Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Peter Renzland & Squire Bentley Answer Charges of McCarthyism

Some traditionalists like Palmetto Bug on "The Masonic Line" would like to convince us that the opposition to Recognition of Prince Hall by those Grand Lodges left who refuse to do so is primarily due to their adherence to The American Doctrine, the Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Of course these holdouts take up the larger part of the Old Confederacy. Now considering this region and its history and its present day inclinations can nobody think of another reason that might be on Mason's minds?

Palmetto Bug says the ETJ existed before Prince Hall, at least in South Carolina. He points to a verbal objection to other Grand Lodges in his state in the late 1700s. But was ETJ written into the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina prior to 1800? I'll put my money on the guess that it wasn't. In fact this Doctrine was not well accepted among all of American Masonry until after 1820, long after Prince Hall was firmly established. One states' thoughts do not make an American Doctrine. Maybe, just maybe, it made a South Carolinian Doctrine.

In fact, although African Lodge #459 ipso facto acted like a Grand Lodge before 1800, most of Prince Hall Masonry did not declare themselves to be a separate Grand Lodge until after the 1820s. I have a feeling that this was because they had always wanted and had been trying to become part of the Grand Lodges of Mainstream Masonry. They wanted to be one with Mainstream and grow together with them as the nation grew. Only after all hope was dashed and further efforts to incorporate within Mainstream Masonry were fruitless did they go ahead full steam to form the intricacies of complicated Masonic governance at the highest level.

So let us look at this Recognition thing logically. Black Lodges form in the late 1700s and ask Mainstream Masonry to incorporate them into their Grand Lodges. But Mainstream Masonry says No, NO, NO, Never. So Prince Hall is forced to either disband or proceed on their own. Choosing the later course they established their own traditions. Hereafter Prince Hall pushed for Recognition starting most publicly with Washington State in 1897. But Mainstream Masonry seeing what was coming had decades before adopted The Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction to block Prince Hall from Recognition consideration and to offer a "legal" reason that would hide their racism.

At this point what needs to be said is that perhaps blocking an invading Grand Lodge could be seen as a necessary move. And most of us can understand refusing to Recognize a Grand Lodge that practices irregular Masonry or refusing one not legally chartered. But Black Lodges were here before the founding of our independent nation. African #459 was duly chartered by The Grand Lodge of England. Prince Hall has always followed the Landmarks. Prince Hall has always practiced Regular Masonry. So why refuse Lodges that grew up side by side with you, with a legal pedigree, observing the same Landmarks you do and practicing the same Regular Masonry you do? Only one reason stands out - Racism. But traditionalists would have you believe it is ETJ when ETJ was created to enable keeping colored men out. Now Palmetto Bug says this is a rise of Masonic McCarthyism,

Sadly, new McCarthyism has invaded Freemasonry. The “new McCarthys” use the racist label to explain why any individual Freemason or Grand Lodge would be opposed to recognizing Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA). They ignore the fact that the Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) is a real doctrine that predates the existence of PHA. They ignore the fact that ETJ has been generously applied to other bodies that were not primarily made up of men of African descent. They ignore the possibility that mutual recognition of more than one body within the same political boundaries sets a precedent that could come back to haunt the Fraternity – ie: the day when Prince Hall Origin (PHO) begins to make a case for recognition.

Could it be that the Grand Lodge’s that have agreed to mutual recognition with PHA have simply folded to new McCarthyism? Did they ignore the tried and true Doctrine of ETJ just to avoid the stigma of being labeled racist? Which label will they roll over for next? Will it be “sexist?”

Palmetto Bug's answer? The only way that Prince Hall Masonry can legally operate is to be merged with Mainstream Masonry? Hello!!! Isn't that what Prince Hall wanted at the start? But oh no we can't have that. So after blocking Prince Hall out, adopting ETJ and forcing them to be separate so they could be labeled clandestine in hopes they would fail, Mainstream Masonry now wants to absorb Prince Hall rather than recognize it? Why? All in the name of a Doctrine that is not a Landmark. It's a Rule or a Tradition and is not even written into all Grand Lodge Constitutions and By-Laws? Come on I wasn't born yesterday. They want to control it and force Prince Hall to practice Masonry the White, er right way.

Let me say that never again will the Black man be subservient to the White man ever again in the USA. If Mainstream Masonry had not tried so hard for so many years to discredit Black Freemasonry merging would be a more believable position. But here is what Poll and Roberts said in their article "Attacks on The Philalethes Society":

For some 200 years, U.S. “mainstream” Grand Lodges taught their members that Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. Visitation between “mainstream” US lodges and Prince Hall lodges was not allowed as no Prince Hall Grand Lodge was recognized as regular. We were taught that there were legitimate reasons why Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. Now we are taught that there is nothing at all irregular about Prince Hall Masonry. Recognition between the majority of US “mainstream” Grand Lodges and their Prince Hall counterparts now exist. Even where fraternal relations do not exist, we are led to believe that some Grand Lodges have made official statements declaring Prince Hall Masonry to be regular, if not always recognized. Did Prince Hall change in its nature? No. Then what gives? How does any thinking Mason reconcile this apparent contradiction? If being irregular means that something is wrong with a Masonic body, then how can it be declared regular if nothing has changed in the body? If we wish to take the position that it was simply an honest error in regard to Prince Hall, then we must face the fact that it was a pretty big error that for roughly 200 years falsely labeled and denied recognition to true brothers. Is there another reason (or reasons) why Prince Hall Masonry was falsely labeled “irregular”? Is it unreasonable to seek an understanding of this question? Is it unreasonable to wonder if, even today, “mistakes” could be made with other Masonic bodies?

One of the major problems with understanding the issues of regularity is our use (or misuse) of the word “irregular.” Common use has made the words “irregular,” “clandestine” and “unrecognized” interchangeable. But are they always interchangeable? Logic dictates that since Prince Hall Masonry (having made no change in their nature or organization) has been confirmed by the majority of U.S. Grand Lodges to be perfectly regular, then they were factually “unrecognized,” but not “irregular.” If this is the case, then why were they almost always called “irregular” and “clandestine”?

