MassachusettsYear1860

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1860

WINSLOW LEWIS, JR., Grand Master

Jerome Van Crowninshield Smith, Deputy Grand Master
Joel Spalding, Senior Grand Warden
William T. Coolidge, Junior Grand Warden

NOTES

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS

Held at Freemasons' Hall, Boston

  • 03/14: VI-291;
  • 06/13: VI-307;
  • 09/12: VI-320;
  • 12/12: VI-330; (Annual Communication)

03/14 Agenda

  • VI-292: Report of committee on "resolutions expressive of the appreciation in which this Grand Lodge hold the past services of the Trustees of the Temple."
  • VI-303: Correspondence with Paul Revere Lodge regarding jurisdiction.
    • 06/13: VI-308; report read and recommitted for more information.
    • 09/12: VI-327; printed report presented; referred to annual communication.
  • VI-304: Report of committee on the initiation of sojourners.
  • VI-305: Report of Committee on Charity.

06/13 Agenda

  • VI-309: Communication with Lodge of St. Andrew; Grand Lodge vote not to take action with relation to the matter.
  • VI-315: Communication with Hawaiian Lodge regarding aid.
    • 09/12: VI-324; determination that no action to be taken thereof; but on motion $100 was to be contributed.
  • VI-316: Report of Committee on Charity.

09/12 Agenda

  • VI-325: Report of Committee on Charity.
  • VI-326: Report of the Trustees of the Temple.

12/12 Agenda

  • VI-338: Adverse report on paying traveling expenses of delegates to the Grand Lodge.
  • VI-339: Report of Committee on Charity.
  • VI-340: Report of the Committee of Finance.
  • VI-345: Correspondence with the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and reply, following the anticipated separation of the South.
  • VI-347: Election of Rt. Wor. William T. Coolidge as Grand Master (149 ballots); and other Grand Lodge officers.
  • VI-348: Committee on preparations for installation appointed.
  • VI-357: Grand Feast of St. John the Evangelist, celebrated "after the manner of Masons."

Grand Constitutions Amendment Proposals

Grand Master's Address

Lodge By-Law Changes

  • 03/14: VI-302; Fellowship, referred for examination and correction.

Necrologies and Memorials

  • 12/12: Paul Dean, Past Grand Master committee appointed.

Petitions for Charters

  • 03/14: VI-301; Petition for Pilgrim U.D., Harwich South Village, granted, despite certain "irregularities‚"
  • 06/13: VI-309; Petition for Wilder U.D., Leominster, granted with two alterations to by-laws.

Petitions for Dispensation for Lodges

Mentioned in Grand Master's Address, Page VI-353:

Petitions for Restoration of Charter

None.

SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS

None.

LIST OF LODGES BY DISTRICT: 1860

This district layout is based on the O.P. edition of the Proceedings. However, this publication is riddled with errors, and some adjustment was necessary.
Note: There were 12 Districts in 1860, plus a special area for Chile.

DISTRICT REPORTS

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly:

  • Vol. XX, No. 5, March 1861, Page 144
  • Vol. XX, No. 6, April 1861, Page 170
DISTRICT 1

Boston, Dec. 17th, 1860.
Winslow Lewis, M. D., Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

As I sit down to report to you the condition of the First Masonic District, over which, by your partiality, I have the honor to preside, I find myself embarrassed by the monitory I have everywhere met with. It is, however, a monitory of peace and good will among the Brethren in an uninterrupted strain. The tidings are good in every respect, — the Brethren everywhere "dwell together in unity;" they do their work well, — they everywhere carefully scrutinize applications for admission.

My visits to them have been uniformly of the most agreeable character; all the Lodges striving to manifest their loyalty to the Grand Lodge, by giving to her representative a distinguished reception.

I need not speak to you of those occasions when you were present; nor about that moving spectacle, as I entered St. John's Lodge — where I was made a Mason and a member, — that good "Mother Lodge" now a century and a quarter old — while the Brethren were singing "Home Sweet Home"; nor of my visits to St. Andrew's, Mount Tabor, Monitor — nor of the elegant reception by our own Winslow Lewis Lodge, whose members are so proud of their name. You by your presence added dignity to all of those occasions, and any attempted description of mine would fall so far short of the reality that the impressions made upon the mind would be marred thereby.

