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CHARLES C. DAME 1819-1901


Junior Grand Deacon, 1862
Deputy Grand Master, 1863-1865
Grand Master 1866-1868.


1866 1867 1868




From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VIII, No. 7, October 1884, Page 204:

While Massachusetts yet held jurisdiction over "the District of Maine," Charles Chase Dame was born in Kittery, now in the State of Maine, on the 5th day of June, 1819.

After receiving an academical education, he engaged in teaching, and in time came to he employed in the city of Boston, where he was placed in charge of one of the departments in the celebrated Chauncy Hall School, a position he continued to occupy for a period of nine years.

During this service in Boston, he was assiduously engaged in reading law, and in 1859 was admitted to the bar, where he at once established a very satisfactory practice.

He was made a Mason in Revere Lodge, and subsequently, on January 5th, 1858, was admitted to membership in that then young and flourishing organization.

The interest taken by him in Freemasonry has been earnest and active from the time of his initiation, and his skill in the work of the several degrees has commanded the entire approbation of the Craft.

In the organization of the Lodge for 1859 he was Junior Deacon, and was Worshipful Master for i860 and 1861. Of this Lodge he has long been an honorary member.

On the 19th day of April, 1858, he was exalted to the Royal Arch degree in St. Andrew's Chapter, was elected to membership in May following, at once began service in that body, and was its Excellent High Priest in 1861 and 1862, these two years being characterized by the large amount of work done in the admission of candidates.

On November 4th, 1863, the month following his official term of service, he was elected to honorary membership. During his service as High Priest, he was elected Grand King in the Grand R. A. Chapter of Massachusetts, and served for 1862.

He received the degrees in Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters in the fall of 1859, and became a member of it January 26th, 1860.

The Orders of Knighthood were sought by him with characteristic promptness, and on October 8th, 1858, he was created a Knight Templar in Boston Commandery where he became a member in December, following. He at once entered into service in this chivalrous body, became its Eminent Commander in 1866, and an Honorary Member March 16th, 1870. While Generalissimo of Boston Commandery he was invited and accepted to serve as Eminent Commander of Hugh de Payens Commandery, U. D., in Melrose, Mass., and in this position he had the: satisfaction of seeing the rapid growth and substantial prosperity of this superior body of Templars, in which he is an Honorary Member.

For meritorious services rendered in these several organisations, he received memorial gifts significant of his rank and expressive of the high regard had for him by his brethren.

On the 1st day of August, 1862, he received the degrees in the A. and A. S. Rite at Lowell, Mass., and on May 22d, 1863, he was duly crowned in the Thirty-third and last degree, and was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

In this Rite, also, he was conspicuous and active. He was one of the charter members of Boston Consistory, established May 21st, 1863, and became its Illustrious Sov. Commander-in-chief for three years, commencing December 27th, 1863. This body, at a later period, was consolidated with Massachusetts Consistory.

The evening of the day on which Brother Dame received the degrees in the A. and A. S. Rite is memorable in the annals of Masonry in Lowell, from the fact that that is the only time the Supreme Council ever met in that city. The occasion was in consequence of Brother T. Bigelow Lawrence wishing to be made sure in his position in the Rite; he accompanied Brother Dame from the 4th to the 32nd degree, after which, by Dispensation from Ill. Bro. Josiah H. Drummond, Sov. Grand Commander, a special session of the Supreme Council, N. J., was held, and Brother Lawrence received the honorary 33d degree.

The symbolic degrees have always commanded the attention and respect of our brother, in spite of decorations or rank bestowed in any other grade or rite; fully imbued with the genius of Freemasonry, he was prompt to qualify himself in the ritual of the Lodge. In 1862, he was one of the Grand Lecturers in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, a place he filled with credit at the annual exemplification of the work and lectures at the Annual Meeting of Grand Lodge in that year, and it is one of the many pleasant Masonic events in the life of the writer of this, that he aided in the work of the day.

During the years 1863, '64, and '65, Brother Dame was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, M. W. William Parkman being Grand Master.

On the 13th of December, 1865, he succeeded by election to the office of Grand Master, and served the full constitutional term of three years, a period made memorable in the history of Grand Lodge by the completion and dedication of the Masonic Temple in Boston.

The former edifice had been destroyed by fire in the spring of 1864; the corner-stone of the new one was laid, amid a fine Masonic display, by Grand Master Parkman, but the great care of rebuilding devolved chiefly upon Grand Master Dame, and to this enterprise he lavishly devoted his time, apparently neglectful of personal interests, which he largely sacrificed in the performance of official craft duties.

Those who remember the 24th day of June, 1867, and witnessed the Masonic procession that day, will also remember the seeing of the finest street pageant ever exhibited by authority of Freemasons. The writer well remembers a remark made by a gentleman of wealth and leisure, which included the assertion that the only approach he had ever seen to it either in Europe or America, was at the burial of the Duke of Suffolk, who for many years had been Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. The occasion was further emphasized by the attendance of Brother Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, who rode in company with the Grand Master throughout the entire route of the procession.

The honors our Brother has won have been worn worthily and it is a pleasing fact that his attendance at Masonic meetings continues to be frequent, where the welcome given him at such times attest the good-will and regard entertained for him by his brethren.

For many years our brother has lived in Newburyport, where he has taken active part in the local affairs of that city in his earlier life, he taught in her Grammar and High Schools, has since served on School Committees, in the City Council, and Board of Alderman, and in 1868 was a member of the State Senate. His service in civil affairs would have been further extended had he not been appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fifth District, in 1868, an office in which he was continued until 1883, when the 5th was consolidated with the 3d, or Boston District.

In the possession of good health in body and mind, he surrendered the cares of government office, and returned to the practice of his profession with satisfaction. Surrounded by his family, respected by his neighbors, loved and esteemed by all, his integrity recommends him to his fellows as a good man and true, worthy and well qualified.


Part of the Centennial History of Charles C. Dame Lodge, 04/25/1967, Page 1967-175 of the Proceedings.

"When our lodge applied for a charter it was necessary to have a name. At that time there was no Masonic name more prominent in this state than that of Charles Chase Dame. Not only was he Grand Master, but he was known personally by many of our charter members. It was his name that was chosen.

"Charles C. Dame was born on 5 June 1819 at Kittery Point, District of Maine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was in Kittery that he spent his boyhood and received what little schooling the town offered. He was able to attend high school in Portsmouth for one winter, then when he was seventeen he started teaching school. Later he completed his formal education at the South Newmarket Academy. In 1839 he was asked to teach in Newbury, Massachusetts. This was the home of his maternal ancestors, the Chase family. In 1849 he took a two year voyage to the Pacific to regain his health. During this journey, he spent some time in South America. Upon his return he became head of the English Department at the Chauncy Hall School, Boston. While he was teaching there he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1859.

"In 1860 he began a successful career as a lawyer, having established his residence in Newburyport. At the close of the Civil War he was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue by Brother Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. He served as collector under Presidents Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, and Arthur.

"His interest in local politics included serving Newburyport as mayor, alderman, school committeeman, and state senator.

"Outside of his political activities, he was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston; and in 1870, he became its commander. His business activities included being a director of the Merchant's National Bank and a trustee of the Institution for Savings, both of Newburyport.

"To list all of his Masonic affiliations would be boring. His Masonic life began in 1857 in Revere Lodge of Boston. His Masonic travels earned him the highest honors in both the York Rite and Scottish Rite bodies. He was made an active 33rd Degree Mason by the Supreme Council, there being only six in Massachusetts in any one time. Our lodge is proud to have his 33rd degree patent. He was Grand Master in 1866-1868. It was while he was Grand Master that the Temple on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets was erected. This burned a few years later and the present one stands on the same location. While he was Grand Master, the Temple was dedicated in the presence of President Andrew Johnson.

"During the lifetime of Charles C. Dame, he remained a staunch friend of the lodge that so proudly bears his name. It is no wonder that he was often referred to as the Father of our lodge. He died in Newburyport on 19 January 1901. His funeral was one of the largest in the history of Newburyport. Our lodge was honored by having its Chaplain, Reverend O. S. Butler, give the eulogy."

TROWEL, 1999

From TROWEL, Summer 1999, Page 28:

Charles Chase Dame - Grand Master, 1866-1868
by R. W. James T. Watson, Jr.

At the September quarterly meeting of Grand Lodge in 1865. the Grand Secretary reported that the charter and Master's gavel of St. Mary's Lodge. Georgia, were now held for safekeeping by Old Colony Lodge. Hingham. A letter from Old Colony Lodge explaining how they came to have these articles was passed along with them to St. Mary's Lodge by Grand Lodge.

Apparently, the engineer of a Northern gunboat went ashore after the bombardment of St. Mary's. The place was deserted, but on the floor of one of the buildings he found what he took to be the charter and Master's gavel of a Lodge. Newly made a Mason, he took them that they might not come to harm. Because the boat was soon ordered North for supplies, it was not until he arrived in Hingham that the engineer found a Lodge to care for these items.

Thus, fraternal communications were reestablished with the South. At this time, Charles Chase Dame was Deputy Grand Master until his election as Grand Master at that year's annual meeting in December. He was one of 14 Deputy Grand Masters in Massachusetts to move directly to the office of Grand Master.

