- 1 DADMUN, JOHN W. 1819-1890
- 1.1 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.2 MEMORIAL
- 1.3 SPEECHES
DADMUN, JOHN W. 1819-1890
- MM 1859, Mount Lebanon
- Charter Member, WM 1867, 1868, Zetland
- DDGM, District 6, 1864, 1865
- Grand Chaplain, 1866-1868
- Grand High Priest, 1875
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1873
From Proceedings, Page 1873-373:
He was born in Hubbardston, Mass., Dec. 20,1819. He was initiated into Masonry in Mount Lebanon Lodge, Boston, Feb. 14, 1859. His father, not having the means to give him a thorough education, gave him his time when he was eighteen years of age, and he succeeded in working his way along until he completed an academical education at the Wesleyan Academy, located in Wilbraham, Mass.
He joined the New England Methodist Conference at the age of twenty-two years; and has been pastor of churches in the towns of Ludlow, Southampton, South Hadley Falls, Enfield, Ware, Monson, Ipswich and Lowell; of the First Methodist Church and Grace Church, Boston; First Church, Boston Highlands; and for the last eight years he has been Chaplain and Superintendent of schools in the city institutions of Boston at Deer Island.
He has published musical works as follows: — "Revival Melodies," "Melodeon," "Eolian Harp," "Timbrel," "Humming- Bird," and " Masonic Choir." In a note recently written by him, he says, " Some of the happiest hours of my life have been spent in social intercourse with my Brethren in Masonry, particularly in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, while I served as Grand Chaplain and District Deputy Grand Master . . . I rejoice exceedingly in the prosperity of our beloved Institution in the good old Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1885
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VIII, No. 10, January 1885, Page 306:
The subject of this sketch has long been actively interested in masonic matters, in the A. and A. Scottish Rite as well as in the American Rite, and has contributed by voice and pen to secure a higher appreciation of the principles of the Masonic Institution.
In 1869, as successor to Henry Chickering, then Grand High Priest, he made his first report to the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, and these interesting papers have been submitted by him annually since then, with the exception of 1875, when he was Grand High Priest, and appointed Alfred F. Chapman to make the report for that year. The matters discussed in these reports have been, at times, of more than ordinary interest, and Brother Dadmun has aided very decidedly in reaching satisfactory and correct conclusions. That this is true, a reference to corresponding reports will fully sustain.
John W. Dadmun was born in the town of Hubbardston, Mass., December 20th, 1819, completed his academical education at Wilbraham, and at the early age of twenty years he commenced to preach under a license. Two years later he joined the New England Methodist Conference, and afterward was assigned to some of its leading churches.
He has been pastor of churches in the towns of Ludlow, Southampton, South Hadley Falls, Enfield, Ware, Monson, and Ipswich; and in the cities of Lowell, Worcester, Boston, and Roxbury. During the last twenty years he has been Chaplain and Superintendent of Schools in the Institutions at Deer Island, belonging to the City of Boston.
Brother Dadmun has always taken great interest in music and nothing seems to be more to his liking than to get a company of singers, a whole congregation, if possible, to join with him in singing some of the popular religious songs of the period ; his enthusiasm in this particular awakens that of others, and many happy hours have been passed under this influence. The musical books published by him have carried his name to all quarters of the globe. Foremost among these works are the "Timbrel," "Eolian Harp," "Sacred Harmonium," "Melodeon," "Army and Navy Melodies," and "Masonic Choir."
The last of these has been of much service in Masonic bodies, where it is desirable that all should join in singing. The "Melodies" were very popular in the Army and Navy, and 100,000 copies were sold. The "Melodeon" has had the large sale of 400,000 copies, and has circulated in England, Australia and India very largely.
Our preacher and musical brother was made a Mason in Mt. Lebanon Lodge, in Boston, and became a member of that body February 14th, 1859, and in 1865-66 was Senior Warden. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the then Sixth Masonic District in 1862-63, ancl Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the years 1866, '67, '68.
It may be noted as exceptional that our Brother was appointed District Deputy Grand Master before he had been Master of a Lodge, but the Constitution then permitted and Brother Dadmun was regarded as eminently fitted for it.
Early in the year 1867, he with others, received a Dispensation to organize Zetland Lodge, in Boston, under date of April 15th of that year. In this he was named to be the first Master, an office in which he was continued until December 15th, 1868, the Lodge having been constituted in the presence of ladies on the 11th day of March, preceding, and of this Lodge he is now Chaplain.
On May 11th, 1859, ne was made a Royal Arch Mason in St. Paul's Chapter, in Boston, and became a member of that body; he dimitted from it, however, in October, 1865, to help organize Mount Vernon Chapter in Roxbury, and of this he was the first M. E. High Priest. He was Deputy Grand High Priest in 1865, and in 1875 was elected Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, but at the end of the year he preferred to return to his more congenial work, as Committee on Correspondence.
He received the degrees in Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters early in 1860, and was admitted a member April 26th in that year. In this body he has filled various offices as occasion required, but principally as Chaplain. In 1861, he was Right Puissant Grand Master, a title now obsolete, in the Grand Council, and in 1863-64 was M. I. Grand Master. In this body he is Committee on Correspondence.
The orders of Knighthood were conferred upon him in De Molay Commandery, in Boston, and he became a member thereof, March 28th, 1860. He served the Commandery several years as Prelate, was its Eminent Commander in 1867 and 1868, and is now Grand Prelate of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Brother Dadmun received the degrees in the A. and A. Scottish Rite in 1863, to the 32°, and was the first Thrice P. Grand Master of Worcester Lodge of Perfection, chartered in September of that year.
As a working Mason, our Brother is conspicuous, and the many hours he has given to it, not represented by offices herein mentioned, entitle him to the high consideration of the Craft. In manner, he is genial; in method, painstaking, and as a ritualist, correct. He has ever been open to the call of his brethren to do them service; he has plead for the needy, spoken for the dead, cheered the distressed, and is ever ready if need be, to continue in the severest duty, if by his example, the Wisdom, Strength and Beauty of Freemasonry can be more completely illustrated.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1890
From Proceedings, Page 1890-78:
A few weeks ago we were all startled by the announcement of the sudden death of our Rev. Brother John W. Dadmun. It will be remembered that he officiated as our Grand Chaplain at the Quarterly Communication in June last. Few Brethren were more generally known throughout the jurisdiction; a fact which was due in part to his service in many localities throughout the State as a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in part to his service in numerous offices of the different branches of our Fraternity.
He was born in Hubbardston, Mass., Dec. 20, 1819, and died at Deer Island, on the 6th of August last. He received his early education at Wesleyan Academy, of Wilbraham, Mass., and joined the New England Methodist Conference at the age of twenty-two years.
He was initiated in Mount Lebanon Lodge, of Boston, Feb. 14, 1859. He was a Charter member and the first Master of Zetland Lodge, of Boston, serving ih the latter capacity in the years 1867 and 1868. In 1863, 1864 and 1865, he filled the office of District Deputy Grand Master of the 6th, then the Worcester District, and in the years 1866, 1867 and 1868, he officiated as Grand Chaplain.
For the last twenty-five years he had been employed as Chaplain and Superintendent of Schools in the institutions of the city of Boston at Deer Island. While engaged there in the familiar and frequent duty of conducting an exhibition drill of the boys in one of the institutions — a duty in which he took great satisfaction — he was suddenly attacked with apoplexy, and died in a few moments. He was a most conscientious, faithful and devoted teacher, a kind and sympathetic friend, as well as a judicious adviser to all who would accept of his ministrations.
Nearly twenty years ago he said to Past Grand Master Heard: "Some of the happiest hours of my life have been spent in social intercourse with my Brethren in Masonry, particularly in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, while I served as Grand Chaplain and District Deputy Grand Master." His active interest and efficient service in the Fraternity continued until the day of his death, and he will be sadly missed from several of our most flourishing organizations. His prominence in our ranks and his long and valuable services seem to demand this brief tribute to his memory, although he was not, at the time of his death an Officer or member of this Grand Lodge.
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1890
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 5, September 1890, Page 157:
The sudden and unexpected death of this devoted Freemason comes with so sharp a pang, and during our absence from Boston, that we shall only say at this time he was at his post of Chaplain when he fell. On August 6, 1890, he was standing in his accustomed place in the gallery of the Chapel, conducting the singing by the boys for the entertainment of visitors; he had just called for the number, Ring the Bell, Watchman, and while his baton was in mid-air, he staggered and fell, a victim to apoplexy, and was dead in ten minutes. We shall speak of him hereafter; at present, we notice the funeral occasion, on Saturday following his death.
