Sunday, August 6, 2017

The 34th Degree

by Paul V. Marshall, Sr.

Your time on Earth, spent in service.
A shining example of a Man to be.
But, you're now needed in the Heavenly Lodge.
Time has come for your 34th Degree.

Leaving behind the ones you Love.
Are the dues that you must pay.
From afar, you can watch over them.
A part of your obligation this day.

This is the farthest you can go.
The highest point of Masonic Life.
No higher an honor can be sown.
In God's Lodge, you must now stride.

God in the East, King Solomon, the West.
They open the Lodge for you this day.
You go the way as Masons before.
To sit with Pride, and stand with Praise.

The Alter shows the Love you felt.
Brotherhood of Man, One and All.
Your deeds reflect like shining Gold.
The jewel you wear is none too small.

You now stand, before this Alter.
Deserving of the rest you now seek.
No longer to toil the labors of life.
Grand Masters' wages are yours to keep.

Those of us you've left behind.
Will carry on the work for you.
Your dedication will shine for all.
A memorial you leave for all to view.

So, gather your wages, rest for now.
Lay back in the shade of Gods' great tree.
You've earned the honor, now bestowed.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Ancient & Primitive Rites of Memphis & Misraïm

In the early days of the Grand Lodge system and following Ramsay's Oration, European Freemasonry was plagued by degree fabricators and peddlers. Generally considered clandestine by most Grand Lodges, specifically the UGLE and American Grand Lodges, the Rites of Memphis & Misraïm are seen as clandestine or irregular as it claims jurisdiction over Ancient Craft Masonry and was seen by many as spurious at best, and nothing more than a money-making scheme to dupe title seekers out of money.. The Rites of Memphis & Misraïm are no longer worked by legitimate American Freemasons, but are now under the jurisdiction of the Grand College of Rites. These rites are worked in a few countries like Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, and the Dominican Republic. Prior to 1881, these rites were seperate and the Rite of Misraïm is older, but by the efforts of the renowned Italian patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the two were merged together.

