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“ In 1806, 6th August, ABRAHAM JACOBS organized the Sovereign Consistory in New York city. In 1808, 19th and 26th November, he conferred the Select Master of 27 (the Royal Master degree perhaps) on the celebrated JOHN J. J. Gourgas, who was long at the head of A. and A.:. Rite, Supreme Council, Northern jurisdiction. Thus M. M. Hays, who went to Boston, and in 1802 was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a few years, had the Cryptic degrees. SOLOMON Bush had them in Philadelphia; the Sublime Lodge at Albany; the STRINGERs and YATES had them.
“Now, while the Council degrees are depreciated as mere side or detached degrees, what shall be said of the additional degrees above the twenty-five of Perfection, the only ones in practice up to the year 1802, when the Thirty-third degree was announced, for the system established known as Scotch Rite had then no existence, either in Europe or America? It substantially had American birth at this late day; while the rituals of Select Master of 27 were in existence a quarter of a century anterior to 1802. America then turns carpet-bagger, and sends to Paris in 1804 Count DE GRASSE TILLEY, one of the founders of the Supreme Council at Charleston, in February, 1802, with a 'curiosity,' a 'novelty,' the Ancient and Accepted Rite, an entire new Rite of thirty-three degrees; and the novelty was by the Grand Orient of France incorporated in the College of Rites.
" When the Supreme Council in 1802 announced its organization, with the schedule of their regular degrees, they mentioned 'other degrees in the possession of individual Inspectors, not in the Rite, but isolated, -as Select Master, or the Elect of 27; Royal Arch, as given under the Constitution of Dublin; six degrees of the Masonry of Adoption; Scottish Fellow Craft; Scottish Master; Scottish Master, with the Thirty-third, aggregating fiftytwo degrees, which are conferred in different parts of the world, and communicated generally free of expense to those brethren who are high enough to understand them.'
"The Thirty-three degree Rite has become popular, and is fixed in the Masonic world as an approved organization. Wherever the degrees are properly worked, by earnest men with appropriate propeties, the work is a success; it has merit. So with the Council degrees; we who know their beauty, know that there is no interest in attending display of them when their beauties are not brought forth. It took a long time for Masons to appreciate them, and their introduction was brought about by enthusiastic lecturers, whose skill and earnestness brought their beauties and excellence prominently forward.
“The Chapter degrees in England had to be forced upon regular Masonic Lodges, and were denounced as clandestine, and the operators were expelled; but the Royal degree won the day, and the Grand Lodge of England adopted it. Since that the people have found that other degrees (Royal and Select) illustrated and completed the Chapter degrees, and were not satisfied until they obtained the Royal and Select Masters degrees.
“In July, 1796, three regular Knights Templar, hailing from three different Commanderies, met and formed an Encampment at Colchester, Conn., and Knighted Royal Arch Masons, thus starting independently the Templar Order in that State.
“In Pennsylvania, for a long time, the Royal Arch Chapters were worked in the Lodge, so were Encampments.
“On St. John's Day, December 27, 1812, members of Encampments Nos. 1 and 2, in Philadelphia, agreed to form themselves into one Encampment, to be known as Knight Templar Encampment of Philadelphia. In the preface to their by-laws the purpose is stated that this they did, being desirous of participating in the glorious rights and privileges enjoyed by their valiant ancestors from time immemorial, and as authorized and com
missioned so to do by the sublime warrant under which they worked. Here attended, from time to time, GEORGE A. BAKER, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (initiated June 10, 1796); ARCHIBALD BULL, of Rising Sun Encampment, of New York; PHILIP P. ECKEL, of Baltimore, Md., and THEOPHILUS KECKLER, of Trinity Encampment, Harrisburg, Penna.
“The General Grand Chapter re-assembled in New York, in September, 1829. Companion JOSEPH K. STAPLETON, G.:. H.. P.., of Baltimore, and P. P. ECKEL, appearing as Representatives of Grand Chapter of Maryland, gave a new impulse to the Royal and Select degrees.
“What have the Chapters and Grand Chapters had to do with these Council degrees? The degrees becoming appreciated received attention from active Royal Arch Masons in an effective way in Baltimore, Md.
“In 1816, the Grand Chapter of Maryland had peculiarities as to its work by incorporating therein the Royal and Select Master degrees; and its officers, PhilIP P. ECKEL, its G.:. 8:. P:., and BENJAMIN EDES, Grand Secretary, appeared at a meeting of the General Grand Chapter of the United States, in New York, and evidently made converts of the members, for that body appointed a committee to confer with the representatives from Grand Chapter of Maryland relative to securing a Masonic union of Maryland with the Grand Chapters of the other States then acknowledging the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States.
"That Committee reported Maryland's terms of union, agreeing not to grant any warrants out of its district, of Maryland and District of Columbia, but requesting that it shall not be forced to alter its mode of working This being approved, that Grand Chapter was admitted under jurisdiction of the General Grand Chapter ; but that was not adopting these degrees into Royal Arch Masonry.