Prince Hall Masonry was not kept outside of the recognized Masonic family for some 200 years because of legitimate reasons, but because of an intentional desire to keep them out. In order to keep up the appearance of remaining true to the teachings of Freemasonry, Grand Lodges freely accepted the charges that Prince Hall Masonry was justifiably irregular. Since most Masons were not researchers, it was not that hard to write legitimate sounding charges against Prince Hall Masonry. In addition, because the vast majority of the Prince Hall Masons were black, there was no real desire to closely examine the charges made against them. When one spoke or wrote about Prince Hall Masonry, the words “irregular” or “clandestine” were used with no attempt to prove that the charges were factual. It was enough to just keep saying that Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. It was not true, but it was always there and accepted by most all. Even among those who held no bigotry in their hearts, the charges against Prince Hall Masonry were commonly accepted. Why? Because we trusted that our leaders would not tell us anything but the truth. We are Freemasons. We don’t speak evil of our brothers, right? How could such an organized effort of deception take place?

I am indebted to Peter Renzland and his TORONTO SOCIETY FOR MASONIC RESEARCH (TSMR).

For Prince Hall Issues:

For ETJ Issues:

And For Recognition in General and more ETJ Issues:

Palmetto Bug says these charges of Masonic racism are trumped up, made up Masonic McCarthyism. Here are some quotes and some thoughts from Brother Peter Renzland:

" How, then, could that law be binding on the negro Masons? Will folly be carried so far as to claim that the white Masons could, first, exclude the negro brethren from the white organizations, and then, having done this, proceed, in those organizations, without the consent of the negroes, to create a law that would both bind the negro Masons and render it impossible for them to continue their growth? Surely, the proposition is too monstrous to be considered. No; the "American doctrine," whatever its true meaning may be, and in whatever stage of development it may have been in 1808, was not morally, legally or Masonically binding on negro Masons. " -- William H. Upton: Light on a Dark Subject, #64, p81, 1899

"The question has been asked: the cause of the separate organizations of white and colored Masons in the United States of America? We do not know of any good reason why there should be, and we have made several attempts without success to have but one. We are, and always have been, in procession of all the ancient landmarks and regulations of the Craft; and we do acknowledge all genuine Masons of all Nations and shades of complexion, to be our brethren." -- Sentiments, National Grand Lodge (PH), 1847-06-24 (from Walkes, 1983)

" Resolved, That in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, it would be inexpedient and tend to mar the harmony of the fraternity to admit any of the persons of color, so-called, into the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons within the jurisdiction of thie Grand Lodge. " -- Grand Lodge of Ohio, adopted 1847

" After the abolition of slavery in the West Indies by the British Parliament, the Grand Lodge of England on September 1, 1847, changed the word free-born into free man, but the ancient landmark never has been removed in America. " -- Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

" Resolved, That all subordinate lodges under this jurisdiction be instructed to admit no negro or mulatto as a visitor or otherwise, under any circumstances whatever. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois, adopted 1851

" [In 1852] the Grand Lodge of Iowa adopted a report on foreign correspondence, which embodied and endorsed the action of the Grand Lodge of New York, declaring that the 'exclusion of persons of the negro race is in accordance with Masonic law and the ancient charges and regulations', and also declaring it 'not proper to initiate them in our lodges'; " -- Grand Lodge of Iowa, John Long, G.M. 1870

" Resolved, That lodges under this jurisdiction are positively prohibited from initiating, passing, raising, or admitting to membership, or the right of visitation, any negro, mulatto, or colored person of the United States. This prohibition shall be an obligation, and so taught in the third degree. " -- Grand Lodge of Delaware, adopted 1867

I took my obligations to white men, not to negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it. I am interested to keep the Ancient and Accepted Rite uncontaminated, in our country at least, by the leprosy of negro association. ... Better let the thing drift. Apres nous le deluge. ". -- Albert Pike, 1875 -- cited by William H. Upton, Negro Masonry 1902 p214-5

" The Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina, compiled by that eminent author, erudite scholar and unsurpassed Masonic jurist, Albert G. Mackey, and adopted by the Grand Lodge, specifically declares that a candidate must be of free white parents. " -- Grand Lodge of South Carolina Proceedings 1898 p50, cited in Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899 #16 p22

" A candidate for initiation must be of the age of twenty-one years and a free-born white man. " -- Grand Lodge of Kentucky Constitution, Article viii, Section 5. Cited in Upton 1902, p36

" To have Lodges exclusively of Negroes, would be dangerous to the high character of our Order. And, to associate them in Lodges with white brethren, would be impossible. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois Proceedings, 1899

" Several Grand Lodges seem to believe and have -- perhaps disingenuously -- been led to declare that they possess "exclusive territorial jurisdiction" by "inherent right"; that any infringement upon their "territory" is a high Masonic crime; and that the doctrine is actually a part of "the common law of Masonry," -- one writer has said, "paramount to a Landmark"! [Proceedings GL of Indiana, 1899, Cor. Rep.] ...

The American doctrine of exclusive Grand Lodge jurisdiction is not a Landmark, but a modern, local, American-born regulation. ...

Once prove that, "This is not a question of race, but of jurisdiction"; that a system of Masonry founded in the Landmarks and practiced in accordance therewith cannot exist side by side with the American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction -- once prove that, and the American Doctrine must perish: The Ancient Landmarks shall always be carefully preserved. [General Regulations XXXIX, 1721] " -- William H. Upton: "Negro Masonry" 1902 #71a p159-161

"Masonry never contemplated that her privileges should be extended to a race morally and intellectually totally incapacitated to discharge the obligations which they assume ... We hold that affiliation with negroes is contrary to the teachings of Masonry, ... do order that fraternal correspondence between the Grand Lodge of Mississippi and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of New Jersey, be and is hereby discontinued until such time as ... New Jersey shall see fit to desist from her present practice of initiating and affiliating negros as Masons ... if we open our Lodges to a promiscuous mixing up, then we destroy Masonry ... The negro in our land is unfit to assume the responsibilities and obligations of Masonry. It is an open secret that virtue and morality, which are indispensable qualifications to membership, are foreign to the race. I felt it my duty as your Grand Master to cut loose from any who would dare open the door of Masonry to a people whose standing for virtue and morality is a mockery to civilization."" -- Edwin J. Martin, Grand Master of Mississippi, 1909

