19th Century, Algerian Mystic, Freemason, Antebellum

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Abd al-Qādir is often referred to only as `El Amir Abdelkader, since al-Jazā’iri simply means “the Algerian”. His name can be variously transliterated from its Arabic spelling as Abd al-Kadir, Abdel Kader, Abdelkader, and other variant spellings. He is also often given the titles amir, prince, and shaykh or sheik.

Early years

Painting of Abd al-Qādir by Ange Tissier, 1852

`Abd al-Qādir was born near the town of Mascara near Oran, in 1807 or 1808.[1] His father, Muhyi al-Din al-Hasani, was a shaykh in the Qadiri sufi order of Islam. He claimed to be a Banu Ifran berber[2][3] and to be a descendant of Muhammad.[4]

In his childhood he memorized the Qur’an and was trained in horsemanship, theology and linguistics, and received an education far better than that of his peers. In 1825, he set out for the Muslim pilgrimage, hajj, with his father. While in Mecca, he encountered Imam Shamil; the two spoke at length on different topics. He also traveled to Damascus and Baghdad, and visited the graves of noted Muslims, such as Shaykh Ibn Arabi and Sidi Abd-el-Kader El Jilani named also El-Jilali in Algeria. This experience cemented his religious enthusiasm. On his way back to Algeria, he was impressed by the reforms carried out by Muhammad `Ali in Egypt.[citation needed] He returned to his homeland a few months before the arrival of the French.

French invasion and resistance

In 1830, Algeria was invaded by France; French colonial domination over Algeria supplanted what had been domination in name only by the Ottoman Empire. Within two years, al-Qādir was made an amir and with the loyalty of a number of tribes began a rebellion against the French. He was effective at using guerrilla warfare and for a decade, up until 1842, scored many victories. He often signed tactical truces with the French, but these did not last. His power base was in the western part of Algeria, where he was successful in uniting the tribes against the French. He was noted for his chivalry; on one occasion he released his French captives simply because he had insufficient food to feed them. Throughout this period al-Qādir demonstrated political and military leadership, and acted as a capable administrator and a persuasive orator. His fervent faith in the doctrines of Islam was unquestioned, and his ultimate failure was due in considerable measure to the refusal of the Kabyles, Berber mountain tribes, to make common cause with the Arabs against the French.

Until the beginning of 1842 the struggle went in his favor; however, the resistance was put down by Marshal Bugeaud. In 1837, al-Qādir signed the Treaty of Tafna with Bugeaud, in which he recognized France’s sovereignty in Oran and Algiers, while France recognized his control over the remaining two-thirds of the country, mainly the interior. When French troops marched through a mountain pass in territory al-Qādir claimed as his in open defiance of that claim, he renewed the resistance on October 15, 1839.

Al-Qādir was ultimately forced to surrender. The French armies grew large, and brutally suppressed the native population and practiced a scorched-earth policy. Al-Qādir’s failure to get support from eastern tribes, apart from the Berbers of western Kabylie, also contributed to the quelling of the rebellion. On December 21, 1847, after being denied refuge in Morocco (strangely parallelling Jugurtha‘s career two thousand years earlier) because of French diplomatic and military pressure on its leaders, al-Qādir surrendered to General Louis de Lamoricière in exchange for the promise that he would be allowed to go to Alexandria or Acre. Two days later, his surrender was made official to the French Governor-General of Algeria, Henri d’Orléans, duc d’Aumale. The French government refused to honour Lamoricière’s promise and Al-Qādir was exiled to France.

Life in exile

Al-Qādir and his family were detained in France, first at Toulon, then at Pau, and in November 1848 they were transferred to the château of Amboise. There he remained until October 1852, when he was released by Napoléon III and given an annual pension of 100 000 francs on taking an oath never again to disturb Algeria. He then took up residence in Bursa, moving in 1855 to Damascus. He devoted himself anew to theology and philosophy, and composed a philosophical treatise, of which a French translation was published in 1858 under the title of Rappel à l’intelligent. Avis à l’indifférent. He also wrote a book on the Arabian horse.

