Friday, May 6, 2016

‘Admit him if properly clothed’

     
Just for fun, for a cause, and in time for summer, a sought after T-shirt displaying the names of all Masonic lodges constituent to the Grand Lodge of New York is available for sale via eBay. Proceeds to benefit West Point Lodge’s renovation efforts. Click here. From the auction description:

Courtesy West Point Lodge 877

Created by one of your fellow Brothers, this comfortable T-shirt is a great conversation starter, and it allows you to proudly display, and share in style, your fraternal ties with every Brother in the great state of New York.

Front of shirt: depicts an outline of New York State, overlaid with the words “New York Freemasons,” as well as the encoded message “2 B 1 ASK 1,” and the Master Mason’s Square and Compasses subtly concealed within. Note the intentional use of color to draw the viewer’s attention to the words “NEW MASONS,” communicating the revival of fraternal bonds that we, the modern Brotherhood of New York Free & Accepted Masons, share. Brothers wearing this T-shirt communicate to everyone “We are the future of our craft.”

Courtesy West Point Lodge 877

Back of shirt: is an all inclusive word-art mosaic containing the names of every district and every lodge under the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. The mosaic depicts the Master Mason’s Square and Compasses, and it is framed in a gold border with the words “Aude Vide Tace,” meaning hear, see, be silent.

Courtesy West Point Lodge 877

Shirt specifications:

  • soft, 65/35 cotton poly blend using 4.5 oz, 100% preshrunk ringspun cotton for comfort.
  • navy blue in color.
  • gold and white graphic design on both front and back applied using a modern, lightweight direct-to-screen method.
  • ¾-inch rib knit collar.
  • double needle stitched sleeves and bottom hem.
  • taped neck and shoulders.
  • available Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL


Produced by the brothers of West Point Lodge 877 in Highland Falls, New York, this T-shirt is a fundraising endeavor to support the restoration of the lodge building. All proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go to the Building Fund.

Price of each shirt includes shipping and handling within the United States.
     

Monday, May 2, 2016

‘Grand Lodge 6016’

     

Just wishing everyone all the best at Grand Lodge today and tomorrow: sagacity in decision-making; fraternal regard in elections; and, ah, temperance during the hours of refreshment!

Wish I could be with you.
     

‘Anthroposophy to host Chekhovek this weekend’

     
Anthroposophy NYC will host two evenings of theater based on the short stories of Anton Chekhov this weekend. From the publicity:


Chekhovek
Presented by Michael Chekhov Acting Studio
Friday, May 6
Saturday, May 7
7:30 p.m.
Anthroposophy NYC
138 W. 15th Street in Manhattan
Donations welcome

The Studio’s 2016 Art of the Actor students present Chekhovek, a comedy about desire, death, and foolishness based on short stories by Anton Chekhov, written by Melania Levitsky and directed by Lenard Petit. These two intimate performances are for friends of Anthroposophy NYC and The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio. They mark the end of a 20-week training in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique led by teachers Lenard Petit, Bethany Caputo, Dawn Arnold, Mel Shrawder, James Luse, Akil Davis, Natalie Yalon, and Scott Miller.


Melania Levitsky
Melania Levitsky: (Writer), Associate Artistic Director, Walking the Dog theater; member, The Actors’ Ensemble; guest faculty of the Studio. She has taught workshops across the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

Her one-woman show Blue Arches, commissioned by Sunbridge College, has been produced numerous times in the States and abroad.


Lenard Petit
Lenard Petit: (Director), Artistic Director, The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, is one of a handful of teachers trained by the original members of Michael Chekhov’s Theater School.



He has taught Master classes at the Moscow Art Theater, the Munich International School for Film and TV, Helsinki University, and workshops across Europe.
     

Sunday, May 1, 2016

‘Gurdjieff at St. Mark’s in the Bowery’

     
The Gurdjieff Foundation of New York will host an introductory discussion on the theme “Living the Gurdjieff Teaching: A Search in Contemporary Life” later this month.

That will be Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m. in the Parish Hall of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery (131 East 10th Street) in Manhattan. The afternoon will include practical exercises in attention.

For reservations (recommended) or further information, send an e-mail here.