"FURTHER HISTORICAL MEMORANDA, BY STATES. “New York.—Through HENRY A. FRANCKEN, founder of the Lodge of Perfection in 1767, at Albany, the Royal and Select Master of 27 and and Super-Excellent degrees got introduction to New York; and through M. M. Hays to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 1806 and 1807 ABRAHAM JACOBS and JOSEPH CERNEAU conferred the Royal Master's degree in New York independently, on Royal Arch Masons. Columbian Council was organized in New York city, and acted as a Grand Council; issued warrant to itself September 2, 1810. In 1817 it gave a charter to a Council in Boston, organized by B. GLEASON. 1821 the active spirits in Baltimore, aided by PHILIP P. ĚCKEL and HEZEKIAH NILES, the publisher of NILES Register, had organized a Council in New York; and both Masters formed a Grand Council; the degree of Super-Excellent was conferred. JEREMY L. Cross became the Missionary for the spread of the Royal Master's
degree as conferred in Maryland by Companion ECKEL, who met Cross at General Grand Chapter, 1816, and gave him Royal Master's degree. This Grand Council was reorganized in 1854, and is now in a prosperous condition.
“MASSACHUSETTS.-1817 WALTER JANES and JEREMY L. CROSS, of Connecticut, spread the Royal degree in towns in this state, and in 1818 the Select Master's and Super-Excellent to Councils in Boston, Salem and Springfield; 1822, Newburyport; 1825, Sutton, Brimfield, Greenwich, and Medfield, when they all formed a Grand Council. In 1826 the Councils, for a flrst time, received a charter.
“CONNECTICUT.—1818 Cross organized Councils at Hartford, Ashford, Norwich (of this JAMES Cushman was Thrice Illustrious Master, the lecturer who afterwards introduced Royal and Select Masters degrees in Virginia), New London, Colchester (where had been Encampment formed in
1796), Stamford, Kent, New Haven, Middletown, and Canterbury, and in 1819 at Newton. Eight of the Grand Councils in 1819 formed the Grand Council, of which Cross in 1821 was an officer.
“ VERMONT.-Companion E. S. Dana, Most Puissant Grand Master in 1866, said: “The degrees were introduced into the State of Vermont in the year 1818 by Companion John H. COTTON, of Windsor. Companion COTTON established several Councils in Vermont, and granted them charters purporting to have been issued by the high powers vested in him by the Thrice Illustrious Puissant in the Grand Council of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland. Companion COTTON claimed to have derived his authority from JEREMY L. Cross, a Masonic lecturer and author.' These charters were retained until organization of Grand Council of Vermont in 1854. Grand Council was organized in 1854 by four Councils. It in 1857 chartered Councils at Detroit, St. Clair, and Pontiac, Michigan, and at Manchester, New Hampshire.
“GEORGIA.-The Southern Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Rite organized Councils in Georgia at an early date, and these in 1826 organized a Grand Council, D. D. THOMPSON, Grand Master; but this was in advance of the age, and the organization slept until present Grand Council was organized in 1841.
"New HAMHSHIRE.—The veteran NYE, who was Grand Lecturer, Grand Secretary, and Grand Master of Vermont, was Thrice Illustrious Master of Grand Council of New Hampshire, formed July 9, 1823. 1815, August 15th, Tyrian Council Royal Masters was organized at Hopkintonorganized by BENJAMIN GLEASON—the first Council, perhaps, in New England. It received a warrant in 1817 from Cross.
"NORTH CAROLINA.- Organization of Grand Council, 1822.
“KENTUCKY. JOHN BARKER, claiming authority under Southern Supreme Council at Charleston, organized several Councils in Kentucky in September, 1827. Cross had started the work by conferring the degrees at Lexington, and giving them a warrant in November, 1816, and at Shel. byville, January 15, 1817; but BARKER's arrival spurred the Companions into organization of the Grand Council of Kentucky, December 10, 1827.
“ ALABAMA.-Grand Council was organized in 1838 by twenty-seven Royal and Select Masters, and is one of the earnest Grand Councils. It has a Sayer and a Doer.
“OHIO.-Companion BARKER organized Councils in this State in 1827; and this Grand Council was organized in 1830. In January, 1827, the Grand Council of New York gave dispensation for Hiram Council at Cleveland, but JARVIS F. Hanks betrayed his trust and became an anti-Mason.
“Scotch Rite body at Cincinnati has authority to confer Royal and Select degrees, but does not use power received from Northern Supreme Council
“PENNSYLVANIA.-In 1834 Ohio Grand Council authorized formation of a Council at Pittsburg. An organization of a Grand Council took place in 1847, which was reorganized in 1854.
"RHODE ISLAND.-Cross warranted a Council at Providence, 27th September, 1819; the Grand Council of Massachusetts one in 1847; and that of Connecticut in 1860. The Scotch Rite Grand Council, New Jersey, gave one authority in 1850, at Newport. Grand Council organized in 1860.
“ILLINOIS.—Grand Council first organized in 1853, but reorganized in 1854.
" INDIANA.-Grand Council organized in 1853. Two Councils warranted by Ohio, and one by Kentucky.
