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    Knights of the Golden Circle

    Jul 2009
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    The Spread of Freemasonry Among the American Indians of the United States
    by Dr. Patrick Neal Minges

    On January 20, 1791, a curious assembly of Americans appeared before thebrethren
    of the Prince of Wales Lodge #259 in London, England. The minutes of theLodge
    recorded the event: William Augustus Bowles, a Chief of the Creek Nation, whose
    love of Masonryhas induced him to wish it may be introduced into the interior
    part of America,whereby the cause of humanity and brotherly love will go hand in
    hand with thenative courage of the Indians, and by the union lead them on to the
    highest titlethat can be conferred on man, to be both good and great, was
    proposed by theRight Worshipful Master, with the Approbation of the Prince to be
    admitted anHonorary Member of this Lodge. He was seconded by the Secretary, and
    receivedthe unanimous applause of the whole Lodge.1 Though Bowles was not
    actually an American Indian, he was considered among theChiefs of the Creek
    Nation by the Indians themselves and was also appointed by theGrand Lodge of
    England to the "provincial grand master of the Creek, Cherokee,Chickasaw, and
    Choctaw Indians." 2 Bowles was accompanied by three Cherokee and twoCreek
    headman and it is reported that they visited the Grand Lodge of England as well
    asseveral other lodges. Though Bowles and his associates were "lionized by
    London society in 1791," heand his associates were neither first Native American
    Freemasons nor even the firstIndian Freemasons to visit England. That honor
    belongs to Joseph Brant(Thayendanegea), the principal War Chief of the Mohawk
    Nation who also translated the 1 William R Denslow, Freemasonry and the American
    Indian (St Louis: Missouri Lodge of Research, 1956, 125. 2 Denslow, 58.

    Page 2

    Gospel of Mark and the Book of Common Prayer into his language. He received
    hisdegrees in Hiram's Cliftonian Lodge No. 417 at some point before the onset of
    theRevolutionary War. When he sailed to England in 1776, Brant was presented to
    the court,wined and dined at the expense of the government, and had his picture
    painted by one ofthe outstanding artists of England. The British government, who
    sought to bestowdegrees and Masonic titles as a means of soliciting support
    among influential colonistspulled out all stops for Brant; it is given on good
    authority that Brant received hisMasonic apron at the hands of King George the
    Third. 3 The British appeal worked perfectly. Brant spent much of his time
    trying to amassthe support of his people, but many natives resented his fidelity
    to the British Crown. Infact, revisionists often hold Brant accountable for
    dividing his people and destroying theLeague of Six Nations. While nations such
    as the Mohawks and the Seneca sided withBritain; the Oneida and the Tuscarora
    supported the Americans throughout most of theRevolutionary period. 4 Even
    though he sided with the British, his loyalties were neverunclear; on several
    occasions, Brant spared the lives of fellow Freemasons and yetenemies when at
    the point of despair, they presented "the great mystic appeal to a Masonin the
    hour of danger." 5 In case it has missed your grasp, we appear to have plunged
    right into the deepwith respect to the spread of Freemasonry among American
    Indians; that is with intent.We are not addressing "Indian Masonry." There have
    been numerous treatises written the 3 Denslow, 101-102.4 History Television
    [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation], "Joseph Brant"
    [http://www.historytelevision.ca/chie.../sp_brant.asp] (Accessed
    September 13, 2003) 5 Sidney Hayden, in Cornelius Moore, Leaflets of Masonic
    Biography, (n.p., 1863), 27.

    Page 3

    attempt to find relationships between the philosophies and practices of the
    indigenouspeoples and their corresponding principles and practices within
    Freemasonry. There havealso been quite a few discussions of how travelers to the
    Western Frontier encounterednative peoples who hailed them with the signs and
    symbols of the brotherhood. Equallyso, many persons have found affinities
    between Indian "secret societies" and "fraternalorders" and those of
    Freemasonry; even the great Arthur C. Parker, himself a Freemason,stated that:
    The Masonry of the Indians as philosophers dealing with moral truths grew out
    oftheir experiences with nature and the actions of humankind. The wise men of
    thetribes knew that a band of men pledged to uphold morality and to enact
    rituals itsadvantage would constitute a dynamic influence.6 However, in his work
    Indian Masonry, Robert Wright comes to the following conclusion: There us no
    Indian Masonry in that small and narrow sense which most of us thinkof; that is
    one who pays lodge dues, wears an apron like ours gives signs so nearlylike ours
    that we find him perforce a Mason in any degree or degrees we know,and which
    degrees we are prone to watch, just as we do a procession of historicalfloats,
    which casually interest us, and maybe a little more so if we can but secure
    aplace at the head of the procession, the true meaning of which we have but a
    faintidea about. This makes our own Masonry as meaningless as the interpretation
    ofIndian signs by an --deleted-- trapper. 7 What we are addressing is the spread of
    Freemasonry among those persons ofAmerican Indian heritage and brought up within
    the culture and traditions of theindigenous peoples of the Americas in general
    and the United States in particular. It isquite important to stress at this
    point that there is no such thing as an "American Indian"in the generic sense in
    which they have easily definable common traits and characteristicsany more than
    we can state that the Irish, the German, and Italian have the same. Thenative
    peoples of the Americas had thousands of mutually unintelligible languages and 6
    Arthur C. Parker, American Indian Freemasonry (Buffalo, Buffalo Consistory, A.
    A. S. R. N. M. J. U. S. A., 1919), 36p. 7 Robert Wright, Indian Masonry. Ayer
    Collection, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL., 1905.

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    distinct social, political, and cultural practices that defined and often set
    themselves inopposition to other indigenous persons in the midst and from afar.
    Today there are about500 American Indian peoples, each with its own language and
    cultural traditions rootedin their historical experience with their surrounding
    environment, the creatures thatinhabit it, and whatever divine force they
    believe made it all possible.Why would persons of Native American descent wish
    to become associated withthe philosophical traditions and ritual practices of
    Freemasonry? To me, there is a verysimple answer -- for the very same reasons
    that every other person who has chosen tobecome affiliated with the craft. I
    will no more attempt to articulate these reasons for youthat I would ask you to
    expose the inner workings of your own heart and soul to a curiousand
    exploratory, but often --deleted--, interloper. What is important is that
    countlessAmerican Indians across history have chosen to become Freemasons and
    continue to doso even unto this very day. They are our brothers in every sense
    of the word and whateverpolitical, religious, and even cultural differences that
    they express from us are eclipsed bythe three great lights of our brotherhood.
    There can be but one simple answer to thisquestion as to why Native Americans
    join our brotherhood… "so to act, that the principle of his actions may be
    exalted to a law of nature; to actin that manner only in which he thinks that He
    who has given to nature itsimmutable laws, would have compelled him to act, had
    He chosen to introducecompulsion into the realm of mind, in order to realize his
    design."8 That they have done so is indisputable. Some of the most important
    leaders of thevarious nations that make up our indigenous peoples have chosen to
    become a part ofFreemasonry. Tecumseh, a Shawnee prophet who reportedly "was
    made a Mason whileon a visit to Philadelphia," was the leader of a Pan-Indian
    movement in the eighteenthcentury. Alexander McGillivray, a mixed blood leader
    of the Muskogee, and LouisAnnance, of the Alnombak people of the Abenaki Nation,
    were skilled political leaders.Red Jacket, famous orator of the Seneca and
    leader of the traditionalist resistance amongthe Iroquois, was a Freemason. His
    nephew, General Ely S. Parker, was General U.S.Grant's Adjutant and drew up the
    conditions of surrender at Appomattox. He went on to 8 The Masonic Monthly, "The
    Lesson Taught By The Three Great Lights"
    [http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/three_great_lights.htm] (Accessed September 13,
    2003).

    Page 5

    be the First American Indian Commissioner of Indian Affairs under Grant. Leaders
    onboth sides of the Civil War in the Indian Territory including John Ross,
    Opothle Yahola,Elias Boudinot, John Jumper, Peter Pitchlyn, Stand Watie, the
    last Confederate general tosurrender. Coming forward into history, we find
    Carlos Montezuma, doctor andspokesman for the Yavapai Indian; Arthur C. Parker,
    Scientist, Scholar and LiteraryFigure from the Seneca Nation; Philip DeLoria,
    Sioux leader and Episcopal Priest; andlast but certainly not least Will Rogers,
    American humorist and philanthropist. 9 Thoughmany of these names may not be
    familiar to you, they can be considered among theilluminati of the First Nations
    of the United States.The story of the first American Indian Freemasonic lodges
    has yet anotherinteresting aspect. J. Fred Latham, in The Story of Oklahoma
    Masonry, reports that notonly were Native "chiefs" made Masons in the East, but
    that because both the NativeAmerican leaders and the military officers who
    removed them during the "Trail of Tears"were Masons, it made the process of
    removal "more orderly." 10 General Winfield Scott, aFreemason, who presided over
    the removal of the Cherokee, gave explicit orders topursue this distasteful
    activity with civility, "Every possible kindness...must therefore beshown by the
    troops, and if, in the ranks, a despicable individual should be found capableof
    inflicting a wanton injury or insult on any Cherokee man, woman, or child, it is
    herebymade the special duty of the nearest good officer or man, instantly to
    interpose, and toseize and consign the guilty wretch to the severest penalty of
    the laws. 11 When asked bythe leaders of the Cherokee Nation to postpone removal
    because of drought and sicknessamong the Cherokee, General Scott again showed
    compassion for his fraternal brothers.Negotiating with General Scott was Chief
    John Ross, a Master Mason in good standingwith the Olive Branch Lodge of the
    Free and Accepted Masons in Jasper, Tennessee. 12 9 Patrick Minges, "Famous
    Native American Freemasons" [http://www.people.virginia.edu/~pnm3r/freemasons/]
    (Accessed September 13, 2003). 10 Latham, 2.11 Winfield Scott quoted in Grace
    Steele Woodward, The Cherokees (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963),
    204. 12 Woodward, 214.