Dame was born at Kittery Point, District of Maine in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on June 5, 1819. Educated in public schools and South New Market Academy, he taught school in New Hampshire, Newbury, Lynn and Newburyport. From 1851 to 1860 he headed the English department of Chauncy Hall School in Boston. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1859. elected a state senator in 1868 and admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1876.

Dame was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue by President Andrew Johnson and continued in later administrations until 1883. when he returned to the practice of law. He also served in municipal government as councilman, alderman and mayor (1886), and was a director of Merchants' National Bank and trustee of the Institution for Savings in Newburyport.

Brother Dame was raised in Revere Lodge, Boston, December 1. 1857. and served as Master in 1860-1861 and as Installing Master from 1862-1899. In Grand Lodge he was Junior Grand Deacon, 1862; Deputy Grand Master, 1863-1865; and Grand Master, 1866-1868. He was a member of the Board of Directors, 1866-1868, and from 1882 until his death. He also served as a trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust.

Immediately after his inaugural address as Grand Master in December, 1865. Grand Lodge received a request for monetary aid from the Masons of Columbia, SC, whose temple had been burned. They cited their worthiness to receive this aid. having sought out brother Masons from the North in their prisons, supplied them with money and clothes and secured their temporary release from prison to attend Masonic meetings. In spite of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge building also having been destroyed by fire, a collection was taken, made up to $200 and forwarded to South Carolina.

In 1866 the Grand Lodge Library received a complete series of The Ancient Constitutions from the first edition of Anderson of 1722-1784. Also, M. W. Bro. Dame presented a Past Master's jewel to Bro. Charles E. Hill, first Master of Ancient Landmark Lodge, Shanghai, the first Lodge chartered in Asia by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This jewel was made from oriental gold and adorned with diamonds. Twelve new lodges were constituted in that year.

The major interest in Grand Lodge in 1867 was the reconstruction of the Grand Lodge building. While several plans for raising funds were advanced, considered and changed, work on the building continued. At the dedication on St. John's Day, 12,000 Masons from 200 Lodges and 31 encampments of Knight Templars marched from the Common to the Music Hall for an oration by Rev. Bro. Wm. S. Studley of Cincinnati. Total cost for the building, furniture and organ was $226,110.66. Another 12 Lodges were constituted that year and the library received many books as interest in it grew.

During 1868, his third year in office, M.W. Bro. Dame installed officers in Essex, Social Harmony, St. John's Lodge of Newburyport, Liberty and Revere Lodges. He constituted seven more Lodges and installed their officers, as well as dedicating Masonic Halls at Beverly, Charles-town and Pittsfield, and granting dispensations for additional Lodges to be called Delta, Faith, Palestine and Bethany. The portrait of M. W. Charles Chase Dame, the work of E.T. Billings, hangs in the 5th floor corridor. Dame died at Newburyport on January 19, 1901. His funeral was held at the Unitarian Church there on Tuesday, January 22nd, with the Rev. O. S. Butler, Chaplain of Charles C. Dame Lodge in Georgetown giving the eulogy. Grand Lodge officers performed the burial service at the burial site in Old Town Cemetery.

M. W. Bro. Dame was truly a self-made man. He overcame limited opportunities in his youth by persistent and studious effort, and won an honorable place in his many professions. He was said to be diligent and impartial in all his relations, that his sense of justice was his guide and that he was always calm when others became provoked.

TROWEL, 2013

From TROWEL, Summer 2013, Page 14:

Charles C. Dame
The Fraternity Rebuilds
by Rt. Wor. Walter H. Hunt

The members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts that gathered on the afternoon of June 8, 1864 were in a somber mood. Instead of holding their quarterly communication at Freemason’s Hall in the Winthrop House on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets, they were being accommodated at temporary apartments at 10 Summer Street. Their beautiful hall, fitted for Masonic use in 1859 following the sale of the previous temple, had burned to the ground on the night of Wednesday, April 6.

“Not a single article was saved from the flames,” Charles W. Moore lamented in the Freemason’s Monthly in the following month’s number. “All was consumed and destroyed. No correct estimate . . . of the value of the property destroyed in this portion of the building can with any certainty be made. A large portion of it cannot be replaced at any cost.” Portraits, correspondence, furniture, regalia, charters, books and records—though, remarkably, not the Grand Lodge’s records of Proceedings kept in the Grand Secretary’s safe — were destroyed forever in the “awful conflagration.”

The serious men who held the reins of power at Grand Lodge were determined to rebuild their home, and beginning at that June Quarterly, began to contemplate it. Several plans were proposed at that meeting, after which the Grand Lodge members approved a resolution to build a new temple at the same location, “and to raise all necessary funds therefor, by mortgages of the premises . . . and to purchase any additional land adjoining the said lot that may be necessary.”


On Friday, October 14, they gathered at the Winthrop House site to lay a cornerstone for the new building. Several hundred Masons were present for the great event, making a procession that (according to Moore) moved at quick step “rather too much so for comfort.” The entire affair was under the supervision of Grand Master William Parkman, then in the second year of his administration. It would take three years to finish the new structure, which would be dedicated by the man who succeeded him in office: Charles C. Dame, his deputy grand master. The building, and the debt that accompanied it, would cast its influence over the Masonic fraternity for a decade and a half; the fraternity would indeed rebuild, and the first steward of that process would be Grand Master Dame.

Charles Chase Dame was born in Kittery Point, Maine in 1819, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts. His father Joseph Dame was a schoolteacher, and he followed that profession early in his adult life, first in New Hampshire and then in Massachusetts. In 1851 he took charge of the English department of Chauncy Hall School, a position he held until 1860 when he resigned to open a law office in Newburyport, where he had made his home.

He was active in both the civic and professional spheres: he served in the state senate in 1868, as mayor of Newburyport in 1886, and as collector of internal revenue in his adopted city for nearly twenty years. He was a member of the New England Historical Genealogical Society and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery, where he was commander in 1870.

His rise through the ranks of the fraternity was swift. He was received in Revere Lodge of Boston and raised a Master Mason on December 1, 1857, and became master in 1860; like most men of his stature in that day, he involved himself in all of the York Rite and Scottish Rite bodies, serving as head of St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Chapter, Boston Commandery, and Hugh de Payens Commandery, and filling the office of grand king of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in 1862. He was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Lowell and was awarded the 33° in May 1863, serving as deputy for Massachusetts in the Supreme Council in 1898 and 1899.

After a year as junior grand deacon in 1862, he was chosen by Grand Master William Parkman to become deputy grand master of Masons in Massachusetts. As was often the case at that time, he held that office for the entire three years of Grand Master Parkman’s term; he is frequently mentioned in the Proceedings and Moore’s Freemason’s Monthly. It was an extraordinarily busy three years: Grand Master Parkman issued twenty-five charters, including sixteen in 1865 alone (notably one bearing his own name). Rt. Wor. Charles Dame was present for, and in some cases presided at, many of the installation and consecration ceremonies.

Though only in his mid-forties, he was already regarded highly as a speaker and a ritualist — an outstanding, “bright” Mason in a time when the work of the Craft was transmitted from mouth to ear.

In December of 1865, Charles Chase Dame succeeded to the East of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The session at which he was elected was, according to the report, “the most numerously attended session . . . since the organization of the Body in 1733.” There were 114 lodges in attendance, out of a total of 133 in the jurisdiction (not including the 16 lodges under dispensation at the time). The new Grand Master went to work at once; by the end of his first year, he would issue nine new charters; seven were from lodges for which his predecessor had granted dispensation, an eighth (Alfred Baylies Lodge) for which he provided dispensation, and a ninth for a former Paul Revere lodge, Adams of Wellfleet, reconstituted under new organization at the end of 1866.

Grand Master Dame made few rulings during his tenure, but he did issue definitive rulings during his first year regarding the powers of masters of lodges, in response to particular bylaws submitted by new lodges. In one instance, a lodge had offered the rule that masters’ appointments were to be made with the ‘advice and consent of the wardens.’ He objected strongly to this in the following ruling:

“The worshipful master is the supreme governor of his lodge. He rules and governs it according to his will and pleasures. He is not amenable to his lodge, but to the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge. There is no appeal to the lodge from his decisions . . . the appointing power cannot be divided between the worshipful master and any one or two of his officers.

“He must be unrestrained and untrammeled in all his appointments. He must be independent and not controlled. This principle is as old as Masonry itself, so far as we know anything of its history, by tradition or written records.”

In a further assertion of the powers of the master, he dismissed a bylaw that would have adopted parliamentary procedure for debate in a lodge.

“Parliamentary rules are unknown in our lodges, except so far as our own rules, for the dispatch of our Masonic business correspond with parliamentary rules. The worshipful master as the head and governor of the lodge is not bound by any such usage as this section contemplates.

“He can stop debate when he considers it proper, and close the lodge at his will and pleasure. He cannot be circumscribed in his power by any such regulation. Our lodges need no code to regulate their discussions for they are not debating, or legislative societies.”

Despite his relative youth, Grand Master Dame ruled with a firm and steady hand. His response to the swelling interest in the fraternity was not only the establishment of new lodges — in addition to the nine chartered in 1866, he granted ten more charters in 1867 and seven more in 1868 — but also the establishment of new districts in the Commonwealth. The districts had been redrawn in 1835 and 1849, primarily in order to govern the lodges that survived the anti-Masonic storm; but by 1867 it was clear that there was a severe imbalance, due to the many new lodges being created. He increased the number to 16 (a seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth district would be added before Grand Master Lawrence reorganized the state again in 1883), and established districts for Chile and China, as well as Peru (where the Grand Lodge granted a dispensation in the late 1860s). The new deputies were given more formal and specific instructions, and greater responsibilities, which would be enlarged and articulated by his successor, Grand Master Gardner, a few years later.

