History Emerges from Grand Lodge's Record Vault

11.25.2014

We have begun sifting through the uncatalogued boxes of old paperwork and correspondence in the Grand Lodge’s vault and many, many interesting historical facts are beginning to come to light. As best we can ascertain, these materials were tie-bound together in the early 19th century, and have probably not seen the light of day since. In other words, it is entirely possible that these documents, most of which date no later than 1806, have not been unbound since Thomas Jefferson or James Madison was president—200 hundred years ago.

Exciting finds:

Royal Edwin Lodge No. 5 charter date has been verified by a memorial to the Grand Lodge in 1806, “By a charter bearing the date 2nd July A.L. 5772 A.D. 1772 the Right Worshipful and [illegible] brethren John Johnston, Thomas Hunter, G[illegible] Grimes, Peter Clifton, and other brethren residing in Bertie County, were constituted “into a regular lodge of free, accepted masons to be opened at Windsor,” which said charter is numbered (4) and given under the hand of Joseph Montfort, Provincial Grand Master, in and for America and under the seal of Masonry.

This specifically gives the date of the Lodge’s charter and further states that Montfort did use the title Provincial Grand Master “of and for America.” Royal Edwin would assume the number 5 after the reorganization of the Grand Lodge in 1787.

The original 1789 bylaws of Unanimity Lodge at Edenton.

Several sets of minutes or abstracts of minutes have been located from Mount Moriah Lodge No. 27, Phalanx Lodge No. 31, and Wilkes Lodge No. 45—to name a few.

And, there are also several examples of old lodge seals.

Doubtless, more finds will follow and we will make every effort to share these records and history with the Lodges.

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