- 1 ABRAHAM H. HOWLAND, JR. 1840-1887
- 1.1 TERM
- 1.2 NOTES
- 1.3 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.4 MEMORIAL
- 1.5 SPEECHES
- 1.5.1 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT IN GLOUCESTER, SEPTEMBER 1879
- 1.5.2 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN SAUGUS, FEBRUARY 1884
- 1.5.3 AT THE CORNERSTONE LAYING IN MILFORD, MAY 1884
- 1.5.4 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE MASONIC HALL IN WEYMOUTH, OCTOBER 1884
- 1.5.5 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN FALL RIVER, MAY 1885
- 1.5.6 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN MARLBORO, OCTOBER 1885
- 1.5.7 AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN SALEM, JANUARY 1886
- 1.5.8 AT A CORNERSTONE LAYING IN NORTHAMPTON, AUGUST 1886
- 1.5.9 AT A HALL DEDICATION IN AMESBURY, AUGUST 1886
- 1.6 CHARTERS GRANTED
- 1.7 DISPENSATION DECLINED
- 1.8 RULINGS
ABRAHAM H. HOWLAND, JR. 1840-1887
Senior Grand Warden, 1876
Deputy Grand Master, 1878-1880
Grand Master, 1884-1886
FROM TROWEL, 2000
From TROWEL, Summer 2000, Page 18:
Abraham Hathaway Howland, Jr.: The Youngest Grand Master
by R. W. James T Watson, Jr., TROWEL Staff
Abraham H. Howland. Jr. came from a family of great endurance, the first Howland in America having arrived on the Mayflower. Abraham's father was in the business of whaling, a shipowner and one of the first to refine petroleum. He was also a Massachusetts legislator for three years, the first mayor of New Bedford, MA. in which office he spent four terms, and a Mason.
Abraham, Jr., was born in New Bedford on May 29, 1840. He, too. served with distinction as its mayor from 1875 to 1876. He was a director of the utility company and several banks, was chief of the fire department and participated in civic groups.
His Masonic career was honorable. Raised a Master Mason in Eureka Lodge, May 12, 1865, he was elected W. M. in 1869 and served three years D. D. G. M. of the 14th District, 1872-1875, he was elected S. G. W. for 1876 and was appointed D.G.M. for 1878-1880.
During this period the disease that ended his life became evident. By 1883 he had seemed to recover, however, and at 43 was elected to become the youngest G. M. of the Grand Lodge of MA. Re-elected unanimously, he completed his three-year term in 1886. having proved to be a very popular G. M. He also served on the Board of Directors from 1878 to his death in 1887.
Howland's first major task was the Charity Fund. Established in 1811. it had grown to $50,000. To finance the purchase of Winthrop House and later to build a new Temple after the fire, the Charity Fund and all other funds were used to pay off the mortgage. The amending of the Grand Constitutions and an Act of Incorporation from the legislature for "The Masonic Education and Charity Trust" had limited the funds to those two areas. The fund started in 1884 has grown in financial importance over the years and continues as a strong asset of the MA Grand Lodge.
Although Howland showed signs of intense physical pain, no G. M. could have been more untiring in laboring for the good of the Fraternity. Having been freed of personal business engagements, it allowed him to visit more Lodges than many of his predecessors. He made 22 visits to the Lodge of St. Andrew, during his three years in office.
Howland's relations with his D. D. G. M.'s were more cordial and closer knit than those of prior G. M.'s. He assisted them, sometimes quoting his own experiences as D. D. G. M., to great effect and attended at least one Exemplification and Visitation in each district, always addressing the Brethren present. Remaining for the social periods, Howland created a closeness with his D. D. G. M.'s by engaging with them as equals.
When Howland journeyed to Washington, D.C., February 21. 1885. for the dedication of the Washington Monument, he took with him. by request, Paul Revere's golden urn which housed the lock of Washington's hair. The urn became part of that ceremony at which, as well, the Grand Lodge of MA was recognized as the senior Grand Lodge of the country.
M.W. Bro. Howland and Grand Lodge officers came to Fall River on May 22. 1885, to dedicate the new Masonic Temple. The Lodges represented were Mount Hope, King Philip and Narragansett. With Grand Lodge open, the building dedication was witnessed by more than 300. In the evening, with ladies and other friends, about 1,100 assembled in the principal hall. Grand Lodge Officers withdrawing around midnight.
In his memorial of M. W. Bro. Howland, P. G. M. Charles A. Welch relates that each D. D. G. M., as his term was nearing its end, and without Howland's knowledge, wrote of his fondest memory with the G. M. These accounts they compiled into a booklet with Howland's picture on the cover. The presenter of this booklet to the G. M. at the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 28, 1886, asked that he think kindly of those who had thus stored up their memories. Howland was so struck by the present that he could not respond.
After the Installation of Officers M. W. Henry Endicott presented M. W. Bro. Howland a P. G. M. jewel provided by Eureka Lodge, adding another surprise to that of the booklet. M. W. Abraham H. Howland. Jr., had only a short time to wear his jewel, however, for he died on April 20. 1887. from meningitis.
The Howland family plot lies in Rural Cemetery in southwestern New Bedford. It is defined by a low wall of sculptured stone. In the center is a 15 foot marble obelisk, symbol of resurrection, with individual stones for family members. On the marble stone of Abraham H. Howland. Jr., the traditional symbol of the Square and Compasses is absent, but a sprig of acacia, symbol of immortality, rises in bold relief on the top of his stone.
Howland's portrait hangs in Corinthian Hall on the 3rd floor of Grand Lodge.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 2008
From Proceedings, Page 2008-70, at the 150th Anniversary of Quittacus Lodge:
Grand Master 1884-1886, (It is interesting to note that he had competition for that office; total votes cast were 671, Abraham H. Howland, Jr., receiving 483 and his opponent 188). At 43 years of age he was one of the youngest ever elected to that office in this jurisdiction.
M.W. Bro. Howland also urged the adoption of the district system of exemplification of the work and lectures of our ritual, which also continues today. He indicated displeasure with the printed abbreviation of the ritual and advocated instruction from mouth to ear.
On February 21, 1885, he participated in the dedication of the Washington Monument. He brought to that ceremony the golden urn fashioned by Paul Revere which contained a lock of George Washington’s hair.
On May 22, 1885, he visited Fall River for the dedication of the new Masonic Hall, with 300 brethren present. They were primarily from Mount Hope, King Philip, and Narragansett Lodges, and that evening 1,100 sat down for dinner.
Beyond a doubt, the three years as Grand Master took a greater toll than M.W. Abraham H. Howland, Jr., realized, for he passed away on April 20, 1887, cause of death, meningitis.
On that marble stone of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., the traditional symbol of square and compasses is not present, but the sprig of Acacia, the symbol of immortality, is created in bold relief on the top of his marker.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1887
From Proceedings, Page 1887-58, memorial presented by Past Grand Master Charles A. Welch:
When a good man dies it affords consolation to his friends to reflect upon his character, to remember the positions in which he was placed, and to consider the good he has done in those positions. We are thus reminded that though our loss is great, and must necessarily be deeply felt by his associates, the recollection of the services he has rendered still remains as a matter for thankfulness and congratulation.
If he fills a prominent position in any assembly, what can be more proper than for that assembly to express, in simple words, its esteem for him, and appreciation of his valuable services. Influenced by these motives, we, the representatives of the whole body of Masons of the Commonwealth, now devote a portion of this day, set apart for one of our Regular Communications, to the expression of the regard in which we held our late Grand Master, Abraham H. Howland, Jr., and two other Brethren, who have held important offices in this Grand Body, all of whom since our last Quarterly Communication have been called away from the work in which they were faithfully and actively engaged for the common benefit.
I leave to others the duty of reminding you of the services rendered by Right Worshipful Brothers Childs and Robinson, although I personally knew something of those services, as did all who were placed by this Grand Lodge in positions which brought us into association with those Brethren. The relations, however, in which I stood to your late Grand Master have naturally devolved upon me the duty of presenting, as well as, I can, a brief review of his life and character as a Mason.
R.W. Brother Howland was born in New Bedford, Mass., on the 29th of May, 1840, and died in that city April 20th, 1887. When he ceased, last December, to be your Grand Master he was the youngest in age of the eight surviving Past Grand Masters. His Masonic career was an honorable one. He was elected to receive the degrees in Eureka Lodge, of New Bedford, March 3, 1865, and on the 12th of May in that year he was raised to the degree of Master Mason, and became a member of that Lodge, an affiliation which continued until his, death. After serving in various subordinate offices, he was elected Worshipful Master in 1869, and held that office for three years. In 1871 he was appointed by Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourteenth Masonic District, and held that office during 1872, 1873 and 1874. He was reappointed as D.D. Grand Master by Most Worshipful Brother Everett for the year 1875. In December, 1875, he was elected Senior Grand Warden, serving during the year 1876. In the year 1872, while we were District Deputy Grand Masters, I first became acquainted with him, and his excellent qualities of head and heart made a strong and durable impression.
When it was afterward proposed that I should follow Brother Everett as Grand Master, I at once decided that, in case of my election, I would offer the position of Deputy Grand Master to Brother Howland. Immediately after the Communication of the Grand Lodge at which my election took place, and while we were still in this Hall, the appointment was tendered to him. The surprise which he manifested showed very clearly the modest estimate he placed on his own abilities, and yet he had already served his native city, of which his father was the first Mayor, as the chief of its Fire Department, and as its Mayor. It is hardly necessary to remind you how faithfully he supported the exertions so successfully made by the Fraternity, while he was Deputy Grand Master, to maintain the credit of the Grand Lodge and discharge the debt which then oppressed it, and threatened to destroy its usefulness. He held that office for three years, and performed its duties to the full satisfaction of the Fraternity. But before that term had expired, he was attacked by the disease under which his constitution finally gave way, a little more than a month ago.
During the early portion of the administration of Most Worshipful Brother Lawrence, as Grand Master, Brother Howland continued to suffer under that disease, and at times severely; but in December, 1883, he seemed to have recovered, and was elected your Grand Master; and was twice unanimously reelected, closing his official service in December, 1886.
