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  • MM 1802, Franklin #6, Dartmouth, NH
  • (member of), St. Paul, Amicable
  • DDGM, Boston 1, 1813-1814
  • Senior Grand Warden 1817
  • Grand Master 1843-1845


1843 1844 1845


TROWEL, 2012

From TROWEL, Winter 2012, Page 10:


Augustus Peabody: “A Profound Thinker and Good Man”
by Rt. Wor. Walter H. Hunt

In December 1845, at the end of three years as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, sixty-six year old Augustus Peabody rose to address his newly installed successor, Simon Wiggin Robinson. His remarks were heartfelt and articulate, and spoke of the course of his time in Grand Lodge’s highest office.

On resigning the oriental chair, I cannot forbear a few remarks to you, and the Grand Lodge over which you now preside. It may be incumbent on me to make a brief allusion to the principal events that have occurred during the last three years . . .

A few years since, our number in this Grand Lodge was small, consisting chiefly of elders — a bold and faithful band, who could neither be allured by bribes, nor driven by menaces of destruction, from the stand on which they had planted themselves around their Masonic altars. Most of the subordinate Lodges were silent in death — or sunk in a paralized {sic} sleep resembling death. And perilous and painful were the labors of those who sustained the Order.

Freemasonry has been . . . exposed to assaults under which every thing else that was of human origin has fallen. But Freemasonry still remains — and probably it will endure so long as it shall be transmitted, unchanged, to successive generations. Change would destroy it . . . It has recently risen from one of the severest attacks it ever sustained — and since that period, many slumbering and apparently extinct Lodges have struggled into new being, and many have been added to our number. It is delightful to contrast it since its revival with what it was as long ago as the oldest can remember. Affliction has purified it . . .

The Craft have had many perplexing difficulties and formidable labors to encounter. Every thing appertaining to them had been thrown into confusion. And while for many years few received initiation, all the remaining members, not attached by the strongest bonds of affection, had fallen away, and were no more seen at our assemblies. The few who retained an indomitable faith, labored assiduously and effectually in repairing what was broken, and reanimating what was paralized. {sic}

And now, Most Worshipful, you succeed to the direction of an association, whose strength is restored, and whose movement is onward and vigorous. You are sustained by a well-founded hope that your administration will be peaceful — and that you will be charged with less perplexing labors than you have sustained in subordinate stations . . .

It is in your power to do much to render universal a reverence for the principles of the Order, and conformity to its ancient simplicity, which have been so strongly recommended by foreign correspondents and domestic conventions.

For Past Grand Master Peabody, and for the Grand Lodge going forward, the vistas were wide and, after a period of extreme trial, the future looked very bright. It was an outcome that no one — not even Augustus Peabody, whom [ Charles W. Moore dubbed “a profound thinker and a good man” in his memorial years later — could have anticipated.

Augustus Peabody was born Asa Peabody in Andover in May 1779, the son of Lieutenant John Peabody Jr., a veteran of the French and Indian War (he was present at the battles of Fort Ticonderoga and Louisburg) and the American Revolution (as the captain of a militia company). His Perley maternal grandmother was General Israel Putnam’s sister.

At age four, Asa and his family removed to what is now Bridgton, Maine; he was (as is said) “fitted for school” and attended Dartmouth College and then Harvard Law School. While at Dartmouth he was initiated at Franklin Lodge #6; after graduation, and during the time he was reading law for Timothy Bigelow (later Grand Master of Massachusetts), he became affiliated with Saint Paul Lodge in Groton. As with most young officers in the fraternity, he learned the standard work “mouth to ear”— without the aid of ciphers or other printed documents; in his diary, he reported that in 1804 he attended a ‘Convention’ at the old Trinity Lodge in Lancaster, where he learned the Webb Lectures from Benjamin Gleason, the grand lecturer of the Grand Lodge.

When he opened his law office in Cambridge in 1806, he affiliated with Amicable Lodge, where he served as an officer (though not as master). He was highly regarded by his brethren, and particularly by Most Wor. Brother Bigelow, who appointed him as district deputy grand master of the First Masonic District in 1813; Grand Master Benjamin Russell renewed the appointment in 1814. In 1817 he was elected senior grand warden, serving under Grand Master Francis J. Oliver. In 1815, he legally changed his name from Asa, which he detested, to Augustus, the name he bore as Grand Master.

From this point, Brother Peabody’s story becomes curious. He was high in the standing of the Masons of Massachusetts; indeed, a fellow member of Amicable Lodge, Samuel P. P. Fay, a district deputy at the time Peabody occupied the senior grand warden’s chair, was elected Grand Master in 1820. It would not be surprising for Augustus Peabody to have been chosen in his middle years to the highest office in Massachusetts Masonry.

Instead, it appears that he stepped away from the fraternity. “I retired from the meetings,” he wrote; “and thereafter had little connection with the active duties of the Craft, except that I was for one or two years deputy grand high priest; and excepting, also, that after the anti-Masonic pressure became severe, I met often with the brethren in their meetings for consultation and advice.”

For much of the period between 1830 and his election to the Grand Mastership in December 1842, he was a trustee of the Grand Lodge Charitable Fund, a responsible position that demonstrated the trust that a beleaguered fraternity reposed in him.

Occasionally, and usually at the Annual Communication in December, his name appeared in the list of attendees, but he received no committee appointments, made no speeches, and introduced no legislation or proposals in the Grand Lodge.

In 1842, Most Wor. Caleb Butler, who had been forced to delegate much of the active work of the Grand Lodge to his deputy, Simon W. Robinson, “unequivocally declined” reelection for a third year as Grand Master. Instead of turning to Robinson — a dozen years his junior, and still active in business in Boston — the Grand Lodge chose Augustus Peabody by unanimous vote as their Grand Master, retaining Brother Robinson as the deputy. He inherited a body, and a jurisdiction, in far better shape than it had been for many years; “the time had come,” he said, “for the brethren to return to their halls and their lodge rooms, as the children of Israel went up to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple which their enemies had desecrated and destroyed.”

It was a remarkable three years. During Grand Master Peabody’s first year, a great Convention was held in Baltimore, attended by most of the Grand Lodges in the United States; the result was the creation of a trestle-board, adopted in various forms by the various jurisdictions, enforcing a common mode of work. “I have examined it with care,” he said at his annual address in December of 1843. “It meets with my decided approbation . . . This little book is adapted to the wants of the working Masons. It contains what he needs, and nothing more. Its judicious and tasteful arrangements make it a valuable acquisition.”

