The earliest days of settlement by Masons west of the Alleghany Mountains it is quite impossible to determine. No doubt members of the Craft found their way west ward long before the organization of Lodges took place under the jurisdiction of Grand Masonic Bodies. In every locality where Lodges were created prior to 1800, it is evident that Freemasons were in more or less degrees of unofficial Masonic activity.
The establishment of Fort Harmar in the Northwest Territory is thus explained by B. G. Thwaites*, explanatory of pioneer settlement in what later became the State of Ohio.
AThe site of Fort Harmar was chosen by Gen.
Richard Butler (1785), on his journey to Cincinnati to make peace
with the Miami Indians. A detachment under Major Doughty began
building the fort B named in honor of Gen. Josiah Harmar B in
the autumn of this year; its completion in 1786 afforded protection
to the frontier inhabitants of Virginia. Two years later (1788),
the Ohio Company of Associates B New England veterans of the Revolution
B came out under the leadership of Gen. Rufus Putnam, and began
the settlement of Marietta, 'the Plymouth Rock of the West'."
*Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, 1904, p. 34.
The first Lodge created west of the Alleghanies
was organized in 1764 at Detroit as No. 448 on the English Register
and No.1 of Detroit.* Michigan was then in British Territory.
It has been assumed this was a Military Lodge, but its Charter
did not so list it, and it was permanently located at Detroit,
and known as Zion No. 1by its members. Fire consumed its records,
Charter was preserved and is now the property of the Grand Lodge of New York. This Lodge apparently passed out of existence. In 1794 a Warrant was issued by the Provincial Grand Master of Canada for Zion No. 10 at Detroit. When British authority ceased in Michigan, application was made for a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of New York, which was granted in 1806, with the No. 62. With the organization of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, this was listed as No. 3, and recognized as Chartered in 1764.**
The Lodge second in years west of the Alleghanies was organized in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received its warrant in 1785, and its Charter in 1786. One known as No. 19 was a Military Lodge during the Revolutionary War. Major Isaac Craig, a Senior Warden of this Lodge, was in 1780 ordered to Fort Pitt, and he took with him the traveling or military Warrant of the Lodge: Just how early a Lodge was organized in Pittsburgh we have no actual record, but in 1785 a petition was made for a new Warrant from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which was granted on December 27, and Number 45 assigned it. Since that time until the present, Lodge No. 45 in Pennsylvania has been active in service.
In a history of this Lodge, *** the early
days of establishment are given of Zion No. 1 at Detroit, American
Union Lodge at Marietta, and No. 45 at Pittsburgh. In this consideration,
American Union is classed as secondary to No. 45 in date of birth,
this occurring in 1790. The American Union Lodge created in 1776,
according to No. 45, is quite a different institution from that
*A Library of Freemasonry. By Robert Freke
Gould, Vol V, 1906, p.50.
** Ibid., p. 51.
*** The History of Lodge No.45, Pittsburgh, Pa., 191O.
This in spite of the fact that American Union was reorganized in Ohio through the ministrations of members of Revolutionary War days, and who sought its return to activity. The attitude of Lodge No. 45 is not supported by standard Masonic authorities. Robert Freke Gould, than whom there is no better British authority, states,* "It met for the last time as an Army Lodge, April 23, 1783, and was ordered 'to stand closed until the W. M. Should call them together.' This occurred in 1790, when a Colony from New England having become established Northwest of the Ohio, the Lodge was reopened by Jonathan Heart, the Master, with Benjamin Tupper and Rufus Putnam officiating as Wardens."
Brother J. Hugo Tatsch, one of our present
day leading Masonic authors also states,** that "The Brethren
dispersed when the Army was disbanded, and nothing further was
heard until October 22, 1791, when the Warrant was revised to
create American Union Lodge No. 1 at Marietta." Certainly
this Ohio Lodge precedes No. 45 of Pittsburgh in seniority. A
sufficient reason is also
given in the paragraph on page 109, "Did American Union Lodge No. 1, become defunct at conclusion of war service?"
*Military Lodges, London, 1899, p. 144.
**Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies, 1929, p. 210.
A third Lodge organized west of the Alleghany
Mountains became known as Nova Cesarea-Harmony Lodge No. 2 of
Cincinnati. Masons of this community formed Nova Cesarea Lodge
No. 10, under a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of New Jersey on
September 8, 1791. An
other group of Masons known as Cincinnati No. 13, worked under a dispensation dated March 20, 1806, from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Nova Cesarea was not organized under its Warrant until 1794. Owing to internal troubles which are today obscure, on December 10, Master of this Lodge returned its Warrant to the New Jersey Grand Lodge, accompanied by the following letter : * "The painful duty has devolved upon me of announcing to you the dissolution of Nova Cesarea Lodge No. 10, and of enclosing to you the Charter upon which, for upwards of fourteen years that Lodge has acted. In doing this, I not only express my own feelings but the feelings of most of my Brothers, when I say it is with sensations of deepest regret that you are addressed on the present occasion." Then follows an explanation of the cause of this action, which is regarded as very unsatisfactory. On December 18 the Lodge, strange as it may seem, resumed its labors as Cincinnati No. 13. This latter Lodge existed as such for a time, but on December 7, 1808, it was proposed to return their dispensation to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and procure a new one from the Grand Lodge of Ohio. This request was not granted. In 1808, upon the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Nova Cesarea No. 10 and Cincinnati No. 13 were consolidated under the title Nova Cesarea Harmony Lodge No. 2 of Cincinnati.
