"The first Brother elected an Honorary Member of the Lodge, was the distinguished jurist, SIMON GREENLEAF.
"He was born in Newburyport, Mass., December 5, 1783, and was educated at the Academy in that town. He came to New Gloucester and studied law with Judge Whitman, and was admitted to the bar in this County in 1805. He commenced practice in Standish, then moved to Gray, and afterwards to Portland (about 1811). He was the first Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court in this State and the nine volumes published by him attest his ability, accuracy and fidelity. He published a Treatise on Evidence, in three volumes, which at once became, and has ever since remained, the standard work upon that important subject. In 1833, he was appointed Law Professor in Harvard University, and removed to Cambridge. He performed the duties with signal ability for fifteen years, and then resigned. He died in Cambridge in 1853, at the age of seventy years. "He was made a Mason in Cumberland Lodge, in 1804 and became a member in 1805, and was elected Secretary the same year. In 1807, he was elected Master, served three years, and then declined a unanimous election, being about to remove from town. He dimitted from his Lodge and became a member of PORTLAND LODGE.
"In 1817 and 1818, he was District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, for the Portland District, and performed the duties with great ability and zeal.
"He was the leading spirit in the formation of the Grand Lodge--in fact is justly entitled to be called the father of the movement. Upon its organization, he was elected Senior Grand Warden, was afterwards Deputy Grand Master, and in 1822 and 1823, M. . W. . Grand Master.
"He delivered several Masonic addresses, and also published a work entitled 'A Brief Inquiry into the Origin and Principles of Freemasonry, ' printed by Arthur Shirley (also an Honorary Member of the Lodge), which is now quite rare.
"In addition to his ability as a lawyer, he acquired such reputation as an orator, that he was called 'the silver-tongued GREENLEAF.' In character, and in all respects, he was one whom the Craft may well be proud to mention in their ranks."
A Brief Inquiry into the Origin and Principles of Free Masonry was published by Arthur Shirley, in 1820, at which time Maine was still "The District of Maine." The copy in hand is 5 by 9 inches; the title page is an engraving, and made by a competent artist; it is bound in boards (probably a re-binding), and once belonged to "United Lodge." It has no index, and contains 117 pages. The Preface is of VII pages, and is signed "Simon Greenleaf, Portland, Jan. 1, 1820," in the first sentence the author states that, "The following pages comprise the substance of official lectures, delivered in the years 1817 and 1818, to the several Lodges of the Ninth Masonic District of Massachusetts."' Lecture I is on the historical evidences for the antiquity of the Craft.
Lecture II discusses whether Freemasonry did not arise in Operative Masonry rather than from it. Lecture III is on the Eleusinia, Pythagoreans, and Druids. Lecture IV is on Jewish Masonry (Solomon's Temple). Lecture V is on the Ancient Mysteries. Lecture VI is on the Three Degrees. Lecture VII is on "The Ultimate Design of Masonry."
The Appendix, Section 1, is on the Locke MS. (so called); section 2 is a list of Grand Masters; section 3 is a quotation from Preston; section 4 is a collection of Charges; section 5 is a review of a number of (then) recent Masonic developments. (At the time of publication of the book there mere 854 Lodges in the United States, and they were initiating about 4000 new members per year.)
Owned & Operated Exclusively by Members of the Masonic Family
Tradition, Integrity, Trust.
© 2018 The Ashlar Company
“Really good craft enjoy the company and being a fellow brother”
Brother James, Asheville, NC
You are currently visiting masonicencyclopedia.com