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Trusting that your festival may promote the harmony of the Order, and that its social enjoyment will exceed the most sanguine anticipations of the Brothers of the Fraternity, whose privilege it will be to participate in it, 1 have the honor to remain, Very truly yours, &c.,<br>
Trusting that your festival may promote the harmony of the Order, and that its social enjoyment will exceed the most sanguine anticipations of the Brothers of the Fraternity, whose privilege it will be to participate in it, 1 have the honor to remain, Very truly yours, &c.,<br>
F. W. Lincoln, Ja.
'''Mr. Hale's Response.'''
'''Mr. Hale's Response.'''
Latest revision as of 14:24, 6 September 2019
- 1 BOSTON
- 1.1 NOTES
- 1.2 LODGES
- 1.3 BUILDINGS
- 1.3.1 ANN STREET HALL, 1800
- 1.3.2 BOSTON STATE HOUSE, 1828
- 1.3.3 THE FIRST MASONIC TEMPLE IN BOSTON, 1832
- 1.3.4 BOSTON MASONIC TEMPLE, JUNE 1855
- 1.3.5 DESCRIPTION OF THE OLD TEMPLE
- 1.3.6 PURCHASE OF THE WINTHROP HOUSE
- 1.3.7 DESCRIPTION OF THE WINTHROP HOUSE
- 1.3.8 THE NEW HALL
- 1.3.9 DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE, 1867
- 1.3.10 FROM TROWEL, 1998
- 1.4 LINKS
TEMPLE IMPROVEMENTS, SEPTEMBER 1888
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XII, No. 6, September 1888, Page 190:
During the summer certain alterations have been made on the Grand Secretary's floor that are very much for the accommodation of brethren visiting Boston and the Temple. The coat-room has been changed to the opposite side of the hallway, and adjoining the entrance to Sutton Hall; the wash-room is also changed to the opposite side from its former place, and the superintendent's office is so fixed that he can overlook the rear as well as front stairways. The entire space formerly occupied by wash-room, coat-room, and superintendent's office has been added to the library-room, and this is now made to be very attractive to the brethren. It is manifest that Grand Master Endicott has brought to bear a large amount of personal and practical knowledge in regard to affairs in and about the Temple. This is seen in the motive and manner of improving the library-room. This room is to be open at all reasonable times, especially when meetings are being held, for the convenience and comfort of brethren. A writing desk is provided for general use, smoking will be allowed, and, if the Grand Master completes his purpose, a table supplied with Masonic reading-matter will be maintained. The Temple may not meet all the wants of increased numbers, but for all Craft purposes we think it will be better adapted now than at any former period.
FIREPLACE PANEL, MARCH 1933
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXVIII, No. 7, March 1933, Page 186:
Part of the arrangements for the two hundredth anniversary celebration of the constitution of duly organized Masonry in Massachusetts, it was suggested that a Masonic museum be installed and furnished in Masonic Temple at 51 Boylston Street. Boston, to contain a permanent exhibit of the extensive collection of valuable historical Masonic relies which the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has accumulated over a long period of time through gifts and donations. In connection with this plan it was decided to eliminate the mirror which has hung on the mantel in the present museum hall, and to install in its place a carved wooden panel. This has been originated and executed by Wor. Peter P. Tueei. Master of Hesperia Lodge and presented to Grand Lodge. The above picture illustrates the panel. It contains the seal of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. A. F. & A. M., overhung by carved draperies all bordered by a heavy oak frame, the main arch of which is supported symbolically by two pillars, familiar to all Masons.
The work thus presented has been accepted by Most Worshipful Curtis Chipman, Grand Master, and was suitably acknowledged at the September communication of Grand Lodge.
Brethren visiting the Museum will have an opportunity of admiring a remarkably fine piece of work, the gift of a faithful brother.
But the thoughts of Brother Tucci travelled further, for in his frequent visits to the Masonic Home at Charlton, he noticed that there was something lacking in the Home which was emblematical or suggestive of the authority of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. So he requested permission of the Grand Master to be permitted to present a duplicate carved panel to the one installed in the Temple.
This panel has been executed, and is now ready. It will be presented to the Most Worshipful Grand Master at the Hesperia Lodge meeting on Tuesday. March twenty-first, at 8 p. m. at the Masonic Temple in Boston.
The Grand Master and other officers of the Grand Lodge will he present, as also a large number of distinguished Masons. Eliot and Loyalty Lodge of Jamaica Plain will attend in a body with their officers and members; many other lodges will he represented. It has been planned to have the grand master dedicate the panel in the Masonic Home at Charlton on Sunday. March twenty-sixth at 11 o'clock a. m.. on which occasion he will be assisted by representatives from various lodges.
- Aberdour, from 1860 until its merger with United Lodge in 1980.
- Adelphi, from 1920 until its removal to Quincy in 1967.
- Algonquin, from 1913 until its merger into St. Paul's-Algonquin Lodge in 1988.
- Boston University Lodge, from 1925 to the surrender of its charter in 1999. It was re-chartered in 2012
- Brotherhood Lodge, from 1920 until its merger with Moses Michael Hays Lodge in 1986.
- Columbian Lodge, from 1795 to the present.
- The Consolidated Lodge, from 2004 to the present.
- Cosmopolitan Lodge, from 1991 to the present.
- The DeMolay Lodge, from 1974 to the present.
- The Lodge of Eleusis, from 1865 to its merger into Delta Lodge in 1995.
- Euclid Lodge, from 1916 to its removal to Stoughton (unknown date).
- Everett C. Benton Lodge, from 1925 to its merger with Henry Price Lodge in 2002.
- Fourth Estate Lodge, from 1922 to the present.
- Friendship/Perfect Union Lodge, in 1778 and 1779.
- Gate of the Temple Lodge, from 1952 to 1964, when it removed to Quincy.
- Germania Lodge, from 1854 to its merger with Revere Lodge in 1998.
- Germania-Revere Lodge, from 1998 to its merger with The Consolidated Lodge in 2004.
- Hammatt Lodge, from 1954 to its merger with Ocean Lodge in 1994.
- Hammatt-Ocean Lodge, from 1994 to its merger with Mount Tabor Lodge in 2007.
- Harmonic Lodge, from 1776 to 1797, when the charter was vacated.
- Hesperia Lodge, from 1925 to its merger with St. Paul's-Algonquin Lodge in 2004.
- Independence Lodge, from 2009 to the present.
- Joseph Warren Lodge, from 1856 to its merger with Soley Lodge in 1983.
- Joseph Webb Lodge, from 1876 to the present.
- Loyalty Lodge, from 1920 to its merger with Realty Lodge in 1983.
- Loyalty-Realty Lodge, from 1983 to its merger with Zerubbabel Lodge in 1991.
- Major General Henry Knox Lodge, from 1926 to the present.
- Masters Lodge, from 1738 to 1796, when it was removed from the roll of lodges.
- Moses Michael Hays Lodge, from 1931 until its removal to Needham in 1934.
- Mount Lebanon Lodge, from 1801 to the present.
- Noddle's Island Lodge, from 1920 to its merger with Adelphi Lodge in 1982.
- Price-Benton Lodge, from 2002 to its merger with Germania-Revere Lodge in 2004.
- Realty Lodge, from 1954 to its merger with Loyalty Lodge in 1983.
- Revere Lodge, from 1856 to its merger with Germania Lodge in 1999.
- Rising States Lodge, from 1784 (when it separated from the Lodge of St. Andrew) to the resignation of its charter in 1810.
- Shawmut Lodge, from 1911 to its merger into The Consolidated Lodge in 2008.
- Lodge of St. Andrew, from 1769 to the present.
- St. John's, from 1733 to the present.
- St. Paul's, from 1952 to its merger with Algonquin Lodge in 1988.
- Temple Lodge, from 1920 to its merger with Moses Michael Hays Lodge in 1985.
- West Roxbury Lodge, from 1919 to its merger with Dorchester Lodge in 1990.
- Winslow Lewis Lodge, from 1855 to the present.
- Zerubbabel Lodge, from 1950 to its merger with Loyalty-Realty Lodge in 1991.
- Zetland Lodge, from 1867 to its merger with Lynnfield Lodge in 2002.
- 10/14/1830: IV-195; Laying of corner-stone of Temple Hall for Grand Lodge by Most Wor. Joseph Jenkins. This ceremony was performed in public despite the anti-Masonic opposition then prevalent in Boston.
- 04/06/1864: VI-503; The Winthrop House Fire was reported at the Quarterly Communication. (See description below.)
- 10/14/1864: VI-532; Laying of the cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple.
- 06/24/1867: VII-170; Dedication of the Temple.
ANN STREET HALL, 1800
From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 1, October 1905, Page 19:
Ann Street Masonic Hall.
The illustration shows an old building in which was located one of the halls that was occupied by some of the Masonic bodies of Boston at the beginning of the last century. It was situated on Ann (now North) Street near Dock Square. It was first used by Columbian Lodge, June 1800, afterwards by Mount Lebanon and Massachusetts Lodges, the Grand Lodge and Saint Andrew's Chapter and perhaps by other lodges. While in use by the Masons a portion of the building was "occupied by Philip Woods for his Boston Museum.
The building had an entrance from North Market Street as well as from Ann Street. Drake, in his list of "Ancient Objects and Localities" says of the Boston Museum under the date of "Feb. 28, 1804, just opened by Philip Woods, at the large five-story building over No. 6, north side of the Market." Our illustration shows that the building had but four stories while Drake says that it was "five-story." The apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that the two upper stories were thrown into one, probably by the Masons, in order to obtain a hall of greater elegance. This explanation was confirmed when the building was torn down in 1905 when it was evident that it was originally built with five floors.
It is quite probable that the alteration of the building was made in 1807. At that time the Museum had been removed to another location. The records of Mount Lebanon Lodge show that improvements of considerable magnitude were then made towards which that Lodge contributed more than two hundred dollars. The improvements were of so much importance that the Lodge determined to hold a special service to celebrate their completion and it was voted, "that our fair sisters be invited, and that suitable arrangements be made for their reception." A very complete account of the interesting occasion was printed by the Lodge. Its title is as follows: "An Address Pronounced at the Visitation of Masons Hall Boston on the evening of August 11, A. L. 5807 in the presence of a numerous assembly of Ladies and Gentlemen and a special convention of Mouni Lebanon Lodge, by Bro. Benjamin Gleason P. G. L." Some of the expressions descriptive of the occasion are so quaint that we quote them: "A pleasing solemnity, conn ected with the most social harmony warmed every heart and cheeren every countenance on the occasion. It was a scene of happiest friend ship, and reflected the highest honor on Mount Lebanon Lodge." A poem written for the occasion by Robert Lash was also read. This brother was one of the first initiates of the lodge in which he became quite prominent as he did in several other Masonic bodies in all of which he was greatly loved and respected for his ability and estimable character. It has been said of him that his personal integrity and high moral character exerted a most powerful influence in defeating the opposition and correcting the false impression regarding Freemasonry that had been invented and maliciously circulates by its enemies at the time of the great Anti-Masonic excitement.
The poem which follows was written by him when about twenty eight years old.
"Hail lovely partners of each joy and tear,
Which, through life's little pilgrimage, we share;
Who-se gentle sympathies sooth every woe,
Whose gen'rous smiles teach gratitude to glow:
We greet you welcome to our blest retreat,
Where Friendship, Love, and social Virtue meet.
BOSTON STATE HOUSE, 1828
Old State House, Boston
From Amaranth, or Masonic Garland, Vol. I, No. 4, July 1828, Page 97:
The Old State House was first erected, says Shaw, "for government business, at the head of King (State) street, and was consumed by fire, in 1711. In the year following, a new brick building was raised on the same spot, and met a like fate on the 9th of December, 1747; when some of the records, and other public papers were destroyed. It was repaired in the year following in its present form, and is in length one hundred and ten feet, in breadth thirty four feet, and three stories high. On the centre of the roof is a tower, consisting of three stories, finished according to the Tuscan, Dorick, and Ionick orders. From the upper story is an extensive prospect of the harbor, into the bay, and of the country adjacent."
The lower floor of the building served for a covered walk for any of the inhabitants. On this floor were kept the offices of the clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court and Court of Common Pleas. The rooms over it were occupied by the General Court, the senate in one, and the representative body in the opposite chamber. The third story was appropriated for the use of the committees of the General Court. On the lower floor were ten pillars of the Dorick order, which supported the chambers occupied by the Legislature.
The large Hall, formerly occupied as the Representatives' Chamber, with a part of the Senate room and the whole of the third story, were rented and fitted up by the Masonic institutions of this city, in 1821. The Hall is elegantly embellished: the decorations and furniture are very rich and appropriate, and the room is sufficiently capacious for most Masonic purposes ; it measuring 43 feet 2 in. by 32 feet 2, and 16 feet high. Perhaps for convenience, it is not surpassed by any Hall in the country, though then: are many presenting, at least, a much handsomer exterior. All the Masonic bodies in the city meet here, viz :—
- St. John's Lodge, Chartered 5733; Meets 1st Tues.
- St. Andrew's Lodge, Chartered 5756; Meets 2d Thurs.
- Massachusetts Lodge, Chartered 5770; Meets last Friday.
- Columbian Lodge, Chartered 5796; Meets 1st Thurs.
- Mt. Lebanon Lodge, Chartered 5801; Meets last Mon.
- St. Andrew's Chapter, Chartered 5769; Meets 1st Wed.
- St. Paul's Chapter, Chartered 5818; Meets 3d Tues.
- Council of R. M. (Established) 5812; Meets 3d Wed.
- Encampment, Chartered 5805; Meets last Wed.
- Grand Lodge, 2d Wed. in Dec. March, June and Sept.
- Grand Chapter, 2d Tuesday in Dec. June and September.
THE FIRST MASONIC TEMPLE IN BOSTON, 1832
From New England Craftsman, Vol. IV, No. 1, October 1908, Page 18:
The old Masonic Temple at the corner of Tremont Street and Temple Place, Boston, is now being removed to make place for a more modern business building. The old structure was, for many years, the home of the Grand Lodge and many other Masonic bodies of Boston.
Freemasonry in Boston has been associated with many famous edifices in the past, notably the Green Dragon Tavern, Concert Hall and the Old State House, but in one respect the old temple, now being destroyed, has a stronger claim on our loyal regard than any other. It was built and dedicated in the midst of the Anti-Masonic period when the hatred of the opponents of Freemasonry was most freely and most bitterly exhibited. The Temple was built in 1831, and was the first building in Boston erected by the Masonic Fraternity. It was dedicated May 30, 1832. The building of the Temple caused the officers and members of the Grand Lodge great anxiety: a good account of which was given in the New Fngland Freemason, in 1874, which said:
"By its Act of Incorporation, granted in 181fi, the Grand Lodge was authorized to hold real estate not exceeding the value of twenty thousand dollars, and personal estate not exceeding the value of sixtv thousand dollars.
"Anticipating no difficulty in obtaining a modification of the charter reversing the proportions named, the Grand Lodge went on with the building, and in March. 1831, petitioned the Legislature accordingly. The petition was immediately attacked in violent and abusive language by the Anti-Masonic members of the House, but was finally referred to the Committee on Judiciary. The committee made their report, at the end of the session, in favor, as was expected, of the petition of the Grand Lodge. After a stormy debate, the report was rejected by a vote of one hundred and twenty-eight in the affirmative to one hundred and thirty-three in the negative. A motion to reconsider was lost on the following day, and the Grand Lodge was left without its remedy. It had undeniably exceeded its corporate powers, and had thereby endangered its property.
"The year 1833 was one of great anxiety to the Grand Lodge. It had gone on with, and had completed its new Temple: the Legislature was to re-assemble in January: the Grand Lodge had exceeded its corporate powers and its property was still in danger. The inquisitorial committee, so pertinaciously asked for by its enemies, would then probably be appointed. Before that committee, the leading Masons of the State would, undoubtedly, be summoned: an oath would be proposed which they would not take; questions be put to them which they could not and would not answer. The only alternative was imprisonment.
"With few exceptions the leading Masons in the city were prepared for this: others were not. All naturally desired to avoid the issue, if it could be done without dishonor. How was this to be accomplished?
"On the 20th of December (eleven days before the assembling of the Legislature) nothing had been decided upon."
After various propositions had been discussed and no plan formed that could be agreed on by the members of the Grand Lodge Right Worshipful Charles W. Moore moved "that a committee be appointed to consider the expediency of surrendering the Act of Incorporation of the Grand Lodge, and report at the next meeting." After some hesitation the plan of Brother Moore was adopted and the Act of Incorporation was surrendered.
"The surrender was accepted. The authority of the Legislature over the Grand Lodge was at an end: the property of the latter was secure, and the Fraternity of the whole Commonwealth could now sit down under its 'own vine and fig-tree,' regardless alike of legislative interference and of Anti-Masonic malice and impertinence. In the meantime, the Masonic Temple had been conveyed to Brother Robert G. Shaw, an honorable and honoured merchant of Boston, who, after the storm had passed transferred it to Trustees for the benefit of the Grand Lodge."
The Temple was used by the Masons until 1858 when it was sold to the United States Government for a court house. In 1885 it was sold at auction and improved for business purposes. The original building was then raised two stories.
BOSTON MASONIC TEMPLE, JUNE 1855
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XIV, No. 8, June 1855, Page 231:
Ever since the completion and dedication of that gorgeous Temple, erected by our first Grand Master, King Solomon, on Mount Moriah, Masons have felt it a duty in all countries and in all ages, when circumstances would permit, to prepare and adorn an elegant and appropriate structure for the labors of the Craft. In conformity, therefore, to this custom of our ancient Brethren, the Masonic Temple in Boston, was built and embellished with suitable apartments for the convocations of the Fraternity. The corner stone was laid with due solemnities, Oct. 14th, 1830, and having been completed in less than two years, it was dedicated June 30, 1832. It was literally built in troublous times. It rose in a dark day, as a monument of the fidelity and enterprise of the Brethren, when our Institution was assailed by enemies in every quarter ; and it now looms up among the chapels and churches of the city, as a lofty landmark of the great prosperity with which Providence smiles upon us. Whether our gifted Brother, when he was refreshing his memory at the Castalian fount, had this building in view, I know not; but certainly, the following verses in "Power's Masonic Melodies," are very happy and appropriate to the subject:—
"When darkness veil'd the hopes of man,
Then Light with radiant beams began
To cheer his clouded way;
In graceful Form, to soothe his woes,
Then Beauty to his vision rose
In bright and gentle ray.
Immortal Order stood confess'd,
From furthest East to distant West,
In columns just and true;
The faithful Plumb and Level there,
Uniting with the mystic Square,
The Temple brought to view.
The Masonic Temple is about seventy feet in length by fifty-five in breadth. It is a majestic building, though unfortunately in the external design, no true nor pure order of architecture has been preserved ; it purports to be Gothic, yet it has a Doric base. The interior, however, is divided into numerous rooms, and apartments for Lodges, Chapters and Encampments, and contains two armories and many convenient ante-chambers. The decorations and furniture are appropriate and tasteful.
It was more particularly of the great hall, where the Grand Lodge hold its quarterly communications, that I purposed to speak. Perhaps, there is not at this time, any Masonic hall in the United States, which will compare with it. It is fifty-three feet long, forty wide and sixteen in height. At the end, representing the East, there is a wide Dais, embellished with elegant circular couches of crimson damask, on the right and left of the Chair, where past Officers and strangers of distinction usually sit; above the Chair.hangs a rich crimson canopy, over-laid on the top with a tasty blue border like a crown, with the letter G on a central spot. On each side of the room, a platform somewhat raised, supports several rows of sofas for the accommodation of the Brethren; and twelve new gas lamps at times pour forth the effulgence of noonday, even to the dark regions of the North. The dais and floor are handsomely carpeted, and the furniture is all in keeping with the apartment. There is also an organ—for Masonry, Geometry and Music are sister arts.
