[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: August 1998

Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 18:32:54 PDT
From: "Cooper, Krystal" <Krystal.Cooper@usa.xerox.com>
Subject: what's the difference between.....
Message-Id: <459E240BC7A8D1118D9100805F858B740949EF@USAESMS1>

Hi I was wondering I am trying to learn more about masons, can you tell me what the difference us between a free and accepted mason and an ancient free and accepted mason.

also regarding prince hall was he american or english

what was the name of the person or people who inducted him and the other men into masonry

thank you

To: "Cooper, Krystal" <Krystal.Cooper@usa.xerox.com>
Subject: Re: what's the difference between..... 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Tue, 18 Aug 1998 18:32:54 PDT."

Dear Krystal,

Thanks for writing.

The modern era of Masonry began in London England in 1717 when four old lodges joined together and called themselves Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and claimed jurisdiction over all Masons. Some other lodges (in London and elsewhere in England) joined in with this new grand lodge plan, but others did not.

The ones who didn't said that the new idea of a grand lodge was a "modern" invention, and against the "ancient" principles of Masonry. But eventually, they formed their own rival organization, called themselves "Ancient" or "Antient" Freemasons, and called their rivals the "Moderns".

Lodges that were formed under the Ancient's grand lodge took the initials AF&AM for "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". Lodges that formed under the "Moderns" took the initials F&AM, for "Free and Accepted Masons" (without the Ancient).

Eventually (within the next 20 years) Masonry spread from England to the USA (and to Europe). In the US, some lodges got their charters (permission to form and work) from the Modern grand lodge, and some from the Ancient. Eventually, each state in the US had its own grand lodge, descended either directly or indirectly (through another state) from the original Modern or Ancient grand lodges. So each grand lodge in the US has the initials AF&AM or F&AM (sometimes written as FAAM) after its name, depending on how it originated, and all the lodges under that grand lodge have the same initials it does.

Meanwhile, back in England, there was a Grand Union of both of the old grand lodges (1813), and they became the United Grand Lodge of England -- so now all English lodges take the initials UGLE. And in the US, there was a reconciliation between the ancients and moderns sometime after the Revolutionary War, so that now, even though we use different initials, we all recognize each other and can visit and even join each others lodges.

} also regarding prince hall was he american or english

The biographic history of Prince Hall is hard to untangle. A census of Boston from his time shows that there were at least a few people in the city with that same name. The official biography of him as accepted by the Prince Hall Masons states that he was a free Black tradesmen, originally from, I think, Barbados or British West Indies. In any case, he was definitely living in Boston when he was initiated into Masonry.

} what was the name of the person or people
} who inducted him and the other men into
} masonry

I have the following from Bro. Timothy Johnson's web-site at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/1914/mason.htm

Black Freemasonry began when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge No. 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army Garrisoned at Castle William (now Fort Independence) Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. The Master of the Lodge was Sergeant John Batt. Along with Prince Hall, the other newly made masons were Cyrus Johnson, Bueston Slinger, Prince Rees, John Canton, Peter Freeman, Benjamin Tiler, Duff Ruform, Thomas Santerson, Prince Rayden, Cato Speain, Boston Smith, Peter Best, Forten Howard and Richard Titley.

I hope that answers your questions. If you have others, please write again.

| Gary L. Dryfoos | MPS; B'hood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not;
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus GL Mass.
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  |   & Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden ""   
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, East Lancs UGLE
|     "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|      whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|      or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

[More information about AF&AM" vs "F&AM" from the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.]

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