In the period between the years 1790 and 1800 many important matters took place in American Union Lodge, of which several have already been presented in some detail. There were many Lodge meetings from the first one of June 28, 1790, to 1800. During 1790 the records are given of many Lodge meetings, but in after years if we may depend upon the minutes of the Secretary, they were few and far between. In fact it is presumable that the Lodge on occasions met and records of the same were not made. Only the more notable records of this period will be given. Sessions were recorded June 28, July 14, August 2, September 6 and 8, October 4, November 1 and 2, December 6, 8, 24 and 27, 1790.
The adoption of by-laws in 1790 whereby the Lodge should be regulated, would naturally be cared for soon after reorganizing. The by-laws of the Lodge in use up to 1783, might be assumed as a sufficient legal guide for the purpose. But a connection here seems impossible.
"At the June 28, 1790 session it was voted that a committee be chosen to form by-laws for the Lodge, and Brothers B. Tupper, Green, Burnham and Secretary A. Tupper were chosen. On July 14 this committee presented the by-laws, which were read by the Secretary, after which they were ordered laid over until the next Lodge night. On August 2, Brother B. Tucker, Senior Warden, proposed that the discussion of the by-laws be postponed until the next Lodge night, which was approved. On September 6th, the by-laws were given consideration and "unanimously adopted." These by-laws are not recorded as a whole in the minutes of the Secretary. Under the date of September 8, a special session was called. Following the report of the meeting the Secretary had written under said minutes, "By-laws of American Union Lodge."
By-Laws of American Union Lodge No. 1. p. 14-19 Rept. Secy. 1790.
Article 1st. This Lodge being held under a Warrant granted to a Traveling body, by the name, American Union Lodge and not numbered but being the first regular Lodge open within the Federal Territories, is to be denominated No. 1, is to consist of the usual Officers, pointed by the Constitution and such number of members as in Lodge duly assembled by unanimous ballot shall be deemed proper.
Article 2nd. This Lodge is to be held on the first Monday in each month and within the Federal Territory, at such place as the body duly notified and amply assembled, shall in open Lodge by majority determine.
Article 3rd. This Lodge to be opened from
the Autumnal to the Vernal Equinoxes at 5 o'clock
P. M. and be closed at nine. From the Vernal to the Autumnal Equinoxes be opened at 6 o'clock P. M. and closed at 10 o'clock. Of the time and place of meeting, the members are to take due notice and attend accordingly, as no further notice will be given with respect to the Stated Meeting.
Article 5th. The officers of this Lodge arc to be chosen on the Lodge night preceding the Festival of St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist.
Article 6th. All votes in this Lodge respecting admission of members, Initiations, Passings and raisings, to be by ballot and unanimous. Such matters as respect the changing of officers-passing of laws, committees, removals, etc. to be by ballot, and determined by a majority. The Master having a casting vote.
Article 6th. No Brother to be admitted
a visitor in this Lodge, unless he is vouched for by so
known Brother, or can produce to a committee (appointed by the Master for that purpose) such credentials of his having been regularly initiated in a just Lodge, as will satisfy the Master and Brethren, and when in the latter case he must address the Master. A visitor thus admitted may have permission to give his opinion on such subjects as particularly respect the good of the Craft, but he cannot give his Vote.
Article 7th. No candidate can be initiated in this Lodge unless he is vouched for by one Brother a member, that he is of lawful age, defective in neither body nor mind, is of good moral character, has an estate, professional employment, trade or occupation, by which he is enabled to maintain his family; support the dignity of the Craft and this Lodge in particular.
Article 8th. No Brother can be admitted a member of this Lodge, only he produces the credentials as in Article 6th, and is vouched for as in Article 7th, or at least that he was in such circumstances at the time of his being initiated and by misfortune and not by his own fault is become otherways.
Article 9th. Every candidate made, passed or raised in this Lodge, signing the by-laws, commences member of course, and will be considered such, until he signs his intentions to the contrary.