Brother Dame was an articulate speaker, and much admired and liked by the brethren of Massachusetts. He received the honor of having a new lodge named for him during his second year in office: Charles C. Dame Lodge of Georgetown, which is still active and prosperous. On the day following the constitution of [ Acacia Lodge in Gloucester in July of 1866, the party of Grand Lodge and Acacia Lodge notables cast off for a trip around Cape Ann; during the voyage, the captain announced to the assembly that the vessel bore no name — and that it was to be christened with the name Charles C. Dame. These two items confirm the high regard in which Grand Master Dame was held.

The greatest event of Grand Master Dame’s term of office occurred in June 1867, when the newly rebuilt Masonic temple was dedicated in Boston. It had taken three years to build, at a cost of nearly $300,000 — an enormous sum at that time. In addition to the Grand Lodge officers and members, more than 12,000 Masons were in attendance, with more than 200 lodges and dozens of other Masonic organizations represented in the procession and in the audience. The distinguished visitors included Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, the first President to be in attendance at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

An account of the day, represented in the Proceedings, contains the following description:

“The sight that attracted hundreds of thousands of people to our principal thoroughfares on Monday was one that is possible only in the United States, and one which no patriot, whatever his opinions of Freemasonry might be, would look upon without pride. Between close-packed lines of spectators . . . marched almost ten thousand men, representing all ranks of life, and all bearing the unmistakable stamp of good government . . .

“ . . . as a demonstration of the numbers and powers of the Masonic fraternity it must be reckoned a complete success. Few people outside of the mystic brotherhood have been aware of the recent rapid growth of this organization . . . The display of Monday has enlightened the public as to the appearance if not as to the doings of the Masons. If good looks go for anything . . . the popular verdict on our recent visitors must be unqualifiedly favorable.”

It was a far cry from the public perception just a few decades earlier, when the public watched as the Grand Lodge dedicated its new temple, either treating the Craft with stony silence or with oaths of ‘murderer’ and ‘criminal.’

By 1867, with the Civil War behind and interest in the fraternity blossoming, the attitude was completely different, and would carry forward for years to come. The new, magnificent temple would be a lasting legacy. Unfortunately, so would the debt incurred in its construction.

In the spring of 1867 the Grand Lodge considered ways to retire the burden. Various plans were considered, and after some consideration a plan was approved to adopt a capitation tax on each member of the fraternity, to be paid over a period of years. It was an equitable, egalitarian, and reasonable plan — and from the time of its presentation it was met with objections and opposition. Reports during the rest of 1867 and 1868 show that despite the pride in the new temple, despite the affection and respect for Grand Master Dame, and despite the increase in lodges and membership many of the Masons in Massachusetts were hesitant to contribute. When Charles C. Dame left the East the debt for the new temple remained largely in place. It would be up to his successors, particularly Grand Master Samuel Crocker Lawrence, to successfully retire it.

After his retirement from the Grand Mastership, Dame remained extremely active both in Grand Lodge as a member of the board of directors, and throughout the jurisdiction where he often acted in an official capacity at installations, dedications, and anniversaries. He remained in the ranks of the Past Grand Masters, becoming the senior member of that group in 1893 at the death of William Parkman. He maintained a close connection with his mother lodge, Revere (which would produce three more Grand Masters during his lifetime: Richard Briggs, Otis Weld, and Edwin Holmes) and with the lodge that bore his name, serving at many installations of each.

He lived until 1901 and died peacefully in Newburyport. His funeral was to that time the largest ever seen in that town, and he was memorialized in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge and the New England Genealogical Historical Society. His legacy of service to the Craft in Massachusetts became part of the background against which the fraternity moved into the twentieth century.



Presented in Grand Lodge by Past Grand Master Hutchinson, March 13, 1901. (Page 1901-16ff)

When a friend or companion reaches the end of life and passes beyond the veil which limits mortal sight, an impulse honorable to humanity causes us to halt, and with sorrowing hearts measure the loss we have sustained.

Charles Chase Dame, son of Joseph and Satira (Chase) Dame, was born at Kittery Point, District of Maine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, June 5, 1819, and died at Newburyport, Mass., on the 19th of January, 1901. He was a descendant of John Dame, who came from England in 1633, and settled in what is now Dover, N.H. He was educated in the public schools of Portsmouth, N.H., and South New Market Academy. He chose the profession of his father, and taught schools ih Brentwood, N.H., and Newbury, Lynn, Newburyport, Mass., and in 1851 took charge of the English Department of Chauncy Hall School in Boston, where he remained until 1860, when he resigned and opened a law office in Boston, having been admitted to practice in the courts of Massachusetts in 1859. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States in 1876.

While teaching in Lynn and Boston and also while practising law, he resided in Newburyport. He was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue by President Andrew Johnson and held the position under successive administrations till 1883, when he resigned and resumed the practice of law in Newburyport. He was especially interested in the welfare of his adopted city, and held important public offices; was a member of public school committee; Common Council; Board of Aldermen, and Mayor in 1886. He was a member of the State Senate in 1868. He was a director of the Merchants' National Bank and a trustee of the Institution for Savings in Newburyport.

R.W. Brother Dame was raised to the degree of Master Mason in Revere Lodge, Boston, Dec. 1, 1857. Was Master of the Lodge in 1860 and 1861, and elected Honorary Member Jan. 7, 1862; for thirty-eight years, 1862-1899, he was the installing officer. He was exalted in St. Andrew's R.A. Chapter, Boston, April 19, 1858; was High Priest in 1861 and 1862; elected Honorary Member Nov. 4, 1868; was Grand King of the Grand Chapter in 1862. He received the Cryptic degrees in Boston Council, Dec. 8, 1859. He was created a Knight Templar in Boston Commandery Oct. 8, 1858; was Eminent Commander in 1866, and elected an Honorary Member March 16, 1870. He was also Eminent Commander of Hugh de Payens Commandery in 1864 while working under a Dispensation. He received the degrees of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Raymond Lodge of Perfection, Raymond Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Mount Calvary Chapter Rose Croix and Massachusetts Consistory, all located in the valley of Lowell, Mass., Aug. 1, 1862.- He was Commander-in-Chief of Boston Consistory, 1863 and 1864; was enrolled an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council 33°, May 22, 1863, and crowned an active member Sept. 23, 1897; was elected Deputy of the Supreme Council for the District of Massachusetts, 1898 and 1899.

In the Grand Lodge R.W. Brother Dame was Junior Grand Deacon, 1862; Deputy Grand Master, 1863, 1864, 1865, and Grand Master in 1866, 1867, 1868. In 1867 he dedicated the Masonic Temple which stood on this spot, and was burned in 1895. That occasion was honored by the presence of Bro. Andrew Johnson, President of the United States.

He was a member of the Board of Directors, 1866 to 1868 and from 1882 to the time of his decease. He was also a trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, and Secretary of the Board from its organization Dec. 19, 1884.

His obsequies were held at the Unitarian Church, Newburyport, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 1901. Rev. Oliver A. Roberts, of Melrose, read the scripture lessons and a poem, and Rev. O. S. Butler, Chaplain of Charles C. Dame Lodge, of Georgetown, pronounced the eulogy, after which the Grand Master and Grand Officers performed the burial service of the Grand Lodge. Brother Dame's body was buried in Old Town Cemetery, being conveyed there under escort of Newburyport Commandery K.T., St. John's Lodge, St. Mark's Lodge, and Charles C. Dame Lodge. The following Masonic organizations were also represented: Revere Lodge, Boston; St. Andrew's R.A. Chapter, Boston; the Grand Royal Arch Chapter; Boston Commandery; Hugh de Payens Commandery, Melrose; Boston Lodge of Perfection; Sutton Lodge of Perfection, Salem; Massachusetts Consistory, and the Supreme Council, Thirty-third Degree.

As in his life his neighbors were his friends and his fellow citizens his companions, so at his funeral they were represented by delegates from the city government, the school board, the overseers of the poor, the bar, and a large number of prominent citizens of Newburyport and adjoining towns, and the city of Boston.

To those of us who labored with him for many years in Masonry his loss is almost irreparable. From the time when he first received light in Masonry until the end came, he never ceased to devote himself with unflagging interest and zeal to the promotion and prosperity of the Craft. Well may the Grand Lodge pause in its labors to do honor to his memory. The Fraternity trusted him with significant confidence, and he upheld the honor and maintained the dignity of the high official stations to which he was called by the unaffected sincerity of his character, and performed his duties with prompt and fearless zeal. He was entitled to stand with those who represent our Institution at its highest and best.

It can be truly said that R.W. Brother Dame was a self-made man. With limited opportunities in his youth, by persistent and studious effort, he won an honorable place in his profession. In all the relations of life he was diligent, honorable, conscientious, impartial. His sense of justice was his safe and constant guide, and being true to this he was fearless of opposition, calm amid perplexities, generous and kind. His memory will be long and tenderly cherished by the Craft.


From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1901, Page 31:

The death on Jan. 19, 1901, of Charles Chase Dame, Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, and Past Deputy for Massachusetts of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, brings with it the deepest sense of loss to all the Masons of the Commonwealth, and especially to the very many bodies in which he has been valuable as a member and distinguished as an officer His useful career in various functions outside the fraternity, his lovable nature and his pure, high character, all add to the esteem and veneration with which his memory will long be cherished.

He was the son of Joseph and Statira (Chase) Dame, and was born June 5, 1819, at Kittery in the District of Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. He was of early New England stock, his father’s line descending from John Dame, who came over in 1G33, and was a man of some prominence in the Piscataqua settlement. His mother’s ancestor was Aquila Chase, who in 1(139 was one of the first settlers in Hampton. Members of his father's race are found from time to time in Dover, Rochester, Wakefield, New Castle and Kittery, and of his mother's in Newbury and Kittery. His maternal grandfather was Joshua Tufts Chase, long a member of the Legislature of Massachusetts and afterwards of that of Maine. An earlier ancestor was Rev. Josiah Chase, for thirty-eight years minister at Kittery. Among his forefathers were also two Colonial Governors of Massachusetts, Thomas Dudley and Simon Bradstreet.

Brother Dame's boyhood and youth furnish a notable example of what must have been, in the main, self-education. The straightened means of his father, a country schoolmaster, obliged him to begin at the early age of eleven to support himself. He did whatever came to hand, farming, seafaring, and serving as a clerk, but found time withal for books and for attendance at winter schools. At fourteen he got a year's schooling at Portsmouth, and before he was seventeen he made his first attempt at what was afterward for many years his profession. He started schoolteaching himself, probably in a very humble way, at Kittery. Then, at eighteen, he managed to get a few months more of schooling at South New Market Academy. This was the end of his academic education. The recognized scholarship which he afterward attained he achieved for himself, as a schoolmaster and by private study. He taught in Brentwood, N. II., in Newbury, in Lynn and in two important positions in Newburyport. Somewhat broken down by overwork, he made in 1849 a voyage to the Pacific, and was away for two '• He came back with health restored, and took charge of the English department in the famous Chauncy Hall School of Boston, still continuing his residence in Newburyport. He taught at Chauncy Hall nine years. During the last part of this time he was also studying law. In 1859 he was admitted to the Suffolk liar, and in 1800 lie opened a law office in Boston.

At this time he had for some years been interested in Freemasonry, lie became a member of Revere Lodge in 1857, of St. Andrew's Chapter and of Boston Commandery in 1858, and of Boston Council in 1859. His advancement was rapid, and his ceaseless and untiring devotion to the fraternity was one of the most marked features of his whole subsequent life. He was Master of his Lodge in 1860 and 1861, High Priest of his Chapter in 1861 and 1862, Grand King of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts in 1862, and Eminent Commander of his Commandery in 1866 and 1867. During 1863, 1864 and 1865 he was Deputy Grand Master of Massachusetts under Grand Master Parkman, and during 1866, 1867 and 1868 he himself held the high office of Grand Master. Rarely had a Masonic career been so marked by speediness of promotion. A dozen years had not elapsed from the day when he first received light to the day when he finally laid down his gavel as Grand Master. The number of offices which he held simultaneously in various bodies signifies not only the zeal which actuated so great an outlay of time and strength, but the esteem and confidence which he inspired in all his associates.

The most important event of his Grand Mastership was the building of the Masonic Temple at a time of poverty and depression. If this were the time and place it would be pleasant to recount the services rendered him in this behalf by one whom all Massachusetts Masons delight to honor, Sereno Dwight Nickerson, who during a portion of Brother Dame’s term was his Deputy and a member of the Board of Directors. The dedication of the Temple in 1867 was attended by President Johnson and by a vast assemblage of Masons from different States.

Brother Dame's service to the Grand Lodge did not end with his Grand Mastership. He frequently acted upon important committees, and was from 1881 until his death one of the Board of Directors, and from 18S4 a Trustee of the Education and Charity Fund, and Secretary of the Board. He was also an honorary member of many Masonic bodies, and a Lodge in Georgetown bears his name.

He received the degrees of the Scottish Rite in Raymond Lodge of Perfection, Raymond Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Mount Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix and Massachusetts Consistory, all in 1862. In 1863, 1864 and 1865, the same years in which he was Deputy Grand Master of Massachusetts, he was also Illustrious Commander-in-Chief of Boston Consistory. He was made an honorary member of the Supreme Council May 22, 1863. He was crowned an active member Sept. 23, 1897, and at the same date was elected Deputy of the Supreme Council for Massachusetts. He held this important position, the last in Scottish Rite which his failing health permitted him to fill, until September, 1900.

Outside the fraternity Brother Dame’s life, as already remarked, was useful and honorable. He was admitted to the bar of the Circuit Court of the United States in 1859, and to that of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1876. He practised ids profession in Boston until the duties of Collector of Internal Revenue, which office he held for fifteen years under five successive administrations, became so engrossing that he was obliged to devote to them his entire attention. At the end of this service in 1883 he opened a law office in Newburyport and continued in the profession until his last illness. He did not often appear in court, but in his chamber business he was the trusted adviser of many of the citizens and corporations of his city. He was a bank director, a Trustee of the Institution of Savings, a member of the School Board, of the Common Council and of the Board of Aldermen, and in 1S86 Mayor of the city. He was besides interested in various charitable and philanthropic institutions. In politics he was originally a Whig, and afterward a prominent member of the Republican party, serving for several years upon its State Committee and for one year in the Senate. In every sphere in which he moved he showed the traits which all his friends knew so well, unfailing equanimity of temper, admirable courtesy of demeanor, shrewd common sense, wise judgment and perfect integrity.

The last stage of his illness, which confined him to his chamber, was only of a few weeks duration. He bore his sufferings with fortitude and resignation. The end came on January 19, and on January 22 his funeral took place in the Unitarian church of Newburyport in the presence of a great concourse of his associates, his legal brethren and his fellow citizens. The City Government attended in full numbers, and the business and civic bodies with which he had been connected sent deputations. Masons were there from various States and the different Masonic bodies of which he was an active or an honorary member were largely represented. Of the Supreme Council three active members were present, Illustrious Brothers Drummond of Maine, Hutchinson of Massachusetts and Arnold of Rhode Island. The preliminary service was conducted by Rev. Brothers Oliver A. Roberts and O. S. Butler, the latter being the Chaplain of Charles C. Dame Lodge of Georgetown, and the obsequies were concluded by the impressive burial rite of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Brother Dame will live in the memory of all who knew him, whether within or without our fraternity, as a cheerful comrade, a wise counsellor, an upright citizen. To us Masons he is worthily portrayed In the words of an eminent associate, a friend of many years, as one "entitled to stand with those who represent our Institution at its highest and best.”

S. Lothrop Thorndike, 33°,
Samuel Wells, 33°,
Daniel W. Lawrence, 33°,



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 4, February 1867, Page 101:

Brethren of the Grand Lodge, — In the original Charter, or "Commission," as it was then called, granted by Lord Montacute, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, in 1733, authorizing the R.W. Henry Price to open and hold a Provincial Grand Lodge for New England, it being the first establishment of the kind on the American Continent, I find the following words: "And lastly, we will and require that our said Provincial Grand Master of New England, do annually cause the brethren to keep the Feast op St. John the Evangelist, and dine together on that day, or (in case any accident should happen to prevent their dining together on that day) on any other day near that time."

I find also in the first Book of Masonic Constitutions ever printed, and which was originally published by authority of the Grand Lodge of England in 1722, the following regulation, it being the twenty-second of the well known Thirty-nine Articles adopted in 1720, to wit: "The brethren of all the Lodges in and about London and Westminster, shall meet at an Annual Communication and Feast, in some-convenient place, on St. John Baptist's day, or else on St. John Evangelist's day, as the Grand Lodge shall think fit by a now regulation, having of late years met on St. John Baptist's day." The record also shows that the Grand Lodge frequently, subsequent to this, assembled and held the Grand Feast on both the St. Johns' days, in the same year; and if we turn over the pages of the previous history of the Order in England, we shall find that this custom of assembling on one or the other of these days, to celebrate the Feast, is of much older date than that of the origin of our venerable mother Grand Lodge; and indeed, that the circumstance that the custom of holding the "Annual Feast" on St. John's day had fallen into abeyance, was one of the primary causes which led to the establishment of the Grand Lodge in London, in 1717.

I am not able to say at what precise time, or under what circumstances, the custom of holding these annual St. John Feasts originated; but we learn from the history of the Order in England, that on St. John's day, Dec. 27, 1561, the Grand Lodge being assembled at the old city of York, Queen Elizabeth, "jealous of all secret assemblies," "sent an armed force" to break up the meeting. The meeting, however, was not broken up, nor was its business otherwise interfered with than by the initiation of the officers of the "armed force" referred to! The Grand Lodge continued thereafter to hold its Annual Assemblies and Feasts on St. John's day, without interruption, and we find it, one hundred years afterwards, namely, 1063, in session on St. John the Evangelist's day, under the Grand Mastership of the Earl of St. Albans, when the following among other regulations was adopted: "That for the future the said Fraternity of Freemasons shall be regulated and governed by one Grand Master, and as many Wardens as the said society shall think fit to appoint at every Annual General Assembly."