During each of his years as Grand Master, Brother Peabody had the pleasure of restoring charters to a number of lodges that had surrendered them during the difficult years of anti-Masonic turbulence. At his final annual address in December 1845 he named eighteen lodges — some of which claimed precedence from before the Union of the Grand Lodges in 1792 — that he had restored to operation, and as he said, they had “re-organized, are in healthy operation, and give good examples of their works of charity.” This was not without complexity; he established precedents for the status of lodges and their members when the charter had been surrendered or lapsed. He applied a fine legal mind to Masonic Law; the propriety of the institution, the presentation and reception of candidates, and the relationship between the Craft and those who did not meet its entrance requirements all received his attention through rulings from the Oriental Chair.

When he departed the Chair, he had indeed left the institution “better than he had found it.” In addition to restoring charters, he granted a new one for Star of Bethlehem Lodge in Chelsea, the first new lodge in Massachusetts since 1828; and the dispensation for another, Mount Tabor in East Boston, that would be consecrated by his successor.

Grand Master Augustus Peabody was known for his fine legal mind, his fine speaking voice and his interest and devotion to the fraternity. Unlike many in Grand Lodge and in society at large in that era, he was not inclined to personal vanity; he was not particularly attentive to his personal appearance. Nonetheless, he ranked high in the esteem of his brethren. When he passed away in 1850, the Grand Lodge offered the following resolution in his memory:

Resolved. That this Grand Lodge owes a lasting debt of gratitude to the memory of our late R. W. P. G. Master Peabody for the important and permanent benefits which he has rendered to the Masonic Institution, not only by the discharge of the duties of the several offices, which he has holden, but by the wisdom of his council, and the firmness and consistency of his course, at a period when the Institution was threatened with dangers from without and from within.



Resolutions of condolence, from Proceedings, beginning on Page V-303.

It having pleased the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in his all wise Providence to remove from this world, the soul of our late Brother the R. W. Past Grand Master Augustus Peabody,—

Resolved. That in the death of our venerated Brother, this Grand Lodge has lost one of its most valuable members, and the Masonic Fraternity one of its firmest friends and ablest supporters, whose time and talents have been frequently, as they have been most cheerfully and zealously devoted to the cause of Freemasonry,

Resolved. That this Grand Lodge owes a lasting debt of gratitude to the memory of our late R. W. P, G, Master Peabody for the important and permanent benefits which he has rendered to the Masonic Institution, not only by the discharge of the duties of the several officers, which he has holden, but by the wisdom of his council, and the firmness and consistency of his course, at a period when the Institution was threatened with dangers from without and from within.

Resolved. That this G. Lodge do bear their most cheerful testimony to the rare powers of mind and amiable qualities of heart in connection with the Masonic zeal and fidelity of our departed brother, which he manifested in his unabated interest for the best welfare of our Institution up to the last days of his life.

Resolved. That this G. Lodge do most sincerely sympathize with his afflicted family in the sorrows of their great bereavement,

Resolved. As a testimony of our profound respect for the memory of our late P. Grand Master, that the apartment of the Grand Lodge be clothed in the habiliments of mourning for the space of three months.

Resolved, That a copy of these Resolutions, signed by the Sec. be handed to the family of our deceased Brother,


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. X, No. 1, November 1850, Page 6:


It has become our painful duty to record the death of this estimable Brother and personal friead. He died at his residence in Roxbury, on the second day of October last, in the 71st year of his age. He had been confined to his bed about two months; during which time he lay in a halfconscious state, not appearing to suffer from bodily pain; and finally fell into his eternal rest, without a struggle.

The deceased was a native of Maine, and a graduate of Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. He was a lawyer by profession, and had been in active practice in this city for about forty years. He had outlived most of his early contemporaries, and stood among men of the present day, as the lone oak stands in the cleared pasture, to mark the spot where once flourished a race that has Iong sinee fallen before the axe of the woodman. He possessed an enlarged and highly cultivated mind, and was eminently well read in his profession. In the younger and more active period of his life, there were but few members of the Bar in this Commonwealth, who sustained a more eminent position, or enjoyed a more honorable and extensive practice. In his latter years he was an able, safe and faithful counsellor.

He was an industrious scholar, and had acquired from his varied and extensive readings, an amount of literary, scientific and general knowledge; rarely to be met with among gentlemen of other than strictly literary pursuits. Possessing fine conversational powers, he was not merely agreeable, but a valuable friend and associate.

He had been for nearly half a century, an active member of the Masonic Fraternity, and had sustained various high and responsible offices in the Institution: among them, was that of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of this State. There were but few better informed Brethren in the country. He understood and justly appreciated the principles, usage and history of the Order; and in its day of adversity, was its first friend and able defender. He was constant in his attendapce at the Grand Lodge, and never shrunk from any duty which his Brethren thought it to require of him. His loss will be long felt by that body, as the loss of one of its best and ablest counsellors and friends.

He was a kind-hearted Brother- open, frank and generous. Those who knew him intimately loved him for his talents, his intelligence, and his faithfulness; and they will long cherish his memory, and hold his personal worth in respectful remembrance. His funeral was attended by the principal officers of the Grand Lodge.

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. X, No. 2, December 1850, Page 43:


In the brief notice o{. the death of this excellent Brother, given in our last nurnber, we rvere incorrect in two particulars. He was in the 72d year of his age, instead of the 71st, and was born at Andover, in this State, and not, as stated, in Maine. His parents did not remove to the latter State until some years after his birth.

We learn frorn his journal, from which we make the following extracts, that he was initiated in the year 1801, in Franklin Lodge No. 6, at the "village of Dartmouth College." Br. William Woodward was the Master. "In the following winter," he says, "I kept a school at Bridgeton, Me., and visited Lodges at Portland, and elsewhere.

"In the winter of 1802-3, I kept school at Fitchburg, and several times visited Aurora Lodge, at Leominster.

"In the fall of 1803, when I was in Mr. Bigelow's office as a student, I became a member of St. Paul's Lodge, at Groton; and in the fall of 1804 or 1805, (I forget which,) I went as a delegate from that Lodge to Lancaster to attend a Convention, held in the hali of Trinity Lodge, to hear the Webb Lectures frorn Br. Benj. Gleason. The Convention continued in session about a fortnight.

