The Quill and The Sword
First Independent African Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania chartered Union Lodge No. 4 and Harmony Lodge No. 5. Union Lodge No. 4 was established January 16, 1816 and Harmony Lodge was established November 25, 1817. One year after the establishment of Harmony Lodge, Union Lodge along with Harmony Lodge were expelled by First Independent African Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for rebellion against the Grand Lodge. These two Lodges, claimed to have made petition to the “white” Grand Lodge of Ohio for a warrant. Through authority vested in this alleged warrant, Union and Harmony Lodges established The Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1833. It can be easily stated that the actions of Union and Harmony Lodges and their actions which formed Hiram Grand Lodge can be viewed as the first spurious body of African-American Freemasons. During this time frame an arms race of establishing Lodges in various states in the Union was engaged. First Independent African Grand Lodge had established Lodges in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Hiram Grand Lodge followed suit. In some of these jurisdictions, there were Lodges under the jurisdictions of both of these bodies. The Star of the East Lodge No. 12 was established by this body.
"the Independent HARMONY LODGE having obtained an independent warrant or charter from under the authority of the Grand Lodge of the state of Ohio, town of Chillicothe, to James Miller, W.M., J. Matthews, S.W., George W. Hilton, J.W., with proper delegated authority to hold a convention and grant dispensations unto a number of lodges, sufficient to form a regular Grand Lodge, it is said that the Independent Harmony Lodge granted dispensations to three lodges, and met in Convention on the 17th of July, 1837, and Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, held in South Seventh Street Philadelphia. This Lodge proceeded to establish lodges, wherever they could in opposition to the African Grand Lodge."
#3 If you choose 1848, Can you explain where the Charter they surrendered came from and who issued it?
Please provided sources and documentation for answers provided.
Mr. Belcher, continued:
Questions to Mr. Belcher
If these regular and duly constituted Lodges decided to form a Grand Lodge and NOT participate in the National Compact, wouldn't they still be legitimate since the warrants that were issued to them would be surrendered in the organization of the Grand Lodge, and new warrants issued from the new Grand Lodge?
Was Jacob Jenkins the lawful and duly seated Grand Master of the Jurisdiction?
Can you show me in the Articles, which served as a constitution of the National Grand Lodge, besides the Ahiman Rezon, that made provisions for any Grand Lodge that desired to leave the Compact?
Now, keep in mind, that Samuel Van Bracken's first letter acknowledging the action of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, was dated November 10, 1849, almost a month after the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has adopted all resolutions to sever ties with the National Compact. It wasn't until November 13th, 1849 that the expulsion came.
If the Most Worshipful National Grand Lodge expelled the United Grand Lodge of New York 4 days before it scheduled to have a special meeting, and the New York acknowledged the actions of the National Grand Lodge in its report, can it be concluded that the United Grand Lodge was a member of the National Grand Lodge and the committee’s report a ploy to distance themselves?
"They did, however, in the plentitude of their power, on the 26th day of June, A. L. 5849, (a day we shall ever hold sacred to their memory) attempted to expel the "United Grand Lodge of the State of New York"..."
"A Temporary state of disuse or suspension."
"I therefore take the liberty to inform you that out title is not Saint Black, but AFRICAN GRAND LODGE..."