ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SCOTTISH RITE
IN Chapter LI of this work will be found a "History of Christian Knighthood," and in the
following chapter, LII, "Knight Templarism in America." In pages 1332 to 1336, Chapter
LI, is given the history of the suppression of the "Templar Order," the death of the last
Grand Master, Jacques De Molay, and the dispersion of the "Order."
There is no need to repeat in this place the account of the destruction of the greatest of
the three great military orders, the "Poor Fellow-soldiers of Christ and Solomon's
Temple" as they officially described themselves. On March 11, 1314, the Grand Master,
Jacques de Molay, was burned to death in Paris, declaring with his last breath that the
confessions wrung from him and other knights by torture were untrue, and that the
order was innocent. The Papal Bull, issued by Clement V. the year before, had
suppressed the order and transferred its estates to the Knights Hospitallers, or Knights
of St. John of Jerusalem, for centuries the bitter foes of the Templars. The Templars
who escaped the cruelty of the French King, Philip the Fair, fled to other countries.
From this period until the invention of printing there was a slow but gradual increase in
learning, which was mostly confined to the priesthood; very few, even of the nobility,
could read or write; hence they employed as chaplains the learned class of the clergy,
who conducted all of their business affairs, and became domesticated in their families.
After the invention of movable type and the increase of books, "learning" became more
popular, and by the political changes in the kingdoms of Europe there were important
improvements in science and the arts brought about, so that from the close of the 14th
century to the death of Charles II. of England, very important events had taken place
and an entire revolution of society had occurred, growing out of the "Reformation" in
religion. The great fire in London - although a local affair - had its effects upon other
parts of Europe. The reconstruction of the city of London - and particularly of the
religious edifices - produced a revolution in architecture under the supervision of Sir
Christopher Wren, who was appointed by Charles II. as superintendent of all the public
buildings after the great fire. Under the sanction of the King, Wren visited the continent
and became familiar with the classic orders of architecture, of which there were few
examples in England. There is no doubt that the great cathedral of St. Paul's in
London, in its order of architecture, was a copy of St. Peter's in Rome.
Sir Christopher Wren has often been called by Masonic writers a Grand Master of
Masons, but there is no evidence whatever that he was even an Apprentice Mason
when he became the government architect or " Superintendent."
Lessing, the German critic, goes so far as to describe Wren as the inventor of
Speculative Masonry, but later investigators affirm that while Inigo Jones, the great
architect of so many noble buildings in England, is claimed to have held a place in the
Masonic order, yet Sir Christopher Wren is only mentioned in a professional capacity.
As the first code of Masonic laws and the first items of Masonic history were published
by authority, it may justly be inferred that the triumvirate of compilers had no knowledge
of his having ever been a member of the Society. The English Freemasons of the
period of the so-called revival of 1717 seemed to have found no reason to believe in
Wren's connection with the Society. Wren was one of the most eminent men of the
time, "a prodigy of universal science," President of the Royal Society, the builder of the
new cathedral of St. Paul's, London, and numerous colleges and other buildings, and,
more than all, the rebuilder of London after the Great Fire, and it would be strange that
the initiation or affiliation of such a distinguished man as the King's Architect should
have been forgotten by the lodges of Masons subsisting when the revival of 1717 took
The invention of new degrees was continuous, in the countries of Europej during the
middle portion of the 18th century, but most of them were worked to a limited extent
only and soon passed into oblivion. The three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow
Craft, and Master Mason were the source from whence this prolific development of
degrees sprang, and these three degrees were selected, with twenty-two others, to
compose a Rite which was destined to retain its vitality, and to spread its influence,
throughout the world. This Rite was known as the "Ancient and Accepted Rite."
There have been various accounts of the manner in which these degrees were selected
and arranged in the so-called "Rite of Perfection." The most reasonable statement is as
The Chevalier de Bonneville established a chapter of twenty-five degrees of the so-
called High Degrees in the College of Jesuits of Clermont, in Paris, in 1754. The
adherents and followers of the House of the Stuarts had made the College of Clermont
their asylum, they being mostly Scotchmen. One of these degrees being the "Scottish
Master," the new Body organized in Charleston, S.C., in 1801, gave the name of
"Scottish Rite" to these degrees, which name ever since that time has characterized the
Rite all over the world, of which more anon. The name previously given to these
degrees was the "Rite of Perfection," or the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
The Marquis de Lernais carried these degrees to Berlin in 1758 and they were
introduced into and adopted by the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes. The Rite was
revived in Paris that year under the authority of the "Council of Emperors of the East
and West." In consequence of the interference of the Jesuits, who, finding that their
former efforts had not succeeded in finally suppressing the Rite, again forced
themselves into the Rite and "sowed seeds of dissension," the result was that a new
organization was formed called the "Council of the Knights of the East;" and as a
consequence a rivalry sprung up between these two bodies and the Grand Orient of
France. In 1781, however, both of these bodies became incorporated with that Grand
Body which held the Rite of Perfection within itself.
In 1762 it is asserted that Frederick the Great, who had taken under his patronage all
of Masonry in Germany, formed and promulgated what have been known ever since
then as the Grand Constitutions of 1762.
The "Rite of Perfection," which for a quarter of a century, with many struggles, had not
fully accomplished the work proposed for it by its authors, was improved, it is said, by
Frederick himself, by a reorganization and reconstruction which placed it on a higher
standard in its philosophy and in its teachings; that eight other degrees were added to
it, and the name was changed to "The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry," and that the Grand Constitutions of 1786 were ratified and signed by
Frederick in Berlin, in May of that year.
By these Constitutions of 1786, Frederick the Great resigned the authority he had held
from 1762 as Grand Commander of the Order of Princes of the Royal Secret, and
Supreme Chief of the Scottish Rite or of Perfection. His Masonic prerogatives were by
the same document deposited with a council for each nation, to be composed of
Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-Third and last degree of legitimate
Freemasonry, limited in numbers to that of the years of Christ on earth.
The Grand Constitutions formed in 1762 were ratified in Bordeaux, October 25th of that
year, and were proclaimed as the governing laws for all the several Bodies of the "Rite
of Perfection" over the two Hemispheres.
Prior to this, in 1761, Stephen Morin was invested with power by the Grand Consistory
of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in Paris, on the 27th of August, 1761, to carry
the "Rite of Perfection" to America. He received a Patent, as his credential, of which the
following is a copy:
To the glory of the G. A. O. T. U., etc., and by the good will of H. S. H. the very
illustrious Brother Louis de Bourbon, Count de Clermont, Prince of the Blood Royal,
Grand Master and Protector of all Lodges.
At the Orient of a most enlightened place where reign Peace, Silence, and Concord,
Anno Lucis 5761, and according to the common style, 27th August, 1761.
Lux ex tenebris. Unitas, concordia fratrum.
We the undersigned, Substitutes General of the Royal Art, Grand Wardens and
Officers of the Grand and Sovereign Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem, established at the
Orient of Paris; and we, Sovereign Grand Masters of the Grand Council of the Lodges
of France, under the sacred and mysterious numbers, declare, certify, and decree to all
the very dear Bros., Knights, and Princes scattered throughout the two hemispheres,
that being assembled by order of the Substitute General, President of the Grand
Council, a request was communicated to us by the worshipful Bro. Lacorne, Substitute
of our very illustrious G. M., Knight and Prince Mason, and was read in due form.
Whereas our dear Bro. Stephen Morin, Grand Perfect Elect (G. elu parfait) and Past
Sublime Master, Prince Mason, Knight and Sublime Prince of all orders of the Masonry
of Perfection, member of the Royal Lodge of the "Trinity," etc., being about to depart for
America, desires to be able to work with regularity for the advantage and
aggrandisement of the Royal Art in all its perfection, may it please the Sovereign Grand
Council and Grand Lodge to grant him letters of constitution. On the report which has
been made to us, and knowing the eminent qualifications of Bro. S. Morin, we have,
without hesitation, accorded him this slight gratification in return for the services which
he has always rendered this Order, and the continuation of which is guaranteed to us
by his zeal.
For this cause and for other good reasons, whilst approving and confirming the very
dear Brother Morin in his designs, and wishing to confer on him some mark of our
gratitude, we have, by consent, constituted and invested him, and do by these presents
constitute and invest him, and give full and entire power to the said Bro. Stephen Morin,
whose signature is in the margin of these presents, to form and establish a Lodge in
order to admit to and multiply the Royal Order of Masons in all the perfect and sublime
degrees; to take measures that the statutes and regulations of the Grand and
Sovereign Lodge, general or special, be kept and observed, and to never admit therein
any but true and legitimate brothers of sublime Masonry.
To rule and govern all the members who shall compose his said Lodge, which he may
establish in the four quarters of the world wherever he may arrive or shall sojourn,
under the title of Lodge of St. John, and surnamed In Perfect Harmony; "we give him
power to choose such officers as he may please to aid him in ruling his Lodge, whom
we command and enjoin to obey and respect him; do ordain and command all Masters
of regular Lodges of whatsoever dignity, scattered over the surface of land and sea, do
pray and enjoin them in the name of the Royal Order, and in the presence of our very
illustrious G. M., to acknowledge in like manner as we recognise our very dear Bro.
Stephen Morin as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Perfect Harmony, and we depute
him in his quality of our Grand Inspector in all parts of the New World to reform the
observance of our laws in general, etc., and by these presents do constitute our very
dear Bro. Stephen Morin our G. M. Inspector, authorising and empowering him to
establish perfect and sublime Masonry in all parts of the world, etc., etc.
We pray, consequently, all brothers in general to render to the said Stephen Morin
such assistance and succour as may be in their power, requiring them to do the same
to all the brothers who shall be members of his Lodge, and whom he has admitted and
constituted, shall admit or constitute in future to the sublime degree of perfection which
we grant him, with full and entire power to create Inspectors in all places where the
sublime degrees shall not already be established, knowing well his great acquirement
In witness whereof we have given him these presents, signed by the Substitute-
General of the Order, Grand Commander of the Black and White Eagle, Sovereign
Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, and Chief of the Eminent Degree of the Royal Art,
and by us, Grand Inspectors, Sublime Officers of the Grand Council and of the Grand
Lodge established in this capital, and have sealed them with the Grand Seal of our
illustrious G. M. His Serene Highness, and with that of our Grand Lodge and Sovereign
Grand Council. Given at the G. O. of Paris, in the year of light, 5761, or according to
the Vulgar Era, 27th August, 1761. (Signed) Chaillon de Jonville, Substitute-General,
W. M. of the first lodge in France called "St. Thomas," Chief of the Eminent Degrees,
Commander and Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. Bro. the Prince de Rohan, Master
of the Grand Lodge "Intelligence," Sovereign Prince of Masonry. Lacorne, Substitute of
the Grand Master, W. Dep. M. of Lodge "Trinity," Grand Perfect Elect, Knight and
Prince Mason. Savalette de Bucheley, Grand Keeper of the Seals, Grand Elect, Grand
Knight and Prince Mason. Taupin, etc., Prince Mason, Brest-dela-Chaussee, etc., W.
M. of the Lodge "Exactitude," Grand Elect Perfect Master, Knight Prince Mason. Count
de Choiseul, etc., Prince Mason Boucher de Lenoncourt, etc., W. M. of the Lodge
"Virtue," Prince Mason.
By order of the Grand Lodge. Daubertin, Grand Elect Perfect Master and Knight Prince
Mason, W. M. of the Lodge "Saint Alphonse," Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge and
of the Sublime Council of Prince Masons in France, etc.
The first soil which Morin touched on his mission to America was San Domingo, and
afterward, on his arrival at Kingston, Jamaica, he appointed Henry Francken a Deputy
Inspector-General Later on other appointments were made by him to this office, and
these Deputies he supplied with copies of the Grand Constitutions, which had been
adopted in 1762. Soon after his appointment Francken visited the North American
Colonies, where he gave an appointment of Deputy Inspector-General to Moses M.
Hayes, at Boston, Mass.
Francken established under his commission from Morin a lodge at Albany, N. Y. This
was a Lodge of Perfection of the 14th Degree. On December 20, 1767, he conferred
the degree of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, the 25th Degree of the Rite, on
several Brethren of the order. This lodge seems not to have prospered, and was nearly
forgotten when in 1822 Giles Fonda Gates, one of the most active Brethren of the
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, discovered the original Warrant, together with some
patents of the Brethren of the body, and its books of record.
This was, no doubt, the very first body of the "Rite of Perfection" ever planted on the
Continent of North America, and there were, doubtless, several such bodies in the
Islands of the West Indies.
Those Masons who have progressed beyond the Blue Lodge degrees, and are familiar
with the Capitular and Cryptic Rites, as also the degrees of the Commandery and those
of the A.'. A.'. A.'. S.'. R.'. can readily perceive how Thomas Smith Webb was able to
manufacture the degrees attributed to him, after his residence in Albany, and his
connection with the Masons of that city.
(1) The date is not known, but it must have been between 1762 and 1767.
Brother Da Costa was made Deputy Inspector-General for South Carolina by Hayes in
1781; he also appointed Solomon Bush Deputy for Pennsylvania, and B. M. Spitzer
Deputy for Georgia.
Da Costa established in Charleston in 1783 a Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection.
A Council of Princes of Jerusalem was duly constituted in Charleston, and Meyers,
Spitzer, and Frost were present and installed the Officers. The Council of Knights
Kadosh was organized in Philadelphia in 1796 by refugees from San Domingo. When
France again assumed authority over San Domingo, these Brethren returned home and
the council became dormant if not entirely extinct.
In New York City a chapter of Rose Croix (18th Degree) was established in 1797, the
Grand Constitution of 1786 and the ritual of the eight added degrees having been
received in Charleston at that time. The bodies already established in Charleston
accepted the new regime and adopted the new degrees, and in 1801 a convention was
held and preliminary steps inaugurated to form a Supreme Council of the 33d and Last
Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
The name of this new body was "The Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-
General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree for the United States of America." It was
formed and organized by John Mitchell and Frederic Dalcho, and during the year the
full number of members, nine, was admitted.
This new body recognized the Constitutions of 1762, the Secret Constitutions, and the
much-discussed Constitutions of 1786.
These latter constitutions are believed to have been approved and ratified by Frederick
the Great of Prussia, as Supreme Head and Governor of the Rite, and, as already
stated, provide for the government of the Rite, after his death, by a council in each
nation. Although these constitutions claim to have been recognized as the Supreme
Law of the Rite in 1786, they were not published till 1832, when a French version
appeared. A Latin text was published two years afterward which, while agreeing with
the French book in essentials, differs in many of the details. It may be broadly stated
that the Latin version is more precise, more complete, more in legal form, and, hence,
some students have arrived at the conclusion that the Latin constitutions, thus written in
a language universally understood, were the original, while the French version was
really an adaptation for the use of the Brethren in France.
But the question whether the French or Latin text is the original is a mere trifle of little
importance compared with another vital one, namely: "Were the Constitutions of 1786
ever seen or sanctioned by Frederick the Great? Were they not forged in Charleston ?
Those who asserted the falseness of the constitutions made no attempt to demonstrate
the commission of forgery at Charleston, but confined themselves to denying that they
were ever sanctioned Dy Frederick. The reasons alleged for this opinion were that in
1786 Frederick was mentally and physically incapacitated for business, and,
furthermore, that the names subscribed to the Latin version were fictitious. The
injurious suspicions as to the veracity of numerous Masonic statements, caused by the
injudicious zeal and the uncritical methods of many Masonic writers, led to the general
acceptance of the belief that the constitutions as contained in the Latin version were
like many of the stories invented by the arch-impostor, Cagliostro, and others, simply
stupid forgeries by men ignorant or careless of historical facts and historical
probahilities. This belief, it may be repeated, was held not only by men not affiliated to
any Masonic order, but by many Masons of good standing. It was reserved for an
American Mason, of the highest degree, Brother Albert Pike, to refute this theory. That
eminent Mason, in his Historical Inquiry, showed from documents of the period that in
1786 Frederick the Great, while undoubtedly suffering from physical ailments, was still
in the habit of attending to business. Brother Pike likewise showed that the names
appended to the Constitution of 1786 were those of men who were connected with the
Court of Berlin. The result of his investigations, after an extensive and impartial study of
all accessible sources of information, was to the effect that the aforesaid constitutions
were drawn up at Berlin and duly ratified by Frederick in the year assigned to them. As
such they were recognized by the Southern Supreme Council. This refers to the Latin
version of the constitutions. Another student of the history of the Rite considers the
French version the original, and this is the version which is recognized by the Northern
Without quoting at length from Bro. Pike's Historical Inquiry, it may be advisable to give
some of his conclusions. He shows that when Francken in 1767 introduced the Rite into
the American Colonies it was generally understood that the supreme governing power
was in Berlin, and that in 1770 the Lodge of Perfection at Albany was directed to
transmit reports to Berlin, while, still earlier, a tracing-board made by one of its
members displays the double eagle of Prussia as a symbol of the head of the order.