"Our political requirements are most explicit upon the question of being free born. Many have erroneously thought that such qualification was "read into" the body of Masonry to keep out men of the colored race. Unquestionably "free born" means not only not born a slave, but not born of parents who have been slaves, or whose forebears were slaves. Thus "free born" does bar men of African descent in this country from becoming a Mason. " -- Carl H. Claudy, Executive Secretary 1929-1957: "The Candidate", MSA STB 1930-5

"This Grand Lodge does not recognize as legal or Masonic any body of negroes working under any character of charter in the United States, without regard to the body granting such charter, and they regard all negro lodges as clandestine, illegal and unMasonic, and moreover, they regard as highly censurable the course of any Grand Lodge in the United States which should recognize such bodies of negroes as Masonic Lodges. " - Grand Lodge of Texas Constitution, Article XV, p.34 1948

1949.06.08 "specially not because it was incorrect but because it has brought objections from certain other jurisdictions." ... "Unity and Harmony are vastly more important to the Fraternity than debates about Negro Freemasonry." " -- Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, cited in Walkes 1983 p89-92

" ... that so-called American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial jurisdiction which is a piece of anti-Negro Masonic buncombe used with effect against the Prince Hall Order. " -- Harry A. Williamson, 1952

" Under the Act of Incorporation the law plainly states 'Consisting of Masons exclusively of the white race.' " -- Grand Lodge of Florida, Jurisprudence Committee, p131 Proceedings 1955

WHEREAS: The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. adopted a resolution dated October 14th, 1989 giving recognition to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of Connecticut, Inc. ... ... WHEREAS: the resolution adopted on October 14th, 1989 by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut AF&AM, is contrary to and conflicts with the Constitution ... of the GLLA, as well as the obligations of a Master Mason. THEREFORE: I, EUGENE F. LOVE, GRAND MASTER OF MASONS, THE GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F.&A.M. DO HEREBY ISSUE THE FOLLOWING EDICT EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE SHOWN ON THE BOTTOM HEREOF: The Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F. & A.M. does hereby sever all Masonic relations and/or communications with The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. " -- Eugene F. Love, G.M., Grand Lodge of Louisana, quoted in Phylaxis 1990Q3 p7,10

" This doctrine was one of the arguments used to prevent the recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. " -- Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, "American Doctrine" p37 1996

"Exclusive jurisdiction ... in the 20th & 21st centuries has only contributed to discrimination, isolation and political dilemma. Some of this has only recently been addressed by the co-recognition of several Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges with their "mainstream" counterpart grand lodges ... effectively negating the thrust of the doctrine." -- Grand Lodge of Minnesota, 2002-05-22

"Were it not for this doctrine the Masonic Fraternity could well have been a leader in our nation on civil rights and the racial integration of blacks into American society beginning as early as 1898 (in Washington) or even in 1947 (in Massachusetts). Instead we came along 25 years after the passage of Civil Rights legislation to recognize the truth that territorial exclusivity simply was a lie in principle and in fact. Not only did we squander an opportunity, we simply let the doctrine of territorial exclusivity become the excuse and the ruse for our own lack of brotherhood, and our immoral apathy about "separate but equal" segregation. Shame on us. And shame on all the leaders of Freemasonry who did not live up to the ideals we so proudly professed but so blatantly ignored. " -- -- John L. Cooper III, 33°, PSoc Lecture 2004-02-14

"I believe in Prince Hall Masonry, a door of benevolence securely tiled against the unworthy, but opened wide to men of good report, whether Aryan or Hottentot." -- From the Prince Hall Credo, W.E.B. DuBois, Boston, 1904

And finally some words from Brother Renzland:

Exclusion and Non-Recognition

During most of US history, black persons were systemically excluded or segregated, in all social associations. This was clearly contrary to the "self evident truth that all men are created equal". And it was certainly contrary to the Masonic maxim that all Masons, if not all persons, are Brothers, Equal and Free. In US Freemasonry, not only did black and white streams run parallel and separate, but the prevailing view held by respected and influential white Masonic writers, teachers, and leaders was that a black person was ineligible for Freemasonry.

This exclusion was defended, simultaneously, by the argument that Masonic doctrine demanded it (Claudy), and that, although Masonic doctrine forbade it, it was necessary to maintain "peace and harmony" in the lodge (Haywood, Mackey).

Thus, whereas exclusion led to separate institutions and non-recognition of the black (Prince Hall) institutions by the white (mainstream) ones, the polite arguments given were "peace and harmony" and "exclusive territorial jurisdiction", respectively.

These attitudes, practices, and policies persisted long after the US signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." -- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted world-wide, without dissent, 1948.

It should be noted that this attitude was one-sided. Whereas the white policy of black exclusion is well-documented, the black institutions had an explicit policy of inclusion and of recognition. Prince Hall himself gave this Charge to African Lodge in 1797: "give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs let their color and complexion be what it will, let their nation be what it may, for they are your brethren, and it is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as Masons deny this, and we & the world know what to think of them be they ever so grand". And the 1904 Prince Hall Credo states: "I believe in Prince Hall Masonry, a door of benevolence securely tiled against the unworthy, but opened wide to men of good report, whether Aryan or Hottentot."

Inclusion and recognition (in non-trivial numbers) in mainstream US Freemasonry began in the 1980s, and, after 19 years of recognition efforts, 80% of US Grand Lodges recognize at least one Prince Hall Grand Lodge. However, 58% of the 160,000 Prince Hall Masons remain totally unrecognized by *any* US mainstream Grand Lodge. The "reason" is that the mainstream GLs won't recognize a PH GL unless it is recognized by the white GL in the same State. This is called "The American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction". The following 11 States remain thus excluded: AL AR FL GA KY LA MS NC SC TN WV. The majority of all PH Masons live in those 11 States.

Even the United Grand Lodge of England, which does not practice this American Doctrine itself, respects it and will not recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodges thus excluded by their white counterparts.

In contrast, all the Australian Grand Lodges have fraternal relations with *all* Prince Hall Affiliated Masons, and the same is true for some of Canada.

