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NE PLUS ULTRA.
NESBIT, WILBUR D.
NEUFCHATEAU, COUNT FRANÇOIS DE.
The subject of Lodges of colored persons. commonly called Negro Lodges, has long been a source of contention in the United States. Dot on account of the color of the members of these Lodges, but because of the supposed illegality of their origin and operation.
Prince Hall and thirteen other negroes were made Freemasons in a Military Lodge in the British Army then at Boston on March 6, 1775. When the Armv was withdrawn these negroes applied to the Grand Lodge of England for a Charter and on the 20th of September, 1784 a Charter for a Masters Lodge was granted (although not received until 1787), to Prince Hall and others. all colored men, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. The Lodge bore the name of African Lodge No. 459 (later changed to loo. 370). and mas situated in the City of Boston. This Lodge, like many others, had little connection w ith the Grand Lodge of England for mann vears. and its registration, like manv others, of Lodges still w orking. was stricken from the rolls of the United Grand Lodge of England when new lists were made in 1813.
African Lodge continued to operate and in 1827 they proclaimed "that with knowledge they possessed of Masonry, and as people of color by themselves, they were, and ought by right to be free and independent of other Lodges." Accordingly on June 18, 1827, they issued a protocol, in which they said: "We publicly declare ourselves free and independent of any Lodge from this day, and we will not be tributary or governed by any Lodge but that of our own." That is their present de facto status.
They soon after assumed the name of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge and issued Charters for the constitution of subordinates, and from it have proceeded the vast majority of the Lodges of colored persons now existing in the United States.
On March 12. 1947 the Grand Lodge of Massaehusetts voted "to accept, approve and record" the report of a special committee of Past Grand Masters on this subject which closed its report with these words: "In conclusion vour Committee believes that in view of the existing conditions in our countrs it is advisable for the official and organized activities of white and colored Freemasons to proceed in parallel lines, but organically separate and without mutually embarrassing demands or commitments. However, your Committee believes that within these limitations, informal cooperation and mutual helpfulness between the two groups upon appropriate occasions are desirable. "
This was construed by some United States Grand Jurisdictions as recognition, though not actually so, and recognition of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts w as withdraw n by some Grand Lodges and threatened by others and in 1949 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts rescinded this resolution, not because they had changed their attitude. but they said because it seemed inexpedient and this action was taken only for the sake of harmony.
An apparently insurmountable barrier to recognition is the doctrine of exclusive Masonic territorial jurisdiction—only one Grand Lodge in any one state or territory. This rule is confined to the United States and Canada. but is strictly observed and enforced It prohibits invasion of occupied territory by any other Grand Lodge, not alone those of Negro origin and membership.
Since the writing of the article, a number of records of the Revolutionary Period have been discovered which have made it more clear why Negro, or Prince Hall, Masonry is clandestine in each and every American Grand Jurisdiction, and has been for more than a century. Prinee Hall sent a petition for a Charter to the (NIodern) Grand Lodge of Masons in 1777; according to lbIasonic law then in effect he should have submitted his petition to one or the other of the two already longestablished Provincial Grand Lodges in AIassachtlsetts, because he did not ask for a military warrant. Owing to war conditions, and to the chronic dilatoriness of the Modern Grand Lodge in responding to corn nunications from America, the Charter was not received until 1787; yet during this inchoate period the self-styled African Lodge worked as a Lodge, made Masons, and helped to initiate the formation of other Negro Lodges, all in violation of Grand Lodge lau. The Charter itself became dormant, was rendered null and void, and was erased from the lists by the Grand Lodge of England.
In 1827 a group of Negroes made use of this piece of paper, which had become completely devoid of authority, to set up a new "Grand Lodge," and in which they declared themselves independent of any other Lodge—which declaration was in itself a plain proclamation that in their own eyes they were a clandestine society, and therefore not entitled by either Masonic or civil las to use the name "Masonic." Bodies acting according to the so-called "Prince Hall Constitutions" (which never existed) have continued to be clandestine ever since. In 1930 they had 37 Grand Lodges, with some 750,000 members in some 5,000 to 6,000 Lodges; by 1940, and owing to the depression, the membership had declined to about 500,000.