Moreover, in 1785, the Lodge of Perfection at Philadelphia drew up an address to be
presented to Frederick as head of the order.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of 33d, the title of which heads this chapter,
like all the so-called Scottish Masonry, has nothing whatever to do with the Grand
Lodge of Scotland. No portion of it, except perhaps the Royal Order of Scotland, ever
originated in Scotland, nor were any of these so-called Scottish degrees at any time
practiced in Scotland. Gould, in his history, applies the word Scots as distinguished
from Scottish to show these additions to Freemasonry made on the Continent. These
so-called Scottish or Scots degrees seem to have originated about the year 1740 in
France. The statement that Irish chapters existed in Paris from 1739, holding their
constitutions from the Grand Chapter of Dublin, cannot be accepted. There is no
evidence to support it, and Masonic authorities reject it, holding that a much later date
must be assigned to all these Irish degrees. Nor must we confuse the "Orient de
Bouillon" with these so-called Scots Masons, for that was simply a Grand Lodge
established in Luxemburg, years afterward.
What these Scots lodges taught nobody knows and nobody need care. Rituals exist in
lamentable profusion, but unfortunately they do not agree. They are, however, all
permeated with one notion, the absurdity of which will show the absurdity of the system.
They state that some Scottish crusaders found in a vault the long-lost ineffable word,
and that in their search they worked "with the sword in one hand and the trowel in the
other." This expression is taken from the Hebrew account of the building of the Second
Temple of Zerubbabel, and while natural enough as applied to builders; is quite out of
place in the case of men rummaging in some subterranean passage. The story of the
"long lost, ineffable word" we meet with in the Arabian Nights, where we learn that the
knowledge of it made Solomon, the King of Genii, able to perform all kinds of marvels.
The Arabian Nighfs is the fit place for the story. It must be remembered, too, that the
temple that the Crusaders saw was not Solomon's nor Zerubbabel's, but Herod's,
erected a little before the birth of Christ.
At any rate, relying on this fable, the Scots Master claimed to be in possession of the
true secrets of Freemasonry, the true history and the real designs of the order. He
claimed also to be in every way superior to the Master Mason, and to hold various
In utter contempt for the great principle on which Freemasonry is founded, the perfect
equality of all its members with a governing body elective and representative, the Scots
Masters claimed to rank before the W.M. of any lodge even when they were only
present as visitors. They claimed the right to wear a distinctive dress and to remain
covered even in a Master's Lodge. They claimed to impart the secrets of the E.A., F.C.,
and W. M. degrees, personally and either with or without ceremony as the whim seized
them. They would not, if they were members of a lodge, permit anyone but other Scots
Masons to sit in judgment upon them. Matters became still worse when the Scots
Lodges were "grafted on the ordinary Lodges," and increased in number and in
arrogance. In these cases the W.M., instead of being elected by the lodge, was
nominated by the Scots Lodge, and as was inevitable, he was almost always one of
themselves. All questions of ritual and doctrine were decided by the Scots Lodge, all
the finances were managed by the Scots Lodge, in fact all the governing powers were
usurped by the Scots Lodge. Nay, the Scots Lodge went so far as to arrogate to itself
all the powers of a Grand Lodge, and as such to issue Warrants of Constitution. From
the exercise of these powers arose the so-called Scots Mother Lodges which became
so numerous in France, each Mother Lodge claiming and exercising the right of
granting constitutions and warrants to other lodges, and of developing systems of
degrees peculiar to themselves, and worked in chapters all independent of each other.
France, it has been said, was the inventor of all these novelties, and the most important
of its Scots Mother Lodges was the one established in Marseilles in 1751 under the title
of St. John of Scotland. To give it some ground for calling itself Scots, it professed to
he founded by a traveling Scotsman, and proceeded to grant warrants to a large
number of lodges in France and elsewhere. From it descended another so-called
Mother Lodge, the Mother Lodge of the county of Venaissin, with its seat at Avignon,
which in turn became the mother of the Scottish Philosophic Rite. In all these new
systems not only was the true original and beautiful simplicity of the Craft overlaid and
disfigured by foolish legends and childish ceremonies, but to quote Br. Gould, "the
governing power is autocratic and irresponsible, a hierarchy is formed, the highest
class rules all the others, and directs the lower classes without appeal from those
below it." France, we have seen, may be considered as the inventor of what a German
historian of Masonry calls "the lying fictions" of the so-called High Degrees, and in the
18th century, as in the present, set the fashion to Europe. The arch impostor Balsamo,
who called himself the Count Cagliostro, was in the height of his reputation, preaching
the doctrines of his Egyptian Masonry, of which he made himself the Grand Cophta; his
dupes were persons of the highest rank, and speedily a flood of imbecile mysticism
overwhelmed most of the lodges on the Continent of Europe. From France it spread to
Germany, and the name of its introducer into the Empire is given as a Count von
Schmettau. In Berlin the members of the lodge entitled the Three Globes erected a
Scots Lodge in 1741, Hamburg followed with a Scots Lodge or two in 1744, and the
Saxon city of Leipzig in 1747, and the Free City of Frankfort followed suit in 1753. It is
stated that between 1742 and 1764 no fewer than forty-seven such lodges were
erected in Germany. These Scots Lodges, however, were soon absorbed by the
Clermont system with its low chapter degrees, which system in its turn was absorbed by
the Templar system of "Strict Observance." Even now, some of these Scots Lodges,
according to Mr. Gould, form the basis of the German Grand Lodge Systems, styled the
To France and to the Scots Lodges in France must be assigned the manufacture of
those new degrees which connected the Scots Masons with the Knights Templars and
thus gave life to the whole system of Templarism. It was an age of disbelief and
credulity, of sensuality and mysticism, of the hardest common-sense and the wildest
tomfoolery. It was an age of unrest, of decay, and a longing for a new birth, and the
teachings of history were scorned, and every fable - the more improbable the better -
was eagerly accepted, till men really believed that there was some foundation for the
legend that the Military and Religious Order of the Temple, in spite of its having
perished in fire and blood, had in some unknown way, preserved a germ of vitality for
some four hundred years. In 1741 a degree called the Kadosh degree, representing the
Vengeance of the Templars, was invented by the Masons of Lyons, and henceforth all
the new rites of French origin contain Knightly and almost all Templar degrees, the
connection being in all instances formed by some of the Scots degrees. The German
Handbook enumerates over sixty-eight such degrees in various rites, and it is probable
this list could be extended. The name Scottish, too, is assumed by many rites to
designate the whole system, for instance the Scottish Philosophic Rite. The above-
mentioned system of the chapters of Clermont was a Templar continuation of the Scots
degrees, and grew into the so-called Emperors of the East and West, and finally
developed into the "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 33d."
It was on the Continent of Europe that these innovations on the simple ceremonies and
beneficial doctrines of the Craft spread out most luxuriantly. Under the assumption that
the Scots lodges could issue warrants of constitutions, whole swarms of irresponsible
lodges were formed, in which the principles of the Craft were little considered. From
this period may be dated the enmity of the Church and the Kings of Europe to any
association that bore the name or claimed any affiliation with the Freemasons. There is
no doubt that most of these lodges became political centers of social and political
conspirators. In the hierarchy of these rites, each class is self-elected, and thus admits
only those it pleases, while the lower classes have no voice in the management of their
affairs or in the election of their rulers.
Our limits will not permit any very extended reference to the varied changes in these
so-called is High Degrees "prior to the full establishment of the Ancient and Accepted
Rite; but we must mention the most important events, that the reader may appreciate
the subsequent and final establishment of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
which took its origin, as such, in Charleston, S.C., in 1801, and the formation of the
very first "Supreme Council of Grand Inspectors General of the 33d degree, in South
Carolina," with Colonel John Mitchell Sov. Grand Commander.
From all the authorities which have been examined, in respect to the Chapter of
Clermont, the system of Masonry therein practiced gives no definite information. Thory,
who wrote sixty years subsequently, states that Chevalier de Bonneville founded a
chapter on November 24, 1754. Brother Gould, in his history of this chapter, denies the
statement of Thory, that Von Hund took the Templar degrees in that chapter, as he had
left France for the last time in 1743, or eleven years previously, and erected his first
Templar Chapter in Unwurde in 1751.
Thory also says: "The Chapter was based on the three degrees of Freemasonry, and
the Scots or St. Andrew degree, and worked three higher, 5d, the Knight of the Eagle or
Select Master; 6d, the Illustrious Knight or Templar; 7d, the Sublime Illustrious Knight."
The Chevalier de Bonneville, mentioned above, is probably the same person as the
Count de Bonneville who founded in 1760 a lodge in the Nouvelle France, near Paris,
which is described as being brilliantly conducted and frequented by persons of high
rank. The difference in the titles given to Bonneville can be explained by the old French
system by which a younger son was styled Chevalier until by the death of older
members of the family he attained the higher rank of Count, and such deaths may have
occurred between the two dates of 1754 and 1760. Not much information can be found
respecting the doings of this lodge created by M. de Bonneville, and it is probable that
Kloss's opinion of it referring to the "Emperors of the East and West" is the nearest to
the truth. As to the "Emperors of the East and West," an account will be given later.
While the history of the Rite, as far as France is concerned, is obscure, its history in
Germany is more important.
We will now briefly state the Masonic affairs of Germany in connection with this
"Chapter of Clermont." In 1742 the members of the "Three Globes" erected the Scots
Lodge "Union" to work the fourth or Scots degree. The Baron Von Printzen was, in
1750-54 and 1757-61, W.M. of the Mother-Lodge "Three Globes" of Berlin; i.e., he was
ex-officio Grand Master of all the lodges of is "Three Globes." In 1757 the French
Marquis Gabriel Tilly de Lernais came to Berlin as a prisoner of war, and in 1758, with
Printzen, founded a chapter of the three Clermont degrees, grafted upon the Mother-
Lodge of the "Three Globes," and the Scots Lodge "Union." On June 10, 1760, this
chapter constituted the chapter "Sun" at Rostock; and on July 19, 1760, took the title of
"Premier Grand Chapter of Clermont in Germany." Philip Samuel Rosa was appointed
to travel over the north of Germany, to bring the lodges under the control of the "Three
Globes" and to institute chapters. A fourth chapter was constituted by Rosa at Stettin,
March, 1762; he then, subsequently, instituted eight others, in different cities, until in
June, 1763, his career was terminated by being expelled from the Craft; his successor,
Schubart, instituted the last and fifteenth German chapter of Clermont, at Magdeburg,
November 27, 1763.
It has been thought by some writers that the name of Clermont was derived from the
College of Jesuits of that name. Brother Gould, however, does not concur therewith,
and says: "I am unable to believe that the Jesuits could have consented to glorify the
Knights Templars, nor can I see anything new in these degrees, being, as they were,
merely amplifications and rearrangements of previous ones. I prefer to consider the title
a delicate compliment to the Duke of Clermont. Grand Master of French Masonry from
1743 to 1770. (1)
Inasmuch as the "Knights of the East" was a body of "improved" Masonry about that
period, it becomes proper to give some account of that organization, and we are again
indebted to Brother Gould above all other authors for his very impartial examination
into the history of not only this particular body, but also in that connection all of those
systems which flooded the Continent about the middle of the 18th century and toward
the close of it.
The only real attempt to arrive at the facts, in regard to this early system, was made by
Dr. Kloss. Other writers had overlooked the separate existence of Masons, who were
called "Sovereign Princes of Masonry," "either confusing them with certain special
degrees of other systems, or treating them as an offshoot of the Emperors of the East
and West." Even the usually diffuse Handbuch is excessively meager in the information
which it supplies. Yet if Kloss's extensive and minute researches are to be given their
just weight, it is to the rivalry between the Knights and the Emperors that must be
attributed the sorrowful picture of discord presented by the Grand Lodge of France,
(1) Gould, vol v., p. 95.
In 1754 the Grand Lodge of the members of the Chapter of Clermont had been
founded, and in the following year the Grand Lodge of France acknowledged the
privileges which were claimed to be possessed by the so-called Scottish Masons. This
action may probably have been with a desire to counterbalance the influence of the
Chapter of Clermont. This chapter seems to have been decidedly of an aristocratic
order, and to have enrolled as its members only the high nobility, members of the Court
circle, high officers in the military and other professions reserved to nobles, while all
less favored individuals were refused admission to it. It was a period in French history
when the lower noblesse, and the noblesse of the robe, as the highest lawyers or
judges were entitled, as distinguished from the noblesse of the sword, the designation
of the old feudal nobility, with its military traditions, were striving to obtain great
influence and higher recognition in the social hierarchy. It was from this class of the
lower nobility and less highly placed officials that the association of "Knights of the
East, Princes and Sovereigns of Masonry" was formed in 1756. Its separate subdivision
took the name of colleges, each of which bore the name of its president. The chief
college was that of Valois of Paris. If this college followed the usage of its fellow
colleges, Valois must have been a man who as yet remains undiscovered. Under these
circumstances, it is more probable that the name is taken from the province of the
Valois, adjoining the Isle of France, in which Paris is situated, and which gave its name
to the royal family that sat on the throne of France from Francis I. to Henry III. Be this
as it may, some names of these Knights of the East survive, and they clearly show that
the association was recruited mainly from the lower nobility and the upper middle class.
The occurrence of a name like Baron Tschadi is no objection to this view. In the first
place, the name shows he was not a Frenchman, and in the second place the title
baron was that reserved to the richer members of the mercantile or financial class.
The statutes of the Rite are elaborate; one article provides that the position of
Sovereign shall be held for the space of one year by each member in turn. Another
article, No. 7, decrees that the Knights of the East are the born princes of the complete
order, just as the Scottish Masters are the Grand Superiors of the Masonic Order. The
next article lays down the doctrine that if a Knight of the East comes in his travels to a
place where no lodge of the Rite exists, he may dispense the light of the first six
degrees to a Master Mason. The term "first six degrees" implies that the degrees were
more than that number, and that therefore there were at least seven degrees beyond
that of Master, or ten degrees in all, thus working three degrees higher than the
Chapter of Clermont.
The dominant position of the College of Valois in the Knights of the East was lost in
1762, as the result of an intestine quarrel. Its place evas taken by a Sovereign Council
of the Knights of the East, of which the following officers of the Grand Lodge of France
were members: The Grand Keeper of the Seal, Brest de la Chaussee; the President,
one of the Wardens; the Grand Orator, the Secretary General and the Grand
Secretary. The prime mover of this resolution is said to have been a Parisian tailor
named Poilet, but this is improbable, as in 1764 we find a Poilet acting as a leading
member of the rival Emperors, and his humble profession would certainly have
excluded a tailor from the aristocratic Emperors. There is reason, however, to believe
that from this period the aristocratic Emperors of the East and West lost much of their
influence in Grand Lodge, while the lower class Knights gained power. The old rivalry
still went on and in 1766 the Knights sustained a defeat from the Emperors and many of
their members were expelled. The Sovereign Council of the Knights of the East
retaliated by a circular in which it requested all lodges to cease working Templar
degrees. The Knights evidently did not do so. The Emperors of the East and West, as
they were an offshoot and continuation of the Chapter of Clermont, certainly did so.
The quarrels of the Emperors and the Knights continued and grew more bitter, till it
became necessary in 1767 for the Government to issue an edict dissolving the Grand
Lodge. From that the Knights of the East, as a body, sank into insignificance.
THE ORIGINAL SUPREME COUNCIL
THE very first Supreme Council of which we have any knowledge whatever, either by
tradition or history, was the one organized by John Mitchell, Frederic Dalcho, Emanuel
De La Motta, Abraham Alexander, Major T. B. Bowen, and Israel Delieben, at
Charleston, S. C., May 31, 1801. This was a transformation of the former in "Rite of
Perfection," or Ancient and Accepted Rite.
The Brethren who constituted this new Rite were all members of the several
Constituent Bodies, which derived their Masonic life, and constituted authority from
Morin through his Deputies duly appointed by him to propagate the Rite on the
American Continent, or more extensively the Western Hemisphere.
The pedigree is as follows: Morin commissioned Francken, and Francken
commissioned Moses M. Hayes; Moses M. Hayes commissioned Barend M. Spitzer,
and the latter, on April 2, 1795, commissioned John Mitchell as Deputy Inspector-
General, reciting in his patent of commission that he does so by authority of the
Convention of Inspectors held in Philadelphia, June 5, 1781. This new Rite, which
came into the world apparently fully developed, was really a transformation of the Rite
To show conclusively as to when the Supreme Council of the 33d and last degree was
organized, we are permitted to furnish herewith a fac-simile copy of the "Register" of
the several bodies of the A.'. A.'. A.'. S.'. R.'. which met in the city of Charleston, S. C.,
in 1802. The original is in the Archives of the Supreme Council of the Southern
Jurisdiction in Washington, D. C.
BRETHREH WHO COMPOSE THE
SUBLIME GRAND LODGE OF PERFECTIONW OF
ESTABLISHED AT CHARLESTON, ANNO LUCIS 5783
THE LIST OF THE OFFICERS OF THE
GRAND COUNCIL OF PRINCES OF JERUSALEM:
OFFICERS OF THE SOVEREIGN CHAPTER
OF ROSE CROIX DE HERODEN;
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE GRAND
GRAND INSPECTORS GENERAL OF THE
Hoc maxime officii, ut quisque masume opis indigeat,
ita ei potissumum opitulari.
REGISTER FOR THE YEAR 5802.
CHARLESTON (SOUTH CAROLINA)
PRINTED BY T.B. BOWEN, NO 3, BROAD-STREET
BY THE GLORY OF THE GRAND
ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE.
Officers of the SUBLIME GRAND
LODGE of PERFECTION of South
Sublime Grand Master
FREDERICH DALCHO, native of Maryland, Doctor of Medicine, Member of the Medical
Society of South Carolina, Honoury Member of the Chemical and Medical Societies of
Philadelphia, and one of the Physicians of the Charleton Dispensary, &c. &c. aged 32
years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree, and
Lieutenant Grand Commander for the United States.
Sublime Deputy Grand Master.
JOSEPH JAPAN, native of Montargisa en Gatinois, Planter of Saint Domingo, aged 43
years, Master of the Lodge la Candeur, N. 12, Past Sublime Grand Master, R.' *.'. K.H.
- P. R. S.
Sublime Senior Grand Warden.
ISAAC AULD, native of Pennsylvania, Doctor of Medicine, Member of the Medical
Society of South-Carolina, Honorary Member of the Medical and Chemical Societies of
Philadelphia. and one of the Physicians of the Charlston Dispensary. &c. aged 32
years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree.
Sublime Junior Grand Warden
WILLIAM PORTER, native of Ireland, Commission Merchant, aged 37 years, Prince of
Grand Orator and Keeper of Seals.
JAMES MOULTRIE, native of South Carolina. Doctor of Medicine Port Physician, Vice-
President of the Medical Society of South-Carolina, and one of the Physicians of the
Charleston Dispensary, &c. aged 38 years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector
General of the 33d degree.
Sublime Grand Treasurer.
JAMES ALLISON native of North Britain, Cooper, aged 46 years, R.' *.'.
Sublime Grand Secretary.
JOHN PETER PROYS, native of Hanovser. Accountant, aged 33 years, Prince of
Grand Master of Ceremonies.
ALEXANDER PLACIDE, native of Bourdeaux, Manager of the Charleston Theatre,
agent 45 years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
Captain of the Guards
PlERRE RIGAUD, native of Nantz, Planter of Saint-Domingo, aged 31 years, R.' *.'.
K.H. - P. R. S.
DAVID LABAT, native of Hamburgh, Storekeeper, aged 42 years, Perfection.
JOHN MITCHELL, native of Ireland, Justice of the Quorum and Notary Public, late a
Lieutenant-Colonel in the American Army, Member of the Cincinnati; and Past Sublime
Grand, Master, aged 60 years. R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of
the 33d Degree and Grand Commander for the United States.
THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW BOWEN, native of Ireland, Printer, late a Major in the
American Army and Member of the Cincinnati; Past Sublime Grand-Master, aged 60
years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d Degree and Ill.
Grand Master of Cereomies.
ARAHAM SASPORTAR, native of Bourdeaux, Merchant, ageds 56years, R.' *.'. Knight
of the Sun.
PIERRE BOUYSSOU, native of Cape Francois, Plantet, late Captain of Gendarmerie,
and Orator of the Lodge la Candeur, aged 48 years. R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
ISRAEL DELIEBEN, native of Bohema, Commission Merchant, aged 61 years, R.' *.'.
K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree.
MICHEL FRONTY, native of Saint- Martial, en Limodn, Doctor of Medicine, aged 50
years. R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
EMANUEL DE LA MOTTA, Native of Santa Croix, Commission Merchant and
Auctioner, aged 42 years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the B.
ROBERT L'ALLEMAND, native of Post Republican, Planter of St Domingo, aged 53
years R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
JOSEPH BEE, native of South Carolina, Planter, aged 56 years R.' *.'. - Grand Pontiff.
ETIENNE DUBARRY, native of Jarbes, en Bigore, Planter of St Domingo, aged 49
years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S..
PETER SMITH, native of South-Carolina, Factor, aged 53 years, Prince of Jerusalem.
JOSEPH CLARET, native of Narbonne, Master of Lodge No. 45, aged 36 years, R.' *.'.
SOLOMON HARBY, native of London, Commission merchant and Auctioneer, aged 40
years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S..
JEAN ANDRE PELLETANT, native of Planter of St. Domingo aged years, R.' *.'.
THOMAS BAKER, native of England Insurance
Broker, aged 27 years, Secret Master.
JEAN REIGNE, native of Castillon, near Bourdeaux, aged 30 years . R.' *.'.
JOSEPH DICKINSON, native of South Carolina, Inspector of Exports, late a Captain of
Infantry, aged 33 years, Intimate Secretary.
JEAN JACQUES THOMAS, native of London,. Merchant, aged 42 years, R.' *.'.
JACOB DELEON, native of Jamaica, Commission Merchant and Auctioneer, aged 38
years, Intendant of the Building.
JEAN DESBEAUX, native of Buzet, Cooper, aged 37 years, R.' *.'.
FRANCIS LOUVRIER SAINT MARY, native of Nevers, aged 39 years, Intimate
PIERRE JOSEPH MORE, native of Fonttaine, en Franche Comte, Surgeon, aged 50
years, Knight of the East and West
JEREMIAH WILCOX, native of Rhodes Island, Painter; aged 33 years, Provost and
GEORGE ESTILLET, native of New Orleans, aged 28 years, Intimate Secretary.
ISAAC CANTER, naiive of Santa Croix, Auctioneer, aged 33 years, Knight of the East.
JOHN HINCKLEY MITCHEL, native of South Carolina, Justice of the Peace, and
Notary Public, aged 33 years, Secret Master.
WILLIAM ALEXANDER, native of South-Carolina, Factor, aged 26 years, Secret
LEWIS T. RAYNAL, native of South Carolina, Accountant, aged 24 years, Elected of
JOHN BANKS, native of England, Accountant, aged 30 years, Intimate Secretary.
MORRIS GOLDSMITH, native of
London. Merchant, aged 21 years, Secret Master.
JOHN BILLEAUD, native of Saint Sezaire, en Xaintonge, aged 30 years, Elected of
THOMAS NAPIER, native of North-Britain, Merchant aged 30 years, Knight of the East.
EMANUEL CANTOR, native of Santa Croix, Merchant, aged 30 years, Intimate
His Royal Highness CHARLES, Hereditary Prince of the Swedes, Goths and Vandals,
Duke of Sudermania, Heir of Norway, Duke of Sleswick, Holitein, Stormarric and
Dittmarche, Count of Oldenburg and Delmeahorst. Grand Admiral of Sweden, Vicar of
Solomon of the 7th and 9th Province, and National Grand Master of the Kingdom of
Sweden, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
Count ALEXANDER FRANCOIS AUGUSTE DE GRASSE, native of Verfailles, Planter
of Saint Domingo, aged 36 years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.. Sov. Grand Inspector General
of the 33d degree, Grand Commander for the French West Indies, and Representative
of the Sublime Grand Lodge of South-Carolina in and to the Sublime Lodge in Saint
JEAN BAPTISTE MARIE DELAHQGUE, native of Paris, Planer of Saint Domingo, aged
58 years, R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S..Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree, and
Lieutenant Grand Commander for the French West Indies.
JOHN SUCKLEY, native of London, Merchant of Saint Domingo, aged 24 years, R.' *.'.
K.H. - P. R. S.
NICOLAS SAMSON PANEL, native of Normandy, Merchant of Porto Rico, aged 28
years, R.' *.'.
JONATHAN BAYARD SMITH, native
of Pennsylvania, aged 50 years, late Grand Master of the State of Pennsylvania, R.' *.'.
K.H. - P. R. S.
SAMUEL MYERS, native of New York, Merchant of Virginia, aged 43 years, R.' *.'. K.H.
- P. R. S..
MOSES MICHAEL HAYES, native of Merchant, of Boston R.' *.'. K.H. - P. R. S.
TO DOCTOR FREDERICK DALCHO,
Charleston, (South Carolina)
The Sublime Grand Lodge, meets at the Ineffable Lodge Room, Meeting-Street, every
other Saturday evening at six o'clock, from the Autumnal to the Vernal Equinox, and on
the first Saturday in every month at Seven o'clock, in the evening, from the Vernal to
the Autumnal Equinox.
(XV - & XVI)
BY THE GLORY OF THE GRAND
ARCHITECT OF THE UNlVERSE.
LUX E TENEBRUS
HEALTH, STABILlTY AND POWER,
Officers of the Grand Council of Princes of
Jersalem, in South Carolina A.L. 5802.
ILL. Bro.: Col~ JOHN MITCHELL - Most Equitable
DR. FREDERlCK DALCHO - Senior Most Enlightened
DR. ISAAC AULD - Junior Most Enlightened
ABRAHAM ALEXANDER - K.D.
SOLOMON HARBY - Grand Orator and Keeper of the Seals
ISRAEL DELlEBIN - Grand Treasurer
JOSEPH BEE - Grand Secretary.
ALEXANDER PLACIDE - Master of Ceremonies
Representative in St Domingo
AUGUSTUS DE GRASSE - K. H - P. R. S. Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d
Conventions are held on the first Sundays of February, May, August and November, at
12 oclock, M. at the Ineffable Lodge Room.
IN THE NAME OF THE MOST HOLY
AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY.
SS. SS. SS.
Officers of the Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix de Hereden, in South Carolina, A.D.
BRO. COL . JOHN MITCHELL - E. M. Perfect Soverign.
Dr. FREDERICK DALCHO - M.E.P. Senior Warden
DR. ISAAC AULD - M.E.P. Junior Warden
EMANUEL DE LA MOTTA Grand Treasurer
ABRAHAM ALEXANDER Grand Secretary
Major T.B. BOWEN Grand Master of Ceremonies.
Grant Tyler (vacant)
Assemblages of the Knights are held in the Ineffable Lodge Room at Meridian, on the
day of the Annual Feast, Shrove Tuesday, Tuesday after Easter, the day of Ascension,
the day of Penticost, all Saints day and the two festivals of St John.
AD GLORIAM DEI
Knights of K. H. and Members of the Grand Consistory of Princes of the Royal Secret in
South Carolina, A. L. 5802.
COL. JOHN MITCHELL - T. Ill. Grand Commader.
DR. FREDERICK DALCHO - T. E Lieutenant Grand Commander.
JOSEPH JAHAN - T. L Lieutenant Grand Commander.
DR. JAMES MOULTRIE - Minister of State and Grand Orator
DR. MICHAEL FRONTY - Grand Chancellor
EMANUEL DE LA MOTTA - Grand Treasurer
ABRAHAM ALEXANDER - Grand Secretary
PIERRE BOUYSSOU - Grand Master Architect and Engineer
DR. ISAAC AULD - Physician General
ISRAEL DELIEBEN - Keeper of the Seals and Archives
MAJOR T. B. BOWEN - Grand Master of Ceremonies
PIERRE RIGAUD - Captain of the Guards
(S. Tyler vacant)
(J. Tyler vacant)
ROBERT L ALLEMAND.
MOSES C. LEVY
Representative in St. Domingo.
AUGUSTUS DE GRASSE - K. H - P. R. S.
Sov. Grand Inspector General of the 33d Degree.
Consistories are held at M. at the Ineffable Lodge Room, on the 21st March, 25th June.
21st September and 27th December.
(XVII - to - XXXIII inc)
Universi Terrarum Orbis Architectonis gloris
DEUS MEUMQUE JUS.
ORDO AB CHAO.
Supreme Council of Grand Inspectors General of the 33d degree, in South-Carolina.
COLONEL JOHN MITCHEL - Sov. Grand Commander.
DR. FREDERICK DALCHO - Lieutenant Grand Commander.
EMANUEL DE LA MOTTA - Ill. Treasurer General of the the H. Empire.
ABRAHAM ALEXANDER - Ill. Secretary General of the H. Empire.
MAJOR T. B. BOWEN - Ill Grand Master of Ceremonies.
ISRAEL DELIEBEN - Sov. Grand Inspector General.
DR. ISAAC AULD - Sov; Grand Inspector General
MOSES C LEVY - Sov. Grand Inspector General.
DR. JAMES MOULTRIE - Sov. Grand Inspector General.
Ill. Capt. of the Life Guards (vacant)
Representative in Saint Domingo
AUGUSTUS DE GRASSE - Sov. Grand Commander for the French West Indies
Councils are held at the house of the Grand Commander at Meridian, every third new
Moon, reckoning from the new Moon in May.
THE SCOTTISH RITE IN THE UNITED STATES
COUNCIL of Princes of Jerusalem was duly constituted in Charleston, February 20,
1788, and Brothers Joseph Meyers, Behrend M. Spitzer, and A. Forst installed the
Notwithstanding that in planting the Scottish Rite, or, as it was then known, the "Rite of
Perfection," in many States, by the appointment of Inspectors, who had only received
what was at that early date recognized as the 25th Degree or "Prince of the Royal
Secret," the Rite was only worked in Charleston. In consequence of the zeal of the
Brethren in that city and their devotion to the Rite, we owe the foundation of the first
bodies, as shown in the fac-similes given, the last one being the "Supreme Council of
the 33d and last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Mother-Supreme
Council of the World." A council of Knights Kadosh was organized in Philadelphia in
1796, by Masons who were refugees from San Domingo, during the negro insurrection
on that island. This body soon ceased to exist, in consequence of the return of the
Brethren to that island very soon after its organization
In New York, in 1797, a chapter of Rose Croix was instituted.
In 1792 it is said a Lodge of Perfection was formed at Baltimore, Md., by Henry
Wilmans. (1) There is no certainty as to his authority for such establishment. Brother
Edward T. Schultz gives a list of seventy-six members. There was also a Lodge of
Perfection at Albany, N.Y., which was in accord with the symbolic lodge, and at one
time had the same Brother for Master; and we notice also that the symbolic lodges in
Philadelphia were in union with the Lodge of Perfection in that city. (2)
(1) "History of Masonry," by Edw. T. Schultz, vol. vi., p. 1555.
(2) There is an old volume in the archives of the Supreme Council of the Southern
Jurisdiction, which contains the history of "Sublime Free-Masonry in the United States
of America. Being a Collection of all the Official Documents which have appeared on
both sides of the question with Notes and an Appendix. By Joseph McCosh,
Charleston, S. C., 1823."
A circular, which we give in part below, was issued by the Supreme Council at
Charleston (adopted October 10, 1802), under date of December 4, 1802, and copies
were sent to every Grand Lodge then in existence in the United States and also in
"As Society improved, and as discoveries of old records were made, the numbers of our
degrees were increased, until, in progress of time, the system became complete.
"From such of our records as are authentic, we are informed of the establishment of the
Sublime and Ineffable degrees of Masonry in Scotland, France, and Prussia,
immediately after the crusades. But from some circumstances, which to us are
unknown, after the year 4658 they fell into neglect until the year 5744, when a
nobleman from Scotland visited France and re-established the Lodge of Perfection in
"In 5761 the Lodges and Councils of the Supreme degrees being extended throughout
the Continent of Europe, his Majesty the King of Prussia, as Grand Commander of the
Order of Prince of the Royal Secret, was acknowledged by all the Craft as the head of
the Sublime and Ineffable degrees of Masonry throughout the two hemispheres. His
Royal Highness Charles, Hereditary Prince of the Swedes, Goths, and Vandals, Duke
of Sudermania, Heir of Norway, was, and still continues the Grand Commander and
protector of the Sublime Masons in Sweden; and his Royal Highness Louis of Bourbon,
Prince of the Blood, Duke de Chartres, and the Cardinal Prince and Bishop of Rouen,
were at the head of these degrees in France.
"On the 25th of October, 5762, the Grand Masonic Constitutions were finally ratified in
Berlin and proclaimed for the government of all the Lodges of Sublime and Perfect
Masons, Chapters, Councils, Colleges, and Consistories of the Royal and Military art of
Free-Masonry, over the surface of the two hemispheres. There are Secret
Constitutions, which have existed from time immemorial, and are alluded to in these
"In the same year the Constitutions were transmitted to our illustrious Brother, Stephen
Morin, who had been Appointed (1) on the 27th of August, 5761, Inspector-General
over all Lodges in the new World, by the Grand Consistory of Princes of the Royal
Secret convened in Paris, at which presided the King of Prussia Deputy, 'Chaillon de
Joinville, substitute General of the Order, Right Worshipful Master of the first Lodge in
France, called St. Anthony's, Chief of the Eminent degrees, Commander and Sublime
Prince of the Royal Secret,' etc.
