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Georgia

Major-General James Edward Oglethorp, founder of the Colony of Georgia on February 12, 1733, also founded on February 10, 1734, the Masonic Lodge now known as Solomon's Lodge No. 1, at Savannah, the name being so attached in 1776. To Past Master William B. Clarke's Early and Historic Freemasonry of Georgia we are indebted for definite light upon the old traditions of the Craft. The present Charter of this old Lodge, granted by the Grand Lodge of Georgia in 1786, states that Roger Lacey was granted a Warrant as the first Provincial Grand Master of Georgia in 1735 by Viscount Weymouth, Grand Master of England. Unity Lodge was constituted in 1774, and Grenadier's Lodge in 1775. During these years and up to 1786 a Provincial Grand Lodge existed and in the revolutionary period acted independently, formal reconstruction being made on December 21, 1786, when the permanent appointments under England were abolished and annual elections adopted. Major-General Samuel Elbert resigned the chair and William Stephens was elected Grand Master with other officers for 1787.

Solomon's Lodge at Savannah possesses an apron worn by Worshipful Master Benjamin Sheftall in 1758. The flap bears the emblem of the Royal Arch Degree and this suggests that at that time this ceremony was conferred in the Lodge where the Master himself was initiated. Georgia Chapter of Savannah worked under a Dispensation from the General Grand Chapter, December 1, 1802, and a Warrant was granted, January 9,1806. Union Chapter at Louisville received a Charter, from the General Grand Chapter, June 6, 1816; Augusta Chapter, December 6, 1818; Mechanics Chapter at Lexington, June 10, 1820; Webb Chapter at Sparta, November 16, 1921. A Grand Chapter was organized on February 4, 1822.

The first document mentioning the Degree of Select Masons in Georgia was a Diploma from Brother Cohen in possession of Brother Jacobs. In May, 1792, the latter was in Savannah and was invited to go to Augusta and confer the Degrees. The first Council, Adoniram Council, No. 1, of Augusta, was probably organized by Companion Webb or Companion Cross. On May 2, 1826, this Council took part in constituting the Grand Council of Georgia. Savannah Council, No. 2; Eureka Council, No. 3; Georgia Council, No. 4, and Hancock Council were also represented at the meeting. Soon after May 7, 1827, however, the activities of this Grand Council ceased for nearly fifteen years. On June 22, 1841, delegates from three Councils met at Augusta and again organized the Grand Council of Georgia.

Georgia Encampment, No. 1, at Augusta received a Dispensation dated 1823, and was chartered on May 5. Three other Commanderies, namely Saint Omar, No. 2, Saint Aldemar, and Coeur de Lion, were chartered before the Grand Commandery was organized on April 25, 1860. The year 1888 saw the establishment of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, at Savannah when Alpha, No. 1, a Lodge of Perfection, was granted a Charter on October 17. On the following day Temple, No. 1, a Chapter of Rose Croix, was chartered and on October 23, two years later, a Council of Kadosh, Gethsemane, No. 1, and a Consistory, Richard Joseph Nunn, No. 1, were also granted Charters.

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