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Louisiana

Freemasonry was brought to San Domingo by Charter from the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at a time when it was peopled chiefly by the Freneh and their negro slaves. The negro insurrection of 1791 caused an influx of white refugees to many of the cities of the United States. In 1793 the Freemasons who fled to New Orleans organized the Parfaite Union Lodge, No. 29, by Charter from the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, and Officers were installed in the York Rite by Jason Lawrence on March 30, 1794. The sale of Louisiana to America and the return of many of thr refugees to San Domingo left Freemasonry in Louisiana more in the hands of the American Brethren than had hitherto been the case. On September 2, 1807, a Charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of New York to Louisiana Lodge, No. 2, the first Lodge in New Orleans to work in the English language. In 1812 five of the twelve Lodges chartered in Louisiana had either ceased work or amalgamated with other Lodges and there were thus seven left, all of which worked the York Rite, namely: Perfect Union, Charity, Louisiana, Concord, Perseverance, Harmony and Polar Star. The above seven Lodges organized themselves into a Committee for the establishment of a Grand Lodge.

Harmony and Louisiana withdrew from the Committee before long and the Grand Lodge was formed by the remaining five Lodges on July 11, 1812. It was announced at a Quarterly Communication held March 27, 1813, that a Grand Royal Arch Chap ter had been organized and attached to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. In 1829 a representative was admitted to the General Grand Chapter. After 1831, however, no meeting took place and the subordinate Chapters, with the exception of Holland, No. 9, ceased to exist. In 1841, the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana called a meeting and a Grand Chapter of Louisiana was organized Holland Chapter was not represented at the Convention and refused to recognize the authority of the new Grand Chapter. In 1847 the General Grand Chapter denied that it had any legal existence. The following year, on May 1, representatives of the four Chapters in Louisiana chartered by the General Grand Chapter, Holland, No. 1; New Era, No. 2; Red River, No. 3, and East Feliciana, No. 4, met at New Orleans and duly established a Grand Chapter for Louisiana.

The first Council in the State was Holland, No. 1, probably organized by John Barker in 1827. In the official reports of the Grand Chapter of Louisiana in 1829 and 1830 a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters is mentioned. This seems to have died out but was revived about 1848 to 1850 when Holland, No. 1; Louisiana, No. 15, and Orleans, No. 36, were represented at a Convention to organize a Grand Council.

A Charter was granted on May 4, 1816, for the formation of an Encampment which was enrolled under the Grand Encampment of the United States on September 15, 1844, as Indivisible Friends Encamp ment, No. 1. This Commandery with Jacques de Molay, No. 2, and Orleans, No. 3, assembled on February 12, 1864, and formed the Grand Commandery of Louisiana.

On June 19, 1813, Charters were granted to Albert Pike Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, and Eagle Council of Kadosh, No. 6, at New Orleans. Grand Consistory, No. 1, was chartered at New Orleans on August 8, 1852, and a Chapter of Rose Croix, Cervantes, No. 4, was opened during the year 1887.

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