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Fraternal Greetings! A. Douglas Smith Lodge of Research Original Date: December 09/January 10 (snowed out) Original Topic: Robert Burns and American Freemasonry.

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Presentation on theme: "Fraternal Greetings! A. Douglas Smith Lodge of Research Original Date: December 09/January 10 (snowed out) Original Topic: Robert Burns and American Freemasonry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fraternal Greetings! A. Douglas Smith Lodge of Research Original Date: December 09/January 10 (snowed out) Original Topic: Robert Burns and American Freemasonry

2 Introduction: Robert G. Watkins, Jr. PM Alexandria-Washington #22 – 2007 VM Lodge of Perfection Alexandria Scottish Rite Bodies

3 Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) literary Bridge Connecting old and new world masonic fraternities 2010 is the 251 st Anniversary year of birth

4 Scottish Plowman-Poet of Romantic Period Scottish Plowman-Poet of Romantic Period Self Education Develops Natural Abilities Self Education Develops Natural Abilities Masonry a Social and Literary Influence Masonry a Social and Literary Influence Wrote Two Volumes of Poetry & Collected Songs Wrote Two Volumes of Poetry & Collected Songs Poetic Themes: Liberty, Independence, Nature Poetic Themes: Liberty, Independence, Nature Proclaimed Bard of Caledonia in Masonic Lodge Proclaimed Bard of Caledonia in Masonic Lodge Poem: Ode to Washington’s Birthday Poem: Ode to Washington’s Birthday Posthumous Resonance With American Masons Posthumous Resonance With American Masons Robert Burns

5 Evolution of Burns Memory In 18 th Century Little Name Recognition Outside of Local Region Celebrity Among Scottish Masons and Scottish Diaspora In 19 th and 20 th Centuries Burns Clubs Washington D.C. Extravaganza Various Monuments with Masonic Ceremonies Carnegie Libraries Worldwide - Provisions for Burns Works In 21 st Century High School Literature Textbook 250 th Birthday Seminar at Library of Congress Celebrations in AW#22, Andrew Jackson - WDC

6 Literary Themes In Burns Writings  Scottish Cultural Heritage (History)  Religious Freedom  Economic Liberalism  Concepts of Universal Suffrage  Love of Nature

7 Masonic Tendencies In Burns’ Literature  Ideas of Social Liberalism  Republicanism  Principles of Social Democracy  Support for American Revolution  Ode To George Washington ? Tam O’Shanter ? Cotters Saturday Night

8 Masonic Connections Open New Perspective  Celebrated Author and “Bard of Caledonia”  Social Contacts Among Prominent Masons  Visited numerous lodges  Financial security  Masonic Subscriptions Support Publishing  Travel …collected songs and ballads

9 1 March 1787 Robert Burns Acclaimed Bard of Caledonia in Canongate Killwinnig Lodge

10 Synopsis of Burns Life At Death In 1796 Life of Penury and Hardship Life of Penury and Hardship Limited Formal Education – But Gifted Limited Formal Education – But Gifted Masonic Ties Gave Social Prominence Masonic Ties Gave Social Prominence Two Volumes of Poetry Published Two Volumes of Poetry Published Chap Books and Songs Widespread Chap Books and Songs Widespread Controversial Reputation and Heritage Controversial Reputation and Heritage

11 Posthumous Developments: First Burns Club Formed in Scotland  "To cherish the name of Robert Burns; to foster a love of his writings, and generally to encourage an interest in the Scottish dialect and literature.“  Burns Clubs Worldwide – Annual Dinner Program. -Selkirk Grace –Tam O’Shanter -Ode To Haggis –Auld Lang Syne (some characteristics of a Table Lodge!)  Very Important Among Scottish Diaspora in U.S. with Resonance Among American Masons

12 -United States Constitution -Ratified on 21 June Bill of Rights -First Amendment Rights -Freedoms of Speech and Assembly >First Amendment Special Interest Groups -Political -Economic -Social/Cultural -Examples of Accomplishments: -George Washington Monument -Ronald Reagan Legacy Project -Captain John Smith National Waterway Burns Clubs of North America -12+ Monuments to Robert Burns The World in 1788

13 Burns Becomes Cult Figure In 19 th and 20 th Centuries (Based on Activities of Interest Groups)  George Washington  Abraham Lincoln  William Robertson Smith  Andrew Carnegie