Even in Canada, far North of the Mason-Dixon Line, there remains one mainstream Grand Lodge which still does not recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in the same territory. Some of its leaders have even dis-acknowledged its very existence.

Outside the US (and parts of Canada), Freemasons are shocked by such official policies and systemic practices. And many, if not most Masons in North America are ashamed and deeply disturbed by these facts. Even after 20 years of recognition efforts, only a small percentage of the possible Masonic handshakes between black and white Masons are "legal". In Canada, the degree of completion of Prince Hall recognition is only 1.5%, even though, in 1992, *all* Canadian Grand Masters agreed to accept *all* Prince Hall Affiliated Masons as *Regular* Masons. The corresponding metric in the US is still very small, and, at the rate of progress over the past 20 years, full recognition could take another century.

Ultimately, an explanation for the persistence of exclusion and non-recognition can be found in what Mackey's Encyclopedia approvingly calls the "dogmatic and autocratic" system of Grand Lodge governance in the US and (parts of) Canada.

Another part of the explanation is that many refuse to acknowledge that 200 years of exclusion and non-recognition was a unilateral and systemic *wrong* that needs to be stopped promptly, unilaterally, and completely. Many refuse to acknowledge that there ever *was* any race-based exclusion in US Freemasonry, because such an exclusion would be a perversion of the very essence of Freemasonry:

Denial of Brotherhood perpetuated by the denial of the perpetual denial of Brotherhood.

TSMR: Prince Hall Freemasonry Recognition (in Canada, in Context)

Brethren Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is a sledge hammer used to bludgeon to death Black Masonry. Racism in Masonry is not "McCarthyism" but reality. Continued opposition to Recognition of Prince Hall Masonry reflects more the amount of Klans Men now underground in American Masonry rather than any kind of quasi legal mumbo jumbo that was deliberately invented to justify such racism.

I rest my case.
Brother Frederic L. Milliken


Gingerman said...

I am in agreement with your arguments. I have two comments. The ETJ argument is being used by PHA in relation to all other AA Grand Lodges. It ain't just a white thang.

I recommend that anyone truly concerned with the idea of merging Prince Hall Masonry and Mainstream Masonry read "Black Square and Compasses," by Joseph Walkes, Jr. There are very good and compelling arguments for the autonomy of Prince Hall Masonry in that book.

Squire Bentley said...

I have read "Black Square and Compass." Good book.

There are three things a legitimate Grand Lodge needs to have or be.

1) A legitimate Charter in its history
2) Practicing Regular Freemasonry
3) Observing The Landmarks

My impression of Prince Hall's non recognition of its "knock offs" was the lack of a legal Charter. I will look into the ETJ claim, however.

The Palmetto Bug said...

"Hereafter Prince Hall pushed for Recognition starting most publicly with Washington State in 1897. But Mainstream Masonry seeing what was coming quickly adopted The Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction to block Prince Hall from Recognition consideration and to offer a 'legal' reason that would hide their racism."

1897? Really? Then explain this from the GL of NY, dated on 7 September 1847:

"Resolved, That as we have heretofore recognized the Grand Lodge of Louisiana as the sole, supreme and legitimate government of the symbolic degrees of Masonry in the State of Louisiana, so we shall continue to sustain her in her rights.
Resolved, That we advise and request the Grand Lodge of Mississippi to rescind and revoke any dispensations and warrants, which have been granted under her authority to brethren in the State of Louisiana.
Resolved, That all Lodges planted in the State of Louisiana by the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, or any other Grand Lodge than the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, established in the year 1812, are irregular Lodges, and as such cannot be recognized by us.

You can further try to explain this from the GL of AFM of SC, dated 4 September 1849:

"Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, in granting warrants to establish new Lodges within the State of Louisiana, made a premature and unlawful entry into a foreign jurisdiction, which was not warranted by the occasion, and, to say the least, was a violation of that courtesy which ought always to exist between sister Grand Lodges."

I'm dealing in facts. I have always said and will continue to say that racism played a huge role in why PHA exists. That is a fact. It is also a fact that the doctrine of ETJ predates PHA. It is also a fact that the doctrine of ETJ has been applied to many bodies - recognized bodies at that - that were predominately caucasion in their makeup. Have racists hidden behind ETJ? Of course - but that doesn't make ETJ a racist doctrine. Racists have cloaked themselves in the US flag. Is the US flag, therefore, a racist symbol?

Folks, don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

The Palmetto Bug said...

"They want to control it and force Prince Hall to practice Masonry the White, er right way."

Bad taste - bad taste indeed. You're better than that Squire.

Prexy said...

Tsk, tsk Palmetto. It seems an awful lot like, and excuse the unintended pun here, the pot calling the kettle black for you to take Squire to task for bad taste. Many find it equally in bad taste for you to label those who feel that racism is the cause for non-recognition of PHA as "Masonic McCarthys." I do, however agree with one point. ETJ is not in and of itself a racist doctrine. It is, however, a doctrine that many racists hide behind. I do take issue with your claims that ETJ predates PHA and the fact that you practically treat it as some sort of hallowed ancient landmark. Look, I think we can all agree that what is past is past, and there's not a whole lot we can do about whatever injustices our forefathers committed. What we can do is attempt to remedy the present effects of those injustices. To demand that Prince Hall bodies merge into the "mainstream" is an insult to their proud traditions. I fail to see how according them recognition opens a "Pandora's box" that is damaging to our Craft.

The Palmetto Bug said...


You can certainly interpret my position as being in bad taste, but at least I don't constantly throw out the race card. Unlike Squire, I don't see a White and a Black Freemasonry. I just see Freemasonry.

I don't advocate that PHA should "merge into the 'mainstream'" and never will. I only say that merging, which is a give and take scenario for both parties involved, is a more sensible and historically proven way of dealing with this issue. In fact, and until the last couple of decades, it is the only way of dealing with this issue.

And yes, ETJ predates PHA. I have produced the evidence. Ignore it if you wish. If you need more evidence, I'm sure I can do more research and find it for you. I'm rather confident, though I haven't done the detailed research yet, that the doctrine of EJT dates at least as far back as 1717.

Squire Bentley said...

1897? Really?

