Number 346 – December 05, 2012
“I will learn to deny selfish impulses and be obedient to the impulses of brotherly love.” Christopher Ian Chenoweth
Anti-Masons love to say that Freemasons do all they can to assure success to other Freemasons; wouldn’t that be nice?
They also claim that Masons always agree and support each other in business and politics, so that particular Mason will be in a position of power; Many a business man and politician wishes that were true, but the real world and life are quite different from that: There are many examples of Masons opposing each other in the political arena throughout history.
At least a couple of examples revolve around President Andrew Jackson:
One example has to with the election of 1832; in that election there were 3 Masons running for President from 3 different parties: One was William Wirt from the anti-Masonic Party; he was a Fellow Craft Mason of Jerusalem Lodge no. 54 at Richmond, Virginia, he said he was never made a Master Mason; the proceedings of 1802 (of the G.L. of VA) show he withdrew from Jerusalem Lodge. In 1803 and in 1804 the Grand Lodge proceedings show a William Wirt as a Master Mason of Stevensberg Lodge no. 40; some Masonic Students think it is the same person while others think it may have been two men with the same name, still others think we can take Brother Wirt’s word as to the degrees he actually received.
Nevertheless, William Wirt while speaking before the nominating convention of the anti-Masonic party defended the Craft saying, “I was myself initialed into the mysteries of Freemasonry. I never took the Master’s degree, but it proceeded from no suspicion on my part that there was nothing criminal in the institution, or anything that placed its members in the slightest degree in collision with their allegiance to their country and its laws. I have thought and repeatedly said that I considered Masonry as having nothing to do with politics, and nothing has surprised me more than to see it blown into consequence….” His statement did not renounce Freemasonry or his association with it; in fact it affirmed that he found nothing wrong with it.
Richard Rush was also a candidate for the presidential nomination of the anti-Masonic Party. He was an anti-Mason who had been initiated into Masonry in Union Lodge no.#121 in Philadelphia; he withdrew from the Lodge in 1827. In a letter to the anti-Masonic almanac for 1832 he wrote to the editor of the almanac, “Many years ago I became an entered apprentice, went to a Lodge once – and but once. On my return from England, after an absence in the service of the United States, I voluntarily withdrew from the body, by a letter to that effect. My separation from it was in 1826.” His statement does not condemn the fraternity either, but it does prove the truth of the slogan: “Personal Integrity, Political Freedom, Religious Tolerance – Freemasonry – It’s Not For Everyone.”
At the convention William Wirt received 108 votes to Rush’s 1 (one), so Wirt became the nominee.
Another was Henry Clay, candidate of the National Republican Party, and who was a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky serving as G.M. in 1820:
President Andrew Jackson, (the Incumbent, and Democratic Party candidate,) served as Grand Master of the G.L. of Tennessee for 2 terms in 1822 & 1823. Something interesting about Masons always agreeing is about V.P. John C. Calhoun, a Mason, and President Jackson; their strained relationship, resulted in Brother Calhoun being replaced by Martin Van Buren (a non-Mason) as Most Worshipful Brother Jackson’s Vice President running mate in 1832.
Without getting into the dialog in the campaign from the different candidates it is plain that the three Masons running for office were not agreeing, nor supporting or liking each other.
A second example in American history demonstrating non-cooperation between two Masons involved President Jackson and Davy Crockett. Although the dates of degrees for David Crockett are unknown there is no doubt that he was a Mason. The Grand Lodge of Texas on April 21, 1936 dedicated a Masonic memorial on the San Jacinto battlefield – the plaque contains 48 names, including Crockett’s, stating, “A tribute to the fidelity of pioneer Masons under whose outstanding leadership was laid the cornerstone of the republic of Texas.”
Davy Crockett is famous and well thought of because of all his actions throughout his lifetime, and especially for his role in helping Texas win its independence and his death at the Alamo; he actually was one of six survivors of the 140 Texans defending the Alamo – he had surrendered to General Santa Anna, (a Mason,) of the Mexican Army only to be shot by order of the General on March 6, 1836. This is another instance of Freemasonry not being important in affairs of state and war.
This example relates to Brothers Crockett and Jackson; it has to do with the Cherokee Nation, and the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which is an interesting study to learn about, as it led to the ‘Trail of Tears’ and the plight of the Cherokee’s in their relocation. A documentary on the subject was on the PBS series called “We Shall Remain;” a blog post that will give a general overview of events can be found at; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-randy-s-woodley/trail-of-tears-and-christianity-truth_b_1920921.html
The following comes from the above Blog; “passing by only one vote, Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830. One unlikely appeal for opposition came in the form of an impassioned speech by Tennessee Congressman, and former Indian fighter, David ‘Davy’ Crockett. Crockett was, by this time, friends with many Cherokees and he was no fan of President Jackson. Jackson had actually begun making “back room” deals for removal and awarded contracts for removal route roads and stockades prior to the bill’s passing.”
So, even though both men were Freemasons, and knew each other fairly well, they didn’t like each other and opposed each other politically: Crockett served in the U.S. Congress for 2 terms 1827-31 & 1833-35 while Jackson was President, plus he served under General Jackson in the Creek war of 1813-14.
You might also be interested in knowing that during the period of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, and for the rest of his life, Brother John Ross was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Freemasonry didn’t help him, the other Cherokee leaders who were Freemasons, the cause to preserve the Cherokee way of life, or the land owned by the Cherokees under treaty in the Southeastern part of the United States: M.W. Brother and President Jackson signed the bill to relocate the Cherokee Nation and to make their land available for settlement by non-Indians. Brother John Ross was succeeded as Principal Chief by his nephew and Brother Mason William P. Ross.
In 1816 John Ross founded “Ross’s Landing’ (now Chattanooga, Tennessee.) After the Cherokee were removed to Oklahoma, American settlers changed the name of Ross’s Landing to “Chattanooga”.
His nephew, Joshua, said the word was taken from the Creek Indian word “Chat-to-to-noog-gee” which means “rock rising to a point,” a fitting description of Lookout Mountain.
Some study of American and world history will show many instances of Masons opposing each other – demonstrating that other things override anything the anti-Masons may claim of favoritism among Freemasons.
“Freemasonry can stand up to investigation, scrutiny, and study; it’s the false charges of the anti-Mason that cannot.” Ed Halpaus
American Historical Association 1902 – Volume 1: Section XVI Anti-Masonic Party, by Charles McCarthy.
Denslow’s 10,000 Famous Freemasons.
Randy Woodley – Huffington Post
The Red Triangle by Robert L.D. Cooper