In 1899 the Grand Lodge of Washington, acting on a Report submitted by William H. Upton, declared its willingness to provide for Negro Lodges if a sufficient number of regularly-made Negro members could be found; but when one after another of the other Grand Lodges withdrew recognition, Washington rescinded its action. (See under PEACE AND HARMONY.) Upton elaborated his Report in book form under the title of Negro Masonry in 1902 the book is now obsolete because,
1) he did not at the time possess complete data;
2) because his argument to the effect that Prince Hall and his associates had been regularly made and possessed a legitimate ritual in the beginning is irrelevant. Many Lodges have become clandestine in Britain and America after hav ing worked for years as regular Lodges side the cases of Preston's Grand Lodge of England South of the River Kent, and the Lodges under the so-called Wigan Grand Lodge, and the many American Lodges which lost their charters during the Cerneau affair; and because
3) the whole structure of the argument which Lipton based on his theory of the Modern vs. the Antient Grand Lodge is invalid.
See Negro Masonry in the United States, by Harold van Buren Voorhis; Henry Emmerson; New York; 1940; 132 pages; complete bibliography; it contains a chapter on Alpha Lodge, No. 116, Newark, N. J., which has all Negro members. (There are Lodges under the Grand Lodge of England with Negro membership.) Official History of Freemasonry among the Colored People in Narth America, by William H. Grimshaw; New York; 1903; 393 pages. Prince Hall and his Followers, by George W. Crawford (a Prince Hall member); New York; 1914; 96 pages. (Like other non-Masons Negro authors find it difficult to understand Masonic data; their statements of fact about actions taken by regular Grand Lodges may be checked against Grand Lodge Proceedings. Negro writers very seldom, for example, have their facts straight about actions taken at different times by the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and of Washington.)
The Egyptian synonym of the Greek; Athené or Minerva.
But properly according to the Masoretic pointing, Nakam. A Hebrew word signifying Vengeance, and a significant word in the high Degrees (see vengeance).
Hebrew word, signifying Tengeance, and, like Nakam, a significant word in the advanced Degrees.
A corruption of Nimrod, frequently used in the Old Records.
According to Hesiod, the daughter of Night, originally the personification of the moral feeling of right and a just fear of criminal actions; in other words, Conscience. A temple was erected to Nemeses at Attica. She w as at times called Adrastea and Rhamnusia, and represented in the earliest days a young virgin like unto Venus; at a later period, as older and holding a helm and wheel. At Rhamnus there was a statue of Nemesis of Parian marble, executed by Phidias. The Festival in Greece held in her honor w as called Nemesia.
A name of the guardian of the Temple.
Greek , meaning newly planted. In the primitive church. it signified one who had recently abandoned Judaism or Paganism and embraced Christianity; and in the Roman Chureh those recently admitted into its communion are still so called. Hence it has also been applied to the young disciple of any art or science. Thus Ben Jonson calls a young actor, at his first entrance "on the boards," a neophyte player. In Freemasonry the newly initiated and uninstructed candidate is sometimes so designated.
A philosophical school, estate fished at Alexandria in Egypt, which added to the theosophic theories of Plato many mystical doctrines borrowed from the East. The principal disciples of this school were Philo-Judaeus, Plotinus, Porphvry, Jamblichus, Proclus, and Julian the Apostate. Much of the symbolic teaching of the advanced Degrees Of Freemasonry has been derived from the school of the Neoplatonists, especially from the writings of Jamblichus and Philo-Judaeus.
Festivals, without wine, celebrated in honor of the lesser deities.
NE PLUS ULTRA.
Latin, meaning Nothing more beyond. The motto adopted for the Degree of Kadosh by its founders, when it was supposed to be the summit of Freemasonry, beyond which there was nothing more to be sought. And, although higher Degrees have been since added, the motto is still retained.
The Hebrew word in:. The synonym of misfortune and ill-luck. The Hebrew name for Mars; and in astrology the lesser Malefic. The word in Sanskrit is Nrigal.
NESBIT, WILBUR D.
American poet and humorist. Born at Nenia, Ohio, September 16, 1871; died at Chicago, Illinois, August 20, 1927. Received the initiatory Degrees in Evans Lodge No. 524, Evanston, Illinois, where his membership remained until his death. The Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite were conferred upon him in 1919 at Chicago, and he was honored with the Thirty-third Degree by the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 15, 1925. Also a member of Medinah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Chicago. Brother Nesbit wrote a number of poems of Masonic significance one of which through his courtesy follows:
- I SAT IN LODGE WITH YOU
- There is a saying filled with cheer.
- Which calls a man to fellowship.
