William L. (William Leete) Stone.

Letters on masonry and anti-masonry, addressed to the Hon. John Quincy Adams online

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Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Leete) StoneLetters on masonry and anti-masonry, addressed to the Hon. John Quincy Adams → online text (page 1 of 49)
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What I knaw to be true, that I will declare ; and what I feel it to be my duty to re-
present, that I will have tlie boldness to publish."— Timothy PiCKEaiNO.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by O.
Halsted, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Southern District of New- York, in the Second Circuit.



Introductory— Glance at the recent state of Political Parties— Origin of Anti-masonry— Pre-
liminary view of the Excitement, f^" Erratum.— hast line but one, in the last sen-
tence of this letter, for" inhabitants," read ^' institutions.^^

Speculative Free-masonry— Author's initiation into the Degree of Entered Apprentice-
Feelings of disappointment— Emblems and lessons of the Degree— Fellow Craft's De-
gree—Pleasing solemnity of the opening— Regularity and order of the Lodge— Refutation
of charges of riotous carousals— Emblems and instructions of the Degree.


Freemasonry continued— Sublime Degree of Master Mason— Affecting Ritual— Ceremonies
and emblems— Shdkspeare— A striking coincidence— This a favorite degree— Absurdity
of its history— Its legends an imposture— Opinion of Grand Master Dalcho— Of Profes-
sor rftuart— Dramatic character of its action— Dangerous tendency of its obligations-
Grand hailing sign — Alexander and Judas Maccabeus.

Freemasonry continued— Mark Master's degree— Belongs to the fellow-craft— More than
three degrees prohibited by law in England — The same in Scotland^Causes of multipli-
cation of dejirees— Opening ofa M;irk Lodge— Its ceremonies— Scriptural allegory— Its
application- Degree of Past Master— Its ceremonies— Awkward predicament— Lecture
and charge of this degree.

Freemasonry continued— Degree of Most Excellent Master— Its ceremonies— Dedication of
the temple — Solomon's prayer— Locke — Disputed manuscript ot Henry VI. — Exaltation
to the degree nf Royal Arch— Reasons lor persevering— History and traditions on which it
is founded — Josiah — Hilkiah — Huldah — Josephus — Ezra— Zerubbabel, &c. — Introduction
of the candidate— Kmblems— Scenic Representations- Decorations — Attractive pagean-
try—Absurdity of its legends— Real history of the degree— Edward Charles Stuart— lllu-
minism— Mistake of Abbe Barruel- Introduction of the Royal Arch into America — M.
Hayes— The Duke of Orleans— Scotch Masonry— Knight of St. Andrew,


Degrees of Knighthond— Royal and Pelect Masters— The ineffable degrees— French Ma-
gonry—Inftlelity— Knight of Red Cross— Its history— Court of Darius— Apocryphal le-
gend — Imposing scenic representations — Knights of Malta — Shipwreck of Paul — Hospi-
tallers-'Knights ol' St. John — Of Rliodes— History— Raymond De Puy — d' Aubresson —
The Templars— History of the order— Hugo de Paganis— Instituted during the Crusades—
Philipthe Fair— Clement V.— Order suppressed— French Templars— Anti-christian—j\'ot
so with the American— Solemn and affecting ceremonies,


Examination of the nature of the masonic obligations— Bernard's Light— Old manuscript-
Misrepresentation answered— The nature of masonic secrets — What they really are — Se-
cresy and silence virtues— The binding force of promises — Dr. Paley— Interpolations in
the obligations — ObliRations properly understood, not inconsistent with the laws of God
and man— Charges and explanations— Objec'.ious to extra-judicial oaths— Pritchard's re-
A'elations— Allthe penalties unmeaning.




fiapjd sKeul) of the history of Freemasonry— FondneP5? even of Republicans for the merit of
aiiiiquily— Anderson's history— Antediluvian Masonry— From the flood to the buildin!! of
Solomon's temple— Ridiculous absurdity of these pretens^ions—Lawrie's history— Egyp-
tian priesls — Ionian architects — Language of Symbols- Epicureans— Eleusin^an mysteries — •
Kn^idran Hiysieries — Pyiha<:oreans — The Essenes— Geiman notions of Masonry — Clemen-
tinian ci>n!'ed«Mtrs — ur. Dalcho's opuiion ot the absurdity of claiming David, Solomon,
and the two Johns, as JMasoiis, &.c.

