MassachusettsYear1844

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1844

AUGUSTUS PEABODY, Grand Master

John B. Hammatt, Deputy Grand Master
Robert Lash, Senior Grand Warden
Thomas Power, Junior Grand Warden


NOTES

EVENTS IN 1844


QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS

  • 03/13 (Masonic Temple, Boston): IV-682;
    • IV-683: Committee response to inquiries by a former member of The Tyrian Lodge.
    • IV-685: Committee report on the "late" Constellation Lodge.
    • IV-686: Disapprobation resolutions on the By-Laws by members of The Massachusetts Lodge.
    • IV-687: Resolution that the vote on sale of the Temple taken in 1841 be voided.
    • IV-687: Order of Grand Master Peabody regarding conferral of multiple degrees was referred to the committee on the Grand Constitutions.
    • IV-687: Communications from the Grand Lodge of Virginia regarding a general Grand Lodge.
      • 06/12: IV-690ff; Extensive committee report.
  • 06/12 (Masonic Temple, Boston): IV-689;
    • IV-696ff: Committee report on Constitutions and Regulations.
    • IV-717: Invitation by Olive Branch Lodge to celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist; accepted.
    • IV-718: Death of Rt. Wor. Benjamin B. Appleton.
  • 09/11 (Masonic Temple, Boston): IV-719;
    • IV-720: Report of committee on Ancient Landmarks and the recent National Convention.
    • IV-722: Petition by Aurora Lodge to remove to Fitchburg; referred.
      • 12/11: IV-730; granted.
  • 12/11 (Masonic Temple, Boston): IV-724; Annual Communication.
    • IV-730: Report of the Committee of Finance.
    • IV-731: Report of the Trustees of the Grand Charity Fund.
    • IV-732: Report of the Committee on Treasurer's Accounts.
    • IV-733: Report of the Trustees of the Temple.
    • IV-735: Address by Grand Master Peabody on "the events of the past year."
    • IV-736: Re-election of Grand Master Peabody (59 ballots). Other Grand Lodge officers elected.
    • IV-740: Committee on installation arrangements appointed.
    • IV-741: Resolution praising the work of Bethesda Lodge, Brighton.
  • 12/27 (Masonic Temple, Boston): IV-742;
    • IV-743: Invitation by King Solomon's Lodge to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to attend the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument on 06/17/1845.
      • IV-749; Accepted, committee appointed.
    • IV-746: Instruction by Grand Lodge Lecturers.
    • IV-750: Report of the Committee on Charity.
    • IV-751: Installation of Grand Master Peabody and other Grand Lodge officers.

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 3, January, 1845, p. 107:

On the late anniversary of St John the Evangelist, 27th December, the ancient Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth was opened at 9 o'clock A. M., as a Lodge for Instruction, and was continued open through the day. There was a larger number of Lodges represented and a greater number of Brethren from the country present than on any former occasion. The Senior Grand Lecturer, W. Br. John R. Bradford, assisted by W. Br. Charles B. Rogers, as Junior Grand Lecturer, worked the lectures and ceremonies of the three degrees with his usual skill and exactness, and we believe to the great acceptance of the Brethren. In the evening, the Grand Lodge was assembled for the Installation of its officers. The hall was well filled with Brethren. After disposing of some necessary business, the ceremonies took place as follows :

  1. Voluntary on the Organ.
  2. Prayer.
  3. Ode, No. 27, from Br. Power's Melodies.
  4. Installation.
  5. Installation Ode, from the Melodies.
  6. Addresses by Brs. Pickman and Huntoon.
  7. Closing Ode, from the Melodies.
  8. Benediction.

INSTALLATION OF THE GRAND MASTER.

The Grand Master was Installed by Past Grand Master Hon. John Abbot, of Westford, in a manner which, while it realized the high expectations of the Brethren, was worthy of the reputation which Br. Abbot has long sustained as an amiable and accomplished Craftsman. On Br. Peabody being introduced for Installation, he addressed him as follows:—

"M. W. Br. Peabody:— Having been requested to install you into the office of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, to which you have been elected, I have been induced to attempt it from two considerations; premising, however, that I must solicit the charity of yourself, and the members of the Grand Lodge, for the inaccurate or imperfect manner in which I may perform it,—in consequence of my almost continued, but necessary absence, of late, from our assemblies.

