of the East. He spoke to me often of the pyramids of Egypt and of their immense subterranean chambers excavated by the ancient Egyptians, in order to contain and protect against the ravages of time the precious deposit of human knowledge.
When I attained my twelfth year the desire to travel and see for myself the marvels with which he entertained me took possession of me to such an extent that Medinah and the sports of my boyhood lost all charm in my eyes.
One day Althotas announced to me that at last we were going to leave Medinah and begin our travels. He caused a caravan to be prepared, and we departed after taking leave of the Mufti, who was pleased to testify to us his regrets in the most courteous manner.
We arrived at Mecca and alighted at the palace of the Sherif (3). They made me dress in clothing more magnificent than any which I had worn up to that time. On the third day after my arrival, my tutor presented me to this sovereign, who gave me the most tender caresses. At the sight of this Prince, an inexpressible emotion took possession of me and my eyes were filled with the sweetest tears I have ever shed in all my life. I was witness to the effect he made to retain his own composure. The moment was one of the events of my existence which it is impossible for me to recall without the most vivid emotions.
I remained three years at Mecca. Not a day passed that I was not admitted to the Sherif and each day saw his attachment increase and my gratitude also. Often I surprised him with his eyes fixed on me, then raising them toward Heaven with all the marks of pity and emotion. I turned from him, pensive and devoured with a fruitless curiosity. I did not dare to question my tutor, who reprimanded me with severity as if I could not without offense seek to know the authors of my being and the place of my birth.
At night I sometimes talked with the negro who slept in my apartment, but in vain I tried to pierce his secrecy. If I spoke of my parents he would become deaf to all the questions I might ask him. one night when I pressed him harder than usual, he told me that if I ever left Mecca I was menaced with the greatest of misfortunes, and above all I should beware of the city of Trebizond (4).
My desire for travel prevailed over his gloomy forebodings. I was weary of the regular life I led at the Court of the Sherif.
One day I saw him enter the apartment I occupied. My astonishment was extreme at receiving such a favor. He clasped me in his arms with more tenderness than he had ever shown, recommended to me that I should never cease to adore the Eternal One and assured me that in serving Him faithfully I would finish by being happy and would know my fate. Then he said, bathing my face with his tears: "Adieu, unfortunate child of Nature."
These words and the tone in which he pronounced them will remain eternally engraved in my memory. It was the last time I was able to enjoy his presence. A caravan expressly prepared for me was waiting for us; I departed and left Mecca, to return no more.
I began my travels with Egypt, and visited the famous pyramids, which are to the eyes of superficial observers only enormous masses of marble and granite. I made the acquaintance of the heads of the different Temples, who were kind enough to introduce me into places where ordinary travelers never penetrated. Later I traveled through the principal kingdoms of Africa and Asia, during the course of three years.
This is not the place to give the public knowledge of the different observations that I made in my travels and the truly extraordinary adventures that happened to me. I believe that this part of my story should be put off to a more favorable moment.
The necessity for my vindication being the only thing which should now occupy my mind, I shall speak only of my travels in Europe and shall name the persons who have known me there, and it will be easy for those whom my fate may interest to verify the greater part of the facts I am going to relate.
I arrived in 1766 at the Island of Rhodes, with my tutor and the three servants who had been with me since my childhood. There I embarked on a French vessel which set sail for Malta.
In spite of the rule that requires vessels coming from the East to wait in quarantine for forty days, I obtained permission to land at the end of two days at Malta. Grand Master Pinto gave me, as well as my tutor, lodgings in his palace, and I recall that the apartment I occupied was near his laboratory.
The first thing that the Grand Master did was to invite the Chevalier d 'Aquino, of the illustrious house of the Princess of Caramaniea, to be kind enough to accompany me everywhere and to do the honors of the island for me. I assumed then for the first time, with the European dress, the name of Count de Cagliostro, and was not a little surprised to see Althotas invested with the habit of an ecclesiastic and decorated with the Cross of Malta.
The Chevalier d'Aquino had me make the acquaintance of all the Grand Crosses of the Order of the Knights of Malta. I even remember to have dined with M. the Bailiff de Rohan, today the Grand Master. I was then far from foreseeing that twenty years later I would be arrested and taken to the Bastille for having been honored with the friendship of a Prince of the same name.
I have every reason to believe that the Grand Master was informed as to my origin. He spoke to me several times of the Sherif of Mecca and Trebizond, but never wished to talk plainly on this subject. Nevertheless he always treated me with the greatest respect and offered me the most rapid advancement in the order of Knights of Malta in case I should decide to take the vows. But my desire to travel and the influence which inclined me to practice medicine made me refuse offers so generous and honorable.
It was in Malta that I had the misfortune to lose my best friend, my master, the wisest and most enlightened of mortals, the venerable Althotas. Some moments before his death he grasped me by the hand and said, in a voice nearly extinct: " My son, always have before your eyes the fear of God and love of your neighbor; you will very soon learn the truth of all I have taught you."
The island where I had lost the friend who had long held the place of Father to me now became an insufferable place of abode. I asked permission of the Grand Master to leave it and travel through Europe. He consented to this with reluctance, and made me promise that I would return to Malta some day. The Chevalier d'Aquino was kind enough to take charge of accompanying me in my travels and supplying all my wants. In fact I departed with him. We visited at first Sicily, where the Knight procured me the acquaintanceship of the nobility of the country. From that place we visited different islands of the Italian archipelago and after looking over the Mediterranean again, we landed at Naples, the native country of the Chevalier d'Aquino. His affairs requiring some individual journeys, I departed alone for Rome with letters of credit on Sir Bellonne, a banker of that city.
I resolved to preserve the most perfect incognito after arriving in this capital of the Christian world. One day when I was shut up at my home, occupied in perfecting myself in the Italian language, my valet announced the visit of the secretary of Cardinal Orsini. This secretary was charged with the duty of asking me to go and see His Eminence, and in fact I went there at once. The Cardinal showed me all the courtesies imaginable, invited me several times to dine at his house and made me acquainted with most of the Cardinals and Roman Princes; notably the Cardinal of York (5) and the Cardinal Ganganelli, Pope since May, 1769, under the name of Clement XIV.
Pope Rezzonieo (6) then occupied the chair of St. Peter, and having expressed a desire to know me, I had the honor several times to be admitted to private conferences with His Holiness.
I was then in my twenty-second year. Chance procured me the acquaintance of a young unmarried lady of quality, named Serafina Felichiani. She was scarcely emerged from childhood; her budding charms kindled in my heart a passion that sixteen years of married life have only tended to strengthen. It is this poor unfortunate creature, whom neither her virtues nor her innocence nor her condition as foreigner was able to save from the harshness of a captivity as cruel as it was undeserved, who is my wife.
Having neither the time nor the inclination to write volumes, I will not enter into the details of the travels I have made in all the kingdoms of Europe, but will content myself to cite persons by whom I have been known. The greater part of them are still living. I can proudly invoke their testimony. Let them say if ever I have committed a single act unworthy of a man of honor: let them say if I have ever solicited a single favor of them; if ever I have begged the protection of the sovereigns who have been curious to know me; let them say finally if in all places and at all times I have done any other thing than cure the sick without pay and assist the poor.
The persons whom I have known more particularly are:
In Spain the Duke of Albe, his son, the Duke de Veseard, the Count de Prelata, the Duke de Medina Coeli, the Count de Riglas, kinsman of the Count d'Aranda, ambassador of His Catholic Majesty near the Court of France. In Portugal: The Count of San Vincenti, by whom I was presented at Court. My banker at Lisbon was named Anselmo la Cruce.
At London: The Nobility and the People.
In Holland: The Duke of Brunswick, to whom I have had the honor of being presented.
In Courland: The reigning Duke and Duchess.
All the Courts of Germany.
At St. Petersburg: The Prince Potemkin, M. Narisoin, General Galacin, the General of the Cossacks, the General Medicino and the Chevalier de Cerberon, charge d'affairs for France.
In Poland: The Countess Comceska, the Count Gevuski, the Princess who is now the Princess of Nassau, etc.
I will also say that it has happened to me at times to travel under different titles. I was called successively the Count Harat, the Count Fenix, the Marquis D'Anna. But the name under which I am most generally known in Europe is that of the Count de Cagliostro.
(1.) Under the French law of the old regime the king, and his ministers, could arbitrarily arrest and imprison anyone, without a regular information or accusation of any offense. The authority for such proceeding was called a lettre de cachet, and its execution was often a sort of legal kidnapping. It was a power naturally Subject to great abuse. Prise de corps, literally "take of body," may be taken as roughly equivalent to "prisoner" in the text It is almost verbally the same as habeas corpus, "thou shalt have the body," but the use of the terms is diametrically different. In one ease it was the authorities who took the body of the prisoner and held it at their pleasure, in the other it was the prisoner's friends who could demand it, unless he were properly indicted and convicted in a court of justice. The whole contrast of English and old French law is summed up in these two phrases.
(2.) Multi, is the title of a semi-religious official in Mohammedan countries. He corresponds to some degree to a Doctor of Canon Law, he is the repository of the law, which the Cadis or judges were bound to administer. The Mufti of the sacred city of Medinah is a very important person indeed.
(3.) The Sherif is the hereditary prince or ruler of Mecca. He is the head of a family or clan, the Sherifs, which claims descent from Mahomet through the line of Hasan, the son of Ali, the fourth of the Caliphs.
(4.) Trebizond is a city on the southeast shore of the Black Sea. It was originally a Greek colony. It is important as a centre for the converging trade routes from Central Asia and the far East.
(5.) The Cardinal of York was the brother of Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, whose alleged influence on the development of the hauts grades and Chivalric Orders of Masonry has been so much discussed.
(6.) Clement XIII, who died of poison in 1169.
(To be continued)
Mason Locke Weems of Lodge No. 50, Dumfries
BY BRO. JAMES J. TYLER, Ohio
MASON LOCKE WEEMS is chiefly distinguished as the author of the first biography of Washington, a book that ran through twenty editions in the author's lifetime and which eventually reached over eighty.
His Life of Washington, says Dean, "grew by additions and embellishments, from a pamphlet of eighty pages to a volume of two hundred pages. " The original pamphlet was issued in 1800, about three months after the passing of Washington. The now famous cherry tree episode did not appear until the fifth edition of the work was put out, which was in 1806.
Until the year 1808, and at a time when men were still most reticent about their connection with Masonry, the titlepage of each successive edition carried the legend: "of Lodge No. 50, Dumfries." After 1808 this was changed to: "formerly rector of Mount Vernon parish."
In addition to his Life of Washington, Weems was the author of the earliest biographies of Franklin, Penn and General Francis Marion. He also wrote many tracts about gambling, drunkenness, dueling and a variety of similar subjects. Before 1902, Ford said of him:
No man whose writings have passed through some two hundred editions, or of whose productions, some two hundred and fifty thousand copies have been sold deserves complete neglect. Such literary attempts merit a place in the archaeology of literature if nowhere else. No history of the American people or their literature can be complete without noticing the man and his work.
He was born in 1759 at Marshes Seat, Herring Bay, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and was the youngest of the nineteen children of David Weems. Of his early childhood nothing is known. During the years 1770 to 1775 he attended, and graduated from, Kent County School at Chestertown, Maryland. The Rev. Wm. Smith, who was married to Weem's cousin, Rebecca Moore, began acting as rector at Chestertown in 1779 and took over the proprietorship of this school, which in 1782 he developed into Washington College.
From 1777 to 1779 Weems studied medicine and surgery at Edinburgh, Scotland, but there is no record of his having received a degree. There is also no current record of his activities during the Revolution, and in his later writings no references occur to his life during these dramatic years. During the years 1780-1784 he was again in England, this time to study for the ministry. He was admitted to the priesthood, September 12, 1784, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and returned home, honored as one of the first Americans ordained as an Episcopal minister without taking the oath of allegiance to the British crown.
He filled several charges, but his liberalism made him unpopular, and about 1790 he began his active career as a traveling book- agent. He established a connection with Mathew Carey, the famous Philadelphia publisher, and of this Kellock writes:
The Episcopal clergyman and the Irish Roman Catholic publisher struck up a solid business friendship from the start, and Weems went forth on the roads with a good Stock of volumes bearing Carey's imprint. Their business associations continued, with one or two intervals, for nearly a third of a century.
The next thirty-six years of his life he spent traveling the almost impassible roads in his old Jersey wagon, and, at Masonic gatherings,
. . . on courthouse steps, in wayside inn or cottage kitchen, he preached the gospel, entertained with a story, played his fiddle and sold books - occasionally a Bible, a prayer book, a hymn book, but generally books of his own writing.
Among his letters to Mathew Carey, published in Mason Locke Weems, His Works and Ways, there are two Masonic references:
Trenton, December 25, 1801. Hope to vend some tomorrow at Masonic meeting 16 miles from this.
Trenton, February 19, 1802. Tomorrow set off for Newtown to be ready to utter the Masonic Oration. God grant I may sell some Bibles, etc., etc. From Newtown I propose to dash strait away for Lancaster.
In July, 1795, Weems married Fanny Ewall, a daughter of Colonel Jesse Ewall of Dumfries, Virginia. After his marriage he made his home in that town and a few years later, probably after the death of Colonel Ewall, he moved to "Belle Air, " the Ewall mansion in the hill country five miles back of Dumfries. This three-story house of English brick is still standing.
Dumfries, a Potomac River town and port, was founded by Scotch merchants engaged in the tobacco trade, who named it after the home town of Robert Burns. It was the first town founded in Prince William County, its charter dating baek to 1749. Ten years later it became the county seat and before long boasted a public warehouse, busy shops, and even a theatre. Then came the Revolution, and most of the Scotch traders returned to the old country, and the tobacco trade was diverted to Alexandria, a more convenient and central port for the back country. The county seat was not removed until 1822, but long before that, Dumfries had but a shadow of its former glory. On the Board of Trustees or City Couneil, which was given in the instrument of incorporation, we find such men as Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Colonel Henry Lee, the father of Light Horse Harry and the grandfather of Robert E. Lee.
When Weems was at home he occasionally rode over from Dumfries and held services in Pohick Church in which, years before, George Washington had worshipped and served as a vestryman of Truro Parish. After the Revolution this parish had no regular rector. Washington at this time attended Christ Church at Alexandria. Weems saw the value of identifying his name with Pohick Church, and Hart states that:
Upon this slender connection he based the title which he later assumed of "formerly rector of Mount Vernon parish." Bishop Meade in his "Churches, Ministers and Families of Old Virginia," declares that "to suppose him to have been a kind of private chaplain to such a man as Washington . . . is the greatest of incongruities."
Wroth states, however, that Weems:
. . . Knew Washington personally, corresponded with him, and in company with their common friend, Dr. Craik, stayed at least once with him at Mount Vernon, and he was intimate with the Reverend Lee Massey who was Washington's rector and associate for many years.
Reference is made by Sidney Hayden in his Washington and His Masonic Contpeers, to a tract by Weems, published in 1799, which he states was the last written correspondence with Washington in which Masonic allusions were made. Weems' letter to Washington, asking permission to dedicate the pamphlet to him and Washington's reply are given in full. Weems' letter closes as follows:
On the square of Justice and on the scale of Love, I remain honored general, your sincere friend, and Masonic brother. M L.Weems.
Washington's reply granting permission simply ends:
With respect, your obed't servant. G. Washington.