There is something, however, besides the accommodation and embellishment of this noble hall, which must strike the eye of every stranger who enters this retreat of friendship and brotherly love. From the lofty walls a family of portraits now look down, whose faces, once familiar to us in our daily walks of life, remind us of many social and happy hours, and still seem to smile on an Institution they cherished and honored while living. Such a gallery of paintings is dear to the Brethren, and produces the effect of grandeur as the eye of the spectator glances along the pictorial walls. There is one full-length portrait of the Father of his Country, our illustrious Brother, George Washington, which was presented to the Grand Lodge by our deceased R. W. Sen. G. Warden, Samuel Parkman, Esq.; it hangs above the Junior Warden's pillar in the South; and where in the Masonic Hall, could a better place be found for this august memorial of the beauty and glory of true greatness, than in the meridian from whence comes the brightest effulgence of day?
There is also a portrait of our ever-honored Provincial Grand Master, Gen. Joseph Warren, whose memory is eternized by that granite column in Charlestown, which marks where he fell, eighty years ago.
The other portraits of our Past Grand Masters, since the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1792, are seventeen. These testimonials of honor and affection toward Brethren who were respected by the world and beloved by the Fraternity, are as follows, an asterisk distinguishing those who have gone to their home. They form but a part of our Past Grand Masters, and it is hoped that others may be soon obtained:
- John Cutler*, Grand Master in 1792, Merchant.
- Paul Revere*, Grand Master in 1794, Silver and Goldsmith.
- Samuel Dunn*, Grand Master in 1799, Mariner.
- Josiah Bartlett*, Grand Master in 1809, Physician.
- Benjamin Russell*, Grand Master in 1813, Printer and Editor.
- John Dixwell*, Grand Master in 1820, Physician.
- John Abbot*, Grand Master in 1823, Counsellor at Law.
- John Soley*, Grand Master in 1827, Merchant
- Joseph Jenkins*, Grand Master in 1830, Architect.
- Joshua B. Flint, Grand Master in 1836, Physician.
- Paul Dean, Grand Master in 1838, Clergyman.
- Caleb Butler*, Grand Master in 1840, Counsellor at Law.
- Augustus Peabody*, Grand Master in 1844, Counsellor at Law.
- Simon W. Robinson, Grand Master in 1845, Merchant.
- Edward A. Raymond, Grand Master in 1848, Merchant.
- George M. Randall, Grand Master in 1852, Clergyman.
It may be worthy of remark to those of our Brethren, who reside at a distance, and are strangers to this city, that the location of the Masonic Temple, is singularly pleasant. It faces the Boston Common, which for size and beauty is said to be the finest Park in the United States; and it is an area of seventy acres, with various paths and shady windings, where ancient elms and forest trees form a rich arcade in the malls, which lead round it, and where a lofty fountain in the Summer season, rising out of a sheet of water, refreshes the air, and gives a rural picturesqueness to the scene; thanks to the City authorities for their tasteful and tutelary care of this popular promenade.
When it is recollected that the Grand Lodge is composed of officers and members delegated from eighty Lodges within the Masonic jurisdiction of Massachusetts — that it is the oldest on the continent — and at the quarterly meetings a great variety of business from all sections of the State is transacted, it must appear evident that the fitting up and adornment of the Masonic Hall was not a mere local matter. It was deemed necessary for the good of the Fraternity throughout the Commonwealth. Here sits our Masonic Legislature; this Temple is our State House, figuratively speaking, but not politically. Politics leaves its shoes at the threshold and never enters the Lodge room of Freemasonry.
An elegant Masonic Hall and necessary apartments are now being fitted up in Portland; and but recently we wore honored with a visit by a delegation from Philadelphia, where our Brethren are erecting a superb temple, and will undoubtedly improve upon the model they came to see.
It was my good fortune to be present at the late Communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, on the 27th of December last, when the officers elect were installed for the coming year. The day had been industriously and profitably spent in work and lectures on the degrees of the Blue Lodge. The installation was in the evening. The splendid hall was filled with the assembled Brethren. I listened with deep interest to the parting address of our able and retiring Grand Master, the Rev. George M. Randall, and particularly to his "Admonition," or warning voice on the dangers of the present great prosperity of the Art. Dr. Winslow Lewis having taken the Chair, also gave us an excellent and affectionate address. The ceremonies were worthy of the occasion. When I looked around and saw the numerous delegation from the hills and vales of Massachusetts — witnessed the order which prevailed — the courteousness and brotherly love which went from heart to heart—the dignity with which every matter was conducted — and the splendor of the scene, as the lamps gave more and more light on the assemblage of different ranks clothed in various costume, and in their official jewels, I felt proud of Masonry, and gazed with admiration on the rank and bearing of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Oh ! may the day never arrive, when, amidst the novelties of the age, and political societies got up under color of secresy, we shall have reason to see one single landmark of our ancient Institution removed. I. H. S.
DESCRIPTION OF THE OLD TEMPLE
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, November 1858, Page 26; it originally appeared in the Boston Evening Gazette:
The Temple being about to pass out of the hands of the Masons, who have made it a home for the institution for thirty years, a brief article recalling the matters incidental to its erection, may not be uninteresting to the young or unprofitable to the old. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, about the year 1816, conceived the idea of establishing a Charity Fund, for the relief of indigent Brothers, their widows and orphan children, and for the better management of the fund, procured an act of incorporation the following year. The Lodges were then in a prosperous condition, and it was thought that the amount of $50,000 might in time be funded, for the desired charity. The act of incorporation fixed the limit of real estate to be held under it at $20,000, and of the personal at $60,000, the proprietorship of a hall at that time not being in the minds of the petitioners. The Lodge occupied rooms in the old Exchange, and upon the destruction of that by fire, they took rooms in the Old State House, which they occupied for several years. The Lodges in this city at that time were St. John's, St Andrew's, Massachusetts, Columbian, and Mount Lebanon. The Grand Lodge also held its sessions in the Old State House. The antimasonic excitement broke out in 1826, in New York, and immediately spread to Massachusetts, where it prevailed with much violence until 1833, during which time Masonry passed through a severe ordeal.
In the midst of this excitement, and almost as if defiant of it, the plan of the Masonic Temple was conceived. The rooms in the Old State House were required for city purposes, and the Masons vacated them a year before the expiration of their lease, moving into Washington Hall, opposite the head of Franklin street. It was here resolved by the Grand Lodge, in view of the unceitainty of location to which they were subject, to erect a building that should prove a permanent home for the Order. An eligible site was accordingly secured and improved for the purpose in 1830, and the Temple, on Tremont street, was commenced, notwithstanding the restriction of the Charter, it being deemed certain that the Legislature would amend it, to meet the contingency, by giving them power to hold more real estate. The corner stone of the Temple was laid Oct. 14, 1830, in the presence of about 3,000 Masons. The Grand Lodge presented their petition for amendment of Charter the subsequent January, and it was immediately attacked by the antimasons, who formed a controlling power in the Legislature. After much opposition the petition was defeated. The Temple, however, continued to rise, and was completed and dedicated May 30, 1832, since which it has been occupied. That it should have been erected at all, in such a time of opposition, is creditable to the spirit of the Fraternity. Among many instances of hostility, the one may be cited where the word "Golgotha" was written upon the front of the building, by its opponents.
As the unaltered Charter stood, the property held under it was liable to pass from the hands of the owners in view of dereliction, and after much discussion the Grand Lodge resolved, Dec. 27, 1833, to surrender their Charter, thus defeating their opponents by removing the matter from legislative control. The surrender was made in the form of a memorial, written by C. VV. Moore, Secretary of the Grand Lodge, and signed by John Abbot, Grand Master, and Elian Haskell and Benj. B. Appleton, Grand Wardens. The property has since been held by trustees, and under the new arrangements it has increased in a very satisfactory degree, ending in a judicious sale to the United States, at a time when the interests of the Order required more room.
On Thursday evening, the occasion of the meeting of the Grand Encampment was availed of by the members of the Boston and De Molay Encampments to hold a farewell banquet beneath the roof which is connected with so many pleasant Masonic associations. Short speeohes were made by Sir Knights Winslow Lewis, Moses Kimball, Dr. Harwood and Father Taylor; and the Prelate of the Grand Encampment, Rev. W. R. Alger, spoke in a strain of unsurpassed eloquence.
The Temple has been a very desirable place for musical entertainments, readings and lectures, and we, in common with thousands of others, have been familiar with its lecture room. It was first in the form of an amphitheatre, and was afterwards changed to a regular hall. The old Franklin Institute held its lectures there, Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler gave Shakespearian readings there, Mr. Dempster and Mr. Henry Russell always sang there, and we distinctly remember the trial of pirates there, and listened to the brilliant eloquence of Dunlap, and saw the benign dignity of Story in that great case. It has been an eventful place, and latterly the Chickerings have added to its musical reputation by transforming its great hall into an exhibition saloon, and the public will miss it more, as here the graces of elaborated genius have displayed themselves, and new aspirants been encouraged in the way to reputation.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, November 1858, p. 32:
The New Masonic Hall. The future meetings of the Grand Lodge, and of all the other Masonic Bodies, which have heretofore met in the Masonic Temple, will be held in the new building on the corner of Washington and Common streets, known as Nassau Hall. The entrance to the Masonic Halls will be on Common street. The Grand Secretary's room will also be removed lo the same building in the course of the present month— entrancee 665 Washington Street. The large hall is one of the most beautiful in the city, and the whole building is admirably adapted to the purposes for which it is to be used for the ensuing two years—at the end of which the Fraternity will doubtless possess a building of their own, of sufficient size and ccm- modiousness to meet all their requirements.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. I, No. 3, January 1859, p. 73:
FAREWELL TO THE TEMPLE.
Boston, November 3, 1858.
Dear Sir— The enclosed lines, written in a moment when my thoughts wandered around that spot where we so often have met, I send, thinking that perhaps they may be found worthy to occupy a place in your publication.
William D. Stratton, W M., Mt. Horeb Lodge, Woburn.
Farewell to the spot where for years we've assembled,
And heard in their beauty tbe duties or life,—
Farewell to the spot which has truly resembled
A haven of peace midst the wild waves of strife.
Farewell to tbe spot where the round of the gavel
Has summoned the Craft to their labors of love;
Where many have learned the true pathway to travel,
Which will lead them at last to the Grand Lodge above.
Farewell thou loved Temple, no more in life's journey
Shall we meet 'neatb thy dome, to work by tbe Square,
No more shall Sir Knights, armed for Masonry's tourney,
Awaken thy echos now slumbering there.
Farewell thou loved homestead, tbe place where so often
We've listened to counsel from lips of the wise;
Though we leave thee in sorrow, yet still time may soften
The pain which it causes to sever old ties.
PURCHASE OF THE WINTHROP HOUSE
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XVIII, No. 6, April 1859; Page 192:
Our readers are all aware that the Grand Lodge of this State has recently sold the building heretofore known as the Masonic Temple, on Tremont Street, to the United States, and that it is henceforth to be occupied as a Court House. And we have now the satisfaction to announce, that since the consummation of the sale as above, the Grand Lodge has purchased and become the owner of the large property known as the Winthrop House, situated on the corner of of Tremont and Boylston streets — having a front of 90 feet 7 inches on the former, (facing the public Common,) and 126 feet on Boylston Street, and containing about double the quantity of land occupied by the old Temple. It is located in the heart of the city, on the corner of two great thoroughfares, and must in a few years be of great value for store-purposes, and will at the same lime afford ample and pleasant accommodations for the Fraternity, We understand that nothing has yet been definitely determined as to what use shall be made of the present building, but the probability is, that the upper part of it will be altered and fitted up for the use of the Fraternity, while the remainder will be continued to be occupied as a first class hotel and family boarding house, for which it is admirably located and adapted.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WINTHROP HOUSE
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 6, April 1864; Page 195:
BURNING OF FREEMASONS' HALL.
The splendid apartments which have been for about four years past occupied by the Freemasons of this city, together with the first class Hotel attached to them, and known as the Winthrop House, at the corner of Tremont and Boylston streets, our Brethren every where throughout the country, will regret to learn, were totally destroyed by fire, with all their valuable contents, on the night of Wednesday, the 6ih of April last. The fire originated in a closet, or private passage-way, under the stairs leading to the Masonic Apartments, between the second and third stories : thus cutting off all communication with them, and rendering it imposible to remove any of the rich and valuable materials with which they were filled. Not a single article was saved from the flames. All was consumed and destroyed. No correct estimate, nor even an approximation to an 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. A nearly complete series of the Portraits of the Past Grand Masters of this Commonwealth, many of them of priceless value, including an original of Henry Price, first G. Master in N. America, Gen. Joseph Warren, the first G. Master of the second G. Lodge of Massachusetts, and a large life-size Portrait of Washington, a copy from Stuart, and most of the Grand Masters from 1780, to the present time, among which were those of Dr. John Warren (the brother of Joseph,) Paul Revere, Isaiah Thomas, John Cutler, Benjamin Russell, and other historic names, were all destroyed.
The Masonic Bodies which regularly held their meetings there, were the Grand Lodge, St. John's, St. Andrew's, Massachusetts, Columbian, Mount Lebanon, Germania, Winslow Lewis, Revere, Joseph Warren, and Aberdour; the Grand Chapter, and St. Andrew's and St. Paul's Chapters; the Boston Council of R. and S. Masters; the Boston, De Molay, and St. Bernard Encampments; the Supreme Council and Grand Consistory of the Northern Jurisdiction; the Boston Consistory; Mt. Olivet Chapter Rose Croix; Boston Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and the Boston Grand Lodge of Perfection.
Each of these Bodies had a large amount of property in the building, the value of which we have no certain means of estimating.
- The Grand Lodge owned the furniture and fixtures of the principal hall, which, with the cost of the adornments, and including the large and splendid organ, but exclusive of the Portraits before referred to, may be estimated at from 8,000 to 10,000, It has also sustained heavy losses in the valuable pictures and original letters in the office of the G. Secretary; among the latter of which, in frames, were autograph Masonic letters of Franklin, Washington, and Lafayette. In this room also was the valuable Library, consisting of about a thousand volumes and a numerous collection of rare Masonic pamphlets, many of which it will be impossible to replace. If any estimate could be made of the value of such a collection, $2,500 would be a low one. It has likewise sustained heavy losses, in common with the whole fraternity of the State, in the destruction of the Records, Charters and papers of decayed Lodges, which from time to time for more than a hundred years past, have been surrendered to it. Of its own particular papers, it has lost many of more or less interest and of considerable value, in a historic point of view. We are happy however to state, that its records are all safe from the beginning of the organization of Masonry in America, in duplicate copies. Those of the volumes that were kept in the Safe of the Grand Secretary, were ruined in their binding, but the contents remain uninjured ; and as it has Leen the practice of the present Secretary to record all reports, papers, and documenls, as they were officially brought before the Grand Lodge, the loss of the files for the last thirty years, is of no particular importance, in a practical sense.
- The Lodges have each sustained heavy losses in rich Regalia, Jewels and other paraphernalia, of the value of which we can form no estimate.
- The two Chapters are also heavy sufferers, and their joint losses cannot be less than 5,000 or $6,000.
- The Encampments are heavy losers. The loss of the Boston Encampment, collectively and individually, we have Heard estimated at $'30,000, on which there was an insurance of $10,000. The De Molay Encampment probably loses not less than $15,000, on which there was no insurance, the policy having expired. The St. Bernard Encampment (new) loses about $5,000, on which there had never been any insurance. The armories of these bodies were tastefully and richly fitted up.
- The Council of Royal and Select Masters lose a rich and valuable regalia and the furniture appropriate to the conferring of the degrees.
- The bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Rite lose about $6,000, in regalia and fixtures, on which the Chapter of Rose Croix have an insurance of $2,000.
- The Supreme Council and the Grand Consistory lose several hundred dollars in regalia and a large amount of manuscripts, documents and other papers of much interest. We are happy to add however, that the records, and other important documents, were not in the building, and are therefore safe.
- On the building there was an insurance of $55,000, and on the regalia, library, &c., of the Grand Lodge, $6,100=$61,100.
The Hotel was kept by Mr. I. H. Silsbee, and was a first class Public House. The furniture was of the most approved pattern and of high finish. Mr. Silsbee estimates his loss at between 30,000, and $10,000, on which there was an insurance of $20,000. The house was fully occupied by boarders and transient visitors, and their individual losses must have been very heavy : nothing was saved ; many of them escaping wiih scarcely clothes enough to prevent suffering from the cold.
It was doubtless one of the most rapid and destructive fires that has ever occurred in this city. The building was heated throughout by steam, and the woodwork was consequently as dry as tinder, and the flames spread with corresponding rapidity. Those who witnessed it describe it as one of the most grand and awful conflagrations the imagination can picture to itself, and it is a matter of astonishment, as well as of thankfulness, that no lives were lost or serious personal injuries sustained.
The following graphic description of the premises appeared in the Boston Transcript of April 7th, and is so accurately and ably drawn thai we transfer it to our pages as a valuable contribution to the current history of Masonry in this city, and for future reference :—
THE LATE MASONIC BUILDING.
Mr. Editor— The Temple of Freemasonry in Boston has been destroyed, and the mystic brotherhood have lost their halls, where they were wont to meet in social conclave and dispense alms to their suffering Brethren. Now that the arrangements of these halls are fresh in remembrance, it will certainly not be considered amiss to preserve, lor future reference, their general appearance, and that of their ante-rooms and other apartments, such as can be given in a hasty sketch by one who is conversant with all their particulars. It will be remembered that the building which was destroyed on the morning of the sixth of April just past, as originally erected, consisted of three private dwellings, erected on the estate formejy occupied by the mansion house and garden of Joseph Head, Esq., a merchant of Uiis city. These houses were subsequently connected, and enlarged by the addition tf another story and back buildings, and were converted into a public hotel, known as the Winthrop House, in remembrance of John Winthrop, the early colonial governor of Massachusetts.
In the year 1859, the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Massachusetts, having previously sold their stone building, known as the Masonic Temple, the Winthrop House estate was purchased and fitted up for Masonic purposes, reserving the four lowermost stories for a hotel, and changing the attic roof into a French one, thereby gaining several large and valuable halls. The building thus altered stood on a lot of land fronting westerly 89 feet on Tremont street, and 126 feet southerly on Boylston street, with a rear of 83 feet and 5 inches on Head place on the east, and adjoining the house of the late George Head, Esq., 115 feet and 6 inches on the north. On the front of the building, facing the Common, there was an unoccupied portion of paved land, measuring 22 feet at the southern extremity, and 14 feet and 8 inches at the northern boundary, the whole number of square feet belonging to the lot, being 10.479. As was absolutely necessary, with so large a space to cover, there was a small area in the centre of the building, left unbuilt upon, reserved indispensably for air and light, so that, architecturally speaking, the edifice was a quadrangle, six stories in height, with another lofty and capacious story within the casements of the French roof.
The portion of the building occupied as a hotel contained in its three stories and basement about one hundred and forty rooms; while the two uppermost stories and attic afforded accommodations to the Freemasons.
The Masonic apartments were approached over a flight of stairs, unfortunately constiucted of wood, situated on the northerly side of the building, the outer door opening on Tremont street, and serving also as the private entrance for the hotel. The rooms occupied by the Freemasons consisted of three large halls, with the necessary ante-rooms, three armories for the Encampments of Knights Templars, a large banqueting hall, with offices for the Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, and for the Superintendent of the building, together with committee rooms, corridors, and capacious closets for storing the regalia and working implements of the craft. In all there were about thirty distinct rooms.