Same suVject continued— Nicholas Ptone— The Druids— The Romans— Picts—^cots— Dr.
Henry's arcount—Collesia Aitificuni— Ancient edifices — Athelstan— Edgar — EJward tlie
Confessor -'Ihomas Paine's opinions — The Rosicrusians— Roman and Greek colleges —
Proscription of Ai a onry on the continent— Dr. Plot— First authentic record of Freemr.-
soiiry— Thomas Ashmole, the last ot the Rosicrusians— ISlasonry in the reifrn ot Anne -
Rival Grand Lodges in England— Origin of Masonry in Sctnland—Kilwinmg— Lords of
Roslin— Resuscitation of Masonry in 1717 — Duke of Bucclengh— 17-*3— Dukeof Rich-
UiOiid— Extension of Englisli Masonry over the world.

Refutation of the charges of infidelity — Absurd notions of double significations and inter-
pretations—Reasons why Freemasonry, on its own merits, should be relinquished,

William Morgan— His life— Marriage with Luciiula Pendleton— His character— Origin of
ilie difficulties between him and the Masons— His association with David C. Miller-
Morgan's exclusion from the chapter at Ratavia — Revenge — Supposed Msit of Morgan to
New-York — Preparations for betraying the secrets of Masonry.

Rumors of the intended publication— Attempts of the Masons to negociate with Morgan —
Advertiseil as an imjtostor — Misrepresentations upon this subject — Agitations amcmg the
Masons — Vexatious prosecutions — Arrival of Johns, as a spy and partner of Miller— first
arrest and imprisonmeiitof Morgan— Ransacking of Mrs. Morgan's apartment.

indiscreet newspaper publications- General Lafayette— Conspiracy for the destruction of
Miller's ofBce— Meeting of the conspirators at Staflbrd— A night expedition and failure-
Col. Sawyer— attempt to bjrn the printing office by Howard— Providential IVustration of
the plan — F.xpedition ot Chesebon* and others, from Canandaigua— Dr. Butler— Arrest
and iransporlatiiinof Morgan to Canandaigua— Trial and acquittal for petit larceny — im-
prisonment at Cannndaisiia (or debt — Ueflections— Journey of Mrs. Morgan to Canandai-
gua, in puisuit of Jier husband— Delivery of niannfcripts- duel disappointment— her
return to Batavia— Offers of masonic support rejected.


Cuthering of conspirators in Eatnvla -Arrest and abduction of Miller— His imprisonment in
a liidae at Siiiffird— interview with Jolin-"— Journey to Le Roy, attended by a mob— His
rescue— Exlraordinary absence of the magistrates of Batavia on that day— Llieir more ex-
traaidinary cjnveri>atiuas— conduct of the Masons— Reflections.

Charily to Mrs. Morgan— An apent ?ent to Canand.dtua— Mysterious letter to Mrs. Mor-
gan—Discoveries of the agent— Conspiracy at Cannmiaigua, ami abduction of Morgan
Irom the prison— CI»eKel)oro, Lawson. Smith, Whitr«ey, &c —Mysterious movements of a
carnage, in the night, from Canandaigua to Hanfoid's Lauding — 5?u-picious circumstan-
ces— Public iruH'tings at Batavia— Increase of the excitement— Appointment of commit-
tees— <:ortesp(indence with Governor Clinton-First pr<.clamalion— Progress of the excite-
ment - Nnn:ei(.u9 meeting*— Covimtion Lodge— Case of Elder Bernard— Conduct of the
Masons— Political symptoms— Reflections.