The tract when published was entitled:
The Philanthropist, or Political Peace-Maker between all honest men of both parties. With the recommendation prefixed by George Washington in his own handwriting, by M. L. Seems, Lodge No. 50, Dumfries.
A letter from Bro. Chas. H. Callahan, P. G. M., Grand Lodge of Virginia and author of Washington, the Man and the Mason, states:
"In reference to Lodge No. 50, will say that this was organized in 1795 with Colonel George Deneale as first Worshipful Master. Deneale afterwards moved to Alexandria and became prominent in Masonic and public affairs. As Colonel of Alexandria militia, he commanded the troops at Washington's funeral, was on the committee to arrange for that ceremony and afterwards as Clerk of the Court recorded Washington's will. At this time (1799) he was Junior Warden of No. 22 of this city (Alexandria) and succeeded Dr. Dick as Worshipful Master, serving for thirteen years. Somewhere in my papers I have the names of all the officers of Dumfries' Lodge which went out of existence and surrendered its charter in 1846. Strange to say, as a boy living in Dumfries, I personally knew the last three stationed officers; they were Colonel Basil Brawner, prominent citizen of Prince William County, in which Dumfries is located, although at that time not a resident of the town, living about three miles outside; Messrs. William and Robert Merehant, who were respectively Senior and Junior Warden. A mark master's jewel in possession of a son of Mr. Robert Merchant shows that the capitulary degrees were also conferred there, but as this was prior to the organization of our Grand Chapter, they were undoubtedly conferred in the Blue Lodge as was the case elsewhere.
"The meager returns of this old Lodge, which are on file in our Grand Lodge Library, indicate the Colonial importance of Dumfries which today is only a scattered village of perhaps one hundred and fifty inhabitants. The Lodge, according to these records, was held, respectively, "over the bank, in Mr. Williams' ordinary, which, by the way, is still standing, next in the printing office, in the Academy building, and finally in the Masonic Temple.
"May I, in conclusion, say that Weem's name is frequently mentioned as being present at the meetings and in all human probability and indeed it is an established fact in this town he wrote his 'Biography of Washington,' containing the childhood stories of the General. It may be of interest to you to know that I visited 'Bellaire' for the first time about three weeks ago and it is a pathetic fact that this quaint celebrity, who will ever remain among the noted evangelists of our country, with his good wife, lies buried in the little cemetery close by the mansion without a marker to designate the spot. Here, too, lies buried John Ballentine, the Carnegie of the Revolutionary period, who superintended the deepening of the waterways of the upper Potomac for Washington and his Potomac Company. Ballentine also married a Miss Ewall.
"The whole country is redolent with the story of early Colonial life and it is indeed a pathetic fact that much of this is beyond redemption."
Weems died in 1825 at Beaufort, S. C., where his remains were first interred. Later they were removed to the family cemetery at "Belle Air." On one of the pews of old Pohick Church is a small tablet to Weems. This is his only memorial, but if his works were to be utterly forgotten, the evidence of his existence would still be found in the legendary history of the nation, for his story of Washington and the cherry tree is perhaps the most widely known folk-tale in any tongue.
I Cannot Tell a Lie; by Richard Dean, The Mentor, Feb. 1928. Mason Locke Weems, His Work and Ways; by Paul Leicester Ford and Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel. Vol. I, II, III. Privately printed, 1929.
Parson Weems of the Cherry Tree by Harold Kellock, 1928. Review in The Master Mason, Vol. V, p. 564, 1928.
Masonic Associations of Old Christ Church; by C. Herbert Reese. The Master Mason, Vol. II, p. 599, 1926. Rev. William Smith acted as Grand Chaplain and preached the sermon on December 28, 1778, on the occasion of the Masonic celebration of Washington's visit to Philadelphia
Washington and his Masonic Compeers; by Sidney Hayden. Pages 191-193.
Parson Weems, a Biographical and Critical Study; by Lawrence C. Wroth, 1912.
American Historical Liars; by Albert Bushnell Hart, Harpers. Vol. CXXXI, p. 726; 1915.
Masonic Education vs. Masonic Apathy
By BRO. WARREN B. SMITH
Our fathers to their graves have gone;
Their strife is past, their triumph won
But sterner trials wait the race
Which rises in their honored place,
A moral warfare with the crime
And folly of an evil time.
THESE lines were written by John Greenleaf Whittier at a time when the issue of negro slavery was last becoming the leading factor in the irreconcilable conflict that was to plunge our country into the throes of the great Civil War. Yet, we, of today, must look far for a clearer statement of the present-day conditions which are daily becoming more and more intolerable.
In the discussion of Masonic Education or of Masonic Apathy or, again, of any combination of the two, it is impossible to evade the association of Masonic with civic obligation. The Mason who is apathetic is quite likely to be an apathetic citizen; the Mason who is true to his full Masonic heritage is certain to be a good citizen. Therefore, whether I quote Masonic authority or civic philosophy it is, for the present purpose, one and the same thing.
It is sometimes a comfort to realize that such problems and conditions as those afflicting us do not differ from, in fact they are quite largely identical with, the experiences of another day and generation. In 1868, John Ruskin, in a speech before the Royal College of Science at Dublin, expressed himself as follows:
To those among us who have lived long enough to form some just estimate of the rate of the changes which are, hour by hour, in accelerating catastrophe, manifesting themselves in the laws, the arts and the creeds of men, it seems to me that now at least, if never at any former time, the thoughts of the true nature of our life, and its powers and responsibilities, should present themselves with absolute sadness and sternness.
Ruskin was particularly interested in the arts. We are particularly interested in Masonry. But could you draw a closer parallel, in a sober statement of your convictions? Does Ruskin overstate the case of our present situation? Listen to this quotation from an anti- Masonic paper issued in 1828:
Every age has its wonders - and every time its turn. Posterity looks back, up the current of departed years, amazed that her ancestors were so weak and unwise. Such a speculative retrospect, a hundred years hence, will afford a curious sight, if any should step onto the promontory of time and view the deserted temples where Masonry once was. . .
The animus behind this prophecy does not here concern us, but does the fact of Masonic membership statistics and the attendance record in your lodge during 1928 startle you, when you read this prophecy of a hundred years ago ?
With so much of introduction, let us consider briefly two elements of strength with which our great Fraternity is blessed beyond any other similar organization. These two great assets are, first, HISTORICAL BACKGROUND, and second, ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES
In an historical review of Masonry, three general themes present as many similar, and at the same time radically different, theories. It is beside the present purpose to argue for the greater authenticity of one or the other view. Parenthetically, the three theories in mind are the so-called Comacine Theory; that theory which holds that from time immemorial all men who have endeavored to follow the high principles for which we now stand in essence have been Masons; the incontrovertible historical sequence of Modern Masonry. The first- named is briefly summarized here for the simple reason that it affords a more striking illustration of the fact that Masonry has a deep-rooted background. The following summary is from Bro Ravenscraft:
1. Centuries before Christ and the founding of Rome, a race of Hametic descent spread along the Mediterranean shores, and afterward became known in Syria and Asia Minor as Hittites; in Greece as Pelasgoi, and in Italy as Etruscans.
2. Hittites were engaged in building the Temple of Jerusalem, the fame of which spread far and wide.
3. The Romans learned their arts of building, decoration, pottery, etc., from the Etruscans, who were the same race as the Hittites, and carried with them some, at least, of their traditions.
4. In Rome there developed Collegia of artificers and, in early Christian days, these had traditions of King Solomon.
5. At the downfall of Rome, the Guild of Artificers left and settled in the district of Como, holding as their center the island of Comicina.
6. Thence they spread their influence over all of Western Europe, and even to the English shores.
7. They merged into the great Masonic Guilds of the Middle Ages.
8. As these Guilds died out, their forms and ceremonies were preserved to a great extent in our Masonic lodges - at any rate, under those of the English and American constitutions.
So much, to suggest the vast background of Masonry, the main point at issue being merely to show that more recently organized fraternal or service organizations could not go so far, except through the intermediate experience of Masonry. As to essential principles, no adequate treatment of so large a topic could be considered within the limits of our present discussion. But to conform to our general theory of background, your attention is called to the practical identity between the old English and our present American Charges. By the Charge of 1723:
A Mason is obliged, by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves, that is, to be Good men and True, or men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denomination or Persuasion they may be distinguished, whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union and the Means of Conciliating true Friendship among persons that must have remained at a perpetual distance.
But besides obeying the moral law, the old-time Mason was to be constantly observant of his civic duties. The Charge continues:
As a citizen of the world, I am next to enjoin you to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing, or at all countenancing, any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; by paying due obedience to the laws of any state which may for a time become the place of your residence, or afford you its protection; and, above all, by never losing sight of the allegiance due to the sovereign of your native land; ever remembering that nature has implanted in your breast a sacred, indissoluble attachment to that country from which you derived your birth and infant nature.
In recent numbers of THE BUILDER have appeared discussions under the following heads: Where Are we Drifting ? The Length of the Cable Tow; Catching Them Young; Are You a True and Royal Builder? Underlying these is a question that is pertinent to all comment, editorial and otherwise, on the difficulties under which Masonic Lodges are not laboring. I frame it thus: To Whom Are These Questions Addressed ? And you can but answer: To the individual Mason. While that is true, it needs somewhat of elaboration.
What is the duty of a Worshipful Master? There used to be a favorite treatise on The Whole Duty of Man. What if this question be: What Is the Whole Duty of a Worshipful Master? It is much more suggestive.
Eighty years ago, a certain Church of England clergyman, Dr. George Oliver, amid his other multifarious literary labors, spent a good share of his time in writing letters to various lodges and Masons, and I should like to quote him here on this matter of the duty of the Master:
The peculiar appropriation of the SQUARE [is] to the Master of a private lodge.... In operative Masonry [it is] used to adjust all irregular corners and bring rude matter into due form ., . while to the Speculative Mason it conveys a corresponding lesson of duty, teaching him that by a course of judicious training the Worshipful Master reduces into due form the rude matter which exists in the mind of a candidate for initiation; and thus, being modelled on the true principles of genuine Masonry, it becomes like the polished corners of the Temple. And by virtue of this jewel, which sparkles on his breast, he is enabled to cause all animosities . . . to subside, that order and good fellowship should be perfect and complete. The Master of a lodge is therefore bound to set his brethren an example of Morality and Justice, which form the true interpretation of the Significant Jewel by which he is distinguished.
There speaks the old English Mason. Now listen to the comment, or, better, the interpretation of one of our great modern leaders, Bro. Robert I. Clegg, in his paper before the Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educators at Milwaukee last year:
When a candidate has received the Master Mason degree he has but partaken of ritualistic display. He has been shown the ground plan. He has been given the tools with which to complete the erection of a Temple for which he has previously laid the Symbolical first stone and later erected a Symbolical superstructure thereon. But, after all, this building must sooner or later be completed. It hardly seems reasonable to everlastingly pass the problem to future ages.
And to this may well be added the comment of the Grand Lodge of Iowa:
Real Masonry consists in the teachings which lie hidden behind the letter of the ritual and not in the mere ritual itself.
How many times have you heard the ritual given in such manner as clearly to demonstrate that the Master, himself, had no idea at all of its meaning?
Worshipful Master! This whole problem is primarily up to you ! But, Masonic Brethren, who chooses your Worshipful Master? So often we are met with the excuse (is it really worthy the name?) of inability. There is no Master Mason whose native capacity is so limited as to prevent him from attending lodge. Also, there is no one thing in a Master's experience which heartens him so much as a good attendance, as there is, conversely, no experience that disheartens him as does non-attendance. And a second point for you fearful ones to consider: Did you ever pause to consider the handicap under which your Master works when his attention is diverted from the main issue in hand by the necessity of overseeing a multitude of minor details which you could just as well attend to as not ?
Said Lavater, an xviiith century philosopher:
If you ask me which is the real, hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer pride, or luxury, or ambition, or egotism? No; I shall say indolence will conquer all the rest.
At the very opening of this address, it was shown that not to our day alone are confined difficulties. The same Dr. Oliver, whose exposition on the Square has been quoted, wrote, in 1849:
It is a universal complaint, and tends to the deterioration of Freemasonry in public opinion, that amongst the numerous initiations which take place annually, so few should be prolific in bringing forth the genuine fruits of the Order....
And, further, he gives the reason:
It is because . . . they are not fully embued with the poetry and philosophy of the Order, but prefer the dull, prosaic workings of common life, or entertain mistaken views of its nature and design.
Apathy! APATHY! APATHY!
This intense apathy in all of us is the first great mystery of life. It stands in the way of every perception, every virtue. There is no making ourselves feel enough astonishment at it. That the occupations or pastimes of life should have no motive is understandable; but that life itself should have no motive, that we neither care to find out what it may lead to, nor to guard against its being forever taken away from us - here is a mystery indeed.
On the authority of the brand Master of Kentucky:
The problem that now confronts the Craft is to instill new interest and create higher ideals. Education of its members is one of the basic principles of the Order. So long as we confine our activities to conference of degrees and so long as we confine the knowledge to be acquired from the Order to the exemplification of the ritual, and rehearsal of the lectures, our members are sure to lose interest. Every lodge should have a program in which the history and teachings of the Order should play a large part, interspersed with the discussion of such secular subjects as might be deemed expedient....
Yes, every lodge should have a program; and here again, I quote from Bro. Clegg:
1. We must connect in a continuous way the activities of every lodge with that of the Grand Lodge.
2. We must provide a regular process of sustained interest to maintain the brethren at a constant rate of speed in their studies.
3. We must supply at specified dates, with the briefest practicable intervals between them, the necessary information in the form of instructive material.
4. We must furnish instructors who have a distinct capacity for that leadership which inspires growth and fruitfulness, the laudable ambition to excel for the good of all.
Fine! Fine! I can hear a lot of you think this, even though you do not express your thoughts aloud, but where get these men? My answer is: From your own membership?
Yes, you do have them.
No better authority can be sought than Emerson. His short essays have always remained unsurpassed. Listen to what he says regarding eloquence:
The emergency which has convened the meeting is usually of more importance than anything the debaters have in their minds, and therefore becomes imperative to them.... BUT if one of them have anything of commanding necessity in his heart, how speedily he will find vent for it, and with the applause of the assembly.
Listen to him again:
. . . in any public assembly, him who has the facts, and ean and will state them, people will listen to, though he is otherwise ignorant, though he is hoarse and ungraceful, though he stutters and screams.
The next question, naturally, is as to the subject-matter to be used. Past Grand Master Frank Moses, of Iowa, states:
Our experiences teach us that fundamental truths and precepts of Masonry with liberal quotation or paraphrase of the familiar words heard so often in lodge, and apt illustration to amplify and interpret them for practical application in our daily lives, are most appreciated.
As introductory to his little volume Era, of the Protestant Reformation, Seebohm quotes:
CIVILIZATION means not simply advance in population, wealth, luxury . . . but far more, viz.: ADVANCE IN THE ART OF LIVING TOGETHER IN CIVIL SOCIETY.
The following pronouncement was made by the Grand Lodge of California:
We do not think that the Masonic Lodge is performing all its functions unless it includes in its work enlightenment on our origin, history and traditions.
Under this head we would also include education on the great questions of the day which are vital to our country. This does not mean that a lodge should assume a definite position, or resolve for or against any course of action as regards particular questions.
If in our daily life and in our clubs we can discuss these matters without strife, it certainly seems that we should be able to do so when within a tiled lodge.
