William L. (William Leete) Stone.

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

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

(L S ^ ^" witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and the privy seal, at the city of
"^ • "^ -' Albany, this 19th day of March, Anno Domini 1827.

DE WITT CLINTON.



(F.)
From the Albany Masonick Record, Feb. 10.
The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the state o f New-York commenced its annual session
in this city on Tuesday last, and adjourned this day. t Upwards of one hundred and ten sub-
ordinate chapters were represented. Trevious to its adjournment, the following proceedinga
were had :—

To the Most Excellent the Grand Chapter of the State of JVew- York .—

The committee appointed by resolution of the Grand Chapter, on the affair of William
Morgan, respectfully reported .-

That they have attended to the duties assigned them, and that from the highly agitated
and inflamed state of publick feeling on this subject, and from the false and undeserved im-
putations which have been thrown ui)on Freemasons, and the masonic order generally,
your committee deem it proper thai this Grand Chapter should make a public expression of
its sentiments in relation to the affair alluded to. Your committee, as expressive of their
views on the subject embraced in this report, would offer for the consideration of the Grand
Chapter, the following preamble and resolutions:—

Wheteas, the rtghts of personal liberty and security are guaranteed by the free constitu-
tion, under which we, the members of this Grand Chapter, in common with the rest of our
fellow citizens, have the happiness to live: and whereas, we esteem the preservation of
these rights of vital importance to the perpetuity and full enjoyment of the blessings of our
republican institutions; and whereas, the community has lately witnessed a violation of the
same, under the alleged pretext of the masonic name and sanction, (in the case of William
Morgan :) and whereas, the principles of our ancient and honorable frateinity contain noth-
ing which in the slighrest degreejustify or authorise such proceedings ; but, on the contrary,
do in all their tenets and ceremonies, encourage and inculcate a just submission to the laws,
the enjoyment of equal rights by every individual, and a high and elevated spirit of person-
al as well as national independence:—

There/ore, Resolved, By this Grand Chapter, that we its members, individually, and as
a body, do disclaim all knowledge or approbation of the said proceedings, in relation to the
abduction of the said William Morgan ; and that we disapprove of the same, as a violation
of the majesty ol the laws, and an infringement of the rights of personal liberty, secured to
every citizen of our free and happy republic.

Resolved, That the foregoing report, preamble and resolution be published.

A true extjact from the minutes of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the state of New-
York.

JCHN O. COLE, G. Secretary.



(G.)

" Le Roy, JVou. 13th, 1827.
" Governor CliBton,

" I have seen a letter from you to Mr. Le Roy, requesting him to demand of the ed-
itors of the Gazette the author of a communication addressed to you in that paper. I am
the author. In your letter to Mr. Le Roy, you say you had no knowledge of the outrages,
and have never given any advice on that subject. If such are the facts, which I have no
reason to doubt, your name has been used for the basest of motives. And who have thus
used it i* The Masons. And why have they used it. -" For the express purpose of thiowing
their own crimes upon your head. Your name has been used more or less by Masons in
this section of the country, ever since theoutrages; and at this time a majority of Uie people
are so firmly in the belief that you weie consulted on that subject, that it is entirely useless
to urge any arguments upon that point in your favor. At the commencement of the outra-
ges I did not believe any assertions made by Masons respecting your knowledge on that sub-
ject. Neither did 1 suppose that they would go so far as to take life, in violation of all law.
But since I have been convinced, in my own mind, of the fate of the unfortunate man, I
have thought that the leaders of the outrages had authority from some souice or other, and
what source I do not know. From assertions made by Masons, (respecting you,) that were
engaged in the disgraceful afiair, my faith in your lepublican principles was considerably
ehnken. I am a Mason, and 1 have ever condemned the outrages. The morning that the
Masons went from thi.s place to Batavia, to arrest Pol. Miller, 1 and two or three others rais-



APPENBIX. 5

ed our then feeble voices against the proceedings. We told them that the only way was to
hold perfectly still, that if they proceeded, they would give a credit to iho work that it other-
wise could never have. I was then told by their leader, that older peisons had been consult-
ed 5 and another one said that you had been written to, and that he had sworn not to permit
it— [permit the book to be printed]— or sulfer it to be done, if within his power to prevent it,
and go he would.