"The first consideration is, the long and intimate Masonic connection which has subsisted between us. Fortyone years have passed since I was admitted to the privileges and pleasures of the Institution of Freemasonry, and I then found, and recognized you, as a Brother. Soon after my initiation, by your kindness and assistance, I was instructed in, and principally acquired a knowledge of the lectures, in the manner and form, as given by our intelligent and worthy Brother Gleason, under the sanction, and by the direction of the Grand Lodge. Shortly after, also, by you, M. Worshipful, was I brought by a way, I knew not, and led in paths, I had not known you. You too, made darkness light before me, and crooked things straight, and in my travel did not forsake me. And from the commencement of this period, till the present time, has this Masonic connection been as intimate, as our respective situations admitted. The recollection of these circumstances is to me, the memory of joys which are past, pleasant and mournful to the soul; —pleasant from the principle of association; mournful from the conviction, that they are past, and can never return.

The second consideration is, the eminent ability and judgment you have ex¬ hibited in the government of the Grand Lodge and the Institution of Masonry �within our jurisdiction, during the two past years. In this period, the forms and ceremonies of initiation, and the two succeeding degrees, have been revised, made plain, and conformed, strictly, as is believed, to the ancient landmarks. The code of By-Laws of the Grand Lodge has been revised and adopted, with such amendments, as the returning prosperity of the Institution, and the exigen¬ cies of the Craft, required. The prerogative and powers of a Grand Lodge

have also been examined, and defined with clearness and precision, in a report, which has been adopted, drawn by yourself; which report has been highly commended by a foreign review, by saying, it is without a parallel. The exhibition of such ability and judgment, in the two preceding years, is an assurance to your Brethren, that this, the last year of your constitutional term of presiding, at present, will be equally distinguished, should any thing occur to demand their exer¬ cise; and, as the effect of your labors, we may confidently expect the continued and increasing prosperity of Freemasonry within the Commonwealth; and hereafter have reason to consider it, an era, in the history of the Institution."

After the investiture, Br. Abbot continued as follows:—

"And now again, M. Worshipful, let me congratulate you on the honor of being the third time raised from the level of equality to the high station of presiding over all the Lodges of this Commonwealth and jurisdiction. We look up with confidence to a Brother, whose age alone would entitle him to our respectful deference, but whose person is endeared to us by love of the Fraternity, eviden¬ ced by the experience of many revolving years. May the Father of Light invest you with his choicest gifts. May heavenly wisdom illuminate your mind; may heavenly power give strength to your exertions; may heavenly goodness enlarge your breast; may your feet rest upon the rock of justice; from your hands may . streams of beneficence continually issue; and round your head may there bend a circle, made splendid by the rays of honor, and late, very late, in life may you be translated from the fading honors of an earthly Lodge, to mansions prepared for the faithful in a better world.

The Grand Master's Address appears on Grand Master Peabody's page.

The appointed officers were installed by Rev. Br. E. M. P. Wells, Deputy Grand Master. After which the Grand Lodge was closed, and the Brethren repaired to an adjoining apartment and partook of an entertainment provided for the occasion.

PETITIONS FOR CHARTERS

  • 09/11: IV-722; Petition by Corner Stone Lodge, Duxbury, for the charter to be restored: referred.
    • 12/11: IV-727; after some correspondence, granted.
  • 12/11: IV-735: Morning Star Lodge, under dispensation, granted a charter.
  • 12/11: IV-740: Petition by Star of Bethlehem Lodge, Chelsea, "under dispensation for the past year," granted an additional six months of dispensation.

SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS

None.

ST. JOHN'S DAY IN GRAFTON, JUNE 1844

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. III, No. 10, August 1844, p. 304:

NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST. CELEBRATION IN GRAFTON, MASS.