The history of American Union Lodge from
1783 to 1790 covers a period of inactivity, with its members scattered
and regular organization abandoned. Following the conclusion of
the Revolutionary War, the members of this military Lodge became
widely distributed. Several among them however, found themselves
in a common purpose of settlement in what was then known as the
Northwest Territories. General Rufus Putnam became especially
interested in this section of the United States, and in March,
1787, he was appointed a Director of the Ohio Company, organized
with a capital of $1,000,000 in public securities, to be used
in purchasing land in the Northwest Territory. Gen. S. H. Parsons,
also a member of American Union Lodge was associated with him.
Congress in July, however, provided funds for purchasing one-and-a
half million acres and provisions were made for governing the
Territory. Putnam was made superintendent of the company, and
on April 7, 1788, with a group of emigrants, he made settlement
at the point where the Muskingum River enters the Ohio, where
the town Marietta is located. Here General Putnam made his future
home, and there he rendered distinguished service to his country.
* History of Freemasonry in Ohio from 1791, by P. G.M. W. M. Cimningham, 1909, p.69,
An early item about the Ohio Company and the naming of Marietta may well be introduced here.* It is a prized possession of Brother B. B. Putnam of Marietta, and is framed and on the wall in his home. This is by a correspondent of that Boston paper.
Boston, Wednesday, October 1.
MEETING AT MARIETTA
"A meeting of the Directors and agents of the Ohio Company took place July 2 on the banks of the Muskingum near the confluence of that river with the Ohio. Present Generals Parsons, Putnam and Vernon; Directors Col. May, Agent. for 36 shares; Major Sergeant, for 166; Col. Craig, 102; Major Curtis, 112; Col. Meigs, 99; Capt. Barlow, 25; Col. Sproat, 43; Major White, 20; Gen. Putnam, 66 shares; 669 shares being represented.
"At the above meeting it was Resolved, That the city near the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers be called Marietta. That the reserved public square in the city including the buildings at the Block Houses, be called Campus Martius; The elevated square No. 11; Quadron No. 19, Capitolium; and the Square No. 61, Cecekia; and that the great road through the covert way to Quadranaou, be called Sacra Via.
AUpon information from Col. May that Mr. Joseph May of Boston, had presented a bell to the Ohio Company, for the first public building to be erected in the territory of the Company, and such building being ordered by the agents,
AResolved, That the thanks of the Company
be presented to Mr. May, and that the directors be requested to
take measures for transporting it from Boston to the city of Marietta."
* Massachusetts Centinel, October 1, 1788, No. 5, Vol. X.
The first evidence of a Masonic gathering in Ohio, is recorded in the burial on January 10, 1789, of General James Mitchell Varnum. This funeral was under Masonic supervision, and the Brethren present, including a group of Indian chiefs there on a peace errand, followed the body ill due order to the burial place at what is now the corner of Third and Wooster streets, a locality for years known as Mount Varnum.
General James Mitchell Varnum was born in Dracut, Mass. in 1749. He was educated in Brown University at Providence, Rhode Island, from which he graduated. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War in 1777, and was later commissioned a Brigadier General. He served with distinction until 1779, when he resigned. On Dec. 28, 1778, he addressed the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. In 1780 and again in 1786, he was elected a delegate to Congress. In 1787 the Ohio Company was organized to develop and settle the Northwest Territory, and he was named a Director of the Company. He also became one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territory. In June 1788 he settled in Marietta, with the purpose of representing the Ohio Company. On July 3 the Directors had their first meeting, and General S. H. Parsons, Rufus Putnam and J. M. Varnum then represented the Directors, along with nine or ten agents. On July 4 the pioneers celebrated the day, and Gen. Varnum was the Orator. He had been in poor health since moving West and his condition steadily grew worse, until he died on Jan.10, 1789. He was buried in the old first cemetery, northeast of Mound Cemetery, under the auspices of the Masons and later his remains were removed to the Oak Grove Cemetery.
The order , procession at this funeral, as given by Dr. Hildreth, and as quoted by him from original manuscript of Winthrop Sergeant, Secretary of the Northwest Territory, was as follows:
Mr. Wheaton bearing the sword Mr. Lord
bearing the Civil
and military commission of the Commission on mourning cushion.
deceased on a mourning cushion.
Mr. Mayo with the diploma and Mr. Fearing bearing the Insignia
Order of Cincinnati on a mourning of Masonry on mourning cushion.