In line with this suggestion is the comment of Dr. Lodge, of Detroit, Chairman of the Speakers' Bureau Work in Michigan:
When you get a dozen or fifty people from all over your state to consider "the Mason in his community and in his government" . . . does that not mean the community itself is going to have a little better citizen in him than before? Doesn't it mean that his government is going to have a little more independent Subject than it had before? Doesn't it mean the audience who heard these talks of the Mason in his community and in his government are going to have new sidelights on Masonry and are going to take away something that will raise their standard of citizenship ?
Here, again, for the man who insists he cannot talk; and, again, quoting Bro. Clegg:
Here is one insistent can . . . and there are many such . . . for Masonic endeavor. What shall it profit a Freemason if he vote not? Nothing is more plain than that the stay-away-from-the-polls-person is the weak link in our body politic.
To induce every brother to vote, and that he encourage all other citizens to do likewise, is our manifest and imperative duty.
We may quite properly enlarge upon the necessity of a Freemason using his franchise though we do not intrude upon his control of that privilege.
To return, for a moment, to the individual.
If you are going to have any interest, you must do it - not by lodges - but by individuals. Do you know the whole Scheme of Masonry is addressed to the individual? Nowhere in our ritual, in the matter of our Symbolic degrees, will you find anything addressed to the brothers. Everything is addressed in the singular: "Brother."
The first, second and third degrees must be conferred upon one candidate alone. It is a Symbolical fact that all great changes that come in life are encountered by us alone.... WE MUST, in Masonry, attempt to awaken the INTEREST OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
A most apt illustration in our national history will emphasize this imperative need. After the American colonies had declared their independence, it was necessary to formulate some machinery of government. The attempt was made under the so-called ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
This government failed lamentably and for very good reason. Its attempt to rule through the medium of the various individual colonies was similar to any projected plan for international administration. There was no one to put your finger on.
Only when national citizenship was provided and the federal Government could reach directly to the individual citizen was success attained.
This paper opened with Ruskin; he appeared in its midst; it is perhaps only a fair balancing proposition to introduce him again at the close.
He was quoted as realizing the distressing situation and again as finding its cause in widespread apathy. His solution puts the recovery back upon the individual, as is clearly shown in his stocktaking of himself.
For I saw that both my own failure, and such success in petty things as in its poor triumph, seemed to me worse than failure, came from the want of sufficient earnest effort to understand the whole law and meaning of existence, and to bring it to noble and due end; as, on the other hand, I saw more and more clearly that all enduring success in the arts, or in any other occupation, had come from the ruling of lower purposes not by a conviction of their nothingness but by a solemn faith in the advancing power of human nature, or in the promise, however dimly apprehended, that the mortal part of it would one day be swallowed up in immortality.
Ours is not merely an ornamental institution. Our fraternity was planted to bear fruit. THE MASONIC FRATERNITY MUST JUSTIFY ITSELF AS A CONSTRUCTIVE POWER in this constructive age. " The days are upon us when institutions such as ours MUST STAND FOR SOMETHING or stand ASIDE," says the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, and I will conclude with a final quotation from Bro. Clegg:
Shall the impress be upon the belief that lodges exist only to get members or upon the conviction that members shall get Freemasonry?
If the latter, what will YOU DO for the furtherance of Masonic Education in your lodge and in the circle of your influence?
Historical Sketch of Albany Sovereign Consistory
Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret
By BRO. ISAAC HENRY VROOMAN, JB., New York (Concluded from February)
THERE is now a long break in the record. The AntiMasonic wave was at its height and there was little or no activity in the Masonic Bodies of Albany. There are records of meetings of Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection and of Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem between 1841 and 1846; and a list of the officers of these bodies appears in the Albany City Directory for the years 1846-1851, inclusive. Among the officers of the Lodge of Perfection were:
P. M. Eq. Giles F. Yates, G. Chancellor.
P. Eq. Killian H. Van Rensselaer, M. F.
Archibald Bull, M. Em. G. Coun.
The Supreme Council was also quiet and was reorganized in April, 1845. At that time Ill. J. J. J. Gourgas, M. P. Sov. Gr. Commander, said:
Our worthy Brother Giles Fonda Yates, of Schenectady, a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the thirty-third degree, duly acknowledged as such, and a member of this jurisdiction since the fifth day of July, 1828, having been my aid and assistant in our present reorganization, is constitutionally entitled to the second office in this Grand and Supreme Council. I do hereby declare, acknowledge and proclaim him to be our Ill. In. Lieut. Gr. Commander. You will therefore receive and acknowledge him as such in all future occasions. (1)
At a meeting of the Supreme Council on June 5, 1845, "Unanimous approval and consent having been given to the bringing forward and ultimate initiation to this highest degree and membership of this Grand and Supreme Council of thirty-third degree, of our worthy Bro. Archibald Bull, of Troy, Prince of Jerusalem, Grand Master of the General Grand Encampment of Knights Templars of the United States of America, and Killian H. Van Rensselaer, of New York City, a Prince of Jerusalem, it was unanimously agreed upon to initiate them at the earliest opportunity." (Ill. Bro. Bull received the 33d on June 17, 1845, and Ill. Bro. Van Rensselaer received the 33d on June 20, 1845, when they took their seats as Active Members of the Supreme Council.)
From the fact that these Brethren are designated as Princes of Jerusalem, it would appear that no higher degrees were conferred in Albany at that time.
On July 16, 1845, the Supreme Council ordered:
That, as soon as practicable, it will be advisable to open, organize and establish at the Capital or chief town or city in each of the fourteen states forming this our Northern district and jurisdiction, an Ineffable Lodge of the Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Masons, 14d, under the government of a Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 16d, a Chapter of Sovereign Princes of Rose +, 18d, forming a part of, or attached to, a particular or private Consistory of the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, 30d, 31d, 32d . . . No one is to be proposed for initiation from the 17d to the 32d, both inclusive, unless he be at least thirty years of age and a present or past Grand Officer of the Grand Ineffable Lodge or Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem.... The Consistory may of its own authority initiate from the 19d, Grand Pontiff, to the 29d, Knight of St. Andrew, both inclusive. But as to the 30d, K- H. or Knight of the White and Black Eagle, 31d, Grand Inquisitor Commander, or the 32d, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, a Special delegation or dispensation for each candidate has to be granted and issued direct from the Grand and Supreme Council of 33d, on a written application, signed and sealed by the five first Grand Officers of the applying Sublime Consistory, specifying place, names, day and year of birth, religion, profession, residence and Masonic qualifications and standing of the candidates.
On October 1, 1845, among the returns received were those from "Grand Council Princes of Jerusalem, held at Albany, N. Y., and also their Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, sitting in the same East, twenty-ninth September, 1845." This is the only mention of these bodies for many years; there being nothing more in the Supreme Council Proceedings until, at the Annual Session of the Sovereign Grand Consistory, S. P. R. S., 32d, held in connection with the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council, 33d, May 15, 1867, the following delegates were present from the four Albany Bodies: Cornelius Glen, 32d, Robert H. Waterman, 32d, Townsend Fondey, 32d, Henry Lansing, 32d, Frederiek G. Tueker, 32d, Henry B. Whitman, 32d.
On May 16th, the Supreme Council visited the Sov. Gr. Consistory and Ill. Killian H. Van Rensselaer, M. P. Sov. Gr. Commander, delivered his Annual Address, in the course of which he said (2):
One hundred years have passed since Henry A. Francken, one of the Illustrious Deputies of Stephen A. Morin, established a Grand Lodge of Perfection and Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem in Albany, in the State of New York. By virtue or his Patent, as Deputy, he conferred the degrees of Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix of H.R.D.M. Knight of K H. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, and Sovereign Inspector- General of the Thirty-third Degree upon Worthy Intelligent Masons of high standing in the State.
I have re-organized the old Grand Lodge of Perfection and Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Albany, in the State of New York, originally organized in 1767, and I have upon application of Illustrious Brothers Cornelius Glenn, Thomas D. Newcomb, Jefferson Peterman, Robert H. Waterman, and other worthy Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, granted them Dispensations to open and hold in the city of Albany a Chapter of Rose Cross, and Consistory of Sub. Pr. Royal Secret. The Bodies were duly organized by me; the officers elected, installed, and fully qualified for the work in their respective Bodies. The Supreme Council, and this Sovereign Grand Consistory, may rest assured that these oldest Bodies of the Rite in the United States, under their present able and zealous officers, will fully maintain their high standing and usefulness, and add to the increase of the Rite in the State (3).
That afternoon in the Consistory, the Committee on Dispensations and Charters submitted its report, which was accepted and its recommendations adopted. Among these recommendations was,
Hearty approval of the revival by dispensation of Sov. Grand Commander of Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, founded at Albany, N. Y., by Henry Andrew Francken, Dep. of Stephen Morin, on 20th of December, 1767, also Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, founded as above.
Also approval of Dispensation reviving Rose Croix Chapter, and Albany Sovereign Consistory, each of which were established of date of 16th November, 1824.
We recommend that charters be issued to said revived Council Chapter, and Consistory, and as memorial of their date of establishment, the said dates to be inscribed respectively on said charters - the same to be held until recovery of the original charters - which are now not in possession of said bodies. (4)
In the Supreme Council, on May 17th, it was ordered "that charters granted by this Supreme Council before the union, be issued by the officers of this Council (5)." And "That the officers of the Supreme Council are authorized and instructed to sign and deliver all charters as of the dates when the same were voted (6)." "The records of the Sov. Grand Consistory were read and approved; and it was ordered that charters be granted as recommended by that Body (7)."
The Council, Chapter, and Consistory at Albany, N. Y., still possess the Charters granted on this occasion, each of which bears an indorsement similar to the following:
The original Charter of the Albany Sovereign Consistory S. P. of R. S., having been lost, or detained from the body to which it lawfully belongs, the within Charter is issued in lieu, to have the full force and authority as the Ancient original.
Attest (Signed): Nath. B. Shurtleff. 33d Sec. Gen. H. E.
The Lodge of Perfection has only its Warrant, signed by Henry Andrew Francken.
The 1867 Charter of Albany Sovereign Consistory is here reproduced and reads as follows:
AD UNIVERSI TERRANUM ORBIS SUMMI ARCHITECTI GLORIAM
33d. ORDO AB CHAO. 33d. DEUS MEUMQUE JUS.
From the Grand Orient of the Supreme Council of the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and last degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry for the Northern Masonic jurisdiction of the United States of America, under the C. C. of the Zenith, near the B., B., which answers to 42d 21' 22" N.L, 5d 59' 18" E., L. Meridian of Washington,
To all Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and last Degree, and to all Illustrious and Most Valiant Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, Knights of K - H. Illustrious Princes and Knights, Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Free Masons of all Degrees, Ancient and Modern, of Free Masonry, over the surface of the Two Hemispheres, to whom these presents may come:
HEALTH, STABILITY, POWER
KNOW YE, that we, the undersigned, M. P. Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, lawfully and constitutionally established at our Grand East, in the City of Boston and State of Massachusetts, duly assembled and congregated in Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, this eleventh day of the Hebrew Month called Ijar, A M. 5627, which corresponds to the sixteenth day of May, A. D., 1867, of the Christian Era, having witnessed the fervor, zeal and constancy to our Valiant and Illustrious Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret,
Cornelius Glen, 32d, Townsend Fondey, 32d, Robert Henry Waterman, 32d, Peter Wendell 32d Richard L. Van Denburgh, 32d, Henry Lansing, 32d, David Newcomb, 32d, Samuel Goodman 32d, each of them Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret of the Thirty-second Degree, and knowing them to have been lawfully obligated, and reposing confidence in their Masonic Knowledge, Prudence and Fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and establish, with their future legal associates and successors, into a regular Sovereign Consistory of S. P. R. S., under the title of
ALBANY SOVEREIGN CONSISTORY,
hereby giving and granting unto them full power and authority to convene, as such Sovereign Consistory, within the City of Albany, in the State of New York, to elect and install their Officers, to work in the several Degrees of Grand Pontiff, Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges, Noachite or Prussian Knight, Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus, Chief of the Tabernacle, Prince of the Tabernacle, Knight of the Brazen Serpent, Prince of Mercy, Commander of the Temple, Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept, Knight of St. Andrew, Knight of Kadosch, Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, and Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and confer the same upon such Brothers as are lawfully and constitutionally qualified to receive them.
And the said Sublime Princes shall administer for us, and in our name, to each brother admitted to any of the degrees conferred therein, an Obligation of Fealty and Allegiance to our Supreme Council aforesaid, and Submission to its Decrees.
And the aforesaid Sovereign Consistory shall each year, at our Annual Convocation, return to us a true list of all its Officers and Members, Specifying the name, place of nativity, age, residence, profession, religion and highest Degree received with the date of reception of each newly admitted Prince and transmit to us the Fees for Registry, Reception, and Annual Dues, required by our Decrees.
In Default Thereof, this Charter may be suspended by the M. P. Sov. Grand Commander, or revoked by our Supreme Council.
And we do hereby require the said constituted Princes to keep a regular Record of their Proceedings and work for our inspection.
And we do hereby declare the Precedence of said Consistory to commence from the Eleventh day of the Hebrew Month called Ijar, A. M., 5627, answering to the Sixteenth day of May, A. D. 1867, hereby ratifying and confirming all Constitutional Acts heretofore done by said Illustrious Princes.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, we, Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General and Active Members of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, above named, sitting in the said City of Boston, and duly established in said Northern Masonic Jurisdiction the fifth day of August, A. D. 1813, do hereby grant unto the above named Brethren this Special Warrant, and do now Subscribe our names, and cause to be affixed the Great Seal of our Council, in the Chamber of Council, this Eleventh day of the Hebrew month caned Ijar, A. M., 5627, corresponding to the Sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-seven.
K. H. VAN RENSSELAER, 33d, M. P. Sov. Grand Commander.
A. B. Thompson, 33d, Ill. Grand Treas. Gen. H. E. David Burnham Tracy, 33d, III Grand Master of Ceremonies. Herman Ely, 33d, III. Grand Marshall. Joseph D. Evans, 33d, III Deputy for State of New York. NATH. B. SHUBTLEFF, III. Grand Secretary Gen. H. E.
Josiah H. Drummond, 33d, P. Sov. Lieut. Grand Commander. H. A. Johnson, 33d, III. Grand Minister of State. Benjamin Dean, 33d, III. Grand Capt. of the Guard . Chas. W. Moore. 33d. Ill. Grand Standard Bearer
NOTE ON MARGIN. - The original Charter of the Albany Sovereign Consistory, S. P. of R. S. having been lost or detained from the body to which it lawfully belongs, the within Charter is issued in lieu thereof to have the full force and authority as the ancient original
(Attest), NATH'L B. SHURTLEFF, 33d Sec. Glen. H. P:. [L. S.]
This reorganization occurred in 1866, most of the Princes named in the Charter having received their Scottish Rite Degrees in February of that year. Several Brethren received their degrees in April, 1866, and in May, 1867; the membership at the time of the granting of the Charter being about thirty-eight.
In 1866, the Supreme Council which met in New York City and of which Ill. Simon W. Robinson, 33d, was Sov. Gr. Commander, issued charters to a Lodge of Perfection, a Council of Princes of Jerusalem, a Chapter of Rose Croix, and a Consistory, S.P.R.S., to be held in Albany, the title of each of them being DeWitt Clinton. In 1870, the members of these Bodies affiliated with the older Bodies and many of them became prominent in its affairs.