This took place at 2.30 o'clock from the Winthrop Street Methodist Church, Boston Highlands. There was a large attendance of friends and associates of the deceased, among them being a number of the city officials. The remains were escorted to the church by DeMolay Commandery, Knights Templars, Eminent Sir William F. Chester, Commander, in a body, as a guard of honor, Mr. Dadmun having been a member and PastvEminent Commander of this Commandery. Carter's Band preceded the funeral cortege to the church. The services here were in charge of the pastor of the Winthrop Street Church, Rev. Charles L. Goodell, who was assisted by Rev. C. H. Hannaford of Cambridge, and Rev. J. L. Estee, a personal friend of the deceased. Appropriate musical selections were interspersed by the Temple Quartette, which was in attendance. The solemn Templar burial service was performed under the auspices of DeMolay Commandery. Among the organizations represented were the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, of which the deceased had for years been Grand Prelate; the Grand Council and Boston Council of R. and S. Masters, the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, of which he was a Past Grand High Priest; Mount Vernon Chapter R. A. Masons, Zetland Lodge and Washington Lodge, A. F. and A. M., and DeMolay Mounted Commandery No. 4, K. T. of Washington, D. C.
Of the officers and members of the Grand Commandery there were present R. E. Sir James Swords G. C., V. E. Sir John P. Sanborn, D. G. C., E. Sirs R. H. Chamberlain, G. G. W. H. H. Soule, G. C. G., Horace E. Boynton, G. S. W., Charles E. Pierce, G. W., Em. Sir James M. Gleason, Com., Sirs E. A. Holton, Genlo., and L. B. Nichols, Capt. Gen., of Boston Commandery; Em. Sirs Henry Goddard and Rev. T. E. St. John, Past Commanders of Worcester Co. Commandery; Em. Sirs Wm. Parkman, Wm F. Davis and Henry G. Jordan, Past Commanders of De Molay Commandery; Em. Sir Theodore L. Kelley, Past Commander of St. Omer Commandery, Em. Sir Wm. G. Fish, Com., and Solomon A. Bolster and Herbert I. Morse, Past Commanders of Joseph Warren Commandery, and Em. Sir M. P. Morrill, Past Commander of Cyprus Commandery; Em. Sir George A. Shehan, Past Commander of De Molay Mounted Commandery of Washington, D. C., between whom and Mr. Dadmun there had long existed a warm friendship. E. Sir Knight Shehan came from Washington specially to be present at the obsequies.
The floral tributes were rich and many of them. The officers at Deer Island sent a massive pulpit of ivy, ornamented with immortelles, having on its base, "Our Chaplain." Over the pulpit was a large floral bell on which was the title of the song, Ring the Bell, Watchman. The Grand Chapter of Massachusetts sent a circle, two feet in diameter, of ivy leaves, covered with "Passion Flowers," within this a triangle of choice white flowers, and within this a triple tau cross of red flowers. Other pieces were from the officers of the Winihrop Street Church, Grand Commandery of Knights Templars, De Molay Commandery, Mount Vernon Chapter, Boston Council, R. and S. M., and Zetland and Washington Lodges, F. and A. M., and the National Lancers.
At the close of the services the funeral cortege was escorted by De Molay Commandery to the Roxbury line. The burial was at Mount Auburn.
In addition to the foregoing enumeration Brother Dadmun was a Past M. I. Grand Master of the Grand Council R. and S. M. of Massachusetts; Past High Priest of Mount Vernon Chapter and Past Master of Zetland Lodge. The Grand Chapter was represented by Arthur G. Pollard, G. H. P., Thomas Waterman, Past Grand High Priest; Frank L. Weaver, G. C. of H.; Seranus Bowen, G. Lec., and James Downs, H. P. of Parker Chapter, and the Grand Council by Augustus Ridgway, G. M. of C.
FROM GRAND ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER, 1890
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 6, September 1890, Page 178:
Read in Grand R. A. Chapter of Massachusetts, September 9, 1890, by Alfred F. Chapman.
"Ring the Bell, Watchman!" was the last message from our co-worker, and long time Companion, the Rev. John W. Dadmun. This was spoken in the discharge of duty, and to the hundreds of boys who were accustomed to sing it under his direction. As the concluding words were being sung, and while his baton was yet in play, he faltered and fell, before the stroke of the unseen reaper, who gathered from the fulness of life to the stillness of death, within the space of a few minutes.
The circumstances attending his death were peculiar and impressive. So far as years count, there were hundreds in the audience who will remember the chilling fact for half a century, and as youth ripens into manhood, and that into age, it will linger in their memories as the sanctification of a sacrifice made for the regeneration of the young, and as a signal of safety for advancing age.
It is not possible to recur to this sad event without contemplating the life of the man.
Born in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, on the 20th day of December, 1819, he engaged in the ministry of the Methodist Church when but twenty years old; two years later he became a licensed preacher, and continued in the profession until his death on August 6, 1890.
He had been pastor of churches in Ludlow, Sofithampton, South Hadley Falls, Enfield, Ware, Monson, Ipswich, Lowell, Worcester, Boston and Roxbury. During the war, he engaged in the work of the Christian Commission, principally in Virginia, and shortly after its close, followed by a season for recuperation, he was elected Chaplain and Superintendent of Schools for the City of Boston Institutions at Deer Island.
For twenty-five years he filled these difficult places with admirable tact and conclusive advantage to the city and its wards.
Under his school discipline was placed the truant class of boys, and those put under correctional restraint for minor offences; for many years pauper children were maintained and schooled there until that class was removed to specially prepared accommodations, where the city's poor of all ages, and both sexes are now separately maintained.
From his youth up he had confidence in the power of song, and obedient to this agency, the boys at Deer Island, were, on stated occasions formed into line and marched into the gallery of the Chapel, where he instructed them in singing, and encouraged them by judicious praise. To this, musical instruments were added, an instructor was employed, and from the boy's Deer Island Band have graduated players, self-supporting and skilful.
Gentle, approachable, self-poised, and sympathetic, his presence was always welcome; he listened with patience, admonished without passion, and remembered that the poor were always with him.
Could human eyes be made to see where the stars are no longer bright, and the sun can no longer shine, because of the greater light; there might we not see John W. Dadmun, surrounded by the forms of old women and old men whose tired hands he had gently folded, and by the trooping young, to all of whom he had for many years repeated the divine admonition, of "Little children, Love one another."
It was on an occasion when the boys at Deer Island had been called into their accustomed place in the Chapel, where, with organ and band accompaniment, they were to sing for the pleasure of a company of visitors to the city of Boston, re presenting many States of the Union, that our Brother's life-work ended.
Speaking from his place in the central gallery, as was his custom on all similar occasions, he called for the song Ring the Bell, Watchman. These were his last words; a message of love and duty, sent as he stepped into eternity. This must remain in perpetual record, to remind us that a heroic life can be lived where duty calls, and close in the greatness of work well done.
Our Brother had his sorrows, and the crosses of life he knew sharply. He had lost his first wife when comparatively young — his second wife has been, for twenty-five years, of insecure health, and for many years beyond hope of health recovery. This will explain his desire for greater permanence in place than was the pastoral custom of his Church, and his acceptance of the post of School Superintendent and Chaplain.
It can be said too, with safety, it was a great gain to Freemasonry, as it gave him release from parish work and limited his hours of official service.
His greatest masonic work appears in the nineteen annual reports made to the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, as Committee on Correspondence. These have been read in all Masonic countries, and there too, eulogies will be pronounced with sincere sorrow.
Of his Masonic life apart from this, it appears that he was made a Mason in Mt. Lebanon Lodge in Boston, reference to which is made in the memorial circular by the Grand High Priest. He was District Deputy Grand Master, three years, and Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge, three years, closing the latter service in 1868. He was a Charter member of Zetland Lodge, established in 1867, and its first Master.
He was made a Royal Arch Mason in St. Paul's Chapter in 1859; was one of the founders of Mt. Vernon Chapter, and its first High Priest. He was Deputy Grand High Priest in 1865, and Grand High Priest in 1875. He received the degrees in Boston Council R. and S. Masters in i860, held various offices in it, and was elected M. I. Grand Master of the Grand Council for two years.
He was made a Knight Templar in De Molay Commandery in 1860, served it, in office, notably as Prelate and Commander and at the time of his death was Grand Prelate and a member of the Committee on Correspondence.
He was also a member in the A. and A. Rite of the thirty-second degree, having been admitted in 1863, and was the first T. P. Gr. Master of Worcester Lodge of Perfection.
The service which our brother rendered to the Masonic fraternity will be better understood, when we consider that for nearly thirty years he was actively engaged in its behalf, and that during most of that time he held one or more active official stations, while his less conspicuous services were being constantly rendered.
His knowledge of the law and practice in Freemasonry was unsurpassed; his decisions and reports were founded on justice tempered by mercy. As a Masonic jurist he was calm, critical and sincere, and his reports of this character embellish the Proceedings of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, wherein he has been for so many years a wise counsellor and a generous friend.