" There is one thing that I regret, and that is this, that I had not forwarded that commu-
nication to you, instead of the Gazette. But I had rather it would be as it is, than not have
been at all, for I have affidavits from Masons that were engaged in the outrages, which will
substantiate my assertions, and put the matter in a train that justice to yourself requires.
Mr. Le Roy will forward you copies of four affidavits, three from Masons who went to Bata-
via on the 12th of September, 1826, and one from Mr. Griffin, who is not a Mason. I pre-
sume your only object is to trace to its source, [and ascertain] the author of those slanderous
reports. After perusing those affidavits, you will be your own judge what course to pursue.

" Yours, respectfully,

"JAMES BALLARD."



[H.]
State of J\reW'York, ) Franklin Marsh being duly sworn deposes and says, that on the
Oenesee County, ss. ) twelfth day of September, eighteen hundred and twenty-six, this
deponent was in company with James Ganson, and one other person not now recollected
by this deponent ; that the said James Ganson was asked if he had authority from the
Governor to suppress or prevent the printing of the secrets of Masonry, then about to be
printed at Batavia ; that the said James Ganson replied to said question — " We have a let-
ter," at the same time placing his hand against his coat pocket, and that this deponent
concluded from the manner, that the said James Ganson replied to said qtiestion, that he
then had a written communication from the Governor of the state of New-York, authoris-
ing the suppression of the publication of the said secrets of Masonry, and this deponent then
believed that the said James Ganson had a letter from the Governor on the subject of pre-
venting the said publication. FRANKLIN MARSH,
Taken and subscribed this 12th day of November, 1827, before me,

S. SKINNER, J. P.

State of J^ew- York, ? Hiram GritRn, of the town of Le Roy, in said county, being duly
Oenesee County, ss, S sworn according to law doth depose and say, that in the month of
August or September last, in a conversation which this deponent had at that time with
Franklin Marsh, of Le Roy, aforesaid, in relation to the outrages and attacks made upon
the person and property of David C. Miller, of Batavia, in said county, in September eighteen
hundred and twenty-six, the said Marsh then declared in the presence of this deponent, and
in the said conversation, that he, the said Marsh, should not have gone to Batavia, if he
had not seen a letter from De Witt Clinton, or the Governor, which letter authorised him
and others to take the course in relation to said Miller and his property which they did
take j snd that he, the said Marsh, wished the fault should fall or come upon the persons
who authorised them to take the course they did. HIRAM GRIFFIN.

Subscribed and sworn this 10th day of November, 1827, before me,

SAMUEL SKINNER, J. P,

State of J^ew-York, } Ellas Cooley being duly sworn deposes and says, that this depo-
Qenesee County, ss. \ nent was in company with James Ganson, on the twelfth day of
September, eighteen hundred and twenty -six, and that the said James Ganson. then stated
to this deponent, o" in this deponent's hearing, that the Governor had written on, or that
letters had been received from the Governor, by him, directing the manner of proceeding
to suppress the publication of the secrets of Masonry, or of ttie book, (the conversation then
referring to the book Morgan and Miller were about publishing on the secrets of Masonry,
at Batavia,) to the best knowledge and belief of this deponent .♦ and that this deponent
verily believed from the above statements, that the said James Ganson, or some other per-
son had received a letter or written communication from the Governor, directing a sup-
pression of the publication of said book on the secrets of Masonry, then about to be pub-
lished by the said Morgan and Miller, at Batavia. ELIAS COOLEY.
Taken and subscribed this 12th day of November, 1827, before rae,

JACOB BARTOW, Comra'er,&c.

State of J\reiD-York, ) Hollis Pratt being duly sworn, deposes and says, that on the
Oenesee County, ss. \ twelft;h day of September, eighteen hundred and twenty-six, this
deponent was in company with James Ganson, and in a conversation about the secrets of
Masonry being revealed at Batavia, the said James Ganson told this deponent that a man
had been to see the Governor, or had received a letter from him, and this deponent does
not now recollect which ; and this deponent asked him who that man was, and his reply
was. Gains B. Rich. HOLLIS PRATT.