"In 1806, I opened an office at Cambridge, and became a member, and subsequently an officer in Amicable Lodge. I thence for a number of years attended the meetings of the Grand Lodge, and other institutions in Boston.

"I afterwards became a member of St. Andrew's Chapter, in Boston, having been exalted in 1804 or 1805, in St. John's Chapter, at Groton, - being the first candidate exalted in that Chapter.

"In 1812, Hon. Timothy Bigelow being Grand Master, I was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the first District, and visited officially the numerous Lodges in the District, for two or three successive years.

"In 1818, when the Lodges in Boston met in the old exchange, just before it was burnt, and after I had been J. G. Warden, I retired from the active duties of Masonry and had little connection with the Institution for some years, except that for one or two years I held the office of Deputy Grand H. Priest.

"After the antimasonic excitement broke out, I again met with the Brethren, and was present at all meetings for consultation and advice.

"In 1842, I was installed Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, by Hon. Benjamin Russell, having been elected to that office in place of Caleb Butler, Esq., whose infirmities disqualified him for a longer continuance in the office."



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, January 1844, Vol. III, No. 3, p. 74:

Another Masonic year has passed. It is suitable for moral and responsible men to pause at the annual return of important eras - and to look back and review past events. From them he should take counsel, and receive instruction - that he may better improve the coming year - if he should be spared to labor on earth another year.

The last year, though marked by no event vitally affecting our Institution, has witnessed many occurrences of more than usual interest.

At its commencement our thoughts were directed with mingled hope and fear to the forthcoming Baltimore Convention. It took place in May, and the report of its proceedings is before you. It was well attended - and the fraternity was generally represented throughout the Union. Great spirit and good Fellowship governed the proceedings of its members. Mutual concession enabled them to recommend a uniform mode of work and lectures. Their recommendations have been extensively adopted by State Grand Lodges. You have adopted most of them. Some are still under consideration. Periodical advisatory Conventions were recommended - for the purpose, among other things, of deciding such differences between State Grand Lodges as might be referred to them. This feature alarmed some of our wisest and most faithful Brethren. They fear that such a Convention might degenerate into a General Grand Lodge. The advantages that should result from such Conventions are of serious magnitude; and too dear to us to be lightly given up. If they can produce and preserve a uniformity of work and lectures throughout this vast country - the world hereafter may find this the cherished dwelling - the central home of Freemasonry.

The formation of a General Grand Lodge have been several times discussed. It as proposed soon after the close of the revolutionary war - and at several times since; the last, I believe, in 1822. It has been always rejected. But with the rejection the proposal of occasional advisatory Conventions has in most of the State Grand Lodges been favorably entertained.

The objections to a General Grand Lodge have been: that as its meetings must be at Washington, its tendency would be to become political - that as every Mason might appeal to it in al cases, it would destroy the authority of State Grand Lodges. And that from the infrequency of its meetings, and its distance from the residence of the parties interested, there would in effect be nearly a denial of justice. Another objection was, that the Craft had been harmonious and highly successful without the aid of a general tribunal. That was true before 1822, but it has not been so ever since.

The General Grand Lodges heretofore proposed, were intended to be clothed with full and ample powers, leaving to the State Grand Lodges little more than the authority of Provincial or District Grand Lodges. To such an arrangement there are insuperable objections, and I hope none among us will ever advocate it. The labor, time and expense of settling controversies in that mode would be intolerable. If individuals could in all cases appeal from the decisions of State Grand Lodges to such a tribunal, there would practically be an end of just decisions and fair hearing of cases. But a Convention clothed only with power to advise - or even a General Grand Lodge with limited powers, having no authority but to correct deviations and errors in work and lectures, and settle such differences between State Grand Lodges as should be referred to it, has no terrors to me.

The State Grand Lodges should forever retain the general authority, from which there should be no appeal but in a few specified cases, where the question at issue affected the whole Fraternity. Consistently with this a General Grand Lodge might be formed, possessing none but cautiously delegated powers - to meet once in three, five, seven or more years, at places remote from political agitation; which might be as beneficial to the Craft, as Congress and the Federal government are to the Union.

On the 17th of June, was the great celebration of what was called the completion of Bunker Hill Monument; at which were present the Chief Magistrate and Dignitaries of the Nation - and some of the States. Those who had the direction of that great Jubilee did not feel the propriety of inviting our Grand Lodge to assist in the ceremonies. The relation of the Fraternity to the Chief Martyr on that sacred ground, and their activity and patriotism in erecting and maintaining the first, and contributing funds and laying the corner stone of the second Monument, led to the expectation that a different policy would have been pursued. Our wisest and most devoted Brethren entertained varying opinions. But after deliberation the Grand Lodge determined not to attend as a body. Most of its members as individuals joined in the procession with King Solomon's Lodge, which was specially invited, and the affair passed off as acceptably to the Fraternity as could have been expected under the embarrassing circumstances.

A new Constitution of the Grand Lodge, after much labor and deliberation, has been harmoniously adopted. Being confined to the plain, indisputable rules of the Order - and containing no superfluous matter, it is reduced to a small volume. It is distributed among the Lodges, and will be of great utility by carrying home to them practical information, of which no Lodge should be destitute. Although much care has been bestowed on it, experience will probably show that it is not perfect. Improvements may be applied as defects are discovered.

A Trestle-Board has just been published. It is one of the fruits of the Convention. I have examined it with care: it meets my decided approbation. The information it contains has long since been published. It may be found in many books published in this and former centuries. But they are without methodical arrangement. Their utility is diminshed by their containing much that is of doubtful authority, and of no particular value. This little book is adapted to the wants of the working Mason. It contains what he needs, nd nothing more. Its judicious and tasteful arrangement make it a valuable acquisition.

These, and other expected publications, lead us to hope that we shall give the example of Masonic books, that can never be assailed on the ground of their truth, morality and taste.

Within the year the Duke of Sussex, who was over 30 years Grand Master in England, has been called from his earthly labors. The loss of one so illustrious, so ardently attached to the Institution, and so long a Grand Master, is a sorrowful event. During the year we too have lost some distinguished Brethren. But amid these mournful events time has produced much to encourage and cheer us.

In October, King Solomon's Lodge had a handsome and well furnished Hall dedicated in due and ancient form. The ceremonies were the more interesting because we have not before witnessed them since the hurricane of Antimasonry.

