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these gentlemen ought to be speedily procured and extensively circulated through every town in the State. We hazard nothing in saying, that no intelligent man or mason can read Mr. Ward's volume, entitled, Freemasonry, without being convinced that the institution is a rank imposture and dangerous cheat.
Entirely erroneous opinions have been propagated, far and wide, in relation to the views and conduct of antimasons. We are represented as persecuting and oppressing all the members of the masonic society, thereby confounding the innocent with the guilty. Nothing but Freemasonry itself, is more fallacious than this accusa. tion. Freemasons have violated the laws of the State and taken the life of an unoffending citizen. The influence of the fraternity has impeded, and continues to impede, the course of justice, and the offenders stalk abroad in the community, cherished and supported by the institution, unmolested and unpunished. The secrets and principles of the institution, which have been fully exposed, are positively and undeniably bad and dangerous. We therefore ask Freemasons to renounce them. If they refuse to accede to a request so reasonable, are
we made ob noxious to the charge of persecution for withholding our support from them? How are the people to redeem their halls of legislation, to purify their temples of justice, or to re-establish the ascendency of their laws, if the supporters of Freemasonry are not dispossessed of place
The progress of truth, and the developements of time, have refuted many of the fictions, and turned back some of the calumnies with which the fraternity so long held public opinion in suspense. It is no longer gravely asserted that Morgan is selling his books, that he has retired beyond the Rocky mountains, or that he has joined the standard of the false prophet, at Smyrna. All who do not egregiously undervalue the intelligence of the people, are constrained to admit that this citizen, blameless of all offence to the laws of the land, after five days confinement, was deliberately murdered at Fort Niagara, and cast into Lake Ontario. The same calumny which represented the just indignation of freemen, as an excitement got up for the temporary purpose of aiding a party, has spent its malice, and passes,
with the mass of falsehoods which that fruitful occasion for private and public defamation provoked.-- The deep sensibility and awakened interest which ten free States are manifesting, by unequivocal demonstrations of hostility to the inasonic institution, repels the accusation of the fraternity which confined their belligerents to an infected district of madmen and fanatics in the western part of the State of New York.
But we turn from the past to contemplate the futurewhere hope is unfolding her bright visions to the eye of patriotism, and promising her treasured rewards to the aspirations of piety. The quiet, but resistless power of public opinion, is accomplishing a great moral and political revolution. This work, which moved forward with cautious and faltering steps, through its incipient stages, is now rapidly spreading all over this and the neighboring States. We cannot yet fix its boundaries, or estimate the time that it will require to accomplish its high purposes. But one thing is certain. The fire will burn while the fuel lasts; and the disenthralled spirit which has gone abroad, will not return until the Republic is effectually redeemed from the unhallowed grasp of Speculative Freemasonry.
THURLOW WEED, Rochester, Feb. 15, 1829.
of the Select Committee of the House of Assenibly of New York, on the Ab
duction and Murder of William Morgan.-Made Feb. 16, 1829. The select committee to whom was referred so much of the message of his excellency the governor, as relates to the abduction of William Morgan, and the proceedings under the act passed the 15th day of April, 1828, respectfully report, in part ; That they have endeavored to give the subject that at
tention which its importance demands, and to pursue their investigations in that spirit of candor that should characterize an inquiry into matters of so much delicacy; and respecting which, there exists great public excitement. They cannot flatter themselves, however, that they have carried nothing of feeling with them into the investigation of the subject; for, coming, as most of them do, from what has been sometimes termed the “infected district," it is hardly to be supposed, that they should be indifferent, in the midst of a community greatly agitated. Still, they trust, that they have so far succeeded in discussing it dispassionately, as to lay before you no facts, except such as have the impress of authenticity, and to draw no inferences which are not fairly deducible from established premises.
The message of his excellency the governor treats the subject as one which may require the interposition of the legislature, and to your committee has been assigned the task of ascertaining what legislation is necessary. It being highly important that the legislature should be in possession of the facts in every case, respecting which they may be called to legislate, your committee believed it to be their duty to collect and spread before this house a statement of the circumstances of this extraordinary affair, together with the causes which produced them, so far as the same have been ascertained. For this purpose, they directed their chairman to address letters to the Hon. Daniel Moseley, special counsel, appointed by the executive of this State, under the act passed April 15, 1828, and to Bowen Whiting, Esq. district attorney for the county of Ontario, requesting from them a statement in detail of such particulars of the transaction as may have come to their knowledge, in the discharge of their official duties.