Subscribed and Sworn this 12th day of November, 1827. before me,

S. SKINNER, J. P.



C APPENDIX.

(1)
State of J^ew- York, } James Ganson, of ihe town of Le Roy, in said county, being duly
Oenesee County, ss. ^ sworn deposes and says, that tlie ttatement contained in the affi-
davit of Franklin Marsh, that he. this deponent, " was asked if he had authority from
the Governor to suppress or prevent the pruning of the secrets of Masonry, then about to
be printed at Batavia, and that he, this deponent, replied to the said question ' we have a
letter,' and at the same time placed his hands upon his coat pocket," is not tiue ; and .this
depont^nt further says, that itie statement in the affidavit of Elias Cooley, that he, this de-
ponent, stated to said Cooley, or to any other person, that the Governoi had written on,
or that letters had been received from him by this deponent, (or any other person,) direct-
ing the manner of proceeding to suppress the publication ol the secrets of Masonry, or of
tlie book, as stated in the said affidavit, is not tiue ; and this deponent further says, tliat the
statement contained in the affidavit of HoUis Pratt, that he, this deponent, in a conversation
with said Pratt, about the secrets of Masonry being published at Batavia, told the said Pratt
that a man had been to see the Governor, and had a letter from him, and that this depo-
nent named Gaius B. Rich as such person, is wholly without foundation in truth ; and this
deponent further says, that he has never, on any occasion, said, nor does, he believe that his
excelle^'cy De Witt Clinton, was in any manner concerned, or countenanced, or had any
previous knowledge of the late outrages and proceedings in relation to William Morgan, and
the suppression of a publication announced by him atid D. C Miller, of the secrets of l-'ree-
masonry : that the story that a letter was received by this deponent from Governor Clinton,
authorising the suppression of said publication, or in relation to the same, or that any letter,
or other written or verbal communication whatever, had been received by this deponent
from Governor Clinton, is utterly without foundation— neither was any such letter, to the
jknowledge of this deponent, or any written or veibal communication upon the subject re.
ceived by any other person from Governor Clinton. JAMES GAIN SON.

Sworn and subscribed this lOih day of January, 1828, before me,

JACOB BARTOW, Commissioner.



EXTRACT FROVT THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER.
[The annexed extract from the proceedings of the General Grand Chapter of the United
States, at their triennial meeting, held in the city of New York, in September 1829, embra-
ces the tribute of resi)ect paid to the memory of De Witt Clinton by that body, referred to
at the close of the letter of Col. Knapp, page 31 6. It was written by Col. Knapp, and is as
feeling and beautiful, as it is eloquent and just.]

September 11, 1829.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

Most Excellent Companion Knapp, from the committee appointed on the subject of the
deaihof Most Excellent De Witt Clinton, made the following report, to wit :

The committee that had under consideration the subject of a proper notice of our bereav-
mer^t in the death of De Witt CUnton, the first officer of this masonic body, ask leave to
report —

That, as more than nineteen months have elapsed since this mournful event, in their
opinion, the customary fimeral rites so consonant to the heaviness of recent grief, and so
proper in their season, should be dispensed with at thjs meeting ; as shrouding our council
chamber in black, or wearing a badge of mourning for thirty days, would add nothing to
the deei> sense we feel at our loss, or fix more indelibly in cur minds, the recollecti.ms of his
services ; but as no accident nor length of time, can ever efface, or blot out his name from
the pages of his country's history, or lessen the weight of his character, we deem it most
meet and proper, while in session for the first time after his death, to leave on our records
a brief memorial of so great and good a man as our late High Priest, and also to tell the
World how sincerely we loved him, and to give our successors, or those who may search
our archives, hereafter, to understand what manner of man we tliought him ; we who lived
in his day, and were guided by his counsels.

For in him were united, exalted genius, profound acquirements, a happy tact in business,
with great patience, and unwearied industry. In the morning of life he took up the noble
determination to be great, and to make vscfulness the basis of that greatness.