Publication of Morgan'sdiscUuurefi— Conduct of Morgan— Inquiry into its morality— Arch-
deacon Paley— Dr. Biown— Morgan's jit-ifidy no justification of the Masons.


False report." respecting Morgan's absence - Doubts among honest Masons — Variety of ru-

flxori— First indictments ot French and others— Second letter and proclamation of Ciover-


nor Clinton — Progress of the excitement — Indictment of Che?eboro and others, in Onta-
rio —Furtiier investigations of coiniuittee^— Mysterious carriage traced alon;; the Ridge
Road to Lewi3ton and Youngstown — Eli Bruce— Col. King— Grand Jury of Monroe —
Letter of Governor Clinton to the Attorney General.

Trial of Chesehnro, Lawson, Sawyer, and Sheldon, at Canandaigna— Mysterious absence of
Miller— Strange letter to General Solomon Van Rensselaer— All but Sheldon pleaded
pnilty— Sheldon unjustly convicted— Remarks of Judge Throop on passing sentence-
Miller brought up on an attachment.

Correspondence between Mr. Talbot and Governor Clinton— Correspondence between Gov-
ernor Clinton, llie Earl of Dalhousie, and Sir PerCijrine Mailland— Investigations in Up[)er

Result of the trial of Cheseboro and others, unsatisfactory— Increasing doubts— Progress of the
excitement at the west — Popular meetings— Denunciationsof the Masons, and the press —
Reflections of the people upon the first trial— Reaction— the author writes to Mr. Spen-
C!?r— Painful news from the west — Idle rtpc^rts— John Brandt— Imputations upon the Grand ,
Chapter — Reported murder of Morgan — Eximinationsof Fort Niapara— 1 etters from the
Lewislon Committee— Panic among the people at the vve.~t— Reply of Mr. Spencer —
Confirming the author's worst apprehensions— Determination to iublisb boldly— Smith an J
Whitney abscond— Attempts to arrest them in Albany— Colonel King— Visits Governor
Clinton— Washington— Flies to the northwest.

Meeting of the Grand Royal Arch Chipter— Expectations of the people and the guiltless
M jsons— Strange conduct of that btidy— Letter of a friend— Appropriation of money for
the benefit of the conspirators.


Progress of the excitement— Angry temj er of the people— Difficulties in churches— The
pjoular violence produces a reaction — Dangers of popular excitements— Means of con-
tinuing the excitement at the west — Conduct of a grand jury at Bataviii — Further indict-
ments in Ontaiio— Case ot Howard, alias Chipperfield— Depositions of John Mann— Pain-
ful disclosures- Howard absconds — Con<!ui t of Masons in ^lew-York — Avery Allwi —
Author's investigations— Howard helped out of the country by the Masons in New-Yoik.

Further correspondence between Governor Clinton and Mr. Talbot— Special mess?age of the
latter to the Legislature— Third proclamaliou- Meeting of the Lewiston Convention-
Interesting investiijations — Additional d sclosures — Morgan traced uUo Canada and back
to the magazine of Fort Niagara — Furiher rumors of his murder — Horrid particulars —
Disclosures of Hirarn B. Hopkins— Conduct of grand jury at Niagara— And of Bruce.

Memorials of the Lewiston convention, and of the people, to the Legislature— Proceedings
thereon— Act passed concerning kidnapping— Grand juriesof Monroe and Niagara — Trials
of French, Ganson, and others, at Batavia— Unaccountable acquittal of Gansoii— Alterna-
tions of the public feeling— False reports again put in circulation respecting the existence
of Morgan - Suid to be living in Canada, — and in Boston.


Meeting of the Grand Lodge in New- York — Arrival of Bruce— Interview with the author —
'i'he author's reception by some of the members in the Grand Lodge — Causes of their
hostility — His previous writmgs against the Morgan outrage— Threatening letter from
Wishington- Vote of money to Eli Bruce - Iuvestigation3 of the author— Supposed man-
ner of Morgan's death.