I was also much gratified by my visits to Amicable and Baalbec Lodges. Amicable Lodge is distinguished for the proficiency of her members—boasting thirty capable of filling every office. Is she not probably in that respect the Banner Lodge of the York Rite?

Baalbec Lodge is composed, to a considerable degree, of our seafaring Brethren, who, for the time being, find at her meetings a "peaceful haven where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary find rest."

I ought not to omit to mention the commemoration of that remarkable event — the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Membership of the R. W. Bro. John B. Hammatt in St. John's Lodge. As he leaned upon your arm while the Worshipful Master presented him with a Member's Jewel, I wondered what other association could exhibit such a sight. It is peculiarly gratifying to record that, while the oldest Lodge in this country celebrated such an event, the youngest Lodge in my jurisdiction — then under Dispensation — by adopting his name, had taken measures to perpetuate his memory. May Hammatt Lodge prove as true to her engagements as the aged Brother from whom she derives her name!

It is unnecessary to add that Mount Lebanon, Bethesda, Pequossette and Revere Lodges have added to the high reputation they have heretofore borne.

In the 1st District there have been 172 Initiates, contributing to the Treasury of the Grand Lodge 35588, including the annual Grand Lodge fees.

The Quarterly Meetings of the Board of District Deputies have been fraught with peculiar benefits to the fraternity. Many interesting questions of Masonic Jurisprudence have been discussed and settled, thereby securing a uniformity of action throughout the Commonwealth, and a combined and consolidated strength, which could not have been otherwise obtained.

Allow me to congratulate you, that upon retiring from the active duties of Grand Master, you leave to your honored successor so united and prosperous a jurisdiction; that you carry with you in that retirement so due to you, but so reluctantly yielded by your Brethren, the love and respect of an entire fraternity, who needed only your permission to have elected you in perpetuity. But, though as Grand Master you may disappear, your "virtues are placed upon perpetual record," and their impress upon the institution will be felt forever. "The vase you may break, destroy if you will, But the scent of the roses will hang round it still."

Faithfully yours,
BENJ. DEAN, Dist. Dep. G.M. of the 1st Masonic District.

DISTRICT 2

Salem, Dec. 31, 1860.

To the M. W. Winslow Lewis, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The Second Masonic District, as at present constituted, is composed of ten Lodges, viz:

Jordan, at South Danvers; Warren, at Amesbury, and Ashler , at Rockport. I state these in the order of the date of their Charters; the first going back to March 25th, 1760; and the last, having been chartered in 1851. All of them I have visited during my official year — some of them several times. I have also endeavored, in every other practicable way, to inform myself as to their condition and prospects. Not having previously to my appointment any personal knowledge of most of these Lodges, I cannot institute any comparison with former years; but I can most confidently Report, that their present condition is highly prosperous, and such as to give the most encouraging promise for the future. There is no one of them in which entire harmony and good feeling does not prevail; there is no one in which the observances of the Order are not substantially maintained and the work respectably performed, while in some there is a degree of exactness and excellence which, I believe, it would be difficult to find surpassed anywhere.

It will be seen by the returns accompanying this Report, that there has not been so many initiations the present year as during the previous one ; but the successful candidates have been of quite as high character as heretofore, and have been sufficiently numerous. I have endeavored to impress upon the Lodges the importance of quality rather than quantity, that, in order to maintain the true standard, they should regard the qualifications, moral, intellectual and social, of the members, rather than the number; and I am happy to be able to say that they have endeavored, and with good success, to practice upon this rule.

From the information I have received, I have no reason to doubt but that at least the usual amount has been done in the way of Charity during the year, and that many a distressed worthy Brother, and many widows and orphans of deceased Brethren, have had new reason to be grateful for our bounty, and to implore the blessing of Heaven upon our ancient institution.

In conclusion, I have only to say, that so far as regards the District which you have done me the honor to place under ray care, I have seen nothing to indicate any decline in Masonry. On the contrary, everything denotes a healthy vigor and strength, and gives the most cheering assurance of a permanent and enduring prosperity.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

WM. SUTTON, D.D.G.M., 2nd District.