He became a member of Adoniram R.A. Chapter, New Bedford, April 5, 1865, and, after holding subordinate offices, was for three successive years, 1871-1874, elected its Most Excellent High Priest. He was seldom absent from its meetings while he held any office. He petitioned Sutton Commandery, K.T., for the orders of Knighthood, December 21, 1865, and was elected to receive them January 4, 1866. He became a member of that Body April 26, 1866, and was its Eminent Commander during the years 1874-1875. He was also an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-third and last degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, having, of course, previously received the degrees in the various Bodies in this State under that jurisdiction.
For some year or two past he has been regularly notified to attend the meetings of St. Andrew's Lodge, of Boston, and was so esteemed by the Brethren composing that ancient Lodge that, although he was not a member, one of their number officiated as a pall-bearer at his funeral, and another, whose reputation in his particular department of knowledge is world-wide, was selected to present at their last Communication a memorial of him, which is entered upon the Records.of the Lodge.
The same honorable distinctions were paid to him by St. Bernard Commandery of this city; and the Masters' Association, of Boston, an Association composed of Past Masters of Boston and vicinity, also appointed, a committee to pay a tribute to his memory. There were no doubt other Masonic institutions to which he belonged, or with which he was in some way connected, but what has been already stated shows the esteem in which he was held by his Brethren. It is proper, however, to mention that he served you in the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge from December, 1878, till his death.
By virtue of his office as Grand Master he was the President of the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust from December 19, 1884, the time of its organization, till he ceased to be Grand Master. No one could have been more faithful or successful than he was in the discharge of the various duties that thus devolved upon him. In spite of the disease which probably lingered in his system, and at times showed its existence by subjecting him to intense pain, no Grand Master could have been more untiring in laboring for the good of the Fraternity. Not being occupied by business engagements of an engrossing character, he was able to visit the various Lodges more frequently than many of his predecessors had done, and his presence always carried enjoyment with it; for his social qualities, cheerful tamper, and kind consideration for the feelings of others, made his companionship delightful to all those who were favored with it.
The relations subsisting between Grand Master Howland and his District Deputy Grand Masters were more than usually close, cordial and affectionate. As the District Deputy is appointed by, and, in some respects, specially represents the Grand Master, the former naturally looks to the latter for advice and encouragement in all cases of doubt and difficulty, and confidently relies upon his experience and good judgment for aid in avoiding erroneous decisions, and for extrication from perplexing dilemmas. Such aid and comfort Grand Master Howland always rendered most freely and heartily, often quoting his own experience as District Deputy in similar cases, with great effect. But he was not content with simply expounding the law and giving sound advice: he entered most heartily into the plans of the District Deputies for the arrangement of their Exemplifications and Annual. Visitations. He attended, as far as his health would permit, at least one Exemplification and one Visitation in each District, addressing the Brethren, in kindly, encouraging words, which always contributed greatly to the pleasure and profit of the occasion, thus reflecting honor upon the District Deputy Grand Master, and strengthening his hands. Nor was this all. He delighted to meet them in the unrestrained freedom of the social hour, in the enjoyment of the temperate pleasures of the table, when the exchange of the harmless joke and friendly banter was most rapid and pungent; when he was the readiest of the ready to give and take his full share of the keen thrusts of the war of words. As a natural consequence of this frequent, varied and unrestrained intercourse, this contact at many points of congenial spirits engaged in a common cause, and having a common purpose, there grew up a deep and strong attachment to their chief in the hearts of his Deputies, such as had rarely, if ever, been known before.
As the time approached for the accustomed severing of the official relations of this charmed circle, there came to all the unbidden thought, that the sweet remembrance of many happy hours should be placed on perpetual, record. Therefore, inasmuch as the merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance, they did straightway marshal the counterfeit presentments of all these Brethren into a book, and placed at the beginning the face of him whom they all delighted to honor. All this they did without his knowledge, and when he was about to transfer to another the mantle which he had worn with such becoming dignity, blended with modesty, they gathered around him, and, laying the open book before him, asked him-to tenderly turn the leaves thereof and think kindly and lovingly of those who had thus "embalmed and treasured up" their respect and regard for him. Then the mist began to gather in those eyes which were wont to be so bright and clear; his voice faltered and quivered as he attempted to express his surprise and gratification, and he was soon compelled to relapse into an eloquent silence. It must now be a source of great pleasure, to those who had a share in that presentation, to reflect that their last act of association with him was one in which their mutual feelings of respect and affection were so happily exhibited, and that no testimonial could have been more acceptable to him.
Bro. Howland's brilliant social qualities, his good temper and general urbanity were conspicuous ; but he had other traits which eminently qualified him for holding supreme power in the Masonic Body. He was endowed with a faculty of very correct judgment; not working rapidly, perhaps, but surely and safely. He was always willing to consult his friends on any doubtful or difficult question, such as often arises in the government of our Fraternity. He thoroughly appreciated the delicate and responsible duties devolving upon one who is intrusted with the almost unlimited powers and prerogatives of Grand Master. He applied his own best faculties to the subject under consideration; and, while he paid a due regard to the opinions of those whom he consulted, he never forgot that the responsibility of final decision and definite action devolved upon him individually. He had no hesitation or false delicacy in declaring, or in acting, upon the conclusions which his own judgment prompted, although they might not coincide with those of the friends whom he consulted. It was his good sense and perfect honesty of purpose, perhaps even more than his companionable qualities, which commended him to the Fraternity of this Commonwealth. They felt a confidence that he never acted rashly, or without due consideration; and that whatever conclusion he reached in regard to any matter submitted to him, even if it was contrary to their own views and wishes, was his conclusion, formed after the most thorough examination and careful consideration. I deem this point worthy of special mention, for where there exists so much kindness of heart and politeness of manner the sterling virtue of decision of character is sometimes overlooked.
These are some of the most striking characteristics of our late Grand Master, very imperfectly and inadequately presented. United with these were others which made him very dear and precious to his family and his most intimate friends, and the recollection of which seems to make their loss well nigh irreparable.
Who would have supposed a few weeks ago that our youngest Past Grand Master, young enough to have been the son of some who still linger here, would have gone first to that undiscovered country of which we know so little, although we hear so much!
Which, you ask me, is the real life?
Which the dream — the joy or woe?
Hush! friends. It is little matter,
And, indeed, we cannot know.
We have, however, left to us the happy reflection that, though his years in this world were not very many, they were well spent, and the good he has done for our Fraternity lives after him, and will bear fruit for a long time to come. His grave is decorated with flowers, scattered there by the hands of loving friends and relatives. Those flowers will soon fade, but his memory will live in our hearts long after all frail memorials of affection have perished.
Memorial from the Lodge of St. Andrew in Proceedings, Page 1887-61:
- Whereas, The Masonic Fraternity of Massachusetts have suffered a grievous affliction by the death of our much loved Brother, R.W. Abraham H. Howland, Jr., recently Grand Master of Masons in this Commonwealth, and
- Whereas, The Lodge of St. Andrew, with which he was closely associated, desires to give permanent record to the warm affection and sincere respect in which he was held by all its members; therefore -
- Resolved, That we cherish the memory of our deeply lamented Brother as affording a rare example of the union of Masonic virtues: Whether in high office, which he so ably filled during the last three years, — performing its varied duties with dignity and discretion, deciding important questions with equity and firmness; and watching assiduously over the highest interests of the Craft, — whether in council, where his sound judgment and unfailing courtesy rendered his assistance especially valuable, or whether in the less formal relations of social intercourse, where his happy temperament and genial companionship made him a universal favorite, — he has left in all these relations an enviable record, and the vacancy caused by his death cannot be filled. He has honored our Masonic Brotherhood, which may well be proud that it lost no opportunity of honoring him. That in our great bereavement we deplore the loss, not only of a beloved Brother in Masonry, but of an upright and public-spirited citizen. His continued faithful services as mayor of his native city, his just and impartial administration, which secured the respect and support of men of all political parties, contributed in no small degree to the welfare and progress of the community.
- Resolved, That the Lodge of St. Andrew desires to express to the family of our departed Brother its deep sympathy with them in their bereavement, and the assurance of the affection and respect which will always accompany his memory in our hearts.
BENJAMIN A. GOULD,
HENRY A. WHITNEY,
HALES W. SUTER,
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1887
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XI, No. 1, April 1887, Page 32:
As we go to press, the sad news is received of the death of this zealous Freemason at his home in New Bedford, on Wednesday morning, April 20th, 1887, at about one o'clock. He retired from the office of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on St. John's Day, December, 1886, having completed the full term of three years, with great acceptance to the Craft, who will remember him gratefully as their genial and capable Grand Master. Our brother's health had been somewhat impaired during several years last past, and this may have been the remote cause, possibly the more immediate cause of his death. While life lasted, however, he bore his part bravely.
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1887
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1887, Page 45:
Abraham H. Howland, Junior, who, for three years previous to Dec. 28, 1886, was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, was born in New Bedford, Mass., on the twenty-ninth day of May, 1840. On the third day of March, 1865, he was elected to receive his Masonic degrees in Eureka Lodge, New Bedford; and on the twelfth day of May of that year, he was raised to the degree of Master Mason, and becoming a member of that Lodge, so continued till his death, April 20, 1887. After serving in different subordinate offices, he was elected Worshipful Master in 1869, and held that office for three years. In 1871, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the Fourteenth Masonic District, and held that office during the years 1872, 1873, 1874, and 1875. In December, 1875, he was elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, and thus became a permanent member of that body. In 1877, he was appointed by the Grand Master, then newly elected, Deputy Grand Master, and held that office three years; but towards the end of the third year, he was attacked by a disease, which for a long time confined him to his room, and for a year or two was so severe as to render his recovery doubtful. In December, 1883, his constitution seemed to have regained its strength, and he was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and was afterwards twice unanimously reelected closing his official term, Dec. 28, 1886. No Grand Master could have been more indefatigable than he was in performing the duties of the office, and probably no Grand Master visited more Lodges during his official term. He had not been, for some years before his Grand Mastership, actively engaged in any^business or profession, and he could therefore accept die invitations of Lodges to be present on those special occasions, when the presence of the Grand Master adds so much to the pleasure of a Masonic communication, and experience soon taught the brethren that his ready and cheerful words added still more than his presence to the charm of such meetings.