Article 10th. All applications of candidates for initiation or admission of members, to be in writing, to specify the applicant's name, title, trade or occupation and place of residence and must be handed to the Master in open Lodge by the Brother vouching for him, who must be a member, countersign the application, and consider himself answerable for all expenses.
Article 11th. The Brother who proposes and becomes voucher for a candidate for initiation, must deposit two dollars, which sum if the candidate is not accepted shall be punctually returned B if accepted and does not apply to be made, forfeits to the Lodge, and if accepted and made, to be considered a part of the initiation fees hereafter pointed out.
Article 12th. The fees for admission of
members, initiations, etc. are stated as follows, viz:
For admitting a member......................1 Dol.
For initiation of a candidate, viz.
Initiation, including deposit.....$3 -
Fund of charity.........................$3 - 7 Dol.
To Clothe the Lodge................$1 -
For passing a member.........................1 Dol.
For passing a brother not a member....2 Dol.
For raising a member...........................2 Dol.
For raising a brother not a member.....3 Dol.
To the Secretary for a Certificate........1 Dol.
To the Tyler-Viz.
For each night..................................1 Dime
For each initiated, passed, raised.....3 Dimes
Each member, quarterly...................5 Dimes
Visiting Brethren each night............2 Dimes
Article 13th. All fees, dues and demands, to be secured or actually deposited in the chest, as the Lodge may direct, and any member refusing or neglecting to pay his quarterages, previous to the election of officers, shall be deprived of his vote.
Article 14th. The chest, apparatus and
furniture, necessary for the transacting the business, shall
be the property of this Lodge, and delivered into the care of some responsible Brother.
Article 15th. The Secretary of this Lodge shall keep fair records of their transactions, of the Initiations etc. on a register of the names of candidates Initiated, Passed and Raised. Visiting Brethren &c. and all things proper to be committed to writing B he shall issue summons at the Master's discretion for the calling of special Lodges B he is to receive all monies and pay the same over to the Treasurer, entering the sums on what account, and from who received, in the record of the Lodge.
Article 16th. The Treasurer shall receive all monies from the Secretary, pay them out agreeably to such directions as the Lodge duly assembled may determine. To keep fair records of receipts and payments, and account with the Lodge whenever required
Article 17th. The Steward is to take his orders from the Lodge; make such provision for feasts and entertainments as he may be directed B he is also to assist the Junior Warden in providing refreshment for the Laborers, always remembering that no more liquor than to the amount of six cents for each Brother present, can be called for and charged to the Lodge, without a special order from the Lodge the preceding Lodge night. No person but the Steward to order liquors on account of the Lodge, and he is to be answerable for all over and above the allowance.
Article 18th. The articles of the Constitution being the basis on which all by-laws are made, due attention is to be paid to each and every particular of them, with respect to the power, privilege and authority of the Lodge, its officers, their duties B the duties of members, both without and within the Lodge, their conduct towards superiors, inferiors, and equals, as individuals, as members of society, as Masons, and as moral subjects B and every departure from the rules of propriety or which shall be deemed such by a majority in the Lodge assemblies, the transgressor will be dealt with according to the rules of Masonry. And it is considered the duty of this Lodge to hear and determine the complaints of Brethren and use every endeavor to conciliate the affections of Brother to Brother and convince the world that we love as Brethren, but in such differences of opintion as may require the decision of law, or where any Brother is lost to the advice given B this Lodge is not to involve themselves in disputes by making themselves parties in such disputes.