- It means as much for him to hear
- As lies within the brother-grip.
- Nay, more! It opens wide the way to friendliness sincere and true
- There are no strangers when you say to me: mar sat in lodge with you."
- When that is said, then I am known;
- There is no questioning or doubt;
- I need not walk my path alone
- Nor from my fellows be shut out.
- These words hold all of brotherhood and help me face
- the world anew
- There's something deep and rich and good in this: " I sat
- in lodge with you."
- Though in far lands one needs must roam,
- By sea and shore and hill and plain,
- Those words bring him a touch of home
- And lighten tasks that seem in vain
- Men's faces are no longer strange, but seem as those he
- always knew
- When some one brings the joyous change with his: " I sat
- in lodge with you."
- So you, my brother, now and then
- Have often put me in your debt
- By showing forth to other men
- That you your friends do not forget.
- When all the world seems gray and eold and I am weary,
- worn and blue
- Then eomes this golden thought I hold—you said: " I sat
- in lodge with you."
- When to the last great Lodge you fare
- My prayer is that I may be
- One of your friends who wait you there,
- Intent your smiling face to see.
- We, with the warder at the gate, will have a pleasant task to do
- We'll call, though you come soon or late: " Come in ! We
- sat in lodge with you."
Speculative Freemasonry was first introduced in the Netherlands by the opening at the Hague, in 1731, of an Occasional Lodge under a Deputation granted by Lord Lovel, Grand Master of England, of which Doctor Desaguliers was Master, for the purpose of conferring the First and Second Degrees on the Dul;e of Lorraine, afterward the Emperor Francis I. He received the Third Degree subsequently in England. But it was not until September 30, 1734, that a regular Lodge was opened by Brother Vincent de la Chapelle, as Grand Master of the United Provinces, who may therefore be regarded as the originator of Freemasonry in the Netherlands. In 1735, this Lodge received a Patent or Deputation from the Grand Lodge of England, John Cornelius Rademaker being appointed Provincial Grand Master, and several Daughter Lodges were established by it. In the same year the States General prohibited all Masonic meetings by an Edict issued November 30, 1735.
The Roman clergy actively persecuted the Freemasons, which seems to have produced a reaction, for in 1737, the magistrates repealed the Edict of Suppression, and forbade the clergy from any interference with the Order, after which Freemasonry flourished in the United Provinces. The Masonic innovations and controversies that had affected the rest of the Continent never successfully obtruded on the Dutch Freemasons, who practiced with great fidelity the simple Rite of the Grand Lodge of England, although an attempt had been made in 1757 to introduce them. In 1798, the Grand Lodge adopted a Book of Statutes, by which it accepted the three Symbolic Degrees, and referred the four advanced Degrees of the French Rite to a Grand Chapter. In 1816, Prince Frederick attempted a reform in the Degrees, which was, however, only partially successful. The Grand Lodge of the Netherlands, whose Orient is at the Hague, tolerates the advanced Degrees without actually recognizing them. Most of the Lodges confine themselves to the Symbolic Degrees of Saint John's Freemasonry, while a few practise the reformed system of Prince Frederick.
One of the decorations of the pillars at the porch of the Temple (see Pillars of the Porch).
NEUFCHATEAU, COUNT FRANÇOIS DE.
See Francois de Neufchateau, Le Comte.
On May 15, 1862, Carson Lodge, No. 154, now No. 1, at Carson City was granted a Charter. At a meeting held on January 16, 1865, to consider the formation of a Grand Lodge, six of the eight Lodges in the State were represented. The following day delegates were sent by seven Lodges, namely, Carson, No. 154; Washoe, No. 157; Virginia, No. 162; Silver City, No. 163; Silver Star, No. 165; Escurial, No. 171, and Esmeralda, No. 170. Lander Lodge, the only remaining one in the State did not appear at the Convention but paid allegiance to the new Grand Lodge along with the others. A Constitution was adopted, Grand Offlcers were elected and installed January 17, and the first Annual Grand Communication at Virginia City was held Octo,ber 1S13, 1865. Ten years later the Grand Lodge lost heavily by fire. In consequence the next regular meeting, at which 92 members and 286 visitors were present, was held on top of Mount Davidson, 7,827 feet high.
A Dispensation was issued by the General Grand High Priest, Companion John L. Lewis, in May, 1863, to Lewis Chapter at Carson City, Nevada. Its Charter was dated September 8, 1865. Companion Lewis granted authority to the four Chapters in the State, namely, Lewis, Virginia, Austin, and White Pine, to take steps to form a Grand Chapter. Three days later Charters were granted to two Chapters which were working under Dispensation.
