French, Benjamin Brown
A distinguished Freemason of the United States, who was born at Chester, in New Hampshire, September 4, 1800, and died at the City of Washington, where he had long resided, on August 12, 1870. He was initiated into Freemasonry in 1825, and during his whole life took an active interest in the affairs of the Fraternity. He served for many years AS General Grand Secretary of the General Grand Chapter, and Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment of the United States. In 1846, soon after his arrival in Washington, he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District, a position which he repeatedly occupied. In 1859, he WAS elected Grand Master of the Templars of the United States, a distinguished position which he held for six years, having been reelected in 1862. His administration, during a period of much excitement in the country, WAS marked by great firmness, mingled with a spirit of conciliation. He was also a prominent member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and at the time of his death was the Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
Brother French was possessed of much intellectual ability, and contributed no small share of his studies to the literature of Freemasonry. His writings, which have not yet been collected, were numerous, and consisted of Masonic odes, many of them marked with the true poetic spirit, eloquent addresses on various public occasions, learned dissertations on Masonic law, and didactic essays, which were published at the time in various periodicals. His decisions on Templar Law have always been esteemed of great value.
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