“MissISSIPPI.—The Scoth Rite Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem of Mississippi warranted seven Councils in this State, which in 1856 organized its Grand Council. Other authority was given for Councils that
met at Jackson the year previous; but all yielded obedience to Grand Council of 1856.
"MISSOURI.--Kentucky had warranted Councils in this State, but in 1864 the Grand Council was formed from three Councils chartered by the Grand Council of Illinois.
“ TENNESSEE.—This Grand Council was organized in 1847; two subordinates warranted by Southern Supreme Council, two from Grand Council of Kentucky, and one from Grand Council of Alabama.
" VIRGINIA.—December, 1817, J. L. Cross formed a Council at Richmond. Jas. CUSHMAN, next year, formed Councils at Norfolk, Portsmouth, Petersburg, Lynchburg, Staunton, Williamsburg, and Winchester; and these united in a Grand Council, which continued until 1841.
“ARKANSAS.—This Grand Council was organized under the auspices of the Supreme Council of the South, and there its present head then lived, the justly celebrated ALBERT PIKE; its four subordinates met in 1860; and all members of Supreme Council resident in Arkansas are made members of this Council.
"FLORIDA.-Grand Council was organized in 1858 by three subordinates having warrants from Supreme Council S. J.
"Iowa.Grand Council formed in 1857 from three Councils chartered by Grand Council of Illinois.
“LOUISIANA.— The second Grand Council was organized in 1856; one of its subordinates established in 1827 by Supreme Council S. J., one in 1852 from Kentucky, and two in 1847 and 1855 from Alabama.
"NEW JERSEY.-Grand Council in 1860; one subordinate warranted from New York, and two from Pennsylvania.
“CALIFORNIA.-Grand Council organized in 1860; subordinates, four of Alabama, one of Tennessee, and one of Texas. " Kansas.- Grand Council
, 1857; three subordinates warranted by Grand Council of Illinois.
" MICHIGAN.-Grand Council organized 1853 by three subordinates of Grand Council of Connecticut.
“WISCONSIN.-Ohio gave authority to three Councils in this State, and the Grand Council was formed in 1857.
“Texas.--Organized in 1856; one subordinate each warranted from Kentucky, Alabama and New York.
"NEBRASKA.-1872, November 20th, a Grand Council of Royal, Select and Super-Excellent Masters formed.
"MINNESOTA.-Grand Council formed December 12th, 1870, by three Councils warranted by Grand Council of Iowa.
"NEW BRUNSWICK.—1867; three Councils warranted from Maine."
Companion CUNNINGHAM subsequently presented a condensed Report on Correspondence, in which, however, no mention is made of Maryland.
ONTARIO. The proceedings of this Grand Council for 1878–79–80 are published in one volume, adorned with a striking portrait of the present Grand Master, Companion JOSHUA GEORGE BURNS.
1878. The Eighth Annual Assembly was held at Hamilton, August 15th ; Companion David McLELLAN, M.: I.: Grand Master; eight Councils represented.
The Grand Master's address refers principally to local affairs. He mentions that the Grand Council of Illinois having dropped the Super-Excellent degree, he had granted a dispensation April 11th to Grand Master FRENCH, “to open a Grand Council of Super-Excellent Masters for the State of Illinois," and confer the degree on a number of Companions who were anxious to obtain it.
The Grand Council passed a resolution “deploring the action of those Grand Councils that have surrendered the control of the Cryptic degrees to the Grand Chapters of their various jurisdictions, as they feel assured that such action will not have a tendency to advance the true interests of Cryptic Masonry.”
1879. The Ninth Annual Assembly was held at the City of Guelph, August 13th; Companion McLELLAN, Grand Master; ten Councils represented.
The Grand Master, in his address, says that “notwithstanding the commercial depression and financial difficulties, this Grand Council still exists in a state of comparative success and prosperity. It does not require a prophetic eye to view, in the future, à more brilliant career, and more wide-spread and greater achievements.”
He reports having granted a "dispensation to open Wellington Council in the City of Guelph,” which was granted a charter during the assembly by the Grand Council.
The Committee on the Grand Master's address report that they “have the satisfaction of knowing from the representatives of different Councils in attendance on Grand Council, that, in the main, Cryptic Masonry is progressing;" and advise in reference to “ Councils that have not made returns and which are practically dormant, your Committee would respectfully recommend the suspension and withdrawal of the warrants of all those that are not in working order by the next Annual Assembly."
1880. The Tenth Annual Assembly was held at the City of Guelph, July 15th ; Companion JOSHUA GEORGE BURNS, Grand Master; eleven Councils represented.
The Grand Master retrospects the first decade of the Grand Council and finds much encouragement, he says:
“ Ten eventful years belong to our annals, to which we may recur with some satisfaction. Their fruits have been garnered by us and are a rich heritage ; let us labor diligently to preserve and increase them. Our course has been progressive, our numbers have multiplied, our light, once feeble, ascends with the steady glow of assured permanency.”
His views in regard to consolidation are clear and emphatic,