Constant in his attendance at all Convocations of the Grand Chapter, present always to preside and conduct the business of the Massachusetts Convention of High Priests, of which he had been president since 1874, it seems as if his hands were even now extended to give thanks, and to invoke a blessing upon his Brethren from the Giver of all Grace.
The ceremonies attending his burial were an exhibit of the profound respect in which he was held, and of the love which attended him to his grave. The remains of other men have been followed in sorrowful concourse to Mount Auburn; eulogies have been pronounced, and praises sung, but our dead brother, companion and friend has gone there mourned in the sincerity of truth, while his spirit, pleading his humanity, stands hopefully where he now knows, even as he is known.
IN ZETLAND LODGE, 1890
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 9, December 1890, Page 282:
Zetland Lodge. - At the regular Communication in September last, a Committee was appointed to propose some method by which expression could be given to the sense of loss felt by the Lodge, in the death of its first Master, Brother John William Dadmun. The Committee consisting of Wor. Brothers Alfred F. Chapman, Thomas Waterman, and Warren B. Witherell, reported in October, and suggested a Lodge of Sorrow, or Memorial Service. This was approved by the Lodge and full powers were voted to the Committee. Arrangements were completed without delay and carried into effect according to the following order:
IN MEMORY OF THE LATE
WORSHIPFUL BROTHER REV. JOHN W. DADMUN, First Master of the Lodge,
In Masonic Temple, Boston, Friday Evening, November 21, 1890, at 8 o'clock.
ORDER OF SERVICE.
- Scripture Lesson and Prayer, by Brother J. Frank Gammell, Chaplain.
- I need Thee every hour — Mendelssohn Quartette.
- Introductory Address, The Man— Wor. Bro. Thomas Waterman.
- Jerusalem the Golden — Quartette.
- Address, "The Clergyman"— Bro. Rev. J. W. Hamilton, D. D.
- Solo, The Cross and Crown — Bro. J. L. White.
- Address, The Chaplain — Wor. Bro. Samuel Little.
- Remarks — His Honor the Mayor, Bro. Thomas N. Hart.
- The Vacant Chair — Quartette.
- Address, The Freemason — Wor. Bro. Alfred F. Chapman.
- In the Sweet By and By.
This song was a favorite of Wor. Brother Dadmun, and the leading part was sung by him on occasions of closing.
The Mendelssohn Quartette will sing the first two stanzas. The audience is requested to join in singing the third stanza.
"To our bountiful Father above
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days."
In the sweet by and by," etc.
The decorations were simple, the altar and the Chaplain's chair only, being draped with emblems of mourning. For many years Brother Dadmun had served as Chaplain, and the chair of that office was the last he ever occupied in the Lodge. His name, John William Dadmun, on violet color ribbon was draped on the back of the chair, and below it was the motto, Ktquiescat In Pace; on the seat of the chair stood a sheaf of ripened wheat, bearing the words "Our Brother."
Wor. Joseph T. Meader, Master, presided, and at the opening a quartette of brass instruments, under direction of Brother T. M. Carter, voluntarily played a dirge.
The seating capacity of Sutton Hall was fully occupied by members of the Lodge, and by delegations representing the various Masonic bodies of which Brother Dadmun was a member.
Zetland Lodge, F. A. M.
In memory of the late Wor. Bro.
Rev. John William Dadmun, First Master of the Lodge
In Masonic Temple, Boston
Friday Evening, November 21, 1890 at Eight O'Clock
At the regular communication of Zetland Lodge, held September 10, 1890, official action was taken in relation to the death of the first Master and late Chaplain, Worshipful and Rev. John W. Dadmun. A feeling in favor of holding a Lodge of Sorrow was manifested, and a committee was appointed to report a plan, to include a biographical sketch of the deceased. The committee, consisting of Wor. Bro. Alfred F. Chapman, Wor. Bro. Thomas Waterman, Wor. Bro. Warren B. Witherell, reported at the communication of October 8th, recommending that a memorial service be held in the Masonic Temple, Boston, on Friday evening, November 21, 1890, and outlined the order to be observed as it appears in the following pages. The report of the committee was adopted, and, by a vote of the Lodge, the same committee was granted full powers.
On the evening of November 21st the Lodge-room was suitably prepared, and decorated simply. The altar and jewels and the chair of the Chaplain were draped in mourning. Across the back of the chair the name, “John William Dadmun,” was displayed on a violet-colored ribbon, and below it the words, “Requiescat in Pace.” Resting on the seat of the chair was a sheaf of wheat, bearing the word “Brother.”
ORDER OF SERVICE.
- Dirge, Alonzo Bond.
- By select quartette of brass instruments. Bro. Thomas M. Carter, Bro. Albert Holmes, Bro. Ira H. Odell, Bro. John H. Woods.
- Scripture Lesson and Prayer, Bro. J. F. Gammell, Chaplain.
- Hymn. “I need Thee every hour", Mendelssohn Quartette.
- Bro. Frank W. Knowles, Bro. Charles J. Buffum, Bro. Joseph L. White, Bro. John K. Berry. Bro. William H. Gerrish, organist.
- Introductory Address. “The Man, Wor. Bro. Thomas Waterman.
- Hymn. “Jerusalem the Golden”, Quartette.
- Address. “The Minister”, Bro. J. W. Hamilton, D. D.
- Solo. “The Cross and Crown”, Bro. J. L. White.
- Address. “The Chaplain”, Wor. Bro. Samuel Little.
- Remarks. His Honor the Mayor, Bro. Thomas N. Heart.
- Song. “The Vacant Chair”, Quartette.
- Address. “The Freemason”, Wor. Bro. Alfred F. Chapman.
- Song. “In the Sweet By and By", Mendelssohn Quartette.
- This song was a favorite of Worshipful Brother Dadmun, and the leading part was sung by him on occasions of closing.
- The Mendelssohn Quartette will sing the first two stanzas. The audience is requested to join in singing the third stanza.
To our bountiful Father above
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of his love,
And the blessings that hallow our days.
In the sweet by and by,” etc.
JOHN WILLIAM DADMUN: MEMORIAL SERVICE.
Dirge. Select Quartette.
Scripture Lesson and Prayer. Bro. J. Frank Gammell, Chaplain.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. . . . The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God. He heard my voice out of His holy temple, and my cry came before Him.
As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness. . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
Let not your hearts be troubled, saith the Lord our Redeemer; Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house arc many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. 1 go to prepare a place for you.
As for man, his days are as grass, as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord ; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and he that liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die.
Man, that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of misery. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. In the midst of life we are in death. Of whom may we seek for succor, but of Thee, O Lord?
I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me Write: From henceforth, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.
Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of those who depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity. We give Thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those Thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors. And we beseech Thee, that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of Thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in Thy eternal and everlasting glory. Amen.
Most merciful Father, who hast been pleased to take unto Thyself the soul of this Thy servant, grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that having served Thee with constancy on earth, we may be joined hereafter with Thy blessed saints in glory everlasting, through the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Amen.
I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR. Mendelssohn Quartette.
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee!
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour!
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee, etc.
Introductory Address: The Man. Wor. Bro. Thomas Waterman.
Brothers ok Zetland Lodge, and Brothers All: —
We have met to-night in the performance of a painful and solemn duty, and yet withal a pleasing and even delightful one. Painful, in that it is always so to lose a friend and a brother; solemn, because death and reflections on the dead must necessarily partake of solemnity and be tinged with the sombre hue of sadness. Our lodge is to-night a “Lodge of Sorrow," and our pen-pictures of the dead are framed in mourning and draped with funereal emblems. Our task is a pleasing one, because the subject of it was without a peer for gentle kindness and manly courtesy; he was a perfect exemplar of that old-time urbanity and courtly behavior which seems almost extinct in this bustling and over-practical age of ours. We delight in the retrospect which his life furnishes, because there are no deep shadows nor cross-lights in the picture; it stands forth bold, clear, brilliant, giving out sunshine rather than absorbing it and bidding us "trust and hope and neither doubt ourselves nor doubt the good in one another."
Words halt, and the most glowing eulogium fails to more than feebly express the inimitable charm of his character. To few, alas very few, is granted the God-given power to stand forth before the world, as did he, the united triple embodiment of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
And who was this man, whose loss we deeply mourn, whose memory we reverently cherish, and whose bright example we delight in holding up to the world for imitation?
He was John William Dadmun, a man of God and our brother of the mystic tie. A New-England farmer's son, born in Hubbardston, Mass., December 20, 1819; his muscles were toughened in manual labor, and the foundation of that happy combination, a sound mind in a sound body, was laid strong and deep. Like many another true son of New England, his father probably realized that the dull routine of a farmer's life was likely to be distasteful to John, as possibly it had been to himself, and wished to give him the opportunity to enter a career which would lead to some broad field of usefulness in the great world of humanity. Be that as it may, when the boy was seventeen years old his father "gave him his time," as the phrase is.
