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Camden ceremony - was Re: Masons and USN&WR

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  • Jay Callaham
    ... From: libid58 To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:07 PM Subject: [Revlist] Re: Masons and USN&WR Bob -- et al, Thanks for the
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 31, 2005
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: libid58
      To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:07 PM
      Subject: [Revlist] Re: Masons and USN&WR


      Bob -- et al,

      Thanks for the USN&WR info on the article on Freemasonry. I went out
      and bought my own copy of that fine magazine;, but to those (on the
      list) who would like to read that article - which is very
      favorable to the Craft as well as honest, below is the link to it.
      Washington is on the cover of the magazine in his apron. If
      you wish to see the picture of the "cover", just click on the
      "Current Issue" link on the top left corner of the article's screen.
      www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/050905/5masons.htm

      <snip>

      Fascinating. The apron looks like a Royal Arch Mason's apron. I've not seen one of those associated with Washington so would be interested in the provenance of the picture. At one time (and still in some jurisdictions) you aren't considered to be a full Master Mason unless you've been through the Holy Royal Arch degree, now a part of the York Rite of Freemasonry in the US.

      While on this topic, I want to express a great deal of gratitude to many people who took part in or in any way supported the re-enactment of the Masonic & Military funeral of Baron DeKalb at Camden. Joanna Craig for lining up many of the props and materials as well as getting the wagon and mule team to carry a beautifully hand made pine casket, to the Waggoner for bringing out his gorgeous pair of mules (I've never seen what I could call "pretty" mules until I saw that matched pair), the Grand Lodge of F & AM of South Carolina for permission to do it and to Rhett Adams, the Worshipful Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge, for taking part and acquiring some of the necessary regalia from Kershaw Lodge #29 in Camden. Then there were the "Rebel" officers who portrayed the POW officers who served as pallbearers, the Crown officers who were among the mourners, the volunteer troops who formed the firing party, and, of course, all the Reenactor Freemasons who turned out. We had Rebel, Brit, and Civilian impressions - even Brother Adams had a really nice, borrowed civilian outfit to wear. Beth Lawrence, aka "Sewing Bess," one of the merchants, loaned us a shirt for the Waggoner to wear. Rev. Jody Osborne of David Fanning's Reg't served as the non-Mason minister to officiate the religious ceremony. Bear in mind:

      1. This took place on Sunday morning at 11:00 AM after a scorching weekend of heat and a morning action that was very active. Most folks were too wasted to do much of anything, but all these folks turned out to take part in this most meaningful ceremony.

      2. A couple of the civilian Masons were merchants who left their shops in camp to be a part of it.

      3. Being both military and Masonic, it was a bit of a complicated ceremony. With people who had never rehearsed it, and doing a ritual that is in some ways similar to a modern Masonic funeral, but different enough to be confusing, they all came through without a hitch. The firing party was a mix of troops from several units and did a good job with some unusual evolutions, like reversing firelocks for the march over as well as the "Mourn Arms" posture while the casket was being removed from the wagon and placed on the pedestal for the ceremony.

      The bulk of the ceremony was adapted from an article, written at the time, describing George Washington's funeral - which was both military and Masonic. The majority of the "Oration" that I delivered was from "Illustrations of Masonry" The Ceremony observed at Funerals, according to ancient Custom: with the Service used on that occasion." by Brother William Preston, 1795. I added a few later items, like a description of the symbolic meaning of the white leather apron and the evergreen sprig (symbolizing a sprig of Acacia) that are and were used in the ceremony.

      For the second time in one day, we were privileged to perform a re-creation of an event ON the ACTUAL GROUND where it originally happened. We did the ceremony at the place where deKalb was originally interred. His remains were later removed and buried under a monument to him that still stands in front of a nearby Presbyterian Church -- the cornerstone of which monument was laid by Brother the Marquis de Lafayette when he was on his American tour a few years later. Tradition is that deKalb was buried between two British officers, whose remains are still there.

      It was a very moving moment. I thank Joanna for allowing me the honor of doing it.