Ill. Cornelius Glen, 32d, was Commander-in-Chief from the reorganization until December 27, 1867, when Ill. Robert Henry Waterman, 32d, was elected to that office. The list of Commanders-in-Chief since the reorganization is as follows:
Membership at close of term
Cornelius Glen, 32d 1866 - Dec. 27, 1867 38
Robert Henry Waterman, 33d 1867 - Dec. 27, 1873 110
Townsend Fondey, 33d 1873 - Dec. 27, 1879 191
Herman Henry Russ, 33d 1879 - Dec. 27, 1882 206
John Boyd Thacher, 33d 1882 - Dec. 27, 1885 204
William Edgar Fitch, 33d 1885 - Dec. 27, 1894 299
John Franklin Shafer, 33d 1894 - July 4, 1900 457
Charles Humphrey Armatage, 33d 1900 - Dec. 22, 1903 513
Arthur MacArthur, 33d 1903 - Dec. 27, 1906 610
Thomas Henry Dumary, 33d 1906 - May 27, 1909 726
Robert Benoni Stiles, 33d 1909 - May 23, 1912 893
Edward Byron Cantine, 33d 1912 - May 27, 1916 1,019
Marshall Freeman Hemingway, 33d 1915 - May 23, 1918 1,614
William Stormont Hackett, 33d 1918 - May 26, 1921 2,462
Joseph McKay, 33d 1921 - May 23, 1924 2,948
William Henry Butler, 33d 1924 - May 26, 1927 3,194
James Argyle Smith, 33d 1927 - Oct. 25 1928 3,217
Frederick Wilhelm Gebhard, 33d 1928 -
The growth of the Consistory was at first slow, but it has been steady and on June 30, 1929, there were 3,278 names on the roll of members.
1. An indorsement on Ill. Bro. Yates 33 Diploma indicates that he was appointed on June 15, 1844.
2. Reprint of Proceedings of the Supreme Council, 1867, page 37.
3. Ibid., page 39.
4. Ib., page 43.
5. Ib., page 17
6. Ib., page 20.
7. lb., page 23.
R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
BOARD OF ASSOCIATE EDITORS
LOUIS BLOCK. Iowa
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
R.V. HARRIS, Canada
C.C. HUNT, Iowa
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
A.L. KRESS, Pennsylvania
F.H. LlTTLEFIELD, Missouri
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
JESSE M. WHTED, California
E. E. THIEMEYER, Missouri
DAVID E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
IN the first minute book of the Grand Lodge of England, under date of June 5, 1730, is copied a "Deputation" to Daniel Cox, Esq., as Provincial Grand Master of the "Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pennsilvania in America."
The record has been a bone of contention between the brethren of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the former claiming that the authority given to Cox (or Coxe) was not only valid but was also effective. The latter claiming that it was voided by non-user and neglect, and that the first institution of a Freemasonry that was "regular" (blessed word!) followed upon another deputation, to Henry Price, in April, 1733, of which there is no record in the Grand Lodge minutes - though this omission neither invalidated its authority at the time nor makes its actuality doubtful now.
The situation is not lacking in a humorous element. Centennials are usually greatly in favor, Bi-centennials even more so. Is this wonderful opportunity to be foregone on account of what the delightful Pyecroft, who holds the centre of the stage in a number of Kipling's most amusing stories, might have called, "narsty professional spite"? If 1930 were chosen, then Massachusetts would feel that a distinct prestige would be given to Pennsylvania's claims. Pennsylvania cannot move because Massachusetts may refuse to play. New York and New Jersey probably feel that the situation is delicate. While the junior Grand Lodges feel that it would be presumption and lese majeste on their part to make any suggestions. Let us hasten to say that all this is spun from our own transcendental super-consciousness, and has no relation to any real facts in any real world so far as we know.
But observe the ludicrous and baffling absurdity of the thing. The year 1930 passes, and two successive years, and we come to 1933. At once the same situation reappears, the roles of the two protagonists (a more kindly word than antagonist) being reversed, a kind of change of polarity, the electric tension being just as high.
It is absurd, because it is indisputable that there were Masons in America in 1730, and without doubt many years previously. But we not only have the Deputation to Daniel Cox, which as we suggested (like a dove with an olive branch) more than a year ago - in December, 1928, to be precise - was the first official mention in the Grand Lodge records of the American colonies, and which proves by implication that there must at least have been Masons in those three mentioned by name. While the witness of Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette is practical proof that some of them had formed lodges in the latter "Province." It certainly seemed that this might have been made the basis of a diplomatic formula by which a two hundredth anniversary of Masonry in America could have been celebrated this year without giving any advantage to either of the contestants for priority in "regular" Masonry.
But, for whatever reason, the suggestion, like the good seed of the Sower in the Parable, fell on hard and stony ground, and the birds of the air, or something, came and carried it away. Anyway it does not seem to have even sprouted, let alone borne any fruit.
Perhaps in another hundred years the question will have been settled, and the brethren who still survive may see a Tri-centennial. Or will they see a repetition of the present impasse?
But it does seem too bad that we can't have it now. A hundred years is rather long to wait, especially when there is no certainty that it would come off even then. Perhaps the best thing might be to get up a quiet little celebration of our own.
CHARITY is a beautiful word for what a once well known author described as "The Greatest Thing in the World." But it is a word that has been so sadly mistreated and abused that to many people it has no other signification than cold unfeeling giving of alms, to get rid of a mendicant, or the mechanical administration of relief by professional and professionalized social workers. The cause of this degradation is fairly clear. There is a constant tendency among all mankind to that kind of hypocrisy known as euphemism, the denoting of unpleasant things by general terms, the giving of noble names to mean and contemptible things in order to conceal their meanness. And, of course, as soon as any particular euphemism becomes a general usage, it takes on all the associations of the lower, and indirect meaning.
In very many cases this is a real impoverishment of the language; in this case it is particularly so, for there is no other word to take the place of Charity in its true and proper significance. In the Bible, and in the Masonic ritual, it is equivalent to the Latin caritas, from which it is derived, and the Greek agape, for which it stands in the beautiful thirteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. Agape might be translated by "love," but this is a word that needs to be guarded on account of its intimate associations with the natural attraction between the sexes. "Brotherly love and friendship" covers the meaning very well, or "Love of the Neighbor" as Swedenborg put it. But we should not lightly give up a word that means all this, one, too, that is part of the language of the book revered by American Masons as the Greatest Light, and that is also enshrined in our formularies. Rather we should insist on using it in its proper sense, as we do other terms that are no longer in common use; and see to it that our initiates understand what is intended.
With this introduction, we are going to raise the question as to what is properly to be understood by "Masonic Charity," and how and in what ways it should find expression, and what effect its practice should have in the lives of Masons. The adjective "Masonic" in this connection might be taken in several different ways. It might be a limiting description, a Charity exercised between Masons which is restrained and restricted from going any further. That this is the proper meaning is incredible, but there is always the danger that insensibly, and with confusion thought, it may come practically to denote this. Living ideas and ideals and inspirations are constantly being congealed and crystallized into rigid formulas as they come in contact with the self-seeking activity and the self-indulgent sloth of the world, and this is as true of Masonry as it is of religion.
In truth the great virtues cannot be limited, and retain their virtue. Justice is justice, whether exemplified by a Mason or by anyone else. So also is Truth, and equally so is Charity. The only proper meaning that qualifying them as Masonic can have, is to assert that they should mark the Mason, and should be patent in his life and conduct; with the extension of meaning, or corollary, that as they distinguish each individual Mason, so should they be a characteristic of the Fraternity as a whole.
That it is in this sense that Masonic Charity has been always and everywhere understood in the past, is a matter of record; for from the time that modern Speculative Masonry first began to spread throughout the world we find in every country, not only individual acts of Charity and benevolence; but collective ones also. That is, Masonic lodges have always considered it part of their proper function to undertake to aid and assist the unfortunate and needy in such ways as the local situation seemed to demand. Certain things especially have always appealed to Masons, the cure of the impoverished sick, and the education of destitute children. In other words, the founding and support of hospitals and schools.
It might be well, in view of certain tendencies, too manifest among us at the present time, for someone to collect a series of typical examples, fully documented, illustrating and enforcing the above statements. The chief difficulty of preparing such a presentation would probably prove to be the choice of material from an embarrassing abundance. However, when we come to more recent years among ourselves, there is a change. This change seems to be part of a particular manifestation of a general shift of relationship between lodges and Grand Lodges. It is summed up and characterized by the term "subordinate," which is commonly used in conjunction with "lodge" in contra-distinction to the Grand Lodge, a term that is peculiar to America, and which seems to mark a progressive loss of old rights, and of an original independence, which though limited was once very real. The causes of this gradual transformation are complex and somewhat obscure, but this much may be fairly confidently asserted; so far as the new subordinate lodges have lost their original powers, they first ceased to exercise them before they were taken away.
In regard to Charity, however, and works of benevolence, this modern trend is particularly unfortunate. A Masonry without good works is on the way to becoming a dry and barren tree. Yet we have so long lost sight of the original ideals of the Craft that this seems an absurd thing to say. And besides, what of all the wonderful benevolent institutions, the homes and orphanges and relief funds that have been built up? True indeed. These are highly praiseworthy, but they are limited. We are frequently told that Freemasonry is not a benefit society, which is also perfectly true in a technical sense. But essentially it has come to be not so very different. In a benefit society a member receives certain definite payments under definite conditions. If he has paid the necessary contributions, he receives, for example, so much a week when be is ill, regardless of his situation. Whether he is a wealthy business man, or a day laborer, the payment is the same. In the Masonic Fraternity the brother in need is assisted according to his need - at least that is the theory. In consequence it costs a great deal less; but at bottom all internal Masonic benevolence is with difficulty to be distinguished from a loosely organized insurance.
To say this is not to decry it. It is indeed a great thing. It is in these intimate Fraternal ties and friendships that the lesson of the wider and unlimited Charity may be learned. It is once more, what was said two thousand years ago, "these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." It is the indrawing tendency that is to be deprecated, the forbidding of lodges to engage as lodges in purely disinterested Charitable work, if they so choose. To say that lodge funds are trust funds, is merely an attempt to give a reason that sounds well for a prohibition that at bottom is a manifestation of corporate selfishness. The income of a lodge is in no proper sense a trust fund. A lodge levies dues on its members in order to have money to pay its expenses. What those expenses shall be is the business of the lodge itself. It may spend money on banquets, on entertainments, on furnishings and regalia, even on books to form a library, but in too many places it is not allowed to take any active interest in any external charitable or social work. That is the one thing that is forbidden. The one thing that is finally and fundamentally worth while.
It might almost seem it is only as a member of an organization in which there is admittedly nothing intrinsically Masonic that the individual Mason can cooperate with his brethren in a purely charitable work in which there is not the least shadow of self-interest. But why should this be? Why should Masons as Masons be forbidden so to work for the good of others? Is it because most of them "love to have it so?" Have the exhortations "to do good to all" and to extend our Charity to all mankind, come to be meaningless forms of words that have to be repeated, but which have no significance? It is hard to say. That there is in the ranks of the Fraternity a vast reservoir of potential willingness to aid in works of true Charity is beyond doubt, but there seems to be no way of drawing it out. Perhaps work along these lines would have a wider appeal and would more thoroughly reawaken interest than anything else could. It might at least be tried.
"AN IDIOCY THE MORE"
Thus does Alpina describe the following choice item from a Swiss clerical journal, Le Pays:
The baleful influence of the role that Freemasonry plays in the United States is well known. The rapid extension of this evilworking sect is one proof more of the decadence into which American society has been dragged by its materialism. Without doubt the lodge is regarded by the majority of the initiates as a co-operative arrangement for their material advancement, a means of bettering their position. The secret chiefs at least work it to their own advantage, and they act in a way to influence their followers against the interests of religion, and especially the Catholic religion, which is the only power that effectively resists them."
Chronicle and Comment
A Review of Masonry the World Over
An Ancient Operative Document.
The Library of the Grand Lodge of New York has been presented with a number of MSS. of considerable rarity and value. The most interesting would seem to be (from a notice in the New York Masonic Outlook) a receipt given by a French Master Mason, Je. Estienne Gaudin, dated 1414. The seal attached has on it the square and compasses. This is one of the oldest, possibly the oldest, existing example of this device. It would be interesting to know whether these instruments are arranged in the now familiar way, or whether they are grouped with other Masonic implements, as was common in Mediaeval Masonic seals, and still is in European Masonic devices.
Alleged Manuscript a Printed Book.
It will be remembered that in November last we mentioned a report that was being circulated that an old Masonic Manuscript had been discovered in a Wisconsin farm, and also that we ventured on some guesses as to its nature, assuming that it was a manuscript. Since then Bro. Shepherd has obtained definite information from Bro. M.O. Gray of Portage, Wis., that the manuscript is a copy of one of the many "Freemason's Pocket Companions" that were published in the eighteenth century, the first of which came out in 1735.
Bro. Gray sent a copy of the title page, from which it appears that this particular work was published in Edinburgh in 1761, by Ruddiman, Auld and Company, and that it contains "The Origin, Progress and Present State of that Ancient Fraternity; the Institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland" and so on. Mention is also made of an Appendix containing among other things the "Act of the Associate Synod against the Freemasons with an Impartial Examination of that Act."
Perhaps some of our bibliographical experts can inform us whether this particular work is especially rare or valuable. Judging by the date alone the probability is that it is not. How, in the report of its discovery, it came to be described as a manuscript is a curious question, but it shows once more the need for caution in accepting such reports, and also that the time to investigate them is when they first appear. Negative as this information is, it may prevent some student at a future date being led into a needless quest for something that never existed.
Plural Membership in Wisconsin.
As readers of THE BUILDER will remember, the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin amended its Constitution at the Annual Communication in June last year. This is eight months ago. The February issue of the Palmer Templegram informs us that:
"While very liberal publicity has been given this new privilege in many monthly publications of various Lodges in Wisconsin, results have not become very evident. As a matter of fact, we know of no instance so far where anyone has applied for dual or plural membership with the one exception of our own Lodge, which very recently elected to membership her first "dual" member. It is a peculiar coincidence that the Palmer Templegram, is about the only Wisconsin State Lodge publication which, previous to this time, gave no publicity to the subject of plural or dual membership.
"There is probably little doubt that the Masonic-educational facilities at the disposition of "Palmer" members will be the principal reason why members of other Lodges may want to affiliate with us, retaining at the same time membership in the Lodge where they received their Masonic degrees. There is no doubt whatever about this being the only reason in the first Instance on our records.
"The right of visitation is, of course, not Interfered with In any way by the new privilege of plural membership in Wisconsin. The unrestricted expression of fraternal hospitality to all regular Masons, no matter when or how often they visit with us, always has been and will continue to be one of the outstanding characteristics of Henry L. Palmer Lodge No. 301, F. & A. M."
The unusual character of the Henry L. Palmer Lodge may enable it to take the place of a Lodge of Research, but we still live in hope that elsewhere in Wisconsin a group of studiously inclined Masons may form a Research Lodge, by taking advantage of the possibility of retaining their primary membership in their original lodges.
Loss of Masonic Symbolism.
In the January number of The Master Mason of Washington D. C., there is an interesting article by Bro. Pad F. Ela (who evidently knows what he is talking about, on the technical side), in which is discussed the possible losses in our symbolic system due to the complete divorce of Speculative and Operative Masonry. There is no doubt whatever that the Masonic ritual in all countries has developed with very little regard to the realities of the stonecutter's and builder's craft. Though gaps in one system are in some cases filled in others. Bro. Ela, for instance, wonders why the chisel was ignored - it is not in other countries, and it very possibly dropped out of the first degree in America because of its prominence in that of Mark Master.