The degrees worked under these rites are as follows:
1º - Apprentice 
2º - Companion 
3º - Master 
4º - Secret Master 
5º - Perfect Master 
6º - Intimate Secretary 
7º - Provost and Judge 
8º - Intendant of the Buildings 
9º - Master Elect of Nine 
10º - Illustrious Elect of Fifteen 
11º - Sublime Prince Elect 
12º - Grand Master Architect 
13º - Royal Arch 
14º - Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Master 
15º - Knight of the East or the Sword 
16º - Prince of Jerusalem 
17º - Knight of the East and the West 
18º - Knight of the Rose Cross 
19º - Grand Pontiff 
20º - Knight of the Temple 
21º - Patriarch Noachite 
22º - Knight of the Royal Axe 
23º - Chief of the Tabernacle 
24º - Prince of the Tabernacle 
25º - Knight of the Brazen Serpent 
26º - Prince of Mercy 
27º - Commander of the Temple 
28º - Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept 
29º - Knight of St. Andrew 
30º - Grand Elected Knight of Kadosh 
31º - Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander 
32º - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret 
33º - Sovereign Grand Inspector General 
34º - Knight of Scandinavia 
35º - Knight of the Temple 
36º - Sublime Negociant 
37º - Knight of Shota (Sage of Truth) 
38º - Sublime Elect of Truth (The Red Eagle) 
39º - Grand Elect of the Aeons 
40º - Sage Savaiste (Perfect Sage) 
41º - Knight of the Arch of Seven Colours 
42º - Prince of Light 
43º - Sublime Hermetic Sage (Hermetic Philosopher) 
44º - Prince of the Zodiac 
45º - Sublime Sage of the Mysteries 
46º - Sublime Pastor of the Huts
47º - Knight of the Seven Stars 
48º - Sublime Guardian of the Sacred Mount 
49º - Sublime Sage of the Pyramids 
50º - Sublime Philosopher of Samothrace 
51º - Sublime Titan of the Caucasus 
52º - Sage of the Labyrinth 
53º - Knight or Sage of the Phoenix 
54º - Sublime Scalde 
55º - Sublime Orphic Doctor 
56º - Pontiff, of Sage of Cadmia 
57º - Sublime Magus 
58º - Sage, or Prince Brahmine 
59º - Sublime Sage, or Grand Pontiff of Ogygia 
60º - Sublime Guardian of the Three Fires 
61º - Sublime Unknown Philosopher 
62º - Sublime Sage of Eulisis 
63º - Sublime Kawi 
64º - Sage of Mythras 
65º - Guardian of Sanctuary - Grand Installator 
66º - Grand Architect of the Mysterious City - Grand Consecrator 
67º - Guardian of the Incommunicable Name - Grand Eulogist 
68º - Patriarch of Truth 
69º - Knight or Sage of the Golden Branch of Eleusis 
70º - Prince of Light, or Patriarch of the Planispheres 
71º - Patriarch of the Sacred Vedas 
72º - Sublime Master of Wisdom 
73º - Patriarch, or Doctor of the Sacred Fire 
74º - Sublime Master of the Stoka 
75º - Knight Commandel of the Lybic Chain 
76º - Interpreter of Hieroglyphics, of Patriarch of Isis 
77º - Sublime Knight or Sage Theosopher 
78º - Grand Pontiff of the Thebiad 
79º - Knight, or Sage of the Redoubtable Sada 
80º - Sublime Elect of the Sanctuary of Mazias 
81º - Intendent Regulator, or Patriarch of Memphis 
82º - Grand Elect of the Temple of Midgard 
83º - Sublime Elect of the Valley of Oddy
84º - Patriarch or Doctor of the Izeds 
85º - Sublime Sage, or Knight of Kneph 
86º - Sublime Philosopher of the Valley of Kab 
87º - Sublime Prince of Masonry 
88º - Grand Elect of the Sacred Curtain 
89º - Patriarch of the Mystic City 
90º - Sublime Master of the Great Work 
91º - Grand Defender 
92º - Grand Catechist 
93º - Regulator General 
94º - Prince of Memphis, or Grand Administrator 
95º - Grand Conservator 
96º - Grand and Puissant Sovereign of the Order 
97º - Deputy International Grand Master 
98º - International Grand Master 
99º - Grand Hierophant
As mentioned above, the Rite of Misraïm is the older of the two rites. This rite was originally 90-degrees and Joseph Balsamo, also known as Count Cagliostro, was instrument in its development. The Rite of Misraïm was founded in 1784 and referred to by Cagliostro as the "Rite of High Egyptian Masonry." This rite spread quickly in Milan, Genoa, and Naples and then to France through the efforts of three brothers named Joseph, Michel and Marc Bedaridde. It hit a roadblock in 1817 when it was banned in Italy.

The Rite of Memphis was established by Jacques Etienne Marconis de Nègre in 1838. This rite was similar with Misraïm, but combined elements of Templarism into it. It took root in Paris as well as Brussels. This rite would go dormant in 1841, but would be revived in 1848. With refugees fleeing the revolutions plagueing France, Memphis Lodges were established in London. Many Masons denounced this rite as being undemocratic and contradictory to the principles of Freemasonry as well as being too involved with revolutionary politics. The rite seemed to be in disarray by the 1860s.

Starting in 1881, Giuseppe Garibaldi seeing some use in these rites, prepared to fuse them together which came into effect in 1889 and he served as Grand Hierophant. Garibaldi is considered one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland" as his military exploits made the unification of Italy possible. He even attempted to unify all of the Masonic bodies in 1867, but failed at that endeavor. These newly merged rites became popular by the efforts of Theodore Reuss, a close friend of John Yarker, both of whom would preside over these rites.

In America, the Rites of Memphis and Misraïm were not warmly welcomed; the Rite of Memphis being introduced in 1856. They were seen as borrowing degrees of the Scottish Rite and trying to capitalize on this rite's popularity. Many leaders of the rites in the US were often expelled from the Scottish Rite and in some instances from their Grand Lodge. Masonic leaders condemned these rites as spurious and nothing more than money-making schemes. Some Grand Lodges have had either amended their constitutions or Grand Masters issued edicts forbidding their members from joining these Rites. Albert Pike had the following to say about it:
"Whatever the merits of the Egyptian Rite, or Rite of Memphis may be, it is quite sure that it is not generally recognized as a legitimate Rite of Freemasonry; that the Bodies of it in the United States of America are entitled to and receive no consideration, it having been constantly used here for purposes of private profit; and that elsewhere in the world it has only here and there two or three isolated Supreme Powers which cannot be recognized by nor have relations of correspondence and amity with, those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite."
These rites would rise and fall in the US, never truly taking root, until 1932 when they were dissolved and absorbed by the Grand College of Rites; it should be noted that there is debate as to the authority to dissolve this group, but was again done in 1955. The Grand College of Rites, which does not to practice any of its rituals, remains the only regular Masonic organization in the United States dedicated to preserving the history and rituals of defunct and inactive Masonic orders, and holds authentic claims to the Rites of Memphis and Misraïm.


1. Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim: Historical Notes. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon: 

2. Garibaldi — the mason. (2002, October 26). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon: 

3. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Sovereign Sanctuary Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraïm for the United States and Jurisdictions: 

4. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand College of Rites of the USA: 

5. Pike, A., & Cummings, W. L. (2001). The Spurious Rites of Memphis and Misraim. Retrieved from Scottish Rite Research Society: 

6. Rite of Memphis-Misraim. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge Bet El: 

7. Rites of Memphis Misraim. (2011). Retrieved from Freemason Information: 

8. The Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Toast to the Flag

by John J. Daly (1917)

Here's to the red of it--
There's not a thread of it,
No, nor a shred of it
In all the spread of it
From foot to head.
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing it Red!

Here's to the white of it--
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it,
But feels the might of it
Through day and night?
Womanhood's care for it
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity's prayer for it
Keeps it so white!

Here's to the blue of it--
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it
Constant and true;
Diadems gleam for it,
States stand supreme for it,
Liberty's beam for it
Brightens the blue!

Here's to the whole of it--
Stars, stripes and pole of it,
Body and soul of it,
O, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it,
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red, White, and Blue!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

St. John Baptist

By Thomas Merton


When, for the fifteenth year, Tiberius Caesar
Cursed, with his reign, the Roman world, 
Sharing the Near-East with a tribe of tetrarchs, 
The Word of God was made in far-off province: 
Deliverance from the herd of armored cattle, 
When, from the desert, John came down to Jordan.

But his prophetic messages 
Were worded in a code the scribes were not prepared to understand. 
Where, in their lexicons, was written: “Brood of vipers,” 
Applied, that is, to them?

“Who is this Lamb, Whose love 
Shall fall upon His people like an army: 
Who is this Savior, Whose sandal-latchet 
This furious Precursor is afraid to loose?”

His words of mercy and of patience shall be flails 
Appointed for the separation of the wheat and chaff. 
But who shall fear the violence 
And crisis of His threshing-floor 
Except the envious and selfish heart? 
Choose to be chaff, and fear the Winnower, 
For then you never will abide His Baptism of Fire and Spirit. 
You proud and strong, 
You confident in judgment and in understanding, 
You who have weighed and measured every sin 
And have so clearly analyzed the prophecies 
As to be blinded on the day of their fulfillment: 
Your might shall crumble and fall down before Him like a wall, 
And all the needy and the poor shall enter in, 
Pass through your ruins, and possess your kingdom.

This is the day that you shall hear and hate 
The voice of His beloved servant. 
This is the day your scrutiny shall fear 
A terrible and peaceful angel, dressed in skins, 
Knowing it is your greedy eyes, not his, that die of hunger. 
For God has known and loved him, from his mother’s womb, 
Remembering his name, filling his life with grace, 
Teaching him prophecy and wisdom, 
To burn before the Face of Christ, 
Name Him and vanish, like a proclamation.


Tell us, Prophet, Whom you met upon the far frontier 
At the defended bridge, the guarded outpost.

“I passed the guards and sentries, 
Their lances did not stay me, or the gates of spikes 

Or the abysses of the empty night. 
I walked on darkness

To the place of the appointed meeting: 
I took my sealed instructions, 
But did not wait 
For compliment or for congratulation from my hidden Captain. 
Even at my return 
I passed unseen beside the stern defenders 
In their nests of guns, 
And while the spies were trying to decode some secret 
In my plain, true name. 
I left them like the night wind.”

What did you learn on the wild mountain 
When hell came dancing on the noon-day rocks?

“I learned my hands could hold 
Rivers of water 
And spend them like an everlasting treasure. 
I learned to see the waking desert 
Smiling to behold me with the springs her ransom, 
Open her clear eyes in a miracle of transformation, 
And the dry wilderness 
Suddenly dressed in meadows, 
All garlanded with an embroidery of flowering orchards 
Sang with a virgin’s voice, 
Descending to her wedding in these waters 
With the Prince of Life. 
All barrenness and death lie drowned 
Here in the fountains He has sanctified, 
And the deep harps of Jordan 
Play to the contrite world as sweet as heaven.”