`Abd al-Qādir (center) during the Druze/Christian strife of 1860

While in Damascus he befriended Jane Digby and Richard and Isabel Burton. In July 1860, conflict between the Druze and Maronites of Mount Lebanon spread to Damascus, and local Druze attacked the Christian quarter, killing over 3,000 persons. `Abd al-Qādir and his personal guard saved large numbers of Christians, bringing them to safety in his house and in the citadel. For this action the French government increased his pension to 4000 Louis and bestowed on him the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur. He was also honoured by Abraham Lincoln for this gesture towards Christians with several guns that are now on display in the Algiers museum.

In 1865 he visited Paris on the invitation of Napoléon III and was greeted with both official and popular respect.

Al-Qādir died at Damascus on 26 May 1883 and was buried near the great sufi Ibn Arabi in Damascus.


A reference to one of Abd al-Qādir’s books

Abd al-Qādir is recognized and venerated as the first hero of Algerian independence. However, there is some controversy around his devotion to his people after his capture. A letter he wrote to Napoleon reveals his loyalty to the French leader.[5] Not without cause, his green and white standard was adopted by the Algerian liberation movement during the War of Independence and became the national flag of independent Algeria. He was buried in Damascus in the same mausoleum as Ibn Arabi, until the Algerian government brought his remains back to Algeria to be interred with much ceremony on 5 July 1966, the fourth anniversary of independence and the 136th anniversary of the French conquest. The Emir Abdel Kader University and a mosque bearing his name were constructed as a national shrine in Constantine, Algeria.

An indication of the international fame of al-Qādir’s struggle is given by the way that the town of Elkader, Iowa in the United States came to be named after him. When the new community was being officially planned, on what was then the American frontier, founders Timothy Davis, John Thompson and Chester Sage—none of them Arabs or Muslims—were so impressed with what they heard of the Algerian leader’s valiant struggle that they decided to name the new town for him. The American town has retained its Algerian connection by establishing a sister city connection with Mascara, Algeria.

His notable children and grandchildren:

  1. Prince Muhammad ibn Abd al-Qadir al-Jazairi
  2. Prince Said al-Jazairi, who took over government affairs of Syria when the Ottomans evacuated on 28 September 1918 and stayed in office until the Arab Army entered Damascus on 1 October 1918.

Freemasons, Antebellum

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From Wikipedia, includes entire list up to modern times










  • Burl Ives, American actor and singer,[26] Magnolia (now Magnolia-La Cumbre) Lodge No. 242, California









  • Manuel L. Quezon, First president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines under U.S. occupation rule in the early period of the 20th century. Raised March 17, 1908 at Sinukuan Lodge No. 272 (renamed Sinukuan Lodge No. 16). first Filipino Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands that was established in 1917.[192]








  • John Yarker – English occultist – 1° Lodge of Integrity No. 189 (later 163) Manchester, October 25, 1854, affiliated with Fidelity Lodge No. 623 April 27, 1855 – Expelled from the Ancient and Accepted Rite and Demitted (from all regular Freemasonry), 1862[248]


  • Duiliu Zamfirescu Romanian novelist, poet, short story writer, lawyer, nationalist politician, journalist, diplomat and memoirist.[11]


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“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by earth, neighter by any other oath; but let your yeay be yea; and your nay, nay; let you fall into condemnation.” – James 5:12


William Morgan was kidnapped and carried away from the village of Batavia on September 11, 1826.  The alleged agents in the abduction of William Morgan in retribution for the intended publication of Masonry secrets were put on trial between January 1827 and 1830, and several were convicted and sentenced, some pleading guilty to save examination as to conspiracy.


In 1848, one of the murders of Morgan made a full confession. Being near death from illness, Henry L. Valance, confessed the crime to clear his conscience that had been extremely troubled since his participation in the murder of Morgan. Henry L. Valance’s confession was recorded by Dr. John L. Emery of Racine County, Wisconsin, in the summer of 1848.

In 1869, the Rev. Charles G. Finney, the great American revival preacher and president of Oberlin College published a book called, The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry. In his book Rev. Finney reproduced an earlier account of the confession of Henry L. Valance. It is from the book by Rev. Finney that I will now quote to show the heartless premeditated cruelty of this murder.

This ‘Confession’ was taken down as related by Henry L. Valance, who acknowledges himself to have been one of the three who were selected to make a final disposition of the illfated victim of masonic vengeance……….