After ascending the long staircase which led to the Masonic Halls, a visitor was first struck with astonishment on beholding the rich and costly banners and other paraphernalia belonging to the various Orders, displayed artistically in glazed cases, in several of which were also suspended the jewels worn by the officers of the bodies to which the banners belonged. On proceeding further, the first room on the lowermost Masonic story which met the attention, was the office of the Superintendent, Mr. Luther L. Tarbell, an accomplished Mason, and a person possessing the knowledge and requirements in a most remarkable degree for the office he so well and faithfully filled. Next was situated a dressing-room, with all the conveniences that ingenuity and a regard for comfort could suggest. Advancing further, the visitor entered a corridor, connected with which •were ante-rooms, preparation rooms, and a large store-room for regalia and articles most needed by the Masons in performing and exemplifying their work ; and here was suspended a faithful portrait of the good old Tyler, father Martin, who a year ago tiled his last sublunary Lodge.
On the left of this corridor was tbe enlrance-door to the large hall known as Corinthian Hall, designed for the annual and quarterly meetings of the Grand Lodge, and forlhe monthly communications of the several Masonic bodies holding their meetings in Freemasons' Hall. This hall was probably one of the most superb in the country; as it was most elaborately and carefully finished in the Corinthian Order of architecture, and was distinguished for the harmony of its proportions, the beauty of its finish, and its perfect adaptedness to its purposes. The frescoes were executed most carefully by the late lamented Schutz, in the highest style of the art. The hanging chandeliers, the standing candelabras, and all the minute fixtures about this hall, as well indeed as in the others to be mentioned, were strictly Masonic, and bearing in every possible way the Masonic emblems and devices. The ceiling, which specially attracted attention, on account of its ornameniation, was laid out in plain panels and figured medallions; of the twelve medallions four bore roselts in relief, while the remaining eight were painted with the following objects of Masonic interest:—
- In the Masonic North, were the ancient armorial bearings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in use until the year 1856, and formerly, as far back as 1477, borne by the Duke of Montacute, and constituted by him to be the arms of the Grand Lodge of England, and these were blended with the Sussex arms; over the West, were the original Montaoute arms, in honor of the Grand Master of England, who granted the first Commission for a Prov. G. Master in Boston in 1733; over the South, were the arms granted to the Freemasons of London by the Clarencieux-King of Arms in 1477, the oldest known Masonic armorial bearings; directly over the canopy in the East, were the arms of the Grand Lodge, as adopted in 1S56: of the remaining four medallions, one had the Bible, another had the pot of incense, a third had a beehive, and the fourth had the winged hour-glass, the symbolism of which is generally well known. In the centre of the ceiling was an allegorical representation of the Genius of Masonry, having in her left hand the square and compasses, and in her right the plumb-line,—the square dedicated to the Master, the compasses to the Craft, and the plumb-line aa the rule by which both are to be tried in their daily life and conversation.
- The walls were painted so as to represent panels between pilasters, and in these were suspended the portraits of Henry Price, the first Grand Master in Massachusetts; Gen. Joseph Warren, the patriot, also a Grand Master, and of most all of those who have held this position in the State. At the South, West and North were painted, in a most striking manner, the emblematical figures of Faith, Hope and Charity. The canopy and other upholstery and carpeting having blue for their prevailing color, were of the richest and most costly character, and exhibited the same excellent taste which pervaded the whole apartment. Elaborately executed columns of the three original Orders, and an altar, together with a large and costly organ, and other necessary fixtures comprised the fittings of this superb hall.
- On the same floor, and fronting Tremont street, was the second hall in size, known as the Ionic Hall, with its ante-rooms, this was designed for the use of the Royal Arch Chapters, and was decorated with emblems of the Order, and furnished with red upholstery, and was, as its name imports, finished in the Ionic Older of architecture. In this hall was an organ, and an excellent full length portrait of Washington, a copy from Stuart.
- On the easterly side of the area, on the same story, were several rooms adapted for the use of the Encampments, Chapters, and the several bodies belonging to the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
The second story partook of the character of an entresol, and contained a large Doric Hall draped in blue, furnished with an organ, an admirably painted copy of the Royal Arch and Master's Carpet, and decorated with the portraits of three eminent Templar Masons, Brothers Hammatt, Lash and Harwood. In the same story were the office of the Grand Secretary, which contained a valuable Masonic library, and many choice relics of the past; the office of the Grand Master, and several smaller rooms for committee purposes and for sodality meetings of the Masonic bodies. Most of these rooms were decorated with photographs of past officers, and some with photographs of all the members of their associations.
In the attic was the large Banqueting Hall and its ante-rooms, (capable of accommodating between four and five hundred persons,) and the three armories of the Boston, De Molay, and St. Bernard Encampments.
The several halls were used by the various bodies which met in Freemasons' Hall, and though they were amply large to accommodate the institution at the time the building was adapted to Masonic purposes, nevertheless larger and more commodious arrangements had become necessary for the rapidly increasing Oider. The fraternity were indebted to the learned and accomplished Mason, Charles W. Moore, Esq., for the admirable adaptedness of this building to the innumerable wants of the several grades of the Masonic bodies which held their meetings wiihin its walls, and to his excellent taste and judgment were due the designs for the decoration of the various apartments.
It is earnestly hoped that when another Freemasons' Hall is built the edifice will indeed be a Temple worthy of the institution, and also of the Grand East where it will be placed.
THE NEW HALL
MAY 1864 (TEMPORARY QUARTERS)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 6, May 1864; p. 213.
THE NEW FREEMASONS' HALL.
Since the recent fire the Grand Lodge has leased and appropriately fitted up the commodious halls in Thorndike Building, No. 10 Summer street, next west of Trinity Church. The aparimenis are capacious, elegant, and admirably adapted to the purposes for which they are hereafter to be used until the Grand Lodge shall have erected a building of its own. The Masonic apartments occupy the three upper stones. On the first of these stories is the Grand Secretary's Office, which is'a large and convenient room; adjoining this is a reception and regalia room of convenient size; next to this is the Superintendent's room ; and on the same floor is a Hall 44 feet long and 25 feet wide, with the necessary ante or preparation rooms. This hall has been fitted up in a very neat and beautiful manner for Lodge meetings, and is generally admired, lis drapery and furniture are blue.
On the next floor above, on the left, is a fine hall, measuring 52 feet Iong and 25 feet wide, which has been appropriately filted up in red, for the use of the Chapters. Opposite to this, on the same floor, is a magnificent hall, 74 feet long by 46 feet wide, which has been carpeted and arranged for the meetings of the Grand Lodge, the Encampments and other Bodies of large membership. It is one of the finest halls in the city, and will conveniently accommodate 400 or 500 persons. In the attic story, above this, are the Banqueting Hall, Pantry, Washroom, Cuisine, and several small rooms for regalia and the other property of the various Masonic Bodies.
The central location of these apartments, will be found to be very convenient to persons having business at the Grand Secretary's Office, as well us to the great mass of Brethren attached to the various Bodies holding their meetings in them.
JUNE 1864 (PLANS FOR NEW BUILDING)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 7, June 1864; p. 262.
NEW MASONIC TEMPLE.
At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth, on the 8th of June, the subject of erecting a new Masonic Temple on the site cf the late Winthrop House, was referred to the Board of Directors with full powers. We understand that it is the intention of the Board to erect a building that shall be an honor to the Fraternity and an ornament to the city. It will be built of granite, and as nearly fire-proof as it can be conveniently made. The first and second stories will probably be appropriated for business purposes, and the two stories next above for the use of the Fraternity ; which, with the spacious apartments in the attic, will, it is thought, afford all the accommodations that will be required for many years to come. The precise architectural style of the building has not yet been fully determined on, but the best architects in the city have been employed on a design for the fascade, and no doubt exists that one will be obtained which will be creditable to the profession and acceptable to all parties interested. The ruins have been removed and preparations are making for laying the foundations of the new edifice.
SEPTEMBER 1864 (PLAN FOR NEW TEMPLE)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 11, September 1864, Page 321.
OUR NEW MASONIC TEMPLE.
The Board of Directors, to whom the subject was referred by the Grand Lodge at its Communication in June, have, after mature and careful consideration, selected and adopted, with great unanimity, a Plan for a new Masonic Temple, to be erected on the site of the late Winthrop House, at the corner of Tremont and Boylston streets. The principal architects in Boston had been invited to submit designs for the fa9ade, and many of great excellence and beauty were offered. That which was finally adopted was drawn by Mr. M. G. Wheelock, and is a fine classical work, after the style of the 14th and 15th centuries.
The idea, or motif, of the design, in an artistic sense, is to present such a combination of the architectural forms characteristic of the mediaval ages, (which forms owe, if not their invention, at least their development, to the combined labors of the Travelling Masons of that period,) as naturally to suggest the most effective poetical and historical associations connected with our Institution.
This leading idea, however, is necessarily subjected to some modification by the complex conditions attached to the proposed building. It is not to be exclusively occupied for Masonic uses, and the idea cannot, therefore, be realized in its perfect simplicity and power; because, first, the ground story being required for mercantile purposes, must essentially conform to the pres ent style of such edifices ; and this demands the largest possible windows on the street ; a compliance with which reduces the structural supports to the least lateral dimensions, and renders of impossible attainment one of the characteristic features of Gothic structures, namely, visible massive ness, or strength, in the lowest parts of the edifice : (but of course sufficient real stability can be had without this massiveness and apparent strength). Secondly, the next story—the first story of the building, in reference to its main object,—is to be principally occupied for purposes disconnected with Masonic uses ; and this requires more extent and uniformity in the window openings, on the exposed fa9ades, than is favorable to the finest effect of this style of architecture. But in the two superior stories, together with the roofs, &c., there is nothing necessarily inconsistent witk a perfect realization of the truest character and most significant beauty of this thrillingly poetic style. On the contrary, the peculiar nature of the apartments, and arrangements of these portions of the ' building, may be made exceedingly favorable to the embodiment of the intended idea. It should, however, be understood that the first stories do not present any serious difficulties in the way of the attainment of the designed effect. Enough breadth is allowed between the stores of the ground story, to construct a bold and characteristic Gothic entrance to the interior ; while, also, the informal utilities of the second story of the interior, admit a sufficient essential freedom in the disposition of the forms upon this stage of the facades.
As a whole, the design of the exterior is not intended to be restricted to any one particular phase of the general Gothic style, for two reasons: first, a realization of perfect harmony in :either the early English, Decorated, or Perpendicular, would so far constrain the composition as to interfere both with the essential utilities and the expression of an appropriate distinctive character in the building, as well as with the spirit, or idea, pervading Gothic architecture, in all its phases, and which are most effectively developed in those structures of the Middle Ages denominated transition, from the mingling of. features belonging to differ en epochs of its history.
No style, in its pure development, which fits only certain conditions, no longer existing, can be rendered properly effective. The genus loci, and the spirit of the age, belonging to each by-gone period of specific architectural development, cannot be revived with the mere forms of .their structures. But if the living, or creative spirit, of any past style, is present to govern the design,—as it may be, being a universal principle,— then even some novelty in the forms, suited to the changed conditions of our time, will in some way develop (as this and other branches of art show,) a sort of romance in the effect, to supply the place of the old harmony.
In reference, therefore, to mere style in the design adopted, the restrictions upon the selection and composition of its features and details of ornament, have power only so far as that all the parts or ornaments are consistent ; 'that is, fit and effective in themselves, and characteristic of the true genius of the Gothic style. In regard to the local, or utilitarian idea of the building, the purposes to which it is to be devoted would seem to require a semi-domestic and palatial style, and hence it is the aim of the design to give it such a character.
The front upon Tremont street, as shown by the Plan, is, in round numbers, ninety feet in width and eighty feet in height, to the coping, or gutter. The elevation is divided into four stories, the first being twenty feet 'in the clear ; the second eighteen feet; the third twentyfive feet, and the fourth thirteen feet. Above these there will be, in the roof, a fifth story, the height of which is not yet definitely determined : it will probably be higher in some portions than in others. Laterally, the front is divided into three main divisions : a central one, about twentyfive feet in width, projecting a little more than a foot from the face-wall of the other two flank-divisions, which are each nearly thirtythree feet in width. Upon the central division is, first, a boldly projecting entrance feature, or porch, rising from the pavement to the string-course of the third story, having a deeply recessed doorway in the ground story, and a canopied window of three lights in the second story, opening upon a balcony over the door. The form, construction, and ornament are peculiarly characteristic, having paneled buttresses, terminating in pinnacles, with gablets and finials, and elaborately ornamented arches, spandrills of sculptured tracery, and appropriate emblems of Masonry. On the sides of the entrance between the buttresses, are deep niches filled with the two symbolic Pillars. To crown this feature, a sharp gable, with tracery and sculptured symbols, and other decorations, rises upon the canopy over the window, and above it, in front of a second balcony, to the central window of the third story, and terminates in a Cross of the Knights of Malta. To meet the thrust of this gable, flying buttresses spring from the outside to the inside buttresses.
On the left hand side of this division is a slender round tower, or turret, six or seven feet in diameter, which is wholly concealed in the ground story by the buttresses of the porch ; but as it rises throughout the other stories it projects one half its section from the main wall until it gains the parapet, whence it ascends fifteen or.sixteen feet higher in the full round, caped or crowned with a heavy projecting battlement. This aesthetical feature of the design will recall the flag, or watch tower, of the feudal castle. To balance it in the composition, a smaller square turret is placed upon the right hand side, lower in its rise above the parapet, which, by means of angle-buttresses below, is made, in effect, to start from the heavy corbel table over the third story ; its first section, or stage, being partially embedded, or enclosed, in the fourth story. This is also designed to recall the peculiar features cf castles of the mediaeval ages. Between these a gable rises over the parapet, and terminates in a pinnacle or finial. An elaborate rose window is set in the centre of the gable, and the space around it is covered with perpendicular, or 14th century paneling, in which appropriate emblems may be properly placed. Below the gable, in the fourth story, is a group of three windows, with pointed ogee arches. Directly below this group is the large two lighted central .window of the third story, before mentioned.
On the flank of the right hand side division, occupying the corner on Boylston Street, an octagonal turret, eight or nine feet in diameter, starts upon five arches, supported by single columns at the six external angles of the octagon. It rises to the top of the parapet without diminution, and then narrowing a little, tapers off in a point, thirty or forty feet higher. This part is constructed in two sections, or stories, with sloping offsets between, (the upper story being the smallest,) and a short spire, finished with a finial and vane. Both sections have open arches in the sides, containing tracery and blinds. The angles of the lowest have buttresses: those of the highest are clustered pillars, or small round shafts. The buttresses of the first are finished above the level conice in pinnacles, and the angles of the second have similar gabled terminations ; between which, the sides above the arches are carried up in sharp gables, around the foot of the spire.
On the flank of the division, on the left hand side, a slight projection, about four feet in width, starts from a corbel on the string-course below the third story, and extending up to the top of the parapet, terminates in a light octagonal pinnacle of open arches, supported upon single columns at the angles—similar to the upper story of the larger turret, having finials and gables between, and surmounted by a tall sharp spire and vane,—the whole being about twentyfive or thirty feet above the parapet. In the lowest stage of the projection in which this pinnacle starts, there is a niche for a statue. This projection is continued down to the ground story by a buttress on the angle, and a slender round shaft on the other side. On the ground story, at this angle, is a projection containing a show window, to correspond partly with the octagonal one on the corner next to Boylston street. It has a buttress of two stages on each side, terminating in gables at the first string-course. The space between, above the arch, being about four feet, is ornamented with a gable and foliage. A similar gable and finish mark the front face of the opposite octagonal window. The buttresses are continued by offsets above the first string-course—one, in the angle buttress, to the foot of the projection before described; the other, in an independent buttress, to the top of the third story, to give symmetry to the composition. A narrow window and a panel occupy the spaces between the buttresses in the second story, and a panel is placed over the narrow window in the corresponding space on the third story. On the cardinal faces of the octagon turret are lancet windows, and deep panels in the others. On the third story of the turret, is a large double niche, cut into the .sides, and the arches of the top, which meet at the salient angles, are feebly supported, apparently, at this point, by a single slender round shaft, or twisted column. In the back of the niche is an arched opening from the interior to the balcony in the lower part of the niche; or a statue may be placed here. The seeming boldness in the construction of this feature, it is thought, will afford one of those peculiar points of pleasant surprise so frequently met with in medieval buildings.
In the tower, by the side of the large central window of this front, there is also a nich ; and an ornamental pannel fills an otherwise blank space on the other side of the window. In the story below, on either side the window-canopy, are arched panels, enriched with Maltese Crosses.
The arrangement of windows, or other openings, in the broad parts of the side divisions, gives in each side, in the lower story, an arcade of three equal round arches, resting upon single plain columns, with heavy ornamental capitals and bases: the central arches in each group are de- signed for entrances to the stores. The soffits of the arches are to be broad, and the window frames set back of the columns, richly moulded. In the second story, the plain walls are pierced with the same number of windows, narrower than the arches below, but ranging directly over them. These have equilateral arched heads, and are divided into two long lights, and a quatre-foil light above them, in the spandrel. In the third story, the windows correspond again in number and position, but they are still narrower and taller, with lancet arches, decorated with cusps. And in the fourth story again, there is the same number of much smaller windows^ having, ogee pointed heads, with their hood-mouldings connected over blank arches between ; by which a group is formed, in each side division of three windows and two blanks between them. The roof story is lighted by a rose window and six dormers on the front.
These principal windows and arches are the only features possessing uniformity in the side divisions of the façade; but they suffice to secure the effect of a proper steadiness and stability in the whole. The variant should be said, that the disposition of the windows, and the focus of certain details, are liable to some changes, an the arrangement of its interior is matured and in the other parts are managed to produce a symmetrical balance of the two sides, or halves, from the vertical centre line.
The composition of the Boylston Street façade is symmetrical with the front; but the salient parts are fewer and simpler, while the plain spaces are broader, and the features having uniformity are more numerous. To balance the octagon turret on the Tremont street corner, there is a rectangular projection, about eight feet wide, on the opposite corner, which rises from the side walk to the roof, and sustains a square turret, or belfry perhaps, of the same dimensions,—having a triple arched window, which may be either glazed or filled with latice on the South and East sides : small square pinnacles surmount the angles, and it is roofed by a short square spire, or pyramidal roof, finished with a vane.
A breadth of about forty feet in the centre of this side is brought forward on the same line with the turrets ; and the angles finished above the parapets with small pinnacles of open arches, resting upon round shafts, and with sharp gables on each face, and a spire ending in a finial. The centre of this part is marked in the third story by a large, two lighted window, similar to that in a corresponding position on the front, flanked on either side by arched panels. Near the corner, on each side of this group, is a single window. In the story next below, a gable rises over the two Central windows, the tympan being filled with tracery. This is flanked by single windows on either side. And in the ground story four semicircular windows light the rear part of the store fronting on Tremont street. A range of four windows and three blank arches, similar to those in the same range or story of the front, occupy the fourth story of this projection. The roof over this centre part rises a few feet higher than the main roof, and has three dormer windows, the centre one being larger and more elaborate than the others. Between this centre space, on each side, is a slightly recessed space of about thirty feet in width. These present a uniform arrangement and appearance with the corresponding spaces on the front side ;—except only that there are but two instead of three dormer windows over each.
A third store, like those facing upon Tremont street, occupies the rear angle of the ground story facing on Boylston street, and its front is finished the same as that of the left hand store on the front side.
A second entrance to the main building will be made at some point on this side, not yet determined.
The details of the first story are in the Norman style, with some sprinkling of early Gothic forms about the entrances. In all the superstructure, no features will appear which are not characteristic of the Western Gothic of the 13th, 14th, or 15th centuries.
Enough in the way of general description has been said to give the reader an idea of the exterior of this splendid design. But we will venture, in conclusion, to add a remark or two in further explanation of the aesthetical meaning of certain features and details of the plan.
Variety, and some degree of intricacy, in the details and composition, constitute a distinctive peculiarity of the general style adopted for the building ; and these, perhaps more than any other element, produce the most powerful effect of Gothic structures upon our imaginations. It is another marked peculiarity in this Order of Architecture, that all the parts and features of an edifice, have an intelligible and consistent significance. And if, as is most likely, much of the original symbolic meaning is lost to us, this is, as before suggested, made up in the general effect, by the new power in those parts and features which time has given them, to associate and vivify the architectural impressions with historic and romantic recollections. Thus the character of the principal entrance, with its deep sunken arches, relieving with broad dark shadows the sharp outjutting buttresses, and the lighter work of gables, tracery and pinnacles above ; the lofty round tower and pierced parapets ; the different turrets and spires, and the sculptured panels, by recalling the features of the mediaeval buildings, suggest the romantic life of that period, as the travelling Masonic Fraternities raising Cathedrals and Abbeys, the chivalric scenes connected with the founders of castles and halls, the tournaments and heroic acts of the Knights ; while the balconies, canopied niches, and emblazoned panels, will revive the recollection of the social life of the troubadours, and the peculiar poetic refinements of their times.
In connection with the variety in the parts and details, and the freedom in their composition, there is another distinctive quality derived from the dark under-cuttings and ornamented hollows of mouldings, and the deep recessing of windows and arches, which produce an effect of mystery in the architecture, that seems analogous to the mysteries allowed in Masonry ; and therefore peculiarly appropriate in a building devoted to its uses.
When completed, the structure will be, in its general architectural style and details, essentially different from any public building in the city, and so far as we are informed, in the country. The nearest approach to it, in these particulars, is Eton College, in England, built in the 15th century.
The plan of the interior, in some of its minor details, has not yet been definitively determined. The basement, or ground story, will, however, be occupied by large and elegant stores, designed to be equal to any in the.city, as the location for business purposes is, prospectively at least, one of the most valuable. Two of these stores will front on Tremont street, and the third on Boylston Street. The story above this will also be appropriated to business, or other purposes disconnected with the Order, and will have separate entrances. The Masonic apartments will commence on the next, or third story, which will contain the large Hall, forty by seventy feet, and a second Hall of smaller dimensions, together with the necessary ante-rooms and offices. On the story next above, (entrasol,) will be a third Hall, with ante-rooms for the use of the Lodges, &c. In the roof-story, which will be spacious and airy, will be a large Banqueting Hall, about forty by eighty feet—three or four well lighted and convenient rooms for Armories. and several smaller apartments.
Such is a general, though necessarily imperfect, outline of the proposed building, in iis external and interior arrangements, and when completed it is believed that it will be at least equal to any similar structure in this country—an honor to the Fraternity and an ornament to the city.
Workmen are engaged in putting in the foundations, and will probably be ready to lay the Corner Stone early in October.
OCTOBER 1864 (PLANS FOR CORNERSTONE LAYING)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 12, October 1864; p. 357.
OUR NEW MASONIC TEMPLE.
We have the satisfaction to announce that the Corner-stone of the new Masonic Temple, to be erected on the site of the late Winthrop House, in this city, will be laid by the Grand Lodge with appropriate Masonic ceremonies, on Friday, the 14th day of October, inst.
This day has been appropriately selected as being the Anniversary of the laying of the Corner-Stone of the first Masonic Temple in Boston, Oct. 14th, 1830.
Invitations have been extended to the Lodges and all other Masonic bodies in the Commonwealth, and it is expected and believed that there will be a larger assemblage of Masons in regalia, than were ever before brought together on any public occasion, in Massachusetts. It is an occasion of peculiar interest to all the Brethren of the jurisdiction,—one in which they individually and as a body can but feel a special interest. Never but once before in the history of Masonry in America, has there been the Corner-Stone of a Masonic edifice laid in the metropolis of the State, and it is not probable that any living Mason will ever again be called upon to unite with -his Brethren in any similar ceremonial in the city of Boston. We cannot, therefore, doubt for a moment that there will be a general and spontaneous gathering of all the Masons of the Commonwealth, and that the day will go into the history of the Institution as one of the most memorable in its annals.
The Grand Lodge will assemble on the morning of the day at Freemasons' hall, in Summer street, at 9 o'clock, and arrangements will be made for the accommodation of the Lodges there, or in the immediate vicinity, of which seasonable notice will be given by the G. Marshal, and through the public papers. The Grand Chapter, Grand Encampment, and other bodies will assemble at places to be hereafter designated. The escort duty will, we understand, be performed by the Knights Templars of the jurisdiction, under the direction of the M. E. Wm. S. Gardner, Esq., G. Master of the G. Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The procession will be formed at about 11 o'clock, under the direction of the Grand Marshal, W. Bro. Wm. U. Stratton, and his Aides, and will proceed through some of the principal streets of the city, to the site of the new edifice, where the ceremonies will be performed and the address delivered.
At the conclusion of the ceremonies, as many of the Brethren as can make it convenient to do so, will dine together at Faneuil Hall, and it a presumed there will be sufficient attendance to fill the entire Hall.
The particulars and all necessary information, will be seasonably given through the secular-papers, the arrangements not having been sufficiently matured to enable us to communicate them through the pages of the Magazine the present month.
NOVEMBER 1864 (CORNERSTONE CEREMONY)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, November 1864; p. 1.
LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF THE NEW MASONIC TEMPLE, IN BOSTON.
THE GREAT HISTORIC ERA - DAYS OF MASONRY IN MASSACHUSETTS.
The 14th of October last was a signal day for Masonry. The Brethren of Massachusetts were from early morning unitedly employed in making History; and one of the most brilliant Chapters in the Annals of Masonry in this Commonwealth, was finished at Faneuil Hall in the evening.
The World's History, as well as that of Nations and individuals, has been marked out by " Epochs," or " Eras"; periods at which some great and critical events have occurred, that stand forth as prominent and remarkable land-posts along the pathway of History. Thus, looking to the world in general, we are all familiar with the Eras of the Creation, of the Deluge, of the Destruction of Troy, of the First Olympiad, of the founding of Rome, of the Astronomical Era of the Babylonians, &c. And all of these Eras have, from peculiar circumstances, been extended from particular nations to the world at large,—a remark which is especially applicable to those of Greece and Rome, so much so that we cannot study any portion of ancient history, without making chronological calculations from one or the other of them, although they respectively originated, according to tradition, the one in the winning of the foot-race ax Olympia by a Greek, of whom otherwise we should know but little; the other in the foundation of a petty village, whose mud-walls were so insignificant as to be easily leaped over in contempt by the founder's brother.
Such are some of what we properly call the great "Historic Eras." Others have been formed, or adopted, from remarkable discoveries or inventions, as those of Steam, Gunpowder, the Mariner's Compass, Printing, &c., each of which was powerful enough in itself to create almost an entire revolution in at least one vast department of the world's life-machinery. These may be peculiarly called the Eras of Mind or of Progress. Again, each nation has its own private Eras, marked by the great events, and turning, or progress-points, in its history. Thus to every American mind, the very mention of the word " Era" calls up the date of our Independence, and all the glorious associations connected therewith. And we fear that, in after times, another far less joyful time and series of events will be recalled, as men speak in subdued and saddened tones, of the events of the Great American Rerellion, which must mark an " Era" even more distinctly than had previously dated from a like unhappy series of events in the old Homeland. And indeed vast and important as the " Era of the Great Rebellion" has always appeared to every student of English History, its proportions shrink into pigmy insignificance, when placed along-side of the colossal and terrific vastness of this awful Civil War of our time and land.
The very fact of this system ot measuring history and time by "epochs," or " eras," having been so long and so universally adopted by men of different ages and widely divided lands, is sufficient to prove its origin to have been, at least, natural and reasonable.
We have thus dwelt somewhat at length on this subject of " Eras," for, in our judgment, the very sufficient reason that the day and the occasion, the events of which we are about to record, must always henceforth be regarded as a momentous epoch or era in the history of Freemasonry in Massachusetts. That history may properly be divided into three remarkable "Eras." The first we regard as the time when in 1733 the M. W. Grand Master, Henry Price, laid in Boston, the Foundation Stone of the first Grand Lodge in America. The second was the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1792, under M. W. John Cutler, which was the foundation-stone of our present Grand Lodge. The third was when in 1830 the Corner-Stone of our first Masonic Temple on Tremont Street.
The Era which is now inost generally used in all civilized countries, is of course the Christian Era, which dates from the 1st of Jan., in the 753d year of Rome. In regard to this Era, now so familiar, it is not generally known that it was not used, even by Christians, till the 6th century after Christ, when it was adopted in the computation of time by Denys the Little, a Monk, who became Abbot of a Monastery near Rome ; nor was it till more than two hundred years later, that this mode of dating was adopted in England. was laid by the M. W. Joseph Jenrins. At the former period, Masonry on this Continent was a plant of small and humble growth, and like all the more solid and beautiful trees, took a considerable time to grow to its present fair and noble proportions—
"Parva metu primo, mox sese stollit in auras." "Ingreditur que solo et Caput inter nubila condit."
Indeed, even in the third epoch named, our Order was not only comparatively weak in numbers, but it was called upon to bear the assaults of a malicious, base and ungenerous persecution, excited by bad men for their own party-political purposes. If there was not yet such great strength of numbers, the very occasion to which we have referred as marking the third epoch, was in itself a very sufficient proof of there existing in our Brotherhood great strength of character and will. For, as that long line of the Brethren accompanied the Grand Master Jenkins to lay the Foundation-Stone of our "First Temple," they were assailed by all those opprobrious epithets and disgraceful insults, which an excited mob are always so ready to hurl at any one, against whom their passions and prejudices have been inflamed. Thus men of high respectability in the community—men eminent as clergymen, scholars and good citizens, were compelled, as they marched in procession, to hear themselves hooted at as felons and miscreants! They did bear it, however, and thereby gained a great and glorious victory, and laid the foundation of the wide-spread influence and success to which our Order has now attained. It was well said by Tertulliati in his celebrated Apology, or Defence of Christianity, (Plures efficimur, &c.,) that "the blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church." And so assuredly the trials and sorrows, insults and persecutions, which our Brethren then endured from their antimasonic persecutors, tended more than all else to foster and promote the growth and full development of the weak and humble sapling, which the year 1733 saw planted among us by Bro. Henry Price, but which now (thanks greatly to these our martyrs) has grown luxuriant and large, like the Banyan tree, spreading out over the land, revelling in wealth of foliage and sylvian beauty, and affording a rich and grateful shelter to the multitudes, who now are ready and anxious to flee to it for shade and safety.
And, as we stood upon the platform, surrounded by more than 6000 of our Brethren, to witness the inauguration of the New Temple, on the ground where our late building was destroyed by calamitous fire, we could but realize that we were affording the strongest living evidence of the great power and high position to which our Order has attained. Over and above much that no money can ever replace or repay, the actual money loss by that fire was itself sufficient to cripple or crush any weak institution. But, though fnr from indulging in a spirit that would affect to treat lightly a calamity of this character, not only are we able to bear it without practical inconvenience, but are about to raise a new and costly structure that shall, for generations to come, be regarded as an honor to the taste and enterprise of the Brotherhood of Massachusetts. And this is a practical proof of success that the world at large is ever ready to understand and appreciate. But we as Masons should be untrue to the great teachings of our Institution, did we not reckon such appreciation as a light matter, compared with the wealth of mind, of manhood, of benevolence and virtue, by which our Order now gives and confers ornament and grace throughout the length and breadth of our land, shedding its light of blessing and benignancy alike over the humble cottage of the laborer, the bivouac-tent of the war-worn soldier, and the stately halls of the wealthy and the powerful.
We have in these pages, on more than one occasion, endeavored to show the high claims and responsibilities now devolving on the Fraternity, from the elevated position which it has gained as a great Continental organization. It is really world-wide but we have used the word Continental, because we are referring to duties which arise directly from the present unhappy stute of the country. When the army has done its work by crushing down armed Rebellion, a vast and most serious other work, and a much grander one, will still remain for some other agency; the work, we mean, of healing the wounds that are likely to fester and rankle long in the alienated and irritated hearts of the sons of the North and South. For this healing reconciliation, Freemasory is, in every way, peculiarly qualified and adapted; and the work is well worthy of the great Brotherhood of Charity and Love. We feel that we can never be unseasonable in bringing this high and holy duty before the attention of our Brethren. No more noblo, almost divine, sphere of duty could possibly be offered to the pure ambition of man-loving, God.fearing, patriotic men. High as the present position of our Order is, let it faithfully and firmly gird itself to this mighty and momentous task of Patriotic Love, and it will be permanently placed on a lofty and rocky height of dignity, the object cf universal respect and admiration :—
"Like some tall cliff, that rears its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its base the swelling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles o'er its head!"
The 14th of October had been selected by the Committee, for the Laying of the Comer-Stone of the new edifice, as peculiarly appropriate, it being the anniversary of the laying of the Foundation-Stone of the first Masonic Temple in this city in the year 1830.
The weather was unpropitious for a public parade of any description, but it was particularly so for an effective display of the rich and showy regalia of a Masonic procession. A violent North-East storm, commencing on Wednesday nighli prevailed without inturmittance, until Friday morning, when it had partially exhausted itself; though the rain continued to fall, more or less copiously, during the whole day. The streets were in a bad condition for marching—the parade ground was wet, and the atmosphere chilly, if not positively cold. The natural effect of all this was to prevent the attendance of many Lodges and Brethren in distant parts of the State, who would otherwise have been present, and contributed to increase the numbers of
But, notwithstanding these adverse circumstances, the Procession was one of the must imposing and brilliant Masonic displays ever witnessed in our city, if it were ever equalled by any similar exhibition in this country. It was imposing and brilliant, not alone in the variety and richness of its regalia and decorations— in the beauty and number of iu banners—its splendid escort and martial appearance, but in the character, intelligence and manly bearing of the men who composed it. "New England citizenship," as was said by one of the city papers the Dext morning, "was well represented. Intelligence and character were stamped upon the countenances of those who participated in the proceedings, and a finer body of men morally and intellectually never paraded our streets. The proceedings, though marred by the inclemency of the weather, were deeply interesting. It must have astonished some of those who remember when opposition to Freemasonry was made a political hobby, to see the Institution so flourishing; but it has survived its period of persecution, and is going about its work of charity and beneficence, silently and efficiently, softening the rigors of war, smoothing the path of the distressed, helping the needy, and binding its members in a Brotherhood of mutual sympathy and true humanity."
It is estimated that there were more than six thousand Masons in attendance, including many who, in consequence of the delay in organizing and the dampness of the ground, were compelled to withdraw before the body took up the line of march. This number, large as it is, would probably have been increased by two or three thousand, had the previous day been clear and pleasant.
The Procession was formed on the Common, near Park street Mall, under the direction of the Grand Marshal, W. Brother Wiluam D. Stratton, assisted as hereafter stated. And we may as well say here as elsewhere, for it should be said, that our Brother and Assistants acquitted themselves, in the discharge of their important duties, in a highly creditable manner, and we believe to the satisfaction of all parties interested. The delay in starting was naturally a cause of some little uneasiness,T>ut it was one of the difficulties and vexations incident to all such occasions. Where the fault lay, or who was responsible for it, it would be difficult to determine; nor is it of any consequence; all did their best, and success was secured. This should satisfy us.
ORDER OF PROCESSION.
The Escort. The Escort was composed of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and R. Island and its Subordinates, and was the most brilliant portion of the Procession. The Grand Encampment was in full array as a complete military organization, and numbered 751. The column marched in the following order :—
- Band of tbe 11th U. S. Iufantry, stationed at Fort Independence.
- M. E. Sir William S. Gardner, Grand Master, accompanied by M. E. Sir Benj. Brown French, Grand Master of Templars in the U. States, and the Grand Officers and Permanent Members of the Grand Encampment (Among whom was the venerable Sir James Salsbury, of Providence, R. 1., wearing the regalia ol Sir Thomas Smith Webb, first Grand Master.)
- St. John's Encampment, Providence, R. I., Sir Daniel Round, Jr., Generalissimo, Commanding.
- Hall's Brass Band.
- Boston Encampment, Boston, Mass., M. E. Sir John K. Hall, Grand Commander.
- Washington Encampment, Newport, R. I., M. E. Sir John Eldred, Grand Commander.
- Worcester County Encampment, represented by several members.
- Springfield Encampment, Springfield, Mass., M. E. Sir Isaac D. Gibbons, Grand Commander.
- De Molay Encampment, Boston, Mass., Sir William F.Davis, Generalissimo, Commanding.
- Holy Sepulchre Encampment, Pawtucket, R. I., represented by several members.
- Dunstable Cornet Band. Pilgrim Encampment, Lowell, Mass., M. E. Sir Joseph Bedlow, Grand Commander.
- Germania Band.
- Palestine Encampment, Chelsea, Mass., M. E. Sir Charles M. Avery, Grand Commander.
- Milford Brass Band.
- Milford Encampment, Milford, Mass., M. E. Sir Isaac Britton, Grand Commander.
- St. Bernard Encampment, Boston, Mass., represented by several of its members.
- Haverhill Brass Band.
- Haverhill Encampment, Haverhill, Mass., M. E. Sir George W. Chase, G. Commander.
- Weymouth Cornet Band.
- Old Colony Encampment, Abington, Mass., M. E. Sir William W. Whitmarsh, G. Commander.
- The Lodges.
- William D. Stratton, Grand Marshal.
- John Kent, Frank Bush Jr., Josiah W. Chamberlin, William T. Eustis 3d, Aides, mounted.
- Baalbec, East Boston.
- Hope, Gardner.
- Amity, Danvers.
- Mount Olivet, Old Cambridge.
- Blue Hill, Canton.
- Aberdour, Boston.
- Orient, South Dedbam.
- Dalhousie, Newton.
- John Hancock, Methuen.
- John Cutler, Abington.
- Hammatt, East Boston.
- Cornet Band.
- Pequossette, Watertown.
- Henry Price, Charlestown.
- Bristol, Attleborough.
- United Brethren, Marlboro.
- Montacute, Worcester.
- John Abbot, Somerville.
- Boston Brigade Band.
- Wyoming, Melrose.
- Mount Vernon, Maiden.
- Webster, Webster.
- Trinity, Clinton.
- Paul Revere, North Bridgewater.
- Joseph Warren, Boston.
- Revere, Boston.
- Gate-of the-Temple, Boston.
- Gilmore's Brass Band.
- Winslow Lewis, Boston.
- Ancient York, Lowell.
- Germania, Boston.
- Mount Horeb, Woburn.
- Metropolitan Brass Band.
- St. Paul's, South Boston.
- Mount Tabor, East Boston.
- Star of-Bethlehem, Chelsea.
- Plymouth, Plymouth.
- St. Paul, Groton.
- Mount Hope Brass Band.
- Mount Hope, Fall River.
- Grecian, Lawrence.
- Liberty, Beverly.
- St. Matthew's, Andover.
- Monitor, Waltham.
- Norfolk Union, Randolph.
- St. Alban's, Foxboro.
- Bethesda, Brighton.
- Pentucket, Lowell.
- Morse's Brass Band.
- Mystic, Pittsfield.
- Amicable, Cambridgeport.
- Mount Carmel, Lynn.
- St. Mark's, Newburyport.
- Merrimack, Haverhill.
- Fraternal, Barnstable.
- Rural, Quincy.
- Aurora, Fitchburg.
- Mount Lebanon, Boston.
- Mount Zion, Barre.
- Rising Star, Stoughton.
- Weymouth Brass Band,
- Orphan's Hope, Weymouth.
- Marine, Falmouth.
- King David, Taunton.
- Hiram, West Cambridge.
- Meridian, Natick.
- Olive Branch, Sutton.
