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Monday, January 16, 2012

History of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi - F&AM

It is significant of the Masonic Institution that it is always in the vanguard of every great movement or undertaking of the human race. When the United States was still in its infancy and the Mississippi Territory was still being carved out of the wilderness, the first Masonic lodge was warranted by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky at Natchez, a thriving community on the Mississippi River, on October 16, 1801. This lodge was known as Harmony Lodge No. 7 and was the only lodge working in the Territory until August 29, 1811 when a dispensation was granted to Madison Lodge No. 21 in Huntsville, Alabama. Harmony Lodge continued its labor until September 2, 1814, when for reasons unknown, it surrendered its warrant and property to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

However, the following year on August 31, 1815, a dispensation was granted to several of the old members for a new lodge named Harmony Lodge No. 33, and a warrant was granted on August 28, 1816. Some 15 years after the first Masonic presence in what would soon become the STATE of Mississippi was established, a second lodge was chartered at Natchez as well.

On August 13, 1816, the Grand Master of Tennessee issued a dispensation to Jackson Lodge, at Natchez, and on October 8, 1816, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee formally warranted the same lodge under the name of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 15. The following year, on April 19, 1817, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee also granted a warrant to Washington Lodge No. 17 at Port Gibson. In less than 17 years, Mississippi hosted three Masonic lodges, totaling over 100 members.

Realizing the need for their own government, the three lodges held a convention with 20 representatives present and officialy formed the Grand Lodge of Mississippi on July 27, 1818. At this convention, the following officers were duly elected and installed:

Dr. Henry Tooley, Harmony Lodge No. 33

Christopher Rankin, Harmony Lodge No. 33

Israel Loring, Washington Lodge No. 17

Edward Turner, Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 15

Henry Postlewaite, Harmony Lodge No. 33

Chilion Ford Stiles, Harmony Lodge No. 33

Joseph Newman, Harmony Lodge No. 33

With the Constitution being read and adopted, the Grand Secretary was instructed to send announcements to the other Grand Lodges of their new formation. Harmony Lodge surrendered its charter back to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the Washington and Andrew Jackson lodges surrendered their charters back to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. With the Grand Lodge of Mississippi's sovereignty established the three lodges were re-chartered as

Harmony Lodge No. 1 on August 25, 1818
Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 2 on January 5, 1820
Washington Lodge No. 3 on January 15, 1820

Article Courtesy of: The Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM

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