My last hour is approaching; and as the things of this world fade from my mental sight, I feel the necessity of making, as far as in my power lies, that atonement which every violator of the great law of right owes to his fellow men’…’I allude to the abduction and murder of the ill-fated William Morgan.’

Mr. Valance told how the murderers were selected:

‘Eight pieces of paper were procured, five of which were to remain blank, while the letter ‘D’ was written on the others. These pieces of paper were placed in a large box, from which each man was to draw one at the same moment. After drawing we were all to separate, without looking at the paper that each held in his hand. So soon as we had arrived at certain distances from the place of rendezvous, the tickets were to be examined, and those who held blanks were to return instantly to their homes; and those who should hold marked tickets were to proceed to the fort at midnight, and there put Morgan to death, in such a manner as should seem themselves most fitting.’

Valance spoke of the concern that Morgan had for his family as he neared his execution:

‘He commenced wringing his hands, and talking of his wife and children, the recollections of whom, in that awful hour, terribly affected him. His wife, he said was young and inexperienced, and his children were but infants; what would become of them were he cut off, and they even ignorant of his fate.?’

Valance then tells of the actual murder:

‘A short time,’… ‘brought us to the boat, and we all entered it-Morgan being placed in the bow with myself, along side of him. My comrades took the oars, and the boat was rapidly forced out into the river. The night was pitch dark, we could scarcely see a yard before us, and therefore was the time admirably adapted to our hellish purpose.’

Now weights were ready to be fastened to Morgan with a cord:

‘This cord……. I took in my hand …. and fastened it around the body of Morgan, just above his hips, using all my skill to make it fast, so that it would hold.

Then, in a whisper, I bade the unhappy man to stand up, and after a momentary hesitation he complied with my order. He stood close to the head of the boat, and there was just length enough of rope from his person to the weights to prevent any strain, while he was standing. I then requested one of my associates to assist me in lifting the weights from the bottom to the side of the boat, while the others steadied her from the stern. This was done, and, as Morgan was standing with his back toward me, I approached him, and gave him a strong push with both my hands, which were placed on the middle of his back. He fell forward, carrying the weights with him, and the waters closed over the mass.’

Thus died Captain William Morgan the first Masonic martyr.

When the death of Morgan was made public, the people in America were outraged, and several state legislatures began investigations of the Mason Lodge.

The following is from a report of the New York State Senate committee that was published in 1829:

It comprises men of rank, wealth, office and talents in power-and that almost in every place where power is of any importance-it comprises, among the other classes of the community, to the lowest, in large numbers, and capable of being directed by the efforts of others so as to have the force of concert through the civilized world!

They are distributed too, with the means of knowing each other, and the means of keeping secret, and the means of cooperating, in the desk, in the legislative hall, on every party of pleasure, in every enterprise of government, on the bench, and in every gathering of men of business, in every party of pleasure, in every enterprise of government, in every domestic circle, in peace and in war, among its enemies and friends, in one place as well as another. So powerful, indeed, is it at this time, that it fears nothing from violence, either public or private, for it has every means to learn it in season, to counteract, defeat and punish it…….

The New York state report also told how the Masonic Lodge was able to influence the press to keep the truth about the order from becoming known.

The public press, that mighty engine for good or for evil, has been, with a few honorable exceptions, silent as the grave. This self proclaimed sentinel of freedom, has felt the force of Masonic influence, or has been smitten with the rod of its power.


Five years later a joint committee of the legislature in the State of Massachusetts conducted an investigation of the Lodge. Their report said that the Masons were:

a distinct independent government within our own government, and beyond the control of the laws of the land by means of its secrecy, and the oaths and regulations which its subjects are bound to obey, under penalties of death.”…”in no Masonic oath presented to the committee, is there any reservation made of the constitution and the laws of the land.”

The Joint Committee of the Massachusetts House found Freemasonry to be a, moral evil”, a “pecuniary evil) and a “political evil.”

Because of the Morgan incident and the resulting furor, it is reported that,

out of a little more than fifty thousand Masons in the United States at that time, forty five thousand turned their backs upon the lodge to enter the lodge no more.

The public exposure of the evils of Freemasonry led to the establishment of the Anti-Masonic Party in 1827. The Anti-Masonic sentiment was so high that the party received 128,000 votes in 1830 and,..15 Anti-Masonic candidates were elected to the New York Assembly in 1827,” and, “The Anti-Masonic Party won a large number of Congressional seats in 1832,”.