Article 19th. As charity is the great bond of Brotherly love, the cement of society and the supreme end of Masonry B and as there is no Lodge within the Federal Territories superior to this, where our fund of charity can with propriety be placed, the fund of charity of this Lodge is to be under the direction of the Master and Brethren, members in Lodge assembled, and to be deposited with the Treasurer B and for the better relieving the necessities of such as may do the proper objects of charity, it is determined Master, two Wardens and two Brethren members, chosen by the members themselves - be a standing committee - any three to be a quorum-provided one of the three was chosen by the members and shall have power to receive the applications of Brethren for charity, hear and report the same to the Lodge, and where they may deem immediate assistance necessary, they may order a sum, not exceeding five dollars, to a distressed Brother, to be paid out of the funds of charity. They are to hold at least one meeting every quarter, to inquire into the state of the charity funds, to devise ways and means for putting them into such a state as may afford the greatest relief to the distresses of the fraternity, and be productive of lasting advantages to the ancient Craft within the Federal Territories, or wherever dispersed in the wide world B and as our chanty ought not to be circumscribed to narrow bounds, the distresses of others, not of the Fraternity may also be admitted within the discretionary judgment of the committee of charity under the same restrictions B provided however, the proceedings of former committees of charity, their rules and regulations, are to be the ruling points by which this Lodge is to govern itself.
Article 20th. This Lodge duly assembled and vested with the usual powers, solemnly ratify and confirm the foregoing articles, and declare them to be binding on every person who shall subscribe the same-however, reserving to this Lodge, when assembled in due and ample form, the power to add, diminish, alter, explain and amend the foregoing articles, provided they do not depart from the Ancient Landmarks B except the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th articles, which are declared irrevocable, without the consent of every member within the will of mortality.
Daniel Story John Clark
W. Mills Robert Safford
Joshua Munro Jno. Meigs
Moses Morse Harm Blennerhassett
Francis Choate Ted Sibley
Silas Bent Ichabod Nye
Jonas Devol Levi Whipple
Dean Tyler Daniel Converse
Stephen Pierce John Green
R. J. Meigs Ephm Cutler
R. J. Meigs, Jr. David Putnam
Jona. Heart, M. M. Andrew Story
Dudley Odlin A. W. Griffin
Edward H. Tupper Ashbel Hale
Lysander Curtis Benj. Tupper
Wm. P. Putnam Joseph Wood
Joseph Thompson Nath. Cushing
Eleazer Curtiss Oliver Rice
Wm. Skinner Schoumeering
Joseph Webb John Fulham
Oliver Dodge Christ Burlinggame
Joseph Frye Sam Barns
Pelatiah White Robt. Bradford
Abner Lord Jabez True
Dan=l. Loring Wm. Mason
Israel Putnam John Russell
Joseph Jenks Joseph Buell
John Collins Joseph Lincoln
Thos. Lane Jervis Cutler
Rufus Putnam Seth Fuller
Benj. Tupper, S. W. P. M. Jepe Davis
R. Oliver, Treasurer John Brough
Anselm Tupper, Sec. William Start
Griffin Greene Horace Wolcott
Wm. Burnham, Stweard Joseph Lincoln
Ezra Lunt David Wulson
E. Sproat Jonathan Plumer
Eben Battelle Dudley Woodbridge, Jr.
C. F. H. Greene Ebenezer Buckingham
Thomas Stanley Noyce Stone
Wanton Casey Philip Greene
Joseph Barker E. Beebe
Timothy Buell Perley Howe
A Revision of By-Laws was provided at a
session held July 5, 1793. It was then voted that a Committee
of three members be appointed to revise the by-laws of this Lodge,
to make a draft of such additions or amendments as they shall
judge necessary for the purpose of advancing Master Masons to
higher degrees in the Ancient Craft, and report the same on the
next regular Lodge
night. The Worshipful Master appointed as the committee, Brothers Rufus Putnam, Robert Oliver and Daniel Story.
In October, 1793, additional articles, from 20 to 32, were adopted, which herewith follow. It is interesting to note in this connection that
The establishment of the Royal Arch degrees
west of the Alleghany Mountains first took place October 7, 1793
in American Union Lodge, and the adoption of additional articles
to tile by-laws at this time explains its introduction.
