The Masons ard the war.
--A circular has been put forth by the Past Grand Masters
of the Masonic Order
, calling upon the Masons in all the States to meet at Louisville
on the third Monday in October next, to consult upon the ‘"most feasible plan of fraternal and honorable adjustment."’ To this the following answer has been made public:
To Charles G. Wintersmith, P. G. M.,
, W. B. Dodd
, P. G. M., of Ohio
, and others:
Brethren: Amongst the Grand Lodges
of the eleven States who have asserted their independence of the Government
of the United States
the word peace has but one meaning.--and that is, the recognition of the Confederate States of America
A distinguished citizen of Kentucky
offered, less than a year ago, in the Congress of the United States, the only terms upon which any considerable portion of the now Confederate States
would consent to remain in the American Union.
You appeal to us as if we were still members of that Union.
We have forsworn it for ourselves and our children forever.
A new and powerful nationality has sprung into existence, and its soil is red with the blood of its defenders — blood shed by the hand of those whom you would still have us consider as our compatriots and fellow-citizens.
Your well meant attempt to make Free Masonry the means of reconsolidating the Temple
of the political Union, could only result, even if the meeting to which you invite us were practicable, in introducing ‘"confusion"’ into that Temple
where we may still meet as free and accepted Masons.
The Grand Lodges of the United States
are henceforth to us just what the Grand Lodges
are; nor can we, as Masons, too much congratulate ourselves that our relations to the former are not complicated by the existence of any general jurisdiction, such as has been sometimes proposed under the form of a Grand Lodge of all the States.
We feel all the horrors of war as sensibly as our Northern brethren, and as all Masons are led by their principles to do. But believing that our countrymen are in no wise responsible for them, and fearing that even an effort for peace might at this time be regarded as a movement toward an impossible reconstruction of the American Union, we respectfully decline your request that we should meet with you at Louisville, Ky.
, to consult upon a plan for adjustment of the present difficulties.
W. W. Lord
D. Grand Master
B. S. Tappan
P. G. Master
W. H. Stevens
P. G. Master