Millard Fillmore, who later became President of the United States was a member of the Anti-Masonic Party. In our day, historical accounts of the Morgan incident are rarely given and when they are references are made to the, apparent’ murder of Morgan and little or nothing is said of the fact that the revelation of these events almost eradicated the blight of Freemasonry from America.

19th Century, Masons, Disappearance of William Morgan (part 2)

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p. VII and in no possible situation can man be placed, that the benign influence of Christianity does not completely supersede the use of a mere human institution. Place a brother in a desert, unfriended and unkown,—leave him in a wilderness where human footsteps never printed the ground, the Divine Benefactor is at his side, and watches over him with parental guidance. Let him be driven on a barbarous coast, in the midst of savage men, and there it is that the breathings of the divine influence spreads around him its shield, brings him into civilized society—in the busy walks of men and are we to be told, as members of community, sojourners on earth, and candidates for heaven, we must be taught our duty at a Mason’s lodge? Wherever Masonry exercises its influence with success, there Christianity can have, or should have a more powerful effect. Whenever Masonry claims “kindred with the skies,” and exalts herself above every living sublunary thing, then, with an unhallowed step, it obtrudes on the sacred borders of religion, and decks itself in borrowed garments.

Entrenched within these strong walls—decked with all the glitter of high sounding professions, claiming what does not belong to it,—it dazzles “but to bewilder and destroy.” In its train, in these United States, are enrolled many periodical works devoted to Masonry; and under the guise of patronizing mechanics—the arts and sciences—lend their aid to carry on the imposing delusion. They take up the specious title of throwing a little illumination on this benighted country, from their secret depositories. Arrogating to itself what should deck other’s brows—assuming to be the parton, the life and soul of all that is great and valuable—it deceives many of its votaries, and from its gaudy premises the most untenable and onerous conclusions are drawn.

Are we astonished at the wild and heedless manner in which many of the votaries of Masonry rush into every excess, putting at defiance the laws of our civil institutions, which suffer no one to put in jeopardy, but by due forms, and disregarding the command of the Most High, which says, “Thou shalt not kill?” ——we can readily trace the cause to the impressions and practices obtained from its false tenets and descriptive arrogance. Masonry is to the modern world what the whore of Babylon was to the ancient; and is the

p. VIII beast with seven heads and ten horns, ready to tear out our bowels, and scatter them to the four winds of heaven.

Masonry gives rogues and evil-minded characters an opportunity of visiting upon their devoted victim, all the ills attending combined power, when exerted to accomplish destruction. It works unseen, at all silent hours, and secret times and places; and, like death when summoning his diseases, pounces upon its devoted subject, and lays him prostrate in the dust. Like the great enemy of man, it has shown its cloven foot, and put the public upon its guard against its secret machinations.

This part of the subject requires no further discussion either by way of ridicule or downright sincerity, but the remark which cannot be too often reiterated, that the world, in its present advanced state, requires no such order for our social intercourse; and when the Masonic mania prevails as it now does in this country, we are exalting a mere human ordinance, with its useless trumpery and laughable accompaniments, for the sublime and unadorned lessons of Heaven.

To some men it is galling and mortifying in the extreme to give up their darling systems. With the increase of years their fondness becomes so great that they cling to them with wild and bewildered attachment. But we would ask them, where now are the Knights of Malta and Jerusalem, and the objects that called forth their perils and journeyings? Where are the crusades and excursions on which our Grand Commanders, Generalissimos and Sir Knights are to be engaged. . . . . . . . . In no other excursions than Cervantes describes of his redoubtable hero Don Quixote. The days and occasions that called forth these deeds of chivalry and valor have passed like those before the flood; and the mock dignitaries and puppet show actions of Masons in their imitation call forth pity and indignation. When we now see the gaudy show in a lodge-room, and a train of nominal officers with their distinction and badges, it may give us some faint idea of scenes that are past, and may gratify an idle curiosity, but produces no substantial good under heaven. When monasteries and cloisters, and inquisitor’s cells and prisons have been broken up before the sweeping march of the moral mind, why this unnecessary mummery should be so much countenanced in this country, above all other

p. IX countries in the world, is a matter of astonishment.