In November, a Dispensation was granted for a Lodge to a suitable number of enterprising Brethren in Chelsea. They are successfully at work, and give the promise of adding one more vigorous Lodge to our diminished band.

Meridian Lodge has been removed from Needham to Newton, and is in active operation.

Middlesex, Rising Star, Olive Branch, Star in the East, Hiram and other Lodges are in full activity or reviving; and all the Lodges in this city are in prosperous condition.

The Fraternity under our jurisdiction is in far better condition than in years past, and a reasonable hope is now cherished, that if we perform our duty, Freemasonry will in the year to come, make a decided advance toward its former state of prosperity.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, January 1845, Vol. IV, No. 3, p. 109:

The flight of time, which, in its course, is rapidly wafting us all to the close of our mortal career, has brought us to the return of another annual rest; and we are now assembled to organize anew for future operations.

In compliance with a custom adopted long ages ago, this organization is had on the anniversary of St. John the Evangelist. Tradition informs us, that this mildest of men; this preacher of love and good will to all mankind ; this disciple whom Jesus loved,—was an eminent patron of our Order. This we may well credit; for the charity and goodwill, the Brotherly kindness, relief and truth, which it is our chief aim to inculcate, formed almost the whole character of our Patron Saint.

Tradition also informs us, that soon after his death, this anniversary was selected as the appropriate day for the organization of the Lodges, in the hope that the influence of his mild and gentle spirit would be upon them, and enter largely into their labors. No Mason on this day, without forgetting to whom it is dedicated, can cherish unkind and uncharitable feelings towards his Brother. Let us, then, in the mildness of the loving and beloved disciple, address ourselves to the work before us.

The last year has been marked by prosperity. The Brethren are reassembling round their deserted altars, and with recovered cheerfulness and increased numbers, are exchanging their vows to ameliorate the condition of mankind. But there is mnch to admonish us to proceed with caution. We yet resemble our ancient Brethren returning from captivity to rebuild a fallen temple. For we are yet surrounded, by the ruins brought on an unoffending society, by Barbarian assailants.

It is natural to inquire: Why should modest, unassuming, peaceable Freemasonry, ever have provoked a desolating hostility ? Perhaps it was sent as a punishment for its pride, in foolishly boasting of an origin, antiquity and dignity, which it could not prove to belong to it, instead of cherishing and practising those humbler virtues which are peculiarly its own.

Affliction should inspire us with humility and caution; and to double our diligence to understand and put in full practice, the true principles of the Institution, which have enabled it to survive the assaults of time and hostile combinations, under which cities and nations, and languages, and all other things human, except the miraculously preserved nation of the Jews, have fallen into decay and been buried in oblivion. It should be the care of Freemasons in all ages, but more especially in one like this, to gain all possible knowledge of the origin, designs and history of the Order, and to transmit it, with the secrets, to the newly initiated.

It seems to me to be profitable to inquire of, and communicate to, each other, the various information we can obtain on these subjects. We should inquire, with the sixth Henry, king of England—

"What mote ytt be ? Where dyd ytt begyne? Who did brynge ytt westlye? Whatte artis haveth the Maconnes techedde mankynde which odhermen teche not? Doth Maconnes love eidher odher myghtylye as beeth sayde?"

Inquiry leaves on my mind no doubt that Freemasons were originally a band of practical-builders, with, perhaps, few associates other than their employers; that from their profession were taken, and has been preserved, their working tools, emblems and dresses. And this character was in a great measure preserved till about two hundred years ago, when it had become gradually changed from an operative to a speculative society,—still preserving, unchanged, its emblems, dresses, paraphernalia, work, lectures and charges, and still more sacredly preserving, unchanged, its principles and practice of Charity, Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

In early times, none but the skilful were admitted to initiation. The science of building was itself a distinction, and to its cultivation they added that of other sciences and arts; and when the means of education were rare in.the world, the Lodges were valuable schools of instruction. Initiation was then an enviable distinction. This condition of things contributed to strengthen and extend the Order. That the Institution existed before Christianity, I think we have proof. But how it existed, till many ages after the advent of the Saviour, we are not well informed. So far as I have discovered, history in this respect is nearly silent, and tradition speaks sometimes in an ambiguous and doubtful voice. But this we know, that when the light of modern civilization shone in on the dark ages, and unfolded a view of the world to the inquiring mind, Freemasonry was found to exist in different nations, which for a long period had held no intercourse with each other; and yet it was found to be the same, wherever it existed. So zealously had it been cherished, and so faithfully transmitted In ancient times, Masters of Lodges held absolute authority. They made rules and usages at pleasure, and none participated with them in the government Indeed, government of every kind was then absolute, and all centered in the rulers. In process of time, when the improvement of human intelligence demanded more popular forms of government, Freemasonry took the lead in the reform; and the absolute power of the Masters was gradually yielded to conventions and Grand Lodges.

The first Grand Lodge known in modern times, was formed by Edwin, the brother of king Athelstane, and grandson of Alfred the Great, at his castle at Aubrey, near York, in the year 926. That Grand Lodge continued in power till its junction with the Grand Lodge at London, in 1813.

The advantage of Grand Lodges was early manifested in the ascendency that York Masonry gained all over the world, and has ever since maintained. From that time, regular records of Masonic proceedings were kept, which are still preserved in the archives of the United Grand Lodge of England.

In 1567, a Grand Lodge was formed at London, which held divided, and sometimes conflicting jurisdiction, with the institution at York, for two hundred and fifty years; when after much careful discussion, with the co-operation and sanction of the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland, they were happily united, and uniformity was established throughout the kingdom.

In 1723, the first book of Constitutions, Charges, &c. was published, collected from the records of York, and ancient manuscripts in various languages, found in antiquarian collections. Before 926, records of Masonic events either were never made or have not been duly authenticated. From that period its operations can be ascertained with the precision of historical evidence.