"The following Illustrious Brethren were also present: The Brother Prince of Rouen,
Master of the Grand Intelligence Lodge and Sovereign Prince of Masonry, etc.
"La Coine, substitute of the Grand Master, Rignt Worshipful Master of the Trinity
Lodge, Grand Elect, Perfect, Knight and Prince of Masons.
"Maximillian de St. Simon, Senior Grand Warden, Grand Elect, Perfect and Knight and
Prince of Masons.
"Savalette de Buchelay, Grand Keeper of the Seals, Grand Elect, Perfect Knight and
Prince of Masons.
"Duke de Choiseuil, Right Worshipful Master of the Lodge of the Children of Glory,
Grand, Elect, Perfect Master, Knight and Prince of Masons.
"Topin, Grand Embassador from his Serene Highness, Grand, Elect, Perfect Master,
Knight and Prince of Masons.
"Boucher de Lenoncour, Right Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Virtue, Grand, Elect,
Perfect Master, Knight and Prince of Masons.
"Brest de la Chausee, Right Worshipful Master of the Exactitude Lodge, Grand, Elect,
Perfect Master, Knight and Prince of Masons. The Seals of the Order were affixed and
the Patent countersigned by
"Daubertiny, Grand, Elect, Perfect Master, Knight and Prince of Masons, Right
Worshipful Master of the Lodge of St. Alphonso, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge
and Sublime Council of Princes of Masons, etc.
"When Brother Morin arrived in St. Domingo, he, agreeably to his patent, appointed a
Deputy Inspector General for North
(1) A copy of his commission is in the archives of the Supreme Council, Southern
Jurisdiction, and is given in chapter i of A.A.S.R.
America. This high Honor was conferred on Brother M. M. Hayes, with the power of
appointing others, where necessary. Brother Morin also appointed Brother Frankin
Deputy Inspector-General of Jamaica and the British Leeward Islands, and Brother
Colonel Provest for the Windward Islands and the British Army.
"Brother Hayes appointed Brother Isaac Da Costa Deputy Inspector General for the
State of South Carolina, who, in the year 5783, established the Sublime Grand Lodge
of Perfection in Charleston. After Brother Da Costa's death, Brother Joseph Myers was
appointed Deputy Inspector-General for his State, by Bro. Hayes, who, also, had
previously appointed Brother Colonel Solomon Bush Dep. Insp. Gen. for the State of
Pennsylvania, and Bro. Barend M. Spitzer to the same rank for Georgia, which was
confirmed by a Convention of Inspectors when convened in Philadelphia, on the 15th of
"On the 1st of May, 5786, the Grand Constitutions of the Thirty-Third Degree, called the
Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, was ratified by his Majesty
the King of Prussia, who as Grand Commander of the Order of Prince of the Royal
Secret, possessed the Sovereign Masonic power over all the Craft. In the New
Constitution this Power was conferred on a Supreme Council of Nine Brethren in each
nation, who possess all the Masonic prerogatives in their own district that his Majesty
individually possessed, and are Sovereigns of Masonry.
"On the 20th of Feb., 5788, the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem was opened in
this City (Charleston, S. C.), at which were present Bros. J;. Myers, D.I.G. for South
Carolina, B.M. Spitzer, D.I.G. for Georgia, and A. Forst, D.I.G. for Virginia. Soon after
the opening of the Council, a letter was addressed to his Royal Highness, the Duke of
Orleans, on the subject, requesting certain records from the Archives of the Society in
France, which in his answer through Col. Shee, his Secretary, he very politely promised
to transmit, but which the commencement of the French Revolution most unfortunately
"On the 2d of Aug., 5795, Brother Colonel John Mitchell, late Dep. Quarter Master
Genl. in the Armies of the United States, was made a Dep. Ins. Genl. for this State by
Bro. Spitzer, who acted in consequence of Bro. Myers' removal out of the Country.
"Bro. Mitchell was restricted from acting until after Bro. Spitzer's death, which took
place in the succeeding year.
"As many Brethren of eminent degrees had arrived from Foreign parts, consistories of
Princes of the R. S. were occasionally held, for initiations and other purposes.
"On the 31st of May, 5801, the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third degree for the
United States of America was opened with the high honors of Masonry, by Brothers
John Mitchell and Frederick Dalcho, Sov: Gr: Insp: Genl:; and in the course of the
present year the whole number of Grand Inspectors General was completed, agreeably
to the Grand Constitutions.
"On the 21st of January, 5802, a Warrant of Constitution passed the Seal of the Grand
Council of Princes of Jerusalem for the establishment of a Master Mark Mason's Lodge
in this City (Charleston, S. C.).
"On the 21st of February, 5802, Our Illustrious Brother, Count Alexandre Francois
Auguste Degrasse, Deputy Inspector General, was appointed by the Supreme Council
a Grand Inspector General, and Grand Commander of the French West-Indies; and our
Illustrious Brother, Jean Baptiste Marie De La Hougue, Dep. Insp. Genl., was also
received as an Insp. Genl. and appointed Lieut. Grand Commander of the same
"Oon the 4th of December, 5802, a Warrant of Constitution passed the seal of the
Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, for the establishment of a Sublime Grand
Lodge in Savannah, Georgia
THE NAMES OF THE MASONIC DEGREES ARE AS FOLLOWS, VIZ.:
1st degree, called Entered Apprentice.
2d " " Fellow Craft
3d " " Master Mason
4th " " Secret Master
5th " " Perfect Master
6th " " Intimate Secretary
7th " " Provost and Judge
8th " " Intendent of the Building
9th " " Elected Knights of 9
10th " " Illustrious Elected of 15
11th " " Sublime Knight elected
12th " " Grand Master Architect
13th " " Royal Arch
14th " " Perfection
15th degree, called Knights of the East.
16th " " Prince of Jerusalem.
17th " " Knight of the East and West
18th " " Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix de Heredom.
19th " " Grand Pontiff.
20th " " Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges.
21st " " Patriarch Noachite, or Chevalier Prussian.
22d " " Prince of Libanus.
23d " " Chief of the Tabernacle.
24th " " Prince of the Tabernacle.
25th " " Prince of Mercy.
26th " " Knight of the Brazen Serpent.
27th " " Commander of the Temple.
28th " " Knight of the Sun.
29th " " Knight of St. Andrew.
30th " " K-H.
31st " " Grand Inquisitor Commander.
32d " " Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret Prince of
33d " " Sovereign Grand Inspectors General. Officers
appointed for life.
"Besides the degrees, which are in regular succession, most of the inspectors are in
possession of a number of detached degrees, given in different parts of the world, and
which they generally communicate, free of expense, to those brethren who are high
enough to understand them. Such as Select Masons of 27 and the Royal Arch as given
under the Constitution of Dublin. Six degrees of Maconnerie D'Adoption, Compagnon
Ecossais, Le Maitre Ecossais and Le Grand Maitre Ecossais, making in the aggregate
"The Committee respectfully submit to the consideration of the Council the above report
on the principles and establishment of the Sublime degrees in South Carolina extracted
from the Archives of the Society. They cannot, however, conclude without expressing
their ardent wishes for the prosperity and dignity of the institution over which this
Supreme Council preside; and they flatter themselves that if any unfavorable
impressions have existed among the Brethern of the Blue degrees, from a want of a
knowledge of the principles and practices of Sublime Masonry, it will be done away,
and that harmony and affection will be the happy cement of the Universal Society of
Free and Accepted Masons. That as all aim at the improvement of the general
condition of Man-kind by the practice of Virtue, and the exercise of benevolence, so
they sincerely wish that any little differences which may have arisen, in unimportant
ceremonies of Ancient and Modern, may be reconciled, and given away to the original
principles of the order, those great bulwarks of Society, universal benevolence and
brotherly love, and that the extensive fraternity of Free-Masons, throughout the two
Hemispheres, may form but one band of Brotherhood. ' Behold how good and how
pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in Unity.'
"They respectfully Salute your Supreme Council by the Sacred Numbers. Charleston,
South Carolina, the 10th day of the 8th Month, called Chisleu 5553, A.L. 5802, and of
the Christian Era, this 4th day of December, 1802.
" K-H.P.R.S., Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d, and Lieutenant Grand
Commander in the United States of America.
"K-H. P.R.S., Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d.
"E. DE LA MOTTA.
"K-H.P.R.S., Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d, and Illustrious Treasurer
General of the H. Empire.
"The above report was taken into consideration, and the Council was pleased to
express the highest approbation of the same.
"Whereupon, Resolved, That the foregoing report be printed and transmitted to all the
Sublime and Symbolic Grand Lodges, throughout the two Hemispheres.
"K-H . P. R. S., Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d. and Illustrious Secretary
General of the H. Empire."
The major part of this circular recites the history of Masonry, as generally understood at
that early day, and which we omit, confining our extracts to that part which refers only
to the A:A:A:S:R.
The Supreme Council, having been thus established and made known to the whole
world of Masonry, is the mother of all the other regular Supreme Councils which have
since been organized either immediately or mediately by her authority.
The council in Charleston conferred the 33d Degree on Count de Grasse Tilley,
Hacquet, and de la Hogue; and through these Brethren by the authority of letters patent
dated February 21, 1802, were established the Supreme Councils of France and also
of the French and English West India colonies. Illustrious de Grasse Tilley installed the
Supreme Council of France on December 22, 1804, at Paris. This was the first and only
Supreme Council established in France; many years subsequently it was divided into
two branches, in consequence of the dissension heretofore mentioned; one was called
the Supreme Council of France, and the other the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient
of France. Both of these bodies are still in existence; the former only, however, is in
relations of comity with the Mother Supreme Council, and all the other regular Supreme
Councils of the world. The Supreme Council of the Grand Orient is not so.
The Supreme Councils of Italy, Naples, Spain, and the Netherlands were also
established by de Grasse Tilley.
Only one Supreme Council of the 33d Degree can exist in each nation or kingdom (by
Article V. of the Grand Constitution of 1786); two in the United States of America, as far
as possible one from the other; one in the British Islands of America, and one also in
the French colonies.
The first Supreme Council at Charleston, S. C., began its labors on May 31, 1801, as
hereinbefore stated, and its jurisdiction covered all of the United States of America,
until August 5, 1813, at which date the " Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States" was
established by special Deputy Emmanuel de la Motta at New York. This Supreme
Council was substituted for the Grand Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal
Secret, 32d Degree. Brother D.D. Tompkins, Vice-President of the United States of
America, was M.P.S. Grand Commander.
At a later period the seat of the Northern Supreme Council was changed to Boston. The
jurisdiction of the Northern Supreme Council included all the northern and northeastern
States east of the Mississippi River, viz.: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The other States and Territories were
reserved for itself by the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United
The Supreme Council of England and Wales was created by the Northern Supreme
Council in March, 1846, and that body created the Supreme Councils of Scotland and
of the Canadian Dominion. The Supreme Council for Ireland was established by the
Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.
From August 5, 1813, Article V. of the Constitutions of 1786 has been complied with,
and there have been consequently in the United States of America but two legitimate
Supreme Councils, which have ever endeavored to preserve and enforce their
authority: and they have always discountenanced all attempts against that authority
which rightfully, according to the Grand Constitutions, belongs to them.
A third Supreme Council could not be established in the United States of America,
without a violation of the Constitutions of 1786. Neither the 33d Degree nor a Supreme
Council can exist without a compliance with that constitution. The establishment of a
second Supreme Council in the United States was not a wise measure, although the
constitutions provided for it, as subsequent events demonstrated. It was a remarkable
coincidence that in the very year when the two Grand Lodges of Blue Masonry in
England were consolidated into one, Scottish Masonry in the United States was
amicably divided into two organizations, in consequence of which each Supreme
Council altered and amended its own constitutions and statutes, and changed and
made material alterations in the rituals, and thereby destroyed the harmony and
uniformity of the work.
The injurious and pernicious consequences of this division were soon manifested and
both Supreme Councils were called upon to make their defense against the invasion of
illegitimate bodies, which not only affected Scottish Rite Masonry, but also all the other
Grand Bodies of Masonry, from the Grand Lodges to the Grand Commanderies of
Knights Templars, illegitimate bodies of which were soon established, as well as of the
Scottish Rite, by these unauthorized parties.
On October 7, 1856, Foulhouze formed a new Supreme Council and commenced
making Masons at sight, and manufacturing Thirty-thirds. Pursuing the same system of
misrepresentation as in 1850-51, he succeeded in causing two lodges to withdraw their
allegiance from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. This rebellion was short-lived; in 1858-
59 these lodges memorialized the Grand Lodge to be reinstated on its register, and
with difficulty obtained their request. On February 4, 1859, the Grand Orient of France
expelled Foulhouze, and his so-called Supreme Council soon became dormant. In the
early part of 1867 an attempt was made to revive it, and it obtained recognition from the
Grand Orient of France; that recognition, however, failed to give it vitality, and in a
short time it either became dormant or ceased to exist.
It would be useless to waste valuable time in tracing out all these irregular bodies; yet it
would be unwise not to acknowledge that they have had an existence, and that some
still continue to the detriment of Freemasonry.
We quote from a letter of the late Ill. Bro. Dr. Henry Beaumont Leeson, the Sovereign
Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of England and Wales and their
Dependencies, to the Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council of the
United States, written at London in 1860, in which he says: "Our own Council is now in
a flourishing condition, nearly all of the elite of Masonry in England being ranged under
our banners; although we are distinct from Grand Lodge, who acknowledge only the
first three degrees, and the Royal Arch, and Grand Conclave, governing the Knights
Templars. These two last degrees are in this country, perfectly different and distinct
from any of the Ancient and Accepted Degrees, and of very modern origin, neither
having existed previous to the middle of the last century. The Knight Templar Degree
was concocted in France AND I POSSESS THE ACTUAL MINUTES AND OTHER
RECORDS OF THE FRENCH CONVENT. The Royal Arch (Dermott's) was concocted
by Ramsay, and modernized by a Chaplain (G. Brown) of the late Duke of Sussex."
This spurious French Knight Templar Degree differed from the Webb Templar Degree;
it was carried to England and established there; it was also brought to the United
States by Joseph Cerneau, who made Templars of New Orleans Masons (1) as well as
he did those in New York, where he and his coadjutors also established bodies of
Templars, and of the Rite of Perfection with twenty-five degrees, in New Orleans and
New York, changed the names of his bodies as suited his pleasure, and declared
himself and his coadjutors Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the 33d Degree.
There is no evidence that Cerneau ever had received the 33d Degree. We give below a
copy of the only document he ever had to showv his status as a Mason.
TO THE GLORY OF THE [Gr.'. ARCH.'. OF THE UNIV:]
Lux en Tenebris.
From the Orient of the Very Great and Very Puissant Council of the Sublime Princes [of
the Royal Secret], Chiefs of Masonry, under the C: C: of the Zenith [which responds] to
the 20d 25' N: Lat.:
To our Ill: and Very Valiant Knights and Princes, Masons of all the Degrees, over the
surface of the two Hemispheres:
We, ANTOINE MATHIEU DUPOTET, Grand Master of all the Lodges, Colleges,
Chapters, Councils, Chapters and Consistories, of the higher degrees of Masonry,
Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Pennsylvania, in the United States of
America; and of the Grand Lodge and Sovereign Provincial Grand Chapter of Heredom
of Kilwinning, of Edinburgh, for America, under the distinctive title of the Holy Ghost,
Grand Provincial of San Domingo in the Ancient Rite, Grand Commander or Sovereign
President of the Th: Puissant Grand Council of the Sublime Princes of the Royal
Secret, established at Port au Prince, Island of San
(1) See chapter liii., pp. 1390, 1391, of this work; also chapter lviii., p. 1624
Domingo, by constitutive patent of 16 January and 19 April, 1801, under the distinctive
title of The Triple Unity; transferred to Baracoa, Island of Cuba, on account of the
events of war,
Do declare, in the name of the Sublime and Th: Puissant Grand Council, do certify and
attest, that the Very Resp: Gr: Elect Knight of the White and Black Eagle, Joseph
Cerneau, Ancient Dignitary of the Lodge No. 47, Orient of Port au Prince, Grand
Warden of the Provincial Lodge, same Orient, Venerable founder of the Lodge of the
Ancient Constitution of York, No. 103, under the distinctive title of The Theological
Virtues, Orient of the Habana, Island of Cuba, has been regularly initiated in all the
Degrees of the Sublime Masonry, from that of Secret Master to and including that of
Grand Elect Knight of the White and Black Eagle; and wishing to give the strongest
proofs of our sincere friendship for our said Very Dear Bro: Joseph Cerneau, in
recognition of the services which he has rendered to the Royal Art, and which he is
rendering daily, we have initiated him in the highest, in the most eminent and final
Degree of Masonry; we create him our Deputy Grand Inspector, for the Northern part of
the Island of Cuba, with all the powers that are attached thereto, giving him full and
entire power to initiate the Bros: Masons, whom he may judge [worthy ?], to promote
them to the Sublime Degrees, from the 4th up to and including the 24th; provided,
however, that these Masons shall have been officers of a Lodge regularly constituted
and recognized, and in places only where there may not be found Sacred and Sublime
and regularly constituted Asyla; from which Bros: he will receive the obligation required
and the authentic submission to the Decrees of the Sublime Princes; consulting,
however, and calling to his aid the BB: whom he shall know to be decorated with the
Sublime Degrees; we give him full and entire power to confer in the name of our
aforesaid Grand Council the highest Degrees of Masonry on a Kt: Prince Mason, one
only each year, whose virtues he shall recognize, and the qualities required to deserve
this favor; and to the end that our dear Bro: Joseph Cerneau, so decorated, may enjoy,
in this quality, the honours, rights, and prerogatives which he has justly deserved, by
his arduous labors in the Royal Art, we have delivered to him these presents, in the
margin whereof he has placed his signature, that it may avail him everywhere, and he
useful to him alone.
