UNITED STATES LODGE
Chartered by Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
Chartered By: Joseph Webb
Charter Date: 05/01/1778 I-265
Precedence Date: 05/01/1778
Current Status: unknown.
FROM HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN BEVERLY, MASSACHUSETTS, 1779-1824, JUNE 1924
From Proceedings, Page 1924-196:
On May 1, 1778, a petition was presented to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons in Boston by Brother John Piemont, and others, asking for a Charter to erect a Lodge in Danvers to be known as United States Lodge. The petition was granted.
On December 4, 1778, R. W. Brother John Piemont presented, in Grand Lodge, a list of the officers of United States Lodge of Danvers as of record October 6, 1778: John Piemont, Master. John Stacey, Senior Warden. Amos Putnam, Junior Warden. Enoch Putnam, Treasurer. Andrew Putnam, Secretary. Nath. Gott, Senior Deacon. Nathaniel Greenwood, Junior Deacon. Matthew Fairfield, Steward. Joseph Knowlton, Steward. James Carter, of St. Andrew's Lodge, Boston, as Proxy.
On March 5, 1779, George Abbott and others, of Salem, applied to the Grand Lodge for a Charter. This was at the meeting of the Grand Lodge on that date. At a meeting of the Grand Lodge on March 9, 1779, the petition of George Abbott and others, of Salem, was granted, and Essex Lodge came into being.
On the first day of April, 1779, the Brethren (of the Essex Lodge, Salem) were notified to meet at the house of Bro. John Butler, to act on business of importance. Being met together to the above notice, the following communication was laid before them:
We, the Committee of the United States Lodge of Danvers, thinking it unnecessary for two Lodges, so near together as Salem and Danvers, and being assured it will be highly detrimental to the Craft, are willing to become one body, and unite with our Brethren in Salem, it being the most convenient place to hold a Lodge. We, therefore, propose the following for your consideration, viz.:
- First: That the United States Lodge and Charter be removed to Salem, there to form into one body under that title.
- Second: For the whole community to be on a level with each other, and to make an entire new choice of officers.
To the Brethren of the Fraternity of Salem
From, Gentlemen, your humble Servants and affectionate Brothers,
The Salem Lodge declined to accede to the request of the above committee of five, purporting to be "the Committee of the United States Lodge of Danvers."
One must notice the prominence of John Stacey in the Danvers Lodge, in the petition to the Essex Lodge, and in relation to Amity Lodge. Who was he? Massey, in his History of Freemasonry in Danvers, page 21, says Stacey was a Danvers man, and in the list of Beverly residents belonging to United States Lodge on page 16 in Massey's History Stacey is given. There is not, then, absolute certainty as to his home. It would be easy to surmise many things. He was in United States Lodge; he wanted to have its Charter returned and a Lodge for the "community" formed in Salem; he wanted the Essex Lodge to give up the Charter gained for them by the special aid of the Grand Master; he wanted United States Lodge moved to Beverly, and in the end he got a Lodge formed in Beverly, and became its first Master. What a busybody! Or was it conceit, or ambition? Is he the one referred to in the records regarding Essex Lodge, which records state that, in the Grand Lodge, the Salem men found great opposition from "a person from Danvers"?
And today nobody knows who he was; no one knows for certain where he lived. What a commentary!
The petition from Danvers for erection of United States Lodge was presented in Grand Lodge May 1, 1778. The petition was granted the same day. The petition for Essex was presented March 5, 1779, and granted March 9, 1779. The petition for Amity was presented September 3, 1779, and granted the same day.
At a meeting of the Grand Lodge "upon emergency," April 13, 1779 . . . the petition of Nathaniel Greenwood, Francis Yates, and Joseph Wyer, in behalf of United States Lodge, setting forth the disadvantage of holding their Lodge at Danvers and praying it might be removed to the town of Beverly, was read.
The Grand Lodge agreed "Unanimously to grant the prayer of their petition, and the said United States Lodge is in future to be held in the said Town of Beverly and all their proceedings there to be firm and valid, to all purposes and intents, as though the name of Danvers had not been mentioned in their charter of erection."
On April 27, 1779, nine members of United States Lodge signed a petition to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge protesting against the removal of the Charter and Lodge to Beverly.