But did your eyes buy wrath and imprecation
In the red cinemas of the mirage?

“My eyes did not consult the heat of the horizon: 
I did not imitate the spurious intrepidity 
Of that mad light full of revenge. 
God did not hide me in the desert to instruct my soul 
In the fascism of as asp or scorpion. 
The sun that burned me to an Arab taught me nothing: 
My mind is not in my skin. 
I went into the desert to receive 
The keys of my deliverance 
From image and from concept and from desire. 
I learned not wrath but love, 
Waiting in darkness for the secret stranger 
Who, like an inward fire, 
Would try me in the crucibles of His unconquerable Law: 
His heat, more searching than the breath of the Simoon, 
Separates love from hunger 
And peace from satiation, 
Burning, destroying all the matrices of anger and revenge. 
It is because my love, as strong as steel, is armed against all hate 
That those who hate their own lives fear me like a sabre.”


St. John, strong Baptist, 
Angel before the face of the Messiah 
Desert-dweller, knowing the solitudes that lie 
Beyond anxiety and doubt, 
Eagle whose flight is higher than our atmosphere 
Of hesitation and surmise, 
You are the first Cistercian and the greatest Trappist: 
Never abandon us, your few but faithful children, 
For we remember your amazing life, 
Where you laid down for us the form and pattern of 
Our love for Christ, 
Being so close to Him you were His twin. 
Oh buy us, by your intercession, in your mighty heaven, 
Not your great name, St. John, or ministry, 
But oh, your solitude and death: 
And most of all, gain us your great command of graces, 
Making our poor hands also fountains full of life and wonder 
Spending, in endless rivers, to the universe, 
Christ, in secret, and His Father, and His sanctifying Spirit.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Famous Idaho Masons: George L. Shoup

I learned many things while I worked as an Intern for the US Senate. One is that every State in the Union has two statues in the US Capitol Building as a part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. For the State of Idaho, the two statues are of William Edgar Borah and George Laird Shoup. As an Intern one of my duties was to give tours of the US Capitol to constituents visiting Washington DC. For those from Idaho, I would always make sure to point out the two Idaho statues. Nearly everyone recognized William Borah who is a very famous Senator from Idaho and nicknamed "The Lion of Idaho." I was shocked how few knew who George Laird Shoup was.

George L. Shoup was the last territorial Governor of the Territory of Idaho, the first Governor of the State of Idaho, and one of Idaho's first US Senators. George L. Shoup was born on June 15, 1836 in Kittanning (NE of Pittsburgh), PA. He moved with his parents in 1852 to Galesburg, IL, where his parents established a farm.

Due to being financially devasted by the Panic of 1857 and the gold rush taking place there, George L. Shoup moved to the Colorado Territory in 1859. During the Civil War, he worked as an independent sout in the New Mexico Territory, Colorado Territory, and Texas. He was honorable discharged as a Colonel in December of 1864. After the war ended, Shoup moved to Virginia City in the Montana Territory before moving to Salmon in the Idaho Territory (a city he helped found). In Salmon he became a very successful businessman running a general store and raising cattle. He married Magdelena Darnutzer on June 15, 1868, and they had 3-sons and 3-daughters.

He was appointed commissioner to organize Lemhi County in 1869. Three years later he was chosen to be serve as Superintendent of Schools for Lemhi County. In 1874, he was elected to the lower house of the territorial legislature. In 1878, he was elected to the upper house for the territorial legislature. He served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1880 and served on the RNC from 1880 to 1884. In April of 1889, President Harrison appointed him as territorial governor. He held this position until July of 1890 when Idaho became a state. He was elected and served as the first Governor of the State of Idaho until November when he was elected by the Idaho Legislature to serve in the US Senate. He served until 1901 when he was defeated by Fred Dubois. After that he reitred from public life until his death on December 21, 1904, in Boise, ID, where he is buried.