    Page 6

    Finally, when it appeared that his troops could not handle the process of
    removalas well as the Cherokee themselves, Scott agreed to a plea from Chief
    John Ross to allowthe Cherokee to manage removal themselves. When Andrew
    Jackson, Former GrandMaster of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, heard of Scott's
    brotherly relief, he wrote, "Iam so feeble I can scarcely wield my pen, but
    friendship dictates it and the subject excitesme. Why is it that the scamp Ross
    is not banished from the notice of thisadministration?" 13 Upon arrival in the
    new territory, former members of the Freemasonic lodgesfrom the East began to
    organize the craft in their new home. J. Fred Latham describesthis particular
    phenomenon in The Story of Oklahoma Masonry: The history of the Indian
    Territory, and indeed that of Freemasonry in the presentstate of Oklahoma, is so
    closely interwoven with that of the Five Civilized Tribes itwould be difficult
    -- almost impossible -- and entirely undesirable to attempt toseparate them. 14
    A number of the ministers, merchants and military personnel were members ofthe
    craft. Along with the many Indians inducted into the craft, they began to
    havemeetings throughout the Indian Territory. These meetings moved from very
    informalsocial groupings into fellowship meetings where Masons met and enjoyed
    fraternaldiscussions. Applications for authority to organize lodges in several
    places were made,but urgent domestic problems prevented the satisfactory
    organization of lodges.According to J. Fred Latham, members of the craft took an
    active part in the stabilizationof the community through the organization of law
    enforcement and through their activityin the political affairs of the Five
    Nations. 15 In 1848, a group of Cherokee Freemasons made application to Grand
    Master R.H.Pulliam of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and were granted a
    dispensation to formulate a"blue lodge" in the Cherokee capital 16 Brother
    George Moser, Secretary and Historian of 13 John P. Brown, Old Frontiers
    (Kingsport: Tennessee, 1938), 511.14 J. Fred Latham, The Story of Oklahoma
    Masonry (Oklahoma City: Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, 1957), 8.15 Latham, 5. 16
    Albert Mackey describes a "blue lodge" as: "A symbolic Lodge, in which the first
    three degrees are conferred, is so called from the color of its decorations." A
    "blue lodge" is the common determination for

    Page 7

    the Cherokee lodge presents the information as follows, "Facts as taken from
    theproceedings of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas show that
    theCommittee on Charters and Dispensations did, on November 7, 1848 at the hour
    of 9:00a.m., recommend that a charter be granted to `Cherokee Lodge' at
    Tahlequah, CherokeeNation, and that it be given the number `21'". 17 The
    officers were sworn in at SupremeCourt Headquarters on Keetoowah Street on July
    12, 1849; it was the first lodge of IndianFreemasons established in the United
    States. 18 In 1852, the Cherokee National Council donated several lots in
    Tahlequah to beused jointly by the Masonic Lodge and the Sons of Temperance for
    the construction of abuilding to house their respective organizations. The
    building was erected in 1853, andowned jointly by the two organizations; the
    Sons of Temperance 19 occupied the firstfloor and Cherokee Lodge #21 occupied
    the second floor. The lodge building was usedfor a number of community services,
    including lodge meetings, temperance meetings,educational instruction, and
    church meetings; later, because of the noise, bothorganizations used the upper
    floor, leaving the lower floor for church services and publicmeetings. 20
    Freemasonry flourished among the Native Americans in Indian Territory,
    leadingthe Grand Master of Arkansas to comment upon his "red brethren" in 1855:
    this lodge as opposed to lodges that grant higher degrees such as the Scottish
    Rites or York Rites. (Mackey,120) 17 George Moser, quoted in Latham, 6.18 T.L.
    Ballenger, History of Cherokee Lodge #10, T.L. Ballenger Papers, Ayer
    Collection, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL., 5; J. Fred Latham, The Story of
    Oklahoma Masonry (Oklahoma City: Grand Lodgeof Oklahoma, 1978) 5- 8. 19 The Sons
    of Temperance modeled its constitution on those of the Freemasons and Odd
    Fellows and based their organization around simple initiation rituals. As time
    progressed, the Sons of Temperance andorganizations such as it developed
    increasingly complicated rituals even further aligned with those of
    theFreemasons. (Carnes, 8) 20 Ballenger, 6. It is important to note that the
    Cherokee Indian Baptist Association, consisting of six "colored churches" held
    its first organizational meeting in the Cherokee Masonic Lodge in 1870.
    [J.M.Gaskins, History of Black Baptists in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Messenger
    Press, 1992), 118)]

    Page 8

    All over the length and breadth of our state the (Masonic) Order is
    flourishing,and amongst our red Brethren, in the Indian Territory, it is taking
    deep hold, andnow embraces a goodly number of Lodges and Brethren. The members
    of theseLodges compare very favorably with their pale-face neighbors. In fact,
    it isreported of them that they exemplify practically the Masonic teachings and
    ritualby living in the constant discharge of those charities and moral virtues
    so forciblyinculcated in our lectures, thereby demonstrating to all that Masonry
    is not onlyspeculative, but that it is a living practical reality; of great
    utility to the humanrace, and of eminent service to a social community. 21
    Freemasonry was indeed "taking deep hold." From the very first lodge formed
    among theCherokee in Tahlequah, the brotherhood had spread among missionaries,
    merchants, andNative Americans throughout Indian Territory. Reverend John
    Bertholf, member ofCherokee Lodge #21, relocated to the Creek Nation and was
    appointed Superintendent ofthe Asbury Mission in Eufaula in 1859. George Butler,
    government agent and juniorwarden of Cherokee Lodge #21, became one of the
    charter members of the military baselodge at Fort Gibson Lodge #35. Doaksville
    Lodge #52 was organized in the ChoctawNation and led by Chief Peter Pitchlyn,
    Sam Garvin, Basil Laflore, plantation ownerRobert Jones, and also American Board
    missionary Cyrus Kingsbury. Walter Scott Adair,Worshipful Master of Cherokee
    Lodge #21, left Lodge #21 to organize Flint Lodge #74near the Baptist Mission
    deep in Keetoowah country in the southeastern corner of theCherokee Nation.
    Joseph Coodey, nephew of John Ross and Junior Warden of Cherokee Lodge
    #21,resettled in the Creek Nation at North Fork Town near Eufala. 22 In the
    Creek Nation,Benjamin Marshall, George Stidham, and Samuel Checote, all
    affiliates of the AsburyMission, formed Muscogee Lodge #93 at the Creek Agency
    near the border of theCherokee Nation. One of the early members of Muscogee
    Lodge #93 was a prominent 21 Ballenger, 5.22 G.W. Grayson, A Creek Warrior for
    the Confederacy: The Autobiography of Chief G.W. Grayson, W. David Biard, ed.
    (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988), 127.

    Page 9

    traditional leader (and relative of Asi Yahola, i.e., Osceola ) 23 by the name
    of OpothleYahola. 24 When the winds of the Civil War hit the Indian Territory,
    it sent a bitter chillthrough the lodges. In 1855 Brother John Ross, the Chief
    of the Cherokee Nation,discovered the emergence of "a secret society organized
    in Delaware and SalineDistricts" dedicated to the promotion of slavery and the
    removal of abolitionist interestsfrom the Cherokee Nation. 25 According to Ross,
    at the core of this "sinister plot" were so-called "Blue Lodges" established in
    the Indian Territory by officials from Arkansas. 26 Many of the pro-slavery
    factions in the Cherokee Nation had ties to Arkansas and it wasbelieved by Ross
    that these elements were using the "Blue Lodges" associated with theArkansas
    Grand Lodge to "create excitement and strife among the Cherokee people." 27 The
    "Blue Lodges" were so closely affiliated with the Southern Methodist church
    thatsome considered them to be the spiritual arm of the organization, "The
    [Southern]Methodists take slavery by the hand, encourage it, speak in its favor,
    and brand all thosewho oppose it with opprobrious epithets. As they support
    slavery, of course slaverysupports them." 28 23 Asi Yahola (Osceola) was a
    prominent leader of the African American/ Seminole resistance movement in
    Florida. He was married to an African American runaway slave. Some reporters
    state the cause of theSecond Seminole War was the seizure of Osceola's African
    wife by merchants who sought to sell her backinto slavery. Osceola was finally
    murdered following treachery by federal authorities. In a practice whichhas
    become common among Florida authorities, his brain was "donated to science" and
    kept on a shelve formany years. 24 Denslow, 70-75. For information on Opothle
    Yahola, see John Bartlett Meserve, "Chief Opothleyahola" Chronicles of Oklahoma
    10 (Winter, 1931): 439-452; Clee Woods, "Oklahoma's Great Opothle Yahola"North
    South Trader 4, (January-February): 22-36; Mrs. Clement Clay, "Recollections of
    Opothleyahola"Arrow Points 4 (February 1922): 35-36. 25 John Ross to Evan Jones,
    May 5, 1855, "Correspondence of Missionaries to Native Americans, [microform],
    1825-1865," American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, N.Y. 26 I use the
    term "Blue Lodges" because that is what most of the scholars, including
    McLoughlin and Mooney use to describe these lodges. However, the fact that Ross
    was a Freemason meant that heunderstood the term "Blue Lodge" quite well and
    would not have used it unadvisedly. In all probability,these "Blue Lodges" were
    Freemasonic lodges tied to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. 27 John Ross to Evan
    Jones, May 5, 1855, "Correspondence of Missionaries to Native Americans,
    [microform], 1825-1865," American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, N.Y. 28
    John B. Jones, July 12, 1858, "Correspondence of Missionaries to Native
    Americans, [microform], 1825- 1865," American Baptist Historical Society,
    Rochester, N.Y.