This was one of the most gratifying celebrations it has been our happiness to attend. The day was fair and delightful, as the village in which the ceremonies took place was beautiful:—both were in harmony with the occasion. The number of Brethren assembled was not so large as it would have been had the celebration been determined on at an earlier day, and a more general notice given. It Was, nevertheless, larger than we anticipated it would be. There were probably about two hundred Masons, and a hundred ladies in the procession. Among the former were the officers of the Grand Lodge of the State, in full regalia,—the Worcester County Encampment, under the command of Sir James Estabrook,—Sutton Royal Arch Chapter, and Olive Branch Lodge, of Sutton,—Morning Star Lodge, Worcester,—Middlesex Lodge, Framingham, and St Andrew's Lodge, Boston. The officers of the latter in their new and splendid regalia. There was also a large number of Brethren present who were not attached to either of the particular bodies named. The procession was well arranged and conducted with perfect order and propriety. Its appearance was all that the friends of the occasion could have desired; and so far as we cOuld learn, they were satisfied. It was formed at the Orthodox Meeting House, anil, preceded by an excellent Band of Music, marched through the principal streets of the village to the Unitarian Church, where the exercises took place in the following order:—# Music by the Band;

  1. Anthem;
  2. Prayer, by Rev. Br. Goodwin, of Wilkinsonville;
  3. Selections from Scripture;
  4. Ode, from Br. Power's Melodies;
  5. Address, by Rev. Br. E. M. P. Wells;
  6. Ode, by Br. Power, and Prayer, Rev. Br.J. O. Skinner, of Dudley;
  7. Anthem;
  8. Benediction.

The ceremonies were all of a high and interesting character. The address was appropriate, forcible and eloquent, and was listened to with profound attention and interest by a crowded audience, including, we judge, a very considerable portion of the young ladies, and no inconsiderable share of the young gentlemen of the village. The occasion seemed to us more like a holy-day, in which everybody participated, than like an ordinary Masonic celebration. Even gentlemen without aprons found their way to the dinner table, and for anything that we could discover to the contrary, they were as joyous and happy, and as much interested in what was going on around them, as those who were distinguished by that ancient badge of Brotherhood. The Music was well selected, and we heard the Choir complimented by connoiseurs in such matters, as possessing superior talent and excellence.

After the exercises at the Church were concluded, the procession was again formed, and marched through the easterly part of the village to the large Vestry of the Unitarian Church, where an excellent dinner was served up by Mr. Cheney, of the Grafton House, on strictly Temperance principles. W. Br. Woodbury, Master of Olive Branch Lodge, presided, assisted by Comp. Rawson, H. P. of Sutton Chapter, by the Master of Morning Star Lodge, and Sir James Estabrook, Commander of Wor. County Encampment. Several speeches were made at the table, and a number of sentiments were drank, a part of which only we have been able to obtain. Among the speakers were Dr. Willard of Greenfield, Rev. Mr. Skinner of Dudley, Augustus Peabody, Charles W. Moore, and Thomas Power, Esqrs. of the Grand Lodge, Eben. Smith, Jr. Esq. of Boston, Rev. Mr. Wilson of Grafton, and Dr. Burnside of Canada. The regular toasts were announced by Col. Estabrook, as

  1. The day we celebrate —Commemorative of him whose voice from the wilderness proclaimed the coming of Him who taught Faith, in God,—Hope in immortality, and Charity to all mankind.
  2. The Masonic Institution—Its foundation is Truth—its superstructure, the triumph of Principle—its key-stone, love to God, love to Man.
  3. The duties Masonry inculcates—Our duty to God, our duty to our neighbor, and ourselves.
  4. The Masonic Fraternity—a Band Of Brothers, hand in hand/It will continue till the tie embrace/A happy Nation, and the human race.
  5. The Mason's Religion—Love;—His mode of worship—deeds of Charity;—His offering—a pure heart;—His altar—the Globe.
  6. The Freemasons' Monthly Magazine--Like the great luminary of nature, it radiates light in every direction.
  7. Faith, Hope, and Charity—The three cardinal virtues of Masonry. Faith directs us to put our trust in God,—Hope, in the hour of adversity, points us to the brighter day,—and Charily prompts us to forgive an erring Brother.
  8. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts—-In the evening of his days— may be see his honors in the works erected by the Craft, on bis designs.
  9. Antimasonry—It has blown its blast, and purified Masonry by blowing out the chaff. 10. Oar uninitiated friends who have joined us in this festival—May tbey soon be brought out of darkness into light, and hail as Brothers of the mystic tie.
  10. Edward T. Taylor— The great operative Mason of the day—Takes pebbles from the vast Ocean, and so applies the chisel, that they soon display all the beauties of the diamond.
  11. The Ladies—May they always have an equal interest in our Institution, and every Mason take one into Lodge.