It was while in Colorado that he became a Mason. Records show that he was raised on July 13, 1864, in Denver Lodge #5. In addition to helping settle the city of Salmon, he also helped charter Lemhi Lodge #11 in Salmon, ID, in 1874 and which still exists today. He served as Worshipful Master of this Lodge in 1878. If being a territorial governor wasn’t enough, he also served as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho in 1889. He was also a member of Almas Shrine in Washington DC.

As a memorial, the State of Idaho chose Shoup as one of their two statues which was donated in 1910 and still stands today in Statuary Hall (near the House Chambers). He is remembered as a miner, soldier, settler, businessman, public official, and for his service to the territory of Idaho and leading it into statehood. Even those on the other side of the political isle praised him. William Borah stated the following of him:
"He stood forth a leader. He had only such education as he could secure in a few months in the common schools, but united with rare judgment, a perception almost intuitive, a keen, quick, unerring knowledge of men, a practical wisdom gathered during his long, active career in the school of life, he was a safe, trusted and able counselor in all matters of private and public concern." 

1. National Statuary Hall Collection. (n.d.). Retrieved from Architect of the Capitol:

2. Bollar, M. (2017). Proceedings of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho. Boise.

3. Denslow, W. R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Vol (Vol. 4). Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc. Retrieved from,000_famous_freemasons/Volume_4_Q_to_Z.htm

4. George Laird Shoup. (n.d.). Retrieved from Architect of the Capitol:

5. George Laird Shoup, 1836-1904. (1995, October). Retrieved from University of Idaho:

6. George Shoup (1836-1904)- Biographical Sketch. (n.d.). Retrieved from Idaho State University:

7. Governor George Laird Shoup. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Governors Association:

8. Statues. (n.d.). Retrieved from Architect of the Capitol:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Justices of the Supreme Court and Freemasonry, Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, this article will discuss those Freemasons who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America during the 19th century. There are sixteen Freemasons who served in this time and they are: John Marshall, Thomas Todd, Joseph Story, Robert Trimble, John McLean, Henry Baldwin, John Catron, Samuel Nelson, Levi Woodbury, Noah H. Swayne, David Davis, Stephen J. Field, John M. Harlan, William B. Woods, Stanley Matthews, and Samuel Blatchford.

John Marshall was a lawyer who as a young man had little formal education, but read as much as he could before attending a 6-week course at William and Mary College, and then accepted to the bar. He joined the "Minute Men" after being inspired by Patrick Henry's memorable speech of "Give me Liberty or give me Death!" He enlisted along side his father and they both served at battles at Great Bridge, Norfolk, Valley Forge, Brandywine, Monmouth, Germantown, Stony Point, and Yorktown. After his military career was done, Marshall returned to the House of Burgesses, served in the US House of Representatives and as US Secretary of State before becoming Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1801; he would serve as Chief Justice for 34-years and holds the record for longest serving Chief Justice. In this position, he ruled on several fundamental legal decisions that shape our nation even today. It is unsure exactly when he became a Mason, but many believe it was while at Valley Forge with General Washington. He is listed as a member of Richmond Lodge #13 (today #10), Richmond-Randolph Lodge #19, as well as Richmond Chapter #3 of Royal Arch Masons. He is never listed as serving as Worshipful Master of either those Lodges, but is listed as Grand Master of Masons of Virginia from 1793 to 1795.

Thomas Todd is less known, but he served as an Associate Justice from 1807 to 1826. Born on January 23, 1765, Todd was the youngest of five children and was orphaned at a young age. He attended Liberty Hall Academy (now Washington and Lee University) and graduated at the age of 18. Afterward he worked to earn room and board and studied law at the same institution. After fighting in the Revolutionary War, Todd entered into a career as a lawyer in Danville, KY. He was a key proponent for establishing Kentucky as a state and once the state was established was made clerk for the courts in Kentucky; he became judge of that court in 1801 and Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1806. He was appointed by President Jefferson in 1807 to the US Supreme Court and served there for 19-years. In regards to Freemasonry, he was a member of Pittsylvania Lodge #24 in Chatham, VA, and once he moved to Kentucky became a charter member of Lexington Lodge #1.