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    History records the "Blue Lodges" as being the seat of the pro-slavery
    movement,but this appears to be an inaccuracy rooted in a too-convenient
    association of the "BlueLodges" with the pro-slavery movement. It is easy to see
    from the membership roll ofCherokee Lodge #21 that there were also members of
    the Ross Party who belonged tothese so-called "Blue Lodges." It seems that there
    was a split within the Freemasoniclodges within Indian Territory along the lines
    of party affiliation related to the efforts ofthe Grand Lodge of Arkansas to use
    the lodges to promote the issue of "SouthernRights." 29 Some members of the
    lodges were opposed to the efforts of the ArkansasGrand Lodge, as revealed in a
    later discussion by Lodge historian T. L. Ballenger:There seems to have
    developed some misunderstanding between themother Lodge and Cherokee Lodge at
    that time, the exact nature of whichthe records fail to reveal: possibly it was
    a coolness that had grown out ofdifferent attitudes toward the war. The
    Cherokees were divided, some ofthem fighting for the North and some for the
    South. It happened that theleading members of the Lodge sympathized with the
    North. 30 As a result of the split within the lodges within Indian Territory or
    perhapsprecipitating the split, some of the members of the "Blue Lodges" became
    associated witha secessionist secret society by the name of the "Knights of the
    Golden Circle." Othermembers of the "Blue Lodges" within the Indian Territory
    became associated with atraditionalist secret society in the Cherokee Nation
    entitled the Keetoowah Society.Throughout the duration of the Civil War, these
    two competing "secret societies" foughttooth and nail for the fate of the Indian
    territory and the bitter struggle between these two 29 This opinion is supported
    by evidence that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas refused to recognize the charters
    of many of the lodges in Indian Territory following the cessation of the Civil
    War. In addition, theGrand Lodge of Arkansas considered many of the charters
    "forfeited" and would only grant the lodges newcharters if the were reorganized
    under a different name. Cherokee Lodge #21 became Cherokee Lodge #10when it was
    reorganized after repeated attempts for recognition in 1877. Fort Gibson Lodge #
    35 becameAlpha Lodge #12 in 1878. Flint Lodge #74 became Flint Lodge # 11 in
    1876.(Starr, 185). Muskogee Lodge#93 and Choctaw Lodge #52 also forfeited their
    charter following the Civil War. The Grand Lodge whichrefused the recognition
    was led by J.S. Murrow, the "Father of Oklahoma Masonry," a Baptist ministerwho
    was a Confederate States Indian Agent during the Civil War. (Latham,10; West,
    103) 30 T.L. Ballenger, History of Cherokee Lodge #10, T.L. Ballenger Papers,
    Ayer Collection, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL., 12; "Pin Indians" in Robert
    Wright, Indian Masonry, (n.p., 1905) Ayer Collection,Newberry Library, Chicago,
    IL., 105.

    Page 11

    groups was carried out with a ferocity that left not even innocent persons
    unharmed. Theeffect upon the Indian Territory was devastating:The events of the
    war brought to them more of the desolation and ruinthan perhaps to any other
    community. Raided and sacked alternately, notonly by Confederate and Union
    forces, but also by the vindictive ferocityand hate of their own factional
    divisions, their country became ablackened and desolate waste. Driven from
    comfortable homes, exposedto want, misery, and the elements, they perished like
    sheep in asnowstorm. Their houses, fences, and other improvements were
    burned,their orchards destroyed, their flocks and herds were slaughtered or
    drivenoff, their schools broken up, their schoolhouses given to the flames,
    andtheir churches and public buildings subjected to a similar fate; and
    thatentire portion of their country which had been occupied by theirsettlements
    was distinguishable from the virgin prairie only by thescorched and blackened
    chimneys and the plowed but now neglectedfields. 31 When the war was over and
    nations such as the Cherokee needed healing, theyelected Bro. William Potter
    Ross to be the new Principal Chief of the Reunified nation.One of the founding
    members of Cherokee Lodge #21, he was to go on to become theWorshipful Master of
    the lodge in 1851 -- a time before the lodge would split over theissues that
    ultimately led to the Civil War. In addition, William P. Ross had been theleader
    of the reconciliation of the Cherokee Nation following the Treaty of 1846:He
    (Ross) and the other headmen of the Cherokee nation were at thecapital to
    arrange a treaty made necessary by the late enforced removal oftheir tribe from
    Georgia to the Indian Territory. These headmen werearrayed in two hostile
    factions, and the negotiations were at a standstill.But at one of the meetings
    of Federal Lodge (Federal Lodge #1,Washington, D.C.), the rival leaders, all
    Freemasons, were broughttogether by the exertions of Worshipful Master S. Yorke
    and othermembers, and the treaty was successfully completed. 32 31 Charles
    Royce, "Cherokee Nation," Fifth Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian
    Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, n.d.), 376. 32 "History of Federal Lodge #1,"
    quoted in Denslow, 183. William Potter Ross was raised to the Third Degree on
    April 25, 1848 in Federal Lodge #1 in Washington, D.C. [Denslow, 183].

    Page 12

    In spite of their political, social, and party differences, one of the key
    elements that hadbrought together the disparate elements of Cherokee Society had
    been the interest in andpromotion of brotherhood by the Freemasonic lodges in
    the Cherokee Nation. Ross usedthis background to his advantage. Many of the
    leaders of the Keetoowah Society and theKnights of the Golden Circle were former
    Freemasons in the lodges of the IndianTerritory. Many of the government agents,
    military officials, religious authorities, andinfluential citizens of the Indian
    Territory were also Freemasons. That William P. Rosswas a power broker and a
    conciliatory force in the Cherokee Nation under the auspices ofthe Freemasonic
    brotherhood is a factor that cannot be ignored. 33 However, Freemasonry among
    Native Americans is not just an historicphenomenon. In Oklahoma today, there are
    Freemasonic lodges in nearly every IndianNation; the Order of the Eastern Star
    is also quite popular. The Oklahoma Indian Degreeteam is perhaps the most
    well-traveled of group of Freemasons in the United States; theytour the nation
    constantly and sometimes internationally. Dressed in the full regalia oftheir
    American Indian heritage, they raise Masons to the third degree in our ancient
    andesoteric ritual.The Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team was organized in 1948
    after thedeath of Brother Will Rogers. The team currently consists of 15 active
    members, 11 ofwhich are Past Masters. Nine recognized tribes are represented:
    Apache, Cherokee,Choctaw, Creek, Oneida, Osage, Ottawa, Seminole, and Sycamore.
    States visited include:Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
    Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, 33 William R. Denslow, in his work
    Freemasonry and the American Indian, describes Ross's influence, "In later
    years, passions broke all bounds and some of the darkest pages of Cherokee
    history were written. Inretrospect, the influence and principles of Freemasonry
    can be seen as the greatest healer of these oldwounds within the Cherokee
    family. This fact is emphasized by the thought of Chief William P.
    Ross,presiding in the East over a Cherokee lodge, while the men around the altar
    would have thought it apatriotic duty to slay him only a short time before. The
    roster of the Cherokee lodge is a revelation to thestudent of the times, and, if
    it were not for its undisputed authority, it would hardly be believed in
    thisgeneration." (Denslow, 69).

    Page 13

    Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachuetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire,
    NewJersey, New Mexico, New York and Texas. Oklahoma lodges represented are:
    BrokenArrow #423, Cherokee #10, Delta #425, Daylight #542, Dustin #336, Ottawa
    #492,Sapulpa #170 and Skiatook #416. One of the most interesting of all groups
    of Indian Freemasons is the AkdarShrine Indian Dance Unit of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Its members come from diverse nationssuch as the Cherokee, Navajo, Quapaw,
    Creek, Shawnee, Apache, and Kiowa. Whatunites these men of divergent nations are
    two things – their love of Freemasonry and theirlove of traditional forms of
    dance. They regularly perform traditional dances at specialevents, pow-wows, and
    shrine circuses in Oklahoma and throughout the Southwest andMidwest. The Akdar
    Indians, being the only all-Native American unit in Shrinedom, notonly share a
    common heritage, but also share a common bond with their fellow Nobleseverywhere
    — to help spread the word about the free medical care offered by
    ShrinersHospitals for Children. More than 40 years ago, in 1954, the unit was
    established as the Akdar IndianPatrol with about 20 members; today, Akdar
    Indians' 50 members represent six ShrineTemples and 20 Tribes from North
    America. Representatives of the five civilized tribesof Oklahoma — Cherokee,
    Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole — along with theComanche and Apache
    Indians, make up the majority of unit members. According toBill Tyndall, an
    Omaha Indian from Akdar Temple, a recent change in the unit's by-lawsallows
    Nobles from any Shrine Temple to join, as long as they are Native Americans. Not
    only do they participate in many of the Temple's fund-raising activities
    forShriner's Hospitals, but they also raise money by hosting an annual Indian
    dinner withNative American food, and an arts and crafts show. They put on
    educational dances,explaining the types of dances and the clothing worn by each
    dancer.