He became a member of Adoniram R. A. Chapter of New Bedford, April 5, 1865, and was for three successive years, 1871 to 1874, elected its High Priest. On April 26, 1866, he joined Sutton Commandery also located at New Bedford, and was its Eminent Commander during the years 1874 and 1875.
He served his native city for three years as Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, and having assumed office under somewhat difficult circumstances he proved an excellent officer, and brought that department into a most efficient condition, always ready himself at a moment’s notice to attend to the calls of duty. It was during his administration of that office in the latter part of 1872 that the great fire in Boston occurred, and some of the other cities of the Commonwealth were called upon by the authorities of Boston for their assistance with engines and firemen. With his accustomed energy he came to Boston with one or more of the New Bedford engines, and rendered very valuable aid, when the firemen of Boston were many of them exhausted by their long and fatiguing labors. In 1875 and 1876 he was elected Mayor of New Bedford, made an excellent chief magistrate, and retained in this capacity the warm good-will and respect which his fellow-citizens already felt for him on account of the good service he had rendered them in other capacities. After he ceased to be mayor, he was elected a trustee of the Public Library, and this, in connection with his directorship in various institutions and his Masonic duties, fully occupied his time while he was in health.
Having been elected a member of the various subordinate bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, on the 22d of September, t88o, he was made an honorary member of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors of the Thirty-third and last Degree of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, an honor to which his valuable services to Masonry well entitled him.
One of the oldest lodges in Boston, at whose communications he had been by invitation a constant attendant, and one of whose members acted as pall-bearer at his funeral, desiring “to give permanent record to the warm affection and sincere respect in which he was held by all its members,” and to place on its records a memorial of their regard, at their first communication after his death passed tliii following resolutions: —
“Resolved, That we cherish the memory of our deeply lamented Brother as affording a rare example of the union of Masonic virtues. Whether in high office, which he so ably filled during the last three years, — performing its varied duties with dignity and discretion, deciding important questions with equity and firmness, and watching assiduously over the highest interests of the Craft,— whether in council, where his sound judgment and unfailing courtesy rendered his assistance especially valuable, or whether in the less formal relations of social intercourse, where his happy temperament and genial companionship made him a universal favorite, — he has left in all these relations an enviable record, and the vacancy caused by his death cannot be filled. He has honored our Masonic Brotherhood, which may well be proud that it lost no opportunity of honoring him.
“That in our great bereavement we deplore the loss, not only of a beloved Brother in Masonry, but of an upright and public-spirited citizen. His continued faithful services as mayor of his native city, his just and impartial administration, which secured the respect and support of men of all political parties, contributed in no small degree to the welfare and progress of the community.
“Resolved, That the Lodge of St. Andrew desires to express to the family of our departed Brother its deep sympathy with them in their bereavement, and the assurance of the affection and respect which will always accompany his memory in our hearts.”
A similar mark of respect was paid to him by St. Bernard' Commandery, at whose conclaves he was always by invitation an honored guest; and by the Masters’ Association, an association of Past Masters of Boston and its vicinity.
While he was Grand Master, he paid particular attention to strengthening the relations of friendship between his District Deputies and himself. Besides meeting them on the four stated occasions held on Grand Lodge days, meetings at which the Grand Master assembles his deputies before the opening of the Grand Lodge, and after a general discussion upon any special matter, which a deputy brings to his attention, gives them his advice and counsel he attended generally one exemplification of the work and one visitation in each district, and gave the Deputy of that District the benefit of his support and experience on the various difficult questions, which often arise in the government of the craft; and on all these and similar occasions he united so much courtesy of manner and kindness of feeling with any decision, which his duty called upon him to make, that at the close of his official career as Grand Master, the deputies could not part with him without presenting him a token of their affection and respect. This they did by handing him a book in which was photographed their countenances and the countenance of him whom they loved and respected so much; in the pleasant anticipation no doubt, that the connection, which had for a few years brought them so closely together would never fade from his or their recollection.
What has been already written, sufficiently exhibits Brother Howland’s social qualities, kind heart, good temper, and faculty in acquiring the love of his friends, and those brought in contact with him; but he had other qualifications for the important offices he held.
He was endowed with a very correct judgment; not working rapidly, perhaps, but surely and safely. He was always willing to consult his friends on any doubtful or difficult question, such as often arises in the government of our Fraternity. He thoroughly appreciated the delicate and responsible duties devolving upon one who is intrusted with the almost unlimited powers and prerogatives of the Grand Master. He applied his own best faculties to the subject under consideration ; and, while he paid a due regard to the opinions of those whom he consulted, he never forgot that the responsibility of final decision and definite action devolved upon him individually. He had no hesitation or false delicacy in declaring, or in acting, upon the conclusions which his own judgment prompted, although they might not coincide with those of the friends whom he consulted. It was his good sense and perfect honesty of purpose, perhaps even more than his companionable qualities, which commended him to the Fraternity of this Commonwealth. They felt a confidence that he never acted rashly, or without due consideration; and that whatever conclusion he reached in regard to any matter submitted to him, even if it was contrary to their own views and wishes, was his conclusion, formed after the most thorough examination and careful consideration.”
During the last month or two of 1886, the same disease, which had attacked him before, again made its appearance. He was present, however, when his successor was installed, and at the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, which succeeded the installation, and showed few signs of the disease which was lingering in his system. In the latter part of the succeeding March, however, he was taken very ill, and after a few weeks, during which at times he suffered severely, died as already stated, April 20, 1887.
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT IN GLOUCESTER, SEPTEMBER 1879
As Deputy Grand Master, Acting Grand Master; from Proceedings, Page 1879-78:
In compliance with official request the society of Free and Accepted Masons, represented by the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth, is present to participate in and, if possible, to heighten the impressive services of this commemoration. In all that strengthens virtue, enlarges charity, and inspires patriotism, this Fraternity has a deep and strong interest. It is here to-day, not simply to see and to be seen, but to express its joy at the erection of this granite shaft, to praise the valor, and bow before the sacrifice which it commemorates.
Our Institution desires to exalt the love and defence of home and of native land, and to officially and publicly endorse such memorials as stimulate public spirit, make heroes immortal, and teach the passers-by what liberty has cost.
We congratulate the Grand Army of the Republic upon the completion of this appropriate and beautiful monument, and this municipality upon the possession of so fine a work, so great a treasure, so constant and truthful a teacher. In the coming years it will stand, giving out its lessons and impressing its truths upon innumerable minds.
Its lesson is devotion. How devoted to country and liberty were parents, wives, and sisters who gave to them their sons, husbands, and brothers! How devoted the comrades in arms who were joined in battle line! How devoted the living army, which keeps the memories of its dead ever green, and erects such memorials to perpetuate their heroic deeds! Let devotion burn. Gather around this altar in memory of the sublime fidelity of the Federal Army. Let us vow a more steadfast purpose in all that is true, self-denying, and patriotic.
The lesson of this monument is fortitude. What defeat crushed the patriotism of our soldiers? What disaster appalled them? Over hill-top, valley, and plain they came, without thought of honor or hope of glory, stepping into the bloody tracks of brave men, filling up decimated ranks, brave in hunger and watching, in battle and in pain.
Will not this structure impress upon the rising generations of this city the lesson that patriotism is a principal virtue? Our comrades, whose memory it perpetuates, were true patriots. The flag was the symbol of the government, of its glorious record and of its hope. That flag the}r followed in sunshine and in storm, held it aloft 'mid shot and shell, and bore it victorious throughout all the land. Tired and hungry, wounded and bleeding, pulseless and dying, still these devoted men clung to their flag, the symbol of their country's protection and power.
This monument is also the symbol of sacrifice. How can those who come after us fail to remember that this column stands as an exponent of the sacrifice which Gloucester made to perpetuate our liberty? She offered husbands, fathers, sons, on sea and land, in behalf of the nation. Was wealth expended, were mills stopped, were fields uncultivated, and vessels idle? Yet as nought were all these, compared with the sacrifice of comfort, hope, love, and life, which the soldiery and their families endured with wonderful patience and unexampled heroism.
Masonry teaches that integrity is worthy of costliest sacrifice; devotion, fortitude, and loyalty are heroic qualities not unknown in the Masonic ritual and the practice of our Brotherhood. We have gathered to dedicate this monument by setting it apart as a perpetual memorial of the heroic dead of your city. Upon this altar the Institution I have the pleasure to represent would place its choicest garlands of gratitude and honor. With the pomp of ancient rite and ceremony, it bestows upon this material symbol of devotion, fortitude, and patriotic sacrifice, its consecration and benediction.
May this shaft, harmed by no bolt of heaven, injured by no quaking earth, endure while the generations shall come and go. May it stand a perpetual memorial of the brave men of Gloucester, and incite our successors to imitate their heroic virtues.
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN SAUGUS, FEBRUARY 1884
From Proceedings, Page 1884-7:
BRETHREN, — It is with much pleasure that the Grand Officers join in the ceremonials of an occasion so auspicious to the interests and history of your Lodge. Agreeably to your invitation we have, in accordance with ancient form and usage, dedicated to Freemasonry these apartments which you have so wisely arranged for your accommodation, so tastefully and emblematically decorated, and so completely furnished. Let me enjoin it upon you, Brethren, never to allow them, so long as they shall remain under your control, to be used for any other than the purposes to which they have, been consecrated. Let them be your Sanctum Sanctorum, whither you. can resort and consult in friendship, harmony, and peace.
These apartments we have also dedicated to Virtue; and may virtue, moral and social, in its highest and purest sense, be possessed by each member of this Lodge, and characterize his daily walk.
Freemasonry aims to enliven the spirit of philanthropy, and to promote charity. Hence we further dedicate these apartments to Universal Benevolence; to teach each Brother to dedicate his affections and talents to the same great purpose; that while we should exhibit a fraternal and cordial affection towards those who are Masons, we should extend, also, our benevolent regards and sympathies to the whole family of man.