Born in the middle of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Story served as an Associate Justice from 1811 to 1845. He graduated Harvard in 1798 and started his own practice in 1801 where he established himself as a prominent member of the bar in New England. When he was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice on November 18, 1811, he was only 32-years old. Story remains the youngest Supreme Court Justice at appointment. Here he found a congenial home for the brilliance of his scholarship and the development and expression of his political philosophy. Soon after Story's appointment, the Supreme Court began to bring out into plain view the powers which the United States Constitution had given it over state courts and state legislation. Chief Justice John Marshall led this effort, but Story had a very large share in the remarkable decisions and opinions issued from 1812 until 1832. For instance, Story wrote the opinion for a unanimous court in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee following Marshall's recusal. He built up the department of admiralty law in the United States federal courts; he devoted much attention to equity jurisprudence and the department of patent law. He was an opponent of slavery and his 1841 opinion in the US v The Amistad is still remembered today. In 1829, he became the first Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University. He both taught law and served as a Supreme Court Justice until his death on September 10, 1845. He was a member of Philanthropic Lodge in Marblehead, MA.

Robert Trimble was born in Virginia in 1777, but raised and lived in Kentucky where he was largely self-educated and, after studying law in Lebanon, OH, began to practice law in 1803 in Paris, KY. He served one term in the Kentucky House of Representatives, but didn't enjoy the political environment and refused to take any further elections to public office. He was better suited for law and was known for his fairness and sound judgment. He became a Judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1808, Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1810, US District Attorney in 1813, Federal Judge of Kentucky in 1816, and then became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1826. He is listed as a Past Master of Union Lodge #16 in Paris, KY, where he was initiated on December 27, 1808, passed on January 21, 1809, and raised on August 2, 1809. His life was cut short due to illness and died on August 25, 1828.

John McLean was quite the traveler as he was born in NJ in 1785 and by the age of 14 he had lived in Virginia, Kentucky, and finally settling in Ohio. He studied law in Cincinatti and practiced law for 5-years in Lebanon, OH, until hew as elected as a member of the US House of Representatives in 1812 where he served for 3-years. In 1815 he was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. In 1822 he was appointed by President Monroe as Commissioner of the General Land Office and then the next year was appointed Postmaster General where he remained until 1829. In that year he was nominated and confirmed as an Associated Justice for the US Supreme Court where he served until his death on April 4, 1861. He is listed as a member of Columbus Lodge #30 in Ohio.

A controversial figure on the bench, Henry Baldwin believed the Supreme Court should have it's judiciary power reigned in. He was born in 1780 in Connecticut to a wealthy family. He didn't take much of his education seriously and it wasn't until attending lectures by Tapping Reeve that he took an interest in the law. His political beliefs formed when clerking

for Alexander Dallas, a Philadelphia attorney. Baldwin was admitted to the bar in 1801 where he began work as Deputy Attorney General in Meadville, PA. To help further the Jeffersonian Party agenda, he moved to Pittsburg where political tensions were often so intense that they were often resolved with duels, one of which almost resulted in Baldwin's death. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1816. During his three terms in office, he became known as a staunch supporter of Andrew Jackson. He resigned in 1822 due to health reasons and would not resume a federal position until he was nominated and confirmed to the US Supreme Court in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson. His time on the bench was marked aggressive opposition to the decisions of his fellow Justices. He served until his death on April, 21, 1844, in Philadelphia, PA. Little is known about his Masonic history, but what is known is that he served as Worshipful Master of Lodge #45 in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1805. Lodge #45 is the "oldest continuously operating Masonic Lodge in the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains."

John Catron is quite the paradox: he opposed secession, but supported slavery and states' rights. He was born in 1786 in Philadelphia, PA. He served in the Army and was involved the New Orleans campaign during the War of 1812. Once he was done with the war, he moved to Nashville, TN, to practice law. In 1824, he was appointed as a Judge on the Kentucky Supreme Court of Error and Appeals and becoming its first Chief Justice in 1830. He became an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1837, a tumultuous time before the Civil war. His appointment occurred just after the Judiciary Act of 1837 when the Supreme Court was temporarily expanded from seven to nine members on the bench. He served on the Supreme Court until May 30, 1865, when he died. He is listed as a member of Cumberland Lodge #8 in Nashville.

