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Joint Committee on Freemasonry. Report on Freemasonry, 1834
SEE ALSO 52566, 52591, 52638 House No. 73 Report by a Joint Committee of the legislature of Massachusetts on Freemasonry, March 1834. The Joint
Committee created a document of 77 p. The Committee considered the many petitions against Freemasonry, mostly asking for its suppression because of
extra-judicial oaths. Report: Why shouldn't the Committee investigate Freemasonry the way it investigated banks or railroads? The Committee tried to
have hearings, but no Masons would attend. Eventually the Committee asked for subpoena power; the House said yes, but the Senate said no, so the
Committee could not get much information. It concluded, from the testimony it did hear that Freemasonry was a moral, pecuniary, and political evil. Could
Freemasonry claim to be a public service? The report went through the several degrees of membership, with descriptions, whether some lodges
outranked others, degrees of Knighthood, and listed places where there were Masonic Societies. It examined documents it believed to be genuine that was
correspondence by and from Masons all over the world. It discussed the Masonic activity of public people. It worried about the types and meanings of
oaths taken by Masons and listened to hearsay about the content of Masonic ceremonies. The Committee felt there needed to be a law specifically
forbidding Masonic oaths, so on p. 74, it offered a bill: An Act concerning Masonic Societies, 1834. If a person being admitted to a fraternity, association,
or society was required to take an oath not authorized by law, then the giver and taker of the oath were subject to a fine. Anyone involved in the
process would be a competent witness in a court proceeding. Furthermore, every Masonic lodge had to submit an annual report listing the members, their
place in the organization, and any oaths taken, along with the time and place of meetings or face a fine. The fine did not apply if the organization
did not have any meetings. The Appendix contained 54 pages in very small font: Forms of Oaths, p. 3-9, Standing Interrogatories of the Committee, p.
9-10, Testimony of Witnesses, p. 11-39, Affidavit, p. 39-43, Abstract of Financial Records, p. 43-47, Records of various Lodges, p. 48-52, Newspaper
articles, p. 52-54. (Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Report by a joint committee of the legislature of Massachusetts on freemasonry.
OCLC Number:   1402309099
Available Volumes
NameFiche CountOnlinePaper Backup
Vol. 1YesNo