     

Friday, April 29, 2016

‘Where Poetry and Wisdom Meet’

     
I nearly neglected to mention this, but since there still are a few dozen seats available, let me gratuitously advertise the School of Practical Philosophy’s lecture of next Saturday. From the publicity:




The Tenth Muse:
Where Poetry and Wisdom Meet
A Lecture with Mr. Paul Sheppard

School of Practical Philosophy
Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m.
12 East 79th Street
Manhattan

What happens when a poem hits home? When it lights our minds and melts our hearts? Emily Dickinson noted that real poetry made her “feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off.” Is it down to the poet, or the poem, or to those with ears to hear it? Is it divine inspiration, or human interaction? Is it the work of the nine muses of Greek mythology, or a tenth muse—a muse inside us all?

Join us as we explore the power of poetry to reveal the wisdom that lies within it and within us. Works from a wide range of poets will be read and discussed.

No prior knowledge of poetry is assumed, just a willingness to listen and, if so moved, to be heard.

Tickets cost $25 each, which includes light refreshments. Tickets may be purchased through the School’s website and in the Registration office.
     

Saturday, April 23, 2016

‘Rosicrucian perspectives of the Egyptian myths’

     
The Rosicrucian Order will host a series of lectures on Rosicrucian perspectives of ancient Egyptian mythology in the coming weeks at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center (2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard) in New York City. From the publicity:



Discuss the Mythology
of Osiris and the Underworld

April 25 through April 29
May 16 through May 19
nightly at 6:30


Each soul confronts the 42 Confessions of Maat. Anubis weighs the heart against the feather of Maat, and Osiris judges. The Rosicrucian mystical perspective of this myth is examined. Question and answer session will be followed by a meditation.



Discuss Isis and Osiris
from a Rosicrucian Perspective

May 2 through May 6
nightly at 6:30



We will explore the archetypes of Isis and Osiris from a Rosicrucian perspective.



Discuss the Metamorphosis
of Apuleius from a Rosicrucian Perspective

May 9 through May 13
nightly at 6:30



A young man named Lucius becomes fascinated with witchcraft and is transformed into a donkey. Passed from owner to owner, his ordeal exposes him to many trials until the magic spell is broken by the goddess Isis, and Lucius is initiated into her cult. This story of transformation has many mystical implications which are discussed from a Rosicrucian perspective. There will be a discussion period and meditation.


The facilitator of these discussions will be E. Bernard West, who serves the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis as Grand Councilor for Georgia and Louisiana, and the Traditional Martinist Order as Provincial Master in Georgia. He is known for his expertise in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythologies. He also serves in various Masonic capacities, including as Master of a Prince Hall Affiliated Blue Lodge, Patron of an Eastern Star Chapter, a Noble of the Mystic Shrine and Grand Inspector General 33º of the United Supreme Council. Bernard has a Master’s Degree in Political Science and a Ph.D. in American Studies, and is a published author and retired Army officer.
     

Saturday, April 16, 2016

‘...and fear no danger’

     
Okay, I have no idea who this band is, but I’d go if I was in NOLA. Maybe they’ll come to New York City. Obviously I share this thanks to the art. From the publicity:


and the Lost Bayou Ramblers
Tonight!
615 Toulouse Street
New Orleans



Loyal initiates of the Dangerati! I trust you are all in full compliance with your club dues, and that your fezzes and robes have been properly dry cleaned and pressed, because we are on the eve of the greatest gathering our ancient and prestigious order has ever known. Together for the first time ever, Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers share the stage with those titans of Louisiana lore, the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Come early, stay late, and get ready for a conciousness altering get-together the likes of which you will never again know.


     

‘18th century French Rite EA° next week’

     
Courtesy worldofstock.com
The Empire State Building no doubt will be illuminated in the blue, white, and red of France’s Tricolour when l’Union Française No. 17–this is J.J.J. Gourgas’ lodge–will confer the Entered Apprentice Degree, in ritual descendant from the French Rite.

Tuesday, April 19 at 6 p.m.
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan
French Doric Room, tenth floor

The degree will begin at 6:45, after which no one will be admitted inside.

The Tenth Manhattan District is home to the lodges permitted to work exotic Craft degrees in French, Italian, and Spanish (and maybe other tongues).
    