On April 30, 1779, the Grand Lodge met on special occasion:
Motioned and Seconded— That the vote respecting the United States Lodge: at the last Grand Lodge Night; be Suspended, by Reason of a petition being Presented,
Read & debated at the Grand Lodge dated 27th Instant, Signed by Nine Members of that Lodge against a removal to Beverly.
Motioned, Seconded & Voted
That the two Petitions presented from the Members & Committee of the United States Lodge, to this Grand Lodge, Respecting their Removal to Beverly — be coppied & sent by the Grand Secretary to the Master of that Lodge, that he be desired to Call his Lodge together immediately, and know the Minds of the Members, (Consistent with the By Laws) Respecting a Removal of it—and that they transmit to the Grand Lodge a Copy of their proceedings & the result of their determinations, to be further acted upon.
At a meeting of the Grand Lodge, Held at Masons Hall, on Special Occasion, Friday Evening May 21st, 1770. The following Members from the United States Lodge being admitted into the Grand Lodge, "Vizt.
- Bror. Nath. Greenwood
- Francs Yates
- Joseph Wyer
- Amos Putnam
- Nathl Gott
- Enoch Putnam
Having by writing Repotted the determination of their Lodge at their last meeting; and answer'd to Several pointed Questions Made by this Grand Lodge particularly to the Constitution, Page 314. They withdrew.
The Grand Lodge then Came into the following Resolve:
The Petitioners having been heard (this Evening) It fully Appeard to the Grand Lodge; that there were more than Five Members, who, are willing to Support said Lodge. It is therefore the Unanimous Opinion of this Grand Lodge, that no Lodge may be Removed to any other Town, So long as Five Members Continue to Support it. We Therefore Recommend to the Members of Said Lodge they Cultivate Brotherly Love, and Friendship — the Cement of Masonry— that the Vulgar may not take the Advantage of any little difficulty that (may) Arise Among Masons, to bring the Craft into disrepute.
Voted the G. Secry furnish the United States Lodge, by their Committee — with a.fair Copy of this Resolve.
This is a list of the members of United States Lodge, Danvers, 1779— Bros.
- John Piemont
- John Stacey
- Amos Putnam
- Enoch Putnam
- Math. Fairfield
- Nath. Gott
- Jethro Putnam
- Moses Titcomb
- Joseph Knowlton
- Francis Yates
- Richard Skidmore
- Eben'r Andrew
- Jacob Oliver
- Samuel Page
- Benj. Hammond
- Andrew Putnam
- Bro. Quartermass
- Joseph Wyer
- Francis Porter
- Nath. Greenwood
Nine of the above were opposed to the removal of the Lodge to Beverly. Seven of above favored removal to Beverly. Four, who belonged in Danvers, were absent at sea and in the Continental Army.
The members living in Beverly were reported as follows:
- Nathaniel Greenwood, M.
- Joseph Yates, M.
- Joseph Wyer, M.
- Quartermass, M.
- John Stacey, M.
- Griswold, M.
There evidently was a disturbing influence in the United States Lodge, as the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge prove.
NOTES IN THE CENTENARY HISTORY OF AMITY LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1963
From Proceedings, Page 1963-220:
The Revolution was under way and perhaps because of this the Masons then living in town felt the need of their own Lodge. One was formed and was named United States Lodge in honor of the new nation then taking shape. However, United States Lodge had a brief and apparently stormy history until it was "erased from the Grand Lodge books" in 1788. All tangible evidence of the Lodge, charter, jewels, regalia and records, was consumed when the home of Richard Skidmore at the Port was destroyed by fire in 1805.
NOTES IN THE CENTENARY HISTORY OF MOSAIC LODGE, OCTOBER 1970
From Proceedings, Page 1970-458:
Organized Masonry in Danvers dates back to 1778 when the United States Lodge was chartered, being the seventh lodge chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge . . . Its membership was comprised of men from Danvers, Beverly, and Wenham . . .
Our knowledge of the United States Lodge is quite limited because the charter, jewels, regalia and doubtless the records and by-laws were destroyed in 1805 when the house of Richard Sidmore, tyler of the lodge, burned. The last mention of that lodge is in the records of the Grand Lodge in 1788.