Friday, January 2, 2015

Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Freemasonry West of the Mississippi River, Kaskaskia 1775 to 1825

The first known Freemason to enter Kaskaskia was George Rogers Clark. Clark and a force of over 200 men defeated the British during the American Revolution. It is plausible other Freemasons were in Kaskaskia at this time and they may have conducted Masonic work. If degree work was conducted it would have likely been done as a Time Immemorial Lodge granted by an existing Grand Lodge Jurisdiction, though no record or proof of this has been discovered.

Timeline of Kaskaskia 1775 to 1825:
July 4, 1778 -  George Rogers Clark and his force of 200 men, including Captain Leonard Helm, defeated the British during one of the western-most battles of the American Revolution. The parish rang the church bell in celebration, which has since been called the "liberty bell".

George Rogers Clark is the first known Freemason to enter Kaskaskia but it would be another 27 years before the first known Masonic Lodge is chartered.

September 3, 1783 - The American Revolution ended.
1794 - Shadrach Bond Jr. came to the Illinois country and settled in Monroe County.

Shadrach Bond Jr. later moved to Kaskaskia where he built the first brick residence a short distance west of the town.

April 30, 1803 - The Louisiana Purchase is completed, expanding the territory of the United States west of the Mississippi River Valley.
March 9, 1805 - Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is petitioned to to form a Masonic Lodge in Kaskaskia. Seven Freemasons signed the petition sent to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. They were: Robert McMahan, William Arundel, James Edgar, Michale Jones, James, Galbreath, Rufus Easton, and Robert Robinson.
June 6, 1806 - The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted the charter for Western Star Lodge No. 107.

The charter was mailed to the Robert Robinson.

September 13, 1806 - Kaskaskia Masons met for the first time to constitute their new lodge. Robert Robinson presided over the lodge acted as Worshipful Master, James Gilbreath acted as Senior Warden, William Arundel acred as Junior Warden.

The following officers were installed: James Edgar was installed as Worshipful Master; Michael Jones was installed as Senior Warden; and James Gilbreath was installed as Junior Warden; William Arundel was installed as Secretary; Robert Robinson as Treasurer and Senior Deacon; George Fisher was installed Junior Deacon and Steward.

October 4, 1806 - Western Star Lodge No. 107 recorded a visitor from Temple Lodge No. 26 located in Reisters Town in Baltimore County, Maryland The visitor was Shadrach Bond Jr. who petition Western Star Lodge No, 107 for affiliation.
October 20, 1806 - Robert Robinson reported to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania that the Western Star Lodge officers had been installed " and invested with the ensigns of their respective offices, and the lodge was closed in due form".
December 27, 1806 - Shadrach Bond Jr. is elected to membership in Western Star Lodge No. 107.

Shadrach Bond Jr. was active in public affairs all of his adult life. He served in the territorial legislature and was the area's first delegate to Congress

October 3, 1814 - Shadrach resigend from Congress and became the receiver of public monies at Kaskaskia.
1814 - Shadrach Bond Jr. served as Junior Deacon of Western Star Lodge.
1815 & 1818 - Shadrach Bond, Jr. served as Worshipful Master or the presiding officer of Western Star Lodge No. 107.
December 3, 1818 - Illinois is granted statehood. Shadrach Bond Jr. is elected as the first governor without much opposition.
1820 - Libanus Lodge of Edwardsville proposed to Western Star Lodge of Kaskaskia that a Grand Lodge of Illinois be formed.
December 9, 1822 - A convention was called to meet about the issue of forming a Grand Lodge of Illinois.
December 11, 1822 - The convention decided to form the Grand Lodge of Illinois and elected Shadrach Bond Jr. as the first Grand Master of Illinois. Western Star Lodge No. 107 became Western Star Lodge No. 1 under the charter of the Grand Lodge of Illinois.

Info. source:
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania - Wikipedia
Louisiana Purchase - About Education
Freemasonry Comes to Illinois - Alphonse Cerza
Freemasonry in Ste. Genevieve - Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Horicon Lodge No. 244 - blog
History - St. Louis Missouri Lodge #1
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Grand Lodge of Missouri
The Missouri Freemason Spring 2007 - magazine
Western Star Lodge #240
Freemasonry in Illinois - Masonic Voice Review
Kaskaskia, Illinois - Wikipedia
Curse of Kaskaskia
History of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Illinois
Shadrach Bond - Wikipedia
Grand Lodge of Illinois

Previous articles:
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Introduction
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Thank You
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Information Sources
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Timeline
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Type of Men who Joined Freemasonry in the Past 
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Was Masonic Work Conducted during the Expedition?
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: We Proceeded On Article.
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Royal Arch Mason Article
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: First Series Summary
Freemasonry and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Freemasonry West of the Mississippi River, Kaskaskia 1700 to 1775