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From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXX, No. 12, Page 369:

The corner-stone of the monument to be erected on the rising ground in the centre of the "Common," or public park, by the municipal authorities of this city, in commemoration of her sons who gave their lives to their country in the late civil war, was laid with public honors on Monday the 18th of September; "and nothing," says a city contemporary, "could be more gratifying to the surviving comrades of the honored dead, and all bereaved and loyal hearts, than the grand and hearty demonstrations which marked the event." The ceremonies were participated in by the entire population of the city, and by thousands from the surrounding country. Nothing could have been more grand and imposing. The streets were literally thronged with admiring and gratified spectators. Many of the principal public buildings and places of business along the entire line of the procession, were profusely and tastefully decorated with flags and other appropriate devices, and it is gratifying to be able to add that nothing occurred to disturb or mar the perfect beauty and harmony of the pageant.

The procession was formed about one o'clock on and near Charles Street Mall, and consisted of the state and municipal authorities, the military, including about fifty Posts of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, the Independent Cadets, and several Battalions of Infantry and Cavalry — the Cadets acting as the escort of the Governor and staff, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery as the escort of the city government, and the Lancers flanking both, including the Grand Lodge. But perhaps the most attractive point in the procession was the splendid display made by the fire department, and their magnificent machines. It is doubtful if they ever on any public occasion before, rallied so numerously, or presented a more attractive and beautiful appearance. Boston may well be proud of this branch of her municipal government. The procession was formed as indicated, moved soon after two o'clock, and passing through many of the principal streets of the city, arrived at the Common at about five o'clock, soon after which the military were dismissed, and the ceremonies of laying the corner stone were begun by a brief and appropriate address by Gen. Coudin, chairman of the Committee of the city government entrusted with the erection of the monument. "The monument to be erected here," said the speaker, "is not to commemorate a fratricidal strife. It is not to stand as a memorial of the triumph of one section of the Union over another. The citizens of Boston would never have sanctioned its construction for such an object. It has a nobler purpose. The words of Webster at the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument may be used here with increased emphasis: "This column stands on Union." It is to commemorate the heroic services and sacrifices of those who were instrumental in establishing upon an enduring foundation the Union of the States, that we are gathered here to-day."

He then briefly sketched the history and progress of the undertaking, and concluded by saying "the time for completing this work cannot of course be definitely fixed now. I can only say there will be no unreasonable delay," He then introduced His Honor Mayor Gaston, who delivered a highly finished and eloquent address, occupying about twenty minutes, which was received with great favor by the audience, and which we should be pleased to lay before our readers had we the room to spare. We give the conclusion as follows : —

"The names of many of the heroic men of this city who gave their lives to our defence now rush upon my recollection; but the time which this occasion allows to me will not permit me to render to them individually the tributes which are justly their due. They have passed from us in the pride of their strength and of their beauty.-

"The hand of the reaper
Takes His ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
The autumn winds rushing Watt the leaves that are serest,
But our flowers were in flushing
When blighting was nearest.

"Their deaths have made homes desolate and yet glorious; hearts sorrowful and yet proud. They have gone to their rest, but they sleep in glory, and a grateful citf is now, with its most imposing and august ceremonies, engaged in a solemn service to their honor.

"Let the structure which we this day begin to rear proceed to its full completion. Let art give to it her choicest forms of beauty. Let it remain from age to age to illustrate the glory of the dead and the devotion of the living, and let it carry with it from generation to generation the same spirit of liberty to which it owes its origin."

At the conclusion of the Mayor's Address, Alderman Coudin turned to the Members of the Grand Lodge, who were seated on the platform surrounding the corner-stone, and said ; —

"Most Worshipful Grand Master: — In behalf of the city government I request you to lay the corner-stone of this monument according to the! usages of your ancient order, and to deposit under it this metallic box, containing an engrossed plate and certain historical documents."

To this invitation the R. W. Chas. Levi Woodbury, acting Grand Master in the absence of Grand Master Gardner, replied as follows : —

"From time immemorial it has been the custom of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, when requested so to do, to lay, with ancient forms, the corner-stone of buildings erected for the worship of God, for charitable objects, for the purpose of the administration of justice and free government, and for the erection of such public monuments! as, while appropriately of patriotic and common interests to the citizens of the Commonwealth to which we belong, may not vex Masonic harmony by the inroad of political feeling or discussion.

"This corner-stone, therefore, we may lay in accordance with our law, and thus testifying our respect for the city of Boston, and our appreciation of the patriotic dead whose released spirits now hover near, we shall proceed in accordance with ancient usage. And as the first duty of Masons, in any undertaking, is to invoke the blessing of the Great Architect upon their work, we will now unite with our grand chaplain in an address to the Throne of Grace."