We pray our Resp: BB: regularly constituted, spread over the two Hemispheres, with
whatever Degree they may be decorated, whether in Lodge, Ch:, Col:, Sovereign
Council . . . Sublime, to recognize and receive our dear Bro:, the Very Illustrious Sov:
and Subl: Prince, Joseph Cerneau, in all the Degrees above mentioned; promising to
pay the same attention to those who in our Orients shall present themselves at the
doors of our Sacred Asyla furnished with like authentic titles.
Given by us, S: Sublime Princes, G: C: G: I: G'al: of our aforesaid Grand and Perfect
Council, under our Mysterious Seal, and the Grand Seal of the Princes of Masonry, in a
place where are deposited the greatest treasures, the sight whereof fills us with
consolation, joy, and gratitude for all that is great and good.
At Baracoa, Island of Cuba, anno 5806, under the sign of the Lion, the 15th day of the
5th month called Ab, 7806, of the Creation 5566, and according to the Common Style
the 15th July, 1806.
Signed, MATHIEU DUPOTET,
President, Sov: ...... G'al:
A true copy:
Signed, MATHIEU DUPOTET,
President, S:G:I: G'al:
I certify that what is transmitted above and the other portions are conformable to my
The foregoing translation of the ancient copy in French has been correctly and faithfully
made by me.
March 20, 1 882.
The Northern Supreme Council for a few years was divided into two factions and one of
them compromised with and affiliated some of these irregular Masons and took them in,
which resulted in a very unfavorable condition of the Northern Supreme Council, which
for a time was infected with an unhealthy absorption of bad material, by this unwise
compromise, which was made, as was supposed, for the good of Freemasonry.
Some of these irregular Masons had caused a division even in the Grand Lodge of New
York, and the original chief of them, Joseph Cerneau, had previously represented the
irregular Knights Templars of New Orleans and the irregular council of the Rite of
Perfection of Louisiana in the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of New York, as
is found in the records, viz.: " on the 4th day of May, 1816, a meeting of the Grand
Encampment of Knights Templar of New York was called to act upon an application by
a collected body of Sir Knights Templar, Royal Arch Masons and members of the Sov.
Grand Council of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret for the State of Louisiana, sitting
at New Orleans, praying that a constitutional charter be granted them, etc. They had
previous to this application elected and installed their officers. The charter, by
resolution, was granted them. and it was also
"Resolved, That the Ill. Bro. Joseph Cerneau, having been designated by the Louisiana
Encampment to be their representative and proxy near this Grand Encampment, be and
is hereby acknowledged and accredited as such."
In this manner the irregular French Templar Degree that was carried from France to
England got into the United States at New Orleans, and allied with an irregular rite and
body, became amalgamated with the American Webb Templar Degree at New York.
These evils which have beset the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
have not prevented its great advancement and prosperity; and during the past decade,
in the Northern Jurisdiction alone, it has increased over fifty per cent in numbers.
The Southern Supreme Council did not meet from February, 1862, until November 17,
1865, which was in Charleston, S. C. Six members only were present, and all of them
are now dead.
There were no bodies of the Rite working anywhere except in New Orleans.
With indomitable energy and zeal the Illustrious Sovereign Grand Commander, Albert
Pike, 33d Degree, who during the last two years and a half of the war had been
engaged in rewriting and restoring the rituals of the degrees, and whose scholarship
and knowledge of the Ancient Mysteries and their philosophy, assisted by Albert
Gallatin Mackay, 33d Degree, the late Secretary General of the Southern Supreme
Council, reconstructed the Rite at Charleston, S.C.
The Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction has now its headquarters in
Washington, D.C. Its library of nearly fifty thousand volumes is not surpassed by any
other in the country in rare and valuable works.
The constituency is constantly increasing, with five hundred and twenty-five organized
bodies of the Rite over its extended territory, and nearly approaching in numbers that of
its more prosperous sister council of the Northern Jurisdiction, which was exempt from
the calamities of war, as a reference to the tabular statements following this chapter will
The legitimate Supreme Councils duly recognized by each other around the globe are
Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A Constituted May 31, 1801
France (Supreme Council) " Sept. 22, 1804
Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A " Aug. 5, 1813
Belgium " Mar. 11, 1817
Ireland " June 11, 1825
Brazil " April 6, 1826
Peru " Nov. 2, 1830
New Granada " ----- 1833
England, Wales and Dependencies " Mar. 1846
Scotland " ----- 1846
Uruguay " ----- 1856
Argentine Republic " Sept. 13, 1858
Turin, of Italy " ------ 1848
Colon (Cuba) " ----- 1855
Venezuela " ----- 1864
Mexico " April 28, 1868
Portugal " ------ 1842
Chili " May 24, 1862
Central America " May 27, 1870
Hungary " Nov. 25, 1871
Greece " June 24, 1872
Switzerland " Mar. 30, 1873
Canada " Oct. 1874
Rome, of Italy " Jan. 14, 1877
Egypt " ------- 1878
Spain " ------- 1879
Tunis " May 11, 1880
Canada " ----- ------
"The following Supreme Councils have been formed, but have not received formal
recognition and the courtesy of an exchange of representation: Naples, of Italy,
Dominican Republic, Turkey, Palermo, of Italy, Florence, of Italy, and Luxemburg."
The rituals of the degrees differ very much in their dramatic representations. In the
Northern Jurisdiction they apply more directly to the history and scenes of the
Crusades; in the Southern Jurisdiction they are very much more intellectual,
philosophical, and historic.
Councils of Deliberation are held in each State in the Northern Jurisdiction of all the
bodies from the 14th to the 32d degrees inclusive, which are presided over by the
deputies for the States. In these are presented all matters of local legislation, action
upon which must subsequently be approved, or otherwise, by the Supreme Council.
The Supreme Council of the Rite is the governing body over all, and as such it makes
and promulgates laws and statutes for the various divisions of the organized body. This
Supreme Council confers the Governing Degree, namely, 33d Degree, Grand Master of
the Kadosh or Sovereign Grand Inspector-General. The active members, according to
the Statutes of the Southern Supreme Council, are limited to thirty-three active
members of the 33d Degree and no more, but in the Northern Supreme Council this
number is doubled, so that the active members of the 33d Degree are sixty-six. These
active members are for their respective States relatively the Grand Masters of the Rite.
The title of Honorary Inspectors-General is given to those who are elevated to the
degree with specifically delegated powers and no others, or they are sent as special
delegates to establish new bodies or propagate the Rite by communicating the
degrees. These special delegates have a voice in council but no vote.
In the Southern Supreme Council, with its number of active members of the 33d Degree
limited to thirty-three, there is a "Court of Honor," which may be called the vestibule to
the 33d Degree. This Court of Honor comprises two grades or ranks, both of which are
carefully reserved and can only be conferred as a free
NOTE. - In the Southern Supreme Council, the council or preceptory of the Knights
Kadosh or 30th degree is separate from the consistory of 31st and 32d degrees, but in
the Northern Supreme Council it is within the consistory.
gift, and a mark of appreciation for services rendered. Each active member and each
Emeritus member of the Southern Supreme Council is ex-officio a member of both
grades. These grades are, first, that of Knight Commander. This is conferred upon
Brethren of the 32d Degree for general meritorious service rendered to the Rite, and
only upon the recommendation of the Grand Consistories or by the Active Inspectors-
General of the respective States. The second grade, which is higher than the grade of
Knight Commander, is that of Knight Grand Cross. It is conferred with the jewel upon
Brethren of the 32d Degree for extraordinary services to the Rite. Neither of these
grades can be given to anyone who solicits for them; it must be repeated that they are
special marks of honor, gratuitously conferred. According to the Statutes of the
Southern Jurisdiction the possession of at least the first of these grades is a condition
precedent of eligibility for the reception of the 33d Degree.
The difference in the working of the degrees in the rituals of the Rite, between the ritual
of the Southern and that of the Northern Jurisdiction, may require some explanation,
which likewise will explain why the changes were necessarily made in working the
degrees. The late Ill. Brother Azariah T. Pearson, 33d Degree, Active Inspector-
General for the State of Minnesota in the Southern Jurisdiction, a little while before his
death, made the following statement: " That the late Masonic firm of Macoy and Sickles
of New York City, both of whom are 33d degree, and belong to the Northern Supreme
Council, printed in the rituals for the supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction as
well, but who unfortunately failed in business, and that the stereotype plates which
belonged to either or both regular Supreme Councils, were surreptitiously seized upon
and taken by persons connected with the Cerneau fraud, who had claimed that they
had bought them with the rest of the property of Macoy and Sickles, which was sold for
the benefit of their creditors; and that it was with these stereotype plates of the rituals
thus surreptitiously obtained that the fraudulent Cerneau Supreme Council was thus
enabled to improve its own meagre skeleton, and give its subordinate bodies a
semblance of the true work conferred under the authority of the regular Supreme
Councils, which for self-protection against impostors and clandestine Scottish Rite
Masons, had to call in all the rituals then out, and to issue new ones in lieu thereof."
It must be again repeated, with a degree of reiteration which may be tiresome but is
necessary, that the Scottish Rite confers no degrees but those of its own Rite, and also
that while many of its members belong to legitimate bodies of other rites of Masonry, it
has no conflict with any such. The Scottish Rite has doubled its members in the last few
years, and year by vear gains new accessions.
Antoine Bideaud, who had been created a Deputy Grand Inspector-General and a
Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, September 10, 1802, by De Grasse Tilley, at
Cape Francois, in San Domingo, so soon as he had opened his Supreme Council, after
the return of the French to that island, was in New York and on August 4th conferred
upon J. J. Gourgas, John B. Tardy, Lewis de Soulles, John B. Desdoity, and Pierre Du
Peyrot all the degrees of the A: A: S: Rite to the 32d. Two days thereafter a consistory
was opened, which although exceeding his patent, was afterward confirmed by proper
authority. John B. Tardy was subsequently appointed Deputy Inspector-General by Du
Plessis, of Philadelphia, who had received his appointment in 1790 from Augustine
Prevost, who derived his authority directly from Francken in 1774, at Jamaica.
Abraham Jacobs, who claimed to be a Grand Inspector-General, made such by Moses
Cohen in 1790, came to New York in 1804, and began his work of conferring degrees.
He states, in his register, that by the wishes of J. B. Tardy there was opened a council
of Princes of Jerusalem November 6, 1808, there being present J. J. Gourgas, John B.
Desdoity, Maduro Peixotto, Moses Levy, John B. Tardy, and Abraham Jacobs. At this
time Richard Riker received the degrees. It appears from a statement by Gourgas that
Jacobs had exceeded his authority by interlining words in his patent, for which he was
afterward expelled. Gourgas also says that on November 8, 1808, Daniel D. Tompkins,
Richard Riker, and Sampson Simpson received the degrees, including the 32d Degree,
in the consistory which was formed August 6, 1806, and that he was made a Deputy
Inspector-General on November 12, 1808, Desdoityon the 8th, and Peixotto on the
In consequence of a rumor of the irregularities which had occurred in the bodies in New
York having reached the Supreme Council in Charleston, De la Motta, who was an
officer in that body, was sent to New York with authority from the Supreme Council to
investigate the whole matter, in 1813. August 5th he conferred the 33d Degree upon
J.J. Gourgas and Sampson Simpson; these three then opened a Supreme Council and
conferred the degree on Richard Riker, John B. Tardy, Daniel D. Tompkins, and
Maduro Peixotto. On the same day, De la Motta, by authority of the Mother Supreme
Council at Charleston, regularly and constitutionally organized what was then called
the "Second Grand and Supreme Council" for the United States. Daniel D. Tompkins
was installed Grand Commander; the other Officers were appointed and installed. At
the next meeting of the "Mother Supreme Council," at Charleston, the following
December, these proceedings were duly confirmed.
As heretofore stated, a treaty was entered into by and between the two Supreme
Councils, and the jurisdiction over the various States and Territories of the United
States was determined for each of these.
Like all human voluntary institutions, the histories of both the Northern and Southern
Supreme Councils are records of bitter controversies growing out of rival bodies which
were irregularly started in opposition to each of these duly constituted Supreme
Councils, and which greatly retarded the advancement of this valuable Rite.
In the Southern Jurisdiction these controversies continued to keep the Scottish Rite
entirely in the shade, as it were, until General Albert Pike received the several degrees
and was elected the Grand Commander. Since the close of the war in 1865 the
progress has been onward and upward, as has been shown in the preceding pages of
In the Northern Supreme Council the Rite encountered a more bitter and relentless
opposition in the bodies organized by Joseph Cerneau, originally in 1807, and although
that body repeatedly declined, until it would appear to be utterly extinguished, yet it
would quite unexpectedly arise again, deceive the unwary, and so soon as the sunlight
of Truth was poured upon it would again decline, wither, and disappear.
The opposition to which the Northern Supreme Council was subjected was of such a
character that it is incumbent on us to take some notice thereof to demonstrate what
the Scottish Rite of the Northern Supreme Council had to contend against in defense of
Giles Fonda Yates, of Albany, became, at an early date (1822), interested in the study
of Masonry. He discovered the Warrant of the Lodge of Perfection granted by Francken
at Albany and a copy of the Constitutions of 1762; he then succeeded in resuscitating
the old lodge. After this a Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem was organized at
Albany, and several lodges of Perfection were constituted in other places. A consistory
was instituted in 1824 at Albany, and several bodies were established in Boston. These
were under patents of the Supreme Council at Charleston. Yates received the 33d
Degree from McCosh, who was the special Deputy of this council. Afterward, in 1828,
Yates became a member of the Northern Supreme Council. Just at this period, from
1826, the Morgan affair having occurred, nearly all the Masonic bodies at the North
became extinct, as recited in the chapter devoted to that subject. In 1832 Gourgas
suspended all efforts in the affairs of the Scottish Rite. In 1842, however, the great
excitement had mostly died out and the fire of persecution, bigotry, and fanaticism
having had no fuel for many years, waned, and all efforts against the Institution ceased.
Yates having conferred with Gourgas and other Brethren who had not succumbed
under their severe ordeal, they determined to resume their labors. June 15, 1844, a
meeting was held; Gourgas was then Grand Commander, and Yates Lieutenant Grand
Commander. These two, by a law of the Rite, that if only one member of a Supreme
Council survives, that council does not cease to exist, opened the Supreme Council.
At this meeting, November 13, 1844, applications were received from Edward A.
Raymond, Ruel Baker, and Charles W. Moore (all of Massachusetts), who, having
received the 32d Degree, were crowned Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General.
At the meeting held April 3-5, 1845, Gourgas declared that the recent publication by
Clavel, relating to the Ancient and Accepted Rite, was utterly incorrect, and stated that
Cerneau's name was struck from the Tableau of the Grand Orient of France in 1830,
the Grand Orient having written to him that it was a matter quite inexplicable to them
that it should have remained there so long.
At this meeting Gourgas reorganized the Supreme Council, the officers being
appointed by the constitutional provisions. From this time the Supreme Council became
very industrious in establishing bodies in many cities; harmony prevailed over this
jurisdiction, and the Rite, although slowly, was steadily extended.
