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Grand Lodge of North Carolina, Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons


The Grand Lodge of [North] Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons (of A. F. and A. M.) was formed in 1787. Subsequently, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was founded by eight Lodges working under charters from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina on December 27, 1813. By the latter part of the 1990s, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. had more than 60,000 members in 385 lodges. Its headquarters are in Raleigh.The collection documents various aspects of the freemasonry movement in North Carolina, beginning with theProceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee from 1804 to 1840. The collection contains some records (non-continuous) relating to individual lod ... (more below)

Title

Grand Lodge of North Carolina, Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons

Collection Number

Org.57

Date(s)

1806 - 1987

Language

English

Physical Description
Boxes
4
Abstract

The Grand Lodge of [North] Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons (of A. F. and A. M.) was formed in 1787. Subsequently, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was founded by eight Lodges working under charters from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina on December 27, 1813. By the latter part of the 1990s, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. had more than 60,000 members in 385 lodges. Its headquarters are in Raleigh.

The collection documents various aspects of the freemasonry movement in North Carolina, beginning with the  Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee from 1804 to 1840. The collection contains some records (non-continuous) relating to individual lodges, including some early applications to the lodge at Beaufort (1806 and 1807); the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons of N.C.; the certificate of commission of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh (1800); 3 notices of rejection addressed to Sharon Lodge, Windsor (1852-53); and the record book of Stone Square Lodge of Warrenton (1905-1911). There are miscellaneous records such as fragments of  Laws of North Carolina; an almanac of 1848; an ode; and an 1847 legislative committee report relating to construction of buildings for the  "deaf, dumb, and blind." Of particular interest are the treasurer's records of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, A. F. and A. M., 1891-1824, formerly in the N.C. Treasurer's Papers. Other records from the Grand Lodge include an  "Annual Communication" of 1902; material relating to the Executive Office Building dedication of 1958; and material from the Bicentennial Celebration of 1987. The broad date range of the collection is from the early 1800s to 1987, but there are no continuous and unbroken series.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Freemasons. Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


This collection is organized into 3 series: Administrative and Miscellaneous Records of Grand Lodge, Certificate of Commission of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh, December 15, 1800, and Record Book of Stone Square Lodge, Warrenton, 1905-1911.

Arrangement is chronological within the first series.


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by James O. Sorrell, August, 1988

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, December, 2002


Freemasonry had its documented origins in Europe during the Middle Ages and traces its history there over a span of almost eight centuries. Freemasonry in the United States had its beginnings in colonial times, with the lodges of that period usually receiving their charters from the grand lodges of England or Scotland. Following the American Revolution, the lodges in each state received new charters from their respective grand lodges. From that base, Freemasonry gradually spread across the country as new states were added to the original thirteen.

The entry for North Carolina in the  Official History of the United Grand Lodge of England, 1717-1967, indicates that in 1735 some Masons gathered at Cape Fear (now known as Wilmington) to form a lodge. This early colonial lodge is believed to be the forerunner of North Carolina's lodge that received a warrant in 1754 from the Premier Grand Lodge; it was later named St. John's Lodge. Chartered by the Grand Lodge of England, St. John's is thought to be the oldest masonic lodge in continuous operation in North Carolina.

The Grand Lodge of [North] Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons (of A. F. and A. M.) was formed in 1787. Subsequently, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was founded by eight Lodges working under charters from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina on December 27, 1813. By the latter part of the 1990s, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. had more than 60,000 members in 385 lodges. Its headquarters are in Raleigh.

Now as in medieval times, each individual lodge is presided over by a master, assisted by a senior and a junior warden. The master of a Masonic lodge is vested with a higher degree of authority than usually given the presiding officer of other organizations. There are several lodge officers below the ranks of master and wardens; in most instances a Mason progresses through this line of officers until eventually becoming master. In some lodges all officers are elected; in others only the high officers are elected, with the master appointing the lesser officers.

To insure unity and conformity among the individual lodges, there is a grand lodge in each state of the United States and one in the District of Columbia. The organizational structure of a grand lodge is basically the same as that of a lodge, with its officers usually being called grand master, grand warden, etc. The business of a grand lodge is transacted during annual meetings, delegates from the member lodges usually constituting a majority of those entitled to vote therein. The grand lodge exercises complete authority over each of its member lodges, the lodges, through their delegates, have some say about who will govern them, and by what means.

