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Location: Roxbury; Marietta (Ohio) (1790?)

Chartered By: John Rowe

Charter Date: 02/15/1776 I-484

Precedence Date: 02/15/1776

Current Status: Resigned Massachusetts charter in 1819. Now chartered under the Grand Lodge of Ohio as American Union #1.



From Liberal Freemason, Vol. I, No. 12, March 1878, Page 375:

American Union Lodge stands No. 1 on the roll of Lodges within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio; and, though it may appear a little late to refer to the celebration of its one hundreth anniversary, it cannot, even though it be past, fail to be of interest to our readers, but especially to the Masons in Massachusetts, where this Lodge. had its origin. Its history is outlined in a very interesting correspondence between it and Washington Lodge, of Roxbury, now Boston, showing the fraternal relations existing between the two bodies, and the result of an invitation to Washington Lodge to attend the Centennial celebration of American Union Lodge, in Marietta, Ohio, where it now is, and long has been, located.

The latter appointed a committee of arrangements, consisting of Brothers A. E. McCormick, M. D. Follett, and J. McClure; the invitation given by the committee to Washington Lodge received immediate attention; the Master and Wardens, Brothers R. G. Molineux, S. A. Bolster, B. F. Avers, and John F. Newton, Past Master, were appointed a committee, with full powers to take such action as they might deem expedient.

In a letter from Brother McCormick, he says, "The Charter of American Union Lodge No. 1 was granted by the Grand Lodge at Boston, through Richard Gridley, D. G. M. We are now working under a charter from the Grand Lodge of Ohio, as it was rechartered by our Grand Lodge in 1815."

The report of the committee to Washington Lodge shows the result of their action, and the response to it from American Union Lodge corroborates their good judgment. The committee, in their report, said,

It was found, upon investigation, that American Union Lodge was the oldest Lodge in the West, and was originally constituted at Roxbury, Mass., on the 20th day of February, 1776.

This Lodge was what was called an Army Lodge, and followed the patriot Army through the entire Revolutionary War, working, as occasion permitted, and finally locating itself at Marietta, Ohio.

The committee, after due deliberation, decided to procure and present to American Union Lodge a set of Working Tools, consisting of a Master's Gavel, Truncheons for the Wardens, and a Marshal's Baton, all made from the wood of the old elm tree, which, for many years, spread its branches over the birthplace of General Joseph Warren, on Warren Street, at the corner of Moreland Street in this city. The material from which these several pieces were made was furnished by Wor. Bro. J. F, Newton, and each piece bore the following inscription on a silver band encircling them, "Presented by Washington Lodge, F. and A. M., of Roxbury, Mass., to American Union Lodge No. 1, of Marietta, Ohio, June 24, 1876."

These were forwarded by Express, accompanied by a congratulatory letter; and, as can well be imagined, they were received with expressions of pleasure, and called forth a very beautiful letter in answer, wherein it was stated that the gifts were received and presented by Bro. McCormick to the Lodge, at their celebration on June 24, 1876, to which the Worshipful Master, Bro. Geo. T. Hovey, responded in an appropriate address of acceptance.

In communicating this the committee say it "will ever remain a proud day in the minds of all worthy members of American Union Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Ohio, a large number of Lodges, the Masonic Historical Society of the State, and many distinguished Masons were present with us. . . While your Lodge bears the honored name of Washington, we feel a pride in the fact that the name of our Lodge is the embodiment of the grand thought of our 'American Union.'"

The oration, by M. W. Richard Vaux, of Pennsylvania, was all that could be desired, and thus was represented in the centennial celebration of American Union Lodge, the Masons of three great States, and three old Grand Lodges, whose progress has been graced by the tenets of a Mason's profession, and whose century of life in each, now closed, has been crowned with prosperity and peace.