Bug that was not what I meant to say so I corrected the incorrect impression that I had made. You are right but when I proof read it I read right over the reference error.

Squire Bentley said...

"They want to control it and force Prince Hall to practice Masonry the White, er right way."

Bad taste - bad taste indeed. You're better than that Squire.

BAD TASTE??? I'll tell you what is in bad taste. when I came to Texas I made the rounds of GL of Texas Lodges in a wide sweep of my house. I had many to choose from.

After Lodge, sipping tea and cookies with the Brothers of one Lodge, one Mason said, "So you are from Massachusetts? Let me tell you the difference between Northern Masonry and Southern Masonry, especially in Texas. We don't allow no niggers in Lodge around here."

And in many sections of Texas you will not find any Black men in GL of Texas Lodges. The exception is the Austin area which is University haven and much more liberal - less rednecks.

When I attended the Grand Session of the Grand Lodge of Texas out of about 6000 Brethren present I saw 2 Black men.

Squire Bentley said...

You can further try to explain this from the GL of AFM of SC, dated 4 September 1849:

You can further try to explain this from the GL of AFM of SC, dated 4 September 1849:

Notice the dates you are using. 1849!!! Almost halfway through the 1800s. Like I said ETJ was not widely accepted until sometime around 1820 and that precipitated many Prince Hall Lodges to set up their own Grand Lodge at that time even though they had been operating up to 45 years prior to that time.

TSMR said...

ETJ is an instrument that was used by whites against blacks. Today some blacks are using it against other blacks; it has also been used by white bigots against other whites. An employer might say he should not have to stop beating his employee, because the employee beats his wife, and she beats her children, and the older children beat the younger children.

A wealth of information has been researched, written, and made available for the benefit of those who want to form informed opinions. Here are some examples:


In 1994 the UGLE declared the philosophy and practice of PHA to be of exemplary regularity.

Others will continue to refuse recognition of 160,000 perfectly regular black masons. Then they act offended when the whole world regards them as racist bigots.

"Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue." -- Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld

Masonic Traveler said...

What strikes me is that this is an argument over a hunk of paper that was argued over 150 years ago.

With that said, what is it that empowers that document to predicate how we act today?

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Oh the drama P Bug....
The last bastion of pure and ancient freemasonry...

The idea of ETJ is schoolyard mentality.

While attending PHA raisings, I saw freemasonry being practiced that I had not experienced in the Anglo system. The men were professional, and showed myself and brothers so much love and respect, we almost became addicted.
They are a tight bunch of free born men, spreading brotherly love.

for any american to still believe their is merit in segregation in a fraternity that espouses universal brotherhood is living a hypacritical masonic life.

And I'll bet there was no ETJ in 1717...... american grand lodges were chartering lodges in other states before their own grand lodges were formed.

It is a seperatist ideal and goes aginst the true spirit of freemasonry, that is if you believe Freemasonry has a Spirit?
if you do, then a spirit is not bound by man made petty racist and territorial insecurity rules for control.

America is about freedom. PERIOD

2 BOWL CAIN said...

something I found....
Prince Hall Freemasonry derives from historical events in the early United States that led to a tradition of separate, predominantly African-American Freemasonry in North America.

In 1775, an African-American named Prince Hall[14] was initiated into an Irish Constitution Military Lodge then in Boston, Massachusetts, along with fourteen other African-Americans, all of whom were free-born. When the Military Lodge left North America, those fifteen men were given the authority to meet as a Lodge, form Processions on the days of the Saints John, and conduct Masonic funerals, but not to confer degrees, nor to do other Masonic work.

In 1784, these individuals applied for, and obtained, a Lodge Warrant from the Premier Grand Lodge of England (GLE) and formed African Lodge, Number 459. When the UGLE was formed in 1813, all U.S. based Lodges were stricken from their rolls – due largely to the U.S. and British War, 1812 to 1815. Thus, separated from both UGLE and any concordantly recognised U.S. Grand Lodge, African Lodge re-titled itself as the African Lodge, Number 1—and became a de facto "Grand Lodge" (this Lodge is not to be confused with the various Grand Lodges on the Continent of Africa). As with the rest of U.S.

Freemasonry, Prince Hall Freemasonry soon grew and organised on a Grand Lodge system for each state.

Widespread segregation, in the 19th- and early 20th century North America, made it difficult for African-Americans to join Lodges outside of Prince Hall jurisdictions—and impossible for inter-jurisdiction recognition between the parallel U.S. Masonic authorities.

Prince Hall Masonry has always been regular in all respects except constitutional separation, and this separation has diminished in recent years. At present, Prince Hall Grand Lodges are recognised by some UGLE Concordant Grand Lodges and not by others, but appear to be working toward full recognition, with UGLE granting at least some degree of recognition.[15] There are a growing number of both Prince Hall Lodges and non-Prince Hall Lodges that have ethnically diverse membership.

Peter Clatworthy said...

The beginning of use and misuse of the doctrine of "Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction" may be pinpointed to 1813, the establishment of The United Grand Lodge of England by the Act of Union between The Grand Lodge of London (The Modern) and the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons According to the Old Institution (The Antients).

Between 1794 and 1801, the Free Masons of England and Scotland were subjected to a catalogue of repressive legislation beginning with the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act (1794) and culminating in the Combination Acts of 1799 and 1800.

This legislation included the: Treasonable Practices Act (1795); Seditious Meetings Act (1795); Unlawful Oaths Act (1797); Newspaper Publications Act (1797); Corresponding Societies Act (1799); Unlawful Societies Act (1799).