Ill judged masonic celebration of St. John's Day, at Batavia— Wonderful excitement— Pre
parations for hostilities— The day passes by without serious evil.

gecond trials at Canandaigua,of Coa, Hayward,Omour,and others— Public interest in the
trials continues— Parties acquitted— Mission of Bates anil G;ulinghouse to the valley of th«
Mississippi, and Arkansas, in pursuit «f King, iSinith, and Whimey.



Public clamor at the acquittals of the defendants— Further disclosures from Niagara— Public
mind inflamed— Ami masonry becomes political— Preparations for the election— Removal
of Eli Bruce from the slierifTalty— Body found at Oak Orchard Creek— Coroner's inquest—
Intel ment— Report that it was Morgan's body— Supposed miracle— Disinterred— Another
inquest— Pronounced to be Morgan— Tremendous excitement — Great funeral — Arrival of
M rs. Monroe from Canada— Examinations— Body again disinterred— Another inquest —
Ascertained to be the bodv of Timothy Monroe— Reaction— Dangers of popular delusion —
Public meeting at Rochester— The Lewiston committees denounced— Remarkable case
of R. H. Hill— Confession of the murder— Arrest of Hill— His discharge— Thomas Hamil-
ton—His sudden disappearance at Buffalo— Supposed death — Excitement— Imposture— A
disclosure in Michigan— Edward Hopkins— Letter from Governor Cass to Governor Clinton.


Death of Gov. Clinton— Aspersions upon his character— James Ganson— Calumny of Clin-
ton by N. B Boileau— Vmdication of his character— Meeting of General Grand Chapter
in New-York— Richardson's deposition in Rhode Island— Morgan's manuscripts laid
before the General Grand Chapter— Author's Letter to Col. Knapp— Col. Knapp's reply—
Coriespondence between Gov. Clinton and Jacob Le Roy — Including a denial of Gov.
Clintonof the slanders against him— Summing up.

Renunciations of Masonry— Convention of renouncing Masons at Le Roy— Their affirma-
tions of the disclosures of Morgan— Disclosures of the higher degrees— Spurious Obli-
gations-Memorial to Congress— Debate thereon— Le Roy Convention of March 6— Its
Proceedings— Govemmttut of the Stale devolves on Lt. Gov. Pitcher— Special Mes.«age
to the Legislature- Proceedings thereon- Special Counsel— Daniel Moseley appointed-
Unjust censures upon his commct— Return of Garlingliouse and Bates from an unsuccess-
ful mission after the fugitives to Missouri— Col. King eludes them— His strange return to
Youngstown— lie publishes an Address— change in the character of Anti-masonry.

Trial of Eli Bruce, Turner, and Darrow— Rejection of Giddings as a witness— Decision of
Judge Howell— Prevaricating testimony of John Jackson— Conviction of Bruce-
Remarks upon the rejection of Giddings as a witness— opinions in the New- York State


P<dltical Campaign in New-York, in 1828— Preparations for the State and Presidential
Elections— National Republican Convention at Utica— Nomination of Judge Tliompeon
and Mr. Granger— Anti-masonic Convention at Utica— Nomination of Mr. Granger for
Governor and Mr. Crary— Mr. Granger declines the last nomination and accepts the
first— Anti-M;isons nominate Solomon Southwick— Jackson Convention at Herkimer—
Mr. Adims's Letter respecting Freemasony, pulilished at the West— He is charged, under
oath, with being a Mason himself— Denial— Result of the Election.

Mfeting of the Legislature of 1P99— Gov. Van Buren's Message— Report of the Special
Onunnel— Reports thereon of both branches of the Legislature— Letter of Bowen Whiting
to the Cominiiiee of the Assembly— Letter of Special Counsel to the same— Renewal of
popular clamour— Genesee Convention— Holland Land Company— Second Anti-iSlasonic
Stale Convention— Proceeding of the same— Unfounded inferences respecting certain
nets of incorporation— Projwsed monument to the Memory of Morgan— Resignation of Mr.
Mftseley— J. C. Spencer apiioinled Special Counsel in his place— Enters vigorously upon
the duties of his office-Gov. Van Buroii resigns-Lt (Jov. Throop— His parting Address
to the SiMiate, giving offence to tlie Ami imsons- Meeting of Masons at Rochester— Their
renunciation, with a protest— Unsatisfactoi y— Reasons why— Charges against the Chap-
ter, and Encampment at Rochester.