The Order in different ages has met with various fates. In England, the Royal family and the nobility have often been its patrons, but sometimes it has been depressed, and faded almost into non-existence. Antimasonry is no new thing. It has frequently assailed the Order in ages long gone by. It is remarkable, that in England, as well as here, it has generally had its origin in the unprincipled ambition of political demagogues, who deemed it good policy to aim a death blow at an incorruptible-rival by assailing the society with which he was identified. In 1425, during the minority of king Henry VI., Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, had the custody of the king's person, and was ambitious to become the Protector, and in fact the ruler of the realm. The Grand Master of the Masons, a pure and high minded Prince, opposed his designs. The intriguing Prelate thought he could best remove the obstacle to his ambition, by destroying the society under his care, and by his persevering enterprize and great popularity, he procured an act of Parliament to be passed, declaring all meetings of Freemasons to be felonious, and that all persons who attended them should be punished as felons. Although the Bishop became a Cardinal, he could procure no respect to be-paid to his statute. When the king became of age, he joined the Order, and became a distinguished patron. And when afterwards the profligate Cardinal was impeached for having committed treason, he saved his life only by procuring a pardon from the Pope.

That statute still stands among the English statutes at large. When queen Elizabeth took offence at the Masons witholdihg their secrets from her, she desired to apply the Statute to them. But her legal adviser, the great Lord Coke, entertained the opinion that the statute had never been in use, and was of no force; and that opinion is recorded in the third part of his Institute, page 99—a book which is held in the highest veneration, and is found in every well furnished English and American lawyer's library. When the Uluminati and other German and French societies, assuming the garb of Freemasonry, conspired against all government and all laws, human and divine, in 1798, the British Parliament passed another statute, declaring all meetings of secret societies to be felonious. But in this statute, Freemasons were honorably excepted; it declaring that they were well known to be charitable, loyal and honorable societies.

In this country, Freemasonry first existed in Boston, and from hence, directly and indirectly, it has spread over most of the Union, the British Provinces and the West India Islands. The first Provincial Grand Lodge in the United States, called St. John's Grand Lodge, was, by the Grand Lodge in London, established in Boston, in 1733. In 1769, the Grand Lodge of Scotland also established a Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston, called the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. In 1792, they were both united, and formed the present Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

During the last Masonic year, the Fraternity has in general been peaceful and prosperous. In England, the Earl of Zetland has succeeded as Grand Master to the long and valuable government of the Duke of Sussex. In this country, the States have generally adopted the uniformity of Work and Lectures recommended by the Baltimore Convention, in May, 1843.

In Massachusetts, we feel that this is the home of Masonry in our country. And it is natural that our distant Brethren should expect to find it here in a high state of culture. And perhaps the lectures and principles are as purely taught here as elsewhere. But where are our charitable funds? Where are our treasuries from which good-will draws practical consolation to soothe affliction ? In England, Masonry has multitudes of golden stores to support the widow, the aged, the infirm, and the afflicted; to educate the orphan, and to feed and clothe the destitute. And in this country, in Missouri, a State but of yesterday, compared with us, we hear of a Masonic College !—and in other States, numbers of Academies, Schools and other well endowed institutions, are dedicated to the Craft. What do we find like this in Massachusetts ? These subjects demand our immediate and earnest attention. Let it be no longer the reproach of Massachusetts, that her charity is purely speculative, and not operative. Let it not be said of us, that we content ourselves with a pure faith, and take no heed to adorn it with good works.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, January 1844, Vol. V, No. 3, p. 108:

Most Worshipful Grand Master

On resigning the oriental chair, I cannot forbear a few remarks to you, and the Grand Lodge over which you now preside. It may be incumbent on me to make a brief allusion to the principal events that have occurred during the last three years. If to some of you they are familiar, it is nevertheless useful to recur to the past; for thence may be derived lessons useful for the guidance of future labors.

A few years since, our number in this Grand Lodge was small, consisting chiefly of elders—a bold and faithful band, who could neither be allured by bribes, nor driven by menaces of destruction, from the stand on which they had planted themselves around their Masonic altars. Most of the subordinate Lodges were silent in death—or sunk in a paralized sleep resembling death. And perilous and painful were the labors of those who sustained the Order.

Freemasonry has been handed down from remote antiquity, with little or no change. A Lodge at work, in our day, very much resembles a Lodge in the age in which the Order was founded. Its singular structure gave it features tenacious of existence. It has been exposed to assaults under which every thing else that was of human origin has fallen. But Freemasonry still remains—and probably it will endure so long as it shall be transmitted, unchanged, to successive generations. Change would destroy it

It has recently risen from one of the severest attacks it ever sustained— and since that period, many slumbering and apparently extinct Lodges have struggled into new being, and many have been added to our number. It is delightful to contrast it since its revival with what it was as long ago as the oldest can remember. Affliction has purified it Men have studied its history, and reflected deeply on its character and designs. They now engage in it with the utilitarian purpose of ascertaining how far it can practically effect the best of its avowed purposes, the extension of Friendship, Peace, Benevolence and Charily. It now bears unwonted features of humility and sober earnestness in its operations; and is shorn of the vain boasting and indiscreet hilarity which formerly marred it.

The stated meetings of the Grand Lodge annually are but five—and in quiet times the ordinary business requires but few special meetings. But during the last three years, it held more meetings of emergency than stated meetings. These have been.rendered necessary by the condition of the Order; and by the occurrence of various unanticipated events, that probably will not again be met A number of prostrate Lodges, which could not revive without the co-operation of the Grand Lodge, have re-organized—are in healthy operation, and give good examples of their works of charity. Among these are: Aurora Lodge, at Fitchburg; St Mark's, at Newburyport; Tyrian, at Gloucester; Philanthropic, at Marblehead; Essex, at Salem; Jordan, at Danvers; Mount Carmel, at Lynn; Corinthian, at Concord; Corner Stone, at Duxbury; Mount Hope, at Troy; Morning Star, at Worcester; St. Matthew's, at Andover; Pentucket, at Lowell; Meridian, at Newton ; Solomon's Temple, at Uxbridge; Fellowship, at Bridgewater; Jerusalem, at Northampton, and Hampden, at Springfield.

A Dispensation was granted for the Star-of-Bethlehem Lodge, in Chelsea; and after having been in prosperous operation for more than a year, it received a Charter—and has been regularly consecrated, dedicated and installed. It is now in full communion with the other Lodges.

A Dispensation has been granted for the establishment of Mount Tabor Lodge, in East Boston, and other applications are in preparation.

Early in 1843, this Grand Lodge determined to join in the National Convention, holden in the month of May, in that year, in Baltimore, for the purpose, among other things, of recommending a uniform mode of Work and Lectures. Among the fruits of that Convention, to which Brother Charles W. Moore was sent from Massachusetts, were the production of our excellent Trestle-Board, and the adoption of a uniform system, which, after laborious inquiry, on great consideration, they ascertained, so far as such a thing is capable of being ascertained, to the true—the ancient mode. These have been approved and adopted in most of the States, and in many places beyond the bounds of the union.

