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Grand Master 1811-1812


From History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, 1895, Page 279:

Sylvester Child, Jr., Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island during two years, 1811-12, was the son of Sylvester Child, who was born March 16, 1730, and died May 15, 1815. He married first Abigail Miller. They had four children. His second wife was Joanna Barnaby, to whom he was married December 28, 1758. She was the mother of Sylvester Child, Jr., he being the third of five children that blessed her marriage. She died May 18, 1772.

This third child, the subject of the present sketch, was born in Warren, R. I., Sept. 14th, 1764. He died Sept. 4, 1828. Very little information is available, bearing upon the early life of this honored Craftsman. He was, without doubt, a hearty, well trained lad, who grew into a vigorous manhood and gained the well deserved respect of his friends and neighbors. This is shown by the fact that he was often called upon to serve the community in places of public trust and responsibility. He was chosen a member of the Town Council, also an Assessor of Taxes, and in these and other important offices is believed to have shown ability and good judgment. He was tide-waiter for the port of Warren for more than twenty years. He married Patience, daughter of Martin and Ann Luther. Mrs. Child survived her husband for a considerable number of years. She died January 21, 1851. There were no children.

The subject of this sketch was made a Mason in St. John's Lodge, Providence, soon after reaching his majority. He united with the Masons of Warren and the vicinity in the movement for the establishment of Washington Lodge No. 3, and his name appears as one of the Charter members in the Warrant issued by Grand Master Jabez Bowen, as authorized by the Grand Lodge, March 15, 1798.

Bro. Child served the Lodge as Senior Warden from 1801 to 1807. It does not appear by the record that he was ever elected W. Master. He was elected to the office of Junior Grand Warden in the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, in 1803, and held that office until 1809, when he was chosen Deputy Grand Master, from which position, after two years service, he was advanced to the highest place, Grand Master, and re-elected the following year, 1812, for a second term. He retired from the Grand Mastership after a faithful service of two years.

He was active in Capitular Masonry, and took part in the formation of Temple Chapter, No. 3, Warren, in 1809. He was a Charter member and the first High Priest of the body, serving in this office from 1809 to 1816. The records of Masonic organizations in the early part of this century included but few items of business, and made but slight reference to members, beyond noticing the election of officers. Many things which we should like to know about Capt. Sylvester Child, Jr., the records fail to declare ; but enough is told to make evident the fact that his Masonic career was one of considerable distinction and that he exercised much influence among his brethren, both in Warren and throughout the jurisdiction.

He was a man possessed of strong individuality—very much inclined to adhere to his opinions when once formed and to go steadily forward in whatever path seemed to him just and right. He maintained the character of a worthy citizen and a devoted Craftsman, and so he deserves a grateful remembrance among men and Masons.

Rhode Island People