- 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
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.
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."