The Cup of Brotherly Love
On September 7, 1929, after rising his son Brother Norman B. Hickox,
Master of Events Lodge No. 524, Illinois, formally presented a beautiful
silver cup to the lodge. He also presented a book of travel and a specially
prepared carrying case. The cup was to be sent on a journey, traveling
always from West to East by land sea or air, and always in the custody of
a Master Mason.
On November 19, 1929, the book and cup were taken to Ashlar Lodge
No. 308 in Chicago to start the journey. The book recorded the places
and circumstances of each visit of the cup.
On the journey the cup was received by more that 150 host lodges. It
touched places all over the world. On May 24, 1958, a homecoming
celebration was held at Evans Lodge to commemorate the return of the
cup to the lodge. The Cup of Brotherly Love, an illustrated account of
this odyssey, was published by the Masonic Service Association in 1959.
LODGE IN TWO COUNTRIES
At one time Golden Rule Lodge No. 5 of Stanstead, Canada, occupied a
lodge room which was bisected by the boundary between Canada and
the United States. It had entrances from the Vermont and Canadian sides;
the membership of the lodge consisted of men from both sides of the
AN IRISH MESSAGE ON STONE
In 1860, at Limerick, Ireland, there was found in a small chapel a stone dated 1517 with the following inscription:
“I will serve to live with love and care, Upon the level, by the square.”
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND FREEMASONRY
The famous Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor was designed by a
Frenchman, Frederick A. Bartholdi, a Freemason. The Grand Lodge of
New York laid the cornerstone with masonic ceremonies on August 5, 1885.
SMALL POCKS AND THE CRAFT
Dr. Edward Jenner, an early English Physician, observed that milk maids
who once had smallpox did not get the disease when exposed to it. After
experimenting, he announced this discovery in 1789, and vaccination
followed shortly thereafter. He was Worshipful Master of Royal Faith and
Friendship Lodge No. 270 in Berkeley, England, in 1811-1813.
FREEMASONS AND THE MAYO CLINIC
Dr. Charles H. Mayo, one of the founders of the famous Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minnesota, was a Mason. His son Charles W., who also was
a Mason, became governor of the Clinic, which began in the Masonic
Temple building in Rochester. The Grand Lodge on Minnesota for years
has maintained a representative at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to
assist Masons planning to come there and to make their stay pleasant.
STEPHEN GIRARD’S FUNERAL CAUSES TROUBLE
Stephen Girard, a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia, died on February 26,
1831. His will left a fortune to many worthy causes. There was a report
that when he was near death, he had requested his sister to secure a
Roman Catholic priest. This was construed as a desire to become
reconciled with the church; but when the priest arrived, Girard was dead.
On the strength of this report permission was given to admit the body
into the German Roman Catholic Church building. 400 Masons assembled at the Masonic Hall, by invitation of the Grand Lodge, and marched to
the church to attend the funeral. They did not wear their aprons in order
to avoid criticism. The clergy, left in a body and refused to perform any
service. The Masons took charge and buried the remains of Stephen
Girard in the vault he had designated. When Girard College was built
under the terms of his will, the body was re-interred in a marble tomb
on the grounds of the school.
RUDYARD KIPLING AND THE CRAFT
Rudyard Kipling, the famous English author, was born in India of English
parents. He was educated in England but returned to India in 1880. He was
initiated in Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, Lahore, Punjab, India in 1886. A special dispensation was necessary as he was only twenty years
and six months at the time. When he took the degrees, there were four HolyBooks upon the alter representing the dominant religions in the area. Upon his rising he was immediately elected secretary; and he prepared the
minutes of that meeting himself.
Many years later he wrote: “I was secretary for some years of Hope and
Perseverance Lodge No. 782, E. C., Lahore, which included Brethren of at
least four creeds. I was entered by a member of Brahmo Somaj, a Hindu;
passed by a Mohammedan; and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was
an Indian Jew. We met, of course on the level, and the only difference
anyone would notice was that at the banquets, some of the Brethren,
who were debarred by caste from eating food not ceremonially prepared,
sat over empty plates.”
The Rev. Canon William Henry Cooper was a member of seventeen lodges. He was the founder and first master of three of them. His lodges were in
Ireland, England, Australia, new Zealand, British Columbia, and Ontario.