At an important meeting held September 4, 1851, Gourgas's resignation as Grand
Commander and his appointment of Yates as his successor were received. Yates
presided at this meeting, the Sovereign Grand Consistory was organized, and the
degrees in the various bodies were conferred. At the close of the meeting Yates
resigned as Grand Commander and appointed Raymond to that position. In his address
Yates gave a forcible exposition of the laws, the objects, and the history of the Rite,
and it contains so much information, of interest and value to its members, that we give
it in full:
ADDRESS OF M.P. BRO. GILES FONDA YATES
Respected and Beloved Associates: You have been listening to the valedictory address
of our honored friend, long trieds true, and trusty. His sentiments, I am well assured,
are reciprocated. He has been called by our transatlantic Brethren " the patriarch of our
'Illustrious Order,"' and not without appropriateness. John James J. Gourgas - clarum et
He has been pleased to allude to my own participation in some of the works and
administrative duties of our order, but such participation, as you are well aware, has
been at a later day and for a shorter period. Under the circumstances in which I now
appear before you, it can hardly be deemed egotistic in me if I advert briefly to a few of
the humble contributions to the cause of " Sublime Freemasonry" previous to 1840,
which it fell to my lot to render. These, with the " sublime works " performed by other
Brethren of our order before and since, in Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire,
Connecticut, and Rhode Island, furnish altogether evidence supplemental to that given
by my predecessor, in complete confutation of the preposterous charge that " Sublime
Freemasonry" has been dormant in our jurisdiction since its establishment among us. A
charge of this kind has been the stereotype apology of surreptitious Masons for their
occasional attempts to foist their spurious creations upon our "Sublime System" within
our Masonic territory. The abundant parole testimony which can be adduced to show
how untrue is this charge, can be corroborated by our archives, and will be found
iterated in manifestoes issued by our own and our sister council for the Southern
Jurisdiction of the United States.
I turned my attention to the history of the "Sublime Degrees" very soon after my
initiation as a Mason. My intercourse in 1822 with several old Masons in the city of
Albany, led to the discovery that an " Ineffable Lodge of Perfection" had been
established in that ancient city on December 20, 1767. I also discovered that not only
the Ineffable, but the Superior Degrees of our Rite, had been conferred at the same
time on a chosen few, by the founder of the lodge, Henry A. Francken, one of the
Deputies of Stephen Morin (1) of illustrious memory. It was not long, moreover, before I
found the original Warrant of this lodge, its book of minutes, the patents of Ill. Brother
Samuel Stringer, M.D., Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and Peter W. Yates, Esquires, Dep.
Inspectors-General, under the old system; also "the regulations and contributions of the
nine commissioners," etc., 1761, and other documents that had been left by Bro.
Francken with the Albany Brethren when he founded their lodge. With the concurrence
of the surviving members of said lodge residing in Albany, Dr. Jonathan Eights and the
Hon. and R. W. Stephen Van Rensselaer, P.G.M. of the Grand Lodge of New York, I
aided in effecting its revival. The necessary proceedings were thereupon instituted to
place the same under the superintendence of a Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem,
as required by the old constitutions; and such Grand Council was subsequently opened
in due form in said city.
Having been made aware of "the new Constitution of the Thirty-third degree," ratified
on the first of play, 1786, conferring the Supreme Power over our Rite on "Councils of
Nine Brethren," I hastened to place myself in correspondence with Moses Holbrook,
M.D., at the time S.G. Commander of the Supreme Council at Charleston, and with my
esteemed friends, Joseph M'Cosh, Ill. Gr. Sec. Gen. of the last-named council, and Bro.
Gourgas, at that
(1) Stephen Morin was on the 27th day of August, 1761, appointed "Inspector General
over all Lodges, &c., &c., &c., in the new world by the Grand Consistory of Princes of
the Royal Secret convened in Paris, at which presided the King of Prussia's Deputy,
Chaillon De Joinville, Substitute General of the Order." See circular issued by the
Supreme Council at Charleston, S. C., December 4, 1802.
time III. Gr. Sec. Gen. of the H.E. for this Northern Jurisdiction. Lodges of Perfection in
the counties of Montgomery, Onondaga, Saratoga, and Monroe in the State of New
York, were successively organized, and placed agreeably to the constitutions under the
superintendence of the Grand Council before named. The establishment of this last-
named body was confirmed, and all our proceedings in "Sublime Freemasonry" were
legalized and sanctioned by the only lawful authorities in the United States, the
aforesaid Supreme Councils.
On the 16th day of November, 1824, I received a patent, appointing me S. of S. of a
consistory of S.P.R.S., established in the city of Albany. I would here also state that on
the 13th day of February, 1825, a Charter was granted to III. Bro. Edward A. Raymond,
of Boston, Mass., and eight associates, constituting them a Grand Council of Princes of
Jerusalem; a Charter was also granted them for a consistory of S.P.R.S., both bodies to
be holden in the city of Boston. All these several bodies named, as well as the Albany
Grand Council and Consistory, have since their establishment paid due faith and
allegiance to our Northern Supreme Council.
In the organization of the New York State Grand Council, and of the different lodges of
Perfection under its superintendence, I received the most effective aid and co-
operation of several dear companions whom "it delights me to remember." These
lodges numbered on their lists of initiates some of the brightest and worthiest Masons
that State produced, and enjoyed for a series of years a good share of prosperity, until
the persecuting fires of anti-Masonry swept over the land. Their labors were then
intermitted for awhile, in common with those of other departments of the Masonic
Institution, from the same cause. But the consequences were not in the main
inauspicious. The legitimate effect was to purify and cement more closely the materials
subjected to the fiery ordeal.
In 1825 I took my vows as a "Sovereign Grand Inspector General" "between the hands"
of our Brother Joseph M'Cosh, he having been specially deputized for that purpose. I
was shortly after constituted and accredited the "Representative" of the Southern
Supreme Grand Council near this Northern Supreme Grand Council, of which last I was
made, and have ever since been a member.
I would fain have you to believe, my dear Brethren, that, as a member of the Masonic
Institution, if I have had my ambition, it has been to study its science, and to discharge
my duties as a faithful Mason, rather than to obtain its official honors or personal
benefits of any kind. Self-aggrandizement has never formed any part of my Masonic
creed, and all who know me can bear witness that it never has of my practise. I
accordingly shall never shirk any just responsibility imposed upon me by my obligations
as a "Sublime Freemason," but continue to prefer, as I have ever done, since it is most
congenial to my own taste, those i' works " and labors of the Craft not necessarily
connected with its administrative duties.
As Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General, it cannot be bootless to inquire what is the
charge committed to our keeping - what the trust reposed in us? Is it true that the
degrees and orders of our Rite are, as our enemies allege, only superfetation? Are they
naught but excrescences on the great pyramid of Freemasonry ? Have they no
antiquity ? Are they of an irreligious character? Allow me to deliver a few of my own
views on this subject - views, as you are well assured, I have not arrived at hastily.
As Brother Gourgas has well observed, our degrees and orders constitute of
themselves a perfect system and Rite, which we denominate the " Sublime system,"
and the 'is Ancient and Accepted Rite." They have been called "Honorary." Such they
are, in the true sense of the term, but not in the sense generally used, which is
construed as synonymous with "side," or "detached degrees." We, however, possess,
in addition to our regular series of degrees, " detached degrees," of more or less value,
subsidiary to our regular degrees. But none of our degrees are, per se, subordinate or
subsidiary to any other system or Rite, much less to any system or Rite which had no
existence when our Rite was reorganized at the beginning of the last century. All
attempts to make them so, we, as faithful conservators and guardians of our Rites, are
bound to resist. Ours are not, as many have represented them, "loose," "floating," or
"side degrees," nor yet are they "waifs of Masonic stragglers." (1) If the star of "Sublime
Freemasonry" is never permitted
(1) We are indebted to our Worthy Brother Philip C. Tucker, of Vermont, for this
appropriate designation of Masonic pretenders of a certain description. We refer to
those who occasionally spring up in this country and elsewhere, and engage in
"peddling" Masonic Degrees ("Marchands de Maconnere"), and who assume
prerogatives which they do not possess; and over degrees which most probably they
never received in a
to culminate in the zenith it deserves a better fate than to become a satellite to any
other orbs, albeit these may shine with more distinguished luster. If it ever becomes
depressed to the nadir of the Masonic horizon, it will not be because of its want of
value or merit.
Our "Sublime Brother" Dalcho remarks in one of his orations (1) that our degrees
imparted to him knowledge, which he had vainly sought for in the lower degrees - that
they elucidated the origin and principles of the Masonic Institution and its connection
with science and religion more intimately than the symbolic degrees. I have myself
noticed that in the latter general ideas only are communicated and these obscurely,
while in the "Sublime Degrees" these ideas become clear as particular truths; though
still, like all truths regarding the mind and heart, which are invisible, they can be
expressed only by figurative terms and external symbols.
By imagery, and through a veil (2) of metaphor, the light of truth and the most sublime
allusions are disclosed. We may be well versed in the ceremonials of our order and yet
not understand their true import; we may correctly read "the letter" of our traditions and
legends, and yet remain blind to their "spirit," and ignorant of the principles and
inferences they involve. By study alone can we solve the enigma, " de duo fabula
narratur?" Many of the characteristic allegories, legends, symbols, and ceremonies of
"Sublime Freemasonry" are counted as insignificant and valueless, because they are
not palpable to the senses, and fully comprehended at the first blush. Some of our most
sacred mysteries are lightly esteemed, because they furnish no disclosures that strike
dumb with amazement our "hidden treasures," and spiritual "riches of secret places"
are unappreciated; and no "Royal Secret" which humbly professes to have a relation
only to the life of the heart seems to be cared for; nor yet any "precious stone" in our
mystic edifice, if the "philosopher's
lawful manner. These men, perchance too, may have surreptitiously obtained some
partial information from garbled MSS.; or if they have obtained any degrees lawfully,
are guilty of a violation of a fundamental Masonic law in regard to " allegiance " by
using and transmitting to others Masonic knowledge under assumed authority, in a
manner different from that in which they received it.
(1) See his oration delivered before the Sublime Grand Lodge, at Charleston, S. C.,
March 21, 1803.
(2) This idea is beautifully symbolized in one of the "high degrees" by a figure of truth
covered with a semi-transparent veil.
stone" be wanting! For men of this stamp, our degrees, or indeed any Masonic
degrees, will ever fail to present attractions.
"Upon the arts of building and architecture the Order of Free and Accepted Masonry
rises like a fair stupendous pyramid from a broad, square basis, tending regularly up to
a summit of attainments, ever concealed by intervening clouds from the promiscuous
multitude of common observers below." (1) The first fourteen degrees of our Rite are in
a part an amplification of "Ancient Craft" Masonry; while the "superior degrees" are
founded on those Christian and "religious and military Orders" which are declared by
the oldest book of York Constitutions to be cognate to the Craft degrees of
The proofs are undeniable that the learning contained in the "Sublime Degrees" was
taught long previous to the last century; our M. P. Brother Dalcho thinks shortly after
the first crusade. In Prussia, France, and Scotland the principal degrees of our Rite
appeared in an organized form in 1713. The unfortunate Lord Der Wentwater and his
associate English Brethren were working in lodges of Harodim, in 1725, at Paris, when
the Grand Lodge of England transmitted to France the Ancient York Constitutions.
Many Scotch Brethren (adherents of Charles Edward Stuart) being in France about this
time, also cultivated some of the high degrees of our Rite. Some of the important
mysteries celebrated in the superior degrees were instituted by the successors of
Jacques de Molay, and others derive their origin from the renowned Robert Bruce. The
former gave the military, the latter the Christian, character to the degrees and orders of
our Rite; and from what has been alluded to relative to the connection of our Scotch
Brethren with our degrees and orders, I think we may readily account for the terms
Ecossazs, or Scotch as applied to them.
No person can pretend that any one department or system of Freemasonry or any
particular Masonic Rite, however unexceptionable, has from time immemorial existed in
the same form in which it appears at the present day. But we contend that the
(historical epoch) traditions and grades of knowledge embodied in the degrees and
orders of the Rite we profess, have descended to us from remote antiquity. This fact
can be proved to the reasonable satisfaction
(1) Quoted from an old edition of the York Constitution.
of the most skeptical, by the writings of learned Brethren who have spent years in
investigating the subject. To the same effect, too, we have the incidental testimony of
writers who never belonged to the Fraternity, as well as the unwilling admission of
those opposed to us. Even a brief recapitulation of such proofs is not demanded by
present occasion. My referring to this topic at this time is merely to remind my Brethren
that our "Ancient and Accepted Rite" is incorrectly designated as a "modern Rite." (1)
When we use the term "modern" as applicable to any of our orders or degrees, it is to
be taken in a comparative sense, and not in its vulgar acceptation. It refers to ours
"religious and military orders" instituted since the commencement of the Christian era,
and after that of "the holy wars!" of a verity, our Rite is not born of yesterday.
Many of our degrees imply prerequisites in candidates peculiarly stringent, and
unknown in other departments of Freemasonry; and not a few partake of the character
of official degrees. Even the lowest degrees of our Rite, the eleven "Ineffable," are
designed for the "Select few" only. This is especially the case with our principal
superior degrees, Prince of Jerusalem, Sov.'. Prince of Rose Cross, elected Knight K.
H. Grand Inquisitor Commander, and Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, which are
virtually orders of Harodim. Some of our superior degrees confer the titles of
"Commander," "Patriarch," "Grand Master," if "Prince," and "Sovereign." But it behoves
me to observe that the Masonic titles in our "Inner Easts," like the jewels on our
breasts, are not cherished and worn by us for show or aggrandizement; they are
suggestive of holy truths and self-perfecting duties, which every conscientious "Sublime
Freemason" will strive to learn and perform.
Some persons who have written and discoursed about our degrees, have obtained
what little knowledge they possess of them from spurious and corrupted sources. I do
not speak unadvisedly on this subject; for I have critically examined rituals identical
with those in use among the clandestine and "soi-disant" Supreme
(1) It is doubtless the case that some persons confound our Rite with "the French or
Modern Rite," which is confessedly modern and was invented within the last half
century. It embraces the three symbolic degrees and forms the basis, and is part, of the
spurious "Scotch Rite," which aims at supplanting us. It is the same cultivated in some
French lodges in this country, and by the Louisiana and other spurious Supreme
Councils, and usurping propagandists of "Sublime Freemasonry." Now and then an
orthodox hieroglyphic symbol or allegory is surreptitiously obtained, but its true solution
is not attained to, by the vulgar interpretations of superficialness, or it is purposely
perverted by the infidel, or bigot, or sectarian, to suit his narrow purposes or by
"Like scurvy politicians, seem to see
The things they do not."
Such rituals, too, often penned by blundering copyists, may not inaptly be likened to
human skeletons, stripped of all the arteries, nerves, and muscles of the living man,
deprived of soul, life-blood, and spirit.
There are some writers, who, while they may not deny antiquity to the doctrines and
traditions on which some of the " high degrees" are founded, yet with a Barruel and
Robison purposely confound our "Ineffable" and "philosophical degrees" with those of
the political society of the Illuminati and certain infidel systems of philosophy. A learned
philosophers has well observed that philosophy is not possible, unless it be founded
on, and guarded by, Christianity. Christianity is the basis, and philosophy the
superstructure of the edifice." It is with philosophy such as this that true Freemasonry
has to do. It is worthy of note in this connection that speculative science as well as
practical wisdom once ranked among the virtues. The knowledge of the Eternal Being,
as understood by philosophy, reason, and religious revelation, is the basis and apex,
as well of the Masonic as the scientific pyramid.
" No art or learning serveth useful ends,
But as the heart it guides, and life amends."
However great the acquisitions of the most successful cultivator of "the Royal art " and
science, all will be vain without a practical application of the knowledge acquired. The
understanding should be strengthened that the conduct may be directed and truth
discovered, that it may be used "for the better endowment and help of man's life." One
of the cardinal ends designed to be answered by Freemasonry, in any of its
departments, is to make men better as
well as wiser. The eulogy pronounced by Bro. T. S. Webb (1) on "the eleven ineffable
degrees," is applicable to the whole system of "Sublime Freemasonry," that it is
"intended for the glory of the Deity, and the good of mankind."
Those who bring the charge of irreligion against our Rite would do well to bear in mind
that learned authors (2) unfriendly to our Institution have expressed their conviction
that the pure doctrines of the Zabians, which are incorrectly stigmatized as astrological
and idolatrous, (3) and the doctrines of St. John the Baptist, were essentially identical;
while Brethren learned in the secrets of "Ineffable Masonry," delivered only "behind the
veil," and versed in the doctrines of "Sublime Freemasonry," have become penetrated
with the conviction that these secrets and doctrines are in essence the same with those
which were taught by the Pythagorean and Essenean rituals.
After the French revolution of 1793, Christianity in France was ridiculed into
obsoleteness. Among the mass of the people who became atheists were the mass of
the Masons. Numerous copies of that holy book, which we esteem as the first great
light in Masonry, were committed to the flames. Under this state of things, "Sublime
Freemasonry" fell into desuetude; and it was not until after the establishment of the
Supreme Council at Charleston, S. C., on the 31st day of May, 1801, that the "Sublime
System" was revived in France by the establishment of a Supreme Council at Paris, to
wit, in 1804, by Count De Grasse, Grand InspectorGeneral, under authority from the
Charleston Supreme Council. The Paris Supreme Council has been in continuous
(1) Bro. Webb did not pretend to be a professor of those degrees, or of any other in
"Sublime Freemasonry." See his preface to his illustrations of those degrees.
(2) E.g., Cardinal Wiseman - Syriac version of the Vatican code used by Adler in his
"Druses Montis Libani."