- Montgomery, Milford.
- Boston Cornet Band.
- Columbian, Boston.
- Union, Dorchester.
- Washington, Roxbury.
- Morning Star, Worcester.
- Salem Brass Band.
- Essex, Salem.
- Old Colony, Hingham.
- King Solomon's, Charlestown.
- Philanthropic, Marblehead.
- Massachusetts, Boston.
- Tyrian, Gloucester.
- St. John's, Newburyport.
- St. Andrew's, Boston.
- St. John's, Boston.
- Sutton R. A. Chapter, Lynn.
- Washington R. A. Chapter, Salem.
- Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
- American Brass Band, Providence.
- Knights of Calvary Encampment in Companies.
- The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, consisting of the Past and Present Officers, Most Worshipful Wm. Parkman Grand Master.
- Knights of Calvary Encampment in Companies.
- Invited Guests and Aged Brethren of the Fraternity in Carriages.
- Calvary Encampment of Providence, R. I., acted as a Guard of Honor, under the command ol Sir Levi L. Webster, with the celebrated "American Brass Band," of that city.
Began at about 12 o'clock, and the Procession, moving at quick step,—rather too much, so for oomfort,—passed over the route in a little less than two hours—starting from the Common as above, and passing through Winter, Summer, Otis, De vonshire, Milk, Broad, State, Court, Tremont, and Beacon streets, and entering the Common at the Charles street Mall, thence passing through Beacon, Park and Tremont street Malls, to the site ot the New Temple. The whole distance was probably about three miles, and it was observed that when the rear portion of the Procession was leaving the Common, the head of it had returned to the starting place!
Everywhere along the route the streets and windows were thronged with living masses—ladies and children, old men and young, were joyous,—the waving of handkerchiefs, cheers of welcome, and all the usual manifestations of approval, saluted the brilliant moving pageant at every turn. All was life, animation and joy. If the clouds wept, the younger portion of the Procession might have jband, as they doubtless did find, a compensating sun-shine in the bright eyes and cheering smiles which everywhere greeted them! The spectacle was one that for a life-lime will linger in the memory alike of those who witnessed it and of those who took part in it.
On the arrival of the head of the Procession at the site of the new building, the whole was opened to the right and left, and the Grand Lodge, with the Lodges according to seniority, passed through the open lines and wheeled upon the immense platform prepared for their reception, and where the ceremonies took place as follows :—
Music by Gilmore's Band, Boston.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden: The Grand Lodge having been assembled for the purpose of Laying the Comer-Stone of the New Masonio Temple here to be erected, it is my order the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge be now opened for the performance of that important ceremony. This my will and pleasure you will communicate to the Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, and he to the Brethren present, that all having due notice may govern themselves accordingly.
Senior Grand Warden. Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden: It is the order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that this Corner-Stone be now laid with Masonic honors. This his will and pleasure you will proclaim to all present, that the occasion may be observed with due order and solemnity. Junior Grand Warden. Brethren, and all who ate present, take notice, that the Most Worshipful Grand Master will now deposit this Foundation-Stone in Masonic form. You will observe the order and decorum becoming the important and solemn ceremonies in which we are about to engage.
Prayer, Ry Rev. Bro. J. W. Dadmun.
Hymn, By a Quartette. Cboir, consisting of Bros. S. B. Ball, W. H. Kent, F. A. Hall, and C. G. Jackman
Great Architect of earth and heaven,
By time nor space confined,
Enlarge our love to comprehend,
Our Brethren, all mankind.
Where'er we are, whate'er we do,
Thy presence let us own;
Thine Eye, all-seeing, marks our deeds,
To Thee all thoughts are known.
While nature's works, and science's laws
We labor to reveal,
Oh be our duty done to Thee
With fervency and zeal.
With Faith our guide, and humble Hope,
Warm Charity and Love,
May all at last be raised to share
Thy perfect light above.
Grand Master. Right Worshipful Brother Grand Treasurer: You will read the inscription on the Plate which is to be deposited under the Foundalion-Stone.
THE GRAND TREASURER HERE READ THE INSCRIPTION AS FOLLOWS :— "This Corner-Stone of a New Masonic Temple for the use of the Grand Lodge and Fraternity of Freemasons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, wns laid with Public Masonic Ceremonies, and in the presence of the Executive Officers of the State and City, by the Most Worshipful William Parkman, Esq , Grand Master, on the 14th day of October, A. L. 5864, A.D. 1864.
Officers of the Grand Lodge A. L. 5864:—M. W. William Parkman, G Master; R. W. Charles C. Dame, D. G. Master; R. W. William S. Gardner, S. G. Warden; R. W. Benj. Dean, J. G. Warden ; R. W. John McClellan, G. Treas.; R. W. Charles W. Moore, R. G. Sec.; R W. C. Levi Woodbury, C. G. Sec.
District Deputy Grand Masters :—R W. S D. Nickerson, District 1. William Sutton, District 2. W. F. Salmon, District 3. C. L. Chamberlain. District 4. J. P. Lovell, District 3. J. W. Dadmun, District 6. James M. Cook, District 7. R. B. Pope, District 8. Henry Chickering, District 9. E. P. Graves, District 10. Solon Thornton, District 11. Newell A. Thompson, District 12. George H. Kendall, for Chili, S. America.
W. Rev. Wm. R. Alger, Rev. Wm. S. Studley, Grand Chaplains; Wm. D. Stratton, G. Marshal; Samuel P. Oliver, S. G. Deacon: Henry Mulliken, J. G. Deacon; P. Adams Ames, G. Sword Bearer; W. W. Whelldon, Henry Taber, 2d, Lovell Bicknell, Francis L. Winship, G. Stewards; Edward D. Bancroft, L. H. Gamwell, J. V Hayward, G. Lecturers; Bro. Eben F. Gay, G. Tyler.
Board of Directors:—M. W. William Parkman, R. W Wm. S. Gardner, Benjamin Dean, Chas. W. Moore, Winslow Lewis, John T. Heard, Wm. D. Coolidge, G. Washington Warren, William North.
Building Committee:— William Parkman, Charles W. Moore, Benjamin Dean, John T. Heard.
President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Governor of Massachusetts, John A. Andrew. Mayor of Boston, Frederick W. Lincoln, Jr. M. G. Wheelock, Architect.
Grand Lodge of. Massachusetts founded A. L. 5733, A. D. 1733. Henry Price, Esq., First Grand Master.
CONTENTS OF THE BOX.
- Constitution of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
- Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1862 and 1863.
- Freemasons' Magazine, with a description of the New Building.
- Freemasons' Magazine, containing an account of the burning of the Winthrop House and Freemasons' Hall, April 6, 1864.
- Moore's Address on the Early History of Freemasonry in America.
- Declaration of the Freemasons of Boston and vicinity, in 1831.
- Photograph of the New Freemasons' Hall, by Chapman.
- Ordinances and Public Documents of the Cities of Boston, Roxbury, Cambridge, Charlestown and Lowell.
- Coins of the United States.
- Newspapers of the day.
- Historical Sketches of the Grand Encampment, and of its Subordinate organizations.
- Proceedings of Bunker Hill Monumeut Association for 1861, 1862, 1863 and 1864.
Grand Master. There being no objection, I now order you, Brother Grand Treasurer, to deposit the Plate, with the Papers, in the place prepared for their reception. Music Ry The Band During The Ceremony Of Making The Deposit.
The principal Architect then presented the Working Tools to the Grand Master, who directed the Grand Marshal to present them to the Deputy Grand Master, and Senior and Junior Grand Wardens.
The Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Wardens, then descended from the platform; the Grand Master taking the Trowel, the Deputy Grand Master the Square, the Senior Grand Warden the Level, and the Junior Grand Warden the Plumb, the Grand Master standing at the East of the Stone, his Deputy on his right, the Senior Grand Warden at the West, and the Junior Grand Warden at the South side of the Stone. The Grand Master then spread the cement; and when that was done, he directed the Grand Marshal to order the Craftsmen to lower the Stone. [This was done by three motions, viz :—1st, by lowering a few inches and stopping, when the public Grand Honors were given; 2d, again lowering a few inches, and giving Grand Honors; 3d, letting the Stone down lo its place and giving the Grand Honors as before. The Square, Level and Plumb were then applied to the Stone by the proper Officers.
- Grand Master. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master: What is the proper Jewel of your office?
- Deputy Grand Master. The Square.
- Grand Master. Have you applied the Square to those parts of the Stone that should be square?
- Deputy Grand Master. I have, Most Worshipful Grand Master, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
- Grand Master. Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden: What is the proper Jewel of your offire?
- Senior Grand Warden. The Level.
- Grand Master. Have you applied the Level to the Stone?
- Senior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful Grand Master, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
- Grand Master. Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden: What is the proper Jewel of your office?
- Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb.
- Grand Master. Have yon applied the Plumb to the several edges of the Stone?
- Junior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful Grand Master, and the Craftsmen have done their duty.
- Grand Master. Having full confidence in your skill in the Royal Art, it remains with me now to finish the work.
The Grand Master then gave three knocks upon the Stone, saying— "I find this Foundation-Stone well formed, true and trusty, and may this undertaking be conducted and completed by the Craftsmen according to the grand plan, in Peace, Love and Harmony."
"Know all of you who hear me. We proclaim ourselves true and lawful Masons, true to the laws of our country, professing to fear God, and to confer benefits on mankind. We practice universal beneficence towards all. We have secrets concealed from the eyes of men which may not be revealed to any but Masons, and which no cowan has yet discovered; they are, however, lawful and honorable. Unless our Craft was good and our calling honest, these secrets would not have existed for so many generations, nor should we have had so many illustrious personages as Brethren of our Order, always ready to sanction our proceedings and contribute to our welfare. We are assembled in the broad face of open day, under the canopy of Heaven, to build a Temple for Masonry. May God prosper our handiwork as it shall most please Him. May this Temple become a place wherein just and upright Masons may practice benevolence, promole harmony and cultivate Brotherly love, until they shall all assemble in the Grand Lodge above, where the world's Great Architect lives and reigns forever."
Grand Chaplain (Rev. Wm. S. Studley.) "May the Almighty Architect of the Universe, who disposes of all things according to the excellency of His will; who made the Heavens for His majesty, the sun and stars for His glory, and the Earth as our place of existence and obedience to His laws, look down on us, His servants, Master Masons, endeavoring, in the bonds of love, according to the rules of charity, to build a house for His worship. And may this house, when completed, be a fit habitation for worthy men to meet together and to do good. May the secret assemblies of Freemasons convened here, according to law, be conducted in honor, and result in charity. May every Mason who enters under the roof of this intended building remember that the secrets of the Lord our God are with them that fear Him. May this good work prosper. May the workmen be comforted. May no strife, brawling, or unseemly words, be heard within the walls. May the Master love the Brethren, and Brethren honor the Master. May the coming in and going out of the Brethren be blessed forevermore. May there be plenteousness here, and the voice of thanksgiving ever heard. May no mourning or sorrow of heart be known. May the true wayfaring Mason find comfort in his journey when he tarrieth for a time within the gales of this house.
"Oh Lord God, Great Architect and Grand Geometrician of the Universe, prosper Thou our work. Permit us at all times and in all places to build up Thy holy temple in our hearts and souls, with the beauty of true holiness, so that we may, by faith and good works, ultimately arrive at that glorious mansion, where all things are indeed perfect—where there shall be no more labor, no more sorrow, bat love, joy, peace, rejoicing and happiness forevermore."
The Deputy Grand Master then received from the Grand Marshal the Cornucopia containing Corn, and spread the corn upon the Stone, saying :—
"May the health of the workmen employed in this undertaking be preserved to them, and may the Supreme Grand Architect bless and prosper their labors."
"When once of old, in Israel,
Our early Brethren wrought with toil,
Jehovah's blessing on them fell
In showers of Corn and Wine and Oil."
The Grand Marshal then presented the Senior Grand Warden the cup of Wine, who poured it upon the Stone, saying :—
"May plenty be showered down upon the people of this ancient Commonwealth, and may the blessings of the Bounteous Giver of'All Things, attend all their philanthropic undertakings."
When there a shrine to Him alone
They built, with worship sin to foil.
On threshold and on corner-stone
They poured out Corn and Wine and Oil.
The Grand Marshal presented the cup of Oil to the Junior Grand Warden, who poured it upon the Stone, saying :—
"May the Supreme Ruler of the World preserve this people in Peace, and vouchsafe to them the enjoyment of every blessing."
And we have come, fraternal bands,
With joy and pride and prosperous spoil,
To honor Him by votive hands
With streams of Corn and Wine and Oil.
Grand Master. "May Corn, Wine and Oil, and all the necessaries of life, abound among men throughout the world; and may the blessing of Almighty God be upon this undertaking, and may the structure here to be erected be preserved to the latest ages, in order that it may promote the humane purposes for which it is designed."
The Grand Master then presented the Implements to the Architect saying:— "To you, Brother Architect, are confided the implements of operative Masonry, with the fullest confidence that by your skill and taste, a fabric shall arise, which shall add new lustre to our honored Commonwealth. May it endure lor many ages, a monument of the liberality and benevolence of its founders."
Music By The Band.
Address By Rt. Hon. Robert B. Hall, Of Plymouth.
The solemn and significant rites we have just witnessed inaugurate the commencement of a new Temple for Masonry in this her most ancient seat, on the American Continent. On this Stone, now firmly laid, tried by the plomb, the level and the square—overspread in mystic ceremony with Corn, and Wine, and Oil—and consecrated by prayer to the Supreme Architect of the Universe, will rise a magnificent pile, honorable to our Fraternity and ornamental to this city.
We have gathered here in festal array, to celebrate this auspicious event with fitting pomp and grateful joy. We come from all parts of this jurisdiction to join with our venerable mother, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, now crowned with the wreaths of more than a hundred and thirty summers—to-day more stately and vigorous than ever, in this act which proclaims her prosperous energy. This imposing pageant is in her honor, and proclaims the lively interest of the Fraternity in the advancement and glory of our Order. Thirty four years ago, this day, the foundations of the old Temple were laid, and that building was supposed to be on a scale sufficient for the wants of generations tn come. But, in this brief space, Masonry has outgrown its accommodations, and it was disposed of in 1858 for other uses. Since then the Grand Lodge has occupied temporary apartments, though for the last three years under her own roof. It seems but yesterday since the destroying angel hovered over this spot and consumed our tabernacle with his fiery breath. Already we triumph over these disastrous ashes. Undismayed by calamity, and buoyant with hope, we commence the erection of a suitable and permanent home for the Craft. Let the walls of this Temple rise in solid grandeur till its pinnacles salute the skies! And from this time till it shall crumble into decay let it be sacred to the mysteries and work of Masonry. The short time necessarily allotted to this address in the programme for the day, precludes any elaborate historical account of our Order, and anything like a critical and philosophical analysis of its constitution and influence. The remarks, therefore, which will be made on these subjects, will be cursory and brief.
The Institution of Masonry has come down to us in its principles and spirit, if not in form, from a remote antiquity. Its vestiges may be traced, veiled in the mists of the dim past, faint and shadowy and obscure it may be, but yet speaking witnesses to its ancient claims. At what particular age of the world its light was first revealed it is difficult to determine; but the field of investigation is ample, and materials are not wanting to develop probable conjectures. There are at least sufficient resemblances between Masonry and the most ancient societies in Phoenicia, Chaldea and Egypt to suggest their common origin, and such points of resemblance to the oldest Mysteries as to render probable an affinity with them. Masonry, as now organized, is believed to be of Jewish origin on the authority of its own traditions, and from internal evidence well understood by the Craft. The erection of the Temple on Mount Moriah by Solomon King of Israel was an occasion of the assemblage of bands of "cunning artificers," especially from Tyre, at Jerusalem. While the Temple was building, the workmen are said to have been formed into a community under a system of rules designed to facilitate perfection and efficiency in their art, and to promote their common in terests. This organization was destined to survive the occasion which brought them together. At the completion of the Temple the Craftsmen travelled in other lands where their skill might find employment. Their monuments are to be found in the ruins of temples and theatres which they erected in Phoenicia, Greece and Rome, until the era of Christianity. Soon after this period traces of their history appear in public records, as well as in their works. In the middle ages Masonry culminated in its greatest glory. It was patronized by the Throne and the Church, and overspread Europe with its marvels of architectural skill and beauty. At this date we have precise information in regard to these societies, and but little is left to conjecture as to their nature and organization. They were schools of instruction in architecture and cognate science, and fraternities for mutual protection and relief. They used a symbolical language derived from the practice of their profession; they possessed the means of mutual recognition, and were bound together by secret obligations.
At an early period these societies were endowed with special privileges as a corporation of builders, and became exompt from all local and civil jurisdiction. At length, and by degrees, many persons of eminence, not of the Craft, chiefly ecclesiastics, became associated with them from a desire to obtain the secret knowledge they possessed and pa ticipate in their privileges. This admixture of a superior class as "accepted" Masons soon became potential ; and as the knowledge of the art of building spread beyond the limits of the society, the speculative element gradually predominated. In England, however, it appears that the Freemasons, under their ancient organization, which dates from the time of Athelstane, continued as a body to erect public buildings until the rebuilding of London and the completion of St. Paul's Cathedral, under the mastership of Sir Christopher Wren. It was as late as 1717 that the ancient Lodges remaining in London, united to form a Grand Lodge of Preo and Accepted Masons. In 1733 the Grand Lodge, in whose presence we now stand, was organized under English authority, as the first Grand Lodge in America, and constitutes the link of our connection with the illustrious past of our Order.
We are proud of our descent as Masons from an ancestry so renowned and venerable. Our fathers wrought to embellish the earth with exquisite forms of material beauty, and reared, with patient toil, those stately edifices which overspread the old world with elegance and grace. The memorials of their genius and skill compel the homage of admiring generations, and their fame will endure forever.
But the claims of Masonry to our respect are not founded chiefly on the service it has rendered to the useful and ornamental arts of life. The forms ol architectural beauty and design may vanish, but the spirit which informed them still survives with the Craft, and dignifies and hallows our work. Our Order no lunger hews and squares the rough ashlar for the builder's use, but essays the nobler work of fashioning living stones for the use of the Great Architect himself. We cease to employ the coarse implements which were once the instruments of manual toil, wielded by brawny arms and with sweating brow. The forma of these we preserve; but with us they are spiritualized as emblematical teachers of a pure morality. The plumb, the level and the square repose upon our altars still, but in jeweled majesty, to be used only by the gloved hand to symbolize the highest truths as instruments of human improvement.
It is natural to respect Masonry lor its antiquity. But it claims our reverence also because it is the only one of the old societies which history records, which has survived the wreck of time. Masonry is the only purely human institution which has withstood the never-ceasing tide of change in the world's affairs. In imperishable strength and silent dignity, it has endured like the rock, whilo the current has passed by, sweeping into oblivion, systems, dynasties and institutions, some of them as ancient as herself, and once the objects of pride and admiration.
Il is natural to inquire what there is in Masonry which will account for its permanency thus far, and promises to secure it perpetuity. Why is it that its light that glimmered in early darkness should shine in increasing lustre through the ages, and in the nineteenth century glow in full effulgence? How is it that with no sign ot decripitude or decay, Masonry with unpalsied hand yet holds the sceptre of her Royal Art in increasing empire? The answer must be sought in some peculiarity of constitution; for no miracle has been wrought in her behalf. She has been subjected to the same series of circumstances as other institutions now numbered with things that were, with no external shield against the attack of time. In her own symbolical language, she is said to be supported by pillars of Wisdom, Staength and Beauty. On this hint we propose to dwell, and a brief interpretation of this language, in an enlarged sense, may reveal the secret of her stability and power.