QUOTE: '... nothing in this act contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to prevent the meetings of the Lodge or society of persons which is now held at Free Masons Hall in Great Queen Street in the County of Middlesex, and usually denominated The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, or of the Lodge or society of persons usually denominated The Grand Lodge of Masons of England, according to the Old Institution, or of the Lodge or society of persons which is now held at Edinburgh, and usually denominated The Grand Lodge of Free Masons of Scotland, or the meetings of any subordinate lodge or society of persons usually calling themselves Free Masons, the holding whereof shall be sanctioned or approved by any one of the above mentioned lodges or societies...' (SOURCE: Unlawful Societies Act, 1799)

QUOTE: "The amendment (to the Unlawful Societies Act) envisaged a system whereby the Grand Secretaries would each year deposit with the clerks of the peace a certificate containing details of the time and place of meeting of all approved lodges in the county, together with a declaration that the lodges were approved by the Grand Master. All lodges were to keep a book in which each member was to declare, on joining, 'that he is well affected to the constitution and government of this realm, by King, Lords, and Commons, as by law established'. This book was to be kept open for inspection by local magistrates. The Grand Lodges were thus to be made responsible for policing freemasonry; lodges whose names did not appear on the return made by the Grand Secretaries would be criminal conspiracies." (SOURCE: The Unlawful Societies Act 1799 - The Centre for Research into Freemasonry)

QUOTE: "I have pledged myself to His Majesty's ministers that should any set of men attempt to meet as a lodge without sanction, the Grand Master, or Acting Grand Master (whomsoever he might be), would apprise parliament." (SOURCE: statement by Lord Moira, Acting Grand Master)

The Grand Lodge of All England at York, outlawed and branded "a criminal conspiracy" is forced underground, its Lodges suspended, its Free Masons under threat of seizure of property, bankruptcy, prosecution, imprisonment, exile.

The doctrine of "Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction" and its misuse had begun.

rex said...


The correct spelling is Caucasian NOT "caucasion".

rex said...

"While attending PHA raisings, I saw freemasonry being practiced that I had not experienced in the Anglo system. "

Funny--PHA derives from your boogeyman the "Anglo" system.

While they are, in part very serious, you cannot say other lodges in the "mainstream" are not so.

So get off your labels--you're becoming too confused by them and it affects your ability to even look objectively at history.

Peter Clatworthy said...

All Freemasonry in the United States of America can be traced back to Anglo-Masonry, Scots-Masonry, or in the case of the PHA to Irish-Masonry.

Irish-Masonry is derived from the original Grand Lodge at York.

The Palmetto Bug said...

Squire; I must address a couple of things.

"BAD TASTE??? I'll tell you what is in bad taste. when I came to Texas I made the rounds of GL of Texas Lodges in a wide sweep of my house. I had many to choose from.

After Lodge, sipping tea and cookies with the Brothers of one Lodge, one Mason said, 'So you are from Massachusetts? Let me tell you the difference between Northern Masonry and Southern Masonry, especially in Texas. We don't allow no niggers in Lodge around here.'

I agree - that is bad. It does not, however excuse what you said: "They want to control it and force Prince Hall to practice Masonry the White, er right way."

Two wrongs don't make a right.

From the edited portion of your original post: "Hereafter Prince Hall pushed for Recognition starting most publicly with Washington State in 1897. But Mainstream Masonry seeing what was coming had decades before adopted The Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction to block Prince Hall from Recognition consideration and to offer a 'legal' reason that would hide their racism."

Please offer proof - and I don't mean some person's or body's opinion - to support the factual nature of that last sentence. I have already offered proof - here and on my blog - that supports my position. ETJ was not created to deal with PHA. ETJ predates PHA and has been applied at least since 1783. I have already produced the proof. I will now start researching earlier history to see how far back - before 1783 - I can find evidence of ETJ.

Squire Bentley said...

Do you consider coil's a reliable source?

" This doctrine was one of the arguments used to prevent the recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. " -- Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, "American Doctrine" p37 1996

Gingerman said...

There's a hot and heavy discussion of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction going on on the blog "The Masonic Line." It's getting a bit acrimonious, as these things seem to do.

Squire Bentley said...

I have made a comment on The Masonic Line and am awaiting approval.

Peter Clatworthy said...

palmetto bug is confusing racial discrimination and also the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction.

Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is an English Masonic doctrine that was imported into The United States of America after the introduction of the The Combinations Act of 1801. It was not a policy before 1813.

ETJ is the reason why Benjamin Franklin's original Old York Lodge disappeared from view, and why George Washington's original Old York Lodge was given a number and was affiliated to the Moderns form of freemasonry.

Black men were not excluded from Freemasonry just because of racial discrimination.

They were excluded because the vast majority of American black men were not Free men, and therefore were not eligible for Free Masonry.

Thank goodness times have changed.

It is interesting to note that George Washington and his family were enthusiastic slave owners:

"George Washington was born into a world in which slavery was accepted. He became a slave owner when his father died in 1743. At the age of eleven, he inherited ten slaves and 500 acres of land. When he began farming Mount Vernon eleven years later, at the age of 22, he had a work force of about 36 slaves. With his marriage to Martha Custis in 1759, 20 of her slaves came to Mount Vernon. After their marriage, Washington purchased even more slaves. The slave population also increased because the slaves were marrying and raising their own families. By 1799, when George Washington died, there were 316 slaves living on the estate."! (SOURCE: Mount Vernon Estate Press Office)

What may not be realised (or it is ignored), is that the Washington Family, and other families, indentured white slaves as well as black slaves. They too were not eligible for Free Masonry.

So, many black men and a small number of white men were excluded due to the rules against slaves being made Free Masons.

Prince Hall was not a slave. He was a landowner and a registered voter in Boston, a free man.

He was not excluded from Free Masonry due to racial prejudice, in fact he and a 14 of his associates became Free Masons in Military Lodge No. 441 (a traveling Military Lodge) under the jurisdiction of The Grand Lodge of London.

When this Lodge returned to England (1776), Prince Hall should have either travelled with it, or joined another American Lodge, because technically he and his colleagues became "unattached" Masons.

Why they did not do this, or whether they applied and were rejected, we simply do not know?

In 1784, eight years later, they chose to petition for a "Charter" from the Grand Lodge of London to start up a Lodge in the same State as the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

The Charter arrived in 1787, three years later, and so there must have been a lot going on between London and Massachusetts. This was not just an admin. problem!

This Provincial Grand Lodge had received a Charter from the same Grand Lodge of London in 1733.

It must come as no surprise to anyone that when the Grand Lodge of London granted a limited dispensation for African Lodge No. 1, under direct jurisdiction from London, but not authorised to carry out the normal functions of a proper Lodge, that problems arose between that Lodge and the Prov.GL of Mass.