How exceedingly appropriate, interesting, and instructive, have been the words so eloquently presented by our Worshipful and Rev. Bro. Israel for our thoughtful consideration and remembrance! I commit them to your sacred care as a safeguard in the hour of temptation and trial. How fitting his tribute to our late esteemed and beloved Brother, R. W. William Sutton, whose name honors this Lodge, —that honoreth him, — and whose portrait we see here suspended, a token of his love and munificence!
We congratulate you, Brethren, upon your possession of this new Hall; this Masonic home, so admirably adapted to the convenience and necessities of your Lodge duties and associations. We commend your wisdom in its conception and plan, and your zeal in constructing, completing, ornamenting, and furnishing it. We recognize in its erection your devotion to Masonry, your fidelity to the interests of Wm. Sutton Lodge, and your allegiance to the Grand Lodge. Having now a beautiful temple, — free from debt or claim, — we trust that by practising the teachings of our Order, its charges and regulations, your unity as a Lodge will strengthen your organization, and your deeds of charity, love, and munificence abound. May this Hall be a home wherein shall dwell piety, virtue, and benevolence; wherein no contentions shall ever exist save that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree. Inculcate earnestly the excellent tenets of our Institution, Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, and wear them as the brightest jewels that can adorn the character; and when your work in this earthly temple is finished, and you are summoned into the presence of the Supreme Grand Master, may you receive the welcome plaudit: "Well done! good and faithful servants!"
AT THE CORNERSTONE LAYING IN MILFORD, MAY 1884
From Proceedings, Page 1884-64:
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE REPRESENTING THE TOWN OF MILFORD: In obedience to your request, the.Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, accompanied by other Masonic Bodies, has come here to-day to perform its ancient service, and lay the corner-stone of a memorial edifice.
This pleasant duty has been done in accordance with our rites — the corner-stone has been well laid; but we tarry to utter a few appropriate words, and again seek the blessing of the Grand Architect of the Universe upon the contemplated structure, and upon those whose skill or strength shall rear the edifice.
In the centuries past, when Masonry was.purely operative, the Fraternity alone commenced a structure, and alone completed it. They laid the foundations, reared the walls, raised the spires, and made the decorations. The beginning of these edifices, the raising of the altars, and the completion of the buildings, were all recognized by religious services. Ecclesiastics, clothed in robes of the church, musicians of renown and the lodges of the builders, joined in gratitude and praise. The glittering pageant, the solemn service, the gathered multitudes, supported by the enthusiasm and splendor of the church and royalty, were not unusual events. The speculative Masonry of to-day, so far as circumstances will permit, imitates the example of the ancient builders; and though the church, with its stately ritual, does not patronize our public service today, our recognition of God and of his attributes, our anthems of praise, our sense of trust, our feelings of gratitude, and our longing for the heavenly benediction, are no less sincere and earnest.
We gather here to-day, not to display our regalia or to dazzle the eye with an armed and glittering host; we come not simply to repeat our ritual or exhibit our forms; we come to commence an edifice with solemn service; to lay its cornerstone plumb, thereby symbolically teaching we should walk uprightly, unswayed by the dictates of interest or passion; to lay it level, thereby symbolically teaching that all men are subject to the same infirmities, hastening to the same goal, and to be judged by the same law. The stone has been tested by the square, and found worthy, thereby symbolically teaching that, by the principles of morality, each action of human life is judged, and is approved or condemned as it coincides with or deviates from the: eternal principle of right.
The stone has been consecrated with corn, wine, and oil, — symbols of the highest. antiquity, teaching us to be nourished with the hidden manna of righteousness, to be refreshed with the word of God, and to rejoice with joy unspeakable in the riches of our Father's love. Grand honors have been given, thereby expressing homage before the Great I Am, and joy that the corner-stone has been well laid and the .edifice well begun.
By these symbols and forms publicly displayed, we would teach moral truths. We would anew impress your minds and our own with the necessity of laying the first stone of,our spiritual building square, level, and plumb, and of erecting thereon the edifice of our character by square, level, and plumb thought, language, and conduct.
"The good begun by thee shall onward flow
In many a branching stream, and wider grow;
The seed that in these few and fleeting hours
Thy hands unsparing and unwearied sow,
Shall, deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers,
And yield thee fruits divine, in Heaven's immortal bowers."
We seek Infinite protection for the builders of this edifice; we hope for its completion, permanence, and usefulness. We would that this contemplated memorial-structure.1'might prove not only an ornament to this flourishing town, — one graceful in its architecture .and thorough in .its construction; but that it may become a centre, of interest and of local pride, a common hearth-stone, a monument, indeed, to the generosity, wisdom, and gratitude of the living, and to the patriotism, loyalty, and sacrifice of the dead.
The representatives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Free and.Accepted Masons, together with the Masonic Knights Templar, and other Bodies, are present to publicly espouse the cause of patriotism and gratitude. In all that strengthens virtue, enlarges charity, requires sacrifice for the public good, teaches loyalty,:and heightens patriotism, the Order has a deep and strong interest. The candidate for the honors of. our Fraternity meets the assurance,, at the very threshold of his march onward, that he is to be encouraged in his love of his country and her institutions. Every lesson he receives as he advances is fraught with:teachings that tend to inspire the mind with zeal for the public good. He agrees to be a peaceable subject, not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies, to respect civil magistrates, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably to all men. The Order stand's solemnly pledged to obedience, loyalty, and devotion to the public welfare.
Therefore, we .would praise the valor and bow before the sacrifice which this edifice will commemorate. We would exalt the love of home, the defence of fatherland, and indorse such memorials, which, without emphasizing sectional animosities, make our heroes immortal and teach the rising generation what our liberties have cost.
The structure here to be erected will commemorate the services of the soldiery of Milford in the late civil war. Let it rise in symmetry and strength, symbolizing the character of the intelligent volunteer soldiery. Let it stand in coming years, stamping its lessons of patriotism and gratitude upon the public mind. May the proposed edifice keep ever vivid the memory of the devotion, loyalty, fortitude, and sacrifices of the citizens of Milford. These heroic qualities are not unknown to Masons. Our ritual abounds with such lessons, and thousands of heroes who fell in the strife, received the enlarging lessons of loyalty and sacrifice at the Masonic altar.
Masonry teaches and commends the practice of every noble quality, the possession of every heroic attribute, that her votaries may be the truest soldiers both in peace and war. Peace reigns throughout the land. The days of suffering and war are over. Our dead are not forgotten; the memory of them shall not perish. We this day, under the most auspicious circumstances, commence a structure to be set apart as a perpetual memorial of the heroic dead. The Institution which I have the honor to officially represent commends the undertaking, and places upon this first stone of the structure its garland of sympathy, gratitude, and honor, "with the pomp of ancient, rite and ceremony." It bestows upon this material symbol of devotion, loyalty, fortitude, and sacrifice, its consecration and benediction. May the edifice which shall here stand be completed without accident, be a credit to public generosity, and a symbol of patriotic principles and heroic deeds. May it stand harmed by no bolt from the heavens, torn by no devastating gale,, shaken by no earthquake, while generations come and go impressed in their passing with the heroism of yesterday and with the gratitude of to-day. May it stand a perpetual memorial, in honor of the brave men of Milford, and a perpetual influence in this community, inspiring coming generations to imitate their heroic virtues.
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE MASONIC HALL IN WEYMOUTH, OCTOBER 1884
From Proceedings, Page 1884-127:
In continuing this service of dedication it is proper for me to express the interest of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in your prosperity, and its gratification that Orphan's Hope Lodge now enters upon an epoch of renewed success. I congratulate you, Brethren, upon the beauty and convenience of your new apartments, and upon, the increased Masonic interest which these can but excite. It gives me great pleasure to observe these satisfactory surroundings, which prophesy so clearly a new era in your Masonic history.
Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, as the founder of Ancient Craft Masonry; subsequent to the captivity they were dedicated to Zerubbabel, the builder of the second temple. Lodges in this country are dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The place where the Lodge meets, or the Masonic Hall, is dedicated to Masonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence.
Masonry is of two kinds, operative and speculative. It is not to that Masonry properly called operative, which consists in the construction of material edifices, that a Masonic Hall is dedicated, but rather to that Masonry called speculative, which consists in the erection of a spiritual temple, by means of symbolic instruction. Yet the two are inseparably blended, for the latter "utilizes, adopts and symbolizes," for its sacred purpose all the implements and materials of the former, deducing wise and salutary lessons. This Hall becomes thereby more than a lecture-room, a philosopher's seat, a forensic platform; it is set apart to the study of a science, — that of being, doing and living the best.
This is the quarry where rough ashlers are selected, which, under the disciplinary forms and wisdom of our ritual, become smooth ashlers, living stones, fitted for a place in the temple of the skies.
This Hall becomes a moral battle-ground where the contest is waged between truth and error, virtue and vice, and only the best material is selected for our spiritual building. Here the outward turmoil reaches not; here the din of worldly conflict is not heard; here the oppositions and clamors of worldly strife prevail not. This spot is sacred to peace, charity, good-will, and to all those graces that exalt and redeem man. Its lesson begins, in the.north-east and continues through all the points of the compass. It extends from earliest Apprenticeship, through the Craftsman's, toiling and the Master's perfecting work, ending only with the limit of his strength and life. The foundation is laid strong and deep; then the structure grows with endeavor, study, and fidelity. It gains new symmetry as the work progresses; it raises its grand arches and lofty towers, perfects and adorns-the whole moral structure, until a spiritual temple, sacred and eternal, stands complete for the approval of the Grand Master of our race.
The science of Masonry, whose academy this Hall henceforth becomes, concerns every Mason, in every relation, condition, office and duty. Here our Brethren will be taught, and here they should begin to apply, all those golden precepts and divine truths which ennoble humanity and exalt the Brotherhood. Here appear the beauty and holiness of charity, the grandeur of knowledge and the glory of a fearless fidelity. At first the heart is impressed with solemn truths, which should give birth to noble resolves; then follows the reaching out of the mind in paths of knowledge, and admission is gained to the chamber of truth; progressing, practical lessons of morality inspire the cheerful hope that, by personal obedience to right, the gateway of the East will sooner or, later open, disclosing to the soul a higher life.
This Hall will be the exalted place where Masonry will unveil the best way for men to walk, the truest end of human living, the broadest field of human study, the richest mines of heavenly good, and will prophesy the happiest results when the goal of earthly life is reached. To such high aims and glorious results we dedicate this Hall.