Bro. Ela also mentions the "broached thurnel." It is curious how long it takes for the results of Masonic scholarship to become generally known. As long ago as 1916 the late Bro. Dring quite conclusively elucidated the mystery. Urnel, or Ornal, was the name of a kind of stone, imported from France, that was in great request by Mediaeval Masons. "Broached" means worked with a broach, or pointed tool; "broached Urnal" meant simply a piece of urnal roughly worked, preparatory to being finished It became "broached thurnel," or "broached dornal" by that kind of mispronunciation called "prothesis," the carrying of a final consonant of one word to an initial vowel of the succeeding one The mysterious object, that has given rise to so many truly amazing speculations, is simply an old traditional technical term for the prototype of our "rough ashlar."
A Research Class in Seattle.
The Masonic Tribune in a recent issue mentions a "Research Class" conducted by Dr. S. V. Hoopman, under the auspices apparently, of Thomas M. Reed Lodge, No. 225, of Seattle. There are fifty members in the class, and members of other lodges are invited to attend. The proceedings seem to consist, in the main, of addresses by qualified brethren. The "Philosophy of Masonry" was the subject of one recently given, and a sketch of the author of the Spirit of Masonry, William Hutchinson, was the subject of another.
The Masonic Fraternity in Mexico.
A Mexican brother, a member of the Valle de Mexico, recently sent a letter addressed to the Craft In the jurisdiction of Iowa, expressing a hope that Mexican Masonry, properly so denominated, might be more generally recognized by American Grand Lodges, and giving reasons to show that this ought to be done.
One source of confusion has been the existence of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico, which has something the same position in the country as that of the so-called "National" Grand Lodge of France. They are each Masonic organizations, perfectly legitimate and regular according to the usages and ideas of Latin Masonry (which is indifferent, in general, to territorial limits of jurisdiction), but of a distinctly alien character, having been in the one case formed, in the main, by Masons from the United States residing in Mexico, and in the other by English Masons domiciled in France.
American Grand Lodges almost instinctively assume that where two Masonic organizations exist in the same territory one must be irregular. But this in effect is to demand that American law shall govern the whole world. However the confusion exists, and first one and then the other of these bodies is recognized, and many Grand Lodges refuse to recognize either, being unable to decide that the claims of the one are better than the other.
"Highest Masonic Body Aids Amendment Fight".
It would seem that not only do our enemies accuse Us of political aims and designs, but our friends seem to be under the same impression. Under the above heading the following item was given some prominence in the current issue of a periodical devoted to the defense of Protestantism.
"The December issue of the New Age Magazine, official organ of the Supreme Council, Thirty-third Degree, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, carried an article in support of the proposed Constitutional Amendment to eliminate alien representation in Congress.
"The highest of all Masonic 'bodies [italics ours] also carried the article in its semi-monthly news bulletin. . . ."
It is difficult indeed for those on the outside to understand. Sometimes some things give rise to wonder if, after all, they do misunderstand.
Smoking in Lodge
The Cable Tow for December last touches upon this subject editorially, presenting a vigorous defense against certain critics of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, both official, in the Fraternal Correspondence reports of various other Grand Lodges, and unofficial, in the Masonic Press.
The Grand Lodge of the Philippines issued an order in 1927 forbidding smoking during the ceremonies of opening and closing the lodge, and while the lodge was engaged in degree work; which by implication made it permissible for the brethren to smoke while transacting its business, listening to lectures and so on.
The editor of The Cable Tow points out that the habit of smoking in the Philippines is a universal one, and that there are no prohibitions upon it anywhere, such as in street cars, theatres, government offices, and that an absolute prohibition in regard to the lodge would be singular and resented as a tyrannical Imposition.
There is of course no reason why Masons should do a thing because it is customary in the community; but on the other hand there is no reason why they should be singular in matters that do not affect Masonic obligation and are innocent or indifferent in themselves. "When in Rome, do as Rome does." It was a Saint and a Doctor of the early Church who propounded that rule. And for those to whom smoking a cigarette in lodge seems a kind of sacrilege, it might be well to recall that our brethren in the 18th century not only smoked, but drank liquors of great potency in the lodge. They do not seem to have been the worse Masons for it.
Japanese Ideas Of Freemasonry
The Cable Tow of Manila recently published a translation of some articles in a Japanese newspaper, which resulted from an investigation into this alarming barbarian institution. Some of it is very amusing. The titles of officers and so on, have been rendered first into Japanese by the "investigator by the best equivalents possible, and then these have been turned back into English literally, with astonishing effect. Thus in a description of what is apparently intended for one of the two British District Grand Lodges, we learn that the officers are a Manager and Sub-manager of the General Hall, the Grand Superintendent of the Upper Class, the Low Superintendent, the Archbishop - down to a Grand Constable and a Man in Charge of General Jobs.
This, though It sounds funny in English, represents probably as good a rendering of Grand and Deputy Grand Master, Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, Grand Chaplain and so on as the Japanese language affords, but when we are told that the Russian Revolution is said to have begun with the Freemasons, and that the Soviets have "Adopted the system of the Freemason from 1 to 10" and that "the headquarters of the Freemason are in Moscow," we may well open our eyes.
It is also said that "it is a destructive Jewish movement and a peril to the state," and this perhaps gives us a clue. The Japanese investigator has been reading some of Ludendorff's productions!
Loyal Order of Moose in England.
A brief note was made in these columns last August of "an American Importation" into England. This was amplified in October under the heading of "Quasi-Masonic Organizations in England." Since then we have received still more definite information from a most authoritative source. As we suggested as being probable, there were special reasons for the action taken by the United Grand Lodge of England in this matter. We are also inclined to think that outside observers of English methods and English character would find their general judgments verified in this instance. So far as we can gather from the new information at hand the prohibition stated in general terms as applying to any organization with initiatory rites and vows of secresy is really aimed at the objectionable practices of one organization. It would seem that not only was this "fraternal society" introduced into England, but also the high pressure sales methods of organizing along with it. We have found these sufficiently objectionable in their own natural habitat - there is little wonder that our English brethren do not like them. In short, "Moose" organizers in England have been playing exactly the same trick that was used by Klan organizers in certain states, which led in most cases to vigorous action being taken by Grand Masters and Grand Lodges. Specifically, it was the pretence of some connection between the order and Freemasonry, and the use of the names of Masons who had been induced to join as a means of influencing non-Masons to come in. Under analogous circumstances our Grand Lodges have taken even stronger and more definite action. However, the fact remains that the phrase "quasi-Masonic" does not mean the same thing In England as it does In America. It is another instance of divergent usage in our common English speech.
Anti-Masonry in Ireland.
We still continue to receive accounts from various widely separated quarters of an intensive campaign in the Irish Free State, not only against Freemasonry, but against Freemasons. A certain Roman Catholic periodical published in Dublin has been publishing lists of the names and addresses of Freemasons and their respective lodges. While no reason seems to be given for doing this, it is taken by everyone to be a tacit invitation for good Romanists to boycott these named individuals. The lists include professional men, merchants and so on.
However, a correspondent on the spot informs us that while there is a good deal of this sort of thing, it does not seem to have had much effect. One thing gives rise to questioning, considering the extremely private nature of lodge membership lists in the British Isles: how are these lists obtained?
A New French Masonic Journal.
We have received the first issue of Les Annales Maconniques Universalles. As the title indicates, it is to be devoted especially to the interests of Universal Masonry, or the Universality of Masonry. We gather that, though there is no direct connection, it will serve as a kind of unofficial or free lance supporter of the aims of the International League of Freemasons (Universala Framasona Liga). Among the contents of this first number is an article on British Masonry by Bro. Dudley Wright; another on the Masonry of Holland‑this is one of the papers read at the Congress of the League held last year at Amsterdam; another on the recent action of the National Grand Lodge of German Freemasons (Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland) in declaring itself a narrowly national and Christian organization, and still another on the declaration of the bases of Masonic Recognition put out by the United Grand Lodge of England. In regard to these some friendly and symphathetic but rather searching questions are asked.
The editor of this new magazine is Bro. Edouard Plantagenet, the author of several very interesting and suggestive books, one of which has already been reviewed in The BUILDER last June (Causeries Initiatiques pour le Travail en Loge d'Apprenti). Directed by a brother so highly qualified, Les Annales should have a useful and prosperous future before it.
Lodge Libraries in France.
In an article, published in L'Acacia, Dr. Camille Savoire, head of the Grand College of Rites of the Grand Orient of France, urges the formation of libraries in every lodge, or group of lodges, under that obedience. The Grand Orient has a library, and a wonderful collection of 18th century manuscripts, but as Dr. Savoire points out the cost of sending books from this collection, besides their depreciation and the need for duplicates, makes it of little use to the provincial lodges.
He suggests a special subscription by, the members of the lodges to cover the expenses, also that those received into the lodges, or advanced, might be asked to mark their appreciation of the honor by donating a book to the library. No matter how small the sum annually spent, if the effort is continuous, any lodge will in the course of time become possessed of a real library.
An Anti-Masonic Congress
From a number of different sources we have learned that a great "International Congress of Anti-Masons" is to be held in Vienna next month, March 14 being the date set. Preparations have been going on for some time to make it in every way a success; and it is said, though not on the best authority, that the Pope has given it his blessing. That it will have Papal approval goes without saying.
The delegates will come chiefly from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia, Jugo-Slovakia, Italy, and, of course, Austria. It is probable also that the anti-Masons of Switzerland and France, who are very militant just now, will be represented. The delegates will be both lay and clerical, and a number of high dignitaries of the church are expected to honor the assembly by their presence.
Mr. John Bond, the Italian correspondent of The Fellowship Forum, who is usually very well informed, states that Mussolini has "accepted a protectorate over the Congress" (whatever that may mean) and also that one of its principal objects is to recommend the adoption in other countries of similar laws against Masonry as are now in force in Italy. However, our European exchanges and correspondents do not confirm this.
Whether Ludendorff, the wildest anti-Mason of them all, will be represented is doubtful, for he is not only an anti-Mason and an anti-Semite, but he is now also a devout worshipper of the good old virile gods of the ancient Teutons, Wodin, Thor and Frey and the rest of them, and this eccentricity will doubtless debar him from attending. Besides he couples the Jesuits with the Jews as the secret directors of Freemasonry.
To the observer who has kept in mind the sequence of events during the last decade it is obvious that there is a very definite, well organized, world-wide campaign against Freemasonry now in progress.
Fascist Reprisals Against Italian Freemasons.
We have previously mentioned the deportation of Prof. Meoni, and the well known publicist, U. Bacci, but the following notice from a Masonic periodical Il Holland, quoted by L'Acacia, gives some further details which exhibit this action as what it really is, a manifestation of pure cruelty and spite.
"Once more two prominent Italian Masons have been condemned to banishment. These victims, whom we cannot sufficiently pity, are Professor Meoni and Bro. Ul. Baccl.
"The first was at one time the editor in chief of the well-known democratic journal, Il Messagero. This connection was naturally terminated when the periodical passed into the hands of the Fascists. Since then he has found it exceedingly difficult to find any professional work of the same character. In no case has he committed any act disloyal to the Government. In regard to Bro. Ulisse Bacei, he was for many years Grand Secretary of the Grand Orient of Italy. After the dissolution of the Order he retired from active life, and has since lived quietly in his modest home, receiving no visitors, and observing in his correspondence (which in any case was censored) the most extreme prudence.
"What was their crime? Nothing; there was not even any complaint against them, they were not tried, they had no opportunity to offer any defense. By an "administrative order" they were deported. Three unhappy exiles had managed to escape from the Island of Lipari, the abode assigned to the exiles. It was necessary to fill the empty places, and the choice for this purpose fell upon the two brothers mentioned above. Meoni is more than fifty years old, and Bacci is ninety!
"Blessed be the iron hand, the new 'I am the State!'
"In our impotence we can do nothing but express our profound and fraternal sympathy for these two victims of reprisals."
The Fascist League and American Fascism
Last month the formal disbanding of the Fascist League was noted in these columns. This event has received a good deal of comment in the press, both Masonic and profane. In the latter the general attitude is that now it is all at an end, and may be forgotten. But in a number of quarters our own doubt is echoed - what is to be the sequel? Will some other organization, such as the Italian Historical Society, which exists purely for the purpose of Fascist propaganda, take over its functions, or some more hidden machinery? It will be interesting to see what happens.
Attacks on Masonic Lodges in Roumania.
Some time ago there were reports of violent manifestations of hostility to Masons in Roumania. In one circumstantial story it was said that a band of "students" and others, burst into a lodge room, and "held up" the members at the point of revolvers. That they then went through the records and documents, abstracting some and destroying others; ending up by wrecking the furniture and fittings of the lodge.
The Grand Orient of Roumania has in an official circular, dated January 1st of this year, stated that these reports were exaggerated, and that the "attacks" were no more than hostile demonstrations on the part of excited youths stirred up by "certain obscure agitators," who are "universally disapproved." Further, that serious public opinion in Roumania condemns such manifestations, and the authorities recognize the rights and law-abiding character of the Fraternity and are prepared to protect it against any such violent and illegal attacks as had been reported.
Clandestine Masonry in Denmark
In the Morgenbladet, of Copenhagen, a Mr. Henry Heimann has published a number of articles under the heading, "False Freemasonry In Copenhagen."
In them the writer brands the newly created lodge "Pythagoras" as clandestine. Several members of this "Lodge" have instituted suit against it, which brought some interesting information to light about this fraudulent organization, Those who joined this lodge were told that it was a legal and regular body and that they would be recognized everywhere as Masons, only to find out later that they could not be permitted in any regular lodge. Mr. Heimann furthermore shows that "Den Danske Stor Orient" and "Stor Orienten for Denmark og Norden" are not regular lodges, and further asserts that the Masonic paper Frimurer-Tidende is a pure swindle, and the organ of irregular lodges. He also claims that the newly established "Storlogen of Denmark" is likewise a fraud. He finally says that there are only two places in Denmark where those wishing to become Masons can present their petitions, namely; in lodges under the Grosse Danische Landesloge, or else in the Humanitarian Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Hamburg; all the others are fraudulent. Mr. Heimann says in conclusion: "The Grand Lodge of Denmark is an illicit child of human vanity! It is a clandestine order! It is a parasite! "
The further outcome of all this may be interesting, for the courts have taken charge of the case.
The books reviewed, in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which include postage, except when otherwise stated. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. It may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
JOHN PAUL JONES: MAN OF ACTION. By Phillips Russell. Published by Brentano's. Cloth, illustrated, index, 312 pages. Price, $5.00 net.
THIS is the sort of book the Masonic reviewer takes to with a warm feeling, for not only are there Masonic references, but by the grace of an understanding indexer, we find these listed. Many a book which should appeal to a Masonic reader fails to find purchasers because an ignorant or a prejudiced indexer omitted reference to Freemasonry when doing his work. A worse offender, however, is the author who fails to mention his subject's Masonic connections and activities; to such I have paid my compliments in previous reviews in these pages.
Paul Jones is a character of history concerning whom much still remains to be learned. Biographers who take him for a subject must needs be careful, for they are apt to have critical and more competent historians take issue with them. Albert Bushnell Hart tendered his respects in no uncertain terms to one such a few years ago, when he classed a John Paul Jones biographer among American historical liars. Strong language, but he had the facts.