THE SQUARE AND COMPASS BRAND
Montana‘s first livestock brand was the square and compass; it is still in use. No one knows when it was first used; but it was before May 25, 1872, when it became necessary to date and register brands then in use. It was first owned by Poindexter T. Orr of Beaverhead County, Montana Territory.
A century ago thee were more than 3,000 Masonic lodges which can be
described as “Moon Lodges”; in 1954 there were fewer than 500. These
lodges meet on the day of the full moon for practical reasons; the brethren had light to travel by at night. There may have been some symbolic
meaning also. The advent of electricity, street lights, and the automobile
made the reason for meeting on such nights antiquated through unique.
Many Grand Lodges now require lodges to meet on fixed days of the week.
FREEMASONS BUILD FORTS
“Fort Masonic” was built on what was known as the Heights of Brooklyn,
which later became Bond and Nevins Streets, Brooklyn, New York. On
August 22, 1814, the Grand Lodge of New York adopted a resolution by
which, on September 1, the officers of the Grand Lodge accompanied by
a group of Masons from fourteen lodges, went to the place and performed one day’s work. On September 17, another day’s work was done to
complete the work.
“Fort Hiram” was built on October 3, 1814, at Fort Point, Rhode Island, but
the Grand Lodge which supervised 230 Masons at work. Thomas Smith
Webb was Grand Master at the time. The purpose of the fortification was
to protect the harbor of Providence, Rhode Island.
THE RUG OF APPRECIATION
As a young man Sarkis H. Nahigian fled Armenia to escape persecution
and arrived in the United States in 1890. He worked hard and became a
successful businessman in Chicago and a devoted Mason. In 1948 he
presented a priceless Oriental rug, 46½ feet long and 29½feet wide, to the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria,
Virginia. In presenting the gift he said:
“I came to America believing in miracles. I say these words with gratitude,
faith and pride. Gratitude — to the generations of hard-working and
God-fearing men and women who came to this new country to make a
home for freedom. Faith, in that the democracy they built will never die.
Pride, in that my chance has come to show my appreciation for being an
American. And believe me when I say there is no finer title, no higher
position than to be a citizen of the United States.”
“Here we have freedom of thought, freedom of the press, and freedom of
speech. One does not appreciate what these freedoms mean until one
recalls what it was to be deprived of them. Now, again, in humble spirit, it
gives me great pleasure to donate to our beloved George Washington
Memorial Building, the largest Persian Royal Meshed carpet I have ever
known. I donate this carpet in grateful appreciation of all the unlimited
privileges and friendships and support I have enjoyed in this blessed
United States of America, and not among the least of these is my privilege of being a Mason.”
A MASON LOSES A BET AND NEW YORK GAINS
Paul Boynton, during the 1832 political campaign, lived in the Green
Mountain country of Vermont. Those were dark days for the Craft.
Andrew Jackson, a past Grand Master of Tennessee, was the candidate for the Presidency against William Wirt, a Mason running on the Anti-Masonic
ticket. Brother Boynton was a devoted Freemason and did not recant or
hide his association with the Craft while the storm was brewing and many members deserted. He made an election vow that if Vermont went for Wirt
he would move “out west”. In those days “out west” meant St. Lawrence
Country, New York, to New Englanders.
When Wirt won in Vermont (the only state in which he won), Brother
Boynton kept his word and moved. At the end of an eighty day journey on
horseback, Brother Boynton settled down in Canton New York. He
swapped his horse for a watch and a gun shop. He became the best
gunsmith in the area and his gun stocks are now collector’s items. He
invented many things, such as eight day clocks and a pedometer. In 1835
he built what is now known as The Royal Arch House, located at 12 Pine
Street, as a constant reminder to friend and foe alike, that he was a mason. Emblems familiar to the Royal Arch Mason are on the front of the building. It is said that he dug his own grave and made his own marker, except for
the date. He died on July 13, 1851.
PRESIDENT RAISES TWO SONS ON THE SAME NIGHT
On November 7, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the meeting of Architect Lodge No. 519 in New York and raised two of his sons, James and Franklin D., Jr. An honorary membership certificate was presented to the President by the Lodge.
SILENT CAL AND THE CRAFT
President Calvin Coolidge had the reputation of being a person of few
words. One time while attending a public function he was told by a young
lady, “Mr. President, I made a bet that I can get you to say three words.” To which he replied, “You lose.”