The early Councils in Nevada were not long-lived owing probably to the fewness of the Companions who started them. The first was Carson Council at Carson City. Its Dispensation was issued on September 3, 1896, by the General Grand Council but was annulled September 24, 1900. Several others were organized but ceased work before long and the first to receive a Charter was Nevada, No. 1, at Goldfield, on September 10, 1912.
The De Witt Clinton Commandery, No. 1, at Virginia was established under a Dispensation from Grand Master Henry L. Palmer, February 4, 1867, and was chartered September 18, 1868. It was duly constituted and officers installed on January 8, 1869. When the Grand Commandery of Nevada was organized on April 15, 1918, there were in existence in the State three subordinate Commanderies, De Witt Clinton, No. 1; Malta, No. 3, and Winnemucca, No. 4. Eureka, No. 2, had ceased work some time before.
In 1901 Charters were granted by the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, to four bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Reno, namely, Nevada Lodge of Perfection, No. 1; Washoe Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1; Pyramid Council of Kadosh, No. 1, and Reno Consistory, No. 1. The Charters were dated respectively June 28, August 30, December l9, and December 20.
Latin, meaning Lest it should be changed. These words refer to the Masonic usage of requiring a Brother, when he receives a Certificate from a Lodge, to affix his name, in his own handwriting, in the margin, as a precautionary measure, which enables distant Brethren, by a comparison of the handwriting, to recognize the true and original owner of the Certificate, and to detect any impostor who may surreptitiously have obtained one.
New Brunswick was part of Nova Scotia until the year 1786. On August 22, 1792, Solomon s Lodge, No.22, was warranted by the Provincial Grand Lodge at Halifax. It was constituted at St. Anns, now Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. When the Dominion of Canada was established in 1867 the question of an Independent Grand Lodge of New Brunswick was discussed and as a result fourteen Lodges opened a Grand Lodge on October 10, 1867. Within four years all the Lodges in the district came under the control of the new Body. Brother Robert T. Clinch, the District Grand Master, was elected Grand Master but declined the office as he was still on the English Registry. Brother B. Lester Peters was then elected and finally installed on January 22, 1868. Capitular, Cryptic and Templar Freemasonry each have Bodies in the Province.
The Ancient Colony of Newfoundland remained without the Confederation of the Canadian Provinces. Freemasonry in this island dates back to 1746, the first Warrant being granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston. Brother J. Lane's list gives six Lodges warranted in the eighteenth century. The Grand Lodge of the Antients, England is credited with four—one in 1774 and three in 1788—and the Grand Lodge of England, Moderns, with two —one each in 1784 and 1785. Nine others were chartered by the United Grand Lodge of England up to 1881, a number still remaining active. Six Lodges were organized under the Scottish Jurisdiction. A District Grand Lodge has been formed.
A petition was sent to Henry Price of Boston on February 5, 1735, by six Freemasons at Portsmouth who had been working for some time under Constitutions "both in print and
manuscript." No Lodge had up till then been chartered in Portsmouth but they probably possessed a copy of the British Constitutions of 1723 and a set of older laws in manuscript. It is likely that meetings were held by these Brethren even before the establishment of the Grand Lodge in 171S7. In 1787 a Convention of delegates from two or more Lodges was called to organize a Grand Lodge but it was not fullyestablished until July 8, 1789. General John Sullivan was elected the first Grand Master and the name chosen for the new body was "The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New Hampshire."
The General Grand King issued a Warrant to Saint Andrew's Chapter at Hanover on January 27, 1807. The Warrant was confirmed with others on June 7, 1816; at the Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of the United States. On the organization of the Grand Chapter of this State on June 10, 1819, the following officers were elected: Grand High Priest and Deputy Grand High Priest, John Harris and Thomas S. Bowles; Grand King, Henry Hutchinson;
Grand Treasurer, John Davenport; Grand Secretary, Thomas W. Colby; Grand Chaplain, Thomas Beede; Grand Marshal, Timothy Kenrick; Grand Stewards, Companions Cady, Baker, Saxton, Pierce, and Grand Tyler, Jesse Corbett. The Grand Chapter was recognized by the General Grand Chapter at the Convocation held on September 9, 1819.