Brother McCormick noticed the fact that, among the members of American Union Lodge, is Brother Col. Augustus Stone, the oldest Mason in the West. He joined the Lodge about three-quarters of a century ago, and is over ninety-five years of age. He looks forward to our centennial celebration with great interest, as Masonry is his greatest pride," and as the celebration was in all respects "a success;" we feel sure that the Masons of Massachusetts will congratulate those of Ohio, and wish them joy of their century Lodge, and of their venerable Brother.

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XVI, No. 7, May 1921, Page 216:

American Union Lodge. No. 1, A. F. & A. M., Marietta, Ohio, celebrated recently the one hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of its founding. The event was observed in truly appropriate manner and the guests of honor were Grand Master Flotron, Deputy Grand Master Ransbottom, Grand Secretary Bromwell, Grand Orator Baker, Grand Marshal Martin and Past Grand Commander Henry, and others.

American Union Lodge was constituted at Waterman's Tavern, Roxbury, Massachusetts, February 20th, 1776, nearly five months before the Declaration of Independence. It worked in the Patriot Army until April 23, 1783, was visited by Washington and other patriot chiefs, and reopened in Campus Martius, Marietta, Ohio. June 28th, 1790, by Jonathan Heart, W. M., and was the first lodge opened in the Northwest Territory. It was re-chartered by the Grand Lodge of Ohio on January 5th, 1816 - General Rufus Putnam, first Grand Master of Ohio, Governor Return J. Meigs, Lewis Cass, and other eminent men were members of this Lodge.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 3, December 1910, Page 72:

"American Battle Abbey Roll" No. 1.
American Union Lodge By R. W. Oliver A. Roberts

"I would thai each {of those ancient Lodges} should collate and report ... the Masonic history of the worthies among their numbers who performed civil and military duties in that great struggle for liberty. Such lists would form an American Battle Abbey Roll, to descend with our Craft to distant ages, the undying witnesses of the natural alliance of good Masonry with ardent and devoted patriotism in every honest heart."

Chas. Levi Woodbury.

To collate and arrange the "American Battle Abbey Roll" is the purpose of the following papers. There is no pretense of originality but a regrouping of the names of Masonic "worthies" prominent in military affairs in the eighteenth century.

Because no minutes of meetings of St. John's Grand Lodge are recorded from 1776 to 1786 inclusive, it has been inferred that no meetings were held. Thomas Brown, Grand Secretary in 1775, a Tory, left Boston in March 1776 with other Loyalists for Halifax, carrying the Grand Lodge Books with him. Hence no minutes could be recorded in those books if meetings were held. There must have been a meeting subsequent to the 27th of January, 1775, the last printed record before 1787, because the Grand Officers of 1776 were not those of 1775.

American Union Lodge came into being in Roxbury, Mass.. by virtue of a deputation issued by authority of John Rowe, M. W. Grand Master. The deputation was signed by Richard Gridley, D. G. M.. William Burbeck, S. G. W. "By order of the Grand Master, William Hoskins, G. Secretary," and was dated "Anno Mundi. 15th February, 1776, and of Salvation, 1776."

There were eleven original members, viz: "Capt. Joel Clark, Col. John Parke, Thomas Chace, Esq., Ens. Jonathan Heart, Capt. Joseph Hoit, and Capt. William Coit, all Master Masons; Col. Sameul H. Parsons, Capt. Ezekiel Scott, _____ Whittlesey and _____ Cotton, Fellow Crafts and Col. Samuel Wyllys, an entered apprentice."

Lt. Col. Joel Clark,— the first Master of American Union Lodge, was from Waterbury, Conn. His name appears second among the signers to the By-Laws of Waterbury Lodge, chartered by St. John's Grand Lodge in 1765. He was early in the field in the War for Independence. Jan. 1, 1776, he was promoted to be Lieut. Colonel of the 11th Continental Infantry. At the battle on Long Island, Aug. 27, 1776, Col. Clark was wounded and taken prisoner. He died in captivity, Dec. 19, 1776.

Col. Samuel Wyllys was born in Hartford, Conn., where he died, June 8, 1823. He commanded the Third Conn. Regiment at the seige of lloston and served with distinction until the close of the war. His name, with others, appears attached to a letter addressed to M. W. Jeremy Gridley, July 27, 1763, in behalf of Hartford (St. John's) Lodge, Conn., which was chartered by St. John's Grand Lodge in 1762. Me represented St. John's Lodge, Hartford, at the organization of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, July 8, A. L. 5789, and was the first Junior Grand Warden of that Body. He served as Senior Grand Warden in 1791-94, Deputy Grand Master, 1795-98.

Col. Samuel Holden Larsons was bom in Lyme. Conn., May 14, 1737. He graduated at Harvard College in 1756; studied law with his uncle. Gov. Griswold of Conn., and opened a law office at New London, Conn., in 1774. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary War he entered the military service and became Colonel of the Sixth Connecticut Regiment which was present at the siege of Boston. Later he shared in the disastrous battle of Long Island and Oct. 23, 1789, was promoted to be a Major General. In 1789 he was appointed by President Washington a judge in the Northwest Territory. He was drowned in Heaver River, Ohio, Nov. 17, 1789.

Col. Parsons was elected Master of American Union Lodge at its revival in Feb., 1779. He presided over the Lodge, April 7 and June 24, 1779, but his duties often called him to other parts of the country. June 24, 1779, Gen. Washington and his family were entertained by the Lodge at Nelson's Point, N. Y.

Ens. Jonathan Heart was born in Kensington, Conn., in 1748. lie fought in the ranks at Bunker Hill and was there promoted to the rank of Ensign. lie remained in the Army until the close of the War, and held the grade of Captain in the First Connecticut Regiment. When a Fort was established cm Point Mannar at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, he was placed in command of it. lie was appointed Major in the Second Regiment, U. S. A., March 4, 1791, and went with Gen. St. Clair in his expedition. In the defeat of Gen. St. Clair's army, Major Heart was in command of some regular troops. During the retreat he was ordered to charge the pursuing Indians in order to check them and gain time for the retreating army. This service he performed most gallantly but in the charge he. with most of his command, was killed, Nov. 4. 1791.

Ens. Heart was Secretary of the Lodge in 1779. On the 15th of Feb. in that year he reorganized the Lodge at Reading, Conn. Dec. 15, 1779, he was elected Master and was repeatedly re-elected. He was still Master, April 23, 1783, at the date of the last record of the Army Lodge.

In 1787, Bro. Heart was Senior Deacon of Frederick Lodge, No. 26, of Farmington, Conn., which was chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. The records of American Union Lodge were deposited in Frederick Lodge archives, at Farmington, Conn., but the warrant, issued by John Rowe, Grand Master, was retained by Wor. Bro. Heart, who, by its authority, reestablished the Lodge as Amerian Union Lodge, No. 1, Marietta, Ohio.

At a Convention of thirteen Masonic Lodges in Connecticut, held April 29, US:!, Pro. Heart was elected "Grand Lecturer" to visit the several Lodges and institute uniformity in the working of the degrees. M. W. Joseph Webb, in 1779, appointed him as his proxy to constitute Washington Lodge, No. 10.

William Coit was a Captain in the Connecticut Militia, 1775.

{Charles} Whittlesey of Conn. was Quartermaster of the Fourth Mass. Regiment in 1777.

{George} Cotton, Sergeant in the 3d Conn. Regiment in 1777, was promoted to Sergeant-Major in 1779 and Ensign in 1780.

Ezekiel Scott of Conn. was a Captain in the Twenty-second Continental Infantry in 1776.

With the evacuation of Boston in March. 1776, the "Connecticut Line," by members of which the American Union Lodge was at first organized, removed to New York State. Meetings of the Lodge were held there, the last being Aug. 15, 1776. The next entry is as follows: "The British troops having landed a large body on Long Island, the attention of the American Army was necessary to repel them. On the ever memorable 27th of August, 1776, the R. W. Joel Clark, Elisha Hopkins, Ozais Bissell, Joseph Jewett, Nathaniel Gore, being taken prisoners; and on the L3th of September, Bros. James Chapman, Micajah Gleason killed; William Cleavland and John P. Wyllis taken prisoners, and Bro. Otho H. Williams taken prisoner at Fort Washington, by which misfortune the Lodge was deprived of its Master and some most worthy members, wherefore the Lodge closed without day."