Ontario fSewlons of May, 1829-Eli Bruce's case- Hiram B. Hopkins testifies new facts
against him— Death of Burrage Smith— Trial of John Whitney and James Gillis— Ell-
Bruce tc!«tili"s- Whitney convicted— Bruce and Whitney sentenced to imprisonment-
Attentions shown them'by tlie Masons while in Prison.


Conduct of town Clerk of B ilnny, respecting Jurors- His trial— Irritation of the Mnsens,
because of their perseniiiuns- The Clergy— Reasons why so many of them are Masons
—Proceedings of religious sects against the Maa.ins— Baptist conventions— Rev. Mr.
Emerson's Letter— Convention at VVt*»8Bborough— And elsewhere— Of the associated
Reformed Synod— Associated Synod of iScotland— Tlie Presbyterian Church— Proceedings
in Pittsburg in 1820— Synod of Genesee— Presbytery of Rochester— General Union
Meeting in Oneida,



Prosecution of the trials by Mr, Spencer— Indictments in Genesee— Embarrassmenta from
absence of witnesses — Case of Harris — Of Orson Parkhurst — Oyer and Terminer in Mon-
roe—Romantic Incident— Devotion and heroic conduct of a woman to save her husband —
Rev. Francis H. Cuming— Clamour abates— Elections of 1829.

Trial of Elihu Mather, before Judge Gardiner— Challenges of Masonic Jarors— Testimony
as to the nature of the Obligations— Exclusion of Masons— Mather acquitted— Motion foi
^ new trial denied by the Supreme Court.

Legislature of 1830— Message of the Acting Governor— Report of the Special Counsel-
Gives offence to the Masons in the Legislature— Debates— Judge Gardiner directed to
bring up the case of Mather— Another Anti-masonic State Convention— Inquiry respect-
ing the conduct of the Grand C^hapter-Legislative Proceedings— Report of the Attorney
General— Anti-masonry becomes thoroughly political— Political feelings in the Legislature
—Mr. Spencer's Resignation, and reasons— The Governor's vindication— Publication of
Spencer's private correspondence— Appointment of Mr. Birdseye— Review of the con-
duct of Governor Throop,


Means adopted for prolonging the excitement— Extraordinary case of reported Masonic
murder in Belfast— Investigation of this case— Reasons why it is not to be believed.


Special Circuit of Niagara— Judge Marcy— Trial of Ezekiel Jewett— Testimony on the
Nature of Masonic Obligations— Decision of Judge Marcy upon this duestion— Unex-
ampled Conduct of Masonic Witnesses— Contempt of Court, and Imprisonment of Tur-
ner—The same of Eli Bruce— Conduct of John Jackson— His Equivocal Testimony-
Conduct of William P. Daniels— Acquittal of Jewett.

Trial of Solomon C. Wright and Jeremiah Brown— Unaccountable Acquittal of the De-
fendants—Lemuel De Forest— His strange story respecting the Death of Loring Simonds.


Establishment of a Paper at Rochester by the Masons— Its Course— Indicted for a Libel on
a Jury— Case of the Cooks, at Fort Ann— Conduct of the Masons thereon— Elections of
1830— Results in the great increase of Anti-masonry— Mysterious case of Elder Witherell
—Interesting Letter from Washington County, detailing the whole History of that re-
markable case— Second Trial and Acquittal of James Gillis— Session of the Legislature
of 1831— Message of Governor Throop— Report of the Special Counsel— Refusal of Judge
Gardiner to try any more of the Morgan Conspirators— Compliment to Mr. Whiting.