The next few years were spent both in teaching school, wherewith to provide the sinews of war to enable him almost coincidentally to enter Wilbraham Academy, and also in hard study at the latter seat of learning. This period was undoubtedly utilized to the utmost, as he was admitted to the Methodist Church as a licensed preacher at the age of twenty-two, the Rev. Mark Trafton, D. D. (still living), welcoming him to his ministerial labors. This was in 1842.
For the next twenty years he preached and, I am confident, practised what he preached, at many churches in many towns and cities. During the late Civil War he saw a field of duty in the Christian Commission. While I was a Relief Agent of the United States Sanitary Commission, I first struck hands with him in Virginia, on the banks of the Appomattox River. Like the holy friar on mediaeval battle-fields he helped to relieve physical suffering, and afforded moral and spiritual consolation. His gentle and sympathetic nature made him always welcome, and the boys-in-blue found him a whole-souled, hearty, robust friend who could skilfully mingle admonition and blessing.
His quarter-century’s work at Deer Island will be spoken of by another, but I know that any other office in the entire municipality could be more easily filled than the vacancy which his death has caused there.
For twenty-five years I have known John William Dadmun as Man, Clergyman and Freemason. He ever seemed young to me, I could never think of him as old or as growing old. This was doubtless largely due to his perennial good-nature and cordiality. As a speaker his logic was sound, his arguments well-considered and conclusive, and they deservedly had great weight. His justice was largely tempered with mercy, and yet he was firm and unyielding in his convictions of the right, fearless in the discharge of duty, shrinking from naught but evil, and childlike in his enjoyment of the good and noble things of life. He was inflexible without being aggressive, gentle but positive, tender as a woman yet bold as a hero; the vengeful shafts of malice and misrepresentation found no opening in his impenetrable armor of truth and righteousness. He was fond of social communion with his fellows, on proper occasions loving a clean, sound joke and a merry laugh, and he was a thorough believer in the elevating influence of music and song.
“I count thee one of God’s own singers here;
For thou hast learned what earthly love can teach,
And the sweet mysteries of human speech
When heart speaks unto heart it holds most dear.
And loving so, and, singing strong and clear,
Above earth's tumult thy high song does reach.
As a wild songster in the mountain beech
Sends his glad strain throughout the woodland drear.”
In June of the present year, one of the few last occasions at which I met him, I thought that I noticed a slight halting of his usual vigorous mind and a trifle of mental confusion; these things, as it seems to me now, may have been the outward manifestations of the cerebral disease which so suddenly caused his death two months later.
The end came, on the 6th of August, like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. “Ring the bell, Watchman!” said our brother, and the Celestial Watchman sounded the dread tocsin which summoned the Death Angel to perform his fearful mission on the material form of our dear friend. Then on the instant his spirit passed within the veil and entered the blaze of glory of that Celestial Lodge where his Master, whom he had served so faithfully on earth, sits on the great white throne.
Another Saint John had been added to the calendar.As Dante depicted St. Francis d’Assisi:
“Judge now of him who was esteemed to be
A colleague fit St. Peter’s bark to guide
Through the dark billows of a stormy sea.
Such was our Patriarch. — Wherefore he is wise
Who shapes his course as he has led the way,
Laden alike with goodly merchandise.”
We are every one of us better for having known him. God grant that we all may meet him on the beautiful shore, “in the sweet by and by.”
(Then, scattering violets, Brother Waterman continued:)
In the vacant chair of John William Dadmun, first Worshipful Master of Zetland Lodge, noble Man, faithful Clergyman, skilled and devoted Freemason, I strew these flowers. Sweet in perfume as are these violets, it is as naught in comparison with the fragrance exhaled by his life and character.
Jerusalem the Golden. Mendelssohn Quartette.
Jerusalem the golden I with milk and honey blest;
Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice opprest.
I know not, Oh, I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiance of glory, what bliss beyond compare!
They stand, those halls of Zion, all jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel and all the martyr throng;
There is the throne of glory, and there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast.
And they who, strong and faithful, have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever are clad in robes of white.
O land that sees no sorrow! O state that fears no strife!
O royal land of flowers! O realm and home of life!
Address. THE MINISTER. By Rev. Bro. J. W. Hamilton, D. D.
Brothers: — You have asked me to speak to-night of our Brother Dadmun as “the minister.” But I knew no preacher, while he lived, and I know no one now, to whom the words, “a minister but still a man,” could be more truthfully applied, than to the late Chaplain of City Institutions, at Deer Island. To know the minister was to know the man.
I visited a few days ago, by the invitation of his Honor, Mayor Hart, the scene of the last earthly labors of Brother Dadmun. From the gallery of the hall, where he stood to direct the services in which the boys were trained to so much precision under his personal skilful instruction, I spoke a few words, addressing the same company of boys that saw him fall to the floor below. I saw column after column of masterful little fellows rise in their places with a majesty to their custom, which revealed memories of the absent teacher and preacher that will never die. I heard them sing, they sang the hymns and songs which the Chaplain himself had selected for them, and sung with them. I said within myself: Whatever qualifications may be looked for in the successor to Brother Dadmun, he was possessed of such talents and character as to succeed himself. Whatever may be dreamed and revealed of the immortal, one thing remains, our brother was at least post-mortal. He is not dead; he is still in this world. He is with us.
The circumstance of kindred sorrow gives to our memorial here a certain consciousness of this life on the earth, after death, which compels us to believe that death does not end all. It was only on Tuesday morning of this week, that my brother, Albert Gould, the proposed successor of Brother Dadmun, like himself, ceased at once to work and to live. He preached Monday evening, in the town of Swampscott, and the next morning walked into the railway station on his way to meet the Commissioners of Public Institutions in this city, when, had he met them, I am assured, he would have received his appointment to the chaplaincy made vacant by the decease of Brother Dadmun. He was found sitting in his chair, after the train for Boston had gone, but released from all further care and duty here, for his spirit had baffled every mortal claim and was at rest. There is a wide sense in which our brothers are not gone from us. Their
“Souls around us watch us still,
Press nearer to our side,—
Into our thoughts, into our prayers.”
“Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.”
It is amid the influences of this after-life that we recall what we knew of the life of Brother Dadmun while he was yet with us.
There are reasons why I may say some things fittingly. I knew him for more than twenty years. I have seen him at work in his great wide pastorate. I have visited in his home. I have stood by his side, through all these years, in the fellowship and work of the Christian church.
He was favored in his birthplace, for he was born in Massachusetts. There is something rigorous in the atmosphere of these New England hills, and vales, and coast, which cradles our boys to the possibilities and hospitalities of good fortune. One’s life task is half done, if one is well born in some country town in New England. And there is a kind of reciprocal relation, which goes on ever after the life is well begun, between the boy and the man and his town. Every town gets its compensation for the man it gives to the world, It is the usury which the place seems to exact in justice to itself. The town of Hubbardston gets honor to itself in the good name which henceforth it will claim for the man whom we are met to-night to honor.
Brother Dadmun was greatly privileged in his life work. From December 20, 1819, to August 6, 1890, was a sweep over more great things than can be found in any other period of the world’s history, excepting only the Christian era, there was but one great fact then. And he was privileged to preach his whole life long, under the blaze of lights set in the firmament of the old Commonwealth. He did go yonder at the call of the country, during the Civil War, in the work of the Christian Commission. But that was a part of his work for Massachusetts, and a part of his best work. He was appointed to preach at Ludlow and Jenksville in 1842; Southampton in 1843-44; South Hadley Falls in 1S45-46; Enfield in 1847-48; Ware in 1849- 50; Monson in 1851-52; Ipswich in 1853-54; Lowell, Worthen Street, in 1855-56; Boston, Hanover Street, in 1857-58; and North Russell Street in 1859-60; Worcester, Park Street, in 1861-62; Roxbury in 1863-64.
He received a supernumerary appointment in 1865, and during that year he began his ministry, as Chaplain, at Deer Island. For twenty-five years he was appointed and reappointed by his Conference to that peculiar mission, so delicate and difficult in all its duties and requirements; so unlike any other parish of any other preacher among us.
He died at his post with his “martial cloak around him.” He died doubtless as he would have chosen to die. There is something gratifying to a good man “to die with the harness on.” 1 recall an eloquent preacher, who went as missionary, many years ago, to the far southwest on the frontier, where he died soon after reaching his station. His last words voiced this highest aspiration of Christian duty. He said, “Tell my brethren that I died at my post.” Brother Dadmun died at his post. It has more significance than a mere idle and accidental coincidence, that he was training his choir of boys to sing, for the Grand Army when they reached Boston, the song entitled an “Empty Sleeve.” It was eloquently fitting that he should be carried to his burial when the sound of soldiers’ bugles filled the city.
Brother Dadmun possessed many good qualities. He was distinguished for his public services as a Christian preacher, teacher and pastor.