Sunday, April 10, 2016

‘Whither Art Thou Traveling’

     
This week at Mariners Lodge 67, a very special lodge meeting. From the publicity:


Work of the Evening: Talk by R∴ W∴ Ted Harrison titled “Whither Art Thou Traveling.”


Magpie file photo
Ted Harrison
Bro. Harrison is a Past Master of Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2, a Past District Deputy Grand Master of the First Manhattan District, and Past General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International. In this presentation, he will talk about the Blue Lodge relationship to Royal Arch.



Wednesday, April 13
7 p.m.
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street
Doric Room, Eighth Floor
Manhattan


Maritime Festive Board Menu: an Indian feast of Chicken Keema Shishkebab; Clay Oven Grilled Chicken Tandoori; Beef Bryani (Beef and Seasoned Rice Cooked Together); Mixed Vegetable Curry; Chana Daal and Potato Masala; Jasmine Rice Pulao with Peas; Naan Bread with Yogurt Chutney; Samosas; Assorted Traditional Sweets; Soda, Seltzer, and Mariners Punch.


Cost of the Festive Board is $35 plus transaction fees. Click here to book your seat, and don’t delay because these dinners sell out quickly.
     

Saturday, April 9, 2016

‘Mr. Crowley’

     
I’m not sure what to make of this, but Cornell & Diehl, one of the most prolific blenders of pipe smoking mixtures in the United States (if not the world), will release a blend named for Aleister Crowley soon.



Courtesy Cornell & Diehl


Crowley, the irregular Freemason, entrepreneurial mystic, self-described “Beast,” and all-around nut, was a pipe man who allegedly smoked Perique tobacco straight. I say allegedly because smoking Perique straight simply isn’t possible as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know the right analogy, but imagine consuming a meal of nothing but Scorpion Peppers, or quaffing a tall glass of undiluted Everclear. Or eating the peppers and washing them down with the grain alcohol. You get the idea.

Courtesy Cornell & Diehl
777 tins!

Which brings us to this new product. Named “The Beast,” this will be one of C&D’s Small Batch line. No word yet on a description of the mixture. I’d anticipate a blend heavy on Perique, I guess. (Perique is called a condimental tobacco, because its use is supposed to be light. Produced only in St. James Parish in Louisiana, it is a spicy tobacco that adds a peculiar potency to many kinds of pipe blends—but certainly not aromatics—and a little goes a long way.) Cornell & Diehl once had a blend named Crowley’s Best, but that’s something else, and was named for Fordham football legend Walter Crowley.

No release date announced, but I’ll update this edition of The Magpie Mason when that information becomes available, and I’ll certainly bring a tin to New York Pipe Club when I have one in hand.

UPDATE—APRIL 19:

Courtesy Cornell & Diehl
     

‘Digital Square Club of New York Conference’

     
The Digital Square Club will host its 2016 conference in June, during the St. John’s Weekend events at Utica, New York. This will be Saturday, June 25 at 4 p.m. in the Meditation Room at the Masonic Care Campus (2150 Bleecker Street).

On the agenda:


  • Presentation of donations to Masonic Care Community
  • Speakers: tentative topicsphotography, calendars, and optimizing websites for mobile devices
  • Award of Official Grand Lodge District and Lodge Webmaster Pins


Seating is limited to forty (40) and attendance is open to wives.
     

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

‘A QUEST fit for a Mason’

     
Every year I tell myself I must get to QUEST, but No. 36 won’t be the one either. No reason why you can’t attend, though. The publicity:


Click to enlarge.     
   

Saturday, April 2, 2016

‘You won’t believe what The Masonic Society is doing now!’

     
(Sorry for the clickbait headline. With the Dummies blog publishing early and often again these days, I have to work a little harder to get readers. Come back tomorrow for “The Illuminati’s Top 10 Weight Loss Secrets!”)


Ken Davis, President of The Masonic Society, unveils the initiatives TMS undertakes this year in the name of Masonic education. If you are a regular Freemason who is interested in learning more about the Craft, membership in TMS is for you. Click here.