(3) I here quote the words of Dr. Dewey in corroboration of the idea I have advanced in
the text, because he expresses this idea clearly and briefly. It is, however, far from
being a singular one, or original with him. It has been the persuasion of every
philosopher and divine of celebrity who has bestowed more than a superficial
examination upon the subject, both before and since Lord Bacon's day; who proves its
truth in detail. "The idea that images set up as gods were worshipped, is erroneous.
They were esteemed as symbols of a higher power and as 'symbols' only. A species of
images (as for example the four-faced Cherubim) was recognized even in the early
worship of the Hebrews when under the immediate government of God himself I would
not be understood to say: that the pure doctrines alluded to were not perverted, or that
there were no persons obnoxious to the charge made by St. Paul in Rom. i. 23.
since. And here truth compels me to advert to the fact that the "Grand Orient" of
France, which had a legal existence only as a "Symbolic" Grand Lodge of Master
Masons, now commenced her assumption of jurisdiction over all the degrees of the
"Ancient and Accepted Rite." Disputes hereupon ensued between the French Supreme
Council and Grand Orient, which have never been fully settled up to the present day.
Every lover of Masonic order and constitutional authority cannot but regret this
unhappy occurrence; and none the less the conduct of the Parisian Brethren on sundry
occasions during the last half century, in extending their jurisdiction in both the
Symbolic and Sublime degrees over territory on this continent, already lawfully
occupied. Their example in this last respect has been repeatedly followed and is at this
present moment producing consequences deleterious to the Craft at large. The present
occasion is not the most appropriate one for descending to particularities on this head.
It is unnecessary for me to make more than a passing allusion to the troubles that have
been experienced from analogous causes by our sister council at Charleston and our
own Supreme Council, from 1806 to the present time. In assaulting our Supreme
Councils our enemies tried to shift the issue from principals to individuals, and resorted
to wilful perversions of facts; and failing to find legitimate and real subjects to attack,
they for the nonce fabricated them. As "the droppings of their lips" were anything but
"sweet-smelling myrrh," or the "perfume of hearty counsel," as true gentlemen and
Masons we could not meet them on their own ground, or do aught else than simply
pronounce their allegations false and unfounded.
A word or two with regard to the charge of interference on the part of the two only lawful
Supreme Councils in this country, with the prerogatives of other departments of
Freemasonry. No Supreme Councils of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General were
established anywhere in the world till after 1786. (1) Previously, Inspectors
(1) "On May 1, 1786, the Grand Constitution of the Thirty-third Degree, called the
Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, was finally ratified by his
Majesty, the King of Prussia, who, as Grand Commander of the Order of Prince of the
Royal Secret, possessed the Sovereign Masonic power over the Craft. In the New
Constitution this high power was conferred on a Supreme Council of nine Brethren in
each nation, who possess all the Masonic prerogatives in their own district that his
Majesty individually possessed, and are Sovereigns of Masonry." Extracts from the
circular letter of the Charleston Supreme Council issued December 4, 1802.
General under the enlightened Frederick of Prussia were charged with the powers and
duties now vested in such Supreme Councils and the Grand Bodies under them. By
them the degrees and orders of our Rite were conserved and propagated in the
constitutional manner. It was not the Grand Orient of France, as is by many erroneously
supposed, nor any other Grand Body on the Continent of Europe, except the Grand
Consistory, over which presided Frederick's "Substitute General" before named, that
had any authority to act in the premises. For the authors of the numerous new rites and
innovations committed on the old system of Freemasonry, which were erst so rife on
the European Continent, we must look elsewhere than to the lawful Deputies
Inspectors-General under the old system.
The original minutes and documents left by Ill. Brother Francken, who established the
Albany Lodge of Perfection in 1767, evince the most scrupulous avoidance of
interference with the Master's Lodge in that city or the Symbolic Degree. As there were
no R. A. Chapters or Encampments of Knights Templars established in this country till
thirty years afterward, to speak of interference with them would be an anachronismic
absurdity, akin to those recently spawned by ignorance or design to mislead
uninformed Brethren, or for other unworthy purposes.
The first Supreme Council ever established under the new Constitution of 1786 was
that at Charleston, (1) whose jurisdiction extended constitutionally over the whole of the
United States, until they constituted, by their Special Deputy, E. De La Motta, III. Treas.
Gen. H.E., this Northern Supreme Council in 1813. (2) Then
(1) on May 31, 1801, the Supreme Council of the 33d Degree for the United States of
America was opened with the high honors of Masonry by Bros. John Mitchell and
Frederick Dalcho, Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General; and in the course of the year
the whole number of Grand Inspectors-General was completed agreeably to the Grand
Constitutions. The other members of this Grand Council admitted in 1801 were
Emanuel De La Motta, Dr. J. Auld, Dr. James Moultrie, Abraham Alexander, M. C. Livy,
Thomas B. Bowen, and J. De Lieban.
(2) The Supreme Grand Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States was
founded on August 5, 1813, by the M. Ill. Brothers E. De La Motta, "Special Deputy-
Representative" from the said Supreme Grand Council at Charleston, Daniel D.
Tompkins, S. Simson, John J. J. Gourgas, Richard Riker, J. G. Tardy, and M. L. M.
Peixotto. In the words of a manifesto issued by the last-named council, dated August 2,
1845, the establishment of our Northern Supreme Council is shown " by authenticated
documents in the possession of this (the Charleston) Council, in accordance with the
Secret Constitutions, by Emanuel De La Motta as the Representative and under the
Northern and Southern Jurisdictions were defined and regulated. A candid review of all
the acts of the constitutional regulators and governors of our Rite in these United
States cannot fail to establish the falsity ot this charge of interference on their part. If I
am not much mistaken, they have been "more sinned against than sinning." If we have
not claimed the benefit of the legal maxims, Quad prius est, verius est, et quod prius
est tempore, potious est jure, it has not been because we were not entitled to this
On December 4, 1802, our Southern Supreme Council published a report from which I
make the following extracts. They speak for themselves:
"Although many of the Sublime degrees are in fact a continuation of the Blue degrees,
yet there is no interference (1) between the two bodies. Throughout the continent of
Europe and the West Indies, where they are very generally known, they are
acknowledged and encouraged. The Sublime Masons never initiate any into the Blue
degrees, without a legal warrant obtained for that purpose from a Symbolic Grand
Lodge; but they communicate the secrets of the chair to such applicants as have not
already received them, previous to their initiation into the Sublime Lodge; yet they are
at the same time informed that it does not give them rank as
sanction and authority of the Council at Charleston. The Masonic Jurisdiction of the
Northern Council is distributed over the Northern, North-western, and North-eastern
parts of the United States. And this, with the Council at Charleston, are the only
recognized Councils which exist or can exist, according to the Secret Constitutions, in
the United States. Their labors have never been suspended, though withdrawn for a
time from the public eye - their authority has never been, and cannot be, abrogated.
They hold in their archives certified copies of the Secret Constitutions, derived from the
Grand Consistory held at Paris in 1761. Their succession of officers and members has
been regularly and duly continued, and the Great Light of 'Sublime Masonry,' which has
been confided to their keeping, like the sacred fire of the Vestals, has been preserved
unextinguished on their altars."
(1) "In deference to the Constitution of the York Rite practiced in this country, it waves
its rights and privileges, so far as they relate to the first three degrees of Ancient Craft
Masonry, which long before the establishment of any Supreme Council in this
hemisphere, were under the control of Symbolic Grand Lodges " See circular letters of
both Northern and Southern Supreme Councils, 1845. "The object of the Supreme
Council is not to interfere with the rights of any other bodies, but simply to preserve
from decay or innovation those Sublime truths and ineffable mysteries which, while they
throw a brighter light upon the pure system of Ancient Craft Masonry, can be attained
only by those who have sought for light in the deepest recesses of the Masonic
Temple. They ask, therefore, as the legal guardians of these invaluable treasures, the
sympathy and fraternal kindness of their Brethren, to whom they take this occasion of
offering the right hand of brotherly love and affection." - Charleston Circular, 1845.
Past Masters in the Grand Lodge." (1) "On January 21, 1802, a warrant of constitution
passed the seal of the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem for the establishment of a
Master Mark Mason's Lodge in the City of Charleston, S.C." " Besides those degrees,
which are in regular succession, most of the Inspectors are in possession of a number
of detached degrees given in different parts of the world; and which they generally
communicate free of expense, to those Brethren who are high enough to understand
them. Such as select Masons of 27, etc., making in the aggregate fifty-three degrees."
As to the Mark and Past Master's Degrees, all authority over them was surrendered to
the R.A. Chapters, at that time springing into existence. Independent lodges of Mark
Master Masons having no governing head were afterward established in this country,
and continued in operation for a series of years; until the Gen. Grand Chapter assumed
jurisdiction over both the Mark and Past Master's Degrees as "honorary grades," and
incorporated them into their system.
No! Brethren, the intermeddling complained of, lies at the door of the spurious bodies
established by the impostor Joseph Cerneau, et id omne genus, progeniesque, whose
illegitimate works are ever and anon exhumed and revamped for sinister purposes. It
ought, methinks, to be a sufficient refutation of the charge of our intermeddling with
other departments of Masonry, that the leading Brethren of both our Northern and
Southern Supreme Councils, ever since their establishment, have been active leaders
in Symbolic Grand Lodges, Grand Chapters of R.A. Masons, and Grand Encampments
of Knights Templar, the only other departments of Freemasonry in our land which we
recognize and acknowledge.
"No Masonic power professing our Rite, or any of its dependent associations, can,
under any pretense whatever, amalgamate or associate by representation or otherwise,
with any other power, or with any association depending on any other Rite, nor consent
to become a section or dependence thereof, without renouncing the object of its
institution, and losing de facto its sovereign attributes." This fundamental law
applicable to any department of Freemasonry is a truism, and surely needs no
argument to support it.
(1) This practice was never adopted by the regular "Sublime Freemasons" in this
I a well persuaded that our Supreme Grand Council will ever continue, as it has
heretofore done, to illustrate the truth of one of its own sentiments, that " Sublime
Freemasonry is unobtrusive, a divine manna for the clear-sighted to gather - everyone
according to his own taste and ability." We claim not to keep the vineyards of others,
and we challenge to the proof that we have ever trenched upon them. And while we
guard, as we are bound to do, our own possessions, we hope to be permitted to sit
peaceful and undisturbed if under our own vine and fig-tree"!
The institution of the official dignity of Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, in 1786,
and the adoption of the constitutional provisions, by which, on the decease of the great
Frederick, his authority and duties over our order in both hemispheres were transferred
to a limited number of Brethren in each nation, operated practically as a distribution
among many Brethren of the high Masonic powers and prerogatives, originally
possessed by one Grand Master. Notwithstanding the numerous efforts made to
enlighten Brethren as to the true nature of the 33d Degree "governing itself and all
others" of our said Rite, and conferring rights and powers, and imposing duties
"agreeably to the Grand Constitutions" of our order, of an executive character, (1) it is
(1) I will fortify my statement with that of our M. Puis. Bro. Dalcho, whose authority in a
matter of this kind cannot be gainsaid. I quote from page 116, appendix to his oration
delivered before the Sublime Grand Lodge of Charleston, S.C., March 21, 1803. "By
the Constitution of the Order, which was ratified on October 25, 1762, the King of
Prussia was proclaimed as the chief of the Eminent Degrees, with the rank of
Sovereign Grand Inspector-General and Grand Commander. The higher Councils and
Chapters could not be opened without his presence or that of his substitute, whom he
must appoint. All the transactions of the Consistory of the thirty-second degree required
his sanction, or that of his substitute, to establish their legality; and many other
prerogatives were attached to his Masonic rank. No provision, however, had been
made in the Constitutions for the appointment of his successor; and, as it was an office
of the highest importance, the utmost caution was necessary to prevent an improper
person from obtaining it. The King, being conscious of this, established the thirty-third
degree. Nine Brethren in each nation, from the Supreme Council of Grand Inspectors-
General, after his decease possessed all his Masonic prerogatives and power over the
Craft. They are the Executive Body of the Masonic Fraternity, and their approval is now
necessary to the acts of the Consistory, before they can become laws; and from their
decision there can be no appeal."
In 1825 I received from Moses Holbrook, M.D., at that time Sov. Grand Commander of
the Charleston Supreme Council, a letter in answer to some inquiries relative to the
subject in question, from which letter I make the following extracts: "All the transactions
of S.P.R.S. required the sanction of Frederick William II. (who had for many years been
the head and patron of the Order), or that of his substitute, to establish their
but most erroneously considered as an "honorary" distinction merely, and as an
ordinary degree in Freemasonry; and one to which all Brethren having the usual
qualifications required for initiation into most of the lower degrees have a right to
The tenure of office in a Supreme Grand Council being for life, a seat in such a body
can be vacated only by death, resignation, or removal from its jurisdiction. This is a
fundamental law, and may not be changed, though its inevitable tendency is to exclude
from our little circle some good, true, and worthy Brethren, who would, no doubt, adorn
our assemblies, and prove faithful conservators, regulators, and governors of our Rite.
By being tenacious of official station, I may be the means of excluding Brethren whose
councils are needed; and I may also stand in the way of the just preferment of my
compeers. Moved by reasons like these I have named, and desirous of setting an
example, which if discreetly followed may, without violation of our organic laws, serve in
a degree to modify what is, albeit without good reason, deemed too exclusive a feature
in our "sublime system," I have concluded to resign the official station I now hold in this
council. There are other considerations also which induce me to adopt this course.
By a constitutional regulation of our order, the office of chief custodian of our archives
devolves upon the Sov. Grand Commander, who should, for this and analogous
reasons well understood by us, be a resident of one of the Easts in our jurisdiction.
legality. Many other prerogatives were attached to his Masonic rank; and not least in
the consideration of the day, it was thought that in the United States, just emerged from
the thraldom of the mother country, after a long and arduous struggle for their liberty, it
would be highly improper to have the Masonic head and jurisdiction over the Ineffable
and Sublime degrees in another country, and to pay allegiance of any kind to a foreign
potentate. These difficulties, added to the importance attached to the highest office in
Freemasonry, and the very great caution necessary to prevent an unsuitable person
from obtaining an office so respectable, influential, and important, weighed with the
King and the high Consistory over which he presided. Upon reading the respectful
petitions and statements made to them during the years 1784 and 1785, the subject
was referred to a highly learned and able committee, who reported this degree (thirty-
third) to constitute nine S.P.R.S. in each nation, a Streme Council of Sovereign Grand
Inspectors-General; and they being duly organized, accredited, and approved, should
at his decease possess all his Masonic prerogatives over the concerns of the Craft
within the country or territory over which their jurisdiction extended; and their
appointment was ad vitam. They became the Executive Body of the Masonic Fraternity
within their territory. This arrangement annulled all former powers granted to individuals
(Dep. Ins.-Gen.) in different parts of the world."
I do in the interior of my native State, it is not meet for me to become such custodian.
Our archives, valuable and voluminous, should have a fixed and permanent depository,
under the charge of their constitutional guardian.
My association for a quarter of a century with this Supreme Grand Council, and my
active participation in its works and administrative duties, I have spoken of in my
antecedent remarks. I avert to the fact again, and in this connection, to remind you, that
it places me before you in such a position as to render, in a measure applicable to my
own case, the reason for abdication advanced by my venerable predecessor, deducible
from his long term of service.
My much esteemed compeer, your "Most Illustrious Inspector Lieutenant Grand
Commander," Edward A. Raymond, in the event of my abdication of the presidency of
this council, is pointed out by the constitutions as my successor. It gratifies me to reflect
that such is the case. If there were no constitutional provision restricting my duty in the
emergency named, and the selection of my successor were left to my own free choice, I
could not make a selection more congenial to my feelings, or more in accordance with
my convictions of duty. I have known him for three times three years twice told as a
"Brother of the mystic tie," and a possessor of "the high degrees." His Masonic age and
experience, derived from long and repeated services as a ruler in other departments of
Masonry,' and the satisfaction he has given to his companions in the discharge of his
administerial duties, afford an earnest that he will not be found wanting as a chief
administrator in our ancient and Accepted Rite." I am assured that he has the
requirements demanded by our Book of Constitutions, that he "can be entirely
depended on, that his discretion is proof against all trials, his capacity acknowledged,
and his probity untouched."
In 1859 the ambition of one man caused some trouble in this Supreme Council. Grand
Commander Raymond contended that "the powers of Frederick were vested in him as
Grand Commander and not in the Council as a body." He had conferred the 33d
Degree upon Paul Dean, and the Supreme Council had
(1) Bro. Raymond is the present Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts,
and has been at the head of the Grand Chapter Encampment of Massachusetts (1851).
tacitly recognized him as a member. In 1860 an extra session was held, and the
controversy with the Grand Commander reached the climax.
The Grand Commander refused to put certain motions. A motion was made to close the
council, to be opened at four o'clock; this he refused to put, and declared the council
closed until ten o'clock on the following morning.
