The first Provincial Grand Master in America, Daniel Coxe, lived in the State of New Jersey but did not, it is believed, exercise his Masonic powers there. On May 13,1761, A Warrant was granted by George Harrison, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of New York to Freemasons in the Town of Newark. The first meeting place of this body, the Saint John's Lodge, No. 1, of which the Minutes are preserved even yet, was the Rising Sun Tavern. It met afterwards at the houses of the members. William Tukey was named in the Charter as the first Master and under his direction the Lodge flourished. Washington's birthday was always observed as a festival and when the General's Headquarters were located at Morristown in 1779, numerous military Lodges were organized. A Convention of Master Masons was held on December 18, 1786, to consider the establishment of a Grand Lodge for New Jersey. A Constitution was adopted on April 2, 1787.
In the Proceedings of the General Grand Chapter for June 6, 1816, there is mention of a Warrant granted to Washington Chapter, Newark, May 26, 1813. The General Grand High Priest was reported to have granted permission for the formation of a Grand Chapter but, owing to the fact that there was only one regularly chartered Chapter subordinate to the General Grand Chapter in New Jersey, it was declared impossible. Not until February 13, 1857, was the Grand Chapter of New Jersey established by Newark Chapter, No. 2; Hiram, No. 4, and Boudinot, No. 5. The Grand Council of Pennsylvania chartered New Brunswick Council, No. 12, on June 23, 1860. This Council wag later known as Scott Council, No. 1. New Brunswick, No. 12; Eane, No. 11; Gebal, No. 14, the three Councils in New Jersey, all chartered by the Grand Council of Pennsylvania, began work for the formation of a Grand Council of New Jersey. A Convention was held at New Brunswick November 26, 1860, when Nathan O. Benjamin, Grand Master of the Grand Council of New York, was elected to preside and Joseph H. Hough, Deputy Master of Gebal Council, became Secretary. The Grand Council u then opened in Ample Form.
Hugh de Payens Commandery, No. 1, at Jersey City was granted a Dispensation March 12, 1858, and a Charter September 16, the following year. It was duly constituted on November 25, 1859. The Grand Commandery was constituted on February 14, 1860, with three subordinate Commanderies, Hugh de Payens, No. 1; Saint Bernard, No. 2, and Helena, No. 3. In 1863 the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was first established at Trenton when the Mercer Lodge of Perfection was chartered, May 23, 1863. The Mercer Council of Princes of Jerusalem and the Trenton Chapter of Rose Croix were both established at Trenton by Charters dated May 19, 1866, and June 26 1868, respectively. On May 16, 1867, the New Jersey Consistory at Jersey City was granted a Charter. These bodies are under the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
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