gerald.johnson's blog

Information Corner - Masonic Goat

04/04/2012 - gerald.johnson | |

From whence came the curious belief that in the making of a Mason, the candidate must ride upon the goat?

It is, alas, sufficiently easy to understand why the idea persists. It continues because well-intentioned but unthinking Freemasons tell their friends, prior to initiation, to "Look out for the goat!" and "The goat will be starved so he'll butt the harder." and "I'll be there to see you ride the goat!"

Masonic Presidents

01/26/2012 - gerald.johnson | |

Many times the subject comes up about our masonic presidents. Here they are, with a little history about each.

  • George Washington, 1st President, 1789 - 1797, Commanding General during American Revolution, made a Mason August 4, 1753, in Fredericksburg Lodge (now No. 4), A. F. & A. M., Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  • James Monroe, 5th President, 1817 - 1825, made a Mason November 9, 1775, in Williamsburg Lodge (now No. 6), A.F. & A.M., Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Andrew Jackson, 7th President, 1829 - 1837 Harmony Lodge No. 1, Nashville, Tennessee, an Honorary Member of Federal Lodge No. 1, F. & A.M., Washington, D.C., and Jackson Lodge No. 1, F. & A.M., Tallahassee, Florida. In 1822 and 1823 he served as the Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee.

History of the Word "Mason"

01/25/2012 - gerald.johnson | |

The history of the name for a Mason carries one back through strange and unfamiliar territory.

Six and one half centuries before speculative Masonry began in the reign of George I, the word mason was brought to England by those great builders, the Normans. The English term is derived from the Old French masons (Modern French Maçons) and this goes back to the medieval Latin machiones, of which Isodore of Seville (who died in A.D. 640) explained that the masons were so called from the machinae (scaffolding) on which they had to stand because of the height of their walls.

Information Corner - Three Principle Officers

11/11/2011 - gerald.johnson | |

Working ToolsI give only a brief summary as a full list would require several pages.

To a list of the Companies of the date of 1377 is affixed what is called the Oath of the Wardens of Crafts, of which this is the commencement: "Ye shall Were that ye shall wele and treuly oversee the Craft of- whereof ye be chosen Wardeyns for the year. It thus appears that the Wardens were at first the presiding officers of the Gilds.

At a later period, in the reign of Elizabeth, we find that the chief officer began to be called Master; and in the time of James I, between 1603 and 1625, the Gilds were generally governed by a Master and Wardens.

Information Corner - Cowans & Eavesdroppers

11/03/2011 - gerald.johnson | |

This is a purely Masonic term, and signifies in its technical meaning an intruder, whence it is always coupled with the word eavesdropper. It is not found in any of the old manuscripts of the English Freemasons anterior to the eighteenth century, unless we suppose that lowen, met with in many of them, is a clerical error of the copyists. It occurs in the Schaw Manuscript, a Scotch record which bears the date of 1598, in the following passage: "That no Master or Fellow of Craft receive any cowans to work in his society or company, nor send none of his servants to work with cowans." In the second edition of Anderson's Constitutions, published in 1738 (page 146), we find the word in use among the English Freemasons, thus : ''But Free and Accepted Masons shall not allow cowans to work with them ; nor shall they be employed by cowans without an urgent necessity; and even in that case they must not reach cowans, but must have a separate communication." There can be but little doubt that the word, as a Masonic term, comes to us from Scotland, and it is therefore in the Scotch language that we must look for its signification. Now, Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, gives us the following meanings of the word:

Information Corner - "Blue"

10/17/2011 - gerald.johnson | |

Blue Lodge Cigar LabelI have often been asked “Just what does the word BLUE mean?”

The Blue Lodge is said to refer to the traditional color of regalia in Lodges derived from English or Irish Freemasonry. Although the term was originally frowned upon, it has gained widespread and mainstream usage in America in recent times.2
...the premier Grand Lodge was established on 24 June 1717, St John’s Day, when a feast was held at the Goose and Gridiron Ale House in St Paul’s Churchyard.