Overall, freemasonry is concerned with the welfare of its members, financially, politically, and physically. The stated mission of freemasonry in North Carolina is  "to raise the moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual conscience of society by teaching the ancient and enduring philosophical tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which are expressed outwardly through service to God, family, country, and self under the Fatherhood of God within the Brotherhood of Man." A belief in God is required, but otherwise it is not a religious organization. Today such service is expressed by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. in a variety of charitable activities, including sponsorship of the Oxford Home for Children at Oxford and the Masonic and Eastern Star Home at Greensboro.


Freemasonry had its documented origins in Europe during the Middle Ages and traces its history there over a span of almost eight centuries. Freemasonry in the United States had its beginnings in colonial times, with the lodges of that period usually receiving their charters from the grand lodges of England or Scotland. Following the American Revolution, the lodges in each state received new charters from their respective grand lodges. From that base, Freemasonry gradually spread across the country as new states were added to the original thirteen.

The entry for North Carolina in the  Official History of the United Grand Lodge of England, 1717-1967, indicates that in 1735 some Masons gathered at Cape Fear (now known as Wilmington) to form a lodge. This early colonial lodge is believed to be the forerunner of North Carolina's lodge that received a warrant in 1754 from the Premier Grand Lodge; it was later named St. John's Lodge. Chartered by the Grand Lodge of England, St. John's is thought to be the oldest masonic lodge in continuous operation in North Carolina.

The Grand Lodge of [North] Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons (of A. F. and A. M.) was formed in 1787. Subsequently, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was founded by eight Lodges working under charters from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina on December 27, 1813. By the latter part of the 1990s, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. had more than 60,000 members in 385 lodges. Its headquarters are in Raleigh.

Now as in medieval times, each individual lodge is presided over by a master, assisted by a senior and a junior warden. The master of a Masonic lodge is vested with a higher degree of authority than usually given the presiding officer of other organizations. There are several lodge officers below the ranks of master and wardens; in most instances a Mason progresses through this line of officers until eventually becoming master. In some lodges all officers are elected; in others only the high officers are elected, with the master appointing the lesser officers.

To insure unity and conformity among the individual lodges, there is a grand lodge in each state of the United States and one in the District of Columbia. The organizational structure of a grand lodge is basically the same as that of a lodge, with its officers usually being called grand master, grand warden, etc. The business of a grand lodge is transacted during annual meetings, delegates from the member lodges usually constituting a majority of those entitled to vote therein. The grand lodge exercises complete authority over each of its member lodges, the lodges, through their delegates, have some say about who will govern them, and by what means.

Overall, freemasonry is concerned with the welfare of its members, financially, politically, and physically. The stated mission of freemasonry in North Carolina is  "to raise the moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual conscience of society by teaching the ancient and enduring philosophical tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which are expressed outwardly through service to God, family, country, and self under the Fatherhood of God within the Brotherhood of Man." A belief in God is required, but otherwise it is not a religious organization. Today such service is expressed by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of A. F. and A. M. in a variety of charitable activities, including sponsorship of the Oxford Home for Children at Oxford and the Masonic and Eastern Star Home at Greensboro.


[Identification of item], Org.57, Grand Lodge of North Carolina, Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Portions of collection are a gift of John Huske Anderson, 1935; and B.G. Thomas, 1961. Dedication program of Executive Office Building received as gift from Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, Raleigh, March 29, 1963. Notices of expulsion addressed to Sharon Lodge received April 8, 1964. Bicentennial Celebration banquet ticket, newspaper, and program received August 24, 1988. Record Book of Stone Square Lodge received August 30, 1968. Treasurer's Records were formerly in N.C. Treasurer's Papers.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us.

Additional information on the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons can be found at their website:  http://www.grandlodge-nc.org/


Included in the records of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons are Grand Lodge proceedings from 1804 to 1840; treasurer's records of the same from 1891-1924; material documenting events over a period of time, including on Annual Communication of 1902; Executive Office Dedication of 1958; and material from the Bincentennial Celebration of 1987. There are various, non-consecutive records from individual lodges, including an 1838 constitution and 1848 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons; the Hiarm Lodge, Raleigh, the record book (minutes of 1905-1911) of Stone Square Lodge, No. 10, Warrenton. There is miscellaneous material relevant to North Carolina laws and legislative committee activity, including a report relating to  "Erection of Suitable Buildings for the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind" (1847); an almanac of 1848; and an ode.

This collection is organized into 3 series: Administrative and Miscellaneous Records of Grand Lodge, Certificate of Commission of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh, December 15, 1800, and Record Book of Stone Square Lodge, Warrenton, 1905-1911.

Arrangement is chronological within the first series.