Whereas, This Lodge is competent, both as to numbers and ability to hold Lodges of a higher degree than that of a Master, and no fees having been stipulated by our by-laws for any higher degrees in Masonry, nor any order prescribed, it is therefore found expedient that additions be made to the by-laws, and this Lodge being duly assembled, unanimously agree to annex the following, agreeably to Article 20, subject to any alteration hereafter as therein expressed.
Article 21st. In addition to the stated meetings of the Lodge as in Article 2d, there is to he a meeting of the Royal Arch, quarterly, (viz.) on the second Thursdays of March, June, September and November, which are to be considered as slated meetings B and at such other times as may appear necessary agreeably to Article 15th.
Article 22nd. Any Brother wishing to obtain the degree of Past Master or Mark Master must signify his desire in writing in open Lodge at least one stated meeting previous to his being admitted to those degrees.
Article 23rd. All Masons who wish to obtain the degree of Most Excellent or the Royal Arch must signify their desire in writing in open Lodge at least one Quarterly meeting preceding the Lodge in which they receive those degrees, but if circumstances make it inconvenient for the candidate to tarry so long, and a special Lodge should be called, the dispensation from the Master for a special Lodge must specify the purpose for which the Lodge is called; and every member of the Royal Arch residing with sixteen miles of Marietta must be duly notified at the expense of the candidate.
Article 24th. Different fees:
For passing the chair.........2 Dollars
Benefit of the Mark...........2 Dollars
Most Excellent..................2 Dollars
Royal Arch........................4 Dollars
with the customary Tyler's fees.
Article 25th. That twenty-five cents be paid by each Brother who has passed the chair, at each quarterly meeting.
Article 26th. The monies arising by fees under the 24th Article shall accrue to and make part of the general fund of the Lodge, except so much thereof as shall be necessary to clothe the Royal Arch Lodge, which is hereby appropriated for that purpose. None of the funds arising from fees paid by the three first degrees being applied to that use.
A surrender of rights and privileges of Royal Arch Masons is indicated possible, as set forth in the following statement by the members whose names are affixed.
"We the undersigned Royal and Most
Excellent Masters, Past Masters and Mark Master Masons, working
the aforesaid degrees, under the sanction of the Warrant of the
American Union Lodge in Marietta."
"Do hereby caution and admonish the Master Masons, Fellow Craft and Enter-Apprentice Members of the American Union Lodge aforesaid, against indiscriminately destroying the authority by which the brethren of the different degrees (in Masonry of the Lodge) work.
"Whereas such an indiscriminate surrender would impair the rights and privileges of the brethren, working under the Royal Arch Chapter, by virtue of the aforesaid authority, and would destroy the chapter altogether."
Joseph F. Millard
Marietta, May 1, 1815
Copied from original manuscript in American Union Lodge No. 1.
This statement is not quite as clear as it should be. In the second paragraph the word "destroying" seems obscure in meaning, while if the word criticism were substituted, the intent of the statement would seem more evident. A substitute of criticism for "surrender "in the third paragraph, would further clarify the whole statement.
On March 6, 1797, the following articles, 27 to 32 inclusive, were adopted by the Lodge.
Article 27th. The deposit provided for in Article 11th. for the future shall be five dollars, three of which shall belong to the fund of charity, agreeably to Article 12th.
Article 28th. Whereas it has been found
by experience that great inconveniences have arisen from blending
the fund of charity with the other funds of the Lodge, therefore
until a Grand
Lodge be formed in this territory, a member of this Lodge who shall be styled the Treasurer of the charity funds, shall be chosen the first Monday in January. annually, or as soon thereafter as may be, in whose hands all the monies or obligations belonging to said funds shall be placed.
Article 29th. The quarterages as in Article 12th, shall for the future cease and instead thereof twenty-five cents shall be paid each night by each attending Brother excepting visiting Brothers the first night, for which money the Secretary shall be accountable, and such refreshments shall be had as the Master of the Lodge shall order, the 17th Article notwithstanding.