The day we trust will never arrive here, when ranks in Masonry will be stepping-stones to places of dignity and power—when this institution will be a machine to press down the free born spirit of men. We have now no tyrant to rule over us—no kingly potentate to move over our heads the rod of authority; but high in our elevation, and invincible in our strongholds, we put at defiance secret cabals and associations. The public opinion is like a mighty river, and gigantic in its course it will sweep every interposing obstacle before it.

In the work which we submit to the public we have given false coloring to nothing; nor in these remarks have we set down aught in malice. In the firm discharge of our undertaking we have been stern and unbending as the rugged mountain oak; and persecutions, pains and perils have not deterred us from our purpose. We have triumphed over tumult, and clamor, and evil speaking.

When our book goes out to the world, it will meet with attacks of a violent nature from one source, and men of mock titles and order will endeavor to heap upon it every calumny. Men more tenacious of absolute forms and practice than they are attentive to truth and honor, will deny our expositions, and call us liars and impostors.

Such is the treatment, however ungenerous and unjust, which we expect to meet, and for which we are prepared. Truth, we know, is majestic and will finally prevail. The little petty effusions of malice that will be thrown out, will die with their authors, whom this work will survive.

We now aver, in defiance of whatever may be said to the contrary—no matter by whom, how exalted his rank—that this book is what it pretends to be; that it is a master key to the secrets of Masonry; that in the pages before him, the man of candor and inquiry can judge for himself, and then a proper judgment will be formed of our intention.

p. 10 [BLANK]

p. 11


A Description of the Ceremonies used in opening a
Lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons; which is the
same in all upper degrees, with the exception
of the difference in the signs, due-guards,
grips, pass-grips, words and their sev-
eral names; all of which will be
given and explained in their
proper places as the
work progresses.

One rap calls the lodge to order—one calls up the junior and Senior Deacons—two raps call up all the subordinate officers, and three, all the members of the lodge.

The Master having called the lodge to order, and the officers all seated, the Master says to the Junior Warden, ‘Brother junior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the south?’

Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’

Master to the Senior Warden, ‘Brother Senior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the west?’

Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’

The Master then says, ‘They are, in the east,’ at the same time he gives a rap with the common gavel or mallet, which calls up both Deacons.

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, the first care of a Mason?’

Ans. ‘To see the lodge tyled, Worshipful.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons, and direct him to tyle accordingly.’ The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and gives three raps, which are answered by three raps from without; the Junior Deacon then gives one, which is also answered by the Tyler with one; the door is then partly opened and the Junior Deacon delivers his message, and resumes his situation

p. 12 and says, ‘The door is tyled, Worshipful.’ (at the same time giving the due-guard, which is never omitted when the Master is addressed.)

The Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother, by whom?’

Ans. ‘By a Master Mason without the door, armed with the proper implement of his office.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘His duty there?’

Ans. ‘To keep off all cowans and eaves-droppers, see that none pass or repass without permission from the Master.’ (Some say without permission from the chair.)

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, your place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Your business there, Brother Junior?’

Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, and take charge of the door.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘The Senior Deacon’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.’ [The Master, while asking the last questions gives two raps, which call up all the subordinate officers.]

Master to Senior Deacon, ‘Your duty there, Brother Senior?’

Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, and welcome and clothe all visiting Brethren. [i.e., furnish them with an apron.]

Master to Senior Deacon, ‘The Secretary’s place in the lodge, Brother Senior?’

Ans. ‘At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the cast.’

Master to the Secretary, ‘Your duty there, Brother Secretary?’

Ans. ‘The better to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure, record the proceedings of the lodge; transmit a copy of the same to the Grand Lodge, if required; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Brethren, pay them over to the Treasurer, and take his receipt for the same.’

p. 13 The Master to the Secretary, ‘The Treasurer’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master.’

Master to Treasurer, ‘Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?’

Ans. ‘Duly to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Secretary; keep a just and true account of the same; pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Brethren.’

The Master to the Treasurer, “The Junior Warden’s place in the lodge, Brother Treasurer?’

Ans. ‘In the south, Worshipful.’

Master to Junior Warden, ‘Your business there, Brother Junior?’