These evidences, that until a very recent period it was the practice of our English brethren to hold their Annual Assembly and Feast, for more than three centuries at least, on one or the other of the St, Johns' days, in honor of the virtues and exemplary characters of those two eminent patrons of our Order, might be easily multiplied ; but it is not necessary to do so. My object is accomplished when I have demonstrated the antiquity of the practice, and indicated our own obligations to follow it, as a duty imposed on the fathers of our beloved Grand Lodge, by the Charter that gave them existence, and which their successors, with a fidelity worthy of the highest commendation, have faithfully observed and performed to the present time. And brethren, we are now and here assembled, in the light of the Past, to continue this good old landmark of our fathers, and by thus honoring it, to make manifest the love and veneration in which we hold their memories and their examples.


It is said that our institution is a Universal Fraternity; and this is qualifiedly true, and perhaps never more so than at the present time. It is as wide-spread as the area of human sympathy. Wherever civilization has extended, there is the banner of Masonry seen waving in the breeze. In the farthest India; in the flowery Empire of China; in Japan; at the Sandwich Islands; all along the shores of the Pacific, from Cape Horn to the extreme northern boundary of the United States; and back into the interior, where, but a few years since the voice of the white man was in reality a voice in the wilderness; along the banks of the Nile, and even on the shores of the Barbary States ; and north again, to the borders of the Arctic Ocean, is heard the sound of the gavel calling the craftsmen to labor. And there is scarcely a State in Western or Central Europe, where our brethren are not to-day-assembling in their Lodge Rooms, and practising those mystic rites, and inculcating those great moral and beneficent truths, which, through a long succession of ages, have given stability to our institution, and commanded for it the respect and admiration of the wise and good of all nations and tongues.

Turning to our own country, we find the land dotted all over with Masonic Lodges. In the whole of the thirty-six States, in the District of Columbia, and in two or more of the Territories, Grand Lodges have been established, with thriving Lodges under their respective jurisdictions; and in several of the remaining Territories, including New Mexico, subordinate Lodges have also been erected.


In our own State the Order never before occupied so high a ground, and was never in a more sound and healthy condition. With one hundred and sixty Lodges under its jurisdiction, and an enrolled membership of more than sixteen thousand brethren, carefully selected from the best classes of the community, this Grand Lodge may justly feel proud of its position and confidence' in its strength.

The past year has been one of unceasing activity, and has devolved upon your Grand Master and his officers, labors and duties of unequalled responsibility, the nature of which may be partially, and but partially, inferred from the details I now proceed to lay before you.

  • Jan. 4. — Dedicated a New Masonic Hall at Cambridgeport, and installed the officers of Amicable Lodge.
  • Jan. 8. — Installed the officers of Mount Lebanon Lodge at Boston.
  • Jan. 12. — Constituted Saggahew Lodge at Haverhill, and installed its officers.
  • Jan. 12. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. John H. Eddy and thirty-two others to form a new Lodge at Taunton, to be called Alfred Baylies Lodge.
  • Jan. 16. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. James F. Frothingham and thirty-four others to form a new Lodge at Fall River, to be called King Philip Lodge.
  • Jan. 23. — Installed the officers of Essex Lodge at Salem.
  • Jan. 30. — Constituted Mount Hollis Lodge at Holliston, and installed its officers; also dedicated their new hall.
  • Feb. 1. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. E. P. Davis and twenty others to form a new Lodge at Hyde Park, to be called Hyde Park Lodge.
  • Feb. 7. — Installed the officers of Mount Hermon Lodge at Medford.
  • Feb. 12. — The Masonic Hall at Melrose having been destroyed by fire, permission was granted to Wyoming Lodge to hold their meetings in the Masonic Hall at Maiden, until other convenient arrangements could be made.
  • Feb. 21. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. John Thomas Lansing, the American Consul, and nineteen others, to form a [new Lodge at Arica in the Republic of Peru, in South America; and appointed Br. Richard Hartley of Lima, as R. W. District Deputy Grand Master for that region.
  • March 10. — Installed the officers of St. John's Lodge at Newburyport.
  • March 15. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. Salmon W. Squire and seven others to form a new Lodge at Franklin, to be called Excelsior Lodge.
  • April 23. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. William F. Salmon and twenty-eight others to form a new Lodge at Lowell, to be called Kilwinning Lodge.
  • May 3. — Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Randolph.
  • May 14. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. George Frost and thirty-four others to form a new Lodge at Jamaica Plain, to be called Eliot Lodge.
  • May 30. — Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at South Boston.
  • June 1. — Visited Konohassett Lodge, U.D., at Cohasset.
  • June 4. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. George Forbes and twenty-one others to form a new Lodge at Westboro, to be called Siloam Lodge.
  • June 18. — Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Framingham, after which a public address was delivered in the church by Rev. Br. Greenwood.
  • June 20. — Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at North Adams. In connection with this occasion there was great interest manifested by members of the Order for a considerable distance, and a public procession escorted the Grand Lodge to a church, where Rev. Br. Dadmun, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, delivered an address to a large and interested audience.
  • June 25. — Laid the corner-stone of a new Masonic Building at Melrose, with masonic ceremonies. Although the day was oppressively hot, the public procession was large, and the occasion one of great interest. .
  • June 27. — Constituted Konohassett Lodge at Cohasset, and installed its officers; also dedicated their new hall.
  • July 2. — Constituted Lafayette Lodge at Roxbury, and installed its officers.
  • July 6. — Constituted Athelstane Lodge at Worcester, and installed its officers.
  • July 9. — Constituted Acacia Lodge at Gloucester, and installed its officers.
  • July 16. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. John Peirce and nineteen others to form a new Lodge at Edgartown, to be called Oriental Lodge.
  • July 24. — Dedicated a Masonic Hall at Mansfield, and installed the officers of St. James Lodge.
  • Sept. 21. — Constituted James Otis Lodge at Barnstable, and installed its officers.
  • Sept. 25. — Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Taunton.
  • Oct. 1. — Visited St. John's Lodge at Boston.
  • Oct. 4. — Constituted Adelphi Lodge at South Boston, and installed its officers.
  • Oct. 9. — Constituted Charles W. Moore Lodge at Fitchburg, and installed its officers.
  • Oct. 11. — Installed the officers of Warren Lodge at Amesbury.
  • Oct. 19. — Constituted Artisan Lodge at Winchendon, and installed its officers.
  • Oct. 24. — Installed the officers of Henry Price Lodge, at Charlestown.
  • Oct. 25. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. Harman Hall and eleven others to form a new Lodge at Saugus, to be called William Sutton Lodge.
  • Nov. 13. — Granted a Dispensation to Br. William D. Kites and eighteen others to form a new Lodge at Huntington, to be called Huntington Lodge.
  • Nov. 27. — Visited Joseph Warren Lodge at Boston.
  • Dec. 18. — Constituted King Philip Lodge at Fall River, and installed its officers.
  • Dec. 20. — Visited the Lodge of Eleusis at Boston, and installed its officers.
  • Dec. 21. — Constituted Hyde Park Lodge, at Hyde Park, and installed its officers.

In discharging these duties, I have, in most cases, been assisted by the regular Officers of the Grand Lodge, so far as their assistance was necessary in the ceremonies to be performed.

The great interest which is felt by officers of Lodges throughout our jurisdiction, in the proper discharge of their various duties, and the earnest desire on the part of the fraternity at large to remove doubts, and establish in their minds the true principles of our Order, have been manifested during the past year by a very extensive correspondence ; and I have found it difficult, in many cases, on account of the important interests of the Corporation, which have required daily attention, in addition to my other duties, to give as early answers to the brethren as I desired ; but all has been done in this respect that reasonable hours and labor would allow.


Work upon the New Masonic Temple was recommenced early last spring, and has been continued with all the energy possible since that time. I have spent a considerable portion of almost every day upon the premises, and in matters relating to the progress of the building. It is now rapidly approaching its completion, and I have no doubt it will be ready to be dedicated by the 24th of June next. It is not surpassed in beauty by any building in this country, and while it attracts the attention, and excites the admiration of all who pass it, the members of our Order have especial pleasure in its peculiar features, and look forward with much interest to its completion, and with satisfaction that the time is near at hand when the Grand Lodge can enter upon the possession and enjoyment of their own apartments.

It was originally contemplated to use the first and second stories for business purposes ; but it appeared to be the general desire of the fraternity that the apartments of the Grand Lodge should be no higher than the second story; arrangements have therefore been made, that all above the first story may be appropriated to masonic purposes, and if it should not be so required, a portion may be assigned to other uses. The lower part of the building has already been leased, and the Masonic Institutions of Boston will occupy the upper portions.

Judging from recent sales of real estate in the immediate vicinity, the land upon which we are building has more than trebled in value since the commencement of the work ; and when the building is completed, the whole estate will be one of the most valuable in the city of Boston; and the income which will be derived from it will be such as to make the investment a very desirable one for the Grand Lodge, as a business operation.


For the liquidation of the debt that will be incurred in the erection of the Temple, I would suggest that a sinking fund should be created, to be applied to that purpose. This fund should receive the surplus income of the Grand Lodge from its real estate and other sources, after paying the interest on its debt and meeting its current expenses. In addition to this, I would recommend that each initiate, hereafter, be required to pay directly to the Grand Lodge, through the treasurer of the Lodge where he is initiated, the sum of five dollars, to be applied to the payment of this debt, or added to the sinking fund for that purpose. By this arrangement the Grand Lodge would, in a few years, have their entire property free from all incumbrance, and the subordinate Lodges would be relieved of a large portion of their annual dues to the Grand Body. Abundant means would also thereafter be realized to enable us to dispense our charities with a liberal hand.