It is dedicated to Virtue,— not only to personal chastity, correct deportment and abstinence from vice, but to that excellence of personal character which constitutes mind and value; that active quality which has strength and efficiency represented in the noblest manhood and the most exalted character.
We dedicate this Hall to Universal Benevolence. Here are recognized the bonds which bind all men together; towards whom, irrespective of condition, sex or color, our fraternal charity should be extended, but especially towards those who are of this household of faith. Here the spirit of doing good and a desire to promote human happiness should be taught and cultivated; ill doing should be trampled out; the seed of unhappiness should be destroyed. These sacred walls shall reecho only words of helpfulness, wisdom and love; which, resounding in the outer world, should prove our universal goodwill, a universal charity, thereby promoting the happiness of this entire community. Let our benevolence be such as is manifested in deeds of charity, acts of kindness, and words of fraternal goodwill.
To such high purposes do we dedicate this Hall. Surely it ought to be a Holy of Holies. Here true men, blessed by the sweetest influences of Heaven, should help, aid and assist, encourage, comfort and bless, one another. This East, radiant with wisdom and charity, should be like the golden morning when first the sun breaks through the Eastern gates and floods the earth with light and joy.
This altar, dedicated to the great I AM, should be a. retreat from worldly confusion, a shelter from worldly storms, a defence against the assaults of outward foes. Here no wise Solomon may bring down the heavenly fires to consume, but the spirit of divine goodness will continually descend to strengthen and bless the cheerful seekers of His presence.
This new Hall, wherein Masonic Virtue and Universal Benevolence should be sought, with such an East and altar occupied by earnest devotees of our Order, can but be an honored and loved place, a family hearth-stone, a gladsome retreat. May these high purposes be more than realized! May peace ever abide within these walls and prosperity adorn the place! May the best work and the best agreement here be seen! - May the loftiest and the lowest, all meeting on a common level, realize the blessedness of our Order, the value of every virtue and the glory of universal charity!
May the seasons come and go; may passing years make decades, and decades centuries; yet coequal with returning seasons, hastening decades and completed centuries, may these principles of Ancient Craft Masonry receive the fellowship of the living and of coming generations, until this Hall shall indeed extend from farthest east to farthest west; from farthest north to farthest south; from lowest earth to highest heaven,—and all. men every where meet on the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square!
Then shall there be but one universal hall, but one universal altar, but one Grand Master,— Whose authority all men shall acknowledge and obey, Whose love all men shall know, Whose blessing all men shall receive, Whose presence all men shall enjoy.
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN FALL RIVER, MAY 1885
WORSHIPFUL MASTERS AND BRETHREN, — It is with much pleasure that the Grand Officers join in the ceremonies of this occasion. I extend in their behalf fraternal congratulations upon the completion, perfection, and dedication of this Masonic edifice.
I desire to refer to the great pleasure it affords me to be an active participant in this important service; to be present with you on this occasion; to share in these ceremonies; to behold this structure; to observe its convenience, utility, and beauty; to note the painstaking and earnestness of the Brethren. To recall what a means for good, to you and to those who are to come after you, these Halls may be, gives rise to a personal joy that is difficult to measure with words.
This pleasure is intensified by the memory of the history of our Order in this city. The Craft have multiplied with the city's marvellous growth, and have ever maintained an exalted position. Its past has been one of enthusiasm, loyalty, and devotion. It is a pleasure to feel assured that with these new surroundings and complete accommodations, the enthusiasm of the Craft in this city will be heightened, its loyalty strengthened and its devotion increased; thereby placing you, Brethren, in the very front ranks of those who teach correctly and practise daily the sublime tenets of our Order.
I desire to commend most cordially the zeal and liberality of those Brethren who planned and carried forward to its present completion this elegant structure. Some, certainly, have pondered wisely and worked bravely; for such a result could be achieved only by unwearied zeal and royal generosity. It is highly gratifying that those to whose hands this work was entrusted have attained such complete success, honorable to the Craft, and especially to themselves. It is also worthy of remark that the entire edifice is owned and controlled by the Fraternity. There is no partnership of divers owners, hence there can be no clashing of personal interests. This fact will redound to the credit and advantage of the Craft, for it will excite in you a commendable pride in the comfort and completeness of your Masonic home, and it can but increase the interest of all in the meetings and work of the Lodges.
In accordance with ancient form and usage we have dedicated this Temple, "in the name of the great Jehovah," to Freemasonry, to Virtue, and Universal Benevolence; because ours is an Institution which demands the recognition of God, and it recommends universal benevolence and every virtue which can endear us to each other, —to all, in fact, that is true and good on earth; to those principles which promote human happiness, welfare, and progress, here and hereafter. We dedicate this edifice, first, to God, the Supreme Architect of the Universe, and Creator of all things, whose influence is truth and blessedness, whose revealed will is our Great Light, and whose name is symbolized by the letter G.
Second, to Universal Brotherhood. Our starry-decked canopy surrounds the whole earth. Our Brethren are found in every clime and among every people. Friendship is the most precious gem that Brotherhood offers us. Here in fraternal bonds Brethren of the Mystic Tie join and rejoice. Each Brother is a link in friendship's golden chain, which breaks not when storms sweep over us. But when we reach rugged paths in life; when strangers in a strange land; when sickness seizes us or accident wounds us, —then, if true to our duty, fraternal friendship will smooth the rough places, scatter the gloom of sickness, and pour into our wounds the healing balm of sympathy. Of this universal bond are born-those distinctive traits, relief and charity, which are synonyms of Masonic duty. To this holy work we dedicate this Hall. Here let the cry for help be answered by means of relief; here let the needy find needful supply, the endangered find safety, the afflicted find consolation, and the voice of want be answered by voiceless, sightless charity.
"In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind's concern is Charity."
We dedicate these apartments to the great purposes of our Order; to the rendering of the ritual, and to the exemplification of its truth which impressed, and blessed our fathers. We dedicate it to "duty which is ours"; to truth illustrated by many a symbol; to history, whose pages portray the development of art, science, and civilization; to life, with its laudable desires, great hopes, and destined progress.
Here, therefore, seek to know that which is best to live for and the best to die for; here seek to learn how best to perform our allotted task; and here seek to find that path in life which will yield the greatest present joy, success, and good, and will give the strongest promise of greater, good hereafter.
In such a consecrated place, eloquent with the venerated symbols of our Order, how deeply ought all minds, which properly appreciate the grand aims of our Fraternity, to be moved by the impressive rendering of our ritual! From this Hall may Brethren go forth whose character, like this grand edifice, shall be wisely and safely established, strongly built, and beautifully adorned with Masonic grace.
What possibilities cluster around this altar! The renovation of character, the inspiration of the mind, the enlarging of the affections, and opening of new fields of study and thought, — these possibilities, made personal possessions, will have an influence without the Lodge, not only within the social spheres of the Brethren, their families and neighborhoods, but this whole city might be affected by the helpful, hopeful influence that shall go forth from this altar. The tenets of our Order, learned in this hallowed Temple, conscientiously carried into the pleasure, business, and toil of life, will be recognized and felt.
Let us, therefore, be true to our profession, maintain the exalted place already won; and, as the glory of this Temple exceeds that of the former, so let the worth and influence and glory of the Craft in Fall River exceed everything heretofore attained. Masonry, which has withstood earth's changes, — the shock of nations and revolutions of the ages, and the hatred of misguided and misinformed men, — will still live, if we are true; sceptres pass away, thrones crumble, kingdoms fail, but the Masonic fabric will stand, if we are true. Unchanged and unchanging, Masonry will exist unto the end of the ages, if we live up to our high privileges and exemplify without the Lodge what we are taught within it.
Finally, Brethren, may this Temple be as a castle, wherein the Craft shall find protection in life's ceaseless warfare!
May it be as an arsenal, wherein the Craft may be clad in the whole armor of Good!
May it be as a haven wherein the weary burden-bearers may find rest and peace, after their labors in the quarries, mills, marts, and market-places!
May it be a home wherein fraternal affection shall freely flow, and the welfare of each be the joy of all!
May this place, by its symbols and service, its song and fellowship, ever hereafter administer to the greatest needs of the Craft, its noblest ambitions, and highest development!
May it, indeed, be a Holy of Holies, wherein the Brethren may gain fortitude, patience, and strength with which to endure and conquer; wherein brotherly love shall prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement them!
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN MARLBORO, OCTOBER 1885
From Proceedings, Page 1885-95:
BRETHREN OF UNITED BRETHREN LODGE, — The ceremonies attending the dedication of these: apartments, having been rendered agreeably to ancient form and usage, it may not be inappropriate, under these auspicious circumstances, to express a few words of congratulation, counsel, and encouragement.
In behalf of the Grand Lodge, and as an expression of my personal interest and pleasure, I heartily congratulate you and the Craft on the completion, elegance, and utility of these apartments. The influence of this new Masonic home can but be helpful to the Craft. Here, with the world's tumult hushed, with the differences which men cherish without abandoned at the threshold of this Temple; in these spacious and beautiful apartments, under the earnest yet natural rendering of our venerable ritual, it is impossible that other than increased good can come.
The opportunities now presented are many, and important. Situated in this busy and growing town, with.its unusual percentage of fellow-men, "free born and of lawful age," and midst these surroundings- calculated to please and instruct, United Brethren Lodge has a great opportunity, with which is allied great responsibility.
Increase of population in this thriving town not only increases opportunity, but also responsibility. As social circles enlarge and multiply, and wider and fuller fields for Masonic influence are presented, opportunities and responsibilities are alike multiplied. With these arrangements of comfort and beauty, opportunities for increased zeal on the part of the membership are given, and the responsibility, to wear the Masonic title more, worthily and to exert with more earnestness and fidelity the Masonic character, is incumbent upon you all.