Much as I should like to stress Jones' activities as a whole, I content myself with the Craft references. He was made a Mason at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1770. Later, he met Dr. John K. Read, of Virginia, whose name is better known to Masonic students as the author of the Virginia Ahiman Rezon, first published at Richmond in 1790, but which edition was so faulty that it was entirely destroyed; hence the first one available to collectors is that of 1791, the corrected reissue.
Jones spent much time in France, and it was a simple matter to come into touch with the Masons of the period. I differ with the author when he mentions Anthony Wayne and Thomas Paine as Freemasons (page 118), for we have no evidence concerning Wayne, and we know that Thomas Paine was not a Mason. The Thomas Paine who signed the by-laws of St. Andrews' Lodge in Boston was not the Thomas Paine of greater fame. It is also evident that an uncritical work was used for getting information concerning the ladies of the French court who were said to have been "franc-maconnes." Such so-called female Freemasonry as existed was the Adoptive Rite of the eighteenth century, and was no more Freemasonry as we know it than is the Eastern Star of today. An interesting but entirely unreliable story is told about the formation of the first female Masons' lodge; let it be said in the author's behalf, that he does not vouch for its historical accuracy. A flair for newspaper color, rather than service to Freemasonry, was no doubt responsible for the inclusion of the tale in this book. Subsequently the author defines the Masonic association of ladies as an adoptive lodge, when writing of the "Masonic ship" which Buell says was purchased by such an association of ladies of Marie Antoinette's court.
A constructive reference to the Craft appears on page 272, worth quoting:
But the French Freemasonry of that day had but little in common with the club-like form developed in America or with the conservative type known to England and Scotland. It was socially radical, politically liberal, free-thinking, and permeated with the rationalism and skepticism preached in the prolific volumes of Voltaire, fellow member of Thomas Paine [not a Mason, as already pointed out] and Benjamin Franklin in the Lodge of the Nine Sisters. In consequence the tradition that Freemasonry is subversive of governments was set up on continental Europe, and this explains why to this day it is suspected and banned by certain rulers and dictators.
The story of the continental opposition to Freemasonry of that period has been told in THE BUILDER (August, 1926, page 233). It should not be overlooked by the critical student.
Freemasons are especially interested in the life of Jones because he was also the founder of the American Navy, claims for John Barry to the contrary notwithstanding. As pointed out by Rear Admiral W. W. Phelps, U. S. N., in an article published in the New York "Herald Tribune," September 28, 1929, Barry not only ran from the enemy but his ship was captured and converted into a vessel which preyed upon American commerce. Jones, on the other hand, "went into close action against superior British forces and stepped from his own defeated, burning, sinking ship to capture his adversary on his adversary's own deck." Russell tells the story graphically in Chapter XXI, "The Battle in the Moonlight."
John Paul Jones: Man of Action is a book that any Mason will enjoy, not only for the Craft references, but for the story as a whole. J. H. T.
ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND KINDRED SCIENCES: New Edition. By Albert G. Mackey; Revised and enlarged by Robert I. Clegg. Published by the Masonic History Co. Two volumes, imitation leather. Introduction, profusely illustrated, 1155 pages (numbered consecutively).
THE first edition of the Encyclopaedia came out, we believe, in 1874, and was an enlargement of the earlier Lexicon of Freemasonry, which was first published in 1845, followed by a second edition in 1851, a third in 1855 and so on to the thirteenth in 1869. The first edition of the Encyclopedia was in a single volume like the Lexicon, but naturally a good deal larger. It was a work that met with success as it were by necessity, it became an indispensable work of reference. Whatever defects it may have had there was nothing else in the English language to compete with it. There were, it is true, other works such as Dr. Oliver's Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry and Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopedia in England, and Macey's Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry, in America, but these works were not in the same class, they were of the same type as Mackey's Lexicon, although they were very useful in their day, and within their relatively limited scope.
The Encyclopaedia was reprinted many times, until it was at last felt that some revision was necessary, and this was done by two English Masonic scholars, William J. Hughan and Edward L. Hawkins. This revision consisted mainly of the insertion of such new material as had come to light subsequent to the time of Mackey's writing, but a very great deal of the old edition was reproduced verbatim. In fact, one objection that fairly lay against this revision was that it was on the whole so close to the former, and the additions and changes so inconspicuously marked as such, that the Inquirer could easily fall into the error of ascribing to Mackey what was due to the revisers. In general this was a matter of little consequence, but students who were preparing articles or papers, and wished to cite Mackey himself were sometimes at a loss, unless they could consult one of the earlier editions. In the present edition there does not seem to be so much danger of this, as though a very great deal, especially in the briefer paragraphs, appears to be reproduced without change from Mackey's original work, yet there is so much new material, and so many additional headings, that only the very inexpert or unwary brother will be led to ascribe to Mackey facts that were not known to him or opinions he did not hold.
It is very difficult to review an Encyclopaedia, and the present notice does not pretend to do so. We hope to get several competent students to consider it from different standpoints and it will undoubtedly take some time before this can be done. In the meantime our readers are now advised of the publication of this new edition, and, if their purses can stand it, should certainly obtain it for themselves.
Bro. Clegg, who has been working at this arduous task for a good many years, needs no introduction to readers of THE BUILDER. He is acknowledged to be one of the foremost Masonic scholars in America, and is also perhaps the one who of all is most widely known, not only as a student, but as a Mason. His reputation will go far, by itself alone, to recommend his work to the Craft.
ANDREW JACKSON: THE GENTLE SAVAGE. By David Karsner. Published by Brentano's, New York. Cloth, 12 mo., illustrated, bibliography, 395 pages. $3.50, net.
DURING the past year it has been my privilege to review a number of books for these pages. Some have been sketched hurriedly; others have been examined more carefully; but this one I have read from cover to cover. It really had to be done in order to ascertain if there were anything Masonic in it, for the book is another publisher's atrocity, because it lacks an index. All experienced writers know that a book should have an index if it Is to be more than a volume for idle reading. It may be tiresome to readers of these reviews to have me harp constantly on this subject of indexes for books; but the time Is long past when the shortcomings of a volume must be slighted in order to emphasize the good points. And let It be said that this book is worthwhile, although it is to be regretted that it has been launched without the essential index.
My interest in Jackson goes back to school days, when the sole history textbook used was one which had a line engraving in the margin, showing Jackson being beaten with a sword by a British officer. How our blood boiled, and how we hated the red-coats! And how we chortled when we read of Packenham's defeat at New Orleans by Jackson - that meant more to us than the winning of the fight. Both events have now lost their importance in terms of childhood interpretation, for they have given way to an understanding of the deeper things involved. A knowledge of such larger aspects has been brought to me through personal association and collaboration with another contributor to THE BUILDER, Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson, Ph.D., now of Los Angeles, who has made the study of Jackson and his career his particular bent. With what results will be shown further on in this review.
Rupert Hughes set a new style in biographical writing in his treatment of Washington, which aroused so much condemnation in certain quarters; but just as the placing of one of Maeterlinck's books on the Index Expurgtorias increased its sale, so the adverse comment on Hughes' book helped move the stock. No matter how we feel personally on the subject, it is evident that the humanizing of our national heroes has brought them closer home to us, and it is such treatment of Jackson by Mr. Karsner which gives us a more kindly feeling toward Old Hickory, whose life was a constant battle with every one about him - save his Rachel, to whom he was always a kind, considerate, affectionate and indulgent husband and lover.
Two things impress one as he opens the book. First, the author sketches a background from which we learn of Jackson's Scotch - Irish ancestry. Through it we understand the forces which ran through his veins, and how the heritage from his pioneer ancestors enabled him to fight and master the forces of nature and mankind in the backwoods of Tennessee as he made his way westward. Jackson's ancestors came from Carrickfergus, in the north or Ireland - a town and a locality that has always been predominantly Protestant and Masonic.
Second, one is impressed by the fascinating and vivid literary style of the book. It is largely written in a present tense, so that one imagines he is actually experiencing the things related. Coupled with the recital of present affairs is a reference to association events which developed In the future, this serving to lead one on and whetting our appreciation of the entire work. To illustrate by quoting a typical passage:
"Andy Jackson's feelings at this moment are divided between his grief over the death of his mother and two brothers and his own pitiable condition, which he is competent to realize is desperate enough. He is borne down by the fact that he is an orphan, and made so by the Revolution. The conditions are desperate in the extreme, but in later years these same circumstances will operate in his favor, for they will be used with telling effects in three Presidential campaigns, and in two of them he shall be triumphant."
As we read this life of, Jackson, and contrast It with the impression derived from the diaries of Jackson's later contemporaries, such as John Quincy Adams and James K. Polk (reviews of which will appear in these pages later) we have a keener appreciation of what a land of opportunity our country has always been. Karsner tells us that Jackson indulged in all modes of sportive feats "gambling, drinking a little, horse racing and cock fighting," but he also presents the other side of the story in depicting the spirit of the times, without which no true estimate of the man Jackson can be made. "It was all a new and wild country in which Andrew grew up, but the boys that watched and had a part in the business of pushing civilization westward through the wilderness were not less nor more fun-making and mischievous than are the youngsters today." This balance of values pervades the entire book, and gives us a keener appreciation of the author's capable presentation. The book is also marked with precise details, such as the critical reader desires, yet which do not detract from the appreciation of the book which a casual reader is compelled to grant it because of its human interest appeal.
Jackson's battle with elemental forces gave him a broad contempt for shams and veneers. It would seem that he had little use for the orthodox clergy of his day - and as we remember the bitter fight against Freemasonry by the Protestant ministers of 1826-40, especially in the backwoods, we can sympathize with Jackson. While in the Tennessee Legislature, he seconded a motion forbidding clergymen from holding seats in that august body. Yet listen further:
Jackson supports the clause that provides that no one shall be received as a witness who denies the existence of God, or disbelieves in "a state of future rewards and punishments." In this clause, Tennessee is laying the cornerstone for the temple of fundamentalism that will serve as a refuge for theological dogma, and a challenge to science and commonsense in a serio-comic tableau in which William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow will be the principle opposing actors in a theme of whether or not it is decent and Christian to teach the theory of evolution in Tennessee's schools and colleges after 1925. That episode will be known as the "Dayton Trial."
The volume is also a bit ironical in spots, but this adds to the interest of the treatment as a whole. One is constantly on the alert for other witticisms like it. To-wit:
Francis Scott Key has been watching the bombardment throughout the night, and it inspires him to write "The Star Spangled Banner." The United States at least gets a song out of the War of 1812. From another of its wars, in 1917, it will get Prohibition.
The War of 1812 also had its pacifists. Among them was Daniel Webster, who called upon President Madison to stop it. Jackson heard of it, and said that if he were commanding the army of the East, he "would hang every rascal at that convention," referring to the Hartford Convention of 1814. Webster had previously successfully opposed the Conscription Bill then in Congress. This was very close to sedition; but we have men and women of the same ilk in the country today, who would strip us defenseless and open our shores to the riff-raff of Europe, whose countrymen are already here, waving the red flag of Communism in the streets of New York and other centers. Unfortunately, from the Masonic reader's standpoint, the author tells nothing about Jackson as a Freemason. The only Masonic flavor encountered is a quotation. Jackson has been approached for food by a starving soldier of his command during the Indian campaigns. "It has always been a rule with me never to turn away a hungry man when it was in my power to relieve him, and I will most cheerfully divide with you what I have." Whereupon he gives him three of six acorns which represented the food Jackson had. My reason for designating this as Masonic is obvious to the Craft.
Mr. Karsner might have told us that Jackson was a member of Harmony Lodge No. 1 of Tennessee as early as 1800 and that he served as Grand Master of Tennessee, having taken office for a year beginning October 7, 1822. He attended a number of lodges other than his own; he contributed funds for Masonic purposes; in 1825, he introduced our Brother, the Marquis de Lafayette to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee when the famous Frenchman visited Nashville; while President of the United States, he aided in laying the cornerstone of a monument to Mary, the mother of Washington, with Masonic ceremonies. It can also be said that Wilkins Tannehill, Past Grand Master of Tennessee, dedicated his Masonic Manual or Freemasonry Illustrated (Nashville, 1824) to General Andrew Jackson, Grand Master of Masons in the State of Tennessee, "as a testimony of respect for his public and private character." Still other facts can be ascertained from Bro. Wm. L. Boyden's book, Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers.
Jackson's whole life holds interest for the Masonic reader. It cannot be covered at length in a review, but briefly, he reIieved the western settlements from the Indian menace and cleared out the British opposition by his defeat of the English forces at New Orleans even though the battle was unnecessary, having been fought several weeks after a treaty of peace had been made in Europe. Neither of the opposing forces knew of it until after the battle. Jackson made things warm for the Spanish, and also the administration, in Florida, when he invaded that territory and attacked the Spanish at Pensacola. He had no time for weasel words; his motto was, "Say it with cannons." His constantly increasing popularity with the home community sent him to the Senate, only to have him resign in disgust. He had as much use for that body as Will Rogers has today. But his distaste for public life did not prevent his friends from grooming him for the Presidency, and succeeding in getting him not only one but two terms. Strangest of all, among his most ardent supporters - as John Quincy Adams, the virulent Anti-Mason, shows in his Diary - were the AntiMasons themselves, in spite of the fact that Jackson was an avowed Mason!
I do not profess to be a historian, but I do take issue with the author in his repetition of the old canard that Jackson turned out public office holders by the thousands. "In the first month of his rule he ousts more office holders than had occurred in all of the previous administrations combined. In the first year two thousand civil employees lose their jobs which are promptly filled by Jackson's partisans." [Page 308]. Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson, previously mentioned, covered the subject in a most thorough manner in a paper, The Federal Civil Service Under President Jackson, which was read before the 19th annual convention of the Mississippi Valley Historical Society, Springfield, May 7, 1926, and published in the "Mississippi Valley Historical Review," Vol. XIII, No. 4, March, 1927. A statistical table, not published in the "Review," but in a brochure privately printed, shows that 919 office-holders were removed out of a list of 10,093. A comparison of this record with that made by previous Presidents will show that the proportion was about the same as that of Jefferson's administration, and that the principles governing the removals were not as violent as had been portrayed by historians who have failed to make firsthand researches of the records. Bro. Eriksson's work has caused the historians of the Jackson administration to revise their statement in this respect at least.
David Karsner, the author of Andrew Jackson: The Gentle Savage, was born in Baltimore in 1889, and started writing as a mere lad. For the past twenty years he has been in newspaper work; he has two other biographies and a volume of portraits of contemporary men to his credit. Jackson always fascinated Karsner "from the time I first saw his portrait on a five dollar bill. When I could really afford to be sportive with a five-spot, I invested it in a Jackson book." To all those who can be sportive with $3.50, I recommend that they buy this book, if for no other reason than its human interest appeal. Incidentally, it will restore knowledge of bygone history which has an important bearing upon our consideration of present day politics. This the reader will ascertain for himself upon going through its pages. J. H. T.
THE WORKING OF THE MINORITIES SYSTEM UNDER THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. By Joseph S. Roucek. With an Introduction by Charles Hodges. Published by the Orbis Publishing Co., Prague. Stiff paper, table of contents, 122 pages.
THOSE who are pessimistic in regard to the efforts made since the end of the World War to establish peace on a solid and permanent basis are very fond of repeating the formulas "human nature does not change," and "there have always been wars and there always will be." The latter, as would appear in the light of the best information, is not true. War, as the term is properly understood, requires a certain stage in social organization as a necessary condition before it becomes possible. And there seems no good reason why mankind should always remain on that level of civilization where war is normal. As always in sociological matters, the thinking of most people (if thinking it can be called) is dreadfully confused.