DISTRICT 3

To the Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis, M. D., Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts —

My Dear Sir and Brother — At the close of the Masonic year, it becomes my duty to report to you the condition of the several Lodges comprising the Third District, and, as your Deputy, to return an account of my stewardship over this portion of your jurisdiction. I had the honor, a few years since, to visit these Lodges frequently in company with a former District Deputy Grand Master, and I can therefore judge with some correctness of their comparative advancement and improvement.

Peace and tranquility prevail to an unusual degree among the Brethren. The great principle of Brotherly Love and affection seems to pervade their hearts and actuate their motives. I have heard no complaint, either written or by word of mouth, from any of the Lodges, or concerning any member. There has been no discord throughout the District, and it is with great pleasure that I report it to you in a safe, quiet and harmonious condition.

St. Paul's Lodge, Groton, composed of thirty members, is presided over by our W. Br. E. D. Bancroft, who has done so much for Masonry in this and adjoining District. He is eminently qualified to be a teacher of the doctrines and ritual of our Order. He and his officers are technically accurate in performing all their duties. The custom in this Lodge of fully instructing each candidate for advancement in the Lecture of the degree through which he has passed, and of examining him in open Lodge, could be adopted in other Lodges with manifest advantage. I visited this Lodge at its annual meeting. The aged and venerable John Walton, M. D., one of the oldest living graduates of Harvard College, (of the class of 1791, that following that of Ex-Prest. Quincy,) was present, and dined with the Brethren. He was one of the original petitioners for the Charter which was granted in 1791. He has been a Mason for more than sixty/our years. The occasion derived additional interest, from the fact that this sixty-third annual meeting of the Lodge was also the ninetieth birth-day of our aged Brother.

Corinthian Lodge, Concord, has fifty-three members. My visit here was made under somewhat adverse circumstances. A State Convention of Teachers was in session in the town, and the Brethren were generally engaged in hospitable acts towards their guests. With the exception of Saint Paul's, this is the smallest Lodge in the District. Some of the Brethren are advanced in life, and some of its members are scattered through the neighboring townB. The Work is in strict conformity with that taught by the Grand Lecturers. It is a fact worthy of note, that the W. Master has been present at every meeting, regular and special, throughout the year. An interesting history of this Lodge has been written and published by Past Master Louis A. Surette, which is full of interest to every Mason in Massachusetts.

Aurora Lodge, Fitchburg, with eigbtysix members, is in a most flourishing, condition. The officers are well selected and perform their work with great promptness and exactness. The W. Master seems to inspire the Lodge with zeal and activity. The Brethren have decorated their Hall with an elegant oil portrait of R. W. Jonas A. Marshall, Past Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, and Past Master of Aurora Lodge, who continues to take the same interest in the welfare of Masonry and of the prosperity of this Lodge that he did in his younger days.

Merrimack Lodge, Haverhill, with one hundred and thirteen members, has perhaps made greater advancement than any Lodge in the District. Its Hall is fitted np with elegance, and with the several apartments, evinces remarkable taste; luxurious comfort is combined with architectural beauty and general convenience. The Brethren are zealous, active Masons, the officers able and efficient workmen, and the Lodge is an ornament to the jurisdiction.

Pentucket Lodge, Lowell, has one hundred and seventy-seven members upon its roll, and is the largest in the District. Its meetings are very fully attended, and in the number of initiates the past year, it has exceeded any other Lodge. At the time of my annual visit the Hall was full. My predecessor, the R. W. William North, was chosen its Master at the last election of officers. This will be the thirteenth year that he has presided over a Lodge — having been Master in Connecticut and New Hampshire before the adverse days of Masonry. This Lodge is in a highly prosperous state.

Saint Matthew's Lodge, Andover, with forty-two members, is in a healthy condition. The Brethren have returned to the Hall which they built and owned' previous to the anti-masonic excitement, where so long "The Trowel rested on the half-set stone." The work is accurate and impressive.