Tyrian Council of Royal Masters was established by four Brethren on August 5, 1815. It was visited about August 19, 1817, by Companion Jeremy L. Cross who conferred the Degree of Select Master upon several members of the Council. Tyrian, Guardian, Washington and Columbian Councils together formed a Grand Council for the State of New Hampshire on July 9, 1823. From 1835 to 1855, however, the work of the Royal and Select Masters in New lIampshire ceased owing to the Morgan turmoil.
A meeting to organize Trinity Encampment, No. 1, was held at Lebanon in March, 1824. Two other meetings were held on April 8 and 15 and the Charter was received on April 10. During the Morgan excitement the Encampment ceased work but was granted another Charter on September 19, 1853. Sir Henry Fowle on May 27, 1826, granted a Dispensation for a
Grand Encampment. A meeting of delegates at Concord on June 13, 1826, elected officers and chose Sir John Harris of Hopkinton as Grand Master. A Con~ stitution was adopted on June 14 and meetings were held regularly until interrupted by the Anti-Masonic movement- on Tuesday, June 12, 1860, delegates from five subordinate Commanderies, namely, De Witt Clinton, Trinity, Mount Horeb, North Star, and St. Paul, were present at a meeting to reorganize the Grand Commandery. A Warrant of Dispensation was granted on July 19 and, on August 22, 1860, in the presence of Benjamin B. French, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, officers were duly elected and installed.
Two Charters were issued to the Ineffable Lodge of Perfection at Portsmouth, one on January 31, 1842, which was destroyed by fire in 1865, and a second on May 19, 1866. A second body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Portsmouth, was chartered June 25, 1845. On June 4, 1864, Charters were granted to the Saint George Chapter of Rose Croix and the Edward A. Raymond Consistory at Nashua.
The first Provincial Grand Master in America, Daniel Coxe, lived in the State of New Jersey but did not, it is believed, exercise his Masonic powersthere. On May 13,1761, A Warrant was granted by George Harrison, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of New York to Freemasons in the Town of Newark. The first meeting place of this body, the Saint John's Lodge, No. 1, of which the Minutes are preserved even yet, was the Rising Sun Tavern. It met afterwards at the houses of the members. William Tukey was named in the Charter as the first Master and under his direction the Lodge flourished. Washington's birthday was always observed as a festival and when the General's Headquarters were located at Morristown in 1779, numerous military Lodges were organized. A Convention of Master Masons was held on December 18, 1786, to consider the establishment of a Grand Lodge for New Jersey. A Constitution was adopted on April 2, 1787.
In the Proceedings of the General Grand Chapter for June 6, 1816, there is mention of a Warrant granted to Washington Chapter, Newark, May 26, 1813. The General Grand High Priest was reported to have granted permission for the formation of a Grand Chapter but, owing to the fact that there was only one regularly chartered Chapter subordinate to the General Grand Chapter in New Jersey, it was declared impossible. Not until February 13, 1857, was the Grand Chapter of New Jersey established by Newark Chapter, No. 2; Hiram, No. 4, and Boudinot, No. 5.
The Grand Council of Pennsylvania chartered New Brunswick Council, No. 12, on June 23, 1860. This Council wag later known as Scott Council, No. 1. New Brunswick, No. 12; Eane, No. 11; Gebal, No. 14, the three Councils in New Jersey, all chartered by the Grand Gouncil of Pennsylvania, began work for the formation of a Grand Council of New Jersey. A Convention was held at New Brunswick November 26, 1860, when Nathan O. Benjamin, Grand Master of the Grand Council of New York, was elected to preside and Joseph H. Hough, Deputy Master of Gebal Council, became Secretary. The Grand Council u then opened in Ample Form.
Hugh de Payens Commandery, No. 1, at Jersey City was granted a Dispensation March 12, 1858, and a Charter September 16, the following year. It was duly constituted on November 25, 1859. The Grand Commandery was constituted on February 14, 1860, with three subordinate Commanderies, Hugh de Payens, No. 1; Saint Bernard, No. 2, and Helena, No. 3.
In 1863 the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was first established at Trenton when the Mercer Lodge of Perfection was chartered, May 23, 1863. The Mercer Council of Princes of Jerusalem and the Trenton Chapter of Rose Croix were both established at Trenton by Charters dated May 19, 1866, and June 26 1868, respectively. On May 16, 1867, the New Jersey Consistory at Jersey City was granted a Charter. These bodies are under the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.