Ken’s message:

I’m happy to announce three important TMS programs for this year:


First, is an Annual Conference of The Masonic Society, taking place October 7 through 9 at Morgan Hill Masonic Lodge in Morgan Hill, California (just twenty minutes from San Jose International Airport). The theme of the conference will be “Freemasonry on the Frontier,” on the role of Masonry in the westward expansion of the United States and Canada.

The conference will begin Friday evening with an informal dinner, and will end with lunch on Sunday.

Details on the conference, with a call for presentations, will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society. To receive advance information when it’s available, please e-mail us and ask to be put on the Conference e-mail list.

The second new program is The Masonic Society School, a program of non-credit online Masonic “courses,” study groups, and reading groups, as well as possible tours and other experiences, exclusively for TMS members. We expect to launch the first offerings at the October conference.

Details on the school also will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society. To receive advance information when it’s ready, e-mail us and ask to be put on the School e-mail list.

The third new program is The Masonic Society Scholar, an annual award to a Masonic researcher/educator. During the year of the award, the recipient will make himself available to speak at a number of lodges of research and other Masonic bodies throughout the world (with travel expenses paid by the local host organization).

The first TMS Scholar will be announced at the Annual Conference this October.

Details on the program, with a call for nominations, too will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society. For advance information, e-mail us and ask to be put on the Scholar e-mail list.

By sending e-mail to these addresses, you are opting to receive occasional e-mails about the three programs.
     

‘April in Anthroposophy’

     
The following is my highly selective choice of events upcoming this month at Threefold Educational Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York. There’s a lot more. Click here. From the publicity:



Piano Trios Plus!
Sponsored by Rockland Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, April 10 at 4 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon of beautiful music at the third performance of Rockland Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 Chamber Concert Series. The program will feature the Melos Trio & Friend performing:


  • Dvorak’s Piano Trio in E minor Op. 90 “Dumky”
  • The Phantasie Trio in C minor (1907) by Bridge
  • Beethoven’s Piano Quartet in E flat Op. 16


The Melos Trio & Friend are Fredrica Wyman (piano), Karen Gilbert (violin), Edward Simons (viola), and Stephen Reid (cello).

Admission: $20 General, $15 Seniors, $10 Children (ages 12-18). Children under 12 free.




Piano Recital by Marcus Macauley
Fourth Year Dornach Fundraiser
Sponsored By Eurythmy Spring Valley
Sunday, April 17 at 4 p.m.

This afternoon recital will include:

  • Three Preludes and Fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier
  • Brahms’ Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119
  • Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960



Marcus Macauley
Marcus Macauley has been playing the piano and writing music for most of his thirty years. Born in Seattle, he won his first concerto competition at age 11. Before graduating high school, he had performed with seven orchestras, including Seattle Symphony, and won six national composition awards. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he premiered dozens of works, he has collaborated with such musicians as Brad Lubman, Thomas Buckner, and Truls Mørk, and had master classes with George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, John Perry, and Charles Rosen. Since 2009 he has been a resident musician for Eurythmy Spring Valley and toured with eurythmists throughout the U.S. and in Switzerland, Taiwan, and China. His principal teachers have been pianists Michi Hirata North, Peter Mack, and Vincent Lenti, and composers Janice Giteck, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez.

Suggested donation: $20/$10 students and seniors/$5 children. All proceeds to support the Fourth Year, Class of 2016 Graduation trip to Dornach, Switzerland.



Celebrating Shakespeare:
A Performance to Honor
the 400th Anniversary of the Bard
Sponsored By Threefold Educational Center
Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.


[On the 400th anniversary of his death,] an evening of eurythmy, speech, sonnets, dramatic monologs, and a eurythmical exposition of Act II of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Admission: $16 suggested donation.



Christian Rosenkreutz
with Rev. Bastiaan Baan
Sponsored by the Seminary
of the Christian Community In North America
Monday, April 25 through Friday, April 29

This course will take place on the occasion of the publication of the English translation of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz with commentary by Bastiaan Baan.
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz is one of the most important writings of esoteric Christianity, first published anonymously in German in 1616. It is an allegorical story divided into seven journeys about how Christian Rosenkreutz was invited to a castle to assist the “chymical wedding” of the king and queen.