Ans. ‘As the sun in the south at high meridian is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time, call the crafts from labor to refreshment, superintend them during the hours thereof, see that none convert the hours of refreshment into that of intemperance or excess; and call them out again in due season, that the Worshipful Master may have honor, and they profit and pleasure thereby.’

Master to the Junior Warden, ‘The Senior Warden’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘In the west, Worshipful.’

Master to Senior Warden, ‘Your duty there, Brother Senior?’

Ans. ‘As the sun sets in the west to close the day, so stands the Senior Warden in the west to assist the Worshipful Master in opening his lodge, take care of the jewels and implements, see that none be lost, pay the craft their wages, if any be due, and see that none go away dissatisfied.’

Master to the Senior Warden, ‘The Master’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘In the east, Worshipful.’

Master to the Senior Warden, ‘His duty there?’

Ans. ‘As the sun rises in the cast to open and adorn the

p. 14

p. 15

day, so presides the Worshipful Master in the east to open and adorn his lodge, set his crafts to work with good and wholesome laws, or cause the same to be done.’ The Master now gives three raps, when all the brethren rise, and the Master taking off his hat, proceeds as follows: In like manner so do I, strictly forbidding all profane language, private committees, or any other disorderly conduct whereby the peace and harmony of this lodge may be interrupted while engaged in its lawful pursuits, under no less penalty than the by-laws, or such penalty as the majority of the Brethren present may see fit to inflict. Brethren, attend to giving the signs.’ [Here lodges differ very much. In some they declare the lodge opened as follows, before they give the signs:]

The Master (all the Brethren imitating him) extends his left arm from his body so as to form an angle of about forty-five degrees, and holds his right hand transversely across his left, the palms thereof about one inch apart. This is called the Due Guard, and alludes to the position a Candidate’s hands are placed in when he takes the obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason. The Master then draws his right hand across his throat, the band open, with the thumb next to his throat, and drops it down by his side. This is called the penal sign of an Entered Apprentice Mason, (many call it sign) and alludes to the penalty of the obligation. (See obligation.) The Master then declares the lodge opened in the following manner: ‘I now declare this lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons duly opened for dispatch of business.’ The Senior Warden declares it to the Junior Warden, and he to the Brethren. ‘Come, Brethren, let us pray.’—One of the following prayers is used:

Most holy and glorious God! the great architect of the Universe; the giver of all good gifts and graces: Thou hast promised that ‘Where two or three are gathered together in thy name, thou wilt be in the midst of them and bless them.’ In thy name we assemble, most humbly beseeching thee to bless us in all our undertakings; that we may know and

p. 16 serve thee aright, and that all our actions may tend to thy glory and our advancement in knowledge and virtue. And we beseech thee, O Lord God, to bless our present assembling; and to illuminate our minds through the influence of the Son of Righteousness, that we may walk in the light of thy countenance; and when the trials of our probationary state are over, be admitted into the temple, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Amen. So mote it be.

Another prayer, as often used at opening as closing:

Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; it is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirts of his garment; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more. Amen. So mote it be.

The lodge being now open and ready to proceed to business, the Master directs the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting, which naturally brings to view the business of the present.

If there are any candidates to be brought forward, that will be the first business to be attended to. I will therefore proceed with a description of the ceremonies used in the admission and initiation of a candidate into the first degree of Masonry.

A person wishing to become a Mason must get some one who is a Mason to present his petition to a lodge, when, if there are no serious objections, it will be entered on the minutes, and a committee of two or three appointed to enquire into his character, and report to the next regular communication. The following is a form of petition used by a candidate; but a worthy candidate will not be rejected for the want of formality in his petition:

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of Lodge No. —, of Free and Accepted Masons.

The subscriber, residing in ————, of lawful age, and by occupation a —————, begs leave to state that, unbiased by friends, and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, he freely and voluntarily offers himself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution a desire

p. 17 of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted, he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity.

(Signed)                                   A. B.

At the next regular communication, (if no very serious objection appears against the candidate) the ballot boxes will be passed; one black ball will reject a candidate. The boxes may be passed three times. The Deacons are the proper persons to pass them. One of the boxes has black and white beans or balls in it, the other empty, the one with the balls in it goes before, and furnishes each member with a black and white ball; the empty box follows and receives them. There are two holes in the top of this box with a small tube, (generally) in each, one of which is black and the other white, with a partition in the box. The members put both their balls into this box as their feelings dictate; when the balls are received, the box is presented to the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, who pronounce clear or not clear, as the case may be. The ballot proving clear, the candidate (if present) is conducted into a small preparation room, adjoining the lodge when he is asked the following questions and gives the following answers. Senior Deacon to Candidate, “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that,

unbiased by friends, uninfluenced by unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry.?”