The crucial time period is 1776-1784 and the truth is that we do not know the reason why the Masons of African Lodge No. 1 did not apply to a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Prov. GL of Mass. or were rejected as a Lodge or as individuals.

This is not a firm enough historical basis to claim either ETJ, racial discrimination, or other reasons about which we do not know.

What we do know is that it is unlikely that The Grand Lodge of London used a doctrine of ETJ in a dispute between its own Lodge, and its own Provincial Grand Lodge.

In fact, by granting a charter to African Lodge, even a limited one, it would have been granted in direct opposition to a policy of ETJ.

They would not have done this had the policy existed.

It is possible that Massachusetts would not co-operate, for reasons unknown, but that is a long way from being able to positively claim that ETJ existed as a policy, which it didn't, or pure racial discrimination.

We must move on and ensure that we learn the lessons from that period.

The Palmetto Bug said...

Peter; It is my understanding from looking at the historical data that the GL at London was able to issue a charter to a Lodge in Massachusetts in 1784 because it no longer recognized that there was an existing GL in that state. There was some little spat called the War of Independence going on during those years that caused a disruption in recognition between the GLs of the British Empire and the GLs in the American Colonies. The GL of Mass. actually went dark (or quiet) for a time during those years. When issuing a charter to African No 1, the GL at London was not violating ETJ - at least not on paper. That doesn't change the fact that ETJ was the modus operandi in those days.

Peter Clatworthy said...

palmettobug would you plesse direct us to the "historical data" that you refer to because if you can establish the basis for your claim that the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction" was in operation in America before it was institutionalised in England, then your name will go down in Masonic history because nobody else has ever claimed this to my knowledge.

A list of reliable sources and references please.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

"These American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, on April 7, 1788, and established Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory. Putnam went on to serve as a Supreme Court judge for the Northwest Territory. Brother Putnam established American Union Lodge No 1 in Marietta, but American Union Lodge did not start out in Ohio. Since this was a military Lodge, it was chartered in Boston Mass. in 1776"

they refused Grand Lodge o Ohio authority.
they refused ETJ, why
they were true FREE masons and revolutionary war vets. they bend knee to no one

Peter Clatworthy said...

2 Bowl Cain,

"They refused ETJ". A conclusion, but no historical data.

March 11, 1807 - Eerie Lodge No. 47 on the rolls of The Grand Lodge of Connecticut resolves to correspond with other Masonic lodges meeting within the borders of Ohio to determine if there was sufficient support to form a Grand Lodge of Ohio. (SOURCE: Eerie Lodge No.3 and the Creation of The Grand Lodge of Ohio, "Lodge Educational Short Talks", Bicentennial of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Ohio, 200 Years of Ohio Freemasonry.

This does not suggest that prior to 1808 that a decision was necessary based upon the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction. This suggests an open state without Grand Lodge jurisdiction.

Please list your historical sources, as I have, otherwise we are going nowhere with this debate.

Squire Bentley said...

In addition to the problems already mentioned, there is a great difference between what most people think the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction means, and what the authoritative Masonic body in the United States on this subject says it means.

The Commission on Information for Recognition has had to deal with the subject of the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction in great detail, and its conclusions are entitled to great weight. The Commission's definition of this doctrine is different from what most Masons think the doctrine means, and from the definition provided in Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia. The Commission said:

"There can be no question about Exclusive Jurisdiction. It is a basic principle that a Grand Lodge must be autonomous and have sole and undisputed authority over its constituent Lodges. This cannot be shared with any other Masonic council or power. But the question of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is not so clear cut. In some European and Latin American countries, a geographical or politically self-contained unit may be served by two or more Grand Lodges. If these Grand Lodges and hence their constituent Lodges are working in amity, and both are worthy of recognition in all other respects, this joint occupation of a country, state or political subdivision should not bar them from recognition."(31) (emphasis added)

In other words, the Commission on Information for Recognition has said that the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction means that all the Lodges chartered by a particular Grand Lodge give their loyalty only to that Grand Lodge, but there can be lodges chartered by different Grand Lodges in the same territory. There can be several Grand Lodges in a single geographic territory, all with many lodges under them, so long as each lodge gives its loyalty to only one Grand Lodges, and the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is not violated, according to the 1975 statement by the Commission on Information for Recognition as reported and accepted by the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America.

Freemasonry's ritual teaches the importance of honesty in all our dealings in the world, particularly with brother Masons. Therefore, it is important to eliminate any confusion about whether or not it is possible under Masonic law to recognize a Grand Lodge in the same state or territory as another Grand Lodge, or to accept the lodges under that Grand Lodge as being just as regular as ours. There is no question that the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction does not prevent this from happening, and there is nothing at all improper or irregular in those Grand Lodges in states and countries that have recognized Prince Hall or other Grand Lodges in the same places where other recognized Grand Lodges exist.

There is also nothing in the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction that would in any way hinder the Grand Lodge of any state in the United States from, for example, recognizing the Grand Lodge of France at the same time that the National Grand Lodge of France is also recognized, or from changing the situation where the United Grand Lodge of England, on the one hand, and all the United States Grand Lodges, on the other hand, recognize different Grand Lodges in Italy and Greece. Each one could recognize both of the Grand Lodges in those countries, if they wished to.

In short, decisions about which Grand Lodges to recognize should be made on the basis on which ones meet the standards established by each Grand Lodge, and not on the basis of the elusive, confusing, and often-violated doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction. In fact, it might be clearer if the doctrine were simply declared to be no longer useful or in force

Paul Bessel

Peter Clatworthy said...

Thank you Paul.

Clear as a bell as usual, but I suspect that there are those who will not act upon this policy of The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America, binding upon its Grand Lodges in Conference, along with their Lodges and their members.

The doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is only consistent in the way that it is applied so inconsistently, both in America and Europe.

The Palmetto Bug said...

From Peter: "palmettobug would you plesse direct us to the 'historical data' that you refer to because if you can establish the basis for your claim that the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction" was in operation in America before it was institutionalised in England, then your name will go down in Masonic history because nobody else has ever claimed this to my knowledge.

A list of reliable sources and references please.