Samuel Nelson, in comparison to some of his fellow Justices and Brothers, led quite the uncontroversial life on the bench. Nelson was born on November 10, 1792, in Hebron, NY (eastern central NY; near the Vermont border), to farmers. He wenet to Vermont for college, but would eventually move back to NY (Cortland) where he set up a private practice around 1817. In 1820, he was appointed Postmaster and also served as a Presidential Elector that year for the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1823, Nelson was appointied to the 6th Circuit Court of New York. He was appointed as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the State of NY in 1831. He would later serve as Chief Justice of this court from 1837 to 1845. He was remembered on this court as being no nonsense and logical in his decision and opinions which made him a safe choice for a nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States of America by President John Tyler. Samuel Nelson was confirmed on February 14, 1845. He was known for not wanting to rock the boat and that is seen during the Civil War when he often voted along with the majority. He did speak up against President Lincoln during the Prize cases and criticized some of the Union's actions during the Civil War, but as he was so highly regarded, he was still asked to serve the government in various capacities aside from the Supreme Court; an example is when he served on the 1871 Alabama Claims Commission after the Civil War. He retired from the Supreme Court on November 28, 1872, where he moved back to New York and enjoyed the remaining year of his life. He died of old age on December 13, 1873. He is listed as a member of Solomon's Lodge in New York.

While not listed in 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Levi Woodbury is listed as a Freemason on the Masonic Info website (his specific Masonic information is unknown). Woodbury served the United States in a number of offices including Governor of New Hampsire, US Senator, Secretary of the US Navy, Secretary of the Treasury, and Supreme Court Justice. He was born on December 2, 1789, to a family who traced their lineage back to the Puritan settlers on the American continent. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1809 before heading to law school, but he did not enjoy the academic environment so he decided to learn law as an apprentice. He was admitted to the bar in 1812 and opened a practice in Francestown, NH. He aligned himself with the new Jeffersonian Republican Party where he took on leadership roles. He would go on to be a state Senate clerk before serving on New Hampshire's Superior Court. Starting in 1823, he served for one term as Governor before being defeated. He then went on to serve in the New Hampshire House of Representatives where he would serve as Speaker of the House until 1825 when he was elected to the US Senate. He represented New Hampshire in the Senate until he was appointed, by President Andrew Jackson, as Secretary of the Navy. President Van Buren then appointed him Secretary of the Treasury. When President Harrison took office, Woodbury returned to serving as a US Senator. Once President Polk took office, Woodbury was nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court where he served until his sudden death on September 4, 1851.

Noah Swayne was the first of Lincoln's five appointed Justices and the first Republican appointed to the Supreme Court. Swayne was born on # and raised in #, VA. At the age of 19, being so opposed to slavery, he moved to Coshocton, OH, where he would serve as a prosecuting attorney, state legislator, and US District Attorney. Due to his pro-Union and anti-slavery stances, he was a great candidate for Lincoln to nominate when a vacancy occurred in the Supreme Court by the death of Justice John McLean. He served until January 24, 1881, when he resigned due to complications of old age. He died on June 8, 1884, in New York City. Swayne had joined Clinton Lodge #96 in 1827, but in 1841 affiliated with Columbus Lodge #30.

While remembered as a Supreme Court Justice, David Davis is also remembered a close friend as Abraham Lincoln. Born on March 9, 1815, in Sassafras Neck, MD. He graduated from Yale University in 1835 and moved to Bloomington, IL, to practice law. He started serving as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1845 and served until his appointment to the Illinois Eighth Circuit Court in 1848. It was during his time in the House that he met Abraham Lincoln. Davis served as Lincoln's campaign manager in 1860 and in turn President Lincoln nominated Davis to the Supreme Court; Lincoln had tried cases before Davis when he was a judge in Illinois. He was confirmed on October 17, 1862, and served in that position until 1877 when he desired to take part in more partisan politics. He was elected as a US Senator from Illinois in 1877 and served in that position until 1883. After that one term he retired from public life and died on June 26, 1886. Davis is listed in 10,000 Famous Freemasons as having been buried with Masonic ceremonies in Bloomington, IL, but there are no other sources that show him having been a Mason.

Born on November 4, 1816, in Haddam, CT, Stephen J. Field, was the sixth child of nine. He lived quite an extraordinary life which included traveling to Turkey as a teenager. He attended Williams College where he helped found the Delta Upsilon fraternity. After school, he practiced law with his brother David until 1848 when he traveled to California during the gold rush. Due to his success as a lawyer, he was elected as alcalde (a magistrate or mayor in Spanish towns) of Marysville. In 1850 he was elected to the California State Assembly. After an unsuccessful Senate run, he was elected in 1857 to the California Supreme Court where he was would rise to Chief Justice in 1859. In 1863, the number of US Supreme Court Justices was expanded to 10 and Fields was appointed by Lincoln to fill that position. He holds the record as second longest serving Associate Justice and wrote 544 opinions while serving on the bench. He served as an Associate Justice until 1897 when he resigned. He died on April 9, 1899, in Washington DC. He is listed as a life member of Corinthian-Hammonton Lodge #9 in Marysville, CA.