Prayer was then offered by the Rev. Charles H. Titus as Gr. Chaplain, after which the Acting Grand Treasurer, R. W. Newell A. Thompson, stepped to a little table on which the sealed box was placed and read the list of its contents, as given in the papers of the day. He then, at the direction of the Acting Grand Master, deposited the box in the cavity prepared for it in the stone and reported that he had performed that duty. This done the workmen elevated the stone slightly and removed the blocks which had sustained it, leaving it suspended about a foot from its resting place. The cement was applied and everything made ready for lowering away when the Acting Grand Master applied the trowel, and the Grand Marshal gave the order, and the stone began to descend. When it had been lowered a few inches the Masonic officers gave the Grand Honors, which were repeated when in accordance with the ancient rite : the last time the stone was settled into its place. The stone having been adjusted the following ceremonial was observed : —

  • Grand Master. Brother Deputy Grand Master, what is the proper jewel of your office?
  • Deputy Grand Master. The Square.
  • Grand Master. What does it teach?
  • Deputy Grand Master. To square our actions by the square of virtue, and by it we prove our work.
  • Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Corner-Stone, and make report.
  • Deputy Grand Master. After applying the square. The stone is square; the Craftsmen have done their duty.
  • Grand Master. Brother Senior Grand Warden, what is the jewel of your office?
  • Senior Grand Warden. The Level.
  • Grand Master. What does it teach?
  • Senior Grand Warden. The equality of all men, and by it we prove our work.
  • Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Corner-Stone, and make report.
  • Senior Grand Warden. After applying the level. The stone is level; the Craftsmen have done their duty.
  • Grand Master. Brother Junior Grand Warden, what is the jewel of your office ?
  • Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb.
  • Grand Master. What does it teach?
  • Junior Grand Warden. To walk uprightly before God and man, and by it we prove our work.
  • Grand Master. Apply your jewel to this Corner-Stone, and make report.
  • Junior Grand Warden. After applying the plumb. The stone is plumb; the Craftsmen have done their duty.

The Grand Master then striking the stone three times with the gavel, said: "Well made — well proved — truly laid — true and trusty; and may this undertaking be conducted and completed by the Craftsmen according to the grand plan, m Peace, Harmony and Brotherly Love."

Then the Deputy Grand Master received from the Grand Marshal the vessel of corn, and pouring the corn upon the stone, said : — "May the health of the workmen employed in this undertaking he preserved to them, and may the Supreme Grand Architect bless and prosper their labors."

The Grand Marshal then presented the cup of wine to the Senior Grand Warden, who poured the wine upon the stone, saying ;— "May plenty be showered down upon the people of this ancient Commonwealth 
and may the blessing of the Bounteous Giver of all things attend all their philan
thropic undertakings."

The Grand Marshal then presented the cup of oil to the Junior Grand Warden, who poured the oil upon the stone, saying: "May the Supreme Ruler of the World preserve this people in peace, and vouchsafe to them the enjoyment of every blessing."

The Grand Chaplain then pronounced the following invocation: "May Corn, Wine and Oil, and all the necessaries of life, abound among men throughout the world; and may the blessing of Almighty God be upon this undertaking, and may the structure hereto be erected rise in the beauty and strength' of ' the brotherly love for the departed, that it signifies."

The Grand Marshal then took the square, level, and plumb from the other officers and presented them to the Grand Master.

The Grand Master then presented the square, level, and plumb to the architect, Mr. Milmore, and said: "To you, Mr. Architect, are confided the implements of operative Masonry with the fullest confidence that by your skill and taste a fabric will arise which shall add new lustre to our honored Commonwealth. May it be blessed with Wisdom in the plan, Strength in the execution, Beauty in the adornment; and may the Sun of righteousness enlighten those who build, the city which gives, and the magistrate under whose care this structure shall arise."

By order of the Grand Master, the Grand Marshal made the following proclamation : "In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I now proclaim, that the corner-stone of the structure to be here erected in memory of our patriotic dead, has this day been foimd square, level. and plumb, true and trusty, and laid according to the old customs of Masons: This proclamation is made from the east, the west, the south — once (trumpet) twice (trumpet) thrice (trumpet)."

America was then sung by the choir and assembly, and the services were concluded by the Grand Master as follows:

Mr. Chairman of the Building Committee on the part of the city:

I have the pleasure of announcing to you that in accordance with your request, the members of the Grand Lodge of the ancient fraternity of Free Masons have proceeded to lay this corner-stone according to their ancient usages, and to dedicate, agreeably to your request, the monument which is to be raised on this spot.

It is just and proper that the living should praise the dead, because it is not possible that in any other way shall the memory of the dead be handed down to our' children from generation to generation. And it is but only fit and proper that the ancient craft of Free Masons should take the part they have in these proceedings for among those who died in the great strife for liberty were many members of the Order, and all can bear witness to the fidelity, affection and benevolence shown by Masons to their brethren, on whatever side they were enlisted.

And I cannot in closing these few remarks omit to refer to one most distinguished among the illustrious dead of the past strife. As after the Revolution, we mourned our Washington, so now we mourn the loss of another great one — that great naval hero — that mighty warrior upon the salt ocean — Admirable Farragut — a brave soldier — a good Mason — (applause) — and whose fame will last even longer than the illustrious Nelson. And now Mr. Chairman, may this monument rise up toward heaven in all its glory; may peace and good will reign among our citizens, and may this monument ever stand to do honor to the illustrious dead, honor to those who nobly fell in the cause of their own country ; may the memory of those fallen ones be engrafted in the hearts of our children, as an inducement for them in the future to stand by their, countryi j and that they may be as firm and true as this corner-stone in the defence of right, their State and the People." (Loud applause.)

There was no attempt at Masonic display, the fraternity being represented by the Officers and permanent members of the Grand Lodge. Several of the former being absent, attending the Masonic meetings at Baltimore, their places were supplied with substitutes as follows:—

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