I have used sources on The Line, in case you haven't noticed. There is no doubt that ETJ was codified as least as early as 1809 by one US GL. I suspect there were more GLs that were the same way, I just don't have access to their GL minutes. Also and in that same state, the Ancients were being referred to as invaders in 1783 - another clear indication that ETJ was being observed.

Squire: Thanks for posting stuff from Paul Bessel. Here is something else from that esteemed gatherer of information: "It should be noted that the Commission said this applies where Grand Lodges in the same territory are 'in amity,' and repeated this in 1986, saying, 'The Commission recognizes that the American doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is subject to exceptions, one of which is an agreement on the part of the Grand Lodge located in a territory that another Grand Lodge may operate within that territory.' In 1997, the Commission refused to recommend recognition of the new 'Regular Grand Lodge of Andorra,' because even though 7 lodges in Andorra formed that Grand Lodge, there are 2 Lodges in that country under the National Grand Lodge of France and 1 under the Grand Lodge of Spain. Thus, the Regular Grand Lodge of Andorra 'does not share territorial jurisdiction by mutual consent or treaty.'"

It kind of looks like, based on that last quote, that someone thinks ETJ actually means something.

Peter Clatworthy said...


You excluded me from posting on The Masonic Line because I had the audacity to claim that your Moderns form of freemasonry was and is not the one "true" Freemasonry, but as we can see here Masonic history is not your strong point.

"One GL in 1809 and you suspect?".

Is this the best you can do? This is the basis for your claim?

We know, and we have already stated that the doctrine of ETJ was in existence in 1809.

The Unlawful Societies Act came into force in England in 1799, 10 years earlier, and this motivated all Moderns, who wedded themselves to hegemony; rationalisation; rigid control and the ruthless elimination of any opposition.

ETJ did not take 10 years to reach the shores of America. Its success in England would have been duly noted, and obvious to all concerned.

That is what caused Benjamin Franklin's original Old York Lodge to disappear from view, and Washington's original Old York Lodge to be subsumed into the Moderns system.

The Prince Hall situation is different. The American War of Independence was in full swing and the question of freedom and slavery was a vital issue.

It cannot be so over-simplified into a case of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction, or even just racial prejudice.

The question is, should PHA Freemasonry be recognised by AF&AM Grand Lodges today?

As Paul Bessell pointed out, this can be done quite easily and completely within the rather flexible rules of The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America which re-wrote the dictionary definition of the word "exclusive" many years ago.

Exclusive: not shared (Oxford English Dictionary)

Exclusive: shared whenever considered convenient to COGMINA (Commission on Information for recognition)

Peter Clatworthy said...

This is the earliest reference that I can find documenting the deliberate invasion by one Grand Lodge upon the territory of another Grand Lodge in England:-

"The Earl of Crawford seems to have made the first encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge in the city of York, by constituting two lodges within their district; and by granting, without their consent, three deputations, one for Lancashire, a second for Durham, and a third for Northumberland., This circumstance the Grand Lodge of York highly resented ..." (SOURCE: Illustrations of Masonry by Dr William Preston)

There are confirmations in several historical references, the latest being Revd Neville Barker Cryer's book, "York Mysteries Revealed" (2006).

The year that this took place? Between April 1773 and April 1774.

The Palmetto Bug said...

Peter: I thought had read something about that some time ago but could not find it again for the current discussions. Thanks for sharing that. That now pushes what we recognize as ETJ back to at least 1773 - at least from the York GL point of view.

I still believe that it goes back further, but I agree that the sources I have used thus far can be open to some amount of interpretation. Admittedly, it will hard to produce concrete proof prior to the mid 1700s since the mere thought of there being more than one GL anywhere probably hadn't even crossed most Masons' minds. That would have been liking passing speed limits before the automobile was invented.

Peter Clatworthy said...

Except that although the Grand Lodge at York might not have liked what happened, it was powerless to do anything about it. The doctrine was not institutionalised and enforceable until the Unlawful Societies Act was passed by Parliament in 1799.

By that time The Grand Lodge of London had recruited nobility, with sufficient Whig influence in Parliament in the support of the Hanoverian Royal Dynasty to ensure that it became the "approved" brand. The primarily Catholic Grand Lodge at York was driven underground. We do have records of our members meeting together as late as 1810. However, as early as 1720 some of our members, exiled in Paris continued their Freemasonry by inaugurating La Grande Loge in Paris.

You see, the history of Freemasonry is a lot more complicated than most realise.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

At the 1810 session of Grand Lodge it was "Resolved, that the several Charters surrendered to this Grand Lodge by the Lodges under its jurisdiction be endorsed by the Grand Secretary, 'surrendered and canceled in due form, by order of the Grand Lodge,' and then returned to the respective Lodges to remain in the archives thereof for safe keeping; subject, however, to the order of the Grand Lodge at all times. "

Up until this time American Union Lodge No. 1 had maintained itself in an independent position as concerns proper and subordinate relationships with the Grand Lodge of Ohio. Regardless of this fact, Grand Lodge saw fit to reserve the number one position on its roster for American Union Lodge because of its age and military service during the Revolutionary War. A letter of invitation to identify itself with the Grand Lodge of Ohio was received from that body by American Union Lodge and read in open lodge in 1814. The following action was considered necessary: "On motion, it is Resolved, that it is pre-expedient to resign the present Warrant to the Grand Lodge of Ohio; or to any other Lodge; because that in so doing it will annihilate the Royal Arch Chapter working under said Warrant. Therefore this Lodge rejects any jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio over this Lodge."

This controversy between the Grand Lodge of Ohio and American Union Lodge continued for several years. The situation was finally brought to a head in 1823 when several worthy brethren who had previously broken away from the old Lodge petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ohio for the right to revive and organize the defunct American Union Lodge No. 1 under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. The Grand Lodge, after due investigation, granted the Charter, thus ending the long and unfortunate controversy between American Union Lodge and the Grand Body."

This is an interesting statement: "The situation was finally brought to a head in 1823 when several worthy brethren who had previously broken away from the old Lodge petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ohio for the right to revive and organize the defunct American Union Lodge No. 1 under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio."

Howard Roark said...

Why fight over ETJ or racism? Join the GOUSA and start focusing on Free-Masonry and brotherhood.