FERDINAND E. WHITE d. 1853
Grand Pursuivant 1818, 1823
Grand Marshal 1824-1826
Deputy Grand Master 1848
- MM 1812, WM 1820-1822, 1827, 1831, 1846-1847, St. John's (Boston)
- One of the first A.A.S.R. in Massachusetts; see MFM pp. 124, 158, 222
From Proceedings, 1853, Page V-438:
"Resolved. That death has made a chasm in our body of no common character. It has severed from us and the community one, an ornament to society—the upright merchant — the good man — the kind father — the model Mason — the gentleness of his demeanor, the courtesy of his every act, in short his whole life and actions have endeared his memory to us, which time may never obliterate. May this loss be sanctified to us, and we be stimulated to that performance of duty here which shall hallow our memory, when with us, time shall be no more,
Resolved. That we mingle our grief with those who have lost their guide and councellor, invoking the kind father of all to shed his blessings on them and to uphold them in this their dark hour, and may the remembrance of the virtues of the lost and loved whisper peace to their souls.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XII, No. 4, February 1853, p. 124:
And still another eminent Brother has been taken from us! - another to be added in the catalogue of distinguished Masons who during the past year have been gathered to their fathers! The subject of this notice dired in this city on the 5th of January last. He was a native of Boston, and one of its most respectable and honored merchants. He was initiated into Masonry almost forty years ago, and has sustained nearly every office within the gift of his Brethren, and always to their entire satisfaction and and his own honor. He was some years since elected to the office of Deputy Grand Master. At the expiration of his term, the office of Grand Master was tendered him, and declined on account of pressing business engagements. (Note: there is no allusion to this in the Proceedings.) He had been a member of the Grand Consistory (32 degree) of this State, for the past twentyfive years, and took an active interest in the cultivation of this branch of Freemasonry. A writer in the Boston Courier, who knew him long and intimately, speaks of him as follows: -
"It was not merely as a merchant that Mr. White had an elevated rank in the estimation of his fellow-citizens. He was equally esteemed as a neighbor, a friend, a Christian, and a parent. He was inexpressibly dear to his family, and to them his death is an irreparable loss. The sentiment of society is elastic, and soon recovers from any ordinary disruption of its ligaments; but widowhood and orphanage feel, long and deeply, the stroke that separates the heart from the revered object of its affections. The parents of Mr. White belonged to the Baptist communion, and their whole family, while under parental guidance, attended the ministrations of the celebrated Dr. Stillman; but the subject of this notice joined the Episcopal congregation of St. Paul's Church, where he was a constant and conscientious attendant, and where his full and manly voice might be always heard in the devotional response of the Liturgy. Mr. White was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and as true and faithful a Brother as ever took upon himself the obligations of Freemasonry. He was not ambitious of titular distinction; but such honors as the society could bestow were eagerly placed before him for acceptance, and no man, on whom the duties and responsibilities of office were laid, ever fulfilled the requirements of official station with more dignified deportment and conscientious devotion to duty. By his death, the Genius of Freemasonry has lost one of the brightest and loveliest gems in her crown."
His funeral took place at St. Paul's Church on the 10th, and was attended by a large concourse of mourning friends, among who were the Grand Master and other officers and members of the Grand Lodge, and Brethren of other Masonic bodies.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XII, No. 5, March 1853, p. 158:
From a regular meeting of St. John's Lodge, Boston, February 7, 1853; submitted to Moore's magazine:
Since our last meeting a "gentle spirit" has passed away, has taken its upward flight to dwell forever in the "bosom of its Father and its God;" there to associate with kindred excellence, there to reap the rewards of a well spent life, - there, divested of the dross of frail mortality, its cares and its sorrows, to wear the unfading garments of an undying eternity, and to live forever in realms of light and everlasting bliss.