    Page 14

    Throughout the year, members perform for the general public and for
    variousShrine functions. Their most enjoyable performances, according to
    Tyndall, are the onesheld at the Shriner's Hospitals. "It's there that we get to
    see first-hand what our hospitalsare all about and we can give the kids an
    up-close look at real Indians and the costumesthat they wear," he explained. A
    unique aspect of the Akdar Indians is that the Nobles are often joined by
    theirfamily members — women and children — when they perform some of their
    traditionaldances, especially at the Shriner's Hospitals. One of the members has
    commented thatone of the greatest benefits of being in the unit is being able to
    help children whileeducating others about his culture. "We love to promote
    Native American culture," heremarked. "The non-Indian sees us as we are shown on
    TV. But what we are trying to dois educate people about what we do and what we
    are about." That is, of course, inaddition to informing the public that
    Shriner's Hospitals provide free medical care tochildren in need. As we meet
    together here today in Columbus on this January day some twohundred plus years
    after Brother Bowles and his collected Indians met before theirastonished
    British brethren, another collection of Americans is again meeting a body
    ofastonished British brethren. Next Monday, the Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree
    Teamwill performing demonstrations at the Surrey Secretaries' Golden Jubilee
    Lodge No. 9764meeting at Surbiton and at a special meeting to be held at Croydon
    in the Province ofSurrey England on Tuesday 27th January 2004. Just as their
    brothers some two hundredyears ago welcomed these unusual brethren from across
    the seas, these modern daytravelers will be equally greeted. Rest assured that
    the more we learn about Native Americans and theirinvolvement in Freemasonry,
    the more that we learn that their interests, inclinations, andexcitement about
    the craft spurs from the same quest for wisdom and enlightenment thatdwells
    within us all. Though it easy enough to put upon fanciful notions about
    secretsigns, secret societies, and the incorporation of "pagan" rituals and
    symbols into theancient and accepted order, nothing could be further than the
    truth. Such creations have

    Page 15

    always been the practices of small minds and have often been the bane of the
    existence ofreasonable and intelligent practitioners of all of the higher orders
    of religion andphilosophy. The world will be a better place when we put myths
    such as these to rest.
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

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    Excerpts from Are you Kituwah's son? Cherokee Nationalism and the Civil War
    By Patrick Minges
    http://www.us-data.org/us/minges/keetoo1.html

    "...the even more troublesome issue of "Southern Rights" arose within the
    Cherokee Nation. John Ross and the leadership of the Cherokee Nation struggled
    to maintain a position of neutrality, which was exceedingly difficult
    considering the location of the Cherokee Nation deep within the South and the
    proximity of "bleeding Kansas." However, in 1854 the Ross party lost votes to an
    increasingly hard-line Southern-Rights party that believed an alliance with
    white southerners in the defense of slavery would be the best course for the
    nation. The pro slavery Southern Rights party was largely composed of those
    pro-assimilationist "Treaty Party" members who represented the elite ten-percent
    of the Nation. [43]

    In 1855, Chief John Ross discovered the emergence of "a secret society organized
    in Delaware and Saline Districts" dedicated to the promotion of slavery and the
    removal of abolitionist interests from the Cherokee Nation. [44] Forming the
    core of this "sinister plot" were members of the so-called "Blue Lodges"
    (Freemasons) that had been organized by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. The Grand
    Lodge of Arkansas was being used effectively in the promotion of the
    pro-Southern effort in Kansas and Oklahoma from Arkansas. [45] Many of the
    pro-slavery factions in the Cherokee Nation had ties to Arkansas. John Ross, a
    Freemason himself, believed that these elements were spreading the pro-southern
    message among the "Blue Lodges" within the Cherokee Nation.

    Some of the members of the "Blue Lodges" later formed the "Knights of the Golden
    Circle," an organization that functioned somewhere in the blurred regions
    between Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan. [46] The Constitution of the Knights
    of the Golden Circle, as chartered on August 28, 1860 states:

    "We, a part of the people of the Cherokee Nation, in order to form a more
    perfect union and protect ourselves and property against the works of
    Abolitionists do establish this Constitution for the government of the Knights
    of the Golden Circle in this Nation...

    "No person shall become a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle in the
    Cherokee Nation who is not a pro-slavery man...

    The Captain, or in case of his refusal, then the Lieutenant has the power to
    compell each and every member of their encampments to turn out and assist in
    capturing and punishing any and all abolitionists in their minds who are
    interfering with slavery....

    You do solemnly swear that you will keep all the secrets of this order and that
    you will, to the best of your abilities protect and defend the interests of the
    Knights of the Golden Circle in this Nation, so help you God." [47]




    The leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle was Stand Watie, a Freemason, and
    members of the Knights of the Golden Circle included many of the elites of the
    Cherokee Nation, John Rollin Ridge; Elias Boudinot; William Penn Adair; James
    Bell -- all leaders of the Southern Rights party. [48]"


    "In July, a company of pro-Southern Cherokees led by Stand Watie attempted to
    raise the Confederate flag over the Cherokee Nation. Senator William Doublehead
    and 150 full-bloods confronted the Confederate Cherokees and bloodshed was only
    narrowly averted by the intervention of John Drew, a member of Chief John Ross's
    family. [62]

    On August 21, 1861, Chief John Ross addressed a meeting of some four thousand
    Cherokee meeting to discuss the Nation's stand in the coming Civil War and
    encouraged them to maintain neutrality: "the great object with me has been to
    have the Cherokee people's harmonious and united in the free exercise and
    enjoyment of all their rights of person and property. Union is strength;
    dissension is weakness, misery, ruin." [63] When the discussion was over, the
    Cherokee Nation had maintained its unity, but lost its neutrality. The Cherokee
    Nation became the last great nation to side with the Confederate States of
    America when it signed a treaty on October 7, 1861. [64]

    Two Confederate regiments were raised by the Cherokee Nation. Brigadier General
    Ben McCulloch of the Confederate Army described them: "Colonel Drew's Regiment
    will be mostly full-bloods, whilst those with Col. Stand Watie will be
    half-breeds, and good soldiers anywhere, in or out of the Nation." [65] The
    membership in the two units fell directly upon party lines and membership in the
    corresponding secret societies. The largest part of the 1st Cherokee Mounted
    Rifles were members of the Keetoowah Society and supporters of John Ross; most
    of the 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles were members of the Knights of the Golden
    Circle and followers of Colonel Stand Watie. [66] The leadership of both parties
    was composed of former Freemasons from Cherokee Lodge #21, Fort Gibson Lodge
    #35, and Flint Lodge #74. [67]"

    "By the time the war was over in 1866, seven thousand Cherokee had lost their
    lives; this amounted to from 1/4 to 1/3 of the Cherokee Nation. [85] No state
    suffered greater losses than did the Indian Territory in the Civil War. [86]
    General Stand Watie of the Knights of the Golden Circle was the last General of
    The Confederate States of America to surrender. With Watie's surrender, the
    Civil War within the Cherokee Nation was over."
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

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    CHEROKEE NATION DECLARATION OF CAUSES; 1861

    Declaration by the People of the Cherokee Nation of the Causes Which
    Have Impelled Them to Unite Their Fortunes With Those of the
    Confederate States of America.

    "When circumstances beyond their control compel one people to sever
    the ties which have long existed between them and another state or
    confederacy, and to contract new alliances and establish new
    relations for the security of their rights and liberties, it is fit
    that they should publicly declare the reasons by which their action
    is justified.

    The Cherokee people had its origin in the South; its institutions are
    similar to those of the Southern States, and their interests
    identical with theirs. Long since it accepted the protection of the
    United States of America, contracted with them treaties of alliance
    and friendship, and allowed themselves to be to a great extent
    governed by their laws.

    In peace and war they have been faithful to their engagements with
    the United States. With much of hardship and injustice to complain
    of, they resorted to no other means than solicitation and argument to
    obtain redress. Loyal and obedient to the laws and the stipulations
    of their treaties, they served under the flag of the United States,
    shared the common dangers, and were entitled to a share in the common
    glory, to gain which their blood was freely shed on the battlefield.

    When the dissensions between the Southern and Northern States
    culminated in a separation of State after State from the Union they
    watched the progress of events with anxiety and consternation. While
    their institutions and the contiguity of their territory to the
    States of Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri made the cause of the
    seceding States necessarily their own cause, their treaties had been
    made with the United States, and they felt the utmost reluctance even
    in appearance to violate their engagements or set at naught the
    obligations of good faith.

    Conscious that they were a people few in numbers compared with either
    of the contending parties, and that their country might with no
    considerable force be easily overrun and devastated and desolation
    and ruin be the result if they took up arms for either side, their
    authorities determined that no other course was consistent with the
    dictates of prudence or could secure the safety of their people and
    immunity from the horrors of a war waged by an invading enemy than a
    strict neutrality, and in this decision they were sustained by a
    majority of the nation.

    That policy was accordingly adopted and faithfully adhered to. Early
    in the month of June of the present year the authorities of the
    nation declined to enter into negotiations for an alliance with the
    Confederate States, and protested against the occupation of the
    Cherokee country by their troops, or any other violation of their
    neutrality. No act was allowed that could be construed by the United
    States to be a violation of the faith of treaties.

    But Providence rules the destinies of nations, and events, by
    inexorable necessity, overrule human resolutions. The number of the
    Confederate States has increased to eleven, and their Government is
    firmly established and consolidated. Maintaining in the field an army
    of 200,000 men, the war became for them but a succession of
    victories. Disclaiming any intention to invade the Northern States,
    they sought only to repel invaders from their own soil and to secure
    the right of governing themselves. They claimed only the privilege
    asserted by the Declaration of American Independence, and on which
    the right of the Northern States themselves to self-government is
    founded, of altering their form of government when it became no
    longer tolerable and establishing new forms for the security of their
    liberties.