Born to a civic-minded family, John M. Harlan served as a Colonel of the 10th Kentucky Infantry for the Union during the Civil War, Adjutant General of Kentucky, Attorney General of Kentucky, and Associate Justice for the US Supreme Court. He attended Centre College and then law school at Transylvania University in Lexington. After graduating, he worked at his father's law office. Though a slaveholder, he stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War. He was a driving force behind the nomination of Rutherford B. Hayes as President and it was this President who nominated Harlan to the Supreme Court. He is listed in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky from 1858 to 1867 as a member of Hiram Lodge #4 in Frankfurt, KY.

Though born and raised in Ohio, William B. Woods would later move to Alabama and he would be the first appointment from a Confederate state since 1853. After graduating from Yale in 1845 he returned to Newark and practiced law. In 1856, he was elected as Mayor of Newark and 2-years later he was elected to the Ohio General Assembly where he served as Speaker of the House and Minority Leader. In 1862, he left the political life to join the Union Army. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel of the 76th Ohio Infantry. Due to his service he was promoted to the rank of Brevet Brigadier General and later Brevet Major General. A brevet rank is given as a reward for meritorious conduct, but does not bestow the authority or pay of the real rank. He took part in many battles and campaigns including Sherman's March to the Sea. He was promoted to full Brigadier General in early 1865, but would only serve for another year. He didn't return to Ohio, but moved to Mobile, AL, and then to Montgomery, AL, where he started practicing law and cotton planter. He would serve as Chancellor of the Middle Chancery Division of Alabama from 1868 to 1869 before being appointed by President Grant to the 5th Circuit Court on December 22, 1869, where he served for eleven years. He was appointed to the Supreme Court on December 21, 1880, by President Hayes where he would serve until his death on May 14, 1887. He is listed as a member of Newark Lodge #69 in Ohio.

Another Ohioan, Thomas Stanley Matthews (went by Stanley) was another appointment by President Hayes to the Supreme Court. He was born in Cincinnati on July 21, 1824, and was considered a wunderkind, having graduated from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) by age of 16. He moved to Maury County, TN, where he was admitted to the bar at the age of 18 and practiced law until 1845 where he then moved back to Cincinnati. He became an Assistant Editor of the Cincinnati Herald, the first daily anti-slavery paper in that city. He would go on to serve as Judge of Common Pleas, Ohio State Senator (1856 - 1858), and US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio (1858 - 1861). Then with the onset of the Civil War, Matthews took a commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 23rd Ohio Regiment. He took part in many battles, but resigned his commission as a Colonel in 1863. He was elected in March of 1876 to the US Senate to fill a vacancy after the resignation of John Sherman. President Hayes' initiatial nomination of Matthews failed because the Senate accused Hayes of cronyism; Hayes and Matthews attended Kenyon College together, both practiced law in Cincinnati, and both serve as officers in the Ohio Infantry. President Garfield renominated Matthews and he was narrowly approved on May 12, 1881. He would serve as an Associate Justice until his death on March 22, 1889. He is listed as a member of Cincinnati Lodge #133 in Cincinnati, OH, where he is listed as receiving degrees on January 28, 1847, and on March 11, 1847, but took a demit on November 27, 1856.

Samuel Blatchford was born on March 9, 1820, in New York City. He entered into Columbia College at the age of 13 and graduated top of his class. By the age of 19, he became the private and military Secretary to Governor William Seward, and served in that capacity until 1843. Having been admitted to the bar in 1842, Blatchford practiced law in Auburn, NY, with former Governor Seward. In 1854, he moved back to New York City where he served as a reporter of decisions for the Circuit Court in New York as well as practiced law in admiralty and international law. From 1867 to 1878, he served as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 1878, he served as a Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Second Circuit. He was appointed by President Arthur to the US Supreme Court in 1882 and served for eleven years as an Associate Justice. He is listed as a member of Manhattan Lodge #62.


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