The Wisdom of Masonry is exemplified in establishing her basis on the immutable foundation of Truth. Her cardinal principle is belief in the existence of God. All other truths correlative with belief in deity, have a place in her system. The Bible, as the source and standard of Truth, is exalted on her altars as her first Great Light, and all her moral teachings are but-beams of its brightness. While Masonry makes no pretensions as a system of religion, and, least of all, prefers a claim to be a substitute for Christianity, she humbly walks by its side in strict alliance, as far as she goes. In her speculative form she is as exact in her teachings of moral truths as was operative Masonry in mathematical science. Her propositions admit of no dispute. She wisely confines herself to simple absolute and acknowledged truth, and leaves no margin for controversy or contradiction. She inculcates virtue, and dissuades from vice, but has no casuistical refinements to perplex and divide her followers. Masonry from her plane furnishes the most ample facilities for the investigation of truth. Whoever stands with her there breathes an atmosphere of unrestricted liberality, for her toleration is as boundless in matters of opinion, as her rule is imperative in fundamental faith. Anchored in her principles, fast by the throne of God, inculcating in her first step a loving trust in Him, and accepting His law as the embodiment of truth, she excludes no one from a participation in her benefits on account of diversity in religious views. Her gates are closed against the atheist only. The shackles fall from the hands of Prejudice and Bigotry at the entrance of her shrine. When the well-known words are spoken which, like the proclamation of the mystagogue at Eleusis, closes the door of her sanctuary on the profane^ the truths in which all agree are the only lessons which are taught. In her sacred retreat every discordant voice is hushed, and the bitterness of sectarian strife is abashed into silence in the awful presence of pure and absolute Truth. On any other platform than this she could not comprehend in her embrace all the tribes of men, as the human race now exists, or has ever existed. It is the recognition of these principles and the acknowledgment of corresponding obligations which alone renders it possible to make her privileges available to the whole of the great human family. If she should require any other creed than Ihat God is our Fattier, and that men are His children, and therefore bound to love Him and one another, her grand object would at once be defeated. Hence, while every Maeon retains his religious peculiarities, the Jew, the Turk, the Aborigines of the forest, and the Christian may fraternize in the recognition of a common bond, and demand and receive mutual benefits.
The perfect adaptation of our Order to the nature and wants of man is strongly indicative of the wisdom of its constitution. Its whole energies have been devoted to the interests of humanity. Next to allegiance to God, and springing from it, its controlling principle, is love for man as man. Before the era of Christianity we know of no other system of morals or philosophy, of religion or politics, which presents this bold peculiarity of Freemasonry. Individual interests seem to have been nearly or quite overlooked by the sages and governors who sought to rule the world by philosophies or by power. In the republics of Greece and Rome, confessedly the best developments of civilization in ancient times, the interests of humanity were by no means predominant. In the Roman republic the boast of being a Roman citizen had little meaning except as a defense against the exactions of foreign domination. The man was not esteemed of value except as a part of the Commonwealth. Individual rights were neither sacred nor respected as inalienable. Greece never saw the day, though she boasted the Academy, when the many were not virtually the slaves of the few; and her vaunted democracy was but a name. But Masonry recognizes with generous sensibility the dangers and needs of individual man, and watches with genial care over his rights. Its primary object is to bless the race, not in the aggregate but in its unit; while its ultimate aim is not to exert a power over society but to achieve its melioration and perfection by silent influences in its component parts. This characteristic of her system is the reversal of the theories of ancient days which were tried only to fail, and hive left the wrecks of their destruction scattered over the earth. Masonry has never sought to establish her sway over men, but within them. She exerts her power as a pervading influence and never in the form of arbitrary control. She meets man in all the varieties of bis condition with sympathy, and comprehends him in all the wants of his complex nature. Her first and last teaching is that the highest human development is in the direction of personal virtue nnd individual excellence; that the true nobility is goodness; that the common duties of life have in them the elements of heroism and sanctity; that self-respect is a virtue; and that every man possesses a dignity derived from his original endowments and inherent capabilities. She esteems every man the peer of his fellow in nature and rights. Before her altar distinctions vanish, and all men meet on the level. The prince and the peasant stand alike in her presence. Whatever is common to man is not foreign to her regard. She provides for the physical wants of the body and the yearning needs of the soul. She stands as his instructor and guide, his protector and friend. And so it is that Masonry points to its monuments of usefulness, not among the lew who attain greatness and renown, but among the quiet anil peaceful crowd unknown to fame. Her beneficial influence is not so conspicuous in the seats of wealth and power where rights seek not for protection, and affluence craves not sympathy and aid; but with the masses of mankind who need defense and sympathy, and whose wants demand relief.
The chief element of Staength in Masonry is its principle of association. Man by nature is formed for society. It is impossible for him to live without it, without degenerating. The law of attraction in the material universe is not more necessary than the law of att ruction in the social world. And as the one produces its mighty effects in sustaining systems of worlds and the cohesion of their parts, so the other by its combining energy suppoits and unites society in indissoluble bonds. But while it is absolutely tine that Union is Strength, yet it is also true that the character of the objects of human association nnd the nature of the means of obtaining them, determine the degree of its efficiency and the length of its duration. History and experience bear unmistakable testimony to the fact that any society, not based on virtuous principles, by a natural law, must inevitably perish. The want of moral cohesion ensures its rupture and decay. On the other hand, the three-fold cord ol association, woven of high moral principle, is not easily broken. Its strength is in proportion to the elevation of its aim, and its vitality is commensurate with the extent of its scope. Now Masonry stands on a higher vantage ground in both these respects than any other human institution. No aim can be higher than that which she proposes to accomplish—the physical, mental and moral improvement of her members, and the circle in which her operations extend embraces the race. In making this declaration it is not pretended that her primary object is an uridisiinguishing and unbounded benevolence. Masonry was instituted to promote the immediate good of her members, wherever they may be; and does not claim to sacrifice that good for the benefit of the uninitiated. She provides for her own in the first instance, and the peculiarity of her association, ensuring the performance of this obligation, is the grand element of her continued lite. She is necessarily a propagandist, and furnishes within herself the motive for a perpetual and universal increase. It is her interest to enlarge her means of usefulness, and her doors turn on ready hinges to all applicants for her benefits not disqualified by irreligion or vice.
Brotherly love contributes essentially to the strength of Masonry. The fraternal feeling which is characteristic of Freemasonry does not originate in a mere congeniality of sentiment, or similarity of disposition. It is a principle incorporated in the frame-work of her system. It is not dependent on personal preferences, nor left to grow out of frequent and agreeable intercourse. Social companionship develops a kindly feeling in Masonry as elsewhere, and often ripens into friendship, which gives a zest to the enjoyment of life. This form of Brotherly love, however, is the effect of circumstances; desirable and profitable, and promoted in our Order as much or more than in any other institution. But, in a more enlarged and comprehensive sense, Brotherly love is obligatory on all Masons, and extends its regards to the whole Fraternity, wherever dispersed. Thus universal in its relations, it secures a unity and harmony which renders our Order not only invincible to external assaults, but precludes the possibility of disruption and ruin from internal causes. This tie of Brotherly love, regarded not as a sentiment, but as an obligation, is the glory of Masonry, ami clothes it with an universal power. Overleaping all geographical divisions, rising above all religious and political differences, and ignoring all diversities of race, it establishes a common bond of kindly intercouise among the Craft. Over all the world, wherever a Mason discovers another Mason, he finds a Brother and a friend. If he is in want, he can claim relief which will not be denied. If he is a stranger, he can demand and receive hospitality. If in danger, he can command succor. On the tented field the stroke which would have fallen in death has often beeu arrested by this mysterious power, and the claims of Brotherhood have been recognized in Savage warfaie. The Masonic sign of distress is potent in all calamities which affect lite or fortune wherever the fraternal eye may discern it. Such efforts are produced only by Masonry. She alone speaks that universal language whose whispers rnav be heard amid the thunders of war, in the crash of shipwreck, and in the roar of violence, and whose words, like penticostal utterances, are intelligible among all people and tongues!
The Beauty of Masonry consists not merely in the fair proportions of her design, or the antique grandeur of her drapery, but in the magnitude and glory of her operations. Through the long ages, as now, she has stood the friend of man and the benefactor of society. In all the earth she has distilled her genial dew of blessing, and her path is everywhere marked with verdure and fruitfulness. Her works praise her in the gates and the grateful teius of the poor and unfortunate sparkle like jewels in her diadem ot glory. Her very genius is love, the spirit of which connects her members in an unbroken phalanx, as a band of Brothers, but overflows those bounds and expands itself in a stream of Charity, embracing all mankind. The identification of Masonry and Charity forms the popular idea of our Order. By general consent it stands at the head of charitable institutions. But alms-giving is not the most important part of charity in the Masonic sense. This consists rather in the cultivation and exercise of kindly dispositions and active sympathies. It is a charity which leads men to judge of others with lenity, and to speak of them without reproach—the charity which makes the good name of another as precious as our own—it is exercised in the endeavor to do away with suspicions, jealousies, rivaliies and ovil speakings—it is to .sustain the wounded spirit, to afford consolation to the afflicted, to extend succor to the oppressed—to redress wronw. Such is Masonic charity identical with the charity of Christianity, and which, like that, " never faileth."
An institution adorned with beauty like this must hold its place in human affection, while misfortune and sorrow are the common lot, while human hearts cry oat for sympathy, while man continues frail and imperfect.
If this faint sketch of some of the prominent principles of Freemasonry is correct, the reasons are sufficient to account fur her unchangeable and vigorous continuance until the present time. That this Order commends itself to the intelligence of the nineteenth century is evinced by its larger constituency than ever before, and by its firmer hold on the favor of wise and good men. We submit, therefore, that it is not presumptuous to expect that in the long line of centuries to come it will still repose in undisturbed endurance upon the imperishable pillars of its support. Esto perpetua!
In the present crisis in national affairs a brief allusion may be pardoned to the relations of Masonry to Patriotism. While Masonry stands sternly aloof from all partixin politics, she inculcates the love of country, obedience to rulers, and respect to the majesty of law. Masonry is strongly allied to the structure of all government by her doctrine of equality and the elective principle in the creation of her officers. She has therefore ever taken a manly stand in the defense of these principles as embodied in the American Constitution. It is certain that the form of our government was planned by Masonic minds. More than fifty of the fifiysix sinners of the Declaration of Independence were of the Masonic Fraternity. Nearly all the General officers of the Revolution were also Masons. The great battles of the war were fouuhl under Masonic commanders. The blood of Warren moistened yonder hill in the first libation to liberty, and Washington conducted our armies to final victory.
The spirit which animated these patriots of other days has not fled from our altars. Masonry still yields her loyal and unfalterina support to that Constitution "hich her sons so greatly assisted to establish. Now, ns ever, she stands by the laws, and upholds all rightful authority. At the same time she lends her influence to soften the calamities of war and tn heal the wounds of fratricidal strife. Her sons, when called upon to buckle on their armor, have lespbuded promptly, and in multitudes. None have exceeded them in biavery and endurance in the line of their duty. Tney still stand ready to share in the sacrifices which may be required by their country. It remains to be seen how Masonry will fulfill her mission when war shall end in victory, and peace and union shall again prevail. At least she will be faithful to her ancient traditions and pristine honor, and true to her allegiance. The progress of events seems 1o indicate that the hour of deliverance is at hand. Let us hope that when the cap stone is finished on the topmost tower of our Temple the banner of our country, in the serene beauty of its celestial dyes, and in all the fulness of its ancient piide, shall float from its summit once again the emblem of a united, free and prosperous nation.
Accept, Groat Builder of the skies,
Our heartfelt acts of sacrifice!
Each Brother found a living stone,
While bending low before Thy throne.
While Craftsmen true their work prepare,
With thoughts unstained, and holy care,
May each be fitly formed and placed
Where Love Divine his hopes had traced.
At the conclusion of the ceremonies of laying the Corner-Stone, a Procession of those who had secured tickets to the Dinner, was formed and marched, under the escort of the Calvary Encampment to Faneuil Hall, where tables were spread for about seven bundled guests, being all that the Hall would comfortably accommodate. The caterer was Mr. J. B. Smith, who is, by common consent, admitted to stand at the head of his profession in this city, if not in the country.
The Hall was beautifully decorated with the National flags, which also enclosed various Masonic emblems. Tables were airanged upon the platform, the floor of the Hall, and in the galleries, and were loaded with choice and tempting viands. The instrumental music, which was of a very superior character, was furnished by the "American Brass Band," of Providence, K. I., which occupied a position in the gallery. After an invocation of the Divine blessing by Rev. Wm. S. Studley, Grand Chaplain, an hour was passed in attendance to the material part of the Banquet. The intellectual feast was opened by M. W. Wm. Parkman, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, who presided.
Grand Master Parkman's Speech.
Fellow-Masons—This is a gathering of all the clans, when we meet together upon a common platform. Our platform is sound; it has no rotten plank in it. It is for the purpose of extending that platform that we have met to-day, and to lay the Corner-Stone of a building of large and elegant dimensions. Applause.
When I looked upon this gathering 1 felt a just and honest pride that no language will express to you at this moment. I felt that we had met together for a high and noble purpose; not for a political purpose, but upon the bioad platfoim of Chiistian, civil, and religious faith, to unite in doing what we may to alleviate the distiesses of humanity, and of doing what we can to spiead the glorious principles which have ccme down to us untarnished from the days of Solomon, and which have been disseminated through his disciples, throughout the length and breadth not only of this but of every civilized country in the world. Whereever civilization and art is known, this glorious institution has planted its standard; there it has set up its altars and commands us to lift up thanks to God that we may be permitted to pursue the great work.
I ask each of you to stand where I do and look over this vast assemblage of shining faces, shining with joy. The illustrious workman, (pointing to ll>e porliait of Gen. Warren,) was one of us, who laid down his life that we might worship in this gloiious old hall, redolent with the voices of patriots. We are met, my Brothers, to communorate the laying of this Corner-Sttiie. I am very thankful that it has keen laid. It is a great, it is a glorious occasion, because this is one of the things thai bring us together upon n common question; and we are here to-day,uniter the sanction of the Commonwealth, and 1 shall by and by present a letter from the Governor, to show that his heart is with us. We are here also under the sanction of the city authorities, and I wish to present to you a letter drawn up by one who is a descendant of Paul Revere. Applause.
Without tireing you further, in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the General Grand Encampment of the United States, the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, and in behalf of Masonry of the whole world, I bid you here a hearty welcome. Applause
Brethren, I do not propose to detain you much longer; I merely propose to say a word about the weather. I was a little disappointed this morning; but upon reflection, I made up my mind that inasmuch as Massachusetts was a hard and sterile State; inasmuch as everything was done by water-power, the clerk of the weather had concluded that we wanted some water to carry on the celebration.
We have been highly favored, Brethren, by your presence. I thank you most kindly and cordially, in behalf of the Brethren whom I repiesent. 1 shall close by a sentiment to which I trust every Brother in this hall will heartily respond.
The Grand Master then announced as the first regular sentiment— The President of the United States.
At the announcement of this toast the audience rose in a body, and the wildest applanse broke forth, while the gas lights, which until then had been burning dimly, were let on with lull brilliancy, producing a striking effect. The American Brass Band played the "Star Spangled Banner."
Charles W. Woodbury, Esq., was called upon to respond to the sentiment in honor of the President.
Bro. Woodbury's Speech.
Masons of Massachusetts—As has been amply stated by our Most Worshipful Grand Master,—Masons know no politics. It is the peculiar basis of our Institution, that no matter what the nationality of a Brother in distress, no matter what his political creed, no matter what may be his antecedents, the instant he comes within the pale of Masonic relief, he receives that relief with an open heart and an open hand. [Applause. Masonry throughout the world, no matter what language, what nationality, teaches one duty to its members, and that is to obey the laws and support the Constitution of the Country. Applause
We, the Masons of Massachusetts, recognize but one plain duty in political life before us, and I quote the language of an eminent deceased Mason, and that is, "to follow the flag, and keep step to the music of the Union." Cheers.
Gentlemen, it is an ancient custom at Masonic banquets, to toast the President of the United States; a custom derived, not simply because very many of those distinguished dignitaries of the United States, have also been Brother Masons with us, but from the great respect which the Masons bear to the laws of the land, and to him who is sworn to execute and defend them. Applause. It is a mark of profound respect, not alone to the office, but also to the officer, which induces us on all state occasions like this to propose this formal toast. We can, indeed, as Masons, never toiget that the first man who took the oath as Chief Magistrate of the United States that be would faithfully perlorm the duties of the President of the United States, and that he would protect and defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States, was himself a Brother Mason among us. Applause Not only was he the first of our Presidents, but we all, I think, with one accord, regard him chiefest, first among Masons and among Presidents, and among mankind. Great applause. I need not say for the benefit of the reporters, that I allude to George Washington. Applause.
It is among the most estimable jewels of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, that they treasure a lock of George Washington's hair, presented to this Grand Lodge, at his decease, by his lamented wife. I rejoice to say that it escaped the conflagration which destroyed so many of the treasured relics of the Grand Lodge, and that it is yet preserved in the bands of our present worthy Grand Master, to be looked up to with reverence, and to excite them to deeds of patriotism and noble duty. Applause.
Seventyfive years ago, when George Washington took that oath, the office of President was an untried experiment. Men who regarded the history and conservatism of the past, feared to trust the people with a free election; they feared, too, that the tenure of office, of four years, was too short, and that the whole scheme of the people lor self-government was little short of madness. They referred to European and Oriental examples, and to the dynastic reign of kings, with their policy of centuries as exhibited in the States and courts of these nationalities.
Seventyfive years have passed away, and by the rotation of politics, we have as long a line of Presidents as most of the dynasties can show of kings: and now, to day, before you, gentlemen, a portion of the great Masonic body of the whole world, I submit to you that the comparison of our Presidents with any dynasty of kings that has existed since the world began, with the governors of any nation that has ever existed, is infinitely in favor of the popular choice—the Presidents of the United States. Applause.
Regard them for one moment with a philosophic eye, and where can you find such dignity, such ability, such simplicity of manner, such personal grandeur, as you find in the illustrious long line of men who have filled the office of President of the United States? Applause. Although there are kings, kaisers and emperors, surrounded by courts and encircled by a hereditary peerage, and all the pomp and circumstances which the wealth of the nation c;in lay belore them, our Presidents live upon salaries so small that many a private gentleman in the land has the power to exceed them in his annual expenditure; yet the result of this experiment is already in lavor of the capacity of a free people. Gentlemen, we have toasted the President of the United States in office, and we have borne our tribute to his personal character and private virtues.
Under the Corner-Stone we have laid to-day, we have recorded that this great and good work was begun during the presidency of Mr. Lincoln, our present Chief Magistrate. [Applause ] What more can we say for him who is first among us? We can simply turn towards heaven, and in the language with which the first Chief Grand Master of the .Masons in the world, King Solomon, addressed his God; we all can turn and pray that God may endow and bless him with an understanding heart in order that these States may be brought back to peace, prosperity and union. Applause
The second toast was— The Commonwealth of Massachusetts —Untiring in the cause of civil and religious liberty. The following letter from His Excellency Governor Andrew was here read :—
The Governor's Letter.
Commonwealth or Massachusetts, Executive Department, Oct. 14, 1864.
To William Parkman, Esq., Grand Matter, %c.—
Sir—I have the honor to acknowledge the favor of your invitation to attend the ceremonies at Laying the Corner Stone of the new Masonic Temple to day, and to assure you that but for the necessity imposed on me by duties, which wilt confine me to the State House during the morning, including a special meeting of the Executive Council, it would have given me pleasure to witness proceedings of so much interest. I trust that the work you begin to-day will meet no interruption, until it shall be presented to the eye of taste a monument of becoming beauty, and to the eye ot use a commodious edifice befitting the purpose of its inauguration. With respectful good wishes, I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
John A. Andrew.