    Throughout the Confederate States we saw this great revolution
    effected without violence or the suspension of the laws or the
    closing of the courts. The military power was nowhere placed above
    the civil authorities. None were seized and imprisoned at the mandate
    of arbitrary power. All division among the people disappeared, and
    the determination became unanimous that there should never again be
    any union with the Northern States. Almost as one man all who were
    able to bear arms rushed to the defense of an invaded country, and
    nowhere has it been found necessary to compel men to serve or to
    enlist mercenaries by the offer of extraordinary bounties.

    But in the Northern States the Cherokee people saw with alarm a
    violated Constitution, all civil liberty put in peril, and all the
    rules of civilized warfare and the dictates of common humanity and
    decency unhesitatingly disregarded. In States which still adhered to
    the Union a military despotism has displaced the civil power and the
    laws became silent amid arms. Free speech and almost free thought
    became a crime. The right to the writ of habeas corpus, guaranteed by
    the Constitution, disappeared at the nod of a Secretary of State or a
    general of the lowest grade. The mandate of the Chief Justice of the
    Supreme Court was set at naught by the military power, and this
    outrage on common right approved by a President sworn to support the
    Constitution. War on the largest scale was waged, and the immense
    bodies of troops called into the field in the absence of any law
    warranting it under the pretense of suppressing unlawful combination
    of men. The humanities of war, which even barbarians respect, were no
    longer thought worthy to be observed. Foreign mercenaries and the
    scum of cities and the inmates of prisons were enlisted and organized
    into regiments and brigades and sent into Southern States to aid in
    subjugating a people struggling for freedom, to burn, to plunder, and
    to commit the basest of outrages on women; while the heels of armed
    tyranny trod upon the necks of Maryland and Missouri, and men of the
    highest character and position were incarcerated upon suspicion and
    without process of law in jails, in forts, and in prison-ships, and
    even women were imprisoned by the arbitrary order of a President and
    Cabinet ministers; while the press ceased to be free, the publication
    of newspapers was suspended and their issues seized and destroyed;
    the officers and men taken prisoners in battle were allowed to remain
    in captivity by the refusal of their Government to consent to an
    exchange of prisoners; as they had left their dead on more than one
    field of battle that had witnessed their defeat to be buried and
    their wounded to be cared for by Southern hands.

    Whatever causes the Cherokee people may have had in the past, to
    complain of some of the Southern States, they cannot but feel that
    their interests and their destiny are inseparably connected with
    those of the South. The war now raging is a war of Northern cupidity
    and fanaticism against the institution of African servitude; against
    the commercial freedom of the South, and against the political
    freedom of the States, and its objects are to annihilate the
    sovereignty of those States and utterly change the nature of the
    General Government.

    The Cherokee people and their neighbors were warned before the war
    commenced that the first object of the party which now holds the
    powers of government of the United States would be to annul the
    institution of slavery in the whole Indian country, and make it what
    they term free territory and after a time a free State; and they have
    been also warned by the fate which has befallen those of their race
    in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oregon that at no distant day they too would
    be compelled to surrender their country at the demand of Northern
    rapacity, and be content with an extinct nationality, and with
    reserves of limited extent for individuals, of which their people
    would soon be despoiled by speculators, if not plundered
    unscrupulously by the State.

    Urged by these considerations, the Cherokees, long divided in
    opinion, became unanimous, and like their brethren, the Creeks,
    Seminoles, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, determined, by the undivided
    voice of a General Convention of all the people, held at Tahlequah,
    on the 21st day of August, in the present year, to make common cause
    with the South and share its fortunes.

    In now carrying this resolution into effect and consummating a treaty
    of alliance and friendship with the Confederate States of America the
    Cherokee people declares that it has been faithful and loyal to is
    engagements with the United States until, by placing its safety and
    even its national existence in imminent peril, those States have
    released them from those engagements.

    Menaced by a great danger, they exercise the inalienable right of
    self-defense, and declare themselves a free people, independent of
    the Northern States of America, and at war with them by their own
    act. Obeying the dictates of prudence and providing for the general
    safety and welfare, confident of the rectitude of their intentions
    and true to the obligations of duty and honor, they accept the issue
    thus forced upon them, unite their fortunes now and forever with
    those of the Confederate States, and take up arms for the common
    cause, and with entire confidence in the justice of that cause and
    with a firm reliance upon Divine Providence, will resolutely abide
    the consequences. "

    Tahlequah, C. N., October 28, 1861.

    THOMAS PEGG,
    President National Committee.

    JOSHUA ROSS,
    Clerk National Committee.

    Concurred.
    LACY MOUSE,
    Speaker of Council.

    THOMAS B. WOLFE,
    Clerk Council.

    Approved.
    JNO. ROSS.

    FROM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created
    equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
    unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
    Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are
    instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of
    the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes
    destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or
    to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation
    on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to
    them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    FROM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/cherokee.html
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
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    Indian Territory Heroes

    This page is dedicated to the memory of the Indian Territory Generals of the
    Confederacy who fought so bravely, led so valiantly, and lived so honorably. We
    seek to remember and celebrate their lives. In the end, their cause was lost,
    but we will forever remember the nobility of their struggle.

    "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know what it is
    today." ~General Robert E. Lee~
    _____________________________________________

    Brigadier General Stand Watie

    Stand Watie, a three-quarter Cherokee Indian, was born December 12, 1806, near
    the site of the present day city of Rome, Georgia. He learned to speak English
    at a mission school, and became a planter and assisted in the publication of the
    Cherokee newspaper, the "Phoenix." In 1835 he and others signed the treaty by
    which the remaining Cherokees in Georgia agreed to their removal to what is now
    Oklahoma. This act split the Indians into factions and made Watie the leader of
    the minority or "treaty" party.

    At the beginning of the War Between the States the Cherokees attempted,
    unsuccessfully, to remain neutral, but ultimately divided along the same lines
    as before. The majority declared for the Union and the minority group, under
    Watie, pledged allegiance to the Confederacy. Watie raised a company early in
    1861; he later in the year was appointed colonel of the 1st Cherokee Mounted
    Rifles, and brigadier general to rank from May 6, 1864. The Indians were engaged
    in the battles of Wilson's Creek and Elkhorn Tavern, and were principally used
    in raids and as skirmishers in the Territory and along its borders. They were
    found to be excellent soldiers in the sudden offensive action. Gen. Watie fought
    bravely to the end, the last general of the Confederacy to "strike the colors"
    on June 23, 1865, at Doaksville in Choctaw Nation.

    After the war he resumed the life of a planter and also engaged in various
    business enterprises. He died at his home on Honey Creek, in what is now
    Delaware County, Oklahoma on September 9, 1871 and is buried in Old Polson
    Cemetery near Grove, Oklahoma.

    Brigadier General Douglas H. Cooper

    Douglas Hancock Cooper, a native of Mississippi, was born on November 1, 1815,
    probably in Amite County, where his father, a physician and Baptist preacher,
    was discharging his ecclesiastical duties at the time.

    After attending the University of Virginia from 1832 to 1834, the son returned
    to Mississippi and engaged in planting in Wilkinson County. During the Mexican
    War he served as captain of the 1st Mississippi Rifles, and in 1853 was
    appointed by President Franklin Pierce U.S. agent to the Choctaw Nation in
    Indian Territory

    In 1861 he was deputed by the Confederate government to secure the allegiance of
    the Indians, and was commissioned colonel of the 1st Choctaw and Chickasaw
    Mounted Rifles. He commanded the Indians at Elkhorn and at Newtonia, Missouri,
    and was subsequently promoted brigadier general to rank from May 2, 1863. He
    also was in command of Confederate forces in the largest battle fought in Indian
    Territory: Honey Springs, July 17, 1863. His last important military service was
    rendered as commander of the Indian brigade in General Sterling Price's second
    invasion of Missouri.

    After the war General Cooper prosecuted the claims of the Choctaws and
    Chickasaws against the Federal government, claims arising out of nonperformance
    by the government in connection with the removal of the tribes from their
    original lands. He died at Old Fort Washita in the Chickasaw Nation (present day
    Bryan County) April 29, 1879 and is buried at Old Fort Washita.

    General Frank Crawford Armstrong

    Frank Crawford Armstrong was born on November 22, 1835 at Choctaw Agency,
    Indian Territory (now the virtually abandoned village of Scullyville) where his
    father, an officer in the U.S. Army, was stationed at the time. The latter died
    when Armstrong was a boy. His mother took as her second husband, General
    Persifor Frazer Smith, U.S.A., one of the heroes of the Mexican War, whom young
    Armstrong accompanied on a military expedition into New Mexico in 1854.

    After graduation from Holy Cross Academy in Massachusetts, he was commissioned
    directly into the regular army the following year. He took part in the battle of
    First Manassas on the Union side, but resigned on August 13, 1861. His first
    Confederate service was on the staffs of Generals Mcintosh and Ben McCulloch;
    and he was a few feet away when the latter met his death at Pea Ridge (Elkhorn
    Tavern).

    Subsequently elected colonel of the 3rd Louisiana Infantry, he was soon after
    given command of the cavalry in the forces under General Sterling Price. During
    the balance of the war Armstrong operated under the command of such leaders as
    Forrest, Wheeler, Stephen D. Lee, and Chalmers. His last battle was that of
    Selma, Alabama, when the remnant of Forrest's corps surrendered. He had meantime
    been promoted brigadier general to rank from January 20, 1863.

    At the close of hostilities he entered the Overland Mail Service in Texas, was
    United States Indian Inspector from 1885 to 1889, and Assistant Commissioner of
    Indian Affairs from 1893 to 1895.

    General Armstrong died at Bar Harbor, Maine, September 8, 1909, and is buried in
    Rock Creek Cemetery, Georgetown, District of Columbia.