      Regards,

      Jay
      Cm Gds
      4th Coy, Bde of Guards

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Billy
      Jay, A very big THANK YOU for your researching & organizing the ceremony. The hard work & dedication you put into it was evident in how well the ceremony was
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 1, 2005
        Jay,

        A very big THANK YOU for your researching & organizing the ceremony.
        The hard work & dedication you put into it was evident in how well
        the ceremony was performed. It was an honor to be a part of it. Even
        though it was so very hot. Many who viewed the ceremonies came up
        afterward & were very impressed & moved. Especially his descendents
        who were present. Some came all the way from Germany. I believed we
        honored Baron DeKalb greatly.

        Cheers,
        Bill Myers
        Coren's Ind. Artillery
        4th Cont. Artillery


        --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jay Callaham" <callaham@b...> wrote:
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: libid58
        > To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:07 PM
        > Subject: [Revlist] Re: Masons and USN&WR
        >
        >
        > Bob -- et al,
        >
        > Thanks for the USN&WR info on the article on Freemasonry. I went
        out
        > and bought my own copy of that fine magazine;, but to those (on
        the
        > list) who would like to read that article - which is very
        > favorable to the Craft as well as honest, below is the link to
        it.
        > Washington is on the cover of the magazine in his apron. If
        > you wish to see the picture of the "cover", just click on the
        > "Current Issue" link on the top left corner of the article's
        screen.
        > www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/050905/5masons.htm
        >
        > <snip>
        >
        > Fascinating. The apron looks like a Royal Arch Mason's apron.
        I've not seen one of those associated with Washington so would be
        interested in the provenance of the picture. At one time (and still
        in some jurisdictions) you aren't considered to be a full Master
        Mason unless you've been through the Holy Royal Arch degree, now a
        part of the York Rite of Freemasonry in the US.
        >
        > While on this topic, I want to express a great deal of gratitude
        to many people who took part in or in any way supported the re-
        enactment of the Masonic & Military funeral of Baron DeKalb at
        Camden. Joanna Craig for lining up many of the props and materials as
        well as getting the wagon and mule team to carry a beautifully hand
        made pine casket, to the Waggoner for bringing out his gorgeous pair
        of mules (I've never seen what I could call "pretty" mules until I
        saw that matched pair), the Grand Lodge of F & AM of South Carolina
        for permission to do it and to Rhett Adams, the Worshipful Grand
        Historian of the Grand Lodge, for taking part and acquiring some of
        the necessary regalia from Kershaw Lodge #29 in Camden. Then there
        were the "Rebel" officers who portrayed the POW officers who served
        as pallbearers, the Crown officers who were among the mourners, the
        volunteer troops who formed the firing party, and, of course, all the
        Reenactor Freemasons who turned out. We had Rebel, Brit, and Civilian
        impressions - even Brother Adams had a really nice, borrowed civilian
        outfit to wear. Beth Lawrence, aka "Sewing Bess," one of the
        merchants, loaned us a shirt for the Waggoner to wear. Rev. Jody
        Osborne of David Fanning's Reg't served as the non-Mason minister to
        officiate the religious ceremony. Bear in mind:
        >
        > 1. This took place on Sunday morning at 11:00 AM after a
        scorching weekend of heat and a morning action that was very active.
        Most folks were too wasted to do much of anything, but all these
        folks turned out to take part in this most meaningful ceremony.
        >
        > 2. A couple of the civilian Masons were merchants who left their
        shops in camp to be a part of it.
        >
        > 3. Being both military and Masonic, it was a bit of a complicated
        ceremony. With people who had never rehearsed it, and doing a ritual
        that is in some ways similar to a modern Masonic funeral, but
        different enough to be confusing, they all came through without a
        hitch. The firing party was a mix of troops from several units and
        did a good job with some unusual evolutions, like reversing firelocks
        for the march over as well as the "Mourn Arms" posture while the
        casket was being removed from the wagon and placed on the pedestal
        for the ceremony.
        >
        > The bulk of the ceremony was adapted from an article, written at
        the time, describing George Washington's funeral - which was both
        military and Masonic. The majority of the "Oration" that I delivered
        was from "Illustrations of Masonry" The Ceremony observed at
        Funerals, according to ancient Custom: with the Service used on that
        occasion." by Brother William Preston, 1795. I added a few later
        items, like a description of the symbolic meaning of the white
        leather apron and the evergreen sprig (symbolizing a sprig of Acacia)
        that are and were used in the ceremony.
        >
        > For the second time in one day, we were privileged to perform a
        re-creation of an event ON the ACTUAL GROUND where it originally
        happened. We did the ceremony at the place where deKalb was
        originally interred. His remains were later removed and buried under
        a monument to him that still stands in front of a nearby Presbyterian
        Church -- the cornerstone of which monument was laid by Brother the
        Marquis de Lafayette when he was on his American tour a few years
        later. Tradition is that deKalb was buried between two British
        officers, whose remains are still there.
        >
        > It was a very moving moment. I thank Joanna for allowing me the
        honor of doing it.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Jay
        > Cm Gds
        > 4th Coy, Bde of Guards
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • libid58
        Jay, You wrote that you would be interested in the provenance of the picture [i.e. Brother Washington s apron…]. The research continues, but for now -- per
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 1, 2005
          Jay,