The word “chymical” refers to alchemy, or the uniting of opposites—hence, the sacred wedding. It is a book concerned with the inner transformation of the soul. Bastiaan Baan’s interpretation and commentary makes this work accessible to readers of today, and shows the special language used by the author to express the meditative content of his text.

Fee: $150.



In Concert: Magical Strings
Sponsored by the Fellowship Community
Wednesday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m.


Philip and Pam Boulding
Experience the vibrant ringing sounds of Magical Strings, as Philip and Pam Boulding bring their Celtic Harp & Hammer Dulcimer to the Fellowship Community! Their music, described by the Washington Post as “sonically gorgeous,” will carry you to sublime realms with ancient airs and have you dancing to lively jigs and reels. Their unique compositions and stories will take you to Ireland and beyond. Philip and Pam, who have been touring internationally for 37 years and have recorded more than 20 albums, will be performing on their own hand-crafted instruments.

Admission is free; donations are welcome.



From the Victorian to the Modern Poets:
A Poetics Course
with Coralee Frederickson, Ph.D.
Sponsored by Eurythmy Spring Valley
Thursday April 28, 9:35 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.
Friday, April 29, 9:35 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.


Wilfred Owen
Continuing on from her course on American Romantic Essayists and Poets, Coralee Frederickson, Ph.D., will draw us from Alfred Lord Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins, in the late 19th century, into the modern, poetic voices of the 20th century, beginning with the work of Wilfred Owen, a representative of World War I poetry. The diverse styles of e. e. cummings, Dylan Thomas, and Seamus Heaney will be explored, among many others.

Coralee Frederickson, Ph.D. has been the School Leader at Den norske Eurytmihøyskole, in Oslo, Norway, as well as the Program Director of their B.A. Completion Program, which was hosted over two cycles at ESV. Coralee is now the Co-Director of the Alanus University M.A. Program in Eurythmy, which is based in Alfter, Germany, and is also bringing a cycle of their program to our campus.

Course fee: $75.
     

Friday, April 1, 2016

‘Truman on Truman’

     
Missouri Lodge of Research will celebrate its 75th anniversary later this spring, in part, with its annual Truman Lecture. This year, the keynote speaker will be Bro. Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest grandson of Harry S Truman, presenting “Harry S Truman: the Character of a Freemason.” Truman of course was the 33rd President of the United States and Grand Master of Masons of Missouri.

The day also will include a talk by Alex Burden, Executive Director of the Truman Library Institute, and a display of the 33° rings worn by Truman and by Order of DeMolay founder Frank S. Land.

This will take place Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m. at the Harry S Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri. Open to Masons and friends. Tickets, at $35 each, are available here, and grant full-day admission to the Truman Library. A reception will follow the lecture.

Click to enlarge.

     

‘Traveling Man Bluegrass in June’

     
The Fifth Annual Traveling Man Bluegrass Festival at German Masonic Park in Tappan, New York is scheduled for Sunday, June 12. The line-up:


RJ Storm & Old School

Dubl Handi


Buckeye Rooster


No Brakes


Buddy Merriam & Back Roads



The Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of New York’s Ninth Manhattan District are the hosts. Proceeds from sales of tickets, food, and drink will benefit a variety of charitable causes.
     

‘Hodapp to visit Cincinnati Lodge’

     
Courtesy Travis Simpkins
Chris “Freemasons for Dummies” Hodapp is scheduled to visit historic Cincinnati Masonic Lodge No. 3 in New Jersey for a speaking engagement on Monday, June 13. The lodge is located at 39 Maple Avenue in Morristown.

That’s all I got.

See you then, Bro.
     

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

‘Don’t miss this monumental event!’

     
Don’t miss this monumental event!


M.W. Anthony W. Montuori,
Grand Master of New Jersey
- and -
M.W. William J. Thomas,
Grand Master of New York

Will Dedicate the New Headstone
of M.W. Jepthah B. Munn,
Grand Master of New Jersey, 1820-23

Sunday, April 3 at 11 a.m.
Madison Lodge No. 93
170 Main Street
Madison, New Jersey





For many years, the headstone of M.W. Munn had been in dire need of the skill of a master stonemason. Finally, thanks to donations from generous Freemasons, a new headstone is ready to be unveiled in honor of this unique Grand Master who played a fascinating role in Freemasonry in both New Jersey and New York.


