[Square & Compasses]

The Morgan Affair and the US Anti-Masonry movement.

The abduction, disappearance, and alleged murder of Batavia, New York resident William Morgan in 1826 was the spark that kindled a conflagration of anti-Masonry throughout the United States. Here are some pieces on the history, questions, and lessons of "The Morgan Affair".

The "Anti-Masonic Party" article (below) includes a summary of the start of the affair:

William Morgan was probably a Mason (he certainly was allowed into Lodges), but in 1826 he became angry when brethren refused to allow him to join a petition for a new Royal Arch Chapter in Batavia, NY. He announced he would publish an exposure of Masonic secrets, and several Masons resolved to stop that, not knowing that dozens of similar books had been printed and were available. The Master of the local Lodge and about 70 other Masons conspired to have Morgan arrested for an alleged debt of less than $3, so they could pay this debt, kidnap him, and imprison him in a U.S. fort near Niagara Falls. He may have escaped, but it seems more likely that the local Masons killed him.

The New York Masons claimed to have taken him across the lake and into the hands of a group of Canadian Mason, with the intent of having him settle outside the US and troubling them no further. Did they? Just one of the unanswered questions in the story.

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A Page About Freemasonry is http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/