He was a gentle man. I do not mean, when I use these two words, what the English people mean when they pronounce them as one word. In no such limited sense did Brother Dadmun hold merely a middle rank between nobility and yeomanry. He was nobility itself, and his enfranchised yeomanry had an instinct for gentle and refined manners. Nor do I use the two words as one, in our American sense, where gentleman is merely applied to all men of education and good breeding of every occupation. He was a Christian gentleman. He possessed great tenderness of heart, was easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
He loved his fellow man. His love was not a mere sentiment, but such love as
“Will creep in service where it cannot go.”
This brought devotion, and he went about of choice to do good. Men in turn loved him. I met, only a day or two ago, a man who said to me, “Did you know Brother Dadmun well? I loved that man.” His former parishioners tell me, that his love knew no motive, it seemed to be a divine power that worked and thought within him, taking entire possession of him; he had no control over it. In all the last years of his work at Deer Island, where all races and languages and ages were met about him, I am told that he was not removed from the intimacies of his brother men, but lived in his pastorate.
He was the people’s preacher. His manners drew men about him. He preached like the green pastures and running brooks, without words. Men were the better for having him with them. He won them to better lives, by winning them to himself. I do not take it that Brother Dadmun was a great preacher in the sense that he was given “to lofty things alone,” but there is a greatness which is enduring that comes of evenness Ions; continued.
“The plains are everlasting as the hills."
He chose to find his greatness in his work. And he loved every part of his work. This must be evident from the fact that he chose to do his best work among the lowly poor. Like John Howard, he was the prisoner’s friend. In this sense he was so great it will be difficult to fill his place. I visited a cemetery near Baltimore once, and as I wandered among the graves of the dead, in a remote part of the grounds I discovered an old man leaning on his cane over a sunken sod. The long gray hair which reached down to his shoulders fell around his face. I saw a tear fall to the grass at his feet, and I then intruded to ask if some one whom he knew was buried there — there was no stone, not even a board, to mark the head of the grave. He started, and looked at me a moment, as if only a stranger could ask such a question, and said, “Sir, the greatest man I ever knew lies there.” He mentioned a name, which I do not recall, and which I scarcely remembered then, but added, “He led more souls to Christ than any other man 1 ever met.” If that was his business, and he did more at it than any other mail he ever met, was he not indeed the greatest man he ever knew? Brother Dadmun had some such greatness as this. The common people heard him gladly, when he was the stationed preacher in Methodist pulpits. And the greatest honor which will stay with his name longest was his power over the boys in the school, whom he taught to love him and to sing. Some one has added a stanza to the hymn called “Your Mission,” which has been running in my mind to-night, as I have been thinking of Brother Dadmun’s preference to work with the boys:
“‘If among the older people
You may not be apt to teach,
Feed my lambs,’ said Christ the Shepherd;
‘Place the food within their reach,
And it may be that the children
You have led with trembling hand
Will be found among your jewels
When you reach the better land.'”
Brother Dadmun was a versatile man. He was many sided in a good sense. He was a man of affairs, and knew human nature well enough to hold himself off from its jutting rocks, and steer clear of its snags in life’s precarious channel. He went by some things, where other men would have stopped forever. His ability, though it included, as I have said, merit or qualifications, was most requisite as availability. This much used, and much abused word, interprets more instances of success than many persons who have it not can ever understand or concede. “Vivacious versatility” is often available when great abilities are unappreciated and ignored.
He was a lover and teacher of singing, and a composer of music for hymns. I think it was Carlyle who said, “See deep enough and you see musically, the heart of Nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it.”
Music somehow is down there underneath the troubles and sorrows of men; some of the sweetest singers I have known have borne burdens which only musical natures could have borne. This may have been one of the reasons why it is said that “discord makes the sweetest airs.” Brother Dadmun had his life adjusted to loss, and he had made friends with pain. But his soul seemed diverted with sounds of sweetest melody.
The “Old Hanover Street Church” was crowded at every prayer meeting when lie was the pastor; people came to hear and to sing the hymns which he had composed. He published a book of Revival Melodies, which introduced an order of spirited singing, and made him the first to teach the kind of “camp-meeting music” that Moody and Sankey have carried over the earth. A single incident will show how readily his music was taken up by the people, and how a brother preacher, unwittingly, was made famous by one of his melodies. There was a young Methodist preacher stationed in Ballardvale, in this State, who wrote for some local occasion a few lines of poetry. He wanted to have them printed, and sent them to Zion's Herald, with this purpose. He only asked that the publishers of the paper send him a few advance “slips” after the poetry was in type. When it appeared in the paper, the writer’s name was not printed with it. Brother Dadmun’s eye fell on the anonymous verses, and there was at once suggested to his mind appropriate music. Before the hymn was printed, however, the author of the words had gone abroad, and was travelling in Europe. Both the tune and the words met with the most popular reception, as soon as the hymn was published; they simply went everywhere. The author of the little poem was first apprised of his fame as a hymn writer, while he was attending a religious meeting in Constantinople. He found there some missionaries who had but recently arrived from America. They were introduced, and asked to sing. His surprise can be more readily imagined than described, when they proceeded to sing his hymn, which is now so familiar in every land.
“Out on an ocean all boundless we ride;
We’re homeward bound, homeward bound;
Tossed on the waves of a rough, restless tide,
We’re homeward bound, homeward bound;
Far from the safe, quiet harbor we’ve rode.
Seeking our Father's celestial abode,
Promise of which on us each he bestowed,
We’re homeward bound, homeward bound," etc.
The writer of these lines, who was then the young preacher in Ballardvale, is now known as the Rev. W. F. Warren, D.D., LL.D., President of Boston University.
If I have said in beginning that Brother Dadmun as the preacher was the man, I may now say in conclusion, that the man was the preacher. What all men do is so much a part of what they are, that no man’s business or profession is apart from himself. But with the preacher, character and influence are so inseparable, it is pre-eminently true that no part of his work is at a distance from himself. The measure of every phase of his ministry is himself. The Chaplain at Deer Island distinguished the office he held by the kind of man he was. He will be remembered most by the persons who knew him best. His work was distinguished then by the personal element there was in it. We shall miss him, but we shall not forget him.
“Servant of God, well done. Well hast thou fought
The better fight. . .
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms.”
THE CROSS AND CROWN.' Sung by Brother Joseph L. White.
There is a cross of heavy weight
For ev’ry human life to bear;
There is a chaplet formed of thorns
For each and ev’ry brow to wear.
Oh! when the cross of pain and woe
Shall soon forever be laid down,
May we receive in recompense
A beautiful and fadeless crown.
A crown awaits each faithful heart,
Each earnest, self-denying soul
That carries cheerfully the cross
To death’s cold, unrelenting goal.
And when the veil shall roll away,
Disclosing heaven’s endless bliss,
The crown of love shall compensate
The cross of such a life as this.
THE CHAPLAIN. Worshipful Brother Samuel Little.
Worshipful Master and Brethren: — You have kindly invited me to speak of Brother Dadmun as a Chaplain. My acquaintance and affection for him date far back of his entering upon his duties at our institutions at Deer Island, where for ten years it was my duty, my privilege and my pleasure to have official relations with him, to enjoy his confidence to the fullest extent, as I believe, and to know and appreciate his worth as a man and an officer; and now to have the greater satisfaction of knowing that when our official relations were ended, his friendship and confidence continued to the end. During these later years, as I visited him on the Island, met him in the lodge, or in the office, he came to me with his cares and anxieties, his satisfactions, and unfolded his plans, asking my support and advice as during those years of our nearer relations. I esteemed him as a friend. 1 esteemed him as a Man, as a Mason, as a Chaplain. I cherish his memory for the noble example he has left us in every walk in life. As requested, my thoughts will turn to him as Chaplain, but with the full knowledge that I shall fail to make you appreciate his invaluable services at the institutions, or the debt of gratitude which we, in common with all our citizens, owe to him for the tender care and solicitude he bestowed upon the thousands of our city’s unfortunates.
Mr. Dadmun was elected Chaplain of the City Institutions at Deer Island in April, 1865. Henceforth his work was to be of a different character than any that had previously engaged his attention. He entered upon his task with becoming zeal, and continued by successive annual elections to discharge the duties of the office until the day of his death, a period exceeding twenty-five years. The ordinary duties of the chaplain of a public institution are somewhat understood by the community in general, but there are many trying and onerous duties entirely unknown to any excepting the officer himself and those directly connected with him in institution life. It was my duty and pleasure to be thus intimately associated with Mr. Dadmun during a portion of the period covered by bis term of service, to share his confidence, and to confer with him frequently regarding many of the delicate and trying duties of his position. I am enabled, therefore, to judge of the character and cpiality of his service.