Within the period alluded to, many important principles have been discussed; and on them the opinion of this Grand Lodge has been deliberately formed and declared. They have also selected and published a code of Constitutional Rules and By-Laws for their government For the soundness of these we appeal to the Fraternity in general, with a confidence that we shall meet a favorable response.

A new Warren Hall has been dedicated in Charlestown—and on the 24th of June last, the Grand Lodge, assisted by the Lodges and Brethren in this State, and many other parts of the Union, performed the due ceremonies on the final completion of the Bunker-Hill Monument On this occasion there was a larger and more cheering assemblage of the Order than we have before witnessed since the laying of the Corner Stone of this Temple.

Through the enterprising labors of the Grand Secretary, our occasional intercourse with the United Grand Ledge of England, has ripened into a regular correspondence, which will do much to preserve the identity of the Order— and something to strengthen peace and the bonds of concord between two nations, kindred in religion, laws and language, and which should never be at variance. Already we have a representative in London, duly commissioned to appear in our behalf at the meetings of the Grand Lodge of England: the first we believe, who ever presented to that body credentials of a similar nature from any part of the United States of America. And pursuant to a provision recently incorporated into our Constitution, two eminent Englishmen, Who have become highly distinguished by their seal and devoted labors in the cause of the Craft, and of humanity, have been elected honorary members of this Grand Lodge.

The Craft have had many perplexing difficulties and formidable labors to encounter. Every thing appertaining to them had been thrown into confusion. And while for many years few received initiation, all the remaining members, not attached by the strongest bonds of affection, had fallen away, and were no more seen at our assemblies. The few who retained an indomitable faith, labored assiduously and effectually in repairing what was broken, and reanimating what was paralized.

And now, Most Worshipful, you succeed to the direction of an association, whose strength is restored, and whose movement is onward and vigorous. You are sustained by a well-founded hope that your administration will be peaceful— and that you will be charged with less perplexing labors than you have sustained in subordinate stations. Still, in your present office, alike honorable and responsible, your vigilance must never for a moment slumber. The society in this State and elsewhere, will rightfully expect much from you in maintaining and carrying out the good works already in operation. It is in your power to do much to render universal a reverence for the principles of the Order, and conformity to its ancient simplicity, which have been so strongly recommended by foreign correspondents and domestic conventions.

The ample powers held by ancient Grand Masters, have, to a great extent, been ceded to the Grand Lodges. Still your authority k great; and its exercise must be widely felt—for weal or woe. Teach every Brother to understand— and require him to obey, the Constitutions, usages, laws and edicts of those clothes with authority to announce them; and to render submission to the peculiar requisites of the Order. They differ from those of all other human institutions; ana if carefully preserved, are calculated to out last them all.

An equal obedience is due to the ancient ritual and mandates which came down by tradition. These, from their nature, cannot be preserved and ascertained in perfect purity, without great care—and sometimes not without difficulty. Freemasonry was in the beginning, is now, and ever must be, one unvarying system. But with die purest and best intentions, deviations will occasionally oeewr. If these deviations are by the Lodge in which they take their rise, transmitted ts the next generation, the true and the false will by their respective adherents he equally cherished as time honored usages, from which they may not depart.

Difficulties of this character have more than once occurred. When differences were found to exist, all agreed that one must be wrong. How they should be reconciled was long an embarrassing question. The memory of no living man could reach back and explain the origin of the error. At length it was generally agreed, that for the correction of such errors, human sagacity could discover but one mode. All ancient history, rules, charges and orders, that have been permitted to be published, must be carefully examined, the most tenacious memories of the oldest Brothers must be consulted—and the result must be compared with the most prevailing practice. From these elements alone can a, just decision be made. The mode sanctioned in this manner has always been found to be that which best conforms to good reasoning and extensive practice. It must be received as the true mode; and every deviation from it must be discountenanced, as error.

To ascertian the true, ancient usage, in such cases, is the legitimate office of conventions. At these, Brethren should .meet with subdued passions and moderated feelings, to inquire of each other and elsewhere for the truth. It is now becoming the settled usage to submit such questions to large and general conventions. They will have the best practicable means of information—and their decisions, founded on the wisest rules within the reach of fallible man, must be submitted to as right.

It is the duty of those in authority, both to yield and require obedience to usages thus ascertained as the most ancient Should .any be found whose tender, bnt ill-instructed consciences feel honest scruples of the propriety of yielding to such authority, let them withdraw from the Lodges. Their own principles, which they dare not disavow, will compel them to retire. For they well know that they can bring nothing but discord and diversity to the Temple, where they are under the most solemn and reiterated obligations to bring nothing but concord and unity.

Meat Worshipful Brother—These subjects commend themselves to your serious consideration. On them you must form your own opinion. Your edicts and orders will be issued in conformity, and it is your imperative duty to see them faithfully obeyed. I feel at this time the more free to give you my views of the Rights and duties of the Grand Master, because I cannot now be supposed to have the slightest personal interest in asserting their large extent.

When you find wilful, stubborn disobedience to plain rules and duties, be prompt and inflexible in rebuke and correction. But when the delinquent acts with honest intention—or where the case is clothed with any doubt, let your ample exercised with extreme moderation and forbearance.

In the exercise of the prerogatives of the office which you have with such unanimity been invited to assume, your province will be to regulate and restrain, rather than to excite and urge forward. Nevertheless, frequent cares will beset, and at times trouble you.

It is right that you should receive the same support that you have given to others—and now, on behalf of myself, and all who have united with me in calling you to office, I freely tender our best services, whenever it shall please you to require our aid.

After investing the Grand Master elect with the appropriate implements of his office, Br. Peabody, on presenting the golden urn, enclosing a lock of the hair of Washington, remarked substantially as follows :—

I commend to your special custody this sacred relique. It is a lock of the hair of our illustrious Brother George Washington, the patron of our Order, and the Father of our country. It was shorn from his venerable head, after his decease, and on the 27th of January, in the year 1800, by the order of Lady Washington, it was sent to this Grand Lodge, who enclosed it in this golden urn. It has ever since been a sacred deposit under the care of the Grand Master.

I am not bold enough to attempt to trace the lessons it is calculated silently but eloquently to teach. Receive and guard it with care. And in due time transmit it to your successor—that it may always be preserved among the archives of the Grand Lodge, as an honored memorial.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, February 1847, Vol. VI, No. 4, p. 103:

Most Worshipful Brother Robinson:—A year has now elapsed since you were first called from the level on which you stood among your Brethren, to be the Chief Ruler over them.

The unanimity with which you have been again elected to the high office of Grand Master, bears ample testimony that you have preserved harmony and concord, and that your administration has been acceptable.

You have now renewedly taken the customary obligation, in the government of this most ancient of human institutions, to render and require obedience to its old and never changing principles, laws and usages. For thousands of years it has resisted all temptation to change its platform. It could not, probably, survive essential change. From its everlasting unity, it derives the singular trait of its character, that it holds the even tenor of its way, from age to age, and still goes on, and on—unscathed by the rush of events, which has swept down and overwhelmed everything else of human origin.

When you were first made Master of a subordinate Lodge, and many times since, you made the declaration and profession, with the solemnity of an obligation, "that it is not in the power of any man or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry" —and the same obligation has been taken by most of us, and those who succeed us will be similarly bound. While these obligations shall be obeyed, the Institution will continue to descend through coming ages.

Time stamps on all men, and on almost every thing produced by men, indelible marks of change. We cannot expect that Freemasonry, in all that regards its popularity and external forms, will escape its influence.

And, indeed, we have met severe changes, which for a time diminished our numbers, suspended the Lodge meetings, and deprived the Order of the means of carrying effectual relief to the suffering.

Time was—and many of us have a keen remembrance of it—when it was perilous to visit our sanctuaries—our rites were forbidden by penal laws—and misguided public opinion uttered ferocious edicts against all who would not renounce the Order. Yet a few remained faithful; and with anxious solicitude and gloomy foreboding, still surrounded their altars, at the appointed times of meeting—and, to some, actual arrest and imprisonment were the consequence.

Now, there is another change. In vain we look for gloomy countenances and diminished numbers at the Lodge meetings. All is cheerfulness and confidence, and every Brother takes courage, and is excited to new activity by the hope and zeal that beam on the brow of every other Brother around him. The deserted temples are again filled—and elsewhere, as well as here, enlarged halls are required to accommodate the increasing numbers who come up to share in our peaceful and charitable labors.

For years the chief duty of the Grand Lodge was to disarm unprovoked wrath, to encourage and strengthen the feeble, and to raise up the fallen. Now, it is to restrain and regulate the zeal of the too bold and enterprising—to see that all perform their duty, and to transmit the Order just as it was delivered to us. If we behold others around us, earnestly engaged in the holy works of charity, in modes peculiar to themselves, but different from ours—let us tender to them our kindest and best wishes for their success—let us treat them with the affection due to fellow-laborers in a good cause, and bid them God speed. With them, and with those who ascribe to them an organization and success superior to ours, we can have no strife. We are content with our own humble, antique, and unassuming modes, and cannot consent to change them, or mingle them with others, however exalted and pure their labors may be.

The peace and quiet which now prevail, will not exempt you, my Brother, from arduous cares and duties. A period like this is peculiarly appropriate for the exercise of all your wisdom and prudence, in so regulating and directing those under your government, as to produce the best practical results of the Masonic virtues. On the wisdom of yourself and the able Brethren selected to advise and aid you, we feel confident that large drafts will be accepted and paid at sight But all this, and the collective wisdom of the whole Fraternity, is imperiously demanded, and should be at once applied, to increase and render available our most sacred Fund, so that all proper drafts for charity may be promptly answered. In the approaching, and every future year, if we perform our duty, Charity will rest less in words, and be more abundant in deeds.

In this respect, we do not maintain our rightful position. Massachusetts should be second to no State in relieving the afflictions and soothing the sorrows of our fellow men ; and it is fondly hoped that the period is not far remote when the Order among us will exhibit higher proofs of its power, as well as its inclination, to pour more abundant blessings on mankind.

The external government of the Order, seems to require the present attention ii of all the Grand Lodges.

A universal institution should so frame its governments, that an interchange of communication by each with all tbe rest, should be prompt and easy. I humbly suggest that in this respect, the Fraternity in the United States are behind their Brethren in other countries. Most other civilized nations have one Grand Lodge, t which speaks in the name of all the Brethren of the realm. If we would justify our claim to be the most efficient, as well as the oldest Peace Society, the Fraternity should be able to speak by nations, and interchange their views with a single voice. But to whom among us can a foreign Grand Lodge address itself; and from whom could they expect an answer? Who is authorized to speak for us? We are many bodies, but have no central head.

This embarrassment has been generally felt No relief from it can be ob- i tained, but by some organization to extend over the Union.

A General Grand Lodge was first proposed in 1780, by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which presented the name of General George Washington as the first General Grand Master. The answer of Massachusetts was, that they were then too deeply engrossed by the struggle for Independence, to leave time for the consideration of such pacific topics; and the affair was dropped- It has I several times since been brought up for discussion; and, strong as the motive was i felt to be for some national arrangement, the fear of impairing the authority and I independence of the State Grand Lodges, and of enabling delinquents to appeal to a distant and tardy tribunal, where justice could hardly follow and overtake them, prevailed over every other consideration.

i It is clear that all such dangers may be wholly avoided by constitutional provisions, limiting the authority of a General Grand Lodge to national topics, differences between State Grand Lodges, and a few subjects equally interesting to all the Craft.

At present, we bear some resemblance to the old thirteen States under the Confederation. Their danger of falling into utter confusion was happily averted by the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and the establishment of a general government, with limited powers, leaving the State government free and independent for all desirable purposes.

It seems difficult to show a reason why a Masonic government, on similar principles, might not be equally beneficial. We have tried advisatory conventions, clothed with no authority and governed by no fixed rulos,—and they have failed. And now, Most Worshipful, while we aro in the full enjoyment of prosperity, and are under an administration justly entitled to our confidence, it seems wise that in Massachusetts the question should be calmly discussed and maturely decided, whether a plan for a General Grand Lodge may not be proposed, with powers plainly declared and wisely limited, leaving the State Grand Lodges free to wield all the authority they can ever desire to exercise, and at the same time, securing at present and hereafter, a unity of work, government, and lectures, throughout the land. This might give to our position in the general Fraternity as high a rank as our Union is destined hereafter to hold among the nations of the earth.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, February 1847, Vol. VI, p. 98:

R. W. Bro. Moore :—In complying with your request for a copy of my remarks at the recent Installation of the M. W. Grand Master, I take the liberty to explain my views of the advantages to be expected from a General Grand Lodge. The time appropriate to an installation address, forbade more than a brief allusion to them.

I wish to invite the attention of the Fraternity to the advantages and evils that would flow from it. They should be calmly and deliberately discussed; and if, thereupon, the decision should be against the establishment, I shall yield cheerful obedience to the will of the majority, for the good of the whole. But I protest against dismissing the subject without a calm, deliberate discussion, and a comparison of the advantages and injuries that would be likely to flow from it. The people of the United States possess a territory which the Almighty Creator has blessed with a capability of producing abundant supplies for the wants of all mankind. Our political and social condition, freed from all the embarrassing influences of ancient laws and customs, framed and preserved by hereditary rulers, to subject the mass of mankind to chains and perpetual slavery, place us in an attitude which gives us the power, and makes it our high duty, to pour unnumbered blessings on all nations and people. God has entrusted to our care many talents, and he will require a strict, perhaps a fearful, account of our stewardship.

As it is with our National Government, so it is with all minor institutions. We have a responsibility never before thrown on any people. It is a high and holy mission, and demands all our wisdom and diligence. Freemasons are not less, but more bound than other men, to labor diligently to multiply and enlarge the blessings that are destined to flow from a rich land, where man is free from the enthralling and blighting control of hereditary tyrants, and subject only to the infinite and merciful Master of the universe.

We have no ancient Lodges, claiming long established rights and powers superior to the Grand Lodges, and exercising their disturbing influences over the whole Fraternity,—no Royal Lodges, with separate powers, superior to those of their fellows,—no variety of rites, with conflicting claims,—no Royal Princes, with hereditary rights, to rule over us, and substitute 'their will for the collective wisdom of centuries.

But, we are free, as Masons, as well as men —and if we will become, and make our wisdom and action one, we can, with more facility than any other people, send forth a voice and an influence, that will scatter in unknown abundance, on all mankind, the blessings that Freemasonry professes to have the power and desire to bestow.

Benevolence and Charity, in mere theory, are useless baubles. They should be ever ready and able to act, in order to become useful.

A General Grand Lodge could and should secure uniformity in Masonic work and action in the nation.

It could prevent local ambition from usurping undue authority. It would reconcile and settle all differences between State Grand Lodges.

It would enable the Fraternity of the nation, at once, to answer and make all needful communications to foreign Masonic governments.

The establishment of steam navigation over the Atlantic, has multiplied the relations of commerce, science, arts, and friendships, between the different sides of the ocean. Freemasons, availing themselves of these facilities, have multiplied and are multiplying, their relations of benevolent and friendly intercourse with foreign Brethren, so that, instead of strangers, we must treat them as neighbors and personal friends.

All these things will contribute to strengthen and multiply the ligatures that bind nations in peace. The Gordian knot of peace will be so fastened that ordinary animosities cannot untie it—and all will combine to curse, and make blunt, the savage sword that would cut it.

The nation most nearly allied to us in blood, language, religion, laws, government, commerce, arts, science, moral and social relations, and the most powerful to do us injury in war, will become so connected with us, by endearing personal relations, and friendships, that war with them will become almost impossible. These things will be in a great measure the fruit of Masonic influence, if it shall be exerted in energetic unity.

Some of the advantages that should naturally flow from a General Grand Lodge, have bean named. The evils feared from it are—That it would encroach on the authority of the State Grand Lodges and destroy their independence and utility; that delinquents would escape justice by appealing to a tribunal distant in its location, infrequent in its meetings, and slow in its decisions,—and that the tendency would be to give to the Order a political aspect, and thus clothe it in a drapery wholly inconsistent with its nature and experience.

A National Lodge was contemplated as soon as the States contemplated a National Union. It was proposed during the Revolutionary War, and at various times after, till near the time when the Lodge labors were disturbed by the howlings of antimasonry. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, took an active part in the discussions. But as no measures were taken to define or limit the powers of the proposed establishment, the fears of its evil effects prevented effectual action.

A General Grand Lodge could and should be so framed, that none of the apprehended evils could result from it It should be framed by the State Grand Lodges, and be their true representative, consisting of, perhaps, two members from each State, and meet rarely, at times and places best suited to the prompt performance of their Masonic duties. Their powers should be—

  1. To direct and regulate the work and lectures throughout the Union.
  2. To regulate and manage foreign intercourse in cases where the action of the whole Fraternity is required.
  3. To settle differences and controversies between State Grand Lodges.
  4. To decide general questions, that equally affect the whole Masonic community.

Such powers, cautiously delegated, should form the bounds and limits of their authority—unless experience should dictate a unanimous cession of other powers; and no individual should have the power, in any case, to appeal to them from the decision of his own Grand Lodge.

By such an establishment, the State Grand Lodges would be left perfectly free in the exercise of every power they now claim—excepting only that of declaring and establishing a uniform mode of work and lectures. On that subject, all Masons have the same obligations, and the same wishes—and in every question, the councils of the wisest and best informed, will almost inevitably prevail. If two Grand Lodges disagree, one must be wrong. In such case, nothing can restore and preserve uniformity ; nothing can prevent them from diverging into divers systems, but the decree of a common Tribunal, to which both are bound to submit.

Some of our most valuable and best beloved Brethren tremble at the very name of a General Grand Lodge. They apprehend danger from every proposition of change, however slight; and will ever most valiantly defend the independence of our free institutions.

I honor this jealous spirit of independence. It is the same spirit that led our fathers to Bunker Hill and the plains of Lexington and Concord.

These conservatives admit there mutt be uniformity, but have not pointed out any other way in which it can be secured. They probably will admit that our garments should be enlarged with our growth; and, therefore, do not entirely deny that the progress of affairs may require some small changes. And they

even admit that a General Grand Lodge might do some good, if it were so framed that it had not the power to do harm.

That it is capable of doing much good, is generally believed. Those who still oppose it, owe it as a sacred duty to themselves, as well as to their Brethren, plainly to state their reasons against it If they will expose the fallacy of the reasons set forth in favor of it, or show countervailing reasons of equal force, it will be abandoned, and those now in favor of it will mention the subject no more.

Fraternally yours,
Augustus Peabody.




Constitution of Star of Bethlehem Lodge, 1845

Grand Masters