Pall Holders Pall Holders
Griffin Greene, Esq. Corpse Judge Crary
Judge Tupper Judge Putnam
The Secretary Judge Parsons
Charles Greene and Richard Greene
Frederick Crary and Pairlip Greene
Doctor Scott and Doctor Farley
Deacon Story and Deacon Drowne
Private citizens, two and two
Indian Chiefs, two and two
The Militia Officers
Officers of the Garrison at Fort Harmar
The Civil Officers
The movement to reestablish Anierican Union Lodge No.1 at Marietta became a matter of serious consideration among the members of the Craft with the active and permanent settlement of the town.
Among these early settlers were several members of American Masonic Lodges, so on June 25, 1790, a meeting of the following persons, all Master Masons but one, was held at the house of Munsel and Buell to discuss the advisability of reorganizing American Union Lodge No.1.
1. William Burnham 6. William Stacey
2. Griffin Greene 7. Thomas Stanley
3. Ezra Lunt 8. Ebenezer Sproat (Fellow Craft)
4. Robert Oliver 9. Benjamin Tupper
5. Rufus Putnam 10. Anseim Tupper
Brother Putnam was elected Chairman, and Griffin Clerk.
"Brother Benjamin Tupper observed that the Brethren Western Territory labored under many embarassments in consequence of the want of a Charter, whereby they might be enabled to instruct the uninstructed, and gain further knowledge themselves in the sacred mysteries of Masonry, and that he was well informed that Worshipful Brother Heart at Fort Harmar was fully authorized to convene and establish on a basis immovable, and therefore moved that a committee of three be chosen to present a petition to Worshipful Brother Heart, requesting him to establish us accordingly that the petition be formed this evening. The motion was seconded and unanimously voted in the affirmative, and Brothers Greene, Sproat and Burnham were chosen and formed the following petition, which was approved, viz:"
To Worshipful Brother Jonathan Heart, at Harmar, Worshipful.
Having considered the disadvantages that the Brethren of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons have labored under in this Western Hemisphere relative to their further knowledge of the East, we having no further resource of knowledge but only through you, have to request you, Worshipful, to take us under your immediate patronage and establish us on a permanent basis B and for that purpose to give us and the other Brethren of the fraternity in this quarter to meet as soon as possibly consistent.
"We have the honor to be, Worshipful,
with fraternal affection,
Signed by the ten listed above.
"Voted, That the petition be presented by the Brethren of the Committee as soon as possible to Worshipful Brother Heart, and that they request him to convene us on Monday evening next if convenient. The meeting was then dissolved.
True copy of the proceedings of the meeting.
Griffin Greene, Clerk."
To the foregoing petition Brother Heart was pleased to return the following answer, viz.:
"Fort Harmar, June 26, 1790.
"The petition of the Masons residing in the city of Marietta, in behalf of themselves and others within the Federal Territories, requesting that they may be convened in regular Lodge, was delivered me by Brothers Greene, Sproat and Burnham, and (I) have considered the same.
"Previous to giving an answer on the subject it may be necessary to state some objections which may be raised (that) enter into a particular detail of the Masonic situation of this country, and explain the principles on which I wish to found my ultimate determination of your request.
"Previous to the late revolution all
authority exercised in America with respect to Masonry was derived
from the Grand Lodge of Great Britain, delegated to Deputies,
in and over certain districts, by virtue of which all regular
Lodges were then held. The Federal Territories, not corning within
the districts of any Grand Lodge holding under authority of the
Grand Lodge of
Great Britain, and the United States not having as yet formed a Federal league in Masonry, it may be a doubt whether at this time there is any power in America having Masonic jurisdiction over the Federal Territories B from whence it follows the power is still in the hands of the Grand Lodge of Great Britain, unless there can be found some power which has been delegated otherwise than through the present Grand Lodges and extending its jurisdiction to this country. Whether the Warrant under which you wish to be convened afford this protection is the next subject of inquiry. This Warrant was granted in the year 1776, previous to the Declaration of
Independence, by Richard Gridley, Esquire, Deputy Grand Master (see page 10), whose authority extended to all points of North America where no special Grand Master was appointed, as may appear from the Book of Constitutions and as expressed in said Warrant. It will therefore follow that there being no special Grand Master for this Territory a more ample authority for holding a Lodge in this country could not be obtained, provided there was a competent number of former members present. But there are only two, viz., Brother Putnam and myself who were actual enrolled members. To remove this objection it is observable that there are two others who are members and residents in this country but at present at too great a distance to attend B that there are also two of the petitioners who were constant visitors of this Lodge during the war, one of them a Past Master who by custom is a member of all Lodges. There are also others of the petitioners who have frequently visited the Lodge at different times.