Men are governed by motives. These may be selfish and personal, or unselfish and for the general good. If we can ascertain the motives which actuate a public servant, we may judge accurately as to the nature of that service, — whether it is tainted by considerations of a personal nature, or filled with a desire for the general welfare. What motives actuated our Brother? He had surrendered an important place in the denomination in which he had been trained, and where greater honor doubtless awaited him; had voluntarily given up the pastorate in which his efforts would be, as they had been in the past, lovingly appreciated, and had accepted the position of spiritual guide to the inmates of a great public institution, consisting of the Houses of Industry and Reformation and the Almshouse, where were gathered many of the ignorant, the vicious, the neglected, poor and outcast of a populous city, — the victims of crime, intemperance, brutality, imbecility, and all the forms of disease and misfortunes which follow in their train. Here were the profligate, the fallen, and the wanderers, those who had turned from the religion of their fathers, if, indeed, they had ever enjoyed any religious training, and those who had never known anything of disinterested kindness and affection.
Searching for an indication of the spirit which prompted him to assume the duties of such an office, we may judge of his motives by his own estimate of the character and scope of his work. In his first report to the Hoard of Directors having the charge of the institutions, he says: “I came here with the general impression that my field of usefulness must be comparatively limited; but I did not share in the common belief that the labors of a Chaplain, in an institution like this, must be unfruitful and forbidding. Wherever there is a man to be saved, there the servant of Christ should be willing to go. There is a tender spot in every human heart, and with patience and perseverance we may find it.” This, then, is the high motive, the true missionary spirit which animated him. It is the standard by which his work, which under Providence was to continue for a quarter of a century, is to be tested and judged. How nobly and well he fulfilled this high conception of a Chaplain’s office his life work will tell. The average number of persons under his charge during the first two or three years was about seven hundred, of which about one-half were the boys and girls of the House of Reformation. Having become settled in his new field of labor, our Brother was not a man to sit down and wait for opportunities for doing good to come to him. He was not to limit his ministration to the ordinary duties of preaching and teaching on the Sabbath. He was an officer of a great institution in which he resided and of which he was a part. His work was there, and near his hand. There were the sick in hospitals to be visited, the dying to be comforted, the dead to be buried. There were the living to be instructed and advised, the children to be taught, and he applied himself with a cheerful determination to do all in his power. He was in the prime of middle life, and his experience had prepared him for the work to which he had devoted himself. He was a daily witness of the sad condition of the fallen, and his whole heart was in the work of relieving them. His reports for the first three years indicate the growth of a desire on his part to increase the efficiency of his office. He had become interested in the library of the institution, and upon his recommendation it was largely increased; he began the work, which was afterwards thoroughly systemized, of finding homes in the country for orphan boys and girls, and had found scope for his wonderful musical talent in organizing a choir of three hundred boys and girls for the Service of Song in the Chapel on Sundays.
With the growth of the city the population of the institutions increased. During his fourth year the average number was nearly one thousand. His untiring industry and labor had attracted the notice of others, and the superintendent, in his Annual Report, says of him: “Our worthy Chaplain’s plain, forcible manner of presenting the truth to his congregation has been listened to with eager interest.” Men cannot long withstand the efforts of one who is trying to do them good. Even the “unthankful and the evil” have some appreciation of kindness, and he began to speak hopefully of his work of assisting those who were disposed to reform. In his fifth year a new field of usefulness was opened to him. His success as a leader and director of music was followed by his appointment to the office of Superintendent of Schools in the House of Reformation. He had always manifested much interest in the education of the children, yet never subserving it to the great aim of his ministry. Of this work he says: “In our daily visits (to the children) we endeavor to inspire in them a love of virtue and sound morals,— love to God and love to man.” Of the effect of musical instruction, he says: “If there is any power in music to move the affection and soften the heart, these children must be benefited by its influence.”
Soon after his appointment to this new office, the custom of an Annual Exhibition of the Schools was inaugurated. These examinations, as they were termed, were attended by the Board of Directors, members of the School Committee of the city, and later by the Board of Supervisors, and were occasions of great interest and profit to the children. The custom of bestowing pardons annually upon eight or ten of the scholars, whose deportment and efforts commended them to the teachers, was also introduced with most beneficial results.
In all his work Mr. Dadmun was modest and unassuming in manner. In all his reports there is an entire absence of the personal pronoun. He spoke of his work, and not of himself. He was a thorough disciplinarian. He had no double purpose to accomplish, no selfish ends to serve. He was willing to yield absolute obedience to all the rules of the institution, and required like service from those under his official charge. In the course of his long term of service many perplexing questions affecting the discipline of the institutions arose, and were always settled creditably alike to his humanity and firmness. His spirit was intensely loyal. “Constancy,” “fidelity,” “faithfulness,” “perseverance," “thoroughness” are the words found most frequently in his annual reports. His motto was, “Firmness, kindness and patience.” The machinery of his office was kept out of sight; there was no noise or bustle about his work. It was performed so quietly and carefully that the results alone indicate the nature of it. And, although he felt the strain of work, he was glad to be able to say, that as Chaplain, Superintendent of Schools and Teacher of Music he felt there was no danger of “rusting out.”
He was a man of rare tact and forbearance. His knowledge of human nature was remarkably acute and clear. Under his care were persons of all shades of religious belief, and his constant aim was to be liberal, and never attack the religious tenets of any particular church. Ten years after his appointment, when Catholic services were introduced, he said: “For ourselves we welcome any influence that will save the fallen.” Yet he never lowered his own standard of truth. He ever maintained his personal dignity, and had but one gospel to preach, the same for the officer and the prisoner, the governor and the governed. He won and preserved the affection and respect of ministers of all denominations, without the sacrifice of the honor and the good name of his own. His congregation, although poor and unfortunate, was enough, he says, to inspire one with a reasonable hope that some may be reformed and saved. While he never despaired of reforming the hardened, his main work was with the children. They were a more hopeful class, because their evil habits were not so firmly fixed. He was often asked the question, “Can you do them any good?” His reports cite many instances of encouragement of persons who have gone out of the institutions sober men and women, never again to touch the intoxicating cup; and of boys and girls from the House of Reformation who have risen above the unhappy environment of early life, and are now occupying stations of honor and usefulness.
Mr. Dadmun was progressive in his ideas and methods. He says: “As year after year rolls away without any diminution, but rather an increase, in the number that crowd our reformatory institutions, we are led to inquire what more could be done to stop this ever increasing tide of crime and misery that desolates the land ? ” But he was not prepared to concede that the world, as a whole, is growing worse. His reports teem with suggestions regarding the treatment of these great topics, and claim that “while religious faith should be left to individual choice, moral well as intellectual culture should be enforced by the strong arm of the State. Since our civil code is based upon the moral law, the ten commandments should be made as much a branch of study as arithmetic, geography or history.” He welcomed any and every plan to improve the physical comfort of the unfortunate, and suggested many forms of effort. He was a warm advocate of distinct classification and separation of the poor from the criminal classes. His interest in the efforts of the Directors to provide new buildings for schools and hospitals was constant and apparent.
He was a brave, earnest, hopeful and cheerful man. He could stand bravely for the right, and, without the sacrifice of principle, be kind and conciliatory to those with whom he differed. While he shared with all of us the limitations and imperfections of human nature; though there was much in his life experience to try his faith and patience and test the strength of his Christian character, he possessed in a very marked degree that cheerful hope which lifted him above corroding cares and disappointments, and rendered his life a guide, example and comfort to us all. He was always and uniformly cheerful. Cheerfulness was a part of his religion. It was not an assumed garb for the public eye, but had its source in the never failing springs of hope within his own heart. The reply of the great composer Haydn, when asked by a celebrated poet how it happened that his church music was always so cheerful, is quoted by Mr. Dadmun in one of his later reports, and may well be applied to himself. Haydn said, “I cannot make it otherwise; I write according to the thought I feel; when I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen ; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve him with a cheerful spirit.” Again Mr. Dadmun says: “ Prayer is the language of want, and praise is the language of gratitude; both constitute the heart’s divine adoration; therefore, religious worship should always be rendered cheerful by the aid of the melody and harmony of human voices.” Truly, that harmony was in his own soul!During the last year the number of commitments to the Deer Island Institutions had increased to more than 15,000, the daily average of inmates being 1,356. The demands upon his time and strength were heavy and exacting, but he looked hopefully into the future. He still commended the good intentions and plans of others, and steadily endeavored to accomplish the greatest good to the unfortunate and miserable. He says, in one of his last reports: “Thus we go on sowing the seed from day to day and year to year, hoping and believing that some will fall in good ground, and bring forth sixty and even a hundred fold. Some will rise up to bless the hand that rendered help in the hour of distress and danger; if not here, we believe they will in the great hereafter.”
