Kansas Lodge, U. D.
Any Grand Lodge in Annual Communication assembled, and though it were composed of Masonic jurisconsults of the first water, would agree unanimously that no such Lodge as Kansas Lodge U. D. was possible ever had been or ever could be. Nevertheless the impossible Lodge existed; and the storv of it ought to be known wherever Masons meet because it proves that there is some secret in Freemasonry which transcends analysis. In 1854 there was a Lodge or two in the remote wildernesses of Washington "where rolls the Oregon"; two or three in Sew Mexico, a land as remote as the moon; two or three in Indian Territory; otherwise, and excepting for a few settlements around a few forts, and some thousands of Indians, there stretched an empty empire larger than Europe from the Missouri River west.
In 1854 three Wyandot Indians and five white men who lived in their midst, having made themselves Known as Master Masons and duly accredited, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Missouri, mother of Freemasonry in the West, for a Dispensation to establish a Lodge in a Wyandot Indian village in Kansas Territory. On August 4, 1854, the Dispensation was granted; on August 11 the Kansas Lodge U. D. opened for Work, and elected a missionary, the Rev. John M. Chivington, its Master. On the heels of this new Masonic birth two other Lodges followed; in 1856 whe three formed the Grand Lodge of Kansas. The second oldest Lodge was given the glory of No. 1; Ransas Lodge, though the oldest, was assigned No. 3, because "it was an Indian Lodge."
The Indians had come originally from Ohio, but somewhere in their enforced migrations had the institution of slavery forced upon them (a novelty to them) therefore they were slave- holders when their Lodge was formed; three of the white men were abolitionists; of the other two nothing is known. The White Man, the Wyandots used to say, is like a stick; he has two ends and they point in opposite directions; a footnote to that same effect is given by one of Kansas Masonry's historians, Bro. F. P. Strickland, Jr. in his brilliant treatise on page 485, Transactions, The American Lodge of Research; Vol. III; Number 3:
" In the bloody 1850's and the years of the Civil War, Kansas was continually torn by bitter strife, [over slavery] members of the two factions relentlessly hunting down and slaying each other. Yet, whenever enough Brethren, regardless of faction could be found they eagerly stood their guns against the nearest tree and began the erection of a Masonie altar. Enemies by day they met as Brothers at night."
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