Bro. Jonathan Mean. Secretary of the Lodge, revived it by summoning the members to meet Feby. 15, 1779, at four o'clock P. M.. at "Widow Sanford's near Reading Old Meeting-house, Conn." Other Brethren were invited to attend at five o'clock P. M. Meetings were not held regularly on account of the engagements of prominent Brethren and the movements of the Army.

June 24, 1779, was observed by the Lodge at Nelson's Point, N. V. The Brethren met at 8 o'clock A. M.. after which a procession was formed which proceeded to West Point to celebrate the day. The Lodge was opened at the "Red House" and proceeded to a bower in front of the home where his Excellency General Washington joined them. Addresses were delivered by Rev. Dr. Hitchcock and Bro. William Hull. Dinner was served and toasts, songs and music enlivcd the post prandial exercises. One hundred and seven Brethren were present. Expenses of the day, £393-9s.

Dec. 27, 1779, was also observed, and Bro. Washington's name is first in the list of visitors. The Lodge was opened, a procession was formed which proceeded to a meeting-house, where Rev. Dr. Baldwin of the Connecticut Line delivered a discourse.

June 24, 1782, Bro. John Brooks of the Massachusetts Line delivered an oration, before American Union and Washington Lodges, at West Point.

The meetings of the Lodge were held as opportunity offered as may be seen by the Records printed in Vol. 1. of The Records of Freemasonry in the State of Connecticut, 1859.

The names of the following, members or initiates of American Union Lodge, are entitled to be recorded in the "American Battle Abbey Roll" as "undying witnesses of the natural alliance of good Masonry with anient and devoted patriotism."

