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
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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