The full title of this report is: Free Masonry And The War: Report Of The Committee Under The Resolutions Of 1862. IN REFERENCE TO: Our Relations As Masonic Bodies And As Masons, In The North And South, Growing Out Of The Manner In Which The Present War Has Been Prosecuted. Adopted By The Grand Lodge Of Virginia, December 12, 1864, And Ordered To Be Published. John Dove, Grand Secretary. S. S. Baxter, Chairman. Published in Richmond, Virginia ...
The full title of this report is: Free Masonry And The War: Report Of The Committee Under The Resolutions Of 1862. IN REFERENCE TO: Our Relations As Masonic Bodies And As Masons, In The North And South, Growing Out Of The Manner In Which The Present War Has Been Prosecuted. Adopted By The Grand Lodge Of Virginia, December 12, 1864, And Ordered To Be Published. John Dove, Grand Secretary. S. S. Baxter, Chairman. Published in Richmond, Virginia in 1865.
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text.
......On the 14th February, B. B. French, P. G. M. of G. L D. C, addressed to G. M. Stansberry a vindictive and truculent letter, in which he takes up the assertion that the Grand Lodge of Virginia forbids those, working under its jurisdiction to recognize or hold Masonic intercourse with Masons who adhere to their allegiance to the United States; denounces the Grand Lodge, and counsels the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia to issue dispensations to loyal and worthy Masons anywhere in Virginia to open Lodges, and proceed to work until the Grand Lodge of Virginia shall return to the principles of Free Masonry and assume her legitimate sphere among the Grand Lodges of the Union.
......We pause here for some comments.
......In pure old English, we pronounce the statement that the Grand Lodge of Virginia forbids Masons working under its jurisdiction to recognize or hold Masonic intercourse with Masons adhering to their allegiance to the Union, a LIE.
......Grand Master Stansberry says the charter could not be found, and everything pertaining to the old Lodge in Alexandria had been removed. He says, under ordinary circumstances, the petition for the dispensation could not t)e entertained for a moment; but the question was, whether, in the present state of things, they shall establish a new precedent to afford their brethren in the loyal portion of Virginia Masonic privileges.
......Now, remember, this address was delivered ten months after the armed invasion of Virginia, about eight months after the battle of Bull Run, and the object attempted to be artfully covered up by the Grand Master is apparent. The armed invasion of Virginia had then forced the Confederate army back about twenty-five miles from Alexandria, and the question was, whether the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia .should establish a precedent for establishing Lodges in the rear of the invading army. The statement that the charter could not be found, and everything pertaining to the old Lodge there had been removed, afforded no pretext for creating a new Lodge there. It afforded evidence that the old Masons of Virginia had fled with horror from the invasion, carrying with them all that was sacred to them in Masonry. Who the men petitioning for the dispensation arc, we know not. They may be a portion of those greedy cormorants who follow the track of an invading army to batten off the spoils of the oppressed. Yet the Grand Master gravely states the question is, whether they are to set the precedent for establishing new Lodges in the territory, from which Masons had been forcibly driven. In other words, was Masonry to render itself subservient to an aggressive invasion of the country, and sustain, by its sanctions, the political and military power of the invader?
......If men are to be judged by their acts, but one judgment can be passed on this transaction. It is that this was a deliberate and persistent effort to supplant the Grand Lodge of Virginia and place in its stead a new Grand Lodge that would be a subservient tool of the men administering the government of the United States. A Grand Lodge that, under the pretext of loyalty to the United States, would deprive of their Masonic rights all men who did not support the tyrannical usurpations of Lincoln and his followers. It was a deliberate effort on the part of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia to make Masonry a political engine to overthrow our government and institutions, and to make Masonry a mere agency in the hands of the corrupt party wielding the government of the United States.