Special Circuit of Niagara in February and March, 1831— Judge Nelson presides— Trials of
Elisha Adams, and of Parkhust Whitney and others— Difficulty of Obtaining Jurors-
Nature of Masonic Obligations— Loton Lawson sworn as a Witness— John Whitney, the
same— Orsamus Turner— A new and Important witness in the person of James A. Shed
—Edward Giddings— His Infidelity— Alteration of the Law of Evidence— Giddinga
sworn as a Witness— His damning testimony highly important~-Jury disagrees in the Case
of Adams, and also in the other case.

Trial of Norfnan Shepherd and Timothy Maxwell— Rev. Lucius Smith— Conduct of Betha-
ny Chapter— Committees sent to Canandaigua, Rochester, Lockport, and Buffalo, to con-
cert measures for suppressing Morgan's Book— John Jackson again— Proceedings in the
Lodge Room at Lockport— Abandonment of the Prosecution— Last Message of the Go-
vernor, and final Report of the Special Counsel upon this subject.

Masonic Exhibitions— Amusing case in Chenango— Harlowe C. Witherell— Nature of Ma-
sonic Ceremonies and Obligations— Trial and ac quittal of Solomon C. Wright, for Perju-
ry— Case of Gould against Weed, for Libel— Disposition of the money voted by the Grand
Chapter in 1827— More proved than General Gould's friends could have wished— Most
important features of the Libel left uninvestigated— By Which means, doubtless, a verdict
was obtained by the Plaintiff.



Conduct of the Newspafter Press examined— Mr. Rush answered— Reasons for the course
taken by the Tress— The denunciations not entirely jiist— Anti-masons required too
much— Party Spirit— Its eflecLs upon the subject of Free Discussion— American mode of
Proscription— Erroneous Principles upon wliich the Presses of this Country are esta-
blislied— The Liberty of the Press, and it? licentiousness, very different things— Character
of the Press of England— and France— Incompetency of many Editors.


Inquiry— What was tlie fate of Morgan .'—Review of the History— Conduct of Witnesses-
No doubt that Morgan was murdered— Flvidences supporting this opinion — Testimony
fiom Vermont— 'I'lie principal Executioners dead— Further testimony from a variety of
sources at the "West, not brought out on the Trials— Consultations for putting Morgan to
Death— Ingenious mode of drawing lots— Manner of his death— Reflections.

Inquiry as to what extent the Masonic Lodges and Chapters, and the Members of the Order,
individually or collectively, were concerned — Erroneous views that have hetn entertained,
as to the Internal Organization of the Masonic bodies— Reviev/ of the History upon the
question examined in this Letter— Testimony of Thomas G. Green, respecting the Lod§e
at Buffalo— Testimony from other quarters— Further recapitulation of the History— Ma-
sons extensively hiculpated at the West, as illustrated from a variety of facts— Summing
up of this head.

Drawing lo a close— Twelve reasons why all good men should abandon the Institution of
Speculative Masonry— Supported in this conclusion by the opinion of Chancellor Wal-

Containing a variety of Papers and Documents.





New- York, Nov. 20, 1831.

I have been honored by the receipt, in due course of

mail, of your favor of the 27th uUimo. The readiness v^ith

which you have assented to my request to be allowed the

opportunity of addressing a series of Letters to you upon

the subjects of speculative Freemasonry and Anti-masonry —

topics of such deep and general interest at the present

time, — and the kind and encouraging terms in which that

assent is expressed, demand my grateful acknowledgments.

It was not without diffidence, more, indeed, than I shall

probably receive credit for, that I was induced to prefer

such a request. But a variety of circumstances, weighty

and powerful in themselves, together with an impression

that the labor I propose to perform, may be attended with

some benefit to the community, excited and divided as it

now is, and threatens long to be, by the distracting question

I am to consider, have impelled me to the undertaking.



The formation of the Anti-masonic party, which is now

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Leete) StoneLetters on masonry and anti-masonry, addressed to the Hon. John Quincy Adams → online text (page 1 of 49)