          You wrote that you "would be interested in the provenance of the
          picture" [i.e. Brother Washington's apron…].

          The research continues, but for now -- per the contents page of
          USN&WR, the cover is a photograph by Jeffery MacMillan for said
          newsmagazine. It's called "Brother George Washington"
          – and is a full-length oil on canvas painting, done by Albion Hurdle
          in 1840 (website is enclosed below). It belongs to and is currently
          on display in the anteroom of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 [*]
          (to which Hurdle belonged, in the George Washington Masonic National
          Memorial in Alexandria – BTW, the Wright Brothers landed there
          before the building was built, and now it's the 2nd tallest site
          in the greater DC area). The lodge room is a wonder to behold and
          has e.g. Washington's trowel that he used in laying the cornerstone
          of the National Capitol (which was also used for many other things
          such as the laying of the corner stone of the Smithsonian
          Institution and of the Washington Monument…). Another full-length
          canvas there is of the Marquis de LaFayette, also by Hurdle and in
          the anteroom – and you should see LaFayette's apron (it can also be
          found on gwmemorial.org, under "collections").

          Many of the 2NJ Helms Coy masons et al visited the Memorial during
          our July 4th gig at Mt. Vernon, and were highly impressed. BTW,
          Mark Tabbert, whose book "American Freemasons: Three Centuries of
          Building Communities" that I mentioned the other day, is also quoted
          in the USN&WR article, and on his book's front cover he has the
          painting "George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the
          National Capitol" – wearing another apron (the Watson Cassoul Masonic
          Apron, embroidered by the Nuns in a Convent in Nantes), and the
          original is also on display in the Alexandria-Washington Lodge room.

          [*] George Washington was initiated into Masonry in Fredericksburg,
          VA., in 1752 and upon the institution of a Masonic Lodge in
          Alexandria, VA, in 1783, he was elected to honorary membership in
          old Alexandria Lodge No. 39, (now Alexandria-Washington Lodge No.
          22) in June, 1784. It was in September, 1782, that the first steps
          were taken to organize a Masonic Lodge in Alexandria by presenting a
          petition to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a
          charter. The charter was granted February, 1783, and then the first
          communication was held of the first Masonic Lodge in the city. It
          was known as Alexandria Lodge No. 39, under the jurisdiction of the
          Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. In 1788 the Brethren desired
          to change their fealty from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to that
          of Virginia (the latter Grand Lodge having been organized during the
          Revolutionary War), and as a result, George Washington became its
          First or Charter Worshipful Master when the Lodge was re-organized
          and instituted under the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The Virginia
          Charter, signed by Edmund Randolph, who was Governor of the
          Commonwealth and Grand Master of Masons at the same time, is still
          their badge of authority.

          www.gwmemorial.org/Collections/Washington_Albion_Hurdle.htm

          Best,
          Rhein
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