AWherefore under every consideration with respect to your situation B the difficulty of obtaining authority B a doubt whether more ample authority can at this time be obtained B the right which is ever retained by the individuals of incorporating themselves where there is no existing power already lodged with particulars for that purpose;
AWherefore being the present Master of the Lodge held under authority of said Warrant, as may appear by having recourse to the records deposited in Frederick Lodge, held at Farmington, State of Connecticut, and being also the eldest ancient Mason within said Territory B I have thought proper with the advice of Brother Putnam, Member, and Brother Benjamin Tupper, Past Master, tp grant the request contained in your petition, and will meet you at Campus Martins on Monday the 28th inst. at 6 o'clock P. M. for the purpose of forming you into a Lodge agreeably to your request.
"I am, with every sentiment of respect,
"Your most obedient and humble servant,
Jonathan Heart. M. A. U. Lodge."
The Warrant of a Lodge is not entirely clear in its meaning to many members of the Craft. A Lodge Charter is essentially the same in fact, and these two words are often used to indicate the same thing. A standard authority gives an intelligent discussion of this subject, from which the following brief abstracts are taken.*
"The document which authorizes or gives a Warrant to certain persons therein named to organize and constitute a Lodge, Chapter, or other Masonic Body, and which ends usually with the formula, 'for which this shall be your sufficient Warrant.'
"The practice of granting Warrants for the Constitution of Lodges, dates only from the period of the revival of Freemasonry in 1717. Previous to that period 'a sufficient number of Brethren,' says Preston (Illustrations, edition of 1792, p.248) 'met together within a certain district, had ample power to make Masons, and discharge every duty of Masonry without a Warrant of Constitution.' But in 1717 a regulation was adopted 'that the privilege of assembling as Masons, which had been hitherto unlimited, should he vested in certain Lodges or assemblies of Masons convened in certain places; and that every Lodge to be hereafter convened except the four old Lodges at this time existing, should be legally authorized to act by a Warrant from the Grand Master, for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication; and that without such Warrant no Lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or constitutional.'
The idea of a Charter is interestingly presented
in the following quotation as presented by Brother Joshua H. Drummond.*
* Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, by A. G. Mackey, Robert I. Clegg, etc. Chicago, 1929, Vol.11, pp. 1090-1091.
** A Library of Freemasonry. By R. F. Gould and Collaborators, 1906, 5 Vols., Yorston Pub. Co., Vol. IV, p. 441.
AThe history of this Lodge is important on account of the contest which it made against the doctrine of complete and exclusive jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge in its territory. It also illustrates the two ideas or theories of a Charter of a Lodge. In Massachusetts the idea of a Charter was that it creates a Lodge with the inherent power of sustaining itself and capable of government by any Grand Lodge in whose jurisdiction it may be located, without change of the Charter; thus in Maine the old Lodges are still working under the Charters granted to them by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The other idea of a Charter was that, while it creates the Lodge, it is the necessary connecting link between the Lodge and the Grand Lodge which grants it, and that a Grand Lodge can govern only such Lodges as hold Charter from it. The logical result of the latter doctrine is, that with the dissolution of a Grand Lodge all the Charters issued by it become void; while under the former, the Lodges would continue to exist, and if three or more in number, might organize a new Grand Lodge."
The first regular session of American Union
Lodge in 1790, occurred on June 28 in accordance with the plans
as set forth in this letter, the meeting being held at Campus
Martins. The Brethren in office on this memorable occasion were
Jonathan Heart, Master; Benjamin Tupper, Senior Warden; and Rufus
Putnam, Junior Warden. Besides these officials, there were present
Brothers Thomas Stanley, William Buruham, Griffin Greene, William
Mills, Robert Oliver and William Stacey. "It was a memorable
occasion," writes Bro. Cornelius Moore,* "for it was
the first regular meeting of a Lodge held on the soil of Ohio,
and with one exception the first ever held in the Northwestern
Territory. The old Warrant of American Union Lodge was produced
and read; several Brethren promptly applied for membership and
were accepted, and a Senior and Junior Warden elected."
According to Bro. W. M. Cunningham, P. G. M., seven Brethren were
proposed for membership at this first meeting, the motion being
made by Brother Rufus Putnam.**
*The First Lodge in Ohio. The Masonic Review,
Vol. 48, 1876.
**History of Freemasonry in Ohio, Vol.1, 1909, p. 14.
The author here desires to quote from a brief piece of manuscript relative to the early history of this Lodge, prepared by Bro. M. R. Andrews of Marietta College, a member of the Lodge, who died while in the preliminary stages of writing its history. Forty pages of excellent typewritten manuscript are in the possession of the Lodge as an expression of his devotion.
"For five years after the reopening
at Campus Martins, American Union continued to be in reality a
military Lodge, receiving and initiating recruits as they passed
on their way to conflict, and all its meetings were held under
the cover of a fortified camp. Yet the Lodge had found a permanent
home; in a time of war she had planted seeds for an era of peace.
A torch had been
lighted in a new empire, within whose vast expanse ere long a thousand lights would gleam with messages of Brotherly love. She stood at the portal of the great Northwest and at her altar many a pioneer halted long enough to light a torch which he could bear far away into the wilderness. The Brethren found joy in labor for the benefit of younger Lodges. Thus Colonel Silas Bent, proposed, accepted and initiated under suspension of the rules, Nov. 1, 1790, because about to leave for the front, 'the Lodge being well acquainted with the person and character of the candidate,' and Lient. Bissell of the Second U. S. Infantry, initiated August 4, 1791, are examples of work done by the Brethren for other places and Lodges. Lient. Bissell was even passed and raised on the same evening (Sept. 4, 1791), because he was 'ordered to march tomorrow morning' to the headquarters at the Great Miami."
The early sessions of American Union Lodge, from 1790 to 1807, very largely related to securing proper recognition as a legalized body, to considering petitions for membership, and conducting initiations, passing and raisings of the newly elected. All of the regular business of the Lodge was conducted in the Entered Apprentice Degree, as was then usual, and a custom still in vogue when under the rules of the United Grand Lodge of England.
It will be recalled that the first session
of the Lodge was on June 28, 1790. At a session on July 15, Bro.
Anselm Tupper, Secretary, gave an address. On August 2 Bro. John
Doughty of the artillery was a visiting Brother. He had constructed
Fort Washington within the area now occupied by Cincinnati. At
a meeting on September 6, a petition for membership, the first
kind under the new administration, was received from Francis Choate. At an October meeting petitions were presented from Rev. Daniel Story, a clergyman from Boston; from Capt. Josiah Munroe, and several clergymen of the Ohio Company who had secured grants of land on each side of the Muskingum river. At the November meeting the records show the presence of sever
distinguished French visitors, notably Marquis de Marnesia, and Brothers De Basly, Guerin, Schowman, Prevost and Delmere.
On December 6, 1790, the election of officers took place, on which occasion Brother Jonathan Heart was elected Master. At this session Col. R. J. Meigs, Sr., Col. R. J. Meigs, Jr., and Charles Green were initiated and Brother Nathaniel Cushing, a former Revolutionary soldier, was present as a visitor. On December 8, the Worshipful Master, Bro. Heart, conferred the Master's Degree on Brother Rev. Daniel Story. At the festival to St. John the Evangelist on Dec.27, the Lodge marched in procession to the Court House, where after prayer by Brother Story, an address was delivered by Brother Anseim Tupper.
Application for recognition of American
Union by Grand Lodge Bodies, was a logical procedure in the renewal
of us activities. A committee was appointed on February 7, 1791,
of which Brother Jonathan Heart was chairman, with Brothers Daniel
Story and Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr. the other members, and they
were appointed to prepare a letter to the several Grand Lodges
of New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts setting forth the legality of American Union Lodge No. 1 meeting in Marietta, Ohio.
On March 7, the said committee reported the following letter, and which met with approval:
To the Most Worshipful the Grand Lodge of Masons of Masons in the State of --------------------.
The Brethren of the Ancient Craft Northwest of the Ohio send Greeting.
An extensive country having lately been opened Northwest of the Ohio, to which many Brethren from Europe as well as the different States in America have removed, who bringing with them a knowledge of the sacred mysteries, were desirous of enjoying those inestimable benefits of Masonry which flow from its well regulate institutions, and anxious that the light which shineth in darkness might illumine their paths in this wilderness of the West, have therefore incorporated themselves into a Lodge under a Warrant by the name of American Union Lodge No. 1.
That the greatest harmony may ever subsist between us and the Brethren of the Confederated States for the more full enjoyment of every benefit which can arise from the mutual exchange of good offices with the Ancient Craft throughout the world, we have thought it expedient to address the Grand Lodge of --------- on the subject B have enclosed a copy of the Warrant under which we work together, with our by-laws and a list of the present officers. Under the same Warrant a Lodge was held in the Connecticut line of the army at different places in the course of the late war and many worthy Brethren from different States of America were initiated into the sacred mysteries of the Craft.
We beg leave to observe that previous to opening this Lodge within the western territory; being fully impressed with the necessity of our strict adherence to the principles of Masonry, its Constitutions and most ancient customs, in a matter of such magnitude as the opening of a Lodge in this extensive country, and being sensible that our Brethren in the Confederate States would naturally be led to inquire by what authority a Lodge had been erected in a country where no Grand Lodge existed B therefore we entered into a full examination of the rights of Masonry with every circumstance of its jurisdiction in America.
"We found that previous to the late Revolution all Masonic jurisdiction in America was derived from Europe, delegated to Grand Masters in and over certain districts B that since the war the Masonic Bodies in the different States have considered themselves independent of Europe B have formed their Grand Lodges by electing a Grand Master and other officers necessary to compose the same: that this system has taken place where there was no Grand Lodge previous to the Revolution as well as in the States where Grand Masters had been appointed from Europe. From hence we concluded that as the Grand Lodges in the different States now acted by virtue of powers derived from their being elected to these offices, their jurisdiction could not extend beyond the limits of the States in and over which they had been elected, and that of course the Federal Territory was not within the jurisdiction of any of the present Grand Lodges in the representative States.