I have recently received from the Count of Paraty, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Lusitania, in Portugal, a friendly communication, proposing "the establishment of fraternal relations" between that Grand Body and our own. Believing that the reciprocity of such relations would be of advantage to both parties, and productive of good to the Order in general, I, on the 1st of December, returned a favorable answer, accepting the proposals thus fraternally tendered. Before laying the correspondence before you, I take occasion to say, that for more than half a century past, our Order, both in Portugal and Spain, as in some other Catholic countries, has had many adverse circumstances to contend against, and that its existence has been precarious and its progress slow. I am happy to believe, however, that the ultra-religious prejudices of these countries are gradually giving way before the reign of a more liberal spirit, and that the prospects of the future are more hopeful and encouraging. Perhaps one of the strongest assurances of this is to be found in the fact that Italy has not only been masonically redeemed, but that in the city of Rome itself, the seat of the Papal power, one or more Lodges are now held within the shadow of the Vatican, and that the music of the mystic gavel is ringing in the ears of the "Head of the Church!"

The correspondence is as follows : —


To the very Respectable Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Boston, State of Massachusetts, sent by the Grand Master of the Grand Orient Lusitania.


Very Illustrious Frere, — The Grand Orient Lusitania, of Portugal, which owes its existence legitimately to its historical precedents, to the regularity of its work, and to its invariable exercise of the fundamental masonic doctrines within the sphere of the landmarks of the Order, finds itself at present recognized and bound in active and intimate relations with the Grand Masters of Prance, Brazil, Saxony, Italy, Buenos Ayres, Ireland, Uruguay, Luxemburg, Hamburg, Low Countries, Darmstadt, and New Grenada.

The Grand Orient Lusitania does not think the apogee of Masonry will have arrived, until all the family of the Universe shall recognize all its members. To obtain this, it is necessary that fraternal relations shall be formed among all the legitimate masonic powers.

In this conviction, the Lusitanian Grand Orient does not hesitate in its duty of addressing the Grand Orient of Boston, and doing entire justice to the illustrious sentiments which animate them, proposes to them the establishment of fraternal relations, formed upon the basis of a perfect reciprocity.

The Lusitanian Grand Orient feels happy in the hope that the Grand Orient of Boston, in acceding to this request, will frankly accept the evidence of consideration and justice which this Grand Lodge offers to it.

We pray to the Supreme Architect of the Universe to keep under his protection the Grand Orient of Boston.

Done in the Cabinet of the Grand Master, the 4th December, 1865.


Signed, The Count of Paraty, 33°. {seal.}


GLORY to the supreme architect of the universe.

To the very Respectable Grand Master of the Grand Orient Lusitania,

From the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Very Illustrious Brother, — The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, founded on the practice and observance of the precepts of Ancient York Masonry, and whose historical precedents are known to its masonic brethren, has received with emotion the expressions of the good-will and esteem of the Grand Orient Lusitania. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts accepts fraternal relations on the basis offered by the Grand Orient Lusitania, a power doymatique and souvreiyn in that circle of masonic brotherhood, whose enlightened sentiments of justice, fraternity, and union, are inspired by a profound conviction of the truth of the principles of Preemasonry.

The Grand Master of Massachusetts has received the evidence of the friendship and esteem of the Grand Master of the Grand Orient Lusitania, and desires to assure the Grand Master Lusitania, that he reciprocates the same sentiments -with all frankness and consideration; and he congratulates the Grand Orient Lusitania and its illustrious officers, on their success in extending the influence of the sublime principles of virtue, and in promoting the stability and consideration of the institutions of Freemasonry within their jurisdiction.

We pray the Supreme Architect of the Universe to have you always in his holy keeping.

Done at the Grand Orient of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, July 1, 1866.

Signed, Charles C. Dame. 33°. {seal.}


I also received, some time since, a communication signed by three brethren, styling themselves respectively, Grand Master, Grand Registrar, and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, in which the writers say, that "The Freemasons of Nova Scotia, to the number of ten Lodges, having united in the establishment of a Grand Lodge at Nova Scotia, in order to insure the rights and privileges which the growing interests of the craft imperatively demand, and having duly and regularly installed their officers according to ancient usage, now respectfully and earnestly request from your august Body that recognition so essential to our future prosperity."

It may be proper for me here to say, that the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland constitute, masonically speaking, a joint proprietary over the Province of Nova Scotia, as also over all the other Provinces and dependencies of the British Crown (with one exception recently conceded), with an exclusive right to control and govern the Lodges within their respective jurisdictions; and any interference by a foreign body with this right, would be as irregular and unlawful, as would be the interference of either of the Grand Lodges above named with the government of the masonic jurisdictions of the United States.

The ten Lodges, which now constitute the newly formed "Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia," derived their existence from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a body with which this Grand Lodge, for nearly a century and a half, has been on terms of amicable relations. These Lodges owe allegiance to that Grand Lodge, from which they have not been released; nor can they, in my judgment, by any act of their own release themselves, except through secession and revolution. This relation they have seen fit to assume, and now occupy, and they ask this Grand Lodge to recognize them as a regularly constituted and lawful "independent Grand Lodge."

I do not feel called upon to inquire into the causes which have led to this result, nor to discuss the sufficiency of them to justify a measure so important in its character and influences. These are questions that properly, if not exclusively, belong to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. When that body shall have decided them, and seen the need to recognize the new organization as a lawful, independent Grand Lodge, this Grand Lodge will, I have no doubt, be most happy to extend the "right-hand of fellowship." I however submit the whole subject, with the accompanying papers, to the consideration of the Grand Lodge.


I had intended to invite your attention to some more local interest, if not of more importance to our immediate welfare, but my engagements, masonic and otherwise, have been so numerous and pressing of late as not to afford me the necessary time to mature them. I may however say, currente calamo, that the number of initiates the past year has been 2,311, falling short of the number initiated in the previous year {by} 593. The rejections have been 1,051, less by 86 than in the previous year.

It appears from these data that about one third of all who are proposed for admission to our Lodges, are rejected. This out of just proportion; and the logical deduction from it is, that many are rejected from improper motives, or that our Brethren are too careless in bringing forward candidates for admission. That both of these causes are in operation, and have combined to produce this remarkable result, I have reason to believe. Several instances have come to my knowledge where the work of individual Lodges has been greatly retarded, or entirely suspended, through the factious and unmasonic conduct of one or more of their members, who, availing himself of the sacred privilege of the secret ballot, has resorted to the black ball as a cowardly means of gratifying a personal pique or a revengeful spirit, excited perhaps by the previous rejection of his friend, or disappointment in the result of an election, or of carrying some favorite measure. Such a course of proceeding is no less unmasonic than ungenerous and unmanly. It does a personal injustice to the candidate, while it strikes with a reckless hand at the prosperity of the Lodge. A member of a Lodge so conducting himself, incurs, and would be visited with severe masonic discipline, if detected.


The second branch of the predicate, namely, that the brethren are too careless in bringing forward candidates, I do not feel at liberty to pass over in silence. It has been said, and the saying is a self-evident proposition, that the strength of our institution docs not consist in the number, but in the character of its members. Brethren labor under a very serious misapprehension of their duty, when they solicit, or hold out inducements of any kind for young men to enter our Lodges. The candidate should come forward of his own free will and accord, uninfluenced by the voice of friendship, or considerations of personal interest, or he should not come forward at all. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge furnish the form of a petition, which every applicant for admission to the Order is required to sign, and by means of which alone, he can lawfully make his wishes known to the Lodge. A verbal proposition made by a member, is neither regular, proper, nor lawful; and the Master of a Lodge should never entertain a petition coming in such a form. The application should be in writing, under the proper signature of the applicant, and bearing the recommendation of at least one member of the Lodge to which it is submitted; and were this petition so changed as to require the recommendation of at least three members of the Lodge, the requirement would be more nearly in conformity with the former usages of Masonry, and afford greater assurance that the candidate is worthy of acceptance.


A loose practice has obtained in this connection, which I desire to have corrected. I refer to the re-proposing of candidates who have been rejected. It has been the custom in many of our Lodges, for some friend of the candidate to rise, immediately on the announcement of the unfavorable result of the ballot, and re-propose the candidate, to be again balloted for at the next meeting of the Lodge; and this has been allowed. But it is a proceeding wholly unauthorized by the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge, or the usages of Masonry. The rejection removes the petition from before the Lodge, and places the candidate in his original status. If he desires to offer his name again, he must do so by a new petition and recommendation, as in the first instance. It is due to the candidate that he should be consulted in a matter of so much importance to his feelings, if not to his reputation, and it is due to the credit of the Lodge that it should not, through inattention or carelessness, disregard the Constitutional requirements of the Grand Lodge. I recommend this matter to the careful consideration of the Lodges.


I have found it necessary, as a matter of convenience and economy to re-district the jurisdiction, and to increase to some extent the number of the Districts. It is some years since the present Districts were formed; and, owing to the rapid increase of Lodges, and the great changes which have taken place in the means of travelling, the labors and expenses of the Deputies have become both inconvenient to them and burdensome to the treasury of the Grand Lodge. In laying out the new Districts, I have had special reference to the facilities for reaching the Lodges in any given part of the Commonwealth, and have arranged the Districts, as far as practicable, on the lines of the railroads. This will enable the District Deputy Grand Masters to visit their Lodges more frequently, and with less inconvenience to themselves than they have heretofore been able to do ; and I trust that it may also prove a saving of expense in this admirable and efficient department of our organization.