These apartments, worthy of the Craft, should be occupied by those who strive to walk uprightly, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men. From this altar should go forth such as are not only imbued with loyalty, to country, and such as are strong in.the principles of freedom and equality, but such as are imbued with loyalty to truth; such as are strong in the permanent and hopeful principles of our Constitutions; and such as realize the opportunities to affect the universal good by striving for the physical, mental, and moral welfare of the entire people. "The world is the field." Upon you rests the great responsibility of bearing the radiance of our Great Lights into the business, pleasure, and struggle of life. Yours it is to exemplify those tenets which have survived the centuries, and which have ever tended to the peace, progress, and happiness of our race: yours it is, walking fearlessly in the path of duty, to seek humanity's good, which is one of the principal objects of our Order. Let the light of the United Brethren shine, in making others happy, in shunning hate, vengeance^ vice, and crime; in respecting' wisdom, virtue, and innocence; in sharing others, adversity, sorrow, and defeat, and in avoiding "all things that dishonor the body and stain the soul."
The seizing of such opportunities, and the faithful discharge of such responsibilities, will bless this community and convince men of the inestimable value of the tenets of our Institution arid of their power to uplift mankind.
The opportunity of renewed interest is now presented, and upon you, Brethren, rests the responsibility.of recognizing and discharging it. Excepting your own true and priceless homes, what place has more tender bonds and associations? Where are we brought more directly to consider present duty and present responsibility? Where is the jar of the world less felt and the voice of temptation less audible? Tired with the business whirl and ceaseless warfare, would you rest? Are you desirous of communing with wisdom, truth, love, and friends? This very place is consecrated to all these, and urges you to share its blessings.
The opportunity is now presented of frequent fraternal concourse; of renewed works in behalf of the deserving Brother, his widow or orphans; of listening to a service that has charmed an innumerable company, and of teaching by symbols those truths upon which the present and future welfare of mankind depends. Let not such opportunities pass unheeded, but seize them with true Masonic fervor, thereby discharging your responsibility and exemplifying the Brotherhood of our Order.
Such duties are yours. Such benefits are within your reach. To such high purposes has this Hall been dedicated. To the full possession of them every member of this Lodge is called. To have them, to keep them; to increase them, and to lead others to possess and enjoy them, is the reason for the existence of this Lodge. To reject these opportunities by absence from the meetings, indifference to the work, violation of obligations and an un-Masonic walk in the world, is to defeat in a measure its purpose and the benefits of its principles.
The spending of the evening in this consecrated place, in the enjoyment of brotherly love and concord, is infinitely preferable to passing, it in frivolity and idleness. Here one retires from the noise and conflict of life, and is refreshed by the rich lessons our ritual presents. The carpet, canopy, altar, lights, furniture, with the ever-impressive ritual, pour unmeasured benefits into the receptive mind. The past with its history, written and unwritten, the present with its opportunities, responsibilities, and promises, and the future with its hopes are here unfolded. Symbols, that generations of mankind have venerated for centuries, here disclose their hidden truth.
The great drama of human life — youth, manhood, and age — passes in tenderness and power, teaching the frailty of the flesh, and the hope of immortality. Is it not beneficial to enlarge and stimulate the mind by teaching these truths? Is it not beneficial to soften the heart and increase.human sympathy by teaching such lessons? Like other sources of great good Masonry is too often neglected. Its opportunities are too often unheeded, its responsibilities shunned, and thereby its benefits lost. Yet in its truth there are supreme possibilities. It will despoil old habits, conquer vice, allay strife, upbuild manhood. It stands as a beacon light on the shore of time, casting its beams over the dangers around us and through the darkness before us, lighting up the pathway that leads to health and happiness, peace and love.
Officers of United Brethren Lodge, I urge you to be energetic and faithful, constantly realizing your important trusts. The future of .this Lodge will be affected favorably, and this community be likewise benefited by your energy and fidelity. Brethren of United Brethren Lodge! Remember your profession. Practise without the duties taught within the Lodge. By amiable, discreet, and virtuous conduct convince this community that Masonry is not a parade, a promise, a ritual; but life established on the truth manifested in love. Show yourselves to be Freemasons, good and true. Actuated by these motives, and working together in harmony and good fellowship, triumphant success will greet you, not only within your Lodge, but throughout the community.
Finally, if these favorable opportunities are improved; these responsibilities are fully and promptly discharged, with faithful . officers and industrious Craftsmen, a light will be shed from this altar that will make glad this entire community. At your door applicants will seek admission who will be won by your helpful doing and living, and not by selfish interests. "See how these Brethren love one another" will be the best encomium the popular voice can utter concerning you.
The ideal aim of our Order you then will reach, and after you have laid by the implements of toil, and taken up the symbol of victory, the influence of this Lodge will survive, comforting, blessing, and elevating man. Be truly united Brethren, here in this world of difference and struggle, and, having kept the faith, ye shall be Brethren united still in the world of harmony, peace, and victory.
AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HALL IN SALEM, JANUARY 1886
From Proceedings, Page 1886-3:
BRETHREN OF ESSEX AND STARR KING LODGES:— In the name of the Craft o four jurisdiction I most cordially congratulate you upon the possession of these elegant and commodious apartments, now dedicated to the interests of Freemasonry. In convenience, spaciousness, and adornment they are all that ought to be desired.
Character is largely affected from without. The Indian and Arab characters are largely formed upon the principle of the wigwam and the tent. Craggy peaks and stony soil tend to make hardy men, and broad fields generous ones. The white, cosey cottage is preferable to the old log-cabin; the modern comfortable church building, to the ancient meeting-house. A suite of rooms, well arranged, well furnished, and comfortable for the exercise of our Art, is preferable to the upper chamber of the village tavern. It is preferable, because it is a better formative agent.
If this be true what an influence for good these surroundings should be! From this convenience and beauty there will radiate an unseen, but not unfelt, power, that will aid to hush the passion, to enlarge the mind, to strengthen fellowship, and to throw its charm of cheer over the Brethren that gather here. These outward conditions, kept within the hounds of propriety and economy, but tasteful and cheerful, are no valueless factor in the service of our Order. Such as these, so inviting and agreeable, can but increase the interest of the Craft of this city, thereby encouraging the officers, giving added impressiveness to the work and deepening the impressions upon the mind of the initiate.
May the honorable career of the Craft in Salem and vicinity receive a new impulse from the service of this evening, and through the influence of these new and commodious apartments. May the wisdom here revealed find its permanent home in every Brother's breast; may the strength here manifested invigorate every fraternal heart; and may the beauty which is here displayed be the design by which every Brother's life shall be adorned.
May this place — through its welcoming influence, through the renewed interest of the Brotherhood, the fidelity of the officers, and the presence of the Grand Architect of the Universe — be none other than the home of brotherly love and truth.
AT A CORNERSTONE LAYING IN NORTHAMPTON, AUGUST 1886
From Proceedings, Page 1886-82:
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: — The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.'is present to-day, in answer to your invitation, to lay the corner-stone of an edifice wherein law is to be interpreted, justice to have it's seat, the rights of the people to be protected, and wrongs against the person, society and the state to be redressed. Our Fraternity is in sympathy with the just interpretation and execution of all laws. It is rooted in defence of public order and good government. Its ancient landmarks still remain, viz.: we agree to obey the moral law; to be peaceable citizens and to cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which we reside; we promise not to be engaged in plots and conspiracies against government; we agree to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably and act honorably by all men.
Believing that such principles tend to make good citizens, peaceable communities, and prosperous states, and that their influence is strengthened by, and strengthens, public regard for and the execution of the laws, it is preeminently proper that, on this occasion, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts should express its interest in and sympathy with the purposes for which this edifice is to be erected, by assisting in these initial ceremonies.
Again, it is a special pleasure to stand on this ground, as the representative of the flourishing society of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, when one remembers that more than a century ago the seeds of Masonry were here planted and nurtured, which, surviving frost and cold and snow, neglect, opposition and rebellion, grew, blossomed and scattered their seeds, year after year, up and down this fertile valley, over the lowlands, on the hill-sides, up the mountain slopes, until Masonry has become a great moral power in this valley and the adjacent counties.
The first Lodge in Western Massachusetts was chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge (of which.Joseph Warren was the first Grand Master), March 8, 1777. It was named Berkshire Lodge, No. 5, and was located at Stockbridge, Mass.
The second Lodge in Western Massachusetts, chartered by the same Grand Lodge, was in answer to a petition from a number of Brethren in the county of Hampshire, praying for a charter of erection for holding a Lodge by the name of Hampshire. The petition was presented January 30, 1784, at which time the charter was granted.
Little is known of the history of that Lodge; but that little is of permanent interest.
Hampshire Lodge was represented in the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, for the first time, on the 2d of June, 1785, when "Wpfull" Benjamin Topper was recorded as present, and "Master of Hampshire Lodge." The record of that meeting bears the autograph signature of "Ben. Tupper." He also represented Hampshire Lodge at Grand Lodge June 24, 1785, and was present at. a meeting of the Grand Lodge on the first Friday in March, 1786, as "J.G.W. p. temp."
On the same day (Friday, March 6, 1786), and at the same meeting, Hampshire Lodge was represented by Elisha Porter, who then acted as "J.G.D. p. temp." He was also present June 24, 1786, when St. John's Day was celebrated by the Grand Lodge, at Warren Hall, Charlestown, Mass., and the Grand Officers were installed.
Friday, Sept. 7, 1787, a return from Hampshire Lodge, of their choice of officers for the year ensuing, was read, and also a vote of said Lodge which had been transmitted to the Grand Lodge. The original return is still preserved in the archives of the Grand Lodge, of which the following is a true copy: —
"In the Hampshire Lodge, April 11, A.L. 5787. Voted that the names of 'Daniel Shays, Luke Day & Elijah Day, who are members of this Lodge, be transmitted to the Grand Lodge, for taking arms against the Government of this Commonwealth, to be recorded with infamy.
"June 25th. Voted, that Elijah Day's name be erased from the Bye-Laws."
"A true extract from the Records, NORTHAMPTON, June 25th, 1787, A DURRANT Sec'y P. T."
N.B. Danl. Shays & Luke Day are included in the Charter.
Made choice of officers for the ensueing year,
- Elisha Porter, Master.
- Asahel Pomeroy, Senr. Warden.
- Jonathan Curson, Juur. Warden.
- Thadeus Pomeroy, Sec'y.
- Benjamin Davenport, Treasurer.