Your committee were aware, that the circumstances relating to the Morgan outrages, had been collected and published in a pamphlet form, and in some public newspapers, by a number of respectable gentlemen, selected for that purpose by their fellow citizens in public meetings; and that notwithstanding these gentlemen, some of whom have seats in this house, affixed their own signatures to these publications, no attempt had been made to disprove their statements. Still, as there exists a disposition in our
country to discredit statements which are made through the organ of the periodical press, and it being desirable
to lay before this house such data as might with proper safety be relied upon, by those who may be called to act in this grave matter, your committee thought it better to refer you to statements emanating from those whose official duties have made them acquainted with these singular transactions. It has too long been the opinion of many, that the "western excitement" belonged more properly to our newspaper, than to our judicial history; and events more alarming in their character, when viewed in all their bearings, than any that have transpired in the course of many years, have been regarded rather as a romance than as solemn matters of fact. In making this statement, your committee mean no reflection upon the intelligence of this house or this community. The state of feeling and the incredulity that have existed in many places with regard to this matter, have proceeded from an honorable confidence in our free institutions, and in the integrity of our fellow citizens, which bespeak great elevation of sentiment and nobleness of spirit; but which at the same time show with what ease our good nature may be practised upon by the artful and designing.
The call for information made upon Mr. Whiting, was answered. And your committee would take the liberty of expressing their acknowledgements to this gentleman for his promptitude and frankness in preparing for them, in the midst of pressing professional engagements, a statement so full and satisfactory.
From this statement it appears that in the summer of 1826, a notice was inserted in the Ontario Messenger, a newspaper published at Canandaigua, by the procurement of those who were afterwards concerned in the outrages, representing Morgan to be guilty of bad conduct, and that particular information might be had respecting him, on application to the lodge in that village. During the summer of that year, it was reported that Morgan was writing a book on Freemasonry, to be published by David C. Miller, of Batavia, and this report was confirmed by subsequent events. Much feeling was excited amongst many members of the masonic fraternity, in consequence of this report; and meetings were held in many places, to con
sider of measures, by which the publication of the book might be prevented. A Canadian whose name is Johns, and who is said to have belonged to the British fur company, was introduced to Miller, under pretence of assisting him in the publication, but in reality for the purpose of acquiring information where Morgan's writings were to be found. Through his aid, the conspirators were enabled to obtain the possession of a part, at least, of Morgan's manuscripts.
On the 11th of September, persons from Lockport, in the county of Niagara, 90 miles distant from Canandaigua, applied at Fort Niagara for a place of confinement for Morgan, because he was about “ to reveal the secrets of masonry." The day before, Ebenezer C. Kingsley of Canandaigua, by the persuasion of Nicholas G. Cheesebro and others of that place, made a complaint against Morgan, before a magistrate, for stealing a shirt and cravat, the property of Kingsley. A warrant was issued on this complaint by the magistrate, directed to Cheesebro, as one of the coroners of Ontario county, or to any constable of that county, for Morgan's arrest. It was delivered to Cheesebro, who hired a post-coach and procured Hallaway Hayward, a constable, and three or four others, to accompany him to Batavia, where Morgan resided. The party arrived at Batavia the same day, and the next morning the warrant was served by Hayward, it having been first endorsed by a magistrate of Genesee county. Immediately after the arrest, the same party returned to Canandaigua, and arrived in the evening. Morgan was taken before the magistrate, examined and discharged from the arrest, the charge of larceny appearing to be unfounded, the shirt and cravat having been borrowed from Kingsley.
Immediately on his being discharged, a demand of two dollars was presented to the justice against him in favor of Cheesebro, as assignee of one Ackley. Morgan confessed a judgment, and an execution was forthwith issued. He took off his coat and offered it to satisfy the execution, but it was refused, and he was arrested and locked up in prison.
Information that Morgan was in custody, was immediately sent to Rochester to certain persons there, or to use the language of Cheesebro, to Morgan's friends in