Thus, brethren, closes the one hundred and thirty-third, and we are to-night entering upon the one hundred and thirty-fourth year of our existence as a Grand Lodge. The record of the Past is before us. What that of the Future shall be, depends, under God's Providence, upon us and our successors. If we are true to the teachings of the past, and faithful to the landmarks which our fathers have left for our direction and guidance, it will be well. If, on the contrary, we allow ourselves to be shaken by every wind of doctrine, and blown about like the leaves of autumn, it will be otherwise. Let us then, unitedly and heartily resolve to hand down to our successors this good old Grand Lodge, with its teachings, its principles, and its Freemasonry, unshaken in its integrity, and sullied in its purity, just as we received it at the hands of the venerable and honored brethren, who first erected the masonic altar on the soil of America. Let us do this faithfully and conscientiously, and the blessing of God will continue to abide with us as it abode with our fathers.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIII, No. 7, April 1918, Page 215:

How Grand Lodges Came

From an Address of Grand Master Charles C. Dame, before the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, December 11, 1867

Grand Lodges, in the sense in which the words are now understood, are of comparatively pBUla modern institution. They derive the idea of their existence, and are the legitimate successors (though differing widely in their organization), of that class of Masonic Bodies known in early times among our English brethren, as "General Assemblies"; the first of which, if we may credit our own traditional history, and the evidence of such testimony as has come down to us bearing the time-marks of authenticity, was held, in the beginning of the tenth century, under a "free charter," purchased of the crown, investing the brethren of that day, for the first time, with the freedom of self-government, or, in the words of the instrument itself, "with a power and freedom to regulate themselves, and to amend what might happen to be amiss." It was at this assembly, held on the 27th of December in the year 926, that those old charges and quaint regulations, which we are taught to revere as embodying, in spirit at least, those essential, ethical, and judicial elements, which constitute the "unalterable laws of Masonry," were first collated and subsequently adopted as the basis of our "Book of Ancient Constitutions."

The logical, and indeed the only inference to be drawn from the terms of the "free charter" purchased of King Athalstan, is, that anterior to that purchase, the government of the Fraternity, in England at least, was wholly and exclusively vested in the crown. The brethren possessed no "freedom to regulate themselves," and no power to "amend what might happen amiss." The king was not only their Grand Master, but they were as much under his control and dictatorship, as their ancestors were to the power of Caesar, in the earlier days of the history of their island. Nor was England an exception in this respect. We are told by high authority, that at a much later date, Freemasonry received the special sanction and patronage of the kings of Scotland, "who," says our author, "appear to have exercised from a very early period, the privilege of nominating the office-bearers of the fraternity, and occasionally of presiding over them in person." From this it would seem that the brethren had no voice at all in the selection of their officers,— that all, from the highest to the lowest, were at the disposal of the king. And, regarding him as their Grand Master, the practise was in exact agreement with that which prevails in the Grand Lodge of England at the present day, where the Grand Master alone is chosen by the brethren, he appointing the remaining officers, with a single exception. This is true also of the subordinate lodges, the Masters of which appoint their wardens and other officebearers, with the exception already intimated. The Scottish rule was so far modified in the time of James I (1406), as that the brethren were allowed to choose their own Grand Master, subject to the approval of the crown. It was made a condition, however, that he should be "nobly born, or a clergyman of high rank and character." When so chosen, he was vested with powers equal to those exercised by his royal predecessors; and, in the words of the record, it was made his duty "to adjust any and all difficulties that might arise between the members of the Craft, and to regulate all such affairs, connected with the fraternity, as it might be improper to bring under the cognizance of the Courts of Law." As Grand Master, he was supreme and autocratic. There was no denying his authority, and no appeal from his decision. He might say. as Louis XIV said of the State, and with perhaps greater truth, "I am the Grand Lodge." In the following reign of James II, another change in the organization of the fraternity in Scotland took place, and the Grand Mastership was confirmed by the crown to William St. Clair, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, and Baron of Roslin, in whose heirs and successors the office finally became hereditary.

In this condition it continued until 1736, when the privilege of electing their Grand Master was vested in the brethren at large, by the resignation of Sir William St. Clair, "the last Roslin," of "every title to that office which he then possessed, or which his successors might claim, either under the grants of the Scottish kings, or from the kindness of the fraternity." This gave freedom and independence to the Order in Scotland; and on the 30th of November following, being St. Andrew's day, the present Grand Lodge was organized as a supreme and independent Masonic power, with Sir William St. Clair as its Grand Master by election.

In England, the fraternity continued under the precarious and uncertain government of the "General Assemblies,"— which appear to have been a kind of "mass meeting," or "general gathering of the clans,"— until the year 1717, when the present Grand Lodge was organized, and the fraternity, not only in England, but throughout the world, were brought under the control of more definite laws, and systematic government.

Such, very briefly, was the origin of that class of Masonic organizations, legislative, judicial, and executive, known as Grand Lodges. At their head, first in years and first in our love, stands our venerable mother, the Grand Lodge of England. She has continued without intermission for one hundred and fifty years, to hold her quarterly and annual sessions; and it is in obedience to her example, and to her injunction, that we, brethren, have come up from the various pursuits of life, that we may here, around the altar of our common hopes, our fraternal ties and sympathies, present our offering of gratitude to Him whom we acknowledge to be the source of our dearest mercies and distinguished privileges; to thank Him for his gracious protection through more than four generations of men, and for the abundant blessings with which he has crowned our labors, and established our prosperity.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 4, February 1869, Page 113:

Brethren of the Grand Lodge, — The Annual Communication, or, as in the present case, the closing of one administration and the beginning of another, must always be an occasion of more than ordinary interest to this Grand Lodge. It is the season when the responsible officers are required to render an account of their stewardship for the past year, and when the Body itself is called upon to inaugurate those measures the result of which is to affect, favorably or otherwise, the future welfare and prosperity of the whole Fraternity of the jurisdiction.


And it was doubtless this consideration that induced our predecessors, soon after the union of the two Grand Lodges of this Commonwealth, in 1792, to indicate and limit what should constitute the ministerial term or administration of its principal elective officers. It was, doubtless, also, with this view that they declared by constitutional enactment, that the Grand Master and the Grand Wardens should neither of them be eligible for election to the same office for more than three successive years. They did not indeed absolutely determine the exact length of time these officers should hold their places — as in the case of the President of the United States — or they would otherwise have so provided. On the contrary, they wisely reserved to themselves the power to terminate their official relations as occasion or the interests of the Body might seem to demand. It is plain, however, that their intention was to indicate three years as the full term of an "administration"; when a change of the Grand Master and his Wardens should take place, or when (the remaining officers, with two exceptions, holding their places by appointment,) an entire change of the organization would follow as a consequence — not absolutely, but legally. And this was the practical working of the system until about the year 1842, when the Representation in the Grand Lodge had been so far reduced by the persecution out of which it was then just emerging, that the attendance was thought to be too small for its requirements; and in order to increase this, and strengthen its working ability, it was deemed to be wise to depart from the ancient usage so far as to terminate the service of the Wardens at the close of the first year of their election: thus giving two additional permanent members annually to the Grand Lodge. This was undoubtedly at the time an advisable and perhaps a necessary change. But whether, now that the necessity in which it originated no longer exists, its continuance is either wise or expedient, may be worthy of consideration.

My own experience teaches me that a too frequent change in these important offices is not, in view of the increased importance and complications of the business of the Grand Lodge, and the safe management of its large property, desirable; and this doubt is materially strengthened by the fact that these officers are ex officio members of the Board of Directors, to whose care and direction the highest interests of the Grand Lodge are intrusted, and which ought not therefore to be exposed to the uncertainties of too frequent changes in its organization. Past experience teaches us a lesson in this respect which we may profit by if we will. And this leads me to suggest whether the present plan of its constitution may not be advantageously improved, so as to secure to it the services of a larger number of members whose past experience and knowledge could be made available in tho transaction of its business.


There is another suggestion in this connection which presents itself to my mind, that may be worthy of consideration. I referred to it in my last annual address. By the present requirements of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge, the members of the Board of Directors must be annually elected from among the active officers or permanent members of this Body, or from the Representatives of the Lodges. The practical operation of this requirement is to deprive the Grand Lodge of the ability to avail itself of much of its most active and influential business talent, — of the services and the counsel of a class of brethren whose age, experience, and business facilities, would at all times be of the highest value and importance in the management of the financial affairs of the corporation. I am not disregardful of the probability that objections may be raised to the change here suggested. But in a matter of such paramount importance, individual preferences or aspirations are entitled to little consideration. A seat, at the Board may be a desirable one, but it is one which, you will excuse me for saying, every brother who may aspire to occupy it, is not always he who is best adapted to discharge its duties. And this is true, though not to the same extent perhaps, of every office in the gift of the Grand Lodge. Being the representative Body of the Fraternity in the State, it is the standard by which the character, social position, and respectability of the whole Order are estimated by the community. In filling its offices, this important consideration cannot therefore be safely disregarded.


But leaving the subject here, for such disposition as you may think it entitled to, I proceed to lay before you a brief synopsis of my official proceedings for the past year.