Ans. “I do.”

Senior Deacon to candidate. “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?”

Ans. “I do.”

Senior Deacon to candidate, “Do you sincerely declare upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?”

Ans. “I do.”

After the above questions are proposed and answered and the result reported to the Master, he says, “Brethren

p. 18

at the request of Mr. A. B. he has been proposed and accepted in regular form. I therefore recommend him as a proper candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and worthy to partake of the privileges of the fraternity and in consequence of a declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the order.”

19th Century Masons, Antebellum, Disappearance of William Morgan

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Northern District of New York to wit:






Who has devoted Thirty Years to the Subject

“God said, Let there be Light,
and there was Light.”

Copyright Secured.
Printed for the Proprietor,

Republished with the addition of engravings, showing the Lodge-room
Signs, Grips and Masonic Emblems.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fourteenth day of August, in the fifty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1826, William Morgan, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:—

“Illustrations of Masonry, by one of the fraternity who has devoted thirty years to the subject. ‘God said, Let there be light, and there was light.’ “

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned,” and also to the act entitled “An act supplementary to the act entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned,’ and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”

Clerk of the Northern District of N. Y.

p. III


By the Publisher, Col. David C. Miller, Batavia, N. Y.)

In the absence of the author, or rather compiler of the following work, who was kidnapped and carried away from the village of Batavia, on the 11th day of September, 1826, by a number of Freemasons, it devolves upon the publisher to attempt to set forth some of the leading views that governed those who embarked in the undertaking.

To contend with prejudice, and to struggle against customs and opinions, which superstition, time, and ignorance have hallowed, requires time, patience, and magnanimity. When we begin to pull down the strongholds of error, the batteries we level against them, though strong, and powerful; and victorious at last, are at first received with violence; and when in our conquering career we meet with scoffs and revilings from the beseiged partisans of untenable positions, it the more forcibly impresses us we are but men; and that in every work of reformation and renovation we must encounter various difficulties. For a full confirmation of our statement we might refer to the history of the world. It is not our intention, however, to give a full detail of the whims and caprices of man to bring forth the historic records of other years as proof of the windings and shiftings of the various characters who have “Strutted their brief hour on life’s stage” in order to convince that customs, associations, and institutions are like the lives of the authors and abettors, fleeting and fragile. Many of them rise up as bubbles on the ocean, and die away. Circumstances give them existence, and when these causes cease to exist, they go into the same gulf of oblivion as countless exploded opinions and tenets have gone before them. The mind that formed and planned them, goes on in its dazzling flight, bounding over barrier after barrier, till it has arrived at the ultimate goal of consummation.

The daily occurrences before us bring forth the full conviction that the emanation from the God of light is gradually ascending to regions of greater intellectual brilliancy.

p. IV When we view man, in the infancy of society, as in the childhood of his existence, he is weak, powerless and defenceless; but in his manhood and riper years, he has grown to his full stature, and stands forth in commanding attitude, the favored and acknowledged lord of the world. For his comfort and well-being as a member of society, rules and regulations are necessary. In the various stages of his progress, these systematic improvements undergo various changes, according to circumstances and situations. What is proper and necessary in one grade of society, is wholly useless, and may be alarming in another. Opinions and usages that go down in tradition, and interfere not with our improvements in social concerns, adhere to us more closely and become entwined in all our feelings. It is to this we owe our bigoted attachment to antiquity—it is this that demands from us a superstitious reverence for the opinions and practices of men of former times, and closes the ear against truth, and blinds the eyes to the glare of new lights and new accessions of knowledge through which medium only can they break in upon the mind.


We have within ourselves the knowledge; and everywhere around us the proofs that we are beings destined not to stand still. In our present state of advancement, we look with pity on the small progress of our fathers in arts and sciences, and social institutions; and when compared with our elevated rank, we have just cause of pride and of grateful feelings. They did well for the times in which they lived, but to the ultimatum of perfectability we are nearer, and in the monuments we have before us of the skill and genius of our times and age, we have only fulfilled these destinies for which we were created; and we object to every obstacle that opposes or attempts to oppose the will of heaven.