That human nature does not change materially may be true; that it does not change rapidly is very certain; but habits, manners, customs and social organizations do change, and relatively to the history of the race often change a great deal in a very short time. A large part of such changes are due to a blind following of lines of least resistance, but much is also due, far more than might be imagined, to the thought of great men, mostly to philosophers and religious teachers. Such thought is always regarded by those who first hear it as fantastic and visionary, or else revolutionary and subversive of all morals and good order. But a later generation takes the same doctrine as the common postulate of their thought. Thus it is with that rather ill-defined conception of the sovereign state. It is quite a modern idea in reality, and is founded very largely on the social philosophy of the eighteenth century. It was a development or corollary of the theory of the Social Contract. Man, it was argued, was naturally free and independent. He decided, for reasons of convenience, company and safety, to live in community, and so entered into a contract with his fellows, by which he gave up part of his freedom, and submitted himself to leaders and rulers. In a sense there is a good deal in this, in spite of the naive picture of savage unsocial human beings making a formal agreement of a highly civilized type. It was, however, too simple an explanation, although it does express the logical implications of social organization. A man living solitary on a desert island is his own law. Give him a companion, and at once some mutual arrangement must be arrived at, in which is the germ of a social unit, a family, a tribe, a people, or a nation.
The philosophy of the Social Contract, having settled the status of the individual within the state, had to consider the relation of the states. By analogy these were considered to be like individuaI men, free and independent; and, like men, that they had to arrive at some kind of modus vivendi between themselves. Strange as it may seem, the next step was by no means shirked. It was considered that reason dictated (it was the Age of Reason we may remember) that sovereign states should proceed to do what sovereign individuals were supposed to have done in a remote past, that is, to give up some of their natural rights and privileges in order that they might live together in peace and harmony. Incidentally the Freemasons of the period were very enthusiastic about this, and believed that Masonry was to be an active means by which this desired end was to be attained.
The idea of the sovereign state was accepted; but statesmen, who are necessarily opportunist and "practical", did not go further. Though a hundred years is not a long time after all for new ideas to take root and come to fruition. The League of Nations may be regarded historically as an attempt to take the step advocated by the eighteenth century philosophers.
Now, much as the representatives of the victorious allies have been criticized, they did make a real attempt to reach such a settlement as would obviate as much as possible the perpetuation of grievances and the sowing of the seeds of future strife.
Granted that the result fell far short of ideal perfection, it remains a moot question whether it was not as workable a compromise as was possible under the conditions. For these conditions included the state of mind of the peoples of the various countries concerned as well as the external facts. And in particular the attempt was made to avoid the artificial inclusion of people of one race in a state mainly of another. The restoration, as a nation, of the Polish race was an act of justice, even if the motives for so doing were not unmixed. In human affairs, while motives are not unimportant, it is the thing done that chiefly counts.
Everyone who has the least knowledge of the intermingling of races in Central Europe can see the difficulty of the problem posed, even if they have not wholly realized its bewildering perplexity. Pre-war Germany, Russia, and Austria were full of minorities, and all of them with grievances and hates born of repressions, and often enough of oppressions, too. These had had little publicity, however, under the pre-war autocratic governments, and only the well informed in foreign affairs knew even of their existence. To leave things as they had been was impossible, but to change them was certain to create the possibility of a new set of grievances. Thus the allies were faced with the problem of doing justice to majorities, and at the same time of protecting minorities, and it is with the machinery that has been worked out to accomplish the latter purpose that Bro. Roucek's work deals. It suffers, in readability, from the fact that it is a thesis for a doctor's degree in philosophy; it is doubtful if the academic requirements of such a work can be satisfactorily combined with, those of literature, though the author has overcome the difficulties to a remarkable extent, more especially considering that he is not using his mother tongue.
The working out of the treaties embodying the peace settlements were at bottom practical, but they were based on precedents so far as possible, and the assumptions of what is known as "International Law," which is in reality a queer mixture of custom, precedent and theory.
The new states, and the old ones, such as Roumania and Serbia, which received accessions of territory, argued that as they were "sovereign" they should not be treated differently from the "great powers" among the allies. This was countered in effect by the argument that as they were being created by these very treaties they could not properly object to requirements which were posed as conditions of their establishment. Fundamentally, the reason was a practical one. Almost every country in the world, with the possible exception of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, contains minorities, and have or have had minority problems. But in regard to these there was an actual status which in most cases it was better to leave alone. The whole problem was sufficiently complex as it was. Still the new states (created out of old nations) did have a show of justice in their claim. However, they had to take the place of the dog on whom the new diet was to be tried. And again, practically, the new grievances of newly established minorities, were much more likely to cause trouble than old ones. The Germans in Poland, who had been induced to settle there as part of the policy of "Germanization," actively prosecuted by the Prussian government for years, would find it hard to sink from the status of a dominant race to a minority subject to people they had considered their inferiors. And the proximity of their own people across the frontier would not help matters. Some kind of safety valve, even if only a temporary one, had to be arranged if the hopes and aspirations of the world for a stable peace were to be realized.
The treaties left the procedure to be devised later, and that has been the work of the League of Nations. It has been one of its most successful activities, and because of its very success has been one of the least heard of and the least known; and it may be that in time all such problems will come, when necessary, before the League. For it has been shown that a real approximation to justice and equity can be attained, and while this may at the time please neither party, in the long run it stands. As Bro. Roucek says:
The protection of minorities is one of the most delicate tasks of the League, and one for which it deserves vast credit. In fact it receives hardly any credit at all and a good deal of undeserved criticism. There is no flourishing of trumpets when the grievance of a minority is redressed. The matter fades quietly out and we hear no more of it.
There are a good many misprints and errors in spelling in the book, though it is perhaps not quite fair to criticize it in this regard, for the spelling of the English language is notoriously difficult, and perhaps the proofreaders in Prague, where the work was published, are rather to be praised for the measure of accuracy they succeeded in attaining. S. J. C.
DIE FREIMAURER. By Eugen Lennhof. Published by the Amalthea-Verlag, Vienna. Profusely illustrated, 107 pages.
AMERICAN Masons will find it difficult to realize that the writing and publishing of a book on Freemasonry, intended for a general public, in continental Europe, means in reality much more than just a book; it is an achievement. Bro. Lennhof gives facts, based upon unquestionable evidence; there is no dreaming or contemplation, no misplaced eloquence, no merely rhetorical phraseology, but facts and nothing else. He draws them from his thorough and wide knowledge of the subject, and constructs a systematic, organic synthetic edifice, comprising under its roof everything connected with Masonry as it is now in being, and with the history of its evolutionary growth.
The author aims at describing Masonry as it is, and as it works in the world today. He constructs for this a broad, unshakable, historical foundation. Nothing is touched up, nothing is concealed. No mysterious reserves leave open even the smallest chink in the walls he raises, against which our adversaries may break their heads, unless they choose, rather, to enter unhurt through the door of enlightenment and instruction that is so widely opened by the author.
The book is written for everybody; it is dedicated to everyone willing to be informed about the aims and actions of Masonry, and this includes Masons themselves, that is, those who desire to enlarge and deepen their knowledge. Thus the circle of readers has been widened to an indefinite extent, which goes far toward explaining the success of the work, of which a second edition has been found necessary.
The chapters dealing with the murder of the Austrian Crown Prince at Serajevo are of the greatest interest. Though it may be that in America Masons do not fully realize the connection But the enemies of Masonry in Europe have freely and persistently attributed this crime to the machinations of the Fraternity, charging it with the deliberate intention of setting the world on fire by this deed, and in effect with responsibility for the outbreak of the World War.
Other chapters of great interest are those dealing with the suppression of Masonry in Hungary and in Italy. The latter includes the infamous proceedings against General Capello. These cruel and unjust proceedings are illuminated by the torch of historical truth, and corroborated by the production of unpublished documents and correspondence.
One part of the book is devoted to the adversaries of Masonry. Bro. Lennhof disdains to be aggressive; he simply lays bare their actions; saying nothing in the way of counter-attack, nor even of measures of defense. A fine and subtle policy in a way, as the publication itself of the book is the best defense. The work may be summed up in saying that it is probably unique, in that there is no other heretofore published which contains everything, in one single volume, that is important and worth knowing about present-day Freemasonry as it exists throughout the world. B.L.F.
THE BOOK OF FORMATION (SEPHER YETZIRAH): By Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph. Translated front the Hebrew by Knut Stenring, with an Introduction by Arthur Edward Waite. Published by Rider and Son, London. Cloth, Chart, tables and diagrams; 66 pages. Price 6 shillings net.
This is a word for word rendering of the Hebrew of the original, so the translator informs us. This will assist those students of the Kabalah who have no knowledge of the language to guard against the interpretative renderings of earlier versions. The Book of Formation is very short. In the present work the text fills eleven pages. Bro. Waite's Introduction will for many readers be a most important part of the book.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE EXEMPLIFICATION OF BROTHERLY LOVE.
A good many "Blurbs" are uttered by Masonic speakers and written into Masonic essays, to the effect that if men could all gather about a Masonic altar, the problems of the world would be solved in the spirit of brotherly love. Labor and capital would agree, wars would be averted and the peace of the world remain unbroken. Would that it were so! If even a tithe of these results accrued, Masonry would be hailed as one of the vital forces in history.
But what historians save those writing purely Masonic treatises have attributed to Masonry any considerable influence in world affairs? Indeed it is so negligible or intangible as to be hardly mentioned. And a few concrete instances of "how these brethren love one another" may be seen in the duel between the Brothers Hamilton and Burr, the hatred between Brothers Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, the assaults on the character of Bro. Andrew Johnson by brethren of the dominant party in Congress and so on. And in controversies on Masonic topics, how "the fur flies." The writer has just been delving into the Scottish Rite controversies and claims of the various rivals which were carried into Blue Lodges and other bodies, wrecked friendship, usurped powers and exhausted all the Billingsgate in the calendar in abusing, denouncing and expelling one another, yet all were Master Masons.
No! Brethren: Masons are human and our institution has still much to be attained, ere we are at ease in Zion. "Let us meet and let us labor, though the labor be severe", but let us make no idle claims for rhetorical purposes or to make the vulgar stare. G. A. K., Iowa.
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May I be permitted to offer some comment upon one or two points in the interesting and valuable article by Bro. Fead in the February number of THE BUILDER? In doing this I wish to make it as clear as possible that I do not question the learned brother's presentment of Michigan Masonic Law, nor do I question that Michigan law is fairly representative of American Masonic law. I take the statements made by Judge Fead as an opening to emphasize how the whole spirit of Masonic law in America has imperceptibly changed, and is still changing in the rulings of Grand Masters and Committees on Jurisprudence, from what it was a hundred years ago.
Change in itself is not necessarily alarming, and certainly with altered external conditions there must be internal readjustments, but after reading the article in question it has struck me more forcibly than ever that the spirit and tendency of Masonic Jurisprudence is different to what it once was. It might be said broadly that from embodying the idea of Fraternity our rules and regulations are now based on the idea of contract, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that they are well on the way from one to the other.
THE BUILDER has several times expressed a somewhat similar opinion, and in especial, I heartily agree with the editorial article in the August number last year, entitled "Masons at Law." Bro. Fead holds by the dictum that Masonry is not a debt collecting agency, but he goes further, much further, when be says that the lodge is not the place "for the settlement of private piques and quarrels." This illustrates what I meant when I said above that the trend is from Fraternity to Contract. As long as members (brothers in name only) keep within the letter of the law, whether Masonic or of the State, all is well, nothing can be done, no matter what ill-feeling, dislike, jealousy, or hate may exist between them. Masons a hundred years ago seem to have thought very differently. They seem to have held to the strange and foolish doctrine that the preservation of harmony and brotherly love and friendship was the very first concern of the lodge, and that this required the investigation of any quarrel or disagreement between any of its members, and the seeking of ways to heal the breach. And if either or both of the parties to the quarrel refused to accept the good offices of the lodge, and obstinately refused to be reconciled, it was taken as a matter of course that such a brother should be excluded from the lodge till he became of a better mind. Would the Master of a lodge today be upheld, in any jurisdiction of the United States, it he excluded a brother who refused to be reconciled with another with whom he had quarreled? I doubt it. Yet in theory it is still his duty to do so.
The legal element has entered too much into our procedure. We are now much less concerned with realities than we are with forms, which is precisely in what legalism consists. But Fraternity cannot thrive in such an atmosphere.
Consider the two lists given by Bro. Fead, of the things that have been adjudged as offenses against Masonic law, and of those which it has been decided are not. In the first category appears Non-payment of Dues, in the second Non-payment of Debts. Now contrary to the "Sacred Doctrine" of which you spoke so feelingly, I would hold that here is a plain inconsistency. The non-payment is the essential thing in each case, and it must be taken under the same conditions in each case. It is not an offense anywhere, I believe, to not pay one's dues when unable to do so, neither can it be in the case of any other debt. Inability is an excuse, even in the eyes of the law, since imprisonment for debt has been abolished. Therefore we must assume that it is the non-payment of debts (excepting only dues) when perfectly able to pay them, that is held to be not an offense in the eyes of Masonic law. Or if this is not what is intended, then in the sacred name of legalism it should be so specified.
But that this is the meaning seems to be made certain by some other matters that are listed as not being offenses in the eyes of Masonry, such as failure to pay a note that a brother has endorsed, and bringing a suit at law against a brother without giving him any warning. What it means is evidently that Masonic duties and obligations are whittled down, and restricted till they hardly mean anything at all. We are to understand that in all affairs of business a man has no right whatever to expect different treatment from a brother Mason than from any one else. He must follow the rule of worldly wisdom in all his dealings, whether with Masons or with outsiders, caveat emptor; he must be just as suspicious and cautious in dealing with a Mason as with other men with whom he has no fraternal tie.
How these rulings can be made compatible with the obligations of a Master Mason, or with the famous Five Points of Fellowship, I do not quite see, but I suppose these are to be regarded as curious and obsolete forms that have some how survived, but which now have no meaning and no weight.
N. W. B., California.
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FREEMASONRY IN THE CIVIL WAR.
Although not an Ohio Mason, I am very pleased to answer the inquiry of Bro. Vail of Pennsylvania in the Question Box of February, regarding Wm. McKinley.
Bro. Wm. L. Boyden in his Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers, on page 18 states, that Win. McKinley was raised in Winchester Hiram Lodge, No. 21, at Winchester, Va., on May 3, 1865, and affiliated with Canton Lodge No. 60 at Canton, Ohio, on August 21, 1867. Charter member of Eagle Lodge, No. 431, Canton, Ohio. This lodge was afterwards named William McKinley Lodge.
Regarding Major General George Gurdon Meade, the Hero of Antietam and Mexican War, inquiry made in the Question Box of the January issue, I can state that in my research work of three years in Masonic Biographies of great men, I have met with the General's name a great many times, but never saw his name mentioned as a brother of the Craft.
"Proceedings of the Supreme Council, A. and A. S. R., Northern Jurisdiction of 1897," page 177, states that Dr. Anthony Eugene Stocker, 33d during the Civil War was appointed on General Meade's staff, serving in many battles. At the battle of Turkey Bend a ball struck and severely wounded the General. As he fell, Dr. Stocker placed him on his horse and carried him to a place of safety. Ever after that, General Meade credited Dr. Stocker with having saved his life. Had the General been a Mason, the word "Brother" would have preceded his name in the above obituary record of Dr. Stocker.