Br. Peabody, being called upon for a sentiment, said,

"The orator has told us, that Freemasonry came from Jerusalem—and so it did, originally. But to us it came from England; whence, also, came our religion, laws and literature, and almost every institution which we hold dear. From England, Freemasonry spread to Germany, the Peninsula, and other parts of Europe; and to her ample colonies on the American continent, and the East and West Indies. In England, the Order has been preserved pure, firm and inflexible. I propose as a sentiment

The Grand Lodge—and Brethren of Glorious Old England."

W. Br. Alexander Burnside, M. D., of Toronto, Canada, responded to this sentiment, substantially, as follows:—

"Worshipful Master,—I feel myself highly honored at having the privilege of joining in the procession and other exercises of the day; of being made welcome at your hospitable board, and at the dignified manner in which the Grand Lodge of England has been specially noticed. When the toast was given, I little expected it would devolve upon me to respond to it, confidently expecting that there were among this numerous and dignified assemblage of Masons, some one direct from England, who would undoubtedly have it in his power to do jus¬ tice to the subject, for which I feel myself so totally inadequate.

"I know but little of the Grand Lodge of England, further than that it is from that august body we derive, either directly or indirectly, our authority in Canada, to assemble and work as Masons—imitate them in discipline and bow to their decision, in all matters in which we are immediately concerned. Masonry, as history and Masonic tradition inform us, was introduced into England, from the East, where, after some difficulty, Lodges were established, into which none were admitted but the most eminent for learning and ingenuity. In this way, it spread rather slowly for sometime, until at length it embraced more generally the different classes of mankind, whose moral worth entitled them to confidence; and now it is not only prevalent in Great Britain, but in all her numerous provinces and territories abroad,—on some parts of which the sun never ceases to shine, there is Masonry to be found—there it stands firm against nil the shafts of adversity, despotism, and oppression. And why ? Because it is supported and protected by a power more than human. If any additional proof had been necessary to convince me of this, it is furnished me this day by what fell from the lips of your eloquent and powerful orator, in the account given of the revival of Masonry in and about Grafton. It is so exactly similar in circumstances, and instantaneous as to time, that one might suppose that there bad been previous arrangements entered into by the Brethren on each side the Great Lakes ! The minds of a few worthy Brethren and Companions both here and there, received the impulse, that it was time for Masonry to arise and shine, for her light had come, and she should once more put on her beautiful garments. Brethren, what produced this ? It was no other than the same Spirit which, after the completion of the first Temple, when every one thought that Masonry must become extinct because it had arrived at the summit of perfection, and the Brethren were about to be dispersed throughout the Globe, that then suggested to the three grand . worthies, to found upon the rules of Operative, a system of Moral or Speculative Masonry, which might be handed down to the remotest ages, as a blessing to mankind. Resting on those imperishable pillars of virtue and truth, it will, no doubt, abide forever. Let us then, always adhere to its principles, and let no other emulation inspire us, but who best can work or best can live, and when we arrive at the outer door of the Sanctuary, may we, with our marks in full view, be able to give the true sign and token, and happy shall we be to hear that sonorous sound, in answer to our request to enter—Admit Him."

The Rev. Br. J. O. Skinner, on being called upon'for a sentiment, spake in substance as follows:—

"Worshipful Master,—At this late hour, after the company has been surfeited with the many good things that have been said and sung, I feel reluctant to occupy any more of your time than will suffice to acknowledge the kindness you have done me and the Lodge over which I have the honor and happiness to preside.

