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Craft Masonry in Albany County, New York - Onondaga and Oswego ...

Craft Masonry in Albany County, New York - Onondaga and Oswego ...

It was now evident that

It was now evident that a general unity and harmony had been established throughout the State between the Grand Body and the Subordinates. The kindliness of spirit on the part of Masters’ Lodge was pointedly manifest in the letter of the committee, consisting of Philip S. Van Rensselaer, Thomas Ellison and Casparus Hewson, dated January, 1795, when replying to the Grand Secretary in New York City, who had announced the action of the Grand Lodge. The committee say, “We are charged to express the satisfaction of Masters’ Lodge on the terms of accommodation being acceded to by the Grand Lodge, and with our thanks to you for the trouble of communicating the information, have further to request that you will be pleased to give us instructions for our conduct as far as respects the Grand Lodge.” This letter and the complimentary resolutions of the acceptance of jurisdiction, were read in Grand Lodge. It will, however, be distinctly noted that the Grand Lodge had not demanded the old Warrant of Masters’ Lodge, and tendered a new one in its place. This gave rise to subsequent controversy, if not trouble. In the mean time, an episode had occurred in Masters’ Lodge, showing all was not harmonious within. The before mentioned committee, Brothers Van Rensselaer, Hewson, and Ellison, had been appointed by the Lodge when in regular Communication Dec. 8, 1794. An Extra Lodge was opened in due form January 12, 1795, present Sebastian Visscher, Master, pro tem; Daniel McEvers, Senior Warden, pro tem; William Haggerty, Junior Warden, pro tem. The following resolution was adopted: “Resolved, That in addition to the Committee appointed on the 8th December last on the Letter received from John Abrams, Secretary of the Grand Lodge, the name of Bro. Sebastian Visscher be added.” The Lodge was then closed, and Sebastian Visscher, as Master, pro tem., signed the Minutes. The above proceedings caused inquiry and the opening of an Extra Lodge in due form, January 23, 1795; Philip S. Van Rensselaer, Master in the East; James Kinman, Jr., and John Given, Jr., Wardens, P. T.; Brother McEvers, Acting Secretary, and eleven other members present. On motion of Brother Gansevoort, seconded by Brother Philpot, it was “Resolved, That the minutes of the Extra Lodge, held on the 12th January, be expunged from the minutes of this Lodge, for the following reasons:—That the Lodge pretended to have been held was Clandestine, unconstitutional and invalid, inasmuch as the Members were not respectively warned, the Lamp not as usual Lighted, the Lodge not Masonically tiled, and not one officer of the Lodge nor any members present, but the members who assumed to themselves the three first offices of the Lodge, though the officers were actually in town. “Resolved, That the Master send an authenticated copy of these resolutions to the Grand Lodge, and request them to give no confidence or credence to any appointment, or instructions that may be exhibited to them under authority of such Clandestine Lodge. “Resolved, unanimously, That Brothers Haggerty and McEvers having declared to the Lodge, that they were ignorant of the Bye- Laws of the Lodge, which rendered their Meeting Clandestine, the Members—giving credence to their declarations—are charitably disposed to accept their apology, and forbear passing resolutions of censure against them. “Resolved, That Brother Visscher be summoned to assign his reasons to said Lodge for having been one of the Members who composed the said Clandestine Lodge.” The minutes of this Extra Lodge were certified by the Secretary, Elisha Kane, forwarded to the Grand Lodge, and there read, March 4, 1795. Accompanying the same was an apologetic letter from the Secretary, Elisha Kane, in which he says: “As business of particular importance prevented me from attending the last Extra and Regular Meetings of Masters’ Lodge, I was therefore unacquainted with the transactions since my last attendance. I was sorry to find when called on by the Worshipful Master, that I had inconsiderately given the sanction of my name as Secretary to certain proceedings which appear entirely Clandestine. Lest I should incur the bare supposition of improper behaviour in the breasts of the Members of the Grand Lodge, I beg leave to assure them, through you, that I should not have given my signature, had I not supposed that the proceedings were regular, and had not Sebastian Visscher who brought them to me assured me that it was the order of the Lodge that I should sign them; for although I had not been personally warned, I supposed that others had and that the Lodge had been regularly held.” This letter, addressed to the Grand Secretary, with other papers, was ordered to be filed, and the Grand Secretary, John Abrams, further instructed to acknowledge the receipt of them in a suitable manner. This he did, informing Brother Elisha Kane that he was “amply acquitted in the mind of every individual member of having been designedly accessory to the Clandestine meeting of Masters’ Lodge, of the 12th January.” Brother Visscher with his “credentials” did not offer to appear before the Grand Lodge. The subject matter of this Brother’s ambitions, for the time, seems to have dropped out of importance. Matters of various import having occupied the attention of the Grand Lodge, it had become forgetful of the original Warrants still held by several old Lodges, and under which they worked while acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge; but on January 18, 1797, mention was made that the Right Worshipful the Deputy Grand Master was going soon to Albany, and the following resolution was unanimously adopted: “Resolved, That he be requested to take charge of the delinquent Lodges in Poughkeepsie and Albany who have not surrendered their original Warrants; that he be authorized to receive and cancel the same, and to furnish new ones under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge; and also to commute with the said Lodges for their respective dues.” The report of the Deputy Grand Master was made on the 6th September, that in pursuance of the directions given him on the 18th January, “he had met the brethren of Masters’ Lodge in Albany; that he had made known to the brethren the request of the Grand Lodge with respect to the surrender of their old Warrant. That the Lodge had appointed a Committee for conference, who had drawn up a report which was shown to the Deputy Grand Master by the Chairman, in which they recommend to their Lodge a compliance 94