Included in the records of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons are Grand Lodge proceedings from 1804 to 1840; treasurer's records of the same from 1891-1924; material documenting events over a period of time, including on Annual Communication of 1902; Executive Office Dedication of 1958; and material from the Bincentennial Celebration of 1987. There are various, non-consecutive records from individual lodges, including an 1838 constitution and 1848 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons; the Hiarm Lodge, Raleigh, the record book (minutes of 1905-1911) of Stone Square Lodge, No. 10, Warrenton. There is miscellaneous material relevant to North Carolina laws and legislative committee activity, including a report relating to  "Erection of Suitable Buildings for the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind" (1847); an almanac of 1848; and an ode.


  • Polk, William, 1758-1834.
  • Ancient York Masons. Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
  • Freemasons. Grand Lodge of North Carolina--Centennial celebrations, etc.
  • Hiram Lodge (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Sharon Lodge (Winsor, N.C.)
  • Stone Square Lodge No. 10 (Warrenton, N.C.)
  • Blind--Institutional care.
  • Deaf--Institutional care.
  • Freemasons--North Carolina--History.
  • Freemasonry--North Carolina--Lodges
  • Men--Societies and clubs.
  • Mute persons--Institutional care.

At the beginning of this series, both North Carolina and Tennessee were still under one masonic jurisdiction, called the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee. This union continued for several years, until 1813, when a charter for a new Grand Lodge was issued to Tennessee. As the 19th century progressed, more lodges than ever before received charters. Although, some lodges became extinct or forfeited their charters, the masonic movement in North Carolina strengthed, well into the 20th century. In 1958, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina dedicated a new headquarters and administrative building located in Raleigh at 2921 Glenwood Avenue. In 1987 the organization celebrated two hundredth anniversary, or its bicentennial.

Box: 1  
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee from 1804 to 1840, no date.

16043
Applications for Membership, Lodge at Beaufort, .
1806-1807

16044
Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons of North Carolina,, no date.
1838

16045
Fragment ofLaws of North Carolina,.
1846-1847

16046
Report of Legislative Committee relating toErection of Suitable Buildings for the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind,.
1847

16047
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons, of North Carolina, .
1848

16048
Turner's North Carolina Alamanac, .
1848

16049
Three notices of expulsion or rejection, addressed to Sharon Lodge, Windsor, from Plymouth, Holly Springs, and Clinton lodges, .
1852-1853

16050
One Hundred and Fifteenth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, .
1902

16051
Ode, no date.

16052
Dedication, Executive Office Building, Grand Lodge of North Carolina. .
1958

16053
Bicentennial Celebration banquet ticket, newspaper, and program, .
ca. 1987

Box: 2  
Treasurer's records, Grand Lodge A. F. and A. Masons of N.C. (Formerly in N.C. Treasurer's Papers), .
1891-1924

According to current records of the state organization, Hiram Lodge was originally chartered December 16, 1799, and was a half owner in the first Grand Lodge building. It absorbed some members who had belonged previously to Democratic Lodge, dissolved in 1799. The Hiram Lodge remains active.

Born in Mecklenburg County, William Polk was one of the heroes of the American Revolution,serving under Thomas Sumter as a lieutenant colonel. After the war, Polk was one of the leaders in the organization of the Society of Cincinnati at Hillsborough in 1783. He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina from 1790 until his death in 1834?. Polk moved to Raleigh around 1799. During that time, Polk was elected grand master of the state Masonic order. He served from December 1799 to December 1802. In 1811, Polk became the first president of the State Bank, holding that post for eight years. During his later years, Polk was honored as Raleigh's most illustrious citizen, and invited to speak at numerous public meetings.

Box: 3  
Certificate of Commission of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh, Wake County, signed by William Polk, Grand Master, Raleigh
December 15, 1800

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Photostatic copy, mounted; wrapped

A lodge of this name and location appears on a current (2003) list of lodges affiliated with the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina and Jurisdictions, Inc. This listing appears on the website of the organization at www.mwphglnc.com/lodges.htm. The same name does not appear on the  "Historical Table of Lodges of North Carolina, Extinct Lodges, and Lodges Created by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina Since Its Organization in 1787." This table is presented on the website of the that organization, at www.grandlodge-nc.org.

Prince Hall is recognized as the father of African American masonry. Black Freemasonry is said to have begun in 1775 when Hall and about fourteen other free black men were initiated into a a lodge in Boston, attached to the British Army garrisoned there. The Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina was formally organized on March 1, 1870. From that time to the present, a number of new lodges have been organized under the jurisdiction of the state Prince Hall Grand Lodge.

Box: 4  
Record Book of Stone Square Lodge No. 10