He came to the dutiesof a freeman when our Republic, exhausted with the struggles for
independence, was attempting to fix our institutions upon the rights of man, and the princi-
ples of eternal justice, but there was of>en seen a timid hand and vacillating policy. In the
conflict of honest opinions he boldly took his part, and if his zeal at times excited the fears
of his followers, his i)atrif>lisin won the hearts of his opponents.

The potals of knowledge were then just opening anew, in this country, with the biight-
est promises, and he was charmed with all her paths. With the grasp of genius he held
the lamp of science through the wanderings of literature, and the mazes of politics ; and
moral, political and literary institutions received advantages from his intellectual light: nor
was he content to rest here; for he saw at a glance that Omnipotence when hf stamped the
features and maiked the physiognomy of the earth, gave intimations to man that he might
ehangeand improve these features for his benefit. His mind no sooner conceived than hia
«oul was fired with the project, which he carried into effect ; it was no narrow plan, no



APPENDIX. 7

pitiful experiment, governed by village economy, or district politics ; the design Wvls worthy of
a master mind, and the execution of an herculean arm : the seas of the wilderness were
united with the Atlantic Ocean. He saw the labor finished, and heard the voice of the peo-
ple pronounce it to be good. In the midst of these arduous labors he did not forget how
much hunwn happiness depends upon well regulated affections, and permanent charities,
and he entered the pale of our order, and assumed the duties of master, almoner, and
priest ; to leach the ignorant and to check the wandering ; to feed the hungry, clothe the
naked, and to implore blessings upon ail mankind.

He was morally, as well as physically, brave— and in (he generosity of his nature, pitied
thit miserable flock, who in the mild and peaceful day, turned their plu-^iage to the sim for
brilliant reflections to attract notice and gain admiration from the world ; but who were
not to be found when the elements were troubled. He poised his eagle-wing in the whirl-
wind, and fearlessly breasted the peltings of the storm.

His enemies reviewing his life, are silent when they cast up the amount of his virtues,
and his friends love him the more when they recount the deeds he has done : malice never
charged him with avarice, nor did slander ever whisper that he could be corrupted by gold;
if sometimes dis ppointed ambition in a paroxysm, at the loss of office, alledged that he
was partial, in a calmer moment she was forced to confess, that his errors (for he washuman
and could not be free from them,) sprung from the irregular pulsation of too warm a heart ;
and fiom too much confidence in tlie professions of assimulated virtue ; and even envy,
that first vvi.shes, and then believes all ill, -owns, since he is gone, that the only harvest he
ever gathered in was glory ; and all must acknowledge, that the only estate that he left for
his orph;in children, is his fame.

Bis exertions were not limited to the temporal welfare of his fellow men, for he knew
that the excellency of all knowledge consists in divine truth, and he was unremitting in his
efforts to disseminate the sacred writings, believing that in them are the oracles of God, and
the promises of everlasting life.

His death has been deplored as that of one who di^d too early ;— but if the prominent
deeds of men are so many mile stones on the journev of life, his course cannot have been
short who has set up so many monuments as he travelled onward to eternity: true, all was
finished betore age had required the sustaining staff, or the helping hand.

Such was our companion and brother, the late chief officer of this General Grand Chap,
ter. The pride of those who lived and acted with him, and an example for those who may
hereafter arise to take a distinguished pait in the welfare of our country.

Let learned biographers write his life ; let talented artists chisel his monument, and
mould his bust for an admiring people, while we must content ourselves with i miniature
profile of him. traced in a single moment, when kneeling at our altars ; but there is some
consolation for us in feeling that this sketch is made, as it were, upon our jewels, and is to
be worn on our breasts, an emblem, a faint one indeed, of his image in our hearts.

Samuel L. Knapp, "j
Joseph K. Siapleton,
Jonathan Nye, } Committee.

Joel Clapp, j

Daniel L. Gibbins, J

Which was read, accepted, and the General Grand Secretaiy directed to present a copy
thereof to the widow of the deceased.



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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 49 of 49)