Grecian Lodge, Lawrence, has one hundred and seventy-six members, and is the only Lodge in this thriving manufacturing city. I did not find that interest among the members and that improvement which would naturally be expected. The work was well and accurately done. The officers present were well skilled in the ritual; but there has not been that interest taken in the meetings and in the work by the members generally, which there should be in a Lodge situated as this is, with such means and material at its command.

Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, has one hundred and thirty-five members. It continues to be in the same prosperous condition which previous reports have described. Its members are principally young active men, who have not let their interest for the Lodge flag for a moment. The work is impressive,— every officer performing his duty promptly and effectively. The Brethren have decorated their Hall with life-size photographs of the Past Masters of the Lodge.

Caleb Butler Lodge, Groton Junction, with forty-six members, chartered and consecrated in March last, is full of the ebullition of youthfulness, and is overflowing with life, zeal and prosperity. I had the pleasure of installing the officers, in presence of a large assembly of both sexes, at their Lodge-room, and afterwards of partaking of a bountiful supper in a neighboring Hall, to which the members and invited guests were escorted by a band of music.

Wilder Lodge, Leominster, was chartered and consecrated in June last, and yon had an opportunity then of witnessing its condition. It is established on a sound basis and is in a thriving condition. The Work and Lectures are correct, and the officers are well versed in the ritual. I have granted three Dispensations to confer the degrees in less time than the constitutional requirement—the reasons given therefor being, in my judgment, good and sufficient.

I have countersigned a petition of several Masons — members of Grecian Lodge, Lawrence, — praying for a new Lodge to be established at Methuen. A Dispensation has since been granted them by you to bold a Lodge at that place under the name of John Hancock Lodge. I have not visited it, but I learn that it has been opened under the most favorable auspices.

Every Lodge in the District is in a most creditable condition. This is an unmistakeable type of the flourishing state of our Order all over the Commonwealth and throughout the country at large.

The great similarity of work (there being but some slight verbal differences) among the several Lodges, is an evidence of the great labor bestowed upon the ritual and lectures by the various officers.

It is highly gratifying thus to be able to assure you of the increase and prosperity of our institution. That improvements can and will be made, there is no question. No such society was ever perfect; but so long as the Lodges remain true to the principles and constitutions of Masonry, they cannot decline.

You have already announced that it is your intention to retire from the active duties of Masonry at the end of the present year. Your life has been devoted to the interests of our Order, and you will leave the East of the Grand Lodge with the kindest wishes and most affectionate remembrance of all your Brethren.

Serus in coelum redeas, diuque
Leetas intersis populo Quirini.

I remain, fraternally, your very obedient servant,
WM. S. GARDNER,
 Lowell, Dec 1, 1860., D.D.G.M. 3d District.

DISTRICT 1

Benjamin Dean, Boston, District Deputy Grand Master; 12 Lodges

DISTRICT 2

William Sutton, South Danvers, District Deputy Grand Master; 10 Lodges

DISTRICT 3

William Sewall Gardner, Lowell, District Deputy Grand Master; 10 Lodges + 1 U.D.

DISTRICT 4

Daniel W. Taft, Blackstone, District Deputy Grand Master; 7 Lodges + 1 U.D.

DISTRICT 5

Zachariah L. Bicknell, Weymouth, District Deputy Grand Master; 9 Lodges

DISTRICT 6

Jonathan A. Dana, Worcester, District Deputy Grand Master; 9 Lodges

DISTRICT 7

James A. Cook, Taunton, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges

DISTRICT 8

Sylvanus Baxter, Hyannis, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges

DISTRICT 9

Daniel Reynolds, Springfield, District Deputy Grand Master; 9 Lodges

DISTRICT 10

W.B.C. Pearsons, Holyoke, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges + 1 U.D.

DISTRICT 11

Charles B. Rogers, Charlestown, District Deputy Grand Master; 10 Lodges

DISTRICT 12

Sanford M. Hunt, Roxbury, District Deputy Grand Master; 8 Lodges + 2 U.D.

CHILE DISTRICT

Charles T. Ward, Jr., Valparaiso, Special Deputy for Chile; 3 Lodges


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