Bro. Goodwin's Speech.
Hon. John A. Goodwin, of Lowell, responded to the last toast in an eloquent speech. He said that thirty years ago he would have been a hold man who would have responded to a Masonic sentiment of such a character, but to-day not only Governors did them honor, but the whole community. A neat compliment was paid to Rhode Island, which, "though small in territory is magnificently large and expanded in heart." Cheers. The speaker closed by expressing the hope, that their new building would last until "we and our children's children shall have travelled around the square of time and entered the boundless circle of eternity," and gave the following sentiment :—
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts—Quick in her impulses, hasty in her judgments, but always safe in her deliberate conclusions.
The next regular toast was as follows :— The City of Boston—Characterized by free schools, free speech and universal education.
The following letter from the Mayor of the City was here read :—
The Mayor's Letter.
Mayor's Office, City Hall, Boston, Oct. 14, 1864. William Parkman, Esq., Grand Master—
Dear Sir—I am much obliged for your kind invitation to participate in the Masonic Banquet this alternoon at Faneuil Hall. Your note did not reach me until last evening, and I had previously made other arrangements for my time.
It would have afforded me much pleasure to be present to meet so many personal friends, and so large a body of the most respectable citizens of our Commonwealth. I congratulate you on the prosperity of your honorable Fraternity, and desire to express an interest in the erection of your new Building, which will form another architectural triumph for the embellishment of our good city.
Trusting that your festival may promote the harmony of the Order, and that its social enjoyment will exceed the most sanguine anticipations of the Brothers of the Fraternity, whose privilege it will be to participate in it, 1 have the honor to remain, Very truly yours, &c.,
F. W. Lincoln, Ja.
Mr. Hale's Response.
Hon. George S. Hale, President of the Common Council of Boston, responded in behalf of the City, saying that it gave him pleasure to act as the spokesman of the hub among so many good fellows (felloet.) Not being a Mason, although he could not speak on the " square," be would endeavor to be within the "compass." Mr. Hale spoke in a complimentary manner of the Procession, and of the members of the Order whom he knew, and gave as a sentiment—
The Masonic tie ol Charity, of kindness and generosity, which binds together Masons whether in or out of the Order throughout the world.
Three cheers for the City of Boston were here called for by Bro. Benj. Dean, and given with great vigor.
The fourth sentiment was— The General Grand Encampment of the United States—Founded on the Christian religion, and teaching unbounded hospitality, it is endowed with the love of every knightly heart.
Hon. B. B. French, M. E. Grand Master of Knights Templars of the United S ales, responded to this sentiment.
Bro. French's Speech.
Were it not that I know I am addressing an assemblage of Freemasons, I should begin to think 1 was addressing a meeting of "the Sons of New Hampshire;" for my honored friend and Brother Woodbury, who responded to the first sentiment, and my friend Hale, who responded to another, are both natives of New Hampshire, and I have the honor to claim that State as the place of my birth. I am proud of my birth-place, and I always glory in the assertion that I am a New England i'ankee. It is a birthright that I shall never sell!
This, Most Worshipful Sir, and respected Brethren, is a proud day for the Freemasonry of Massachusetts—for the Freemasonry of Rhode Island, who have large ly joined in your celebration,—for the Freemasonry of Boston. You ought all to be proud of it. I, indeoi, am very proud of being so fortunate as to make one of your number. I have seen many processions in my day, but never one like the one of to-day. When I heard of the destruction of your Masonic Temple by fire, I regarded it as a great calamity; I have this day changed my mind, and have come almost to regard it as a fortunate event—inasmuch as it has been the means of calling forth the tens of thousands who have filled the streets of your city to-day, and exhibited to the world such a gathering of Freemasons as it never saw before. It reminds me of the description of the laying of the foundation of the second Temple by the Israelites of old—of which the sacred historian says, "But many of the priests and scribes and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice: and many shouted aloud for joy." I have not a doubt that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, among the multitude who this day saw the Corner-Stone of your second Temple laid, who experienced feelings kindred to the feelings of those "ancient men," although they may not have given to them the same outward demonstration.
I believe, said Bro. French, that the Masons of the United States look towards Boston as a sort of Mecca of the Order. It was the place, most assuredly, where Freemasonry began to flourish on this Continent; and when ws go back to the daya of Grand Master Henry Price, and Grand Master Joseph Warren, and follow down the long line of worthies who have so honorably presided over the Craft, to my Most Worshipful friend and Brother, who now presides here with so much honor to Freemasonry and to himself, we may well turn to Boston and to Massachusetts for instruction and example. One of the best, and most popular poets of Boston, has said, somewhat ironically, that "Boston is the hub of the Universe." I think I can say, in all truth, that Boston is the hub of Freemasonry in the United States, for from it,'as a common centre, the great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, that characterize our Order, and that Charity without which we are indeed nothing, have radiated and are still radiating to the furthermost bounds of the Union.
Bro. French then went on to say, that as he was present as the Grand Master of the Templars of the United States, that Templar Masonry was just at this time bis speciality. He spoke of the adoption of a new Constitution of the Grand Encampment of the United States at Hartford, in 1656, and remarked that it had been the cause of some misunderstanding between the Grand Encampment and some of the State Grand Bodies, but he was rejoiced upon being publicly assured this day by the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Sir William S. Gardner, that the Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island were loyal to the Grand Encampment of the U. States. They had certainly shown their loyalty to-day by their kind and courteous reception of, and attention to, him (Sir Knt. French.)'
The speaker then alluded to the visit of De Molay Encampment and St. John's Encampment to Richmond a few years'ago, and complimented his friend and M. W. Brother who now presided, (Sir Knt. Parkman,) on the happy manner in which he commanded and presided over that fraternal and Knightly expedition, and wondered whether they could renew that expedition to Richmond now, and meet with a like reception!
After a few remarks on the present prosperity of the Order of Freemasons, and the expression of his hope that the new Temple might be completed without accident, and ever remain as the Grand Asylum of the Craft in Massachusetts, Brother French concluded with the sentiment—
The Union of Freemasonry—A Union that never can be broken.
As soon as Bro. French had concluded, M. W. Grand Master Parkman rose and said, that the allusion of Bro. French to the visit at Richmond a few years ago, brought to his mind occurrences, since the unhappy war commenced, growing nut of that visit, which he would briefly allude to. He then stated instances where, through the fraternal acquaintances he had at that time formed in Richmond, he had succeeded in alleviating the sufferings of our prisoners there, and had even been instrumental in causing some of them to be restored to their friends.
Bro. French begged to be allowed to sty a few words m>re suggested by Brother Parkman's remarks. He said that his position was such that he perhaps witnessed more of the benefits of Freemasonry, as connected with this war, than any other Brother present. He then gave several instances of Brotherly kindness and courtesy that had fallen beneath his own notice, between the belligerents, and alluded particularly to the case of Bro. Bradford, son of our M. W. Bro. Freeman Bradford, of Portland, Maine, who was desperately wounded at the night attack on Fort Sumter, and was taken to Charleston, and to the house of our worthy and respected Br., Dr. A. G. Mackey, where he had all possible care and attention until he died. And still there are those, said Brother French, who assert that Freemasonry has had its day, and has ceased to be useful! Freemasonry ceased to be useful! As well might it be said that the sun in the heavens had ceased to shine—that philanthropy among men had ceased to exist. No, Most Worshipful Sir, and Brethren, Freemasonry is in the very meridian of its glory and its usefulness, and it shall last as long as this world shall stand.
The next toast was— The Orator of the Day —The Theme and the Speaker well met. The treatment of his subject is all that could be desired by the Fraternity, and all the ambition of tbe speaker could have hoped. Both speaker and subject have new claims upon our regard.
The toast was suitably responded to by Bro, Hall.
The next toast was—
Our Foreign Relations.—Successive links of that golden chain which unites our Fraternity the world over.
Replied to by the R. W. Brother R.T. Clinch, Dep. G. Master for New Brunswick.
Bro. Clinch's Speech.
M W. Grand Master—This is an unexpected honor; I had not the remotest idea that I would be called upon to day, in this time-honored and venerated place, and before this large and respectable assemblage of the Fraternity, to respond to the truly Masonic sentiment which has just been proposed. 1 conless therefore my inability to do justice to the subject, and have deeply to regret that there is not present some more worthy Mason from New Brunswick, who, by his eloquence and ability, would leave with you a better impression concerning the Craft in our Province, than I can possibly hope to do.
The most pleasing and fraternal relations have ever existed between the Masons of Massachusetts and of the Province of New Brunswick. Many, very many years ago; probably before the majority of us here to day saw the light, the Royal Arch Companions in our Province, sought the jurisdiction of Massachusetts for instruction and counsel; and recently our Provincial Grand Lodge applied to the Grand Lodge of this State for a competent Brother to visit and instruct us. The ready and cheerful compliance with which our request was granted, will, I assure you, never be forgotten by the Masons in our Province, whilst the beneficial results of that visit and its salutary influence upon our Lodges will be as enduring as the Institution itself. It is no wonder, then, that we turn to Massachusetts as our Masonic Alma Mater. Next to our own Grand Lodge we reverence her. Its Masonic spirit, its conservatism, its firm adherence to the principles we all profess, in her darkest hours of our history on this Continent, excite our warmest admiration. We claim with you a participation in those feelings of reverence and love you maintain for that noble roll of illustrious Craftsmen,—beginning with the gallant Warren and coming down to, but not ending with, your venerated and venerable Lewis,— which has made the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts a shining light in the Masonic world. Your authorities are our authorities; your decisions are quoted by us and never questioned; the name of your able Grand Secretary, Brother Charles W. Moore—whose fame as a Masonic jurist is as wide spread as the Fraternity—is with ns as a household word upon all the topics which he has elucidated by his learning. Besides all this, between individual Brethren of the two Jurisdictions there is a continual recurrence of acts of kindness and love. I must urge these as reasons why I cannot do justice to the sentiment to which I have been called upon to respond, and which was so warmly received; in view of all that I have said, thinking of the courtesies that have been extended to me since I have been in this city, impressed with the spirit of this day's proceedings, and surrounded by the influences of the time and the occasion, I can scarcely leel that I am a " Foreign Relation."
Allow me, before sitting down, to express my regret at the loss you have sustained in the destruction of your noble Hall, and particularly in losing those cherished mementos of the past, to which were attached some Masonic or historic interest of more than ordinary importance. These can never be replaced, but I mistake the spirit of the Masons of Massachusetts, I mistake the meaning of the large gathering at this day's ceremonial, if your second Temple does not prove to be a far more noble monument of your taste and liberality, than the one—magnificent as it was— which it is intended to replace.
The next sentiment was— The Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
This was responded to by M. E. William S. Gardner, Grand Master of the G. Encampment, as follows:—
Bro. Gardner's Speech.
"M. W. Grand Master—It affords me great pleasure at this time to respond to the sentiment congratulatory to the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, inasmuch as its history is interwoven with the interests of the Grand Lodge over which you preside, and I might also add, with the Grand Lodge of R. Island. Of the distinguished Knights who have commanded this Grand Encampment, Raymond, Robinson and Lewis, have also sat in the Oriental Chair, occupied by you, while Fowle, Loring, Dame, Hews, Flint, Moore, Hammatt, Baker, Bradford and Harwood, are names identified with Masonry in Massachusetts, some of whom can never be forgotten in the history of your Grand Lodge.
"But it has been on occasions of this kind, that the services of the Grand Encampment have been required to assist you in performing your duties. In 1825, when the Corner-Stone of the Monument was laid on Bunker Hill, in presence of the IIl. Bro. the Marquis De La Fayette, by your predecessor, the M. W. John Abbot, long since departed this life, this Grand Encampment, under the command of M. E. Sir Henry Fowle, its G. Master, and also then Deputy Gen. Grand Master of Templars in the United States, occupied a prominent position with you. The Records of your Grand Lodge are so particular as to state among other things not less worthy to be recorded, that "the Templars were in full dress, and displayed the banners of Knights Templars and Knights of the Red Cross. Sir Knights, with lances, preceded, bearing on the points of their lances white pennants, on which were painted the names of the six New England States. A front and rear guard, and also the guards of the banners, were armed with lances."
Again in 1843, when the Monument which we see from this Cradle of Liberty was completed, and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was present to pronounce the work "well done," and to declare that the Craftsmen had done their duty, this Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island escorted you to the Hill. And finally, in 1854, when the model of the original Monument, erected by King Solomon's Lodge of Charlestown, cut in enduring marble, was deposited within the granite obelisk, these two Grand Bodies there stood side by side. And on the 14th day of October, 1830, the Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, "whom persecution could not prostrate, whom the withering glances of scorn could not terrify, and by whose steady bearing and steadfast eye the prowling wolf of malice was driven back to his lair," were guarded and protected by the trusty swords of the faithful Knights of this Grand Eucampment, while the M. W. Grand Master laid the Corner-Stone of that old Temple, with the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.
hi those days of persecution and trial, the world-renowned "Declaration of the Freemasons of Boston and Vicinity, piesented to the public December 31st, 1831," written by that able, accomplished and fearless Knight, who has since presided over our Grand Encampment, Sir Charles W. Moore, was first introduced into Boston Encampment, where the subject of a protest was under consideration, your own Grand Lodge being "divided as to the propriety of going before the publie to meet charges made by antimasons," for thus the record of your Grand Lodge reads. And I can say with all truth, and there are those here, who will sustain me, that through the unsparing labors and self denying efforts n[ the Knights of this jurisdiction, especially of Boston Encampment, among whom stood the author of that Declaration, "the first among his equals," the tide of persecution was turned, and your Grand Lodge preserved in undiminished strength.
On all occasions of pubilc character, when your Grand Lodge has been called rjpon to perform official duties, this Grand Encampment has been ready to assist yoo, in sunshine and io storm. And to day, M. W. Sir, at your invitation, we have come up with strength and might to sustain you in your new labors, and to encourage you by our presence. In pleasing contrast with the scene thirtyfour years ago this day, our trusty swords now rest peaceably in their scabbards. The sound of the gavel is heard again in the once deserted Halls, in newly erected edifices, and in laying the Corner-Stone of a more enduring and beautiful Temple, while Brother, Companion and Knight, are working together in peace and tranquility.
But let me assure you that no rust is consuming our mystic blades; that, if necessary, they will again gleam in the light with untarnished lustre; that they are ever ready at your call, to assist, protect and defend the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The seventh regular toast was— Masonic Fraternity—A synonym for Universal Good Will and True Benevolence.
Replied to by R. W. Benj. Dean, J. G. Warden.
Bro. Dean's Speech.
When our Grand Master a few moments ago requested me to respond to the sentiment he has just read, my mind not only glanced at the universal good will and true benevolence of our Institution, more universal and true than that of any other organization among men, but it also found itself revelling in' the universality of the Institution itself.
Like Jacob's seed, it has spread itself abroad to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West, and in it and its seed all the families of the earth are blessed. And wherever it may be, whether at the icy pole, or beneath the tropical sun of India, its good will and benevolence preserves the same genial warmth, dispenses the same hallowed blessings.
When some of his companions were sent by our lamented Brother, Dr. Kane, to make preparations to find the Northern open Sea, they found themselves too much exhausted to return to the ship. They pitched their tent, and could advance no farther. All around, as far as the eye could reach, was an unbounded sea of ice Above them was the cold canopy of stars. They could move no longer. They laid themselves down, but not to die. Being absent too long, Bro. Kane started to find them. In the distance he discovers the litte Masonic flag floating over the tent. He approaches, opens the tent, and bears the first voice saying—" We knew you'd come." And as he spoke those words the little Masonic flag over the tent, was silently proclaiming why they "knew he'd come."
I too was in Richmond on the occasion heretofore alluded to, when the Knights Templars of Boston and Providence—so many of whom are here to night—visited the Richmond Comuiandery. What an outpouring of good will was there! I never can forget the time when all the Knights of the three cities involuntarily bursting for a season the bands of discipline, arm in arm, while the Band of Bro. Green, which has discoursed such excellent music during this Banquet, and Bro. Gilmore's Band, and the Richmond Band, with one accord, and altogether, and filling the street from side to side, played together the same tune—marched down that broad street in Richmond, " our steps keeping time to the music of the Union."
May God grant the speedy return of the time when universal good will and true benevolence will exist throughout the length and breadth of our land ; when the Knights Templars from Massachusetts and Rhode Island may again, in company with the Richmond Sir Knights, keep step to the music of the Union, played by their congregated bands as on that happy day.
God grant that the time will soon come when Masonry may exert its true mission of healing wounds and assuaging passions; when with its silver trowel it may so spread the salve of universal good will and true benevolence over the wounds this lamentable civil war has made, as to heal every wound, and obliterate every scar. And may they be so effectually obliterated and blotted out by the return of universal' good will and true benevolence, that with reference to its crimes even—it may be said—" the accusing angel, as be flies towards heaven's chancery, blushes as he gives them in, and the recording augel as he writes them down, drops a tear upon the words, and blots them out forever."
The next toast was— The Clergy.
Responded to by Rev. William S. Studley, Junior Grand Chaplain.
After some playful introductory remarks, he spoke ot the American Clergy, and especially the clergy of Massachusetts and New England, as a body of men whose teachings were always profitable to consider, and whose example was always safe to follow.
The next sentiment— The District Deputy Grand Masters.—Their varied Masonic skill, their ardent zeal, and untiring exertions, entitle them to our warmest thanks.
Bro. Newell A. Thompson was called on to respond to this toast, but he having retired, a call from the audience was made on R. W. Br. Wm. D. Coolidge, who spoke as follows :—
Bro. Cooiidge's Speech.
Worthipful Master—I rise with very great pleasure Sir, to respond to this sentiment, and to bear my ready and willing testimony to the great usefulness and fidelity of those distinguished Brethren whom you have so justly termed the right arm of the Grand Master. Five of my Masonic years I past with them, which I consider the happiest portion of my Masonic experience, and no one can more highly appreciate the value of the services of this board than the Past Grand Masters of this Grand Lodge. Under the administration of my excellent friend and Brother here on my right, Dr. Winslow Lewis, the duties ol this board were more directly defined, and no honor that he ever conferred upon me ever conduced so much to my individual happiness as when I was permitted, through his appointment, to associate with them, and share their labors, and when his mantle, like that of Elijah, fell upon my shoulders, how earnestly did I pray that one spark of the intelligence of that head, and one drop of the goodness and brotherly kindness of that heart, could come with that mantle to aid and guide me in the discharge of those duties which be had so ably and so satisfactorily performed.
Sir, I come from the fatigues of the preparation of this Banquet, that all who sit here should have something comfortable for the inner man, and I shall esteem myself most happy if I can gather up one thought- to add to that harmony which has blessed us from yonder gallery, and to that string of pearls and gems which has fallen from the lips of those Brethren who have preceded me from that platform. I might speak to you of the impressions on my own mind as I send it back as on this day, when the Corner-Stone of our first Temple was laid, and contrast it with the scene of to-day; for never was more marked respect paid by the citizens of this metropolis than we have experienced this day. We have passed through the obloquy and prejudices of former years and have lived them down. "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again," and that justice and charity so long witheld from us, is today the willing tribute of every heart. God is just, and always in his own good time will vindicate himself. Through His grace we have lived it down.
I turn, Sir, as to the magnet, to him who has been so eloquently termed the first among us. Our Brother (pointing to the picture of Washington) to-day, Sir, and in this eventlul period; I turn to him, and in the most endearing relation; and 1 am reminded of that beautiful sentiment of our Brother, the late Samuel L. Knapp, who said "Heaven left him childless, that all the nation might call him Father." Happy for us all if we could feel and acknowledge that fraternal relationship, and thus all become brothers again. Allusion has been made to the State that raises men. Turn now upon this picture and look upon that brow where "every god did seem to set bis seal," and in this hour of our anxiety and trouble, listen to his words and lay them to heart: "One country, one Constitution, one destiny. Liberty and Union, uow and forever, one and inseparable." Masonry is loyal. We, as Masons, would be loyal to God, loyal to our country, and loyal to ourselves and our principles.