A. DURRANT Sec'y P. T.
Such was the opinion and action of Hampshire Lodge concerning those who led. a rebellion against the legally constituted authority of the State.
Hampshire Lodge was again represented in Grand Lodge Dec. 7, 1787, but by whom is not stated in the record.
On the 6th of June, 1788, Brig.-Genl. Elisha Porter was present at the Grand Lodge, as the representative of Hampshire Lodge, and at the same meeting was elected Junior Grand Warden.
Dec. 5, 1788, R.W. Elisha Porter, Master of Hampshire Lodge, acted as Senior Grand Warden pro tem, and presented a certificate to the Grand Lodge appointing Bro. Samuel W. Hunt (a grocer in Boston) the proxy of said Lodge. The record of that meeting bears the autograph signature of "E . Porter, S.W. pro tem." Hampshire Lodge was represented by Bro. Hunt as proxy at meetings of the Grand Lodge, held Jan. 7, 1789; Feb. 16, 1789; June 4, 1789, and Dec. 4, 1789.
On or about, March. 30, 1789, M. W. Moses M. Hays, Grand Master, directed R.W. Elisha Porter to act as a District Deputy Grand Master, vesting him with full power and authority to visit and examine the Lodges in his vicinity and report to the Grand Lodge.
April 2, 1790. The Massachusetts Grand Lodge assembled at Concert Hall, Boston. R.W. Elisha Porter was present, and represented Hampshire Lodge. His autograph signature is attached to the record of that meeting.
Dec. 8, 1790. The amount of dues to the Grand Lodge unpaid by Hampshire Lodge was reported to be £7 4s., which, upon the 19th of July, 1791, together with two additional quarterages, were paid by " Brother Elisha Porter, Esq."
At the time of the Union of St. John's and Massachusetts Grand Lodges as the present Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1792, Hampshire Lodge, of North Hampton, was reported as being within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and Elisha Porter, of Hadley, was recorded as one of the twelve permanent members of the late Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
Hampshire Lodge survived 1792, but probably expired before 1797; for on the 13th of June of that year Jerusalem Lodge, which participates in the services of this day, was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The names of the Original petitioners for the charter of Hampshire Lodge are not known, two excepted, viz.: Daniel Shays and Luke Day. The former was a captain in the continental army, and probably all the petitioners saw service in the Revolutionary War;
There were three men, possibly, charter members, who were identified with Hampshire Lodge: Rufus Putnam, first Master of Hampshire Lodge ; Benjamin Tupper, Master of Hampshire Lodge in 1785; and Elisha Porter, Master of Hampshire Lodge in 1786. 1787, 1788, 1789, and 1790. These three men were all identified with the Revolutionary Army and were loyal and active.
Elisha Porter resided in Hadley, was a graduate of Harvard College, and at one time sheriff of Hampshire county. He was captain of a company January 18, 1773, and January 22, 1776, became colonel of a regiment detailed for the Canada Expedition, under Major-General Schuyler. July 1, 1781, he was made colonel of the 4th Hampshire Regiment. The data concerning his life are meagre, but are enough to prove that he was for years in active military service, and was long the leading spirit in Hampshire Lodge.
Col. Benjamin Tupper, Master in 1785, was born at Stoughton, Mass., in 1738, and died at Marietta, Ohio, in June, 1792. He was a soldier in the French war, 1756-63; he was present (major in Fellows' Regiment), May, 1775, at the siege of Boston, where he distinguished himself; he served through the Revolution, being present at Saratoga and Monmouth, and was brevetted Brigadier-General in 1783. After the war he represented the town of Chesterfield, Hampshire Co., in the Legislature. In the measures adopted for the suppression of Shay's insurrection he took an active part. He removed to the north-western territory in 1787, and was one of the founders of Marietta in 1788.
In January, 1786, Col. Tupper was active in the formation of the Ohio Company, which came into possession of lands in the West, a part of which Col. Tupper had already surveyed. Of this Company, its organization, and purpose, an account will be given when speaking of Gen. Rufus Putnam. After the settlement of Marietta (1788) Col. Tupper remained there until his death.
The first reference to Col. Tupper as a Mason is found in the records of American Union Lodge, at a celebration of St. John's Day, June 24, 1779, at Nelson's Point. Washington and his family were present. It is not known when or where Col. T. was made a Mason. Possibly he received the degrees in American Union Lodge ; possibly in one of the Army Lodges erected by Gridley, Savage, or Ingersoll in the previous wars.
WASHINGTON LODGE #10
Washington Lodge, No. 10, a travelling Lodge in the Revolutionary Army, was erected Nov. 11, 1779, at West Point, N.Y. In the charter John Patterson was designated as Wor. Master, who first appointed Benjamin Tupper Senior Warden of the Lodge and he was installed by Jonathan Heart, Grand Master by proxy. Col. Benjamin Topper is named on the return of Washington Lodge, No. 10, at West Point, December 8, 1779, as its Senior Warden, and is given as a member on the returns of June 1, 1780, and July 18, 1782.
Col. Tupper was one of those Brethren who petitioned for the reestablishment of American Union Lodge at Marietta, O., 1790, June 25. The result will be stated hereafter. It is sufficient now to say: The usual officers were elected and installed June 28, 1790. " Bro. Benjamin Tupper, Past Master of Hampshire Lodge, acting as Senior Warden," to which office be was duly elected and in which he was installed at the above date. Col. Tupper was therefore Senior Warden of the first Masonic Lodge in Ohio.
RUFUS PUTNAM AND THE OHIO COMPANY
Col. Rufus Putnam was born in Sutton, Mass., April 9, 1738, and died in Marietta, O., May 1, 1824. When nineteen years of age he enlisted in the French war, and in 1760 was made an ensign. He afterwards became a millwright, but in 1773 went on an expedition to West Florida. In 1775 he entered the Continental Army as Lieutenant-Colonel, in 1776 was appointed engineer with the rank of Colonel, and in 1777 commanded a regiment in the Massachusetts line. Prior to his appointment by Congress as an engineer, Washington employed him to draw a map of the enemy's fortifications at Boston and of all the American defences around it. In January, 1778, he superintended the erection of the fortifications at West Point, making that place the American Gibraltar. He commanded the troops in the Northern Department when General Greaton, of Roxbury, was on a furlough in February, 1783. Just prior to the close of the war he was promoted to Brigadier-General.
The settlement of the North-western territory began to attract attention. Rufus Putnam, in communications to General Washington, urged the necessary provision for officers and men of the Revolutionary War, by the bestowal upon them of lands in the West, and the establishment of a chain of military posts from the Ohio to Detroit. April 5, 1784, he wrote to Washington again, and in June, 1785, he was appointed one of the surveyors of the public lands north-west of the Ohio river. Not being ready to undertake the work, Gen. Putnam had Brig.-Gen. Benjamin Tupper sent in his stead.
On the 10th of January, 1786, Bros. Putnam and Tupper issued a call for a meeting at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, in Boston, Mass., of such as contemplated removing to the West. Those persons in each county desiring to emigrate were represented by the following delegates; viz.: Winthrop Sargent and John Mills, of Suffolk county ; Rev. Manasseh Cutler, of Essex; John Brooks, of Middlesex, Lieut.-Col. and member of American Union Lodge; Benjamin Tupper, Col. and P. M. of Hampshire Lodge and member of Washington Lodge, No. 10; Crocker Sampson, of Plymouth; Rufus Putnam, of Worcester, Brig.-Genl. and member of American Union .and Washington Lodges; John Patterson, of Berkshire, Brig-Genl. and P.M. of Washington Lodge, No. 10; J. Woodbridge, of Berkshire, and Abraham Williams, of Barnstable, Capt. and member of Washington Lodge, No. 10. The above-named individuals assembled under the call, March 1, 1786, and continued their meetings for four days, during which time the Ohio Company was formed, with Rufus Putnam as President. The object of the Company was to purchase lands and make a settlement in the western country.
The second meeting was held March 8, 1787. Congress was petitioned, and one and a half million acres of government land were bought. A town was laid out on paper, to be located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, containing 5,760 acres. The representatives of the Company started on their westward journey, and on the.7th of April, 1788, these pioneers of the State of Ohio landed at the mouth of the Muskingum. July 2 the directors and agents of the company on the ground determined that the new town should be called Marietta. Bro. Putnam was appointed by President Washington, in 1789, Judge of the Supreme Court Of the North-western territory, and in 1792 was appointed Brigadier-General, under General Wayne, and was commissioned to make a treaty with the Indian tribes on the Wabash. In 1796 he was made Surveyor-General of United States lands, which office he held until 1803. In the latter year he was a member of the convention which framed the State constitution of Ohio.
Bro. Putnam resided in Marietta from 1788 until his death. He deserves much credit for his public spirit and untiring devotion. In all interests looking towards the material, educational and moral development of the western country he was an active and strong participant. The memory of him, like his work, still survives.
Col. Rufus Putnam was proposed and accepted for the degrees in Masonry in American Union Lodge, and was entered July 26, 1779. He became a Fellow Craft Aug. 26, 1779,-and a Master Mason Sept. 9, 1779. American Union Lodge was chartered by St. John's (or Modern) Grand Lodge Feb. 15, 1776, but Washington Lodge, No. 10, was erected by the Massachusetts (or Ancient) Grand Lodge Nov. 11, 1779. According to the return of Washington Lodge, No. 10 ("received 2d March, 1781"), Col. Rufus Putnam was also initiated in that Lodge after June 24, 1780, and before December 7 of that year. He is given as a member of that Lodge in its later returns.
Soon after the settlement of Ohio, the Old charter of American Union Lodge, possessed by Gen. Jonathan Heart, an officer of the American service, then stationed at Fort Harmar, opposite Marietta, O., and also the last elected Master of American Union Lodge, was used to convene a Lodge at that place. "1790, June 25, Rufus Putnam (first Master Hampshire Lodge," erected January-30, 1784), Benjamin Tupper, second Master of Hampshire Lodge, Griffin Green, Robert Oliver, Ezra Lunt (member of St. Peter's Lodge, Newburyport), William Stacey, William Burnham, Anselm Tupper, Thomas Stanley, and Ebenezer Sproat, met at Mumsell & Buell's in Marietta, framed a petition, and sent it to Wor. Bro. Jonathan Heart, at Fort Harmar, asking that the latter "would take them under his patronage and establish them on a permanent basis," granting them opportunity to meet him as soon as possibly convenient.