He was successful and honored in his life; he was fortunate in his death. At the age of three-score years and ten, in the full, ripe maturity of his mental and spiritual strength, with eye scarcely dimmed and natural force unabated, with the promise of years of usefulness and honor before him, he was called suddenly away. While standing in the gallery of the chapel, directing the singing of that choir which had furnished rare enjoyment to many thousands from all parts of the country and the world, he fell forward upon the platform where his Sabbath services had been conducted, and in a few moments he was dead. Without wasting or lingering disease, he fell at his post of duty. Little did he realize, while standing there in the scene of his labors, that before the notes of that earthly music should cease his life work would be ended, and his quickened ears should catch the ecstatic strains of the Symphonies of Heaven. He heard not the wheels of the unseen chariot which was to bear him into the presence of the Master whom he had loved and served to receive his exceeding great reward. Surely our faith will claim for him the blessing of the righteous. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” For him
“The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease,
And life's long warfare closed at last,
His soul is found in peace.
Servant of God! well done,
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master’s joy.”
Remarks of official approval of Brother Dadmun, by the Mayor, Brother Thomas N. Hart.
THE VACANT CHAIR. Mendelssohn Quartette.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
There will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him,
While we breathe our evening prayer.
When a year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye;
But a golden chord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
There will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him,
While we breathe our evening prayer.
True, they tell us deeds of glory
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only
Sweeping o'er our heart-strings now.
Sleep to-day, O early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed;
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him,
While we breathe our evening prayer.
Address. THE FREEMASON. Worshipful Brother Alfred F. Chapman.
In the year 1857, John W. Dadmun had followed his vocation, as a licensed preacher, for about fifteen years. This has been happily described as “ A calling by the will of God; or the bestowment of God’s distin�guishing grace upon a person or nation, by which that person or nation is put in the way of salvation.”
Fascinated with his church and loyal to its forms and methods of government, Mr. Dadmun was but thirty-eight years of age when he first set foot in the noted Cockrell Church on Hanover Street, in Boston, as pastor of that society and congregation.
The Methodists had come into possession of this edifice, by purchase from the society for whose use it was erected, and its splendidly groined arches, carried by clustered columns, were typical of the new Pastor and of the work before him. The structure was at that time one of the best architectural products in the city, and its imposing beauty was spoken of by the average Bostonian with satisfaction, and pointed out to strangers with kindred pride.
Into the pulpit of that church walked the preacher, then in the fulness of manhood, proportioned in masculine beauty, fashioned to attract and to command.
Believing in the doctrine of salvation, he had never preached it under more educational surroundings; and the power of Love, which he also liked to call charity, was never preached by him with greater fervor.
He was already liberal in judging of men and their actions, and his natural disposition inclined him to put the best construction on the doings of his fellows. When he read, “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity,” his heart prompted him to think more favorably of his fellow-men; to do them good, and to practise
“The charities that heal, and soothe, and bless.”
It was not a part of one harmonious whole that such material as he represented could remain unused by Freemasons.
The opportunity came, and on September 13, 1858, John W. Dadmun, of his own free will and accord, was made an Entered Apprentice Mason in Mt. Lebanon Lodge, in Boston. In October and November following, he received the other two degrees, affiliated with the Lodge on February 14, 1859, engaged, as opportunity offered, in its work, became its Junior Warden in 1864, Senior Warden in 1866 and 1867, and stepped from this position by dimit, on January 13, 1868, to become one of the founders of Zetland Lodge, and very properly its first Worshipful Master.
Zetland Lodge takes rank and precedence from April 15, 1S67, and our Brother’s work in it dates from that period.
On May 11, 1859, he was made a Royal Arch Mason in St. Paul’s Chapter, but becoming interested with other Royal Arch Masons in Roxbury, Mt. Vernon Chapter was established there by them on March 7, 1865, and Companion Dadmun was elected to be its first High Priest. By reason of this he withdrew his membership from his mother Chapter on October 17, 1865.
He received the degrees in Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters March 29, i860, and became a member of it April 26, 1860. In this body he served in various offices, but was best known as its Chaplain.
He received the Orders of Knighthood in De Molay Commandery, became a member thereof March 28, 1860, was elected Generalissimo in 1864, and Eminent Commander two years successively, ending in September, 1868. Of this body he was an Honorary Member.
In 1863 he received the degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Rite, to and including the thirty-second degree; he was one of the founders and the first T. P. Gr. Master of Worcester Lodge of Perfection, in Worcester.
In the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters he was elected Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1863 and 1864. In this body he had been for many years Committee on Correspondence, his last report being made in December, 1889.
In the Grand Royal Arch Chapter he was Deputy Grand High Priest in 1865, and Grand High Priest in 1875. Here, too, he was Committee on Correspondence, except in 1875, and omitting this, he made twenty successive annual reports to the Grand Chapter.
He served the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as Grand Prelate, from 1866-1871 ; and again from 1882 until his death. In this body he was the third member of the Committee on Correspondence.
In 1867 he was elected President of the Massachusetts Convention of High Priests, and was re-elected annually thereafter.During the later years of his life, he took much comfort in the Massachusetts College of Rosicrucians, a body limited in numbers, devoted to antiquarian interests, but of friendly and social character. In this body, more than elsewhere, his study of abstruse subjects became manifest, but especially in the process of evolution.
His active and intelligent interest in Freemasonry caused him to become quickly prominent in its affairs. Before he had had opportunity to hold any of the higher offices in the Lodge, he was selected in the interest of the Grand Lodge to be District Deputy Grand Master of the then Sixth Masonic District in Massachusetts, and served in 1S63, 1864 and 1865.
Following this, he was Grand Chaplain in Grand Lodge for the three years ending with 1868.
He officiated as General Grand Chaplain of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States, in Denver, Col., in 1883; and again in Washington, D. C., in 1886. Aside from this, it will not be expected that any detailed statement will be made concerning the many minor but useful places he filled, as occasion required, during his thirty-one years of Masonic life.
It seemed to be in his nature to be busy; work was to him as a coveted solace, and no man availed himself more constantly of it.
The malady which brooded in the mind of his wife was fatal to the peace of their otherwise happy domestic life, and the grinning skeleton walked by his side for a quarter of a century.
Pleasant always, to the extent that he could have been taken as a living exponent of cheerfulness, the closest observer might not have discovered that ache, or pain, or heart-care had ever molested him.
Nature moulded him in her best proportions, and time, as if in approval, seemed to have stood still for a season, while the handsome figure moved sturdily onward.
Seventy years had come and gone, but apparently not more than fifty of these had smitten him. The gray had scarcely entered into his abundant hair, the light had not dimmed in his clear, blue eye, his six feet of stature carried no stoop, nor had it been humbled, except in reverent submission to the will of his God.
This man was our member and our first Master. Seven others, charter members of Zetland Lodge, had preceded him, and the fatal star placed against their names in the register shows that the work of death was early begun among his charter associates.
Others had gone, and two have followed after, but in the fulness of life, shadowed by the mystery of death, no other has equalled him whose name rests upon the Chaplain’s chair, now solitary and shrouded in its robe of mourning.
Within a year went Nathaniel Hamilton, on September 30, 1889; Robert H. Carleton, in May, 1890; Henry T. Parker, on June 5, 1890; John W. Dadmun, on August 6, 1890; James D. Roberts, on August 25, 1890; and in this month, Henry F. Greene.
Brothers Hamilton and Carleton and Dadmun were charter members of the Lodge, but the going of the group leads to the reflection that Death is “the great proprietor of all.”
We who knew Brother Dadmun in this Lodge, and thought we knew him well, because of intimate association with him, were but poorly equipped to estimate him aright, if bounded by such limitations; but if we held him as one expanding within the circumference of a circle as broad as between North and South, then it needs but little inquiry to show that this estimate of his influence is not exaggerated.
I have spoken of the twenty annual reports made by him to the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, as Committee on Correspondence, but not of the magnitude of the work done, nor of its far reaching effect.
In his first report, made twenty-one years ago, he foreshadowed the plan of all his subsequent ones; and these are strung with lessons on the spirit and purpose of Freemasonry, many of which have entered into the polity of the institution in all English speaking countries.
In concluding that report he said, “It has afforded us great satisfaction to see with what earnestness some of our Grand Chapters are urging upon the members purity of character. Intemperance and profanity are pointedly and eloquently rebuked. The prtical exemplification of our faith is urged as a safeguard against the attacks of our enemies. We trust that line upon line, and precept upon precept, will be given upon masonic uprightness, until we all come to unity of practice as well as unity of faith.”
In his last report, that of 1889, he revealed his life-long Masonic character, in words that have already been copied and recopied throughout the continent, and they are these:
“We hope that Freemasonry will never yield to the pressure of pecuniary benefit associations. There is something higher, nobler and grander in its moral and social benefits — an Order founded on Liberality, Brotherly Love and Charity. If a man becomes a Mason simply for what he can make out of it in dollars and cents, he fails to grasp and appreciate the sublime principles on which the institution is founded.”
As to the labor required in this kind of service, we can better appreciate it, when it is known that lie wrote, arranged and proof read a total of 1,715 octavo pages, in making his reviews, for the Grand Chapter alone.