Article 30th. That every member of the Lodge residing within three miles of the place of meeting who shall not attend the stated Lodges shall also pay the sum of twenty-five cents unless he can assign reasons for his absence which shall be satisfactory to the Lodge, and should he refuse or neglect to pay said sum he shall be deprived of his vote as in Article 13th at elections.
Article 31st. That the Secretary be allowed five per cent upon all monies he shall collect for the Lodge and pay over to the Treasurer.
Article 32nd. That Article 21 be, and is hereby repealed, and in addition to the stated meetings of the Lodge as in Article 2nd, there shall be a meeting of the Royal Arch quarterly, viz. on the Tuesdays next succeeding the first Mondays in March, June, September and December, which are to be considered as stated meetings, and at such other times as may appear necessary.
Customs Established in 15790, following the By-Laws.
Article 1st. The Master has a right to call Lodges of Emergency, but as it is attended with additional expense, the person or persons applying, or on whose account the Lodge is called, must pay the expense, unless the Lodge shall determine the good of the Craft, or if this Lodge in particular, justified its being called.
Article 2nd. In the absence of the Master
the Senior Warden fills the chair and so in succession,
unless a Past Master is present. In that case it is customary to request him to take the chair.
Article 3rd. The mode of balloting is
usual by balls. When a candidate is balloted for and
negatived, if the proposer requests, he may have a second ballot, and if only one negative appears, he may have a third ballot. But if a negative still appears, he cannot have another.
Article 4th. When a Brother is expelled the Lodge, notice is to be sent the neighboring Lodges.
Article 5th. No more than three candidates
are allowed to be made, to be passed or raised in one
night, neither is it allowable to make and pass, or pass and raise, the same candidate the same night. However, in many instances, Lodges have dispensed with this regulation.
Article 6th. A candidate for initiation
should not be balloted for the same night he is proposed,
nor initiated the night he is balloted for, but particular merits-a general acquaintance B an immediate and unexpected call to travel, in some instances may justify a dispensation of this and the foregoing article.
Article 7th. A visiting Brother does not pay the first night he attends.
Article 8th. No person to enter the Lodge without the Master's consent, or leave it without obtaining his permission.
Article 9th. None but members can be vouchers.
Article 10th. Past Masters are members of all Lodges.
Article 11th. Every Brother rises to address the Master.
Article 12th. The approach of a person
is announced by the outside Tyler to the inside Tyler and
by him to the Senior Warden, who acquaints the Master.
Article 13th. It is customary to excuse the Inside Tyler from paying quarterages.
Article 14th None but such as have certificates of their having contributed to some fund of charity, have a legal claim for relief.
Article 15th. All certificates given should be registered in the Grand Lodge and the bearer's name, signed by himself, entered in the margin.
The sessions of the Lodge in 1790, were mainly devoted to a consideration of the by-laws, or to adding to the membership list. At the first meeting on June 28, Brothers Oliver, Green, Stacey, Stanley, Mills, A. Tupper and Burnham applied for membership by affiliation, and were elected. The following officers were then chosen: Jonathan Heart, Worshipful Master; B. Tupper, Senior Warden; Rufus Putnam, Junior Warden; A. Tupper, Secretary; R. Oliver, Treasurer. On July 14, Secretary Tupper addressed the Lodge on some of the obligations of the members, in which he said, "Our first object, my Brethren, will be to support the pillars of our Lodge. If as Masons we are unskilled in our duty we ought to double our diligence. We must diligently search for that wisdom which is necessary to direct us."
The Jewels of Washington Lodge No.10 came up for an interesting discussion at the August 2d, meeting.
"Brother John Doughty having informed the Lodge that the Jewels belonging to the Washington Lodge No. 10 were left with him at the dissolution of the late army, and were now in possession of Brother Price at West Point, it was voted that a committee be chosen to drought a petition to Brother Doughty requesting him to procure the said Jewels for the benefit of this Lodge. Brother Senior Warden, Brother Sproat and Brother Treasurer were chosen and formed the following, which was presented accordingly, viz.
"The American Union Lodge to Brother
John Doughty Sendeth love. The Great Architect who said, 'Let
there be Light and there was Light,' has of His infinite goodness
caused the Light of Masonry to dawn in this western hemisphere
by erecting a regular Lodge of Masons here.
Twelve of the members were formerly members of Washington Lodge No. 10, and continued members of that Lodge till it was dissolved by the dissolution of the late American Army, and being informed that a number of the Jewels belonging to that late Lodge were left with you by our beloved Brother William Hill, then acting as Senior Warden, we therefore claim the favor of these Jewels, being the greatest number of members of that Lodge collected in one place, and being in our infancy stand in need thereof.
We are with sincere Fraternal affection,
Signed: Beni. Tupper
Ebeur. Sproat, Committee
No response to this request is recorded in the minutes of the Secretary, and the desired information has not been obtained. Washington Lodge No. 10 was of the Massachusetts line, and according to Brother J. Hugo Tatsch, this Lodge was formally instituted on October 11, 1779, by Bro. Jonathan Heart, Master of American Union Lodge, acting as the proxy for the Grand Master of Massachusetts.* This Lodge functioned during the Revolution, and a list of its original officers and members has been preserved, as well as of 104 initiated Brothers.
The initiation of the Reverend Daniel Story furnishes an interesting phase of the willingness of the early day Lodge to accommodate the candidate desiring admission At the meeting on October 4, "Worshipful Brother Senior Warden, in the chair, proposed the Reverend Daniel Story, late of Boston, Mass., now employed by the agents and Directors of the Ohio Company as a clergyman for the different settlements therein formed, as a candidate for Initiation, and deposited two dollars, which were paid to the Treasurer, and further observed that it was the wish of the candidate to be initiated this night if consistent with the regulations of this Lodge; he being obliged to. attend at the different settlements already formed, to perform the sacred duties of his office, could not, of course, attend the stated meetings of the Society. The Lodge being fully convinced of the necessity of the attendance of Mr. Story as above stated, and also well acquainted with his personal character, proceeded (in consequence of the foregoing circumstances) to ballot. He was accepted. A ballot whether he should be initiated into the mysteries of Masonry this evening or not, was in the affirmative. He was accordingly dealt with, and paid the demands as stated in the by-laws, which were delivered over to the Treasurer." On November 2 he was given the Fellow Craft Degree, and on December 8 raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. Brother Story proved himself a most useful member of the Lodge, was frequently in attendance, served as its Worshipful Master, and was essentially its Chaplain, if not in fact. He also addressed the Lodge on a number of occasions.
An early day assessment of the members indicates
the scarcity and value of money in this pioneer country. At the
October 4, 1790 meeting, an assessment proposed by the Treasurer,
of one dollar, 2 dimes, 8 cents, 2 mills and one-half on each
member was accepted, and voted, that it be paid next Lodge night
in order to defray the expense of Furniture for this Lodge already
* Freemasonry in the Colonies, New York, 1929, p. 211.
Variety in the ritual at one session of the Lodge in the early days of Freemasonry in the new west, is illustrated in the meeting held on January 11, 1791. The following is a copy of the report of the Secretary.
"Campus Martins, Jan.11, 1791.
An Entered Apprentice Lodge was opened in due form according to adjournment from January 3rd.
Worshipful Brother Heart, Master.
Worshipful Brother B. Tupper, Sen. Warden.
Brother R. Putnam, Jun. Warden.
Brother Story, acting as Sec. & Sen. Dea.
Brother Mills, acting as Treasurer.
Brother Stanley, as Jun. Dea. P. T.
Members: Brothers Sproat, R. J. Meigs, Jr., C. Greene, Munroe, Pieree.
Visitors: Brothers Harvey, Barnes.
The Lodge was closed and a Fellow Craft Lodge opened. Present as before, except the Entered Apprentices. Brother Pierce was proposed for the second step B he was balloted for, accepted and passed.
The Fellowcraft Lodge was closed and a Masters' Lodge was opened. Present as before except the Fellow Crafts. Brother Meigs, Seur., Brother Meigs, Junr., and Brother C. Greene were proposed for the 3rd step. They were balloted for and accepted. Brother Meigs, Junr. and Brother C. Greene were raised. The Lodge was closed in due form and is to stand closed till the first Monday in February, then to be opened at 5 o'clock P. M. at Campus Martins. True record of the Proceedings."
Many of the Lodge meetings covered two degrees, but three were a great exception. There were occasions when a Lodge during this period conducted initiation work in a degree, and then closed, to open in the next degree and give the ritual of the same. Under such circumstances conditions prevailed which justified the Lodge in conducting the same as a personal favor on request. In these early Lodge meetings there are no records made by the Secretary specifying "examinations" were held, although occasional notes are of this type, "having shown satisfactory progress." The present day method may permit the conduct of the three degrees, but for examination rather than more than one degree for an individual. The ritualistic work of 125 years ago, if we may judge by the Preston system, was fully as extended as that at the present time.
The first celebration in honor of St. John, took place on December 27, 1790, noted on the records of the Secretary as below.
Campus Martius, 27th Dec., A. L. 5790
Feast of St. John
The Lodge met.
Worshipful J. Heart, Master.
Worshipful Br. B. Tupper, Seur. Warden.
Br. R. Putnam, Junr. Warden.
Br. A. Tupper, Secretary.
Br. G. Greene, acting as Seur. Deacon.
Br. Story, acting as Junr. Deacon.
Br. Burnham, Steward.
Brothers Mills, Stanley, Sproat, Stacey, Morse, R. J. Meigs, R. J. Meigs, Jr., C. Greene, Pierce, Munroe, Battelle, Bent, Choate, Tyler.
Brothers Marquis de Marnesia, Guerin, Shoeman, Prevot, Delmere, B. Thompson, Loring, Rice, Harvey, Barns, J. Thompson.
The Lodge was opened in due form at 9 o'clock A. M. At 11 o'clock A. M. marched in procession to the Court House where a prayer was made by Brother Story and an oration delivered by Br. Secretary. Dined at 3 o'clock.
The whole conducted with the utmost decency and regularity.
Lodge was closed at 5 o'clock P. M.
True record of proceedings.
Anselm Tupper, Secretary.
The festival of St. John the Baptist has been celebrated for a very long period of time. When the Grand Lodge of England was organized in 1717, it was on St. John the Baptist Day, June 24. St. John the Evangelist's Day was first celebrated in 1725 on December 27. It is interesting to note that in the pioneer days of Freemasonry in America, the Brethren were not unmindful of proper recognition of their Masonic Evangelist, and that the custom has been continued up to the present time.
The Festival of St. John the Evangelist occurred on December 27, 1792. Having met at Marietta Point at the house of Munsel & Buell (now occupied by Dr. McIntosh) in order to celebrate the day the Brethren walked in procession to Masons Hall in Campus Martius where an elegant poetical oration was delivered by Brother Return J. Meigs, Jr., which met with such an entire approbation of the Brethren that they unanimously,
Voted, that W. B. Rufus Putnam, W. Br. Story and Br. Odlin be a committee to wait on Br. Meigs and return him the thanks of this Lodge for his very elegant, poetical address, delivered this day and also request a copy.
"The Brethren dined in the hall where the oration was delivered. Genuine sentiments of friendship reigned. Hilarity and mirth were attendants and the day closed with joy in the countenance of every Brother, that in the wilderness of the west we had once more the happiness of celebrating Ancient St. John."
The election of Brother Rufus Putnam as Worshipful Master of American Union Lodge in 1791, is worthy of notice here. At a special meeting of the Lodge on August 22d, Worshipful Brother Heart who had been reelected Worshipful Master, "pleaded that necessary avocations made it impracticable for him to serve them and requested that another Master might be elected. Accordingly Brother Rufus Putnam was chosen, installed and introduced to the chair." After taking possession of the Master's chair, "Worshipful Brother Putnam observed that it was incompatible for him in his present situation to serve as Master, and requested another might be chosen. Accordingly Brother Oliver was elected, installed and introduced to the chair." Brother Putnam however was elected Worshipful Master, and served in various capacities of importance, but, more especially as Worshipful Master and as Treasurer of the Charity Fund. (See page 142.)
Harmon Blennerhassett became a member of
American Union Lodge in 1797. On August 7, 1797, he visited the
Lodge and on November 6 requested to be admitted a member, on
which occasion he was balloted for, elected and made a Master
Mason on November 10. The records show that December 4, 1797,
he was elected and served as a Secretary of the Lodge at meetings
Dec. 27, 1797 and Jan. 6 and Mar. 5, 1798. He had no other record
in the minutes. Blennerhassett was born in England in 1764 and
inherited valuable property. Jn 1796 he married a daughter of
his sister, from which resulted "a family of physical and
moral wrecks.@* Due to social ostracism, he removed to America
in 1796, settling in 1798 on a small island in the Ohio river
but a few miles south of Marietta. Here he spent $60,000 in establishing
a home, which became a great show place. In 1805 Aaron Burr became
a guest of Blennerhassett, after which complications arose regarding
the loyalty of each of these men. Blennerhassett was arrested
and tried for treason but acquitted after trial. Soldiers in
the meantime took charge of his property and did much damage,
* Encyclopedia Americana, Vol.4, 1922, p.78.
house was destroyed by fire. Blennerhassett
moved to Natchez, Miss., where he bought a plantation, but which
was a commercial failure. He then removed to Canada in 1819, to
practice law, but finally in 1822 moved back to England where
he died on the Island of Guernsey in
Indian warfare dangers were set forth in the following action of the Lodge in its session of April 18, 1792.
"Whereas the present Indian war renders it unsafe for the Brethren to pass from one Garrison to another after sunset-therefore, Voted, that the Stated hour of meeting be at 4 o'clock P. M. until this Vote be rescinded."
Paying bills-Meeting Sept. 3, 1792.
The Committee appointed to examine and adjust the accounts of the Lodge, presented a statement.
Voted, that each Brother now indebted to the Lodge discharge his account on or before the next regular Lodge night, either in cash, or by giving their note of hand, payble on demand to Bro. Return Jonat. Meigs, Esq., or bearer with interest from the 1st day of September, 1792.
Voted that Br. A. Tupper's past services as Secretary to the Lodge be considered a payment for what he is indebted to the Lodge on his private account, being 7 dollars 17 cents.
Worshipful Brother Oliver informed the Lodge that he accidentally lost a four dollar bank bill the property of the Lodge by falling into a creek and prayed for an allowance.
Voted the same be allowed him.
Voted, that part of Br. McIntosh's bill, presented to the Lodge, which was for supplies for the music on St. John's Day last, be allowed, being twelve shillings and that the remainder of s'd. bill be not allowed. (Bro. McIntosh was expelled from the Lodge. See page 210.)
Voted Oct. 1 that the Secy. be directed to continue his endeavors to collect the arrears of payments agreeably to the vote of Lodge last Lodge night.
Voted Nov. 5, that Secy. be requested still to continue his exertions to collect the arrears of payments from the Members till next stated meeting.
Aprons in the Lodge up to 1795, had never
received more than the simplest references in the minutes of the
Secretary. However, on January 5 of this year, the following interesting
action of the Lodge was taken, the first to indicate any special
consideration of this important factor in Lodge equipment. It
was voted, "That all the aprons of this Lodge be marked with
the name of the Lodge and numbered by the Secretary, and as many
of them as are occupied by the members to be marked with their
names, and they be accountable to the Lodge for the same.''
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