But, Sir, I am reminded that I am here to speak for the Past Grand Masters and the Deputies. Here is one on my right, the genial influence of whose presence I have felt ever since I sat here, and for whom, now that he is striken and unable to address you, I may be permitted to utter a word. He who has so endeared himself to us through a long life, filled with the true spirit of our Order, who is the graduate of every Masonic degree known among us, whose eloquence has so often charmed us, and whose life is the embodiment of his teachings. Now that his tongue must be silent, lei me speak what I know would be the language of his heart to day. In the midst of all our anxieties and sorrows, in our fears lor our nation and its best interests, and all its most cherished institutions, and its hopes, let every Brother call to mind the first word be uttered in a Masonic Lodge, and when all earthly efforts seem to fail, look up and be strengthened, and still trust in God—doing our utmost to become worthy of His guidance, believing with all our hearts, that as we become worthy, we shall be guided by a wisdom which cannot err, and that we shall receive the continuance of that love which is unchangeable and everlasting.
Much as I venerate the symbols of our Order, beautiful and expressive as are the Square, the Level, and the Plumb, to-day, and in this presence give me the Trowel, and to you R. W. Br. Lewis, I present it in figure, and close with this sentiment— The Trowel and its Use—Exemplified in the life and character of our beloved Past Grand Master, Dr. Winslow Lewis.
Rev. Bro. J. W. Dadmun being called upon spoke as follows :—
I had hoped, for once, you would allow me to sit quietly and enjoy the "feast of reason and the flow of soul." But since you have called me out 1 must say, this is one of the happiest days of my life.
Allusion has been made, by the eloquent speakers who have preceded me, to the days of persecution, when those who laid the Corner-Stone of our first Temple had to hold the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other. That was a fiery ordeal, a time that tried men's souls. As I have looked over the history of those times I have been reminded of the two ladies, who, while reading the Scriptures, came across this beautiful passage from one of the Prophets, " He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. They could not fully comprehend the import of the passage. One of them suggested that they go to the silver-smith and inquire into the process of refining. To this they agreed. They went, and be kindly explained the process. Said he, "When the silver is put into the crucible 1 sit and watch it until it is refined." They left. Said one, " I think I understand it. 'He shall sit as a refiner,' means our Heavenly Father will watch over his children when tbey are in the furnace of affliction." Just then the silver-smith called them back. Said he, "there is one thing I forgot to tell you. When I can see my own image in the metal, I know the process of refining is complete." "Now," said they, " we have the idea. God suffers us to remain in the furnace of affliction long enough to bring out his owu image upon the soul." So the Great Master Builder suffered the Masonic Fraternity to pass through those days of persecution, that the dross might be separated from the gold. And if you want an evidence of this, look at these old veterans who never faultered, but came out of the furnace without so much as the smell of fire on their garments. They are the tried Stones in our glorious Temple.
I am happy to belong to that class of Clergymen who are not ashamed to have it known that we are Masons. In this we are following in the footsteps of the fathers. Good old Bishop Heading and Rev. Elijah B. Sabin, were honorary members of Mount Lebanon Lodge. They remained true during the antimasonic excitement, and we, their sons, mean to stand by the ancient land-marks of the Order. Three cheers were given for the Clergy.
W. Bro. Muzzey, Master of Mount Olivet Lodge, Cambridge, being called upon, spoke as follows:—
Bro. Muzzey's Speech.
Moat Worthipful Grand Master—An unexpected duty is always somewhat embarrassing. I certainly had not the vanity to anticipate that any summons from you, Sir, would be addressed to me on this occasion and in this presence. If excuse were admissible, I might find it in the wearisome march, and in the later duties of this table, which have received from me due personal attention. But a command from your authority may not be disregarded for any trivial reason.
As I have listened to the eloquent train of remark from the Brethren who have preceded me, my mind has been naturally led to contemplate the elevated character of our Order. Since our first Grand Master laid its foundations, what institution of man has rivalled the permanence of its existence? Within the proud period of its record, how much else has had its day and perished! Do you point me to personal distinction? Hardly more than contemporaneous renown is accorded by man to the most eminent of his tellows—and true of the common fame of men is the brilliant sarcasm of De Quincey upon the ephemeral reputation of Fox :—" It sleeps where the carols of the larks are sleeping, which gladenei the spring-time of those early years; sleeps with the rose.s that glorified the beauty of their summers." States, institutions, whole races of men, have lost their places upon the earth, and become extinct. "Freemasonry, notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the mysteries of Masonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts."
And what has given to Masonry its enduring honor? By virtue of what attributes has it belted the globe with its glorious Brotherhood; overleaped the barriers of nations, survived the fall of empire, and remained unlost amid the confusion of tongues?
Its sacred principles give to it its immutability and perpetual reverence among men. It is because its appeal is to the highest and holiest promptings of our nature, and it makes men truer and better who come within the circle of its teachings and influence.
In recognition of this truth,—not, I hope, too grave a thought for a festive table of Masons,—I offer you, Sir, this sentiment:— Masonry—The golden Center of Earth ; the Celestial Ladder to Heaven.
Some other toasts were given and responded to, of which we have no notes, being obliged to leave the Hall before the close of the festival. The speeches were eloquent, and the cheering enthusiastic. Several other Brethren had expected to speak, but found themselves too much exhausted by the chill and fatigues of the day, and were reluctantly compelled to retire at an early hour. The speaking, however, was sufficient lo enliven the occasion and to mark it as a "white day" lor Masonry in Massachusetts.
Review Of Knights Templars. One of the most interesting features of the day was the Review of the Encampments by the M. E. G. M., Sir B. B French, which took place while the Ceremonies were proceeding of Laving the Corner-Slone. Immediately after the Grand Lodge had passed the extended line of Knights, they marched directly to the Parade Ground upon Boston Common, where Grand Master Sir Wm. S. Gardner, tendered a review of his command to the Grand Master of Templars in the United States; all the minute particulars of a military Review were gone through with, and much credit is due the several Encampments for the excellent dritl they shew on the occasion. After the ranks had been opened, and arms had been presented, the M. E. Sir Benj. B. French, accompanied by the Grand Master of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the other Grand Officers, passed down the lines in front and rear, the Bands striking up Hail to the Chief. The Encampments then formed in Companies and marched in Review by the M. E. Grand Master, evincing in their marching great military skill and discipline. The Review was very successful and we believe is a new feature in Templar Masonry. It was peculiarly interesting at this lime, as it was the largest assembly of Templars ever convened in this country. After the Review, and the Encampments had been again formed in line, the Commanders, Generalissimos and Captains General, filed to tbe centre, and marched in Company to the position occupied by the Grand Otficers, and formed in half circle about them. Tbe Grand Master, Sir William S. Gardner, here addressed them briefly, complimenting them on the great success of the Review; the fine appearance and excellent discipline of their several Commands and presented them to the M. £. Sir Benj. B. French, the Grand Master of Templars in the United States, who also addressed them, and shook each one by the hand. The several Encampments were then dismissed from further service. St. John's Encampment, of Providence, escorted the Grand Officers to Freemasons' Hall, Summer Street. Among the excellent Bands present we should not fail to mention that of the 11th United States Infantry, stationed at Fort Independence, and which was tendered to the Grand Encampment by Capt. O. E. Lattimer, who is a Brother Mason. The Band occupied the right, the post of honor throughout the day, and attracted universal attention.
The Magnitude Of Our Procession. There were 73 Lodges in the Procession—45 of these were counted by one of the Reporters, and gave an aggregate of 2778, or an average of 61 33 45. Taking this as a general average, the whole number of Masons in Lodges, was about 44S0. To these are to be added the Grand Encampment and its subordinates, numbering, by count, 751—the Grand and subordinate Chapters, by estimate 200—the Grand Lodge and guests, 75—aged Brethren in carriages, 40—Marshals, 60. Total of Masons, 5606 If to these we add the Bands, (about 30.) at 450, we have a grand total of 6056, as the entire Procession. And it is to be borne in mind that this was a representation of the Masonry of Massachusetts only. No invitations were sent to other States Had the weather been favorable the attendance would not have been much less that 10,000. As it was, it was the most numerous Masonic display ever witnessed in this country.
The Plate. The silver Plate deposited under the Corner Stone, was engraved by Bro. Daniel Briscoe, of this city, and was a fine specimen of workmanship. The arrangement of the lines and the excellent taste displayed in the style of the lettering, were equalled only by the beauty of the execution.
The Address. Our readers have the Address before them and can form their own estimate of its merits. We cannot, however, consent to pass it over without expressing our warmest thanks to its accomplished author lor his scholtariy and finished production It is a chaste and well written analysis of the history and philosophy of Masonry. It was worthy of the occasion, and is creditable to the Institution.
The Dinner. Several of the Lodges and other Bodies, both in and out of the city, anticipating the difficulty of finding accommodation to the Dinner at Fancuil Hall, took the precaution to provide for themselves at the public hotels and other places. We understand that six or eight hundred dined at the United States Hotel, and about un equal number at the American House. The Parker House and Young's Coffee House were also full. The three Lodges at East Boston dined together at the Sturdevant House, in that section of the city, and "had a fine time," as they well deserved to have. Columbian Lodge, of this city, dined at Mercantile Hall. Bro. Tarbell was the caterer, and gave them a "Bill of Fare" which for variety and excellence it would be difficult to excel.
Bro. Woodbury's Speech. Of the excellent Speech of Bro. C. Levi Woodbury, at Faneuil Hall one of the city papers (Journal) speaks in the following just and complimentary terms:—" Considering*the political sentiments of Mr. Woodhurv, the choice of respondent was a singular one, and the situation must 'have been to him somewhat embarrassing. But we are constrained to say that be acquitted himself handsomely, and with a liberality of sentiment which is much to his credit. His Speech was appropriate and eminently patriotic; Hnd his personal allusions were in good taste and lound a general response It is certainly not the least of the benefits of Freemasonry if it inculcates political toleration and liberality, as well as patriotism, as exemplified in the Speech ot Mr. Woodbury."
Calvary Encampment. It was a general remark, that no single body in the Procession made a finer display than this excellent Encampment ot Knights Templars Their uniform was brilliant, and their marching and evolutions those of veteran soldiers. They contributed largely to the brilliancy of the pngeant. The absence of their excellent Commander, Sir Knt. Thos. A. Doyle, Mayor of Providence, from illness, was generally regretted, but he has great reason to be proud of the manner in which his Command acquitted itself in his absence. The Band accompanying it was one of the best iu the Procession, and elicited generate omuiendation.
Rank Of The Lodges. We have given the order of the Lodges as they appeared in the Prucession. This is not according to their rank, but was probably adopted for the better arrangement of the Bands, which might otherwise have been brought too near together, and would have deprived the Lodges by which they were employed of their immediate benefit.
DECEMBER 1864 (COMMENTARY)
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, December 1864; p. 59.
We are permitted to make the following extract from a private letter from England to a Brother in this city, showing the interest which our Brethren on the other side of the Atlantic feel in the prosperity of the Institution in this country:-
"You must have had a very exciting day among the Fraternity at Boston on the day of laying your Foundation Stone. I am very, very, sorry, the day, as regards the weather, was so unpropitious. You were highly favored with men of talent. They expressed themselves nobly. May their hopes and wishes be fully realized, in which the writer most heartily joins.
"Bro. Thos. Elamon, of 666 Sutherland Lodge, wishes his Brethren of Boston every success in raising a becoming Temple to the memory of our first Master of the Art, King Solomon, and to the Son of the Widow, his principal Craftsman; wherein the glorious principles of the Craft may be taught in all their purity, fidelity and Brotherly love, acknowledging the Great Architect of the Universe as the only true and holy God."
DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE, 1867
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 6, April 1867, Page 167:
The dedication of the New Masonic Temple is definitely fixed for Monday, the 24th of June next. The details have not yet been matured, and no very definite information can, therefore, be given at the present time. We hope to be able to do so in our next issue. It is contemplated, however, to invite all the Lodges and other masonic bodies in the State to be present, and it is hoped and expected that they will come in full numbers. If they do so, it is reasonable to conjecture, that there will be from fifteen to twenty thousand brethren in the procession, and that they will present the largest and most imposing masonic display ever witnessed on this continent.
It is also expected that there will be a large attendance from the adjacent and other States, especially of Knights Templars, several bodies of which have signified their intention to be present. If his public duties will permit, the President of the United States and other prominent members of the Government will honor the occasion by their presence.
The different bodies will appear in full regalia, with their banners, and under their proper officers, and it is hoped there will be as much uniformity as possible in their personal dress.
The anniversary happens, unfortunately, to fall this year on Monday, which may occasion some inconvenience to the Lodges and brethren in the distant parts of the State. We think, however, that this may be measurably overcome by arranging for special trains to leave on the preceding evening or early on the morning of the day. But it will be necessary that this should be attended to in season. Most of the Bands in the State, we understand, are already engaged, and the Lodges are active in brushing up their regalia for the occasion. The day will form an epoch in the history of Masonry in Massachusetts; and every Mason in the State, unless prevented by age or infirmity, should add to its numerical interest by his presence.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 7, May 1867, Page 218:
Office of the Grand Secretary, Boston, April 25, 1867.
To the W. Masters, Wardens, and Members of the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Brethren, —
The new Masonic Temple in this city, now nearly completed, will be dedicated with Masonic ceremonies on Monday, the 24th of June next.
The occasion, in which it is believed every Mason in the Commonwealth will feel a just pride and a personal interest, will be celebrated by a Procession and Oration. The Procession will be formed on the Common at ten o'clock, a.m., and will move at eleven o'clock. The necessary particulars and directions will be communicated in due season by the Grand Marshal.
It being impossible to accommodate all who might desire to witness the ceremonies of Dedication, it has been thought advisable to restrict the admission to the halls to the Masters and Wardens of Lodges, and invited guests.
The Grand Lodge will assemble in the Masonic apartments, No. 16 Summer Street, at eight o'clock on the morning of the day, and with tho Masters and Wardens and invited guests will move in procession to the new building at half-past eight o'clock, under escort of the Boston Encampment of Knights Templars.
The ceremonies of Dedication will take place at quarter-past nine o'clock, — at the conclusion of which the Masters and Wardens will repair to their respective Lodges, and the Grand Lodge will take its place in the line.
The procession will move at eleven o'clock precisely, and, passing through the principal streets of the city, will probably arrive at the Mo'sic Hall, on Winter Street, at about two o'clock, p.m., where the Oration will be delivered by the Rev. Dr. William R. Nicholson of this city, and where the public ceremonies of the day will close.
It was hoped that arrangements might be made to enable all the Brethren to dine together on an occasion of so much interest to all, but this lias been found to be wholly impracticable. The committee have therefore, with great reluctance, decided to abandon the idea of a public dinner altogether. The best arrangements of which the occasion admits will be made by the hotels and restaurants for the accommodation of visitors.
The new building will be open to Brethren from the country on the day of the celebration, between the hours of three and seven, p.m., and on the following day (Tuesday) from half-past eight to four, p.m.
It is expected that there will be a general attendance of the Lodges in the State, and a large attendance of Brethren from other States. Should the weather prove favorable, it is thought the procession will be the largest and most imposing of the kind ever witnessed in this country.
By order of the Grand Master.
Charles W. Moore,
FROM TROWEL, 1998
From TROWEL, Summer 1998, Page 21:
The Fulfillment of a Dream
by R. W. James T. Watson, Jr.
Since Grand Lodge had always met in rented quarters and had established a Charity Fund in 1816 for the relief of indigent brothers, their widows and orphaned children, their original Act of Incorporation specified $20,000 in real estate and $60,000 in personal assets. Before Grand Lodge's 10 year lease on the Old State House had expired, it was forced out by the city's need for space in that building. Therefore. Grand Lodge decided to build and requested that the figures in their Act of Incorporation be reversed to accommodate their changed financial circumstances. The Anti-Masonic Party, with controlling power in the legislature, forcefully objected and sought an investigation.
Because of the Anti-Masonic situation, membership in the Lodges was dropping. Lodges were unable to pay their annual fees to Grand Lodge and were turning in their charters. Grand Lodge cut its fees from $8 to $4, but the trend continued. Still, its determination to build remained firm.
In 1830 the Usher mansion next to St. Paul's Church on Tremont Street was moved to South Boston. Grand Lodge purchased the land on which it had stood as the site for its first owned Masonic Temple. Two loans were obtained from Harvard College, one for $15,000 at 5% and one for $5,000 at 6%. The trustees of Grand Lodge designated $20,000 to make up the anticipated cost of the building. G. M. Joseph Jenkins was in charge of the project with R. W. Gardner Greenleaf as Master Builder.
Joseph Jenkins was born in Barre, MA in 1781 and died in Boston in 1851. A housewright by trade, he later started a business in Boston. In 1812 he had built several buildings for the government in New Orleans, one of which was the Custom House. He had prepared a great part of the woodwork at his workshop in Boston and had shipped it by water to the site of the building. This project gave him much architectural knowledge that aided him greatly in building the first owned Masonic Temple.
Jenkins was raised in Columbian Lodge in July, 1804, and served as Master from 1810-13 and 1817-18. He was Junior Grand Warden in 1819 and Grand Master from 1830-32 during the height of the Anti-Masonic period.
In October, 1830, hundreds of Masons marched from Faneuil Hall to the building site next to St. Paul's. The Anti-Masonic group was unsuccessful in its attempt to interrupt the proceedings, although "Golgotha" was found later written on the cornerstone. The building was completed and dedicated in May, 1832. Bro. Jenkins was voted $1,000 for services rendered, while Bro. Greenleaf, Master Builder, and the building committee received "pieces of plate." In addition, Grand Lodge thanked Jenkins "for conducting this arduous undertaking under circumstances peculiarly discouraging to Masonic enterprise" (Grand Proceedings, 1826-1844, p.279).
After seven adjourned meetings between September and December, 1833, it was voted to raise a committee to sell the building for at least $40,000. When there were no purchasers even for the reduced price of $35,000, R. W. Robert Gould Shaw purchased the Temple for that amount. He permitted Grand Lodge to continue meeting there and gave them the right to repurchase the building for the selling price at any time. At this time, Grand Lodge surrendered the Act of Incorporation to the legislature, removing it from legislative control.
At the June, 1834, Quarterly it was voted to call in the charter of any Lodge which had ceased to meet and had not paid its dues to Grand Lodge. Dues were remitted for a Lodge that surrendered its charter and was unable to pay, although payment was required before the Lodge could have its charter returned.
At the annual meeting in December, 1835, Grand Lodge repurchased the Masonic Temple from Bro. Shaw for the agreed price and placed it under the control of the trustees for the benefit of Grand Lodge as long as it should exist as a voluntary association or incorporated body. Shaw was rewarded with an inkwell, the base of which was carved from an original timber from "Old Ironsides."
Anti-Masonic activity now tapered off. Lodges reclaimed their charters and the Grand Lodge treasury improved. Grand Lodge originally occupied the upper story of the building, the large hall beneath it being used for concerts and lectures. Emerson gave his lectures here in 1837 and the Lowell Institute lectures followed from 1839-1846, when the growth of the Lodges required using all but the lower story. The large hall was reworked and dedicated in November, 1846, by G. M. Simon W. Robinson.
Needing additional space. Grand Lodge sold the building to the U. S. Government in the autumn of 1858 for use as a courthouse. The R. H. Steams building occupies the site today.
The portrait of Joseph Jenkins by Bro. John Lyman Findlay hangs today in Corinthian Hall on the third floor of the current Grand Lodge building.