It behooves us, my Brethren, to pause, and seize even from the bitterness f our loss, those fruits which are dropped even in the harvest of the grand spoiler death. We may thus even render sweet the uses of adversity, and our lost Brother in his transit from earth may leave a radiance in his track which may serve to guide and direct, and still be a beacon light to cheer and animate us in our devious course. So mote it be!
Ferdinand E. White is no longer our Brother on earth. He left us on the 4th of last month to join a nobler association on high.
To delineate his character, which bore the impress of so many excellencies and which has called forth so extended, so diffused a regret in our community, is not a difficult nor unwelcome task. His virtues were of the mild, unobtrusive and quiet kind which gently, though powerfully, win the heart, there to be fixed securely and firmly.
From him, was felt that no bitterness could proceed - there was no acrimony manifested in his composition; gentleness and mildness and the word which turneth away anger were his strongest weapons in life's varied actions. How well he has fought the good fight here a whole community bear witness, and what a proud epitaph, that he incurred neither envy nor ill will, and that if he ever had an enemy, such a one was never known. As one of our Fraternal band, what can we add that is better or more true of him, than the beautiful tribute from the public journal, "that he was as true and faithful a Brother as ever took upon himself the obligations of Freemasonry. He was not ambitious of titular distinction; but such honors as the society could bestow were eagerly placed before him for acceptance, and no man, on whom the duties and responsibilities of office were laid, ever fulfilled the requirements of official station with more dignified deportment and conscientious devotion to duty. By his death, the Genius of Freemasonry has lost one of the brightest and loveliest gems in her crown.
To this Lodge in particular, how devoted have been his services, how beneficial his influences. At much personal sacrifice, he has given us his presence, and at four different periods he presided as its Master. He here was received into Masonry in 1812, forty years ago; became a member in 1814, was its first officer from 1819 to 1822, from 1826 to 1828, from 1830 to 1831, and from 1846 to 1848 - making eight years of peculiar devotion, and at every call receiving the unanimous vote of the Lodge. And with what grace and acceptance were his functions performed; with what mildness and suavity was his every act. The very tones of his voice breathed of gentleness, mildness and peace. Discord and acrimony were hushes in his presence, and the benignant spirit of Brotherly love seemed to hover around and radiate from his warm and feeling heart. It was diffused to us, we were brought into a spiritual centralizing communion, we felt that it was good for us to have been here, safe from the asperities of the outer world, and here "mingling into bliss." He has gone, his bodily presence has left us, but the undying influences of his character and example still are ours, - still to excite us in our labors of love and fraternal duty; still to whisper peace in our halls. May we emulate his virtues here, so that we may rejoin him above.
Thus to Heaven we may still look forward -
Heaven, where the lost are found;
Where the shackles of early grandeur
Fan off on the holy ground;
Where the spirit at last enfranchised
May smile at its broken chain;
Where love is intense as holy -
To give us our friend again.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XII, No. 7, May 1853, p. 222:
The following resolutions were adopted by St. John's Lodge, in this city, on the 7th February last, and should have accompanied the notice of the death of our lamented Brother, published in this Magazine for March, but were accidentally omitted :-
Resolved, That the members of this ancient Lodge by the death of their truly beloved Brother Ferdinand E. White, have been bereaved on one, whom their souls held most dear; of one, true to the duties of the Mason, the man, the husband, the father and the Christian, and whose life and character shall be to them an incentive for imitation in the noble though noiseless tenor of the path he trod.
Resolved, That we respectfully tender our sympathies to those who have been bereft of their counsellor and their earthly guide - the husband and the father is no more here. We commend them to the widow's God, to that Heavenly Father who is ever with them, never to leave or forsake those who put their trust in him.
Resolved, That the present members, and even those who may succeed them, will be ever ready to lend any assistance, in word or deed, to those of that family, to the head of which this Lodge has been so much indebted.
Resolved, That the Lodge be in mourning for three months.
Adopted, and voted, that the above be placed on the records, and the Secretary send a copy to the family.