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Charleston, SC Masonic Timeline

By:  Illustrious Brother McDonald L. Burbidge, 33º

May 31, 1801, the most important date in history for the Supreme Council of the United States of America. This is the date of the establishment of the Supreme Council which was established in Charleston, South Carolina.

1736
October 28 Solomon’s Lodge No. 1 is established in Charles Town and printed in the Gazette is the following announcement.

“Last night a Lodge of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, was held, for the first time, at Mr. Charles Shepheard’s, in Broad Street, when John Hammerton, Esq., Secretary and Receiver General for this Province was unanimously chosen Master, who was pleased to appoint Mr. Thomas Denne, Senior Warden, Mr. Tho. Harbin, Junior Warden, and Mr. James Gordon, Secretary.”

1741
Illustrious Brother John Mitchell was born in Ireland.

1744
Illustrious Brother Jean Baptiste Delahogue was born in Paris, France.

1766
Illustrious Brother James Moultrie was born to Dr. John and Eleanor Moultrie in September at Charleston, South Carolina who was one of the two American born founders of the Supreme Council.

1770
Isaac Auld was born on February 25 at Norristown, Pennsylvania.

1781
On June 25th, Colonial John Mitchell was advanced to a higher degree. Brother Barend M. Spitzer, in a convention of Inspectors holden at the city of Philadelphia, conferred the degrees, and the rank of an Inspector upon Colonial John Mitchell.

1783
Illustrious Brother John Mitchell becomes Master of the Lodge of Perfection established at Charleston.

1784
Brother Thomas Bartholomew Bowen arrives in Charleston and proceeds to establish a newspaper that goes through various title changes.

Columbian Herald was a semi-weekly, tri-weekly, daily, various title changes.

Established November 23, by Thomas B. Bowen and John Markland as the semi-weekly Columbian Herald, or Patriotic Courier of North America.  Issued tri- weekly from June 6, 1785 to November 24, 1785 when it became the semi-weekly Columbian Herald or The Independent Courier of North America.  In the fall of 1790 the paper became tri-weekly and early in 1792 changed title to the Columbian Herald and the General Advertiser but by July 23, 1793 was once more the tri-weekly Columbian Herald and the General Advertiser.  Four days later it became the Columbian Herald or the Southern Star. As of October 7, 1795 paper was the daily Columbian Herald or the New Daily Advertiser.  Paper ceased with issue No. 1888 on December 17, 1796.

1787
Colonel John Mitchell is elected Master of Lodge No. 8, Charleston

1791
Illustrious Brother John Mitchell arrives in Charleston, South Carolina.

May 7, 1791 President George Washington, with the City Intendment and Wardens, visited the Orphans House, and Col. John Mitchell is listed as the senior Commissioner receiving him, afterwards entertaining him at breakfast in the Commissioners’ Room.

1793
August 29, it lists Bowen printing office.

“CHARLESTON: Printed by HARRISON & BOWEN, No. 38, BAY, and Corner of Elliot Street: -- Where EBay, Articles of Intelligence, Advertisements, &c. will be gratefully received, and every Kind of Printing Performed. —Subscriptions for this Paper at Five Dollars per Annum—one half on subscribing, the Remainder at the end of the year.”

(From this description we can locate where he had his printing shop. Address changed due to new buildings being built. However Bowen pinpoints the location at 38 East Bay and corner of Elliot Street.)

The South Carolina Georgia Almanac, 1793, lists Bowen as Senior Warden of the Mount Zion Society {incorporated in 1777} and from its establishment he was active in the Society of the Cincinnati at Charleston, holding offices and serving on various committees.

1795
April 2, 1795, Bernard M. Spitzer appointed Colonel John Mitchell a Deputy Inspector General and his patent as such were issued the same day. He was still in East Bay Street, a Magistrate and Notary Public, according to the city directory.

1796
LaCandeur Lodge No. 36 is established on August 24th in Charleston. This lodge worked in the French language and kept its records in French and was allowed to work in the French Rite. Illustrious Brother Comte de Grasse with his father-in-law became a founder of Lodge La Candeur at Charleston.

December 12th Hyman Long and others issue a patent to De Grasse designating him to be a Deputy Grand Inspector General.

1797
Illustrious Brother Israel De Lieben is listed as a member of Orange Lodge No. 14 and as Hospitaller of the Grand Lodge during this year.

1798
In a list of the officers and members of the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati you will find these entries:

  • Thomas B. Bowen…Captain…Pa.
  • John Mitchell…D.Q.M. General…Pa.

Major Thomas B. Bowen was elected a member of the Society’s two Stewards on July 4, 1798, and it may be noted, parenthetically, that at the same time Col. John Mitchell was elected to the Standing Committee. 

Illustrious Brother Comte de Grasse is listed as Master of La Candeur Lodge in Charleston

1799
June 24th, Col. John Mitchell Under signed a circular as Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodges to meet at Washington, D.C.

1801
24th of May, the Brother John Mitchell, “K.H.P.R.S., Deputy Inspector-General,” granted to “Fredrick Dalcho, Esquire, late First Lieutenant in the First Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers, in the service of the United States of America, and Paymaster to the regular troops in the State of Georgia), Physician in the city of Charleston, South Carolina, and member of the Medical Society of said State,” a patent, certifying him to be K. H. and Prince of the Royal Secret, and creating him Deputy Inspector-General.

On April 01 Dr. Auld was elected the 65th member of the South Carolina Medical Society, preceding Dr. Dalcho (the 66th member) by three months. Dalcho and Auld were within a few months of being the same age, and the two men had a number of mutual interests to draw them together.

The Supreme Council for the Scottish Rite was founded on May31st at Shepheard’s Tavern located at the corner of Church and Broad Street.

  • Col. John Mitchell, Sovereign. Grand Commander
  • Dr. Fredrick Dalcho, Lieutenant Grand Commander
  • Emanuel de La Motta, Treasurer General of the Holy Empire
  • Abraham Alexander, Secretary General of the Holy Empire
  • Major T.B. Bowen, Grand Master of Ceremonies
  • Israel de Lieben, Sovereign Grand Inspector General
  • Issac Auld, Sovereign Grand Inspector General
  • Moses C. Levy, Sovereign Grand Inspector General
  • Dr. James Moultrie, Sovereign Grand Inspector General
  • Jean Baptiste Delahouge
  • Comte De Grasse

Colonel John Mitchell, a native of Ireland and an officer of the American Army in the War of the Revolution established “The New Age Magazine on May 31, 1801.

September 23 Dr. Dalcho delivers his first Orations to the “sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection” at Charleston. The “Oration” was dedicated to Col. John Mitchell, Supreme Grand Master, and President of the Supreme Council of Masons in the United States.

1802
Colonel John Mitchell issues a “Circular through the two Hemispheres” commonly referred to as the Supreme Council’s manifesto. Dalcho states, “The above report was taken into consideration, and the Council was pleased to express the highest approbation of the same. Whereupon Resolved, that the forgoing report be printed and transmitted to all the Sublime and Symbolic Grand Lodges, throughout the Two Hemispheres.”

The Register shows Brother Bowen as a Past Grand Master of the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, Grand Master of Ceremonies in the Chapter of Rose Croix and in the Grand Consistory, as well as holding the same title in the Supreme Council.

Illustrious Brother Abraham Alexander is listed in the Register of 1802 as the fourth officer of the Grand Council, as Grand Secretary of the Chapter of Rose Croix, and holding the same office in the Consistory and in the Supreme Council.

Illustrious Brother Moultrie is listed as grand Orator and Keeper of the Seals in the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, Grand Minister of State in the Consistory, and a Sovereign Grand Inspector in the Supreme Council.

May 9th Illustrious Brother Moses Clava Levy was made an active member of the Supreme Council in Charleston.

August 2 Illustrious Brother Dr. James Moultrie, M.D. was made a member of the Supreme Council.

1803
Dr. Dalcho delivers an Oration before the Grand Lodge of South Carolina titled,” An Oration Delivered In The Sublime Grand Lodge Of South Carolina, In Charleston on the 21st of March, A. L. 5807

1805
Brother Thomas Bartholomew Bowen dies at Hillsborough Plantation on July 12th and buried on the plantation. Brother Bowen is the first member of the Supreme Council to pass away.

1807
Brother Israel Delieben dies at Charleston on January 28th

Dr. Dalcho published the Ahiman Rezon or a book of Constitutions at the request of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons for the state of South Carolina. With the help of Dr. Dalcho the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and that of Ancient York Masons of South Carolina united under the name of “The Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of South Carolina” which continues to exist to the present time.

John Fowler was directed by the Original Chapter of Prince Masons of Ireland to write Dr. Frederick Dalcho and ask his permission to reprint his orations from 1801, 1803, and 1807. Dr. Dalcho replied on February 25, 1808, expressing his gratification at the request and readily acceding to it.

1809
Colonel John Mitchell is listed as a Past Master of Union Lodge No. 8

1813
September 13, Illustrious Brother De La Motta published a Manifesto at New York in which he declares Joseph Cerneau was described as an “Imposter of the first magnitude” and all the bodies working under his direction as unlawful.

1816 (or 1826)
Brother John Mitchell dies at Charleston January 25th

Brother Abraham Alexander dies at Charleston on February 21st and is listed as the fourth member of the Supreme Council to pass away.

1817
Dr. Dalcho publishes a book on the theological works titled A Letter On Public Baptism As Established By The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

1820
August Dr. Dalcho published another story, Evidences of the Divinity of Jesus Christ; With The Testimony Of Christian and Heathen Writers, That He was Called GOD, And Worshipped as GOD, In the First Three Centuries

1821
Brother Emanuel De La Motta passes away at Charleston on May 17th

1822
February 9, Illustrious Brother Isaac Auld issued new letters of Constitution for the Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Charleston, inactive since the fire of 1819. Brother Jean Baptiste Delahogue dies at Paris, France on April 13th (May) the alleged slave uprising of Denmark Vesey is revealed to authorities.

Dr. Frederick Dalcho published his second edition of the “Ahiman Rezon.”

November 15, Auld, Moultrie, and Levy meet as the Supreme Council to elect Dr. Moses Holbrook and Horatio Gates Street as newly made members of the Supreme Council in Charleston.

1823
Illustrious Brother Moultrie is listed as a past master of Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 in the Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1823.

Illustrious Brother Reverend Dalcho on October 31, 1823 sends a letter of resignation to be read at the Grand Lodge meeting.

Dr. Isaac Auld is named the new Grand Commander of the Supreme Council.

1824
Dr. Auld issues a letter of patent on August 13 to the Duke of Leinster as Grand Commander, John Fowler as Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree for Ireland, and Thomas McGill as Treasurer General.

1825
The membership of the Supreme Council was announced as follows:

  • Isaac Auld, Grand Commander
  • Moses Holbrook, Lieutenant Grand Commander
  • James Moultrie, Secretary General
  • M.C.Levy, Treasurer General
  • Horatio Gates
  • Alexander McDonald
  • Joseph Barker
  • Joseph Eveleth (Massachusetts)
  • John Rochie
  • Giles F. Yates (New York)
  • Frederick Dalcho (Past Grand Commander)

1826
May 16, Dr. Dalcho published another address, “An Address Delivered in St. Michael’s Church Charleston Protestant Episcopal Sunday school Society, At their Seventh Anniversary May 16 Being the Tuesday in Whitsun Week 1826

Brother Isaac Auld dies at Edisto Island on October 23rd of country fever and is buried on Edingsville Island off of Edisto Island.

1836
Brother James Moultrie dies at Charleston on November 20th

Brother Frederick Dalcho dies at Charleston on November 26th

1839
Brother Moses Clava Levy is at Charleston on April 2nd

1845
Brother Comte De Grasse dies at Paris, France on June 10th at 12:30AM due to chronic bronchial pneumonia.

1850
Albert G. Mackey, in his capacity as a Grand Inspector General from the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, organized the first Council of Royal and Select Masters in South Carolina.

References
History of the Supreme Council 33º 1801-1861
By Ray Baker Harris
Dated 1964

The History of Freemansory of South Carolina
By: Albert A. Mackey, M.D. Copy Right: 1931

Various Documents on Locale Lodges in Charleston

Various Newspaper articles printed in Charleston

Various Documents obtain from Philadelphia on Masonic Lodges in Charleston