    Major General Samuel Bell Maxey

    Samuel Bell Maxey was born in Kentucky in 1825, graduated from the U.S.
    Military Academy, fifty-fifth in 1846. The class of 1846 included George B.
    McClellan, Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, George E. Pickett and many other
    future Generals of the War for Southern Independence.

    Maxey served as a brevet 2nd lieutenant of the U.S. 7th Infantry in 1846 and the
    8th Infantry In February 1847 and transferred back to the 7th Infantry in July
    1847. In August 1847 he was brevet to 1st lieutenant for gallant conduct during
    the battles of Conteras and Churubusco during the Mexican War.

    He resigned his commission in 1849 to study law and migrated to Paris, Texas,
    with his father in 1857 and was elected to the Texas senate in 1861.

    Upon Texas secession from the Union, Maxey resigned his Texas senate seat and
    organized the "Lamar Rifles" which soon became part of the 9th Texas Infantry.
    That regiment, with Maxey in Command, joined General Albert Sidney Johnston's
    forces in Kentucky.

    Maxey, promoted to Brigadier General in 1862, served in east Tennessee at Port
    Hudson and during the Vicksburg Campaign. In December 1863 Maxey was made
    Confederate Commander in Indian Territory and appointed superintendent of Indian
    Affairs for the pro-Confederate nations.

    Maxey was promoted to Major General by General Kirby Smith in 1864, but was
    never confirmed to that rank by Confederate President, Jefferson Davis.

    He last commanded a division of dismounted cavalry in 1865. After the war, Maxey
    resumed his law practice and became a U.S. Senator from Texas in 1875 and served
    for twelve years.

    Samuel Bell Maxey died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas in 1895.
    -Samuel Bell Maxey bio submitted by Don Ballard - January 27th 2000

    Brigadier General Albert Pike

    Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts, December 29, 1809. He was a
    many-sided character who is best remembered for his accomplishments as a
    brilliant teacher, poet, author, lawyer, editor, and exponent of Freemasonry,
    rather than as a brigadier general of the Confederacy, which he only
    incidentally became.

    He received his early education at Newburyport and Framingham, and in 1825
    entered Harvard College, supporting himself at the same time by teaching. He
    only went as far as the junior class in college, when his finances compelled him
    to continue his education alone, teaching, meanwhile, at Fairhaven and
    Newburyport, where he was principal of the grammar school, and afterward had a
    private school of his own. In later years he had attained such distinction in
    literature that the degree of master of arts was bestowed upon him by the
    Harvard faculty.

    In 1831 he went west with a trading party to Santa Fe. The next year, with a
    trapping party, he went down the Pecos River and into the Staked Plains, whence
    with four others he traveled mostly on foot until he reached Fort Smith,
    Arkansas. His adventures and exploits are related in a volume of prose and
    verse, published in 1834. While teaching in 1833 below Van Buren and on Little
    Piney River, he contributed articles to the Little Rock Advocate, and attracted
    the attention of Robert Crittenden, through whom he was made assistant editor of
    that paper, of which he was afterward for two years the proprietor.

    He was admitted to the bar in 1835 and studied and practiced law until the
    Mexican War, when he recruited a company of cavalry and was present at the
    battle of Buena Vista under the command of the famous Colonel Charles May. In
    1848 he fought a duel with Gen. John S. Roane on account of something said by
    him in his story of that battle, which the governor considered as reflecting
    unjustly on the Arkansas regiment.

    In 1849 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States at
    the same time with Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin. In 1853 he moved to New
    Orleans, having prepared himself for practice in the courts of Louisiana by
    reading the "Pandects," of which he translated the first volume into English. He
    also made translations of many French authorities. He wrote, besides, an
    unpublished work of three volumes upon "The Maxims of the Roman and French Law."

    An avowed Whig and anti-secessionist, he was a prominent lawyer and large land
    owner in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1861, and cast his lot with the South rather
    than desert his friends and his property. He was appointed as the Confederate
    Commissioner to the tribes of Indian Territory. As such he brought the Creeks,
    Seminoles, Choctaws, Chickasaws and part of the Cherokees into alliance with the
    Confederate States.

    On August 15, 1861, he was commissioned Brigadier General in the army of the
    Confederate States, and at the battle of Pea Ridge he commanded a brigade of
    Indians. Pike's Civil War career was unfortunate, to say the least, and
    ultimately resulted in his arrest by General Hindman and the remark by General
    Douglas Cooper that he was "either insane or untrue to the South."

    With the Indian troops Pike fought at Elkhorn Tavern, and their dubious conduct
    reflected, perhaps unjustly, on Pike. He later alleged they had been recruited
    only for service in defense of their own territory. In his defense, it must also
    be noted that Pike had little opportunity to work with or drill his Indian
    troops. When the deaths of Generals McCulloch and McIntosh left him as the
    senior surviving Confederate officer at Leetown, Pike was ineffective in
    rallying or reorganizing his troops. After much acrimony Pike resigned his
    Confederate commission on July 12, 1862; and his resignation was accepted on
    November 5, 1862.

    Pike lived in semi-retirement during the balance of the war, and after it ended,
    he was regarded with suspicion by both parties to the conflict. He was indicted
    for treason by the United States authorities, but was subsequently restored to
    his civil rights. After the war he resided in Memphis, Tennessee, and edited the
    Memphis Appeal in 1867. The next year he moved to Washington, D. C., and
    practiced in the courts until 1880. During the remainder of his life he devoted
    his attention to writing legal treatises and expounding the morals and dogma of
    the Masonic Order.

    He was the highest Masonic dignitary in the United States, and was author of
    several valuable Masonic works. He died in the house of the Scottish Rite
    Temple, Washington, DC on April 2, 1891, and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery
    there.
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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    The Cherokee Braves Battle Flag was presented to the Cherokees as a
    confederate battle flag by a representative of the
    Confederacy, Albert Pike, at the signing of the treaty that brought
    the Cherokee into the Confederacy on the 7th of October 1861.

    The original flag was Stars and Bars with eleven white stars in a
    circle in the blue field, representing the states in the Confederacy.
    The Cherokee modified the flag to create one for battle of their own.
    In the field of the white bar they added the words Cherokee Braves
    and in the center of the circle of white stars in the blue field they
    placed five red stars, representing the five civilized tribes, all in
    the confederacy, with the larger red star in the center representing
    the Cherokees.

    The Confederate Indian troops, under the command of General Stand
    Watie carried the flag as their banner, also used by the men as their
    national flag. The Confederate Cherokee government was set up in the
    Canadian District, in the southern part of the Cherokee Nation.

    The dream of having a separate, independent and sovereign Cherokee
    government was never realized. General Stand Watie was the only
    Cherokee Native American to attain the rank of general in any
    military and was the last one to surrender at the end of the war.

    The Cherokees also fought for the Union.


    General Stand Waite and the Cherokee Braves

    General Stand Watie was born in the Oothcaloga Valley south of
    present-day Calhoun, Ga. in 1806. His birth name was Tak-er-taw-ker
    meaning "Stands Firm" and later Degadoga for "He Stands On Two
    Feet". Baptized as Isaac he later combined a portion of his Cherokee
    name with his father's name Oo-wat-ie to form Stand Watie in English.
    Little is known of his early years in Georgia, he may have been
    educated in Georgia mission schools that were set up to Englishise
    the Cherokees. He was the brother of Buck Oowatie who later took the
    name of Elias Boudinot and became a newspaper editor, and the nephew
    of the prominent Cherokee Chief Major Ridge.

    The Oowatie and Ridge families were two of the more prominent
    slave owning aristocrat families of the Cherokees owning most of the
    estimated 1600 owned by Cherokees. Those in the lower classes, poorer
    than the Ridge and Oowatie factions tended to be less pro slavery and
    were more traditionalist and less likely to favor a move west from
    Georgia and the western Carolinas.

    By 1820 one third of the tribe moved west of the Mississippi
    River. Those who remained began to split into factions. Those who
    favored fighting removal to the west rallied behind John Ross, a
    Scottish Cherokee from Tennessee. Ross had only one eighth Cherokee
    but considered them to be his people over his white counterparts and
    was extremely popular having support of the majority.

    On the opposing side was the Oowatie Ridge faction who believed
    that the lower classes of the tribe would never make it in the white
    mans world, believing that in years to come they would be decimated
    even lower to drunkenness and poverty and that moving west was in the
    tribes best interest.

    In 1827 John Ross was elected to lead and represented them in
    their first centralized government to help them deal with the white
    world around them. By 1832 the rivalry between those of the Ross
    faction and the Oowatie Ridge factions began to grow, and in the next
    few years worsened. In 1835 it came to a head when the the Ridge
    faction supported a treaty with Washington that would give the
    Cherokees 5 million dollars in return for their removal west of the
    Mississippi. The Ross side refused to sign hoping to hold out for at
    least 20 million. It was clear that no treaty would be made at that
    time since the majority of Cherokees sided with the Ross faction.

    Then in December 1835 the Ridge Oowatie faction managed to sign
    the Treaty at New Echota Georgia receiving $15 million dollars and
    800,000 acres of land in Oklahoma for the Cherokees. They believed
    they had secured the best terms possible in the best interest of the
    tribe while the Ross followers considered it an act of treason
    against them.

    The Trail of Tears followed in 1838 with Federal and State
    militias enforcing the removal. In 1839 the bitter animosity between
    the two tribes remained in Oklahoma. A hundred or so Cherokees from
    anti treaty faction met in secret and decided on death for the the
    Ridge and Watie men. On June 22, 1839 John Ridge was dragged from his
    home in Indian Territory and was stabbed to death. His father Major
    Ridge was ambushed and killed in Washington County Arkansas. Elias
    Boudinot the brother of Stand Watie was attacked at his home and axed
    to death. Stand Watie also marked for death was forewarned and
    escaped.

