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Florida

The Grand Lodge of Scotland was petitioned in March, 176S, for a Charter for Grants East Florida Lodge. When this was issued Governor James Grant was appointed Provincial Grand Master over the Lodges in the Southern District of North America. This Grand Lodge, however, became extinct with the Spanish succession at St. Augustine in 1786. Saint Andrew's Lodge, No. 1 then applied for authority to the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia to continue the work;. In 1783 this Lodge came under the jurisdiction of South Carolina, but in 1790 it became dormant and dropped from the roll. On July 5, 1830, Jackson, Washington and Harmony Lodges sent representatives to a Convention for forming a Grand Lodge of Florida. .A Constitution was framed and adopted on the following day and the Grand Cheers elected and installed. Two Chapters, Magnolias No. 16, and Florida, No. 32, were chartered in Florida by the Grand Chapter of Virginia. and one at St. Augustine by the Grand Chapter of South Carolina. Delegates from these three Chapters met on January 11, 1847, and resolved to form a Grand Chapter for Florida. On the 2lst of the month they elected officers and organized the Grand Chapter. After some delay, due to their not having furnished particulars of the Chapters who took part in the Convention, the General Grand High Priest was authorized in 1856 to recognize the Grand Chapter of Florida.

For some years the Council Degrees were conferred in the Chapters. Companion Albert G. Mackey then organized a Council of Royal and Select Masters, Columbia Council at Lake City. The records of this and of the establishment of two other Councils were lost, but Companion Mackey, to whom an appeal for dates was made, said that the probable date of Columbia Council was 1852. At a meeting held at Tallahassee on January 12, 1868, Columbia, Mackey and Douglas Councils opened a Grand Council and appointed a Committee to draft a Constitution and By-Laws. These were adopted the following day and Brother Thomas Hayward, then Grand High Priest, was elected Grand Master.

A Dispensation was granted on March 17, 1851, to DeMolay Commandery, No. 1, at Quincy. When the hall of this Commandery was destroyed by fire permission was given to hold several meetings at Tallahassee. Representatives of five Commanderies, namely, Coeur de Lion, No. 1; Damascus, No. 2; Olivet, So. 4; Palatka, under Dispensation, and Plant City, under Dispensation, took part in the organization of a Grand Commandery on August 15, 1895. The first introduction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to Florida was the establishment on October 19, 1892, of the Ponce de Leon Lodge of Perfection, No. 3, at Ocala. On October 20, 1899, the McLean Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, was opened, and on October 24, 1901, the Bruce Council of Kadosh, No. 1, and the Tampa Consistory, No. 1, began work.

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