  • Jan. 10. Visited Winslow Lewis Lodge, Boston.
  • Jan. 14. Installed the officers of Essex Lodge, Salem.
  • Feb. 13. Installed the officers of Social Harmony Lodge, Wareham.
  • March 15. Installed the officers of St. John's Lodge, Newburyport.
  • March 24. Constituted Paul Dean Lodge at North Easton, and installed its officers.
  • March 26. Constituted William North Lodge at Lowell, and installed its officers.
  • March 27. Constituted Isaac Parker Lodge at Waltham, and installed its officers.
  • March 31. Constituted Zetland Lodge at Boston, and installed its officers.
  • April 1. Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Beverly, and installed the officers of Liberty Lodge.
  • June 6. Granted Dispensation to Br. Edward Avery and thirty-five others, for a new Lodge at Weymouth, to be called Delta Lodge.
  • June 10. Granted Dispensation to Br. William H. Kent and ten others, for a new Lodge at Charlestown, to be called Faith Lodge.
  • July 13. Visited Mizpah Lodge at Cambridge, u.D.
  • Sept. 4. Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Charlestown.
  • Sept. 25. Constituted Ionic Lodge at East Hampton, and installed its officers.
  • Sept. 28. Constituted St. Bernard's Lodge at Southboro, and installed its officers.
  • Oct. 5. Constituted Mizpah Lodge at Cambridge, and installed its officers.
  • Nov. 4. Visited St. Mark's Lodge at Newburyport.
  • Nov. 20. Visited Grecian Lodge six Lawrence.
  • Dec. 1. Installed the officers of Revere Lodge at Boston.
  • Dec. 2. Dedicated a new Masonic Hall at Pittsfield.
  • Dec. 8. Granted Dispensation to Br. George W. Peirce and thirteen others, for a new Lodge at South Maiden, to be called Palestine Lodge.
  • Dec. 8. Granted Dispensation to Br. Morton B. Menning and twenty-six others, for a new Lodge at West Amesbury, to be called Bethany Lodge.

During the past year two of our oldest permanent members have been summoned to the Grand Lodge above.

R.W. Br. Thomas Power, Past Junior Grand Warden and Past Grand Secretary of this Grand Lodge, died at his residence in Framingham on the ninth day of October last.

R.W. Br. Simon W. Robinson, Past Grand Master of this Grand Lodge, died at his residence in Lexington on the sixteenth day of October last.

I have appointed R.W. Brothers Winslow Lewis, Past Grand Master, Charles W. Moore, Deputy Grand Master, and William S. Gardner, Past Senior Grand Warden, a Committee to prepare suitable resolutions, to be entered upon our records, of respect for the past services and eminent worth of these brethren.


I have received communications from brethren, endeavoring to establish an independent Grand Lodge in Nova Scotia, and also in New Brunswick.

I am not aware that these brethren have yet succeeded in accomplishing their wishes in their respective Provinces, and I would caution this Grand Lodge to consider well the rights of all parties, as well as the great principles of our Order, before making themselves a party to the questions in issue between these brethren and their parent Grand Lodges. Sundry documents received by me, relating to this matter, accompany this address.


There have been initiated during the past year, in the several Lodges under our jurisdiction, two thousand one hundred and seventy-four. The whole number of members on the first day of September last was eighteen thousand three hundred and sixty-seven. Number of chartered Lodges, 172; under Dispensation, 4. There has been received from subordinate Lodges for the past year, through the R.W. D.D. Grand Masters, about $27,000. Also, for commutation tax, about $13,000.


One year ago last July the debt of the Grand Lodge was about $435,312.81. At the present time it is about $375,000, showing a reduction in eighteen months of about $60,000.

The floating debt at the present time is about $116,000, as follows: $10,600 due in 1870-71, $40,000 due in February next, and $65,500 on temporary notes given on four months.

The current expenses of the Grand Lodge for the past year have been reduced to the lowest possible amount, (about $6,000,) being but little more than one half of some former years. The most rigid economy has been exercised on all occasions.

It will be seen from the foregoing statement, that a very large amount of the floating debt of the Grand Lodge still remains unliquidated. It was my confident hope and expectation, when I last addressed you on the subject, that I should at the present Communication be able to announce to you that this most embarrassing part of our debt had been at least so far removed as to leave no cause of uneasiness, and that the only incumbrance upon our finances was the amount secured by mortgage upon the property, which would be amply protected by the income from rents and other sources. In this, I am pained to say, I have been greatly disappointed.


The receipts from the capitation tax the past year have not been what they should have been. The Lodges, with some honorable exceptions, have not in this respect come up to their engagements with the promptness and fidelity which their own interests and the reputation of the Fraternity in this old jurisdiction imperatively demand. The consequence of this has been that the large balance of this part of our debt has been carried the past year by the temporary loans and on the individual responsibility of three or four of our affluent brethren, whose generous confidence has saved the credit of the Grand Lodge, and that of the Order throughout the jurisdiction, from humiliating mortification. To them we owe a debt of gratitude which mere words can never repay.

But this condition of things ought not, and cannot, be allowed to continue. The debt must be paid, and that without further delay. With little less than twenty thousand members, and one hundred and seventy-six Lodges in the jurisdiction, it is wholly inexcusable that the credit of the Grand Lodge should be held in such jeopardy. To a Body like this, composed as it mostly is, of active business men, the sum required to meet all its immediate demands is insignificant. For the payment of this debt the faith of the Grand Lodge stands solemnly pledged upon its records, by a unanimous vote, and this pledge must be redeemed, or its business character irretrievably dishonored. The prompt payment of the paltry sum required by a commutation of the capitation tax, or the contribution of five dollars by each individual member whose name is borne upon our rolls, would immediately relieve the government of the Grand Lodge from the mortifying embarrassments under which they have been struggling for the last two years. Is it just, is it generous, is it honorable that this struggle should continue? I do not ask for individual contributions, but I do ask, in the name of the Grand Lodge, in vindication of its past honorable history, and in behalf of its endangered reputation for integrity, that the Lodges and the brethren throughout the Commonwealth, loving and honoring it as 1 know they do, will unitedly and of one accord, put their hands to the work, and relieve it of its pressing necessities and pending danger.


In my last annual address, it became my duty to report the delinquency of two of the Lodges in the Ninth District, in refusing to comply with the order of the Grand Lodge imposing a capitation tax on its members. One of these Lodges has since so far discharged its obligations as a Lodge, in that particular, as to account for most of its members, but specially reporting twelve of its members, whose names are herewith submitted points as refusing to comply with the order. This refusal requires the immediate action of the Grand Lodge.

The other, Evening Star Lodge at Lee, has not only persisted in its recusancy, but, though frequently called upon by the Deputy for the District, and written to by your Grand Master, has treated the calls of the former with studied neglect, and the communications of the latter with marked contempt. Such a defiance of the authority of the Grand Lodge, and insult to its official head, I have felt it to be my duty to reprove with all the severity with which I am invested. I accordingly, (as authorized by the first section of the eighth article of the Constitution,) on the 20th day of November, directed a mandamus to the R.W. Br. Henry Chickering, Deputy for the District, commanding him to proceed to Lee, and to demand of the Master and Wardens of said Lodge the payment of the capitation tax on its members for the years 1867 and 1868, and on their further neglect or refusal to meet this demand against them, then and in that case, to suspend the Lodge until otherwise ordered by the Grand Lodge. The exercise of this high power has been one of the most painful of my official duties, but it was one which I was not at liberty, under my official obligations, to decline. The offence was an act of insubordination, and a denial of the authority of the Grand Lodge, which, if passed over in silence, would establish a precedent ruinous to all masonic government. I am happy to be able to add, however, that within a few days the R.W. D.D. Grand Master has reported that this Lodge has paid the capitation tax for 1867, and has made its returns and payment of dues for the current year, and the mandamus was returned without further process.


Three years since, you did me the honor to elect me to the office of Grand Master. I have held the place, and, I trust, not altogether unacceptably, performed its duties, for the entire term which, by our Constitutions, I am allowed to occupy, Today I return it to you, with my grateful acknowledgments for the many kindnesses and favors I have received while in the discharge of my official duties, and with assurances of my continued interest in the future welfare and prosperity of the Grand Lodge.

My official labors have been arduous and responsible. They have drawn largely upon my time, and imposed upon me duties such as will not probably be demanded of any of my successors. Whether these duties have been as acceptably performed as they might have been, is a question that can be determined only by those who are best acquainted with the nature and character of them. I only claim that they have received my best consideration and most earnest devotion. And although in dissolving my official connection with the Grand Lodge, I do not leave its fiscal affairs in so favorable a condition as I could have desired, yet it is most gratifying to me, as it should be encouraging to you, that I leave it in the possession of a large and increasingly valuable property, which, with careful management, will in a very few years, place it and every Lodge in the Commonwealth, in a condition to carry out and accomplish more fully than ever before the great beneficent purposes of their existence. That this desirable result may follow, even earlier than the most sanguine among us dares now to anticipate ; that your future may be free from' personal animosity and party strife : that inordinate ambition for place or distinction may be unknown among you ; that neither envy, nor jealousy, nor prejudice, nor false report, may be allowed to influence you ; that subordination to the laws and respect for the constituted authorities of the Grand Lodge, may distinguish you ; and that all your future proceedings may be characterised by unity of purpose, by fraternal kindness, and by that charity which "seeketh not her own," is my most ardent prayer.



Grand Masters