In the present enlightened state to which society has advanced, we contend that the opinions and tenets and pretended secrecies of “olden times,” handed down to us, should be fully, fairly and freely canvassed; that from the mist and darkness which have hung over them, they should come out before the open light of day, and be subject to the rigid test of candid investigation. These, preliminary remarks lead as to the main object of our introduction.


We come to lay before the world the claims of an institution

p. V which has been sanctioned by ages, venerated for wisdom, exalted for “light;” but, an institution whose benefits have always been overrated, and whose continuance is not in the slightest degree, necessary. We meet it with its high requirements, its “time honored customs,” its swelling titles, and shall show it in its nakedness and simplicity. Strip it of its “borrowed trappings” and it is a mere nothing, a toy not now worthy the notice of a child to sport with.


We look back to it as, at one period, a “cement of society and bond of union”—we view it as, at one time, a venerable fort—but now in ruins—which contained within its walls many things that dignified and adorned human nature. We give it due credit for the services it has done; but at present when light has gone abroad into the utmost recesses and corners of the world–when information is scattered wide around us, and knowledge is not closeted in cloisters and cells but “stalks abroad with her beams of light, and her honors and rewards,” we may now, when our minority has expired, act up to our character and look no longer to Masonry as our guide and conductor; it has nothing in it now valuable that is not known to every inquiring mind. It contains, wrapped up in its supposed mysteries, no useful truth, no necessary knowledge that has not gone forth to the world through other channels and by other means.


If we would have a knowledge of sacred history—of the religion and practices of the Jews, and the terms and technicalities of the Mosaic institutions, we can have recourse to the Bible. If we wish further communications from heaven, we have open to our view the pages of the New Testament. If we would “climb the high ascent of human science, and trace the mighty progress of human genius in every gigantic effort of mind in logic, geometry, mathematics, chemistry, and every other branch of knowledge,” we ridicule the idea that Masonry, in her retirements, contains the arts and sciences. The sturdiest Mason in the whole fraternity is not bold enough to uphold or maintain the opinion for one moment in sober reality. The origin of the institution is easily traced to the rude ages of the world—to a body of mechanics, or a corporation of operative workmen, who formed signs and regulations, the more easily to carry on their work, and to protect their order. [The very obligations solemnly tendered to every member,

p. VI carry the strongest internal evidence of the semi-barbarity that prevailed at the time of the institution of the order,] In the course of time, as society increased, and knowledge became more general, it spread, and embracing in its grasp other objects than at first, it enrolled in its ranks men of the first respectability in wealth, talents and worth. But that there is anything intrinsically valuable in the signs, symbols, or words of Masonry, no man of sense will contend. That there is not any hidden secret which operates as a talismanic charm on its possessors, every man of intelligence, Mason or no Mason, must candidly acknowledge. It is worse than idleness for the defenders of the order, at the present day to entrench themselves behind their outward show—the semblance before the world—and to say they are in possession of superior knowledge.

We pretend not to act under a cover. We shall “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Masonry, it is true, has long been eulogized in song—it has formed the burthen of the poet’s theme, and been the subject of the orator’s best performances. Fancy has been almost exhausted in bringing out “new flowers to deck the fairy queen;” but when we come behind the scenes, what is the picture we behold? Are we to rest satisfied with the ipse dixit of others, or to examine the truth for ourselves? The touchstone is before our readers in the present publication.

Masonry is of itself naked and worthless. It consists of gleanings from the Holy Scriptures, and from the arts and sciences, which have shone in the world. Linking itself with philosophy and science and religion, on this it rests all its claims to veneration and respect. Take away this borrowed aid, and it falls into ruins.

Much weight is still attached to the argument, that as a tie uniting men—that, as a significant speech, symbolically speaking every language, and at the same time embodying in its constitution everything that is valuable, it should command respect. We meet this argument with facts that cannot be controverted. We put it on a basis that will fling into the back ground every quibble and artifice on the subject; and, in the language of a polemic writer, we challenge opposition to our positon.

The religion inculcated by the Son of Man does all this;

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