The founder of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in America. On the 27th of August, 1761, the "Deputies General of the Royal Art, Grand Wardens, and officers of the Grand Severin Lodge of Saint John of Jerusalem established at Paris," so reads the document itself, granted a Patent to Stephen Morin, by which he was empowered "to multiply the Sublime Degrees of High Perfection, and to create Inspectors in all places where the Sublime Degrees are not established." This Patent was granted, Thory, Ragon, Clavel, and Lenning say, by the Grand Council of Emperors of the East and West. Others say by the Grand Lodge. Dalcho says by the Grand Consistory of Princes of the Royal Secret at Paris. Brother Albert Pike, who has very elaborately investigated the question, says that the authority of Morin was "a joint authority" of the two then contending Grand Lodges of France and the Grand Council, which is, Brother Mackey supposed, what Dalcho and the Supreme Council of Charleston called the Grand Consistory. From the Grand Lodge he received the power to establish a Symbolic Lodge, and from the Grand Council or Consistory the power to confer the advanced Degrees.
Not long after receiving these powers, Morin sailed for America, and established Bodies of the Scottish Rite in Santo Domingo and Jamaica. He also appointed M. M. Hayes a Deputy Inspector-General for North America. Hayes, subsequently, appointed Isaac da Costa a Deputy for South carolina, and through him the Sublime Degrees were disseminated among the Freemasons of the United states (see Scottish Rite). After appointing several Deputies and establishing some Bodies in the West India Islands, Morin is lost sight of. We know not anything of his subsequent history, or of the time or place of his death. Ragon, Thory, and Clavel say that Morin was a Jew; but as these writers have Judaized all the founders of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in America, we have no right to place any confidence in their statements. The name of Morin has been borne by many French Christians of literary reputation, from Peter Morin, a learned ecclesiastical writer of the sixteenth century, to Stephen Morin, an antiquary and Protestant clergyman, who died in 1700, and his son Henry, who became a Catholic, and died in 1728. The above surmise by Doctor Mackey has more recently had the support of Brother Cyrus Field Willard who, in the Builder, September, 1925, and in correspondence with us, gave his reasons for believing Morin to have been of a French Huguenot family in New Stork, the name Stephen also occurring in eighteenth-century church records in that city at a date favorable to the known movements of the noted Freemason. Brother Willard notes the boyhood of Morin coincides in the same city with that of Brother Moses M. Hayes, another pioneer of prominence in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Another claim unearthed by Brother Willard is that Morin was a sea captain captured by the British in 1777 but an attempt by us to have this verified By Government records at London has been unsuccessful.
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