    John Ross denounced the murders but did nothing in aiding the
    capture of the killers. He was accused of hiding them in his home by
    the now Watie faction while Ross denied involvement in the murders.
    President Andrew Jackson wrote to Stand Watie now the leader of the
    former Ridge Oowatie faction and denounced Ross. On March 7, 1862
    Stand Watie was part of Earl Van Dorn's 16,000 man army in the area
    of Fayetteville Arkansas attempting to encircle the right flanks of
    Major General Curtis's 12,000 troops. Curtis was on the defensive
    entrenched at Pea Ridge about thirty miles northeast of Fayetteville.
    After two days of fighting Van Dorn was unable to penetrate and ended
    up withdrawing. Stand Watie had distiquished himself by leading his
    command in capturing a Union artillery battery and by committing a
    skillful rear guard action stopping a disaster.

    It was here during this action that Stand Watie was noticed by his
    superiors for his bravery and exceptional military abilities, which
    got him considered for a higher command in the Confederate Army. The
    First Cherokee Mounted Rifles was formed on August 31, 1862 with
    Colonel Stand Watie commanding, with Lieutenant Colonel Calvin Parks
    second in command. This unit along with others adopted the Cherokee
    Braves flag as their regimental colours. After Pea Ridge many of the
    Cherokees left the war, but Stand Watie and his Cherokee Braves
    remained for the duration of the war scouring the region using
    guerilla warfare, cutting Union supply lines and disrupting Federal
    operations throughout the Indian Territory.

    He was feared by his loyal Cherokee counterparts for the next three
    years. On May 10, 1864 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier
    General, the only Native American to reach the rank of General.
    Along with this first, he was also the last Confederate General
    officer to formally cease hostilities two months after Appomattox and
    Bentonville. His formal agreement to end hostilities was issued on
    June 25, 1865 and like Col. Mosby of Virginia he never officially
    surrendered. Watie had displayed unfailing devotion and bravery
    during his service to the Confederacy. He died on September 9, 1871
    and was laid to rest at Polson Cemetery in Delaware County, Oklahoma.

    In 1995 the US postal Service issued a set of 20 commemorative stamps
    showing 16 individuals and 4 battles of the Civil War. General Stand
    Watie was one of those honored along with others such as Jefferson
    Davis, Robert E. Lee and Joseph Johnston.
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    General Stand Watie SCV Camp #915 Calhoun County Georgia

    Born at Oothcaloga in the Cherokee Nation, Georgia (near present day
    Rome, Georgia) on December 12, 1806, Stand Watie's Cherokee name was
    De-ga-ta-ga, or "he stands." He also was known as Isaac S. Watie. He
    attended Moravian Mission School at Springplace Georgia, and served
    as a clerk of the Cherokee Supreme Court and Speaker of the Cherokee
    National Council prior to removal.

    As a member of the Ridge-Watie-Boundinot faction of the Cherokee
    Nation, Watie supported removal to the Cherokee Nation, West, and
    signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, in defiance of Principal
    Chief John Ross and the majority of the Cherokees. Watie moved to the
    Cherokee Nation, West (present-day Oklahoma), in 1837 and settled at
    Honey Creek. Following the murders of his uncle Major Ridge, cousin
    John Ridge, and brother Elias Boundinot (Buck Watie) in 1839, and his
    brother Thomas Watie in 1845, Stand Watie assumed the leadership of
    the Ridge-Watie-Boundinot faction and was involved in a long-running
    blood feud with the followers of John Ross. He also was a leader of
    the Knights of the Golden Circle, which bitterly opposed
    abolitionism.

    At the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie quickly joined the Southern
    cause. He was commissioned a colonel on July 12, 1861, and raised a
    regiment of Cherokees for service with the Confederate army. Later,
    when Chief John Ross signed an alliance with the South, Watie's men
    were organized as the Cherokee Regiment of Mounted Rifles. After Ross
    fled Indian Territory, Watie was elected principal chief of the
    Confederate Cherokees in August 1862.

    A portion of Watie's command saw action at Oak Hills (August 10,
    1861) in a battle that assured the South's hold on Indian Territory
    and made Watie a Confederate military hero. Afterward, Watie helped
    drive the pro-Northern Indians out of Indian Territory, and following
    the Battle of Chustenahlah (December 26, 1861) he commanded the
    pursuit of hte fleeing Federals, led by Opothleyahola, and drove them
    into exile in Kansas. Although Watie's men were exempt from service
    outside Indian Territory, he led his troops into Arkansas in the
    spring of 1861 to stem a Federal invasion of the region. Joining with
    Maj. GEn. Earl Van Dorn's command, Watie took part in the bAttle of
    Elkhorn Tavern (March 5-6, 1861). On the first day of fighting, the
    Southern Cherokees, which were on the left flank of the Confederate
    line, captured a battery of Union artillery before being forced to
    abandon it. Following the Federal victory, Watie's command screened
    the southern withdrawal.

    Watie, or troops in his command, participated in eighteen battles and
    major skirmishes with Federal troop during the Civil War, including
    Cowskin Prairie (April 1862), Old Fort Wayne (October 1862), Webber's
    Falls (April 1863), Fort Gibson (May 1863), Cabin Creek (July 1863),
    and Gunter's Prairie (August 1864). In addition, his men were engaged
    in a multitude of smaller skirmishes and meeting engagements in
    Indian Territory and neighboring states. Because of his wide-ranging
    raids behind Union lines, Watie tied down thousands of Federal troops
    that were badly needed in the East.

    Watie's two greatest victories were the capture of the federal steam
    boat J.R. Williams on June 15, 1864, and the seizure of $1.5 million
    worth of supplies in a federal wagon supply train a the Second battle
    of Cabin Creek on September 19, 1864. Watie was promoted to brigadier
    general on May 6, 1864, and given command of the first Indian
    Brigade. He was the only Indian to achieve the rank of general in the
    Civil War. Watie surrendered on June 23, 1865, the last Confederate
    general to lay down his arms.

    After the war, Watie served as a member of the Southern Cherokee
    delegation during the negotiation of the Cherokee Reconstruction
    Treaty of 1866. He then abandoned public life and returned to his old
    home along Honey Creek. He died on September 9, 1871.
    ----------------------------------------- -----------------------------

    Commander
    R. Stan Chambers
    706-629-3116

    Adjutant
    James Tolbert
    706-602-1244
    tolberttjms@aol.com

    Gordon County Historical Society

    Lt. Commander
    W.S. "Buddy" Autry
    706-295-1753
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

  7. #7

    Jan 2008
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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    Pike was an interesting guy. And I know many think he is the master mind behind the KGC. I don't know, I have yet to find anything besides rumors that I think started in th 50's. I wouldn't doubt it if he was, just I can't find anything that directly links him to it.

    I don't think being a General was his strong point though.

    Nice posts. I haven't finished reading - but some good stuff in there.

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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    Note that in the article below that the "Indian Chief" they are referring to is
    John Ridge, the son of Major Ridge and not a chief. The white girl mentioned is
    his wife Sarah Bird Northrup Ridge.

    New York Advocate 1825
    MIDDLETOWN, Ct, June 29

    Another Marriage of an Indian with a White Girl contemplated. - Our readers will
    recollect, that about a year ago, a marriage took place between an Indian Chief,
    who had attended the Foreign Missionary School at Cornwall, and a white girl.
    Most of the papers spoke of it in terms of decided disapprobation. The Agents
    of the School, at the head of whom is the Rev. Dr. Beecher, of Litchfield, have
    published a report, under date of the 17th inst. in which they state, that a
    negociation for a marriage has been carried on for some time past between Elias
    Boudinot, a young Cherokee, and Harriet R. Gold, of the village of Cornwall, and
    that there is now a settled engagement between the parties. The object of the
    publication is to declare their "unqualified disapprobation of such connexions."
    And they regard the conduct of those who aided or assisted in the negociation as
    highly "criminal." They say that additional restrictions have been adopted, to
    protect the interests of the School, and of the community as connected with it.
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

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    Knights of the Golden Circle

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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    Excerpt from Freemasonry and Native American Traditions
    by W. Bro. Dennis V. Chornenky, President,
    Masonic Restoration Foundation
    2004 Annual California Masonic Symposium,
    San Diego, CA

    "Explanations for this supposed Masonic knowledge among the Native Americans ranged from speculations regarding the lost tribes of Israel, visits by the Phoenicians and even ancient immigration by the Welsh. In 1956, for example, the California Freemason magazine reproduced the following passage from the Oregon Freemason:

    "Here’s a new slant on how American Indians may have actually had what was the forerunner of Freemasonry as we have it today. To accept this theory it is necessary to set aside the discovery of America by Columbus, and possibly even the claim that Leif Ericson came here looking for Minnesota ahead of all the others. Now comes the story that ancient Welsh bards have records of a Prince Madoc who was presumed to have been lost at sea in 1172. Five hundred years later a report came from America of two or three Indian tribes which spoke the Welsh tongue. About 1909 two Welsh miners,looking for gold in Arizona, came across an Indian tribe rehearsing a Masonic ceremony in Welsh. The supposition is that Prince Madoc reached the Americas and taught the Welsh tongue and Welsh Freemasonry to the natives.""
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
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    Chief Joseph Brandt