At that hour the council was opened and the minutes read, whereupon the Grand
Commander declared the council closed sine die.
Some of the members (five) conferred together, and being advised by Gourgas,
reopened the council and proceeded with the business.
Upon the report of a committee on rules, etc., previously appointed, the council
adopted the Constitutions of 1860.
The record of this session was signed by Van Rensselaer, who was elected Lieutenant
Grand Commander, Starkweather, Moore, Christie, Case, and Young. A preamble and
resolution were adopted, deposing the Grand Commander in effect. Gourgas, Turner,
Bull, and Hubbard formally approved the proceedings; Carson also did so with some
The Grand Commander, Raymond, disregarded the action of these members after he
had left the council. Both parties published the proceedings of 1860, those for the
regular session being alike Raymond's being a record of his action in conferring the
33d Degree upon Lawson, Starkweather, and Field, who, it is alleged, by him were
elected in 1857. It is said, however, that the records of 1857 show only the election of
Both of these factions continued to operate; we shall not, however, dwell upon the
minutiae, but state that the Van Rensselaer body grew in numbers and importance.
There was a large accession in 1862 of very distinguished and prominent Masons;
among these were Josiah H. Drummond, of Maine, and Benjamin Dean, of
Massachusetts, both of whom subsequently became Grand Commanders; Hubbard,
who had been elected Grand Commander, having positively declined to serve, Van
Rensselaer was chosen. Raymond and Robinson having been summoned to attend,
and failing to appear, were tried and expelled.
Notwithstanding the controversies between these two bodies, the Van Rensselaer body
continued to prosper until 1867. With
UNIVERSI TERRARUM ORBIS ARCHITECTONIS
PER GLORIAM INGENTIS.
Dues Meumque Jus. Ordo ab Chao.
From the Orient of the Supreme Grand Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General
of the 33d and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, for the United States of
America, their Territories and Dependencies, whose Sacred Asylum is beneath the C.'.
C.'., at the V.'. P.'. of the Z.'., near the B.'. B.'., corresponding with 40d 42' 40" N. Lat.,
and 2d 0' 57" E. Lon.
To ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING:
Be it Known, That on the 17th day of the Hebrew month Shebat, Anno Mundi 5623,
answering to the 7th day of February, 1863 (E.V.), by solemn articles, the Supreme
Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33d and last Degree of the
Ancient and Accepted Rite for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of
America, sitting at Boston, was duly consolidated with the Supreme Grand Council of
Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33d and last Degree of the A. and A. Rite
for the United States of America, their Territories and Dependencies, sitting at New
York, upon terms honorable and just alike to all parties interested therein.
Be it further Known, That the following Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, in
pursuance of such consolidation, comprise the Officers of the Supreme Grand Council
for the United States of America, their Territories and Dependencies. They will be
recognized and respected accordingly.
III.'. EDMUND B. HAYS - M.'.P.'. Sov.'. Gr.'. Commander.
" EDWARD A. RAYMOND - Asst.'.Sov.'.Gr.'.Com.'.
" SIMON W. ROBINSON - 1st Lieut.'.Gr.'. Com.'.
" HOPKINS THOMPSON - 2d Lieut.'.Gr.'. Com.'.
" BENJAMIN C. LEVERIDGE - Gr.'. Orater.
" GEORGE M. RANDALL - Gr.'. Minister of State.
" LUCUS R. PAIGE - Gr.'. Chancellor.
" DANIEL SICKELS - Gr.'. Sec.'. General H.'.E.'.
" ROBERT E. ROBERTS - Gr.'. Treas.'. Gen.'. H.'.E.'.
" HENRY C. BANKS - Gr.'. Marshal General.
" AARON P. HUGHES - Gr.'. Sword Bearer.
" H. J. SEYMOUR - 1st Gr.'. Mas.'. of Cer.'.
" CHARLES T. McCLENACHAN - 2d Gr.'. Mas.'. of Cer.'.
" PETER LAWSON - Gr.'. Ex.'. Introductor.
" JOHN INNES - Gr.'. Standard Bearer.
" WM. FIELD - 1st Gr.'. Capt.'. of the Guard.
" WILLIAM H. JARVIS - 2d Gr.'. Capt.'. of the Guard.
All which is promulgated, and ordered to be transmitted to whom it may concern.
Done at the Grand East, New York city, this 8th day of the Hebrew month Adar, A.'. M.'.
5623, answering to March 1st, 1863 (E.'. V.'.)
In Testimony of all which I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of the
Supreme Grand Council to be affixed.
EDMUND B. HAYS 33.'.
Attest, M.'. P.'. Sov.'. G.'. Commander.
DANIEL SICKELS 33.'.
Gr.'.Sec.'.Gen.'. H.'. E.'. [SEAL.]
the exception of four bodies in the city of New York, which had been organized prior to
the schism, all others continued in their allegiance to this body. In 1867 there were
twenty-eight active members on the roll.
In 1862 three Supreme Councils claimed jurisdiction over the Northern section of the
United States. In April, 1862, by the records of Raymond Council, the Cerneau body,
presided over by Hays, had made overtures to the Raymond faction for a union of the
two, and committees were appointed to meet for the purpose of organizing for such
union. January 23, 1863, it was reported to the Raymond body that there was a
reasonable prospect of effecting the union, and the committee was granted full power
to act. January 19, 1863, in the Hays body similar action ensued.
Under date of February 7, 1863, Articles of Union were agreed upon by which the two
councils were consolidated. The number of members was increased to seventeen, and
each member, and body, was required to take the oath of allegiance to the new body
when they had the same status as they respectively had under the original bodies.
Raymond, Randall, Paige, Hughes, Robinson, Lawson, Field, and McClenachan of the
Raymond body; and Hays, Thompson, Sickles, Roberts, Leveridge, Seymour, Banks,
Jarvis, and Innis of the Hays body, constituted the membership of the united body. On
the preceding page is shown the copy of the " Article of Consolidation."
April 15, 1863, Hays, having been agreed upon as Grand Commander, installed the
Officers. All the members of both the former bodies were required to take the oath of
fealty to the newly united body, hence the claim, set up a few years subsequently, that
the Raymond body was merged in the Hays Council is entirely without foundation;
moreover, when a few of the old Hays Council withdrew from the united body, the large
majority, and the most eminent Brethren, remained true in their allegiance to that body.
A change was made in the constitution by which the active membership was increased
to twenty-four, besides the nine officers.
The members of this united body became very active; a very large number received the
33d Degree; many new bodies were instituted, particularly in States where the Scottish
Rite had not heretofore been worked, all in the Northern Jurisdiction.
Until 1864 the tenure of office had always been ad vitas but at the meeting this year,
amendments were passed for the triennial election of the officers and for a reduction to
September 11, 1865, a session was held. Communication had been resumed with the
officials of the Southern Supreme Council, but the Hays Council having declared itself
as having jurisdiction over the United States, this body was not in a condition to ask the
recognition of the Southern Supreme Council, as it had denounced as spurious all the
various bodies which had originated in New York.
At this meeting charges were presented against Harry J. Seymour, who was Asst.
Grand Master of Ceremonies. A committee of his friends of the old Hays body was
appointed to try these charges. At a subsequent date the committee reported. Seymour
had been duly notified to appear, but he refused to do so, and he was expelled, as will
be seen by the following:
SUPREME COUNCIL, 33d
NORTHERN MASONIC JURISDICTION U.S.A.
Gr.'. Orient, Boston. Massachusetts,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GEN.'.H.'.B.'.
New York, 27 A.'.M.'., 5631
At a session of the Supreme Council 33d. for the Northern Jurisdiction U. S., held on
the 10th day of the Hebrew month Elul, Anno Heb. 5625, answering to the 11th day of
September, 1865, V.E., the following action was had:
III.'. Bro.'.C.T. McClenachan, Rose +.'. 33.'. preferred a charge with three specifications
of the violation of sundry obligations by Henry or Harry J. Seymour Rose+.'. 33d, said
obligations being those of the 14d. - 16d - 17d - 18d. - 32d and 33d. degrees of the
A.'.A.'. Scottish Rite, as set forth in the Ritual of the degrees.
The charge and specifications were read in the presence of the Gr.'. Commander, and
the Inspectors General present.
III.'. Bro.'. Henry C. Banks, Rose+.'. 33d., moved that the charge and specifications be
referred to a Commission, which was carried, and the Gr.'. Commander announced
Ill.'. Bros.'. Henry C. Banks, 33.d,
John Innes, 33d.,
Hopkins Thompson, 33d.
said commission for the trial.
At an adjourned session of the Sup.'. Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the U. S.,
held December 14, 1865, the Commission rendered the following report:
Ill.'. Bro.'. Banks, chairman of the commission appointed to investigate certain charges
and specifications presented to this Supreme Council against Harry J. Seymour, a past
officer of this Supreme Council, reported that they had carefully examined the said
charges and specifications, and the proofs thereof; that the aforesaid Harry J. Seymour
had been duly notified to attend the meetings of the commission; had been served with
a copy of the charges and specifications; that in all cases he had refused or neglected
to pay any attention to such notices; and that your commission have arrived at the
conclusion that the charges and specifications have been fully sustained, and offer the
Resolved, " That the said Harry J. Seymour be, and he is hereby, expelled from all the
rights and privileges of Masonry in every branch of the A.'.A.'. Scottish Rite."
Signed, HENRY C. BANKS, 33d,
JOHN INNES, 33d,
HOPKINS THOMPSON, 33d,
On motion the report was received, and the resolution unanimously adopted, the
members voting "viva voce" by roll-call, beginning with the Junior Member.
A true copy from the records,
Attest: DANIEL SICKELS, 33d
[GREAT SEAL] Gr.'.Sec.'.Gen.'.H. E.
A committee was appointed to take into consideration the propriety of resuming the old
name, viz.: the Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of
America "in lieu of the one at present adopted." Also it was resolved "that the Grand
Commander appoint one or more delegates to repair to Charleston, South Carolina, at
the meeting of the Southern Supreme Council." The report of the committee was
unanimously adopted in favor of resuming the old name of the " Supreme Council of the
Northern Jurisdiction of the United States." Thus it appears that this Supreme Council,
composed of the most distinguished Masons among the old members of the two
councils, fully recognized the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.
Brothers Paige and McClenachan had visited the council at Charleston and an oral
report was made to the Supreme Council, December 14, 1865, but it does not appear
on record. Hays resigned his office of Grand Commander, and Robinson was elected. It
is generally inferred that the Southern Supreme Council did not agree that they would
enter into recognition with a council whose chief officer was not considered a regular
member of the Scottish Rite, and had denied the regularity of the union, and Raymond
being dead, Robinson was his successor. As above shown, the election of Robinson
followed, so that both by election and succession his title would be perfect. The record
says: "A majority of all the officers and active members of the Supreme Council were
present." Lucius R. Paige was appointed to visit the Southern Supreme Council at their
meeting held April 16, 1866.
At the meeting of the council held in New York June 5, 1866, in the address of
Robinson, Grand Commander, he stated that the Raymond Council was forced into the
union with the Hays Council for self-preservation, and referred to the Brethren the
question of securing friendly relations with the Southern Supreme Council.
At the Southern Supreme Council meeting held April 6, 1866, the Grand Commander
entered at some length upon the occurrences in the Northern Jurisdiction, which was
placed in the hands of a committee, whose report was in consonance with the views of
the Grand Commander.
The report of the committee was to the following effect, namely, that Robinson had
been duly appointed Lieutenant Grand Commander by Raymond before tne deposition
of the latter; and hence if Raymond had been legally deposed, Robinson, on his
depositions would naturally succeed him as Grand Commander, and if Raymond had
not been legally deposed, still Robinson, now that Raymond was dead, would be his
legitimate successor. The report added that the only legitimate members of the council
at the time, after the death of Hubbard, were Moore, Case, Young, and Starkweather,
that both of the factions had acted in a manner that was illegal and neither of them
could be recognized. This decision did not find general acceptance and was
challenged on the allegation that the assumption that the Northern Supreme Council
could have only nine members was erroneous in point of law. Whether this assumption
by the committee was or was not erroneous is a matter of no moment at this time, as it
is generally admitted that the Northern Supreme Council had the right to increase at
pleasure the number of its active members.
The Northern Supreme Council, upon a summons from the Grand Commander,
Robinson, met in Boston December 11, 1866. Moore, Case, Starkweather, and Young,
although included in the summons, did not appear, and Robinson declared their seats
vacant; thereupon, being himself as the only member, he then proceeded to fill the
vacancies according to the provisions of the Constitution of 1786. There were then
present twelve of the active and ten of the honorary members of the united council. The
Grand Commander said that he was acting "with the unanimous consent of every
member of that council."
The legal effect of these proceedings was a reorganization of the United Council, just
as if the officers and members had elected themselves again. In form, no doubt, there
was a dissolution of the United Council, and the organization of a new council, but the
substance was as stated above. All members had the same status, no new oath was
required, everyone was recognized as Grand Inspector-General, all the acts of the
United Council were confirmed, and its actions of every kind recognized as still in full
force. In every way the proceedings were nothing more or less than a formal
reorganization of an existing body in deference to the requirements of the Southern
Supreme Council. But although the action of the committee was intended to meet the
wishes of the Southern Supreme Council, it did not satisfy the latter body, which
desired to effect a perfect union, and had hoped to see the five members whom it had
decided to be active members uniting in the action to be taken. The position of the New
York Council was therefore still in doubt. In December, 1866, it published a full report of
its proceedings; and it had already adopted a resolution, with a view to securing a
union with the Boston Council,which was a copy of the one previously adopted with the
same view to union, by the Boston body.
The committees appointed were as follows: Boston Council, Evans, of New York,
Woodbury, of Massachusetts, Drummond, of Maine, Ely, of Ohio, Foss, of Illinois,
Harmon G. Reynolds, of Illinois, an Honorary Member, and later Gardner, of
Massachusetts. New York Council, Lewis Paige, McClenachan, and Sickles, of New
York, Paige, of Massachusetts, Palmer, of Wisconsin, and Barrett, of New Hampshire.
These two committees met in May, 1867, a short time before the annual session of the
Boston Council. There was considerable discussion as to the details of the union,
although the general terms were soon settled. Local interests as well as personal
considerations created such difficulties that at one moment it seemed as if the
negotiations would have to be broken off; indeed so hopeless was the outlook that
several members left their seats, prepared to quit the room. Then, to quote
Drummond's account, "a brother invited all to 'break bread together,' and insisted that
all should accept the invitation." Before they returned to the committee-room everything
had been satisfactorily arranged. The report was signed by all the members of the two
committees, and adopted by the unanimous vote of each body, and the approval of the
honorary members. The two councils met as equals, and all their previous actions were
held to be valid, " except expulsions on account of former differences," which were
rescinded. Each council consisted of twentyeight active members, the New York
Council consenting to the admission of Charles Levi Woodbury, of Massachusetts, "in
recognition of his services in bringing about the union."
The two bodies by a concurrent vote met as one council. The two great commanders,
Killian H. van Rensselaer, of the New York, and John L. Lewis, of the Boston Council,
then conducted the Grand Commander elect of the united body to the altar, and
administered to him the oath of fealty in the presence of the members of the Supreme
Council. In his turn the Grand Commander administered the oath to all the members
present. Other officers were then elected and installed, and a constitution was adopted,
and the Northern Supreme Council was fully organized.
Until 1872 harmony prevailed in the Northern Jurisdiction. In that year H. J. Seymour,
who had been expelled in 186 - , put forsward a claim that Hays, when Grand
Commander of the "rump Council" of the Cerneanites, had given him a patent
empowering him to create 33d Degree Masons and to institute a Supreme Council. He
had previously, however, authorized an application to Grand Commander Drummond to
be reinstated in all his rights as a member of the Supreme Council, on condition of his
surrendering all his papers to the Supreme Council. It was after the rejection of this
application that Seymour began his active work, and the success of his efforts, limited
as it was, encouraged others who had been members of the old Hays Council, before
the union with the Northern Council, to start an annexation, styled "Cernean Supreme
Council revived." These men, Hopkins Thompson, Robert Folger and others, had been
members of the United Council reorganized in 1867 and had remained therein till 1881,
and now set the claim that in December, 1866, the Union Council was, and that all the
members were, released from their allegiance to it. They did not deny that they had
taken the oath of fealty to the reorganized United Council, and had been loyal members
for fourteen years, but they pleaded that their conduct arose from their ignorance of the
proceedings of the council in 1866, and therefore they claimed to be a revival of the old
Hays Council. As such they claimed also jurisdiction over the Southern territory, a claim
which Thompson and Folger and others had unanimously surrendered in 1867. They
deny also the loyalty of the Southern Supreme Council, which is everywhere accepted
as the "Mother Council of the World," and the source from which came the 33d and last
No regular Supreme Council has ever been acknowledged as either the Cernean
Supreme Council revived or the Seymour association.
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