The next day he replied, reviewing all the circumstances, saying, "But there are only two, viz., Bro. Putnam and myself, who are actual enrolled members. To remove this objection, it is observable . . . Two of the petitioners were constant visitors of this Lodge during the war, one of them a Past Master (Bro. Benjamin Tupper), who, by custom, is a member of all Lodges." "Wherefore, being the present Master of the Lodge held under authority of said warrant, as may appear by having recourse to the records deposited in Frederick's Lodge, held at Farmington, State .of Connecticut, and being the oldest Ancient Mason within said territory, I have thought proper, with the advice of Bro. Putnam, member, and Bro. Benjamin Tupper, Past Master, to grant the request contained in your petition, and will meet you in Campus Martius, on Monday, the 28th inst., at 6 o'clock P.M., for the purpose of forming you into a Lodge."
The Brethren therefore convened at Marietta, June 28, 1790. A Lodge was opened, Wor. Bro. Jonathan Heart, W.M. ; Wor. Bro. Benjamin Tupper, Past Master Hampshire Lodge, acted as Senior Warden, and Bro. Putnam as Junior Warden. Six other Brethren were present. The original warrant was read. Seven Brothers were elected members. Bro. Tupper was then elected S.W., and Bro. Putnam J.W. From that time to the present American Union Lodge has had an uninterrupted existence, and is recorded as No. 1 in the registry of Ohio. Bro. Rufus Putnam was elected Master of American Union Lodge in 1791, 1793, 1798, 1800, 1804. He was High Priest of American Union Chapter 1797-99, 1804-8, or eight years.
Gen. Putnam continued an officer or active member of the Lodge, and when, in 1808, Masonry had so flourished in Ohio that a Grand Lodge seemed necessary, and a convention to form one had assembled, Bro. Rufus Putnam was, on the 7th of January, 1808, elected Grand Master of Masons in Ohio. He never enjoyed the honor of presiding over that Body, for he was then seventy years of age, and infirmity was heavy upon him. January 5, 1809, he declined to hold the office longer, being still unable to meet with the Brethren, and forwarded to the Grand Lodge a fraternal and sweet-spirited letter. He survived fifteen more years, dying at the age of eighty-six. "All said a good man had gone to his rest."
This dwelling with the past, the recalling of the names and fames of loyal and eminent Brethren, who began this work in the Connecticut valley and nourished freedom, Masonry and religion, side by side, are a pleasure, and we hope a profit to all.
In turning our attention to the present, and lifting our eyes upon the scenes about us, we may well be astonished at the marvellous change in a century. Then scattered hamlets; outreaching farms; a semi-frontier; agriculture was the chief occupation; the people were struggling under the debt, tax and sorrow of a devastating war, but a few Brethren gathered in brotherhood and sympathy, teaching and learning the sublime tenets of our Order.
Now there is beauty on every hand; the valley is filled with the hum of industry; great public beneficent institutions lift themselves above the tree-tops; schools, and colleges stand on nearly every roadside; villages nestle in every valley and cities rise up on the hill-sides; thrift, energy, intelligence seem well-nigh universal, while the few of Berkshire and Hampshire Lodges have become this long array of Brethren, clothed ih the regalia of the Order, upholding the same banner which was unfurled in this valley a century ago, and still teaching the same truths of Relief, Truth, Charity and Brotherhood which Putnam, Tupper, Porter and their Brethren taught and lived. The log meeting-house has been superseded by costly and beautiful structures; the little court-house, low and uncomfortable, around which a century ago the insurgents gathered and from which the. courts were driven, has given way to the demands of an increased population, until a larger and more commodious structure, demanded by still further need, is here to be erected.
The corner-stone-of this temple has been duly tried, and is square, level and plumb. Safely may it rest, a symbol of the permanence of justice and truth. May no blast of the sky smite it; no trembling of the earth disturb it! May the edifice which shall stand over and upon it pass through its several stages of erection until the cape-stone for its completion shall be brought "with joy and gladness," and the hopes of to-day be more than realized.
May no harm come to the craftsmen while, rising from the woods and quarries, this building shall take on its intended proportions and adornment. Here may this temple stand a place for the defence of the innocent and helpless; for the prevention and correction of wrong; and the dispensing of justice to all men, of all classes and races.
AT A HALL DEDICATION IN AMESBURY, AUGUST 1886
From Proceedings, Page 1886-113:
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AND BRETHREN: — In behalf of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and of the Fraternity in general, I congratulate you upon the-event which calls us together to-day. Tried finally by fire, you are now, nevertheless, enjoying prosperity, and your Halls doubtless present an appearance hitherto unequalled in the history of the Lodge. In view of the various considerations of efficient officers, earnest and painstaking; of their work studied and commendable; of your added membership, reported to me as worthy and well qualified; of this Hall, spacious and convenient, its furnishings tasteful and complete; its situation in this busy and thriving town, and of the good degree of fraternity that pervades the Lodge, — we would express our sincere congratulations.
This Lodge bears an honored name, — Warren, that of an eminent Brother,, who, in defence of the. independence of the colonies, lost bis life. On Sept. 4, 1778, a petition was presented to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge for a charter of erection for a Lodge at Machias, Maine. The petition was granted, and issued under the name Warren, in memory of him who, a little while before, fell on Bunker Hill. That Lodge still exists, and bears the honored name. After the District of Maine separated from Massachusetts, and a Grand Lodge was erected in the State of Maine, in 1820, (that first Warren Lodge being within the jurisdiction of Maine), no Lodge in our jurisdiction bore that revered name. When the charter of this Lodge was issued, Dec. 11, 1822, it therefore fittingly brought again to our registry the name of Warren. Since that day your charter has, so far as my information extends, never been surrendered, and the name itself has not been dishonored by disloyalty. During the severe trials which visited the Craft between 1830 and 1840 the organization was preserved, and the charter was retained by the faithful of the Lodge. For a time, it is said, the Brethren had no abiding-place, and the furniture was sold by order of the Lodge ; but the "true and tried," gathered in private houses, kept some fire upon the altar, and thus the existence of this Lodge has been continuous for sixty-four years.
How gratifying the result of your devotion to the interests of Warren Lodge during the past few years must be! The cancellation of the Grand Lodge tax has proved in your case, as it has in very many others, an inspiration, giving to members a vision of their strength and what they could do through perseverance and effort. Though fire destroyed your Hall and its contents, we again realize and appreciate what united action, zealous labor. and generous contributions have done. The achievement of 1882 was a prophecy of what could be done in 1885. The securing of this Hall, its arrangement, furniture and convenience, indicate wisdom-and devotion on the part of those having special charge of the same. Not least to be mentioned and commended are the sacrifice and earnestness of the members, and their liberal support of those entrusted with the work.
With this new home, which you have for a time enjoyed, came a blessing in the form of a revival of Masonry in this locality, and an unusual number of candidates have applied for admission. It is agreeable to be assured that, while there is danger in too much work, your candidates have proved thus far worthy to be received, and I trust will add to the good influence of the Lodge and of Masonry.
Let this zealous, wise labor continue. Add to your membership judiciously, admit none who will be but chaff in the wheat; labor together in love; seek to promote each other's welfare; aim for the best interests of the whole. Thus acting, a great step is taken towards noble citizenship and useful manhood. The principles learned and obeyed in the Lodge, and in our intercourse there as Masons, are none too good for the outward daily life. Fraternity, born here within these walls, should go with us everywhere, bearing the spirit of the Lodge-room in all our walks.
The learning of the true principles of Masonry in the Lodge, acting by that knowledge in-our intercourse with one another, then applying it in all our dealings, duty and life without, constitute the true glory of a Mason. Here truth is taught, charity displayed, and fraternity enjoyed. Truth, charity and fraternity, carried ever with us in our daily walks will make our lives happy, and will bless all with whom we associate.
Let us not forget what Masonry is. It is not pleasure alone, nor a business, .nor a trade, nor a spectacle, nor a profession. It is a joyous duty, a noble manhood, a charitable life. It is not an outward display, symbolic Charms, or glittering hosts. Masonry is an inward possession. It is not a matter of gain, but of giving; not one of hoarding, but of diffusing.
This is preeminently an age of associations. Our fellow citizens are united in.a great number of societies, principally organized for purposes of pecuniary relief in cases of temporary disability or death. All such, however, came into being in this country long after Masonic Lodges had become an established fact. The amount of good these societies accomplish is almost beyond calculation. In the Institution which we here represent the relief of the poor, sick, maimed, aged and afflicted is not a matter of constitutional levy against the individual member, but is a matter of personal charity, to which each is expected to contribute as best he can without injury to himself or family. Masonic relief is not a transaction to which obligation binds each and all the same; but it rests on the higher plane of charity, cheerful charity, towards those in need. In this work among secret societies Masonry is undoubtedly the original. It gives, asking no return. It relieves suffering, bears burdens for others, and is now bestowing large sums upon the needy, not from a sense of formal obligation, but from a sense, of duty in the spirit of humanit}y. In this Masonry follows the grandest promptings of the human soul. Masonry is Fraternity, Relief, Charity, or it has lost its true character.
The new impulses received by one who studies our ritual and obeys its tenets; the delineation of great moral principles which build up manhood; the oft-repeated lessons of God with us, love within us, and charity binding us all together, are better than gold. Masonry bears in her hand those gifts which suffering and need demand; but it also offers her votaries the principles of the truest living, which would make men useful, good, happy and beloved. In this work Masonry stands unrivalled, if not unapproached, by the other secret societies of our time.
In this work each of us has a duty. The influence of the Order in the world, the social and moral standing in the community, the permanence of the State, and the safety of the home, depend much upon our fidelity to the principles of our Order. These principles make men good citizens, peaceful and loyal; make them industrious, frugal, helpful; better neighbors, parents, friends, and tend to make the bad good and the good better.
Let us, therefore, be true to the Lodge, true to its service, true to its teachings, true to ourselves; and while the sun shall shine, its rising and setting beams shall gild the emblems upon our myriad altars.