"We then proceeded to examine the Warrant, of which the enclosed is a copy, and found that the Grand Master who granted it was duly appointed Provincial Grand Master over all of North America where no special Grand Master was appointed - that his warrant to Joel Clark, Esq., was amply sufficient for opening a Lodge in any part of his jurisdiction - that our present Master was duly invested with the same in the course of the late war, being his successor in office, that the powers contained in that Warrant had never been revoked by the office from whence they issued, but that they now remain in full force.
"And as, there was no particular Grand Lodge having jurisdiction at this time over the Western Territory and as the said Territory was clearly within the jurisdiction of the jurisdiction of the Grand Master who granted the Warrant at the time of its issuing B
"Therefore, we determined that the
Warrant referred to as above was fully and most amply sufficient
for opening a Lodge within the territory Northwest of the Ohio
accordingly the Master with a due number of the former members
being present, the Lodge was opened in ample
form, and incorporated agreeably to the ancient customs of the Royal Craft, and we have to request that we may be recognized as such in the different Grand Lodges in our sister States in America.
"We beg further to observe, that the extent of the western territory, the rapid increase of inhabitants and the number of the worthy will soon make it necessary for the full enjoyment of the benefits of Masonry that more lodges be established within the Territory. That in pursuance of the example of some of the Confederate States who had no Grand Master previous to the Revolution, and have since formed a Grand Lodge by electing a Grand Master we conceive ourselves as being the Masonic Body corporate within the Federal Territory and duly invested with every power necessary to constitute, rule and govern the same, agreeable to the Constitutions and ancient customs of the Royal Craft throughout the world.
"Having thus explained the principles on which we have opened a Lodge in this western world, we have the full confidence that the principles of Masonry, its Constitutions and customs on the fairest construction will justify our proceedings.
"We are equally certain that should we have been led into an error by false reasoning, the Grand Lodges will be persuaded however that sincerity and an anxious wish to promote the good of the Craft have guided the measures, and that they will conceive it their duty to point out the errors and guide our steps into the paths in which we ought to walk.
"We have only to request that every impediment may be removed which might prevent the mutual exchange of good offices between the Brethren of this and every habitable part of creation, that nothing may prevent the light which shinetli in the East from spreading its benign influences to the going down of the sun.
"May the fullest enjoyment of every blessing attend the Grand Lodge of .......... in this life and that to come.
"With the most earnest wish for health, peace and happiness to all mankind and cordial affection to the enlightened throughout the world,
We are Most Worshipful Brethren,
Your Most Obedient and Humble Servants."
To the Grand Lodge of ........................
No response to this communication was received from the Grand Lodge of New York, but replies were received from the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
A response from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to the request for recognition, was entered on the records of August 6, 1792 of that Grand Body, and which is as follows:
"Philadelphia, 21st May, 5792.
"To the Worshipful Master, the Officers and Brethren of the American Union Lodge No. 1.
"Brethren: The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
are happy in this favorable opportunity of acknowledging the receipt
of your letter addressed to them which covered a copy of your
by-laws and the Warrant under which you work. It was with equal
surprise and pleasure they received the intelligence of the formation
of a Lodge in the midst of the immense wilderness of the west,
where but lately wild beasts and savage men were the only inhabitants
and where ignorance and ferocity contributed to deepen the gloom
which has covered that part of the earth
from the creation.
"This ray of light which has thus broke
in upon the gloom and darkness of ages, they consider as a happy
presage that the time is fast approaching when the knowledge of
Masonry will completely encircle the globe, and the most distant
reg'ions of the Western Hemisphere rival
those of the East in Masonic splendor.
"'Whatever, therefore, has a tendency
to accelerate so desirable an event, cannot be regarded with indifference
by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and consequently they will
eagerly embrace every opportunity of giving any information or
assistance that may be necessary to
the American Union Lodge Number 1, with whom they wish to keep up a close and cordial communication.
"The same spirit will dictate the same conduct with respect to any other Lodge that may be formed within the Western Territory and the erecting of a Grand Lodge over such an extensive district would be viewed with par
ticular satisfaction as a powerful means of regularly and gradually extending the benefits of the Masonic institution to the remotest corner of that government.
"As the account which you have given of the origin of your Warrant is perfectly satisfactory; and as the succession to tlie Chair has been uninterrupted, your authority for renewing your work appears to be incontestible. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania do therefore fully and cheerfully recognize the American Union Lodge Number 1, as a just and regular Lodge whose members ought to be received as lawful Brethren in all the Lodges of the two hemispheres.
"But whenever your Lodge shall become too numerous for working or whenever a sufficient number of Brethren shall desire to extend the benefits of Masonry to other parts of the extensive country northwest of the Ohio, it is earnestly recommended that application be made to some one of the Grand Lodges already established for Warrants or bispensations to authorize the formation of other Lodges until the proper number is complete which will enable you by a regular Masonic convention to erect and invest with the necessary powers, a Grand Lodge which shall assume the jurisdiction over the whole of the western territory.