Although not a Mason, he was not stingy with words when he talked about Freemasonry. While Governor of the Bay State, he addresses the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts and said: “It has not been my fortune to know
very much about Freemasonry, but I have had the great fortune to know
many Freemasons, and I have been able in that way to judge the tree by
its fruits. I know of your high ideals. I have seen that you hold your meeting in the presence of the Bible, and I know that men who observe that
formality have high sentiments of citizenship, of worth, and of character.
That is the strength of our Commonwealth and Nation.”
A BIT OF JOHN HANCOCK
John Hancock was a member of St. Andrew’s Lodge, Boston,
Massachusetts. He was the first person to sign the Declaration of
Independence. He wrote in a bold flourishing style. When asked why his
signature was so large, he replied: “So that George III may read it without
putting on his spectacles.”
SPECIAL MEETINGS CALLED FOR A KING
On December 20, 1874, a special meeting of New York Lodge No. 330 was
held to exemplify the third degree for the edification of a Brother. His
Royal Highness David Kalakaua , King of the Hawaiian Islands, and a
member of Le Progres de l’Oceanie Lodge No. 124 (Supreme Council of
France) Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands. After the degree was exemplified,
the Bible on which George Washington had taken his oath of office was
displayed. The royal visitor asked that the book be opened at the page
where the oath was administered. He took the book in both hands and
kissed the page saying “I thank God for this privilege.” On January 15,
1865, the same royal visitor attended Chicago’s Oriental Lodge No. 33
which had called a special meeting. Over four hundred distinguished
A FULL MASONIC NAME
Hiram Abiff Boaz was born on December 18, 1866, at Murray, Kentucky. He moved to Texas at an early age. In 1891 he was ordained a Methodist minister. In 1922 he was elected a Bishop of the church. He became a member of Granger Lodge No. 677 of Texas. When he received his third degree, a large attended because of the unusual name of the new member. He served as
Grand Chaplain of Texas on 1953.
This brother had many interesting experiences connected with his name.
He never tired of telling of the time he was traveling in the Holy Land and
arrived at a Mosque in Hebron on the wrong day for visitors. When he told
then his name was Boaz, it seemed as if he had given a magic password.
Others were not admitted that day, but they opened the gates for him.
THE MAD EMPEROR
Joshua Norton was born in England on February, 1819. He engaged in a number of business enterprises in Africa and migrated to San Francisco in 1849. He immediately entered the real estate business and accumulated considerable wealth. When he tried to corner the rice market, he lost the entire fortune. In order to cheer him up, his friends stated to call him “Emperor.”
On September 15, 1859, he proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States. He donned a blue uniform with brass buttons, epaulets, and a military cap. Instead of having his head examined, everyone humored him because of his pleasant and cheerful disposition. He rode the street cars free, attended theaters without charge, and was supplied with the necessities of life by those around him. When he ran short of cash, he issued drafts on the Imperial Treasury. He issued Royal Proclamations designed to better the human race. On Sunday he always attended a church; he had no favorites and visited them all. Merchants and financiers consulted him on business matters and he apparently gave sound advice on these matters.
He was a member of Occidental Lodge of San Francisco and for a time lived in the Masonic Temple and issued some of his proclamations from there. He was given a Masonic funeral when he passed away on January 8, 1889. Fifty-four years later his grave was moved and a monument was erected over his new grave.
SHORTEST LIVED MASON
General Thomas A. Smyth of the Civil War was raised in Washington Lodge No. 1 of Delaware on March 6, 1864. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet on April 9 and was buried by his lodge on April 17, 1864.
WYOMING GOVERNORS AND FREEMASONRY
Between 1890 (when Wyoming became a state) and 1951 every Governor of that state was a Freemason, except one. This single exception was Mrs. Wm. A. Ross, who was the wife of a Mason, and she was a member of the Eastern Star.
In Fulda, Germany a dispute arose about the name to be given a new high school. The first name suggested was Professor Karl Ferdinand Braun, inventor of the T V picture tube, and a Nobel prize winner. A protest arose on the ground that he was a Freemason. Finally the school was named after Baron Von Stein, who is known as the father of local self-government. He was a devoted Freemason. It was later discovered that Professor Braun was not a Freemason.
FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HELPED BY FREEMASONS
Mary Baker joined her oldest brother in Charleston, South Carolina. In December 1843, she married George Washington Glover. a close friend of her brother. Brother Glover was an honorary member of the staff of the Governor and was called “Major Glover”. He was a member of St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 10 and of Union Chapter No. 3, R.A.M. A few months after the marriage Brother Glover contracted yellow fever and died; he was given a Masonic funeral. Before he died he requested members of the lodge to help his young bride return to the parental home in New Hampshire. How well they kept their promise was told by the widow, who wrote in 1892, “Here it is but justice to record they performed their obligation most faithfully.” Some time after arriving at her parental home she gave birth to her only child, George. Later she married Mr. Eddy; there is no record that he was a Mason.
MASONIC CHARITY HELPED FATHER OF JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
In his lifetime Joseph Fort Newton was the silver-tonged orator of the Craft. With his talks and book he did much for Freemasonry. He told the story that his father became a mason in a military lodge. He had been taken prisoner and was transported to Rock Island, Illinois, where he became desperately ill. An officer of the camp, desiring to help him as a Brother Mason, took him to his home and nursed him back to health. When the war ended the Mason loaned him enough money to get back home. If Newton’s father had died on Rock Island, the world would have been poorer for not having had a wise and eloquent minister of the gospel, and the Craft would have been poorer in its inspiration and literature.
CHEVALIER CHARLES D’EON, MAN OR WOMAN?
The Chevalier Charles D’Eon of France was born on October 5, 1728, and was given the name Charles Genevieve Louise Auguste Andre Timothee Deon de Beaumont. He was born of a noble family. Although his sex was being questioned, he became a Freemason in 1766 in the Lodge of Immortality No. 376, which met at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, London. He served as Junior Warden in 1769 and 1770. He had many talents; he was an export fencer and an able diplomat who successfully negotiated the Treaty of 1763 ending the Seven Years’ War.
He had an effeminate appearance and occasionally masqueraded as a woman. His enemies in France accused him of being a woman masquerading as a man. Masons wondered whether a woman had been initiated into the Craft. The controversy about his sex caused considerable gambling and the speculation got out of hand. Finally an insurance company filed a suit to have the matter adjudicated. Witnesses testified that he was a woman. About this time he accepted an offer of Louis XVI to accept a pension, return to France, and resume the garb of a woman. From this time on he wore women’s cloths with rare exception. When he died on May 21, 1810, a competent physician performed an autopsy and clearly proved that D’Eon was a man.
THE THOMSON MASONIC FRAUD
Matthew McBain Thomson was born Scotland. In 1881 he settled in Montpelier, Idaho. He returned to Scotland but in 1898 returned to Montpelier with a patent from the “Scottish Grand College of Rites”. He used this document to create his “American Masonic Federation”, later changed to “International Masonic Federation”. He promoted the sale of all sorts of “Masonic” degrees by mail and worked through paid solicitors. Reduced rates were given when groups were large and many joined at the same time. He and two other were eventually prosecuted for using the mails to defraud and in 1922 they were sent to jail.
THE ADVENTURES OF CAGLIOSTRO
One believed to have been given the name of Joseph Balsamo but who later adopted the name “Count Cagliostro”, has the doubtful distinction of being the world’s outstanding Masonic charlatan. He became a Mason in London in 1776, and later conceived the idea of his “Egyptian Rite”, which he formulated and promoted with his wife. The project was a money making scheme; they founded lodges through out Europe. His colorful career came to an end when he established on of his lodges in Rome. He was arrested on December 27, 1789, and charged with the “crime” of being a Freemason. He was imprisoned by the papal police, was questioned, tortured, tried and found guilty. He died some years later while still in prison.
FEMALE TYLER OF A MASONIC LODGE
The first lodge in Kansas was Wyandotte Lodge. It net in the home of the Senior Warden, Matthew R. Walker. Mr. Walker, an Indian, acted as Tyler of the lodge. Later Mrs. Walker became the first Grand Matron of the Eastern Star in Kansas.
THE LARGEST AND THE SMALLEST MASONS
At the time he was raised in Highland Park Lodge No. 382 in Los Angeles, California, John Aasen was eight and a half feet tall and weighed 536 pounds. Twelve craftsmen were required for certain parts of the ceremony. There were 1500 Masons present to observe the ceremony.
Charles S. Stratton, a midget, was made a famous by P. T. Barnum as “General Tom Thumb”. He was first presented to the public in 1842; as the time he was two feet high and weighed 16 pounds. In 1844 he married Lavinia Warren, also a midget. He settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut and was raised in St. John’s Lodge No. 3 on October 3, 1862.
THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS
In 1899 Leader Scott (a pen name) published her book, The Cathedral builders, the story of a Great masonic Guild. This was followed in 1910 by W. Ravenscroft’s The Comacines, their Predecessors and their Successors. The theory advanced is that when the Roman Collegia of Artificers were abolished, a group of workmen retired to an island in Lake Como where they preserved their technical skills and later built the cathedrals of Europe. This theory was followed by Joseph Fort Newton in The Builder and was widely accepted by readers of his popular book.
THE RHODE ISLAND LEGEND OF 1658
In 1853 the Reverend F. Peterson wrote on page 101 of his History of Rhode Island and Newport of the past: “In the spring of 1658, Mordecai Campannall, Moses Packeckoe, Levi and others, in all fifteen families, arrived in Newport from Holland. They brought with them the three first degrees of Masonry, and worked them in the house of Campannall; and continue to do so, they and their successors, to the end of 1742.” This statement has been repeated from time to time, although in 1870 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts looked into the matter and could find no evidence to support the statement.
HOW MANY MASONS SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Extravagant claims are sometimes made in connection with the Masonic membership of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were fifty-six signers of the document. There is satisfactory evidence to prove conclusively that eight were Masons. Twenty-four others are sometimes claimed as Masons, but evidence submitted is not completely satisfactory, being based of hearsay and “tradition”, rather than documents. There are twenty-four signers who have never been claimed as Masons. The best answer the question is as follows: “Scholars have proved that eight Signers were Masons. As many as thirty may have been.”
SIGNERS OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
To counteract similar exaggerations about the Masonic membership of the signers of the Constitution of the United States. Brother Ronald E. Heaton also researched The Masonic membership of Signers of the Constitution, he concluded that thirteen signers were Masons. Their membership is supported by clear and conclusive written records; there are seven signers who are sometimes claimed as members, but the evidence is insufficient and not conclusive; the balance were not Masons.
THE STORY OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT, ELIHUS ROOT, AND THE GARDNER
Occasionally one reads the heart-warming story that President Theodore Roosevelt’s gardener was master of at the time. The story illustrates how all men become equal in a Masonic lodge. However there is no evidence to support this story.
FREDERICK THE GREAT HELPS A BROTHER’S WIDOW
Frederick the Great, a Mason without any doubt, while in a jewelry shop in Potsdam, Germany, observed a middle-aged woman exhibiting an article of silver having certain Masonic symbols, possibly a Past Master’s jewel. She was trying to borrow money on it. She said she had come to this particular shop to avoid the usurers and because the owner of the shop was a Mason. The jeweler told her that he was not in the pawnbroking business and couldn’t make the loan.
Another person in the shop asked her many questions concerning the jewel, whose it was, how she had possession of it, etc. The man offered to buy the jewel and kept raining the price. When he decided to make her the loan, he discovered he had no money in his pocket. He then disclosed to the surprised woman that he was the King.
Fredrick shook his staff at the jeweler and told him that he was not fit to be a Mason and threatened to file charges against him. The following morning the woman went to see Fredrick and the palace and he instructed her to return whenever she was in need of help.
ELIZABETH ST. LEGER or THE HONORABLE MRS. ALDWORTH
In 1735 Lodge #44 at Doneraile, Ireland usually met at Lord Doneraile’s home who was Master of his Lodge. His sister also lived with him, Elizabeth St. Leger.
Knowing that the meeting was about to open Elizabeth hid in a storage room adjoining the lodge room. She removed a brick that she had loosened from the wall a few days before and watched the conferring of the Fellow Craft degree.
When the meeting was about to close, Elizabeth realized what she had done, and in her nervous attempt to leave knocked over some storage boxes. The Tiler hearing the ruckus sounded the alarm and ran to dispatch the intruder. Lord Doneraile appeared just in time to save her life.
After questioning her the members re-assembled and deliberated on what to do about this intrusion. After two hours of heated debate, cooler heads prevailed. She was given two alternatives, either she submit to receiving the first two degrees in Masonry or other arrangements would be made for her. Miss St. Leger being able to hear some of the debate gladly accepted.
Mrs., or more appropriately Sister Aldworth after marriage, was so taken by the lessons of charity and Fraternal love shown to her upon being passed to the degree of Fellow Craft that night, that she spent her life and considerable wealth helping the poor in general and the Masonic poor in particular.