    • Capt. Joel Clark, 8th Conn.
    • Col. John Parke, 3d Conn.
    • Thomas Chace, Esq., 3d Conn.
    • Ens. Jonathan Heart, 3d Conn.
    • Capt. Joseph Hoit, Conn. Mil.
    • Capt. William Coit, Conn. Mil.
    • Col. Samuel H. Parsons, 6th Conn.
    • Capt. Ezekiel Scott, 2d Conn.
    • Lieut. {Charles} Whittlesey, 1st Conn.
    • Sergt. M. {George} Cotton, 3d Conn.
    • Col. Samuel Wyllys, 3d Conn.
    • 1st Regiment
      • Maj. David F. Sill
      • Capt. Eben Perkins
      • Lieut. Charles Fanning
      • Lieut. Moses Cleveland
    • 2nd Regiment
      • Lt. Col. Isaac Sherman
      • Dr. Noah Coleman, Surgeon
      • Capt. David Strong
      • Capt, Stephen Betts
      • Capt. Henry Ten Eyck
      • Lieut. Edward Palmer
      • Lieut. Jabez Parsons
      • Lieut. John Mix
      • Ens. Rohert Allen
    • 3rd Regiment
      • Lt. Col. Thomas Grosvenor
      • Dr. John Rose, Surg.
      • Capt. William Judd
      • Capt. Edward Eells
      • Capt. Henry Champion
      • Capt. Robert Warner
      • Dr. John R. Watrous
      • Capt. Willis Clift
      • Capt. Wm. Richards. Pay M .
      • Capt. Elias Stillwell
      • Lieut. {Elisha} Hopkins
      • Lieut. Elijah Ransom
      • Lieut. Sylvanus Perry
      • Lieut. Reuben Pride
      • Lieut. Prince Hosmer
      • Lieut. Simeon Fielding, Q. M.
      • Lieut. Peleg Heath
      • Lieut. Samuel Richards
      • Ens. William Higgins, Q. M.
      • Ens. Jonathan Heart
    • 4th Regiment
      • Capt. Andrew Fitch
    • 5th Regiment
      • Capt. Josiah Lacey
      • Dr. John Simpson, Surg.
      • Dr. Jedediah Ensworth, Surg.
      • Lieut. Robert Allyn
      • Lieut. Isaiah Tiffany
      • Lieut. Simeon Avery
      • Lieut. Joshua Whitney
      • Lieut. Cornelius Russell
      • Capt. Elijah Chapman
    • 6th Regiment
      • Maj. Ebenezer Gray
      • Capt. Giles Curtis
      • Capt. Samuel Barker
      • Capt. Elijah Humphrey
      • Capt. Elisha Ely
      • Lieut. John Sherman
    • 7th Regiment
      • Dr. Jonathan G. Graman, Surg.
      • Dr. {Timothy} Mather, Surg.
      • Lieut. Libbens Loomis
      • Lt. Col. Hezekiah Holdridge
    • 8th Regiment
      • Lieut. {Asahel} Hodge
      • Dr. Albigence Waldo, Surg .
      • Maj. David Smith
      • Dr. Elisha Skinner, Surg.
      • Lieut. Richard Sill
      • Lieut. David Judson
      • Lieut, John Hobart
    • Other
      • Capt. Isaac Stutson, Putnam's Corp.
      • Lieut. John Hart, Selden's Reg.
      • William Little, State Comis'y.
      • Jabez Clark, State Comis'y.
      • Mr. Asa Worthington, Colchester, Conn.
      • Rev. Dr. T. Evans
      • Joseph Hoit
      • Charles Peck
      • Capt. William Redfield
    • Timothy Whiting, Asst. D. Q. M., U. S.
    • Col. Rufus Putnam, 5th Reg.
    • Col. John Brooks, 7th Reg.
    • Lt. Col. Wm. Hull, 3d Reg.
    • Lt. Col. (Tobias) Fernald, 8th Reg.
    • Maj. Daniel Whiting, 7th Reg.
    • Col. Gamaliel Bradford, 14th Reg.
    • John Pierce, Dep. Pay M., 15th Reg.
    • Dr. Samuel Pinley, Surg., 11th Reg.
    • Lieut. James Buxton, 11th Reg.
    • Capt. Henry Sewall, 12th Reg.
    • Lieut. Levi Dodge, 10th Reg.
    • Capt. William Wilson, 1st Reg.
    • Capt. Samuel Craig, 1st Reg.
    • Capt. John Hughes, 1st Reg.
    • Lt. Col. William Williams , 3rd Reg.
    • Maj. Thomas Byles, 3d Reg.
    • Col. Francis Johnson, 5th Reg.
    • Lieut. John Bush, 6th Reg.
    • Lieut. Edward Spear, 7th Reg.
    • Capt. Edward Arhibald, 2d Reg.
    • Capt. Jonathan Brown, 3d Reg.
    • Dr. Timothy Hosmer, Surg., 2d Reg.
    • Lieut. Oliver Laurence, 2d Reg.
    • Capt. Elihu Marshall, 2d N. Y. Reg.

John Mix, Lieut., 2d Conn., was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Conn., from 1791 to 1820 inclusive.

John R. Watrous, Surgeon, 3d Conn., was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Conn, 1811 to 1813 after serving as Senior Grand Warden from 1807-1810.

Henry Champion, Capt., 3d Conn., was Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut thirty-one years, 1791-1822.

William Judd of Frederick Lodge, Conn., was Grand Master from 1791 to 1798. Moses Cleveland was Junior Grand Warden, p. t., in 1795.

Of the twenty-one Brethren present at the Masonic Convention held at New Haven, Conn.. April 29, 1783, seven had been members of the American Union Lodge, and of the twenty-three Brethren who organized the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, July 8, 1789, five had been members of the American Union Lodge.


1776 1777 1778 1779 1780 1781 1782 1783 1784 1785 1786 1787 1788 1789 1790 1791 1793 1794 1803 1805 1816 1819

1886 1950 1954



American Union #1, Ohio.

Massachusetts Lodges