In the same line, he made twelve annual reports for the Grand Council of Massachusetts, of less magnitude, but of the same spirit and purpose.
Me was one of three of the Committee on Correspondence, and wrote his proportion of the reports to the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the years 1SS7, 1888 and 1889, or in all 63 octavo pages.
In all of these reports he displayed a uniformly unruffled temper, together with such a degree of knowledge and information concerning the subjects discussed, that his coworkers in all jurisdictions gave him precedence, and found expression for their preference in applying to him the appellation of “John the beloved.”
Possibly the question may rise to some one’s lips, “Why was this so?”
You who knew him more intimately in the work of his church and of his Chaplaincy know how gentle and how true were his ministrations of love and duty, where these were needed. And we who knew him by closer contact in the world of Freemasonry know with what tact and candor and uprightness he maintained the lines of our profession, and how well he bore himself among his brethren as the just and upright Freemason.
In the law of the Craft he was learned, even to its Mastery; he was wise also in expounding it, as he was often called to do, and in this he acquitted himself with the clearness of the most profound jurist. Hut frequent as were the cases on which he was called to sit, his Masonic fame is more broadly established in and by the reports on Correspondence already mentioned.
From Wisconsin there comes this official testimony: “He has ranked with the leaders in the corps for the ability, sound common sense and brilliancy of his reports. We have never met him, but have learned to love him for his kindliness and geniality. We shall greatly miss him.”
Other testimony like unto this is rapidly accumulating, and these expressions come like words of promise, that “though a man die yet shall he live again.”
We read in our ceremonies, that “to be sovereign in the hearts and affections of men must be far more grateful to a generous and benevolent mind than to rule over their lives and fortunes.”
In this respect Brother Dadmun was the uncrowned king of his fellows. Sovereign and peer! he was never more companionable than on social occasions of the Craft, but never to the sacrifice of that dignity which sat upon him like a monarch’s robe, and touched his countenance to smile or to command.
Our brother was a living illustration of Tennyson’s line,
“Great is song used to great ends,”
and even in the hour of his death he was using this agency with impressive effect. It was a custom of his, indeed I know not why we may not call it a principle, to invoke the power of song when possible.
In this Temple, whose courts he trod so long with honor, his was a leading voice in devotional and in social singing. Around him the brethren rallied with voice and tongue to show forth the Great Creator’s praise, and always, before separating on such occasions, to sing the song indicated on the printed slips, distributed this evening.
“In the Sweet By and By” he found expression for his faith and speech wherewith to declare his affection for the brethren.
In a similar spirit, let us leave him and the others with mother earth, believing that the souls of our departed have gone
“To our bountiful Father above.”
IN THE SWEET BY AND BY. Mendelssohn Quartette.
There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling-place there.
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blest.
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessings of rest.
I11 the sweet by and by, etc.
To our bountiful father above
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of his love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
In the sweet by and by, etc
Rev. J. W. Hamilton, D. D.
PAUL REVERE BIOGRAPHY AT 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF WASHINGTON LODGE, MARCH 1886
THE UNIFYING FORCE OF FREEMASONRY, NOVEMBER 1886
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. X, No. 8, November 1886, Page 225:
When the Almighty Father had fitted up and beautified this earth, and made it habitable for the highest order of animal, he created man in his own image and gave him do.minion.over all his works. "All things were put in subjection under his feet." Then "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons (angels) of God shouted for joy." No note of discord disturbed the harmony of the celestial choir that celebrated the majestic inauguration. Intellectual greatness and moral purity distinguished man from all other creatures that God had placed upon the earth, and formed the basis of holy union that existed between him and his Creator, and if he had not, by transgression, lost his moral purity, we might have been celebrating, with the angels, the anniversary of the advent of Him who was made but a "little lower than the angels, and Crowned with glory and honor."
But, notwithstanding the fall, man is yet vastly superior to any other creature in his dominion. Buffon, the great French naturalist, says: "Whatever resemblance there may be between the Hottentot and the monkey, the interval which separates them is immense, since internally he is garnished with mind, and externally with speech." Yes, "the interval is immense." and no theory of evolution has ever yet been able to overthrow the Bible account of the origin of man. The transmutation of species has never been proved. Huxley declares it as his "clear conviction that, as the evidence now stands, it is not absolutely proven that a group of animals, having all the characteristics exhibited by species in nature, has ever been originated by selection, whether artificial or natural." Mr. Darwin, in his Origin of Species, admits it. We therefore claim that the Bible record holds true: "In the image of God created he him male and female created he them." Well and beautifully does the poet sing of woman's perfections:
"Hail, woman! hail, thou faithful wife and mother,
The latest, choicest part of Heaven's great plan."
Originally created with vast capabilities and placed under moral obligation to love and obey his Creator, how can man be restored to primeval purity and happiness? By counteracting and overcoming the evil tendencies of the human heart and bringing men into purer, closer and more intimate relations with each other. "Virtue unites what death cannot separate."
The unifying force of Freemasonry consists in the breadth and purity of the principles inculcated, and the cultivation of intellectual, moral and social happiness. There are many associations formed merely and mainly for social pleasures, but social pleasure, not guided and governed by sound moral principles, may result in licentiousness, free-love, and communism. Liberty without law is demoralizing, and sound morality can only proceed from religion as an active conviction. George Washington said : "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." The morality proves the religion.
Is always mild, propitious and humble,
Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood,
Nor bears destruction on her chariot wheels;
But stoops to polish, succor and redress,
And builds her grandeur on the public good."
From time immemorial Masons have been taught, in their rites and ceremonies, to recognize God as an object of worship, love and obedience. Faith in God, hope in immortality, and charity to all mankind, are the fundamental principles of' the Masonic brotherhood. In addition to this, they are taught to.be lovers of the liberal arts and sciences — rhetoric, logic, geometry, music and astronomy. Socially, they are bound together by the strongest ties and tokens of friendship. These are among the "mysteries of Freemasonry," and are "safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts." By them one Mason may know another in the dark as well as at noonday, and so sacred are their obligations to each other, that a token jf distress would call forth the utmost exertions of any Mason idthin hailing distance, to relieve the wants of a distressed worthy brother. And those obligations are world-wide in their influence.
The Rev. Lorenzo Dow, an American clergyman and Mason, was once travelling in Asia Minor, and was taken sick with a slow fever at Smyrna. When he had partially recovered his health, he found himself in rather indigent circumstances, and as he was walking out one day, the thought struck him as strangers were passing by that there might be some Masons that far-off land. Somewhat weak and weary, he sat down by the side of the road, and gave to several travellers, as they passed by, the Masonic sign of distress, which was not recognized by them. At last, seeing a well-dressed gentleman approach, he repeated the sign, to which the stranger cheerfully responded by inquiring into his circumstances. The result was that this newly-found Masonic brother sent a carriage for him, and conveyed him to his own beautiful palace, took care of him until he had fully recovered his health, paid his hotel bill previously contracted, and sent him in his way rejoicing. Many similar instances have occurred in the history of the fraternity, especially during our late Civil War, notwithstanding the bitter feeling engendered by lat terrible conflict.
A touching instance occurred at the battle of Gettysburg, the substance of which was related by a Union General. On that memorable afternoon of July 3d, 1863, when General Lee launched eighteen thousand of his best troops against the Union left-centre, Colonel Armitage, of Pickett's division, riding his fiery steed, with gleaming sword in hand, succeeded in rushing inside of the Union lines; but it was only to fall. pierced with bullets, as did thousands of brave men in that terrible battle. As he fell, he gave the Masonic sign of distress. Some of our gallant heroes, who recognized it, pushed their way through between the living and the dead, took him gently in their arms and there held him during the few minutes that he lived. They had not forgotten, in the midst of the noise and smoke of battle, that beautiful Masonic lesson, "Ever remember to extend the hand of charity to a fallen foe."
But let no man say that Masons are bound to aid and defend each other right or wrong, for every brother is taught that his Masonic obligations will not conflict with any duty he owes to God, his country, his neighbors, his family, or himself. The family is an important factor in the affections and charities of the Brotherhood, and the members are sacredly bound to aid the needy widows and orphans of deceased brethren. While we do not profess to reimburse a brother or his family for money he has contributed to the common fund, we do claim to relieve the wants of the needy and destitute. It is said, "Charity begins at home," but it should not end there.
In that matchless story of the kindness and charity of the Good Samaritan, which our Saviour related to the Jewish lawyer, he asked him: "Which now of these three thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves?" The lawyer answered, "He that showed mercy on him." Jesus replied, "Go, and do thou likewise." That answer and reply will find a ready response in every noble and generous heart. The Masonic Fraternity is endeavoring to do its part, not only to bind up the broken-hearted and succor the needy, but to elevate mankind and bring them back to primitive union and harmony with God and angels, so that again "the morning stars may sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy."