En:Samuel Lawrence

From Freimaurer-Wiki
Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence. Image courtesy of Andy Chase
Image courtesy of Sean
Image courtesy of Andy Chase
"Bunch of Grapes" Image courtesy of Andy Chase
Most Worshipful Baalis Sanford Grand Master 1902, 1903, 1904. Image courtesy of Andy Chase

Samuel Crocker Lawrence

A bust of Samuel Lawrence in the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. (right)

Samuel Crocker Lawrence was initiated into Hiram Lodge in West Cambridge (now Arlington), Massachusetts, in 1854. A Civil War general, Lawrence became president of the Eastern Railroad Company in 1875 and served as the first mayor of the city of Medford, Massachusetts, from 1892 to 1894. An active Freemason, Lawrence bequeathed his extensive Masonic library to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts when he died in 1911. Today, the Grand Lodge Library is named in his honor.

Library & Museum

Source: Wikipedia

With the 1815 acquisition of a collection of Masonic books owned by R.W. and Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, the Grand Lodge had the beginnings of what would become one of the major Masonic libraries in the world. Rev. Harris was the first to hold the title of Grand Chaplain. By 1850, there were provisions for a standing committee to oversee a library, but the 1864 fire slowed the collection process. A number of Grand Masters in the late 19th century were considered strong Masonic scholars and were influential in building the collection.

It was not until 1930, however, that steps were taken to organize the growing collection. M.W. Melvin M. Johnson and others convinced J. Hugo Tatsch to come to Boston. Tatsch had developed a Masonic library classification system at the Iowa Masonic Library, and he put that system in place in Boston. Tatsch was amazed at the wealth of unique material he was able to uncover. When he died in 1939, his widow donated more than 1,000 items from his personal library. Tatsch’s assistant was Muriel Davis, who later became Mrs. Earl W. Taylor, wife of the Grand Secretary. Upon Tatsch’s death, she took over the duties in the library until her retirement in 1968. In 1993, the library was formally named in honor of Samuel Crocker Lawrence, a Civil War general who was Grand Master in 1881-83. Lawrence had left his extensive collection to the library in 1911.

His material included a valuable Enoch T. Carson collection. In addition to the books and periodicals, the Grand Lodge was a repository for many intriguing artifacts. In 1800, the Grand Lodge had requested from Martha Washington a lock of hair from the late George Washington. When she complied, Paul Revere created a golden urn for the hair. A similar request was made of Mrs. Garfield following the assassination of President and Brother James A. Garfield in 1882. In 1887, a committee recommended the formation of a Grand Lodge museum. One of the first items for the museum was a copy of the Warren family coat of arms presented by Joseph Warren Lodge in Boston.

As the collection grew, many of the items were put on display on the second floor of the Grand Lodge building. Concerned about the proper preservation of the historical items, Grand Master Donald G. Hicks negotiated with the Scottish Rite Supreme Council’s National Heritage Museum in Lexington to transfer the items from Boston on permanent loan. The collection was eventually transferred in 2004. The Grand Lodge library was then relocated from the third floor of the Boston building to the vacated area on the second floor.

Image Courtesy of Andy Chase. See also: En:Albert Pike