"Of Middlesex Lodge, Sir, I can speak with full confidence. It is one of the few Lodges, that in this section of country, lived through the late period of anti-Masonic vandalism, without ever suspending its regular meetings, or allowing the fire on its altar to go out, Its records will show that the watch was always set, the Book always opened, the impressive and touching Ritual of our Order ever rehearsed, and its charities dispensed to the needy, though at times its strength lay in the unswerving devotion of the faithful few, who preferred 'Jerusalem above their chief joy.'

"With the return of peace and general prosperity to the Order, our Lodge has) revived and is now prosperous. Since my connection with it, a good number of young men of intelligence and moral worth, well educated, and able, therefore, to appreciate the pure and elevated principles of our loved Institution, have been admitted to its honors and privileges. And the sound of the various implements of the Craftsmen, and the experience of the old, joined with the fresh enthusiasm of the younger workmen, give assurance that the Temple is growing to mure perfect harmony, order and beauty. Our Lodge is strong in the truth, and moral purity of her aims and purposes, and in the truly Masonic fidelity of her members; and she will stand as heretofore, "unmoved, unshaken, unseduced, unterrified," whatever portends may appear in earth or sky to trouble the weak-minded, or to tempt the hollow-hearted. For four years I have had the privilege of sharing in its peaceful meetings, and now that I have removed from its immediate vicinity into another county, I can most truly and fervently say, that there is not a spot in Middlesex County, except my father's house, that is so dear to me, or so fondly looked back to, as Middlesex Lodge.

"I found peace, concord, and harmony there, when no where else. Within the charmed circle, the demon discord dared not intrude. At the sound of the mystic word he fled. At the recital of the initiatory vows, at the grasp of the friendly hand, at the waving of the spiritual wand of the genius of Freemasonry over the assembled workmen, worldly passions were hushed, and a hallowing influence shed over all.

"In the generous, unreserved, unsuspicious confidence, which is the genuine spirit of the Masonic Institution, we find the true secret and source of social harmony and pure enjoyment. The quality of Masonic trust "is not strained," it is the genial sunshine and the gentle dew that awaken the latent sensibilities, the generous and pure sentiments of the soul, and repel, as by spontantaneous force, all base and grovelling feelings. But I must not enlarge on this pleasing topic, for however welcome to my Brethren, it will be speaking in an unknown tongue to the uninitiated. One word farther and I shall have done.

"Our Institution is often misjudged, it seems to me, from the very fact of its possessing so many distinct features of interest and excellence.

"The various high purposes, moral, intellectual and social, embraced by our Order, are apt to divide the attention of a careless spectator who merely contemplates its external aspect The solemnities of the service which we have just attended, and the social festivities of this hour, the strict moral inculcations and requirements of our Ritual, and its liberal spirit and policy, may seem to such a spectator, wanting in congruity and harmony.

"But the aims of Freemasonry are not limited to one form of operation, orone mode of beneficence. Its object is at once moral and social. It proposes both to cultivate the mind and enlarge and purify the heart It teaches that " the hand that is raised in thanksgiving should be opened in charity." It is therefore, in the best sense, an eclectic system, wisely adapted to meet all the constitutional appeten¬ cies of our complex nature. Its friends claim it to be a religious institution, and truly, but not exclusively; they declare that it affords great facilities for intellectual culture, that it has a peculir disciplinary efficacy, but this is not its whole sphere; and they know from happy experience, it is highly conducive to social refinement and happiness, to the best welfare of rational beings. Then it has reference to all the constitutional wants of otir nature, of which, the orator to-day, has spoken so truly and eloquently. It unites features too seldom found embodied in the same system. It is framed with a nice regard to the Divine Order of the external world, in which land and water, earth and sky, flowers and fruit, utility and beauty, alternate with perpetual attraction. It looks to the symmetry, the harmonious development of all the powers and faculties, sentiments and affections which the Supreme Creator has bestowed upon man. It is at once severe, and liberal in its policy. It is adapted, not to foster bigotry and sectarian zeal, but to enlarge the reason, to expand the sympathies, and to promote that charity which is the proper essence and basis of all virtue, the pervading spirit of all true nobleness, gentleness and dignity.