"With respect to the power of the existing Grand Lodges to grant such Warrants or Dispensations, it is held to be constitutional that in any district which is out of the jurisdiction of every Grand Lodge, there the Warrant of any Grand Lodge will have a legal and constitutional operation.
"Before this letter is closed it must be observed that your by-laws are in general approved of and appear to be conformable to the Constitution. They are doubtless accommodated to your peculiar situation. The fees, however, are thought rather low B but it is hoped you will never lose sight of the propriety of keeping them as high as the circumstances of the people and the good of the Craft will properly admit.
"With every sentiment of fraternal affection, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania hail their Brethren in the Western Territory and rejoice in the prospect of success which cannot fail to crown with fame and splendor their meritorious labors.
"By order and in behalf of the Grand
Committee of Correspondence,
"PETER L. B. Du PLESSIS,
"Grand Secretary of Pennsylvania."
A reply to this letter of May 21, 1792,
was sent from Marietta and which is as follows:
Reply to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
"Marietta, Sept. 3, 1792.
"To the Right Worshipful Master, the Officers and Members of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania:
"The American Union Lodge No. 1, in the Federal Territory Northwest of the Ohio river most affectionately send love.
"With great pleasure they embrace this first favorable opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of their kind and affectionate letter of 25th of May with the much esteemed book of Constitutions. It gives them singular comfort and satisfaction to find that the Grand Lodge of one of the most respectable States in the Union not only acknowledge them as a regular Lodge, but as an elder Brother, takes them by the hand to teach and lead them into the paths of sublime truth and Masonic virtue.
"They have also the pleasure of informing the Grand Lodge that the opinion of this Lodge, relative to the formation of other Lodges in the Territory, is perfectly coincident with the ideas of the Grand Lodge. They are happy that their by-laws in general meet with the approbation of the Grand Lodge-but beg leave to observe, they are fully sensible that the fees are not so high as the fees in general of more ancient Lodges, but are adapted to their situation, and by the acquaintance they have had with other Lodges. They find that high fees do not prevent unworthy persons from applying and obtaining admittance, but that they sometimes do prevent worthy characters, by which means Masonry, perhaps has not had that beneficial operation among the lower class of people, low as to this World's goods, but rich in Virtue and Genius, and who would do honor to themselves and good to society were they admitted.
"With heartfelt sensibility they gratefully accept of the kind offer of cordial communication and Brotherly assistance.
"And that the Great Architect, the Sublime Master, may bless and crown the labors of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, is the sincere wish and fervent prayer of your affectionate Brethren of the West.
"By order and in behalf of the American Union Lodge No.1.
"(Signed) Anselm Tupper, Secretary."
A second reply to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania also follows:
"Marietta, Jan. 9, 1793.
"Having addressed you during the last summer, but doubting whether our letter may have yet been received, we are again happy to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 21st of May last, together with the valuable Book of Constitutions, which we were pleased to accept.
"With grateful pleasure we accept your kind proffers of information and assistance, which may be necessary, and your offer of correspondence (we esteem a singular mark of fraternal affection) from which we cannot fail to receive light and instruction.
"It affords us a peculiar satisfaction that our Warrant meets with your approbation and that you recognize us as a just and regular Lodge. Animated with the countenance and approbation of so respectable a Lodge, we shall look up to it as our patron and guide, and persevere in the attainment of the sublime art and Masonic Virtue. Whenever it shall become necessary for us to erect more Lodges we shall take the liberty to make application to you for Warrant to authorize their formation.
"Our establishment of this first Lodge in the wilderness we hope is but the dawning of a light which shall hereafter pervade the remotest bounds of this extensive Territory.
"The Worshipful Past Master, the Honorable Rufus Putnam, Esquire, our beloved Brother, is the bearer of this B whom we hereby recommend to your acquaintance and affection.
"That the Father of Light may illume all our paths and have in holy keeping, is the ardent prayer of your affectionate Brethren in the West.
"By order and in behalf of the American Union Lodge No.1,
"Anselm Tupper, Secretary."
A response from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the request for recognition, was received as given below:
"Boston, December 6, 1791.
"The Worshipful Benj. Tupper and Rufus Putnam:
"Your favor dated at Marietta of the 5th of May, 1791, with the enclosure, came through the hands of the Secretary, and was read in Massachusetts Grand Lodge last evening, being Quarterly Communication.
"The Brethren of the Gran4 Lodge, duly
impressed with the benevolent and affectionate expression in your
address, could not refrain from commending and applauding your
views and pursuits, and have desired me to signify how much they
are pleased with your laudable undertaking.
"Your Warrant is beyond doubt, a perfect and good one, and must have its force and operation where you are until a Grand Lodge is founded and established in your territory, when it will become your duty to surrender it and obtain in its place a Warrant from the Grand Lodge that may have the government of Masonry in your State. I confirm your Warrant as good and perfect, as you are where no Grand Lodge is established. I wisb you health and happiness, with the enjoyment of every earthly felicity.