with the request of the Grand Lodge; but the Lodge not having been able to effect a Meeting previous to the departure of the Deputy Grand Master, nothing further was done.” The report was accepted and approved. On the following June 6, 1798, immediately after the election of officers, at which De Witt Clinton was elected Grand Senior Warden, he reported, “that he had received the Old Warrant held by Masters’ Lodge at Albany, delivered to them a new one and had installed the officers under it.” This report was accepted and ordered to be filed. The new Warrant designated the Lodge as “No. 2.” It is a matter of historical interest to preserve the names of the members of Masters’ Lodge, dating from 1768: William Gamble, 1768. W. M., 5 March, 1768. Samuel Stringer, “ W. M., 24 June, 1768, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’73, ’74, ’77, ’78, "79, ’80. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, “ W. M., 1776. 1768 Francis Pfister Thomas Lynott Stephen Tuttle Thomas Swords Stephen March“ William Hogan Henry Beasley Thomas S. Diamond Peter Schuyler 1769 James Bain Francis Daniel Wiald Thomas Wall Seth Dean 1771 Samuel Brentnall Charles Dibble 1772 John Chadwick, Jr. Isaac Pratt James Gourlay Alexander Cruikshank John Roorback Elisha Benedict Jesse Fairchild Peter Delamater Solomon Jackson John Mare Philip Lansing John O’Brian Joseph Anderson Stephen McCrea John Jones“ James Caldwell John Hugean Richard Lush Peter W. Yates 1773 Wal.Vrooman Wemple John Ristine Jonas Fay Isaac Shaw Benjamin Hilton, Jr. James Fanning John Thompson John Graham Abraham Eights James Vernor David Jones Daniel Budd Robert McClellan Cornelius Van Dyck Elijah Hedden Robert Henry, Jr. John H. Wendell Jacob John Lansing Peter Dox Gerrit Staats, Jr. Joseph Crane William Gray Thomas Brooks 1774 John Maley Tyrannus Collins Andrew Young John Caughry John Omensetter Crownege Kincaid James Petit James Seymour 1775 Elihu Wright 1776 Dunham Jones David Pixley William Goodrich Leonard Van Buren John Cummings Seth Sherwood Obadiah Wood John Fisk Adiel Sherwood Peter Cantine Andrew Craig Luther Stoddard Darius Stoddard Francis Hagan John Campbell Robert Lewis Stephen Lush Joshua Watson James Moore 1777 Bartholomew J. Van Valkenburgh Samuel Thorne Ebenezer Marvin Joseph Bindon Jacob J. Lansing John Christie James Armstrong D. Merwin Leonard Gansevoort, Jr. John Lansing, Jr. Cornelius Ray Patrick McNiff Nicholas Schuyler David Townsend Col. Henry B. Livingston Charles Dickinson William Ellison Matthew Mann William Satterlee John C. Ten Broeck Aaron Norson John Pierce Walter Deane William Colbreath Levi Pease Abraham B. Banker Walter Stewart Morgan Lewis Jonathan Potts Jim Wilkinson Ebenezer Bement Samuel Harris Nathan Stedman John Brogdon Tobias Furneld Henry Sewell Edward Lounsbury Luther Trowbridge Josiah Root Samuel Russell Peter Richards Park Holland Ezekiel Cooper John White Joseph Smith Pelatiah Everett John Williams Zibeon Hooker Benjamin Gardner John Blake Joseph Morse James Tisdale Abraham Watson Robert Oliver James Hall Jacob Welsh Elisha Hammond Richard Buckmaster Isaac Pierce Samuel Jamieson Thomas Burr William Wheeler Azail Brown John Winslow Hezekiah Whitmore Jonathan Maynard Lieutenant Trowbridge John Greaton Jotham Loring Japhet Daniels Matthew Chambers Samuel Frost Nathan Holbrook Benjamin Pike William Bell Francis Stebbins Abraham G. Lansing John Wigglesworth Nathan Rice Ichabod Alden Major Hodijah Bailies Thomas Nixon Calvin Smith 1778 Peter Clay John Holden Isaac A. Fondey William Annin Joseph Thompson Benjamin Heywood Peter Welsh Nanning Visscher Myndert A. Wemple Benjamin Whitcomb Ebenezer Green William Toogood Brig. Gen. John Starke Daniel Shays Nathaniel Brush William Curtiss John Bull Abijah Richardson Richard Bagnell Oiver Rouse Benjamin Warren Bedford Williams Jonathan Burrall James Thatcher Teunis Van Waggoner Major Thomas Church 1779 Nich. Van Rensselaer John De Peyster Ten Eyck Simon M. Veeder Lucas W. Veeder Serg’t Major George Knox James Pike Leonard Bronk Peter Weber Albert Van Schaick John Boyle Othaniel Phelps Hugh McAdam John Chipman Jonathan Gillet Leonard Gansevoort, Sr. Lt. Col. Henry K. Van Rensselaer 1782 Charles Sheldon Edward Cumpston Daniel Denniston 95

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