"Its great distinctive feature of Unity and Universality places it aloof from par¬ ties and sects, from local excitements and transient jealousies, and its power to impress and enforce the essential principles of morality, irrespective of external forma and modes, makes it a uniting point for "men of every country, sect and opinion, who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance." Allow me then, to give you as a cardinal tenet of our Order, as the cementing principle of our Union and Fellowship, the following sentiment -"

"In things truly essential, Unity; in things non-essential, Liberty; in all things, Charity."

Br. Moore closed his remarks with the following sentiment:—

Br. Daniel Tenney—The upright man—the unflinching Mason—May he continue for many years to enjoy the social blessings of that Institution whose interests and integrity he has always been prompt to vindicate.

VOLUNTEERS.

The Orator of the Day—An able and fearless advocate of correct principles.

John B. Hammatt—The zealous and faithful Mason—The workman is worthy of his hire —May he in this his vineyard, now enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Our Institution—Though friends may forsake, envy traduce, and malice persecute, it will continue to prosper while friendship, morality, and rational homage to Diety are duuea incumbent on man.—S. R.

May every Mason circumscribe his desires with the compass of temperance—square his actions by the square of virtue—reduce bis passions to the level of reason, and by the plumb-line of religion, raise himself to a perpendicular and upright man.

By H. Earl, Worcester. The enemies of Masonry—They were strong like Sampson, but now they are shorn of their locks—let them depart in peace.

Thomas Power—The spirit of his "Melodies" denotes a heart and conscience prepared for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. By Br. John Hews. The march, of Freemasonry—Like the rush of the mountain torrent—onward and irresistible I

By Br. Lewis Thayer. Our worthy Clerical Brother of this Town, who has adhered to Masonic principles through goodreport and through evil report—May he yet live to see those principles universally triumphant; dispensing blessings, like the gentle dews of heaven, upon thousands yet unborn.

LIST OF LODGES BY DISTRICT: 1844

Note: This is from the O.P., and is definitive, though there are some inaccuracies.

  • Washington Lodge in Roxbury surrendered its charter in 1841, but is listed in District 1.
  • The Tyrian Lodge is not listed, but should properly be in District 2 as it was restored in 1843 (O.P. 1843, page 13).
  • Montgomery Lodge in Medway "divided its funds" in 1829, and sought restoration in 1847; however, there are Past Masters for the "missing" years; it is listed in District 5 and has been added there.
  • St. Alban's Lodge in Wrentham had its charter restored only in 1855, but is listed in District 5.
  • Cassia Lodge in Medfield has no record after 1832.
  • Constellation Lodge in Dedham actually appears at Grand Lodge in 1844, but is absent from the list. It formerly was placed iin District 5.
  • Social Harmony Lodge in Wareham had its charter restored only in 1855, but is listed in District 7.
  • Evening Star Lodge in Lenox had its charter restored only in 1849, but is listed in District 9.
  • Thomas Lodge in Monson had its charter restored only in 1856, but is listed in District 9.

DISTRICT 1

E.M.P. Wells, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges + 1 U.D.

DISTRICT 2

Samuel Bowden, District Deputy Grand Master; 6 Lodges

DISTRICT 3

vacant, District Deputy Grand Master; 6 Lodges

DISTRICT 4

Jonathan Greenwood, District Deputy Grand Master; 2 Lodges

DISTRICT 5

Samuel Chandler, District Deputy Grand Master; 4 Lodges

DISTRICT 6

Pliny Slocomb, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges

DISTRICT 7

Lucien B. Keith, District Deputy Grand Master; 5 Lodges

DISTRICT 8

vacant, District Deputy Grand Master; 2 Lodges

DISTRICT 9

vacant, District Deputy Grand Master; 4 Lodges

★ = Appeared in Grand Lodge during 1844. (See Attendance Summary)


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