"I am with much respect, Dear Brethren,
"M. M. Hays, Grand Master."
Copy of letter to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
"Marietta, January 9, 1793.
"To the Right Worshipful, the Grand Master, the Officers and Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts:
"The American Union Lodge No.1 in the Federal Territory, Northwest of the River Ohio, most affectionately sends love.
"It was with the utmost pleasure and satisfaction we received the cordial letter from the Right Worshipful Master of Your Grand Lodge of December 6, 1791. With sincere gratitude our thanks are hereby returned.
"The genuine feelings of substantial pleasure expanded through every heart in this Lodge when your letter (as well as one from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania received about the same time) announced to us, that we were acknowledged a regular constituted body of Masonic Brethren, and we hope our conduct will still merit your approbation.
"As most of, the members of this Lodge were formerly members of Lodges in Massachusetts, we should esteem it a peculiar mark of Brotherly affection, should we receive any advice or fraternal communication from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
"The Worshipful Past Master, the Honorable Rufus Putnam, Esquire, our beloved Brother, is the bearer of this, whom we hereby recommend to your acquaintance and affection.
"That the divine Architect would guide your feet in the paths of rectitude to the Seat of Bliss is the present prayer of your affectionate Brethren in the Western Hemisphere.
"By order and in behalf of the American Union Lodge No.1.
"Anselm Tupper, Secretary."
It thus may be seen that these two Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts gave their official recognition of the regularity of American Union Lodge continuing its work in Ohio under the original Warrant granted in 1776 by M. W. Grand Master John Rowe. It is important to note at this point that question has been raised by some members of the Craft if American Union Lodge had not really passed out of existence with conclusion of its Revolutionary War service in 1783.
The conditions by which American Union Lodge was established under the sovereignty of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, are interestingly set forth by Brother E. T. Carson.*
"By unanimous vote of the Grand Lodge,
a Charter American Union Lodge No.1 was granted to the peti containing
such a reference to the old Charter to show that it was a revival
of the old Lodge and titled to the books, funds and other property
which elonged to that Lodge. The Lodge was authorized to einstate
the members who had continued to work in spite of the prohibition
of the previous session, provided they would give satisfactory
assurances of obedience to the rules and regulations of the Grand
Lodge. It does not how many of the members availed themselves
pnvilege, but some did not, as in 1817 a Lodge was for admitting some of them as visitors, and it
was stated in Grand Lodge that some of them had continned to work as a Lodge in spite of the prohibition of the Grand Lodge; whereupon it was voted that a notice be prepared and published warning the Craft against them, and all Lodges were ordered to make specific inquiry of every visitor if he had been connected with that spurious Lodge since Feb. 1, 1816, and, if he had been, to reject him as an imposter. In 1820 the Grand Lodge ordered the Lodge to demand of these parties the books, funds and properties of the old Lodge. In 1821 the Lodge made some report to the Grand Lodge in relation to the recusants, and it was decided that the old Lodge was defunet as no further complaint or action in relation to it is found in the Grand Lodge record."
* A Library of Freemasonry. By Robt. Freke Gould, and others. Vol. IV, p.441, Philadelphia, Vols. I-V, 1906.
Did American Union Lodge become defunct at conclusion of war service? Two factors aid materially in establishing the legal continuation of the same Lodge in Ohio after seven years of slumber. First, the leadership in reorganization came from old members of the Lodge, with its original Warrant as a contributory feature in the possession of a former Worshipful Master, Brother Jonathan Heart. Second, the regularity of the establishment of American Union Lodge in Ohio was approved by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, as shown in the following extract from their reply to the request for recognition (page 104).
"As the account which you have given of the origin of your Warrant is perfectly satisfactory; and as the succession to the Chair has been uninterrupted, your authority for renewing your work appears to be incontestible. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania do therefore fully and cheerfully recognize the American Union Lodge Number 1, as a just and regular Lodge whose members ought to be received as lawful Brethren in all the Lodges of the two hemispheres."
The earliest Marietta home of American Union Lodge was at Campus Martins, where for three years it held its sessions in the home of Major Winthrop Sergeant, which is thus described by Dr. Samuel Hildreth.*
"In the center of the west front was a chamber surmounted by a tower. This chamber projected over the gateway like a block-house, and was intended for a protection to the gate underneath in time of assault. It was occupied for several years by Hon. Winthrop Sergeant, Secretary of the Territory, as an office. This room, then, was about ninety feet from the southwest corner of the fort B the corner now marked by a stone planted under the direction of the New Century Historical Society."
Major Winthrop Sergeant was one of the Charter
Members of American Union Lodge, having signed the Rules and Regulations
adopted February 20, 1776. His official duties took him away from
Marietta, and for that reason we do not find his name in the records
made at Campus Martins, but he showed his interest in the cause
by furnishing the Brethren with a room.
* The Pioneer Settlers of Ohio, Vol. 2,1866.
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