Light refreshments to be served after the ceremony.


Attire: Staff Uniform, or business suit, with apron and jewel.


Parking at the lodge is reserved for Grand Lodge senior officers and those with physical need. All others shall park at Madison Junior School, behind the lodge.


For more information: R.W. Moises I. Gomez or R.W. David R. Berger.

     

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

‘Food for thought in Tennessee’

     

Magpie file photo.
This portrait of General Andrew Jackson by Charles Wilson Peale hangs in the office of the Grand Master of Pennsylvania in the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia. I don’t think art historians, or anyone else, are aware of its existence. I shot this photo in October 2007.


I typically avoid matters of Masonic politics and recognition on The Magpie Mason—I doubt my own powers of persuasion, and I don’t find these foibles all that interesting—but as today is the (249th) birthday of Andrew Jackson, there is something I cannot resist pointing out.

If you do not follow anything on Freemasonry in social media, you may not be aware of the public relations disaster being foisted upon the entire Masonic fraternity in the United States by two grand lodges down south: Georgia and Tennessee. Both recently have banned gay men from Masonic membership. As usual the most comprehensive and level-headed coverage can be found on the Dummies blog. Not only is the matter examined here and there in Masonic cyberspace, but more recently NPR and other mass media outlets have reported on it.

Tennessee has taken the additional step of proscribing Masonic membership for those who cohabitate without the benefit of marriage.

Enter Andrew Jackson, Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee, 1822-24.

In a tragedy of errors when Jackson was in his early twenties, he married Rachel Robards, the daughter of Jackson’s landlord who happened to have been married already to one Lewis Robards. She erroneously believed that first marriage, a very unhappy union, had been terminated, and that she was free to marry again. This was not the case, and her wedding to Jackson legally was viewed as bigamy and adultery. The Robards’ marriage eventually was ended in divorce in 1793 on the grounds of Rachel’s adultery. She and Jackson wed for the second time, and for keeps, several months later.

This would haunt Jackson through life, although it evidently did not affect his rise through the ranks of Tennessee Freemasonry. Actually, the record of his initiation is unknown today, but we know he served as Grand Master in the early 1820s. In 1806, he killed a man in a duel who had impugned his wife’s reputation. In his campaigns for the presidency, his opponents and enemies savagely exploited the illegal adulterous first marriage for political advantage. It worked in 1824, when Jackson lost to anti-Mason fanatic John Quincy Adams when the election was settled in the House of Representatives. As for Rachel, she would not see the White House. She died December 22, 1828 after Jackson’s election to the presidency, but before his inauguration in March 1829.

Her death did not satiate the puritans, and the Jackson administration would fall apart from another matrimonial scandal when Secretary of War John Eaton’s marriage to Margaret “Peggy” O’Neill was scrutinized. Eaton, a widower at 28, was a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and a Mason in Cumberland Lodge No. 8; Peggy was married to a Navy man named Timberlake who died overseas in 1828. It was thought Eaton arranged to have Timberlake deployed overseas so he could keep time with the wife during his absence. It also was thought the widow failed to observe a traditional period of mourning her husband’s demise before marrying again. The 1820s version of real life real housewives of Washington, DC conspired to shun the Eatons, keeping the couple from having any social life within the city of power, a very potent peer pressure indeed. The animus affected President Jackson’s cabinet to the extreme point where nearly all the cabinet members would resign only two years into the administration. It also ended Vice President John C. Calhoun’s presidential aspirations, as it was his wife who organized the ostracizing of the Eatons.


Political satire during the anti-Masonic hysteria in the early 1800s included illustrations such as this one depicting President Andrew Jackson, on the right, with members of his cabinet who also were Freemasons. This drawing appears in Light on Masonry, the massive compendium of Masonic ritual exposures, edited by Arturo de Hoyos, and published by the Scottish Rite Research Society in 2008.


There is resistance among Tennessee Freemasons to what has been done, but there also is support. The Grand Lodge will convene next week for its regular elections and balloting on legislation, so we’ll soon learn how this question will be settled. Follow the Dummies blog for that news.