I will be pleased at any time to give you affiliations of great men who were Masons, beginning with our earliest American history and down to the present date, of those I have been able to secure.
HERMAN BAULING, California.
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NORTON'S ORDINALL OF ALCHEMY
An interesting book for booklovers and Freemasons is The Ordinall of Alchemy by Thomas Norton of Bristol, which is a facsimile reproduction by the Replika process from the Theatricum Chemicum Britannicum by that celebrated Mason, Elias Ashmole, (published in 1652) who also added some notes to this old book thus preserved by him from oblivion.
When Norton wrote his book is not definitely known although dates have been given ranging from 1428 to 1460.
One of the earliest mentions of the words "Free Masons" is to be found in his book on page 7, where he says, speaking of alchemy;
"But wonder it is that Wevers deale with such warks Free Masons and Tanners with poore Parish Clerks."
Reproduced nearly or about 200 years later by Elias Ashmole, himself an alchemist and Freemason, it causes one to sit up and take notice.
C. F. WILLARD, California.
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NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN FREEMASONRY.
In the November, 1928, number of THE BUILDER there was published a short article written by myself relative to an experience which I heard Bro. Robert Morris relate in 1882, which he had when some Arab Freemasons initiated him into their form of the Order in their tent which was located in the desert not far from the walls of Jerusalem when he was making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
In my article I gave as full a description of that most interesting ceremony as I thought my obligation would permit in public print. But I have fully related the details of the ceremony in open lodge, much to the satisfaction of the listening brethren. In that article I stated that I intended to write another letter relative to Freemasonry among the North American Indians, and I will endeavor to do so at this time.
In the year 1874, 1 had the pleasure of meeting the Hon. A. B. Meacham while he was on a lecture tour in New England. At that time he was preparing his book Wigwam and Warpath, which related to the Indian affairs. The book was published a short time afterwards. Bro. Meacham could speak several Indian dialects fluently. He told me that he was one of the three "Peace Commissioners" sent by the United States Government to treat with "Capt. Jack" and other Modoc Indians in the "Lava Beds" of California, where the Indians were hiding, in April, 1873. The other two Commissioners, Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas, were treacherously assassinated and Bro. Meacham was seriously wounded and left for dead by the Indians, but he afterwards recovered.
Bro. Meacham told me that he had served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northwestern Territory under the United States Government. He also said that at one time he was the first white man to step a foot into some of the Indian villages In that part of the country. He also told me that the Indians initiated him into a secret order, and from the similarity of their signs, tokens, ceremony, etc., he was satisfied that at some remote period that their order and our Freemasonry were derived from the same source.
He also told me another most interesting fact. He said the Indians had another order, very secret and sacred. Its translated name was "The Dreamers," and "no person with a drop of white blood in his body could be permitted to join." He had no idea of the nature of this occult and esoteric order. Perhaps some of our brethren who are well versed in Indian lore may have a clue. The subject is of much interest.
I remember Bro. Meacham as a large, fine looking gentleman, of pleasing manner, a good talker, and his lecture was well delivered and full of information relative to Indian affairs. His book is also very interesting and instructive.
Several years after that time I became acquainted with his nephew, who told me that his uncle had passed on to the "Celestial Lodge above." A.O. ROBINSON, Florida.
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HOUSTON AND JACKSON: A CORRECTION
With reference to the review of Polk: The Diary of a President, published on page 62 of the February issue of THE BUILDER, it would seem that some alteration occurred in my copy which makes the statements regarding Houston and Jackson, at the end of the fourth paragraph, erroneous ones. Houston presided over the convention at which the Grand Lodge of Texas - not Tennessee - was formed. Jackson was not the first Grand Master of Tennessee, as the Grand Lodge was formed in 1813, and Jackson was not elected Grand Master until October 7, 1822.
J. HUGO TATSCH, New York.
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THE BUILDER for February contains a review of Polk, the Diary of a President. I have read this with the interest a Tennessee Mason naturally feels in the subject, but it contains certain mistakes which should be corrected.
The review says that General Sam Houston, afterwards first President of the Republic of Texas, "presided over the convention at which the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was formed, at which Jackson was elected as first Grand Master" - meaning General Andrew Jackson, our seventh President.
What is now "Tennessee" was, of course, originally the western part of the State of North Carolina. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina, chartered, as its records read (the matter is not free from doubt) by Scotland, held jurisdiction over the Lodges in Tennessee until 1813, undisputed, except for a rather disagreeable episode involving certain charters granted by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. In fact between the years 1803 and 1812 the North Carolina Body was styled "The Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee." In December, 1811, at a convention held in Knoxville, the Tennessee Lodges prepared an address to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee "soliciting its assent to the establishment of a Grand Lodge in this State." Of this convention the Rev. Stevens Brooks, of Greenville Lodge No. 3, was Chairman, with John A. Rogers, of Overton Lodge No. 5, Secretary. In October, 1813, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, the added title of "Tennessee" having been dropped, directed the Lodges in Tennessee to assemble in Knoxville on December 27, 1813, "to constitute a Grand Lodge." This was done, and Thomas Claiborne, of Cumberland Lodge No. 8, Nashville, elected Grand Master, with George Wilson as Deputy Grand Master, John Hall, Senior Grand Warden, and Abraham K. Shaifer, Junior Grand Warden.
Sam Houston is not of record as attending either of these conventions, nor could he have done so. Born in 1793, in 1811 he was only eighteen years of age and in 1813 still a minor.
The first mention of Andrew Jackson in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee is October 7, 1822, as a visitor. His election as Grand Master took place at that Communication, and he became not first but sixth in the line. Sam Houston was not present in 1822.
In this review Col. Thomas H. Benton is named as a Tennessean. Certainly the State should be proud to claim him, but its title is meager. Thomas H. Benton was born in North Carolina in 1782. He came to Tennessee in 1799. In 1809 he served one term as State Senator, but in 1816 removed to Missouri. In 1821 he was elected United States Senator from Missouri, and continued in office until 1851, his distinguished public service being in that capacity.
CHARLES BARHAM, P. G. M., Tennessee.
MARCH BOOK LIST
Art and the Reformation
By G. G. COULTON. One of the most interesting and useful works ever written about Mediaeval Architecture and the Masons who created it. For those who wish to understand the relationship of monks and ecclesiastics to the Craftsmen who worked for them it is essential. Much of what is said is all the more valuable because the author is not a Mason, and so has no bias or prejudice in favor of traditional opinions. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 26 plates, appendix, index xxii and 622 pages. $9.65
As Man to Man
By CONDE B. PALLEN. This book constitutes a series of definitions of the dogmas and principles of the Roman Catholic Church explained in a discursive manner by the editor of the Catholic Encyclopaedia. Cloth, table of contents, 302 pages. $2.65
The Best Letters of Thomas Jefferson
Edited by J. G. DE ROULHAC HAMILTON. Letters on every subject by this early President. Interesting and entertaining as well as educational. Cloth, index, table of contents, 299 pages, $2.65
Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning
By T. TROWARD. An interpretation of the Bible from an unorthodox but deeply religious standpoint. Cloth, table of contents, 323 pages. $2.15
Birth and Growth of the Grand Lodge of England
By GILBERT W. DAYNYS. A concise but comprehensive account of the Grand Lodge system in England from 1717 to the present time. Well written and based on authoritative sources. It is an indispensable work for every student of the history of Freemasonry. Cloth, 264 pages. $2.15
By JOHANNES VON GUENTHER. A rather sensational novel based on the usually accepted accounts of the life of Cagliostro. The Masonic connections of the mysterious adventurer are elaborated, though the author has rather curious ideas about Masonic Lodges and their organization. As fiction, with a vague background of fact, the work will interest many readers. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 445 pages. $3.65
Coming Up the Road
By IRVING BACHELLER. This prominent Mason tells the story of his youth. $3.65
East and West of Jordan
By ALBERT FIELD GILMORE. The author states his book is based on his experiences during a visit to Palestine, Syria and Egypt two years ago. There are very rapid changes and developments going on in what used to be thought of as the changeless East. How far these changes are more than superficial remains to be seen. But, for those who cannot go to see for themselves, the impressions of travelers are the main source of information. The chapter on the prospects of industrial development is especially interesting. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated by 15 plates, index, xii and 191 pages. $3.15
Benjamin Franklin, the First Civilized American
BY PHILLIPS RUSSELL. This prominent American Mason in a new biography. Much hitherto unpublished material is contained in its pages. Cloth. Illustrated, table of contents, index, 326 pages. $5.25
Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies
By J. HUGO TATSCH. This is undoubtedly the outstanding work on early American Masonry. The author has a clear, straightforward style, and he is thoroughly at home in his subject. His work contains a considerable amount of original research on his own part, as well as the gatherings of other scholars in the same field. Red cloth, introduction, illustrated index, 245 pages. $3.15
The Geographical Lore of the Time of the Crusades
By JOHN KIRTLAND. The Knight Templar who is interested in the antecedents of his Order will find many valuable sidelights in this exposition of ideas of geography current at the time of the Crusades. It is very curious and interesting in itself. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, bibliography, index, 150 pages. $5.25
The Graphic Bible
By LEWIS BROWNE. in a series of some eighty "animated maps," conceived and drawn with artistry and imagination, accompanied by a running narrative in swift and lucid prose, the author recounts the entire drama from Abraham to St. Paul in terms of space as well as of time. At a glance the reader learns not only when but where and just how the great Bible events occurred. Geography and history are so wedded that the scriptural narrative suddenly becomes as real and enthralling as a contemporary adventure. Cloth. $2.65
Hand to Back
BY WM. M. STUART. A collection of interesting and exciting tales in which the Masonic motive is skilfully woven. Cloth, 264 pages. $2.15
Hegel's Science of Logic
Translated by W. H. JOHNSTON and L. G. STRUTHERS, with an introductory preface by Viscount Haldane. It is to be feared that most students of philosophy who do not know German have only read about Hegel; never a wholly satisfactory way of finding out what an author really said. Logic is usually taken either as a method, or a discussion of the basis of reasoning. Hegel seems to have given it almost the content of Metaphysics. This is the first complete translation that has been published in English, though the work has been discussed and quoted for more than a hundred years. Cloth, two volumes, Analytical table of contents, table of categories, list of English works on Hegel, 404 and 407 pages. $10.35
A History of Freemasonry
BY H, L. HAYWOOD and J. E. CRAIG. This is possibly the best introduction to the history of the Craft that has yet been written. The authors are thoroughly conversant with their subject, familiar with the latest results of historical research. They write without bias or prejudice and, above all, clearly and readably. The whole subject is covered, from the misty regions of Masonic pre-history down to the present day. Cloth. $3.20
The Holy Kabbalah
By A. E. WAITE. "A study of the Secret Tradition in Israel," critical and interpretative. The author avoids the Scylla of credulity and the Charybdis of scepticism. The work will be indispensable to those who want to know what the Kabbalah really was, and how to estimate it and its value to humanity. Cloth, analytical table of contents, illustrated, index, 636 pages. $7.75
By JAMIESON B. HURRY, M. A., M. D. This is a story of a man who was Prime Minister of a King of Egypt, his chief architect and also a magician and physician. He became later regarded as the God of Medicine in Egypt. A very intimate investigation into ancient Egyptian life. Cloth, illustrated, index, 118 pages. $2.65
Jefferson, Friend of France, 1793
By MEADE MINNIGERODE. The subject of this book is Citizen Genet and his relations with Jefferson. The sources are private papers of the Citizen which have been handed down in his family until the present day. The book is interesting reading and contains much hitherto unpublished material. Cloth, illustrated, table of contents, index, bibliography, 447 pages. $5.25
Jesus of Nazareth
By DR. JOSEPH KLAUSNER, translated from the original Hebrew by HERBERT DANBY, D. D. The best treatment of the subject we have seen - scholarly and impartial. Cloth, table of contents, Index. $4.75
Lafayette and Three Revolutions
By JOHN SIMPSON PENMAN. The author has sought to correct the rather one-sided view of Lafayette's life and efforts. A very young man when he aided in the American War of Independence, he played a great part in the struggle for liberty in France, both at the time of the Revolution, and later In the Revolution of 1830. The author may perhaps be excused for not mentioning Lafayette's Masonic connection as he has not undertaken a complete biography. In spite of this omission the work is a valuable addition to our knowledge of this noble partisan of freedom. Table of contents, illustrated with 21 plates, bibliography, index, 362 pages. $5.20
The Lodge in Friendship Village
By P. W. GEORGE. A series of Masonic stories by this well-known writer. The lessons taught are important to every Mason. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 256 pages. $2.15
Masks in a Pageant
By Wm. ALLEN WHITE. Mr. White has known personally all the Presidents of the United States from Harrison to Coolidge, and he gives in this book a biographical character study of each, as well as of some of their friends and enemies, and of certain contemporary statesmen. Illustrated, cloth. Price, $5.25
Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers
By Wm. L. BOYDEN. An authentic and scholarly work on this oft misrepresented subject. Cloth, index, 71 pages. $1.60
Masonry in the Formation of Our Government
By PHILIP A. ROTH. For the American Mason this little work will be of the greatest interest, and is besides arranged to serve as a work of reference in regard to the questions constantly cropping up as to the connection of men famous in American history with the Craft. It is profusely illustrated, and most conveniently arranged, for reading and for reference. Cloth, table of contents, indices, 187 pages. $2.65
Morality in the Making
By Roy E. WHITNEY. Principles are formulated in "Morality in the Making," to serve as the basis of a technique for effecting moral changes in ourselves and others. Its aim is to secure converts to this policy of looking at morality in the making so that it may be better understood and especially that it may be more effectively directed in everyday life. Cloth. Price, $1.65
Mussolini: The Wild Man of Europe
By JOHN BOND. The author asserts that his sketch of the career of the Italian dictator has been written disinterestedly, without fear or favor; that he has had no special consideration, nor any injury, from the Fascist regime, and that the purpose of his work is to enable ordinary Americans to learn the real facts in the maze of distortions of the truth found in the propaganda of paid apologists, and the rancor of victims of the regime. However, there Is little doubt that Mr. Bond's sympathies lie with the latter - and perhaps it is hardly matter for wonder. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 206 pages. $2.65
Albert Pike's Year Book
Compiled by CLAIRE C. WARD. A bit of philosophy from Albert Pike for every day in the year. Cloth, 77 pages. $1.60
Religion Coming of Age
By RAY WOOD SELLARS. The adjustment of religion and science in modern life. This book will clear up many misunderstandings. $2.65
Tall Timbers: Giants in Contrast
By CHESLA C. SHERLOCK. Short biographies of eight prominent Americans, four of whom were Masons. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 330 pages. $3.15
Told Through the Ages
By J.S. WARD, M.S., P.M., etc. A book of Masonic short stories supporting the theory advanced by one of the most colorful of Masonic students Cloth, 238 pages. $4.00
Witchcraft in Old and New England
By GEORGE LYMAN KITTREDGE. An exhaustive study of witchcraft among the English people. The author disagrees equally with recent writers who believe in the objective reality of witchcraft and demonism, and those who consider it to have been an organized secret religion. He corrects a number of erroneous, but widely accepted opinions; among them that James I was responsible for a recrudescence of the persecution of witches. The real facts seem to be that he discouraged it as much as he was able. The notes, which take up nearly one-third of the volume, will be most valuable to the student seeking for first hand materials on the subject, Table of contents, notes, Index, 641 pages. $6.25
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