14 “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal Albert Pike

15 Washington as Depicted in Irish Masonic Literature from 1792 (an example of how George Washington was perceived)

16 Burns Established “Mystic Tie” with Ode To George Washington

17 Upper-Class Land Owning Gentry Parentage Upper-Class Land Owning Gentry Parentage Tutorial Education – Appointed Surveyor in Virginia Tutorial Education – Appointed Surveyor in Virginia Becomes Mason in 1752 in Virginia Lodge. Becomes Mason in 1752 in Virginia Lodge. Colonial-Era Military, Political, and Social Leader Colonial-Era Military, Political, and Social Leader Masonic Philosophy Central to Personal Values Masonic Philosophy Central to Personal Values Fraternal Ties Guide Professional Relationships Fraternal Ties Guide Professional Relationships Masonic Framework to Leadership Abilities Masonic Framework to Leadership Abilities George Washington

18 1788 George Washington First President of U.S. and First Master of Alexandria Lodge #22

19 Masonic Memorials To Ill. Brother George Washington George Washington National Memorial Baker Statue of Washington

20 2007 – Traditions of the Lodge Annual Wreath Laying at Tomb of Ill. Brother George Washington

21 Robert Burns Birthplace Museum Robert Burns Memorial - Alloway Memorials to Robert Burns in Scotland

22 Robert Burns and Resonance In American Freemasonry  Spokesman for Ideal of Equality Among All Men  Masonic Themes: Morality, Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth  Masonry as a Social and Philosophic Bond to Brothers  Proclaimed Bard of Caledonia in Masonic Lodge  Poem: Ode to Washington’s Birthday  Created Fraternal Tie With Most Famous Mason  Posthumous Response From American Masons

23 Traditions of Robert Burns In American Folklore  First Publications of Burns Works in 1786  147 American Editions in W.R. Smith Collection From  George Washington Subscriber to Second Philadelphia Edition  Burns Clubs and St. Andrews Societies Organized  Ethnic Celebrations Adopt Burns Music and Poetry  Monuments with Masonic Dedication Ceremonies  Ten Burns Monuments Dedicated  1859 Masonic Centennial of Burns Birthday in Washington D.C.  Wallace Bruce and Abraham Lincoln Monuments in America and Scotland  Rob Morris – Poet Laureate of Masonry (second after Robert Burns)  Carnegie Libraries in America and Scotland  Conditions For Placing Burns Bust and Works in Every Library  Cornerstone Laying Ceremonies a Common Feature of Dedication  William Robertson Smith Burnsiana Collection

24 American Library Collections By and About Robert Burns  W.R. Smith Burns Collection in Washington D.C.  178 American Editions  442 International Editions  Catalog Statistics Cover Period 1788 – 1911  Indicate Interest in Burns at that time  Smith Collection is Most Complete of that Period  Maintained at AASR (SJ) House of the Temple

25 Andrew Carnegie Libraries in America  1,946 Carnegie Libraries Built between Bust of Robert Burns in Each Library -Works of Robert Burns in Each Collection  Masonic Cornerstone Laying a Common Feature  Andrew Carnegie and William Robertson Smith Collaboration  Bequest of Burnsiana Collection to Scottish Rite Library  Believed Largest Collection of Burns Material at That Period

26 American Monuments to Robert Burns About 12 monuments in North America About 12 monuments in North America All dedicated with Masonic participation All dedicated with Masonic participation President Lincoln Was Avid Reader of Burns President Lincoln Was Avid Reader of Burns Wallace Bruce Connects Lincoln to Burns Wallace Bruce Connects Lincoln to Burns Abraham Lincoln As Regarded by Freemasons Abraham Lincoln As Regarded by Freemasons Our Very Illustrious Brother Abraham LincolnOur Very Illustrious Brother Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Monument to Lincoln in Edinburg Emancipation Monument to Lincoln in Edinburg Monument to Burns in Chicago Monument to Burns in Chicago

27 Calton Burying Ground, Edinburg, Monument to Lincoln Chicago Monument to Robert Burns

28 Dedication Ceremonies Conducted by the Grand Lodge of New York

29 American Masonic Lodges Named For Robert Burns  A Moving Picture over 250 Years  Currently About 6 Lodges with Internet Pages  Continue Masonic Traditions Surrounding Robert Burns  Alexandria-Washington #22 Lodge Burns Night in 2009  Andrew-Jackson #120 Lodge Burns Night in 2009  Scottish Rite Temple in 2009  Auld Lang Syne  Scottish Knight of St. Andrew  Waco Texas 2009 Tradition of Burns Night Established

30 Enduring Masonic Interest in Robert Burns

31 In Summary: Robert Burns -18 th Century Scottish Mason Robert Burns -18 th Century Scottish Mason Literary Works Reflect Masonic Values Literary Works Reflect Masonic Values Esteemed Among American Masons Esteemed Among American Masons Books - Clubs - Monuments – Libraries Books - Clubs - Monuments – Libraries Perpetuate Memory Perpetuate Memory American Social Groups Adopt Burns American Social Groups Adopt Burns …And Thus Thru a Succession of Ages… …And Thus Thru a Succession of Ages…

32 Brethren, I believe we have found the end!


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