    "The period of the American Revolution also saw the first American Indian to be made a Mason. Thayendangea was the son of the chief of the Mohawks in the 1750's, and was brought up in the household of a prominent British administration official, Sir William Johnson, who was also a Freemason. Johnson gave him the name Joseph Brant, and when Brant was an adult, he fought several battles against the French with Johnson. Brant became Johnson's personal secretary, and by the time of Johnson's death in 1774, Brant had become accepted by the British administration. Brant traveled to England in 1775, and was made a mason in a London lodge in 1776. He then returned to America to enlist the Mohawks in the fight against the American rebels. The Mohawks, under the command of Col. John Butler and Brant, attacked and massacred the Americans in several battles, and captured prisoners were turned over to the Mohawks to be tortured to death. Brant, however, took his Masonic oaths seriously, and in a few recorded instances, released prisoners who made Masonic signs as they were about to be tortured. After the war, Brant became a member of St John's Lodge of Friendship No.2 in Canada, of which Col. Butler had become Master, before returning to the Mohawks in Ohio."
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    Knights of the Golden Circle

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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    Excerpt from Masonic Civil War Heroes: First Day Covers

    "Brigadier General Ely S. Parker, U.S. Army

    A Seneca Chief, he entered the Union Army as a Captain of Engineers, until General Grant made him his secretary. At the Appamatox surrender on April 6, 1865 he wrote out the engrossed copy of the surrender terms. Subsequently he was promoted to Brig. Gen. of Volunteers as of that date. Founder and First Master of Miner's Lodge No. 273 Galena, Illinois. First Master of Akron Lodge No. 527, Akron, N.Y., R.A.M., K.T. in Monroe Commandery No. 18, Rochester, N.Y.
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    Knights of the Golden Circle

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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    Excerpts from NATIVE AMERICAN RITUALS & THE INFLUENCE OF FREEMASONRY By Frederic L. Milliken

    The scope of this subject is so large that more than once in my research I got sidetracked on trivial and dead end issues. For instance I spent hours trying to track down verification that Freemasonry existed in North America before any European White man landed here. Well there is absolutely no proof that Native Americans did not get Freemasonry from the White man. But one factor that makes life difficult for the researcher is the lack of written records by the American Indian. Native Americans did not write down anything, in fact it was not until 1920 that written records were kept by Indians and that is probably only due to their homogenization into general society. Everything was passed down by word of mouth. Sound familiar? So there will be many areas and much information that will not be covered in this paper. We will confine ourselves to similarities of Indian customs and mores with Freemasonry and some of their secret societies.

    The Number Four

    There seems to be a sacred number in many religions and bonding societies and even in certain cultures. In the Hebrew Scripture the number 7 is said to occur over 360 times. Masonry reveres numbers and so does the American Indian. For Masonry it is the number 3, for the Indian it is 4. Being a hunter the Indian is always has super awareness of the points of the compass whence comes the importance of the number 4. Equally important it is from these points that the Creators and spirits come from. In the ceremonies of the Mide-wiwin of the Ojibwa, which we will explore in detail later, there are 4 degrees. In each degree the Indian paints a different colored band or stripe on his face – 4 colors. The Mason will have of course the 3 different displays of the apron in the 3 degrees. The Chippewas initiated a candidate into Meda craft by sending him to a Lodge of 4 poles, with 4 stones before its fire and there he was to remain for 4 days and sit at 4 banquets. The Otoe and Missouri Indians buried their people by keeping a fire at the grave 4 days and 4 nights. On the fifth day the spirit would gallop away to the Happy Hunting grounds. The Zuni Indians believe that a spirit hovers about their village 4 nights after death. The Indian believes that spirit that looks over the deceased lives in the North and in Freemasonry is not the North also a place of darkness? The Cherokee Shaman (Medicine Man) prepares his tribe for war by situating the warriors of the tribe at the edge of a stream facing east. Thus placed the Shaman sings the war song and this is repeated on four successive nights. The Creeks had a celebration called “The Busk” or the making the new fire. It was a celebration to the four winds and was commenced by placing four logs in the center of a square, end to end forming a cross pointing to the four cardinal points. In the center “new fire” was made which was symbolic of wiping the slate of sin clean. This for the Native American was the day of Atonement. In the snake dance of the Moqui Indians they use four kinds of medicine utilizing four different roots. Not only does the number 4 appear in the four cardinal points of the compass, it is revered in the peace pipe ceremonial, the four colors ( generally red, black, yellow and white), and what might be referred to as the four essential virtues of Native American spirituality, respect for deity, respect for Mother Earth, respect for one’s fellow man, and respect for individual freedom. This all according to Robert G. Davis who states that because of the four virtues it is very rare to find American Indians quarrelling about religion. Jim Tresner talks about the four arrows at the cardinal points in a circle all pointing inwards. The circle represents the world and also an individual. The arrows represent “the attitudes or attributes with which a person must view every event and consider every problem if he is to find enlightenment. Thus he must look at things from:

    1) The direction of wisdom (arrow of the North)
    2) The direction of innocence (the arrow of the south)
    3) The direction of Introspection (the arrow of the West)
    4) The direction of far sight (the arrow of the East)” (3)
    The points of the four arrows all meet at the exact center of the circle. This symbolism is quite similar to the Masonic point within a circle.

    He also tells us that an Indian’s life was divided into four periods:

    1) “The age of learning -- 0-12
    2) The age of accepting -- 12-24
    3) The age of refining -- 24-36
    4) The age of wisdom -- 36 until death” (3)

    There were four elements -- earth, water, fire and wind. For the Navajo there were four sacred plants: corn, beans, pumpkin and tobacco.

    THE CROSS

    Closely allied with the number four is the Indian use of the Cross long before contact with the White Man. The swastika and the Maltese cross show up in war shields, sand paintings and medicine shirts of various tribes. The often designation of four gods at the four points of the compass for the Native American was a story illustrated by the symbol of the cross. This is noted in Indian illustrations long before the White Man tried to convert American Indians to Christianity. The Blackfeet would arrange stones on open land in the form of a cross to honor “Natose” the “old man who sends the winds”. These four winds were explained as the “tree of life” which provided for our nourishment. Most nations have revered some shrub or growing thing. The Egyptians revered the lotus and the Mason the acacia. The Indian revered his ghost tree.

    BELIEF IN A SUPREME BEING
    Indians may have had many Spirits but they believed in one Supreme Being.

    BELIEF IN IMMORTALITY
    Heaven was “The Happy Hunting Ground”. The Dakotas believed that the East symbolized life. They laid a dead body east and west (How shall we bury the body?) in the track of the sun so that it may rise again. Several Indian Secret societies acted out the death and rebirth of the candidate as we shall soon see. In the GHOST DANCE of the 1850’s popular among the Paiute, Shoshoni, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Caddo and Pawnee the candidate dies and falls unconscious to the ground. A circle of Brothers form around him chanting and singing. The dead man is brought back to life.

    CHARITY
    The Honhewachi Society of the Omahas demanded 100 charitable acts before admission. Hospitality and charity were universal rules among Indians -- NO HUNGER, NO ORPHANS NOT TAKEN CARE OF.

    BROTHERHOOD
    It was a common practice for an Indian male to take a partner or Brother. Such pairs often met in associations which were in all reality fraternities. Indians believed strongly in the UNIVERSAL KINGSHIP OF ALL CREATED BEINGS.

    MORALITY
    The practice of virtue was a must. An Indian was taught to recognize his dependence on his Maker. AND “TO NEVER ENTER UPON ANY GREAT OR IMPORTANT UNDERTAKING WITHOUT FIRST THANKING THE MAKER FOR THE STRENGTH THAT GAVE HIM POWER TO PERFORM THE DEED WILLED.”(1)

    SYMBOLISM
    In the “Estufa”, or Lodge Room of the Moqui Indians on the East Wall was a prayer to God -- to Omaia -- with black and white stripes symbolizing rain and red and blue lightening. As Masons in this place we would find the letter G.

    To the DAKOTAS a white horse and blanket were emblems of purity and badges of the HOLY LODGE SOCIETY. The Lodge taught the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. When the Dakotas met a Brother they placed the hand on the heart and said – “Oh – ho, Ah – ta, Shonta – wash – ta – lo” or “Good morning father, my heart is glad.” They held their secret councils in the hills and a Tyler was mounted on a white horse and clothed in a white blanket.

    The KARANKAWAI Shamon of southern Texas wore circular sun disks with a circle and a triangle inside. Its symbolism, like with many ancient Native American customs passed down by word but held by a few who suddenly died without passing on the meaning, was lost. But it was given a new meaning and reinterpreted as “the tent of faithful pitched in the sun”. KOASOITI & KEECHI tribes associated it with a Brotherhood badge. To many others the triangle was a symbol of immortality in their secret Brotherhoods.

    SACRED & SECRET WORDS

    The IROQUOIS called the Great Spirit YOWAH. Contrast that with Yahweh. This tribe in a festival perambulated around their Lodge Room and at each full course of the sun they stopped in the East, where three oldest Chiefs were seated. Each time around certain questions were asked and answers given. The procession was nine men.

    RITUALISTIC LEGENDS OF INDIAN SOCIETIES
    LOTAGOTMP OrLEGENDS OF THE ANCIENT GUARDS OF THE MYSTIC POTENCE
    Also known as LITTLE WATERS

    The ceremony was held in the Long House of the IROQUOIS, that is the SENECA, CAYUGA, ONONDAGA, ONEIDA, or MOHAWK. Here due to space and time we will cover just the high points of the ceremony.

    The proceedings began with 4 raps at the door. The candidate was brought in and listened to the story of Red Hand, the ancient leader. As in the Hiramic legend the candidate assumes the identity of the object of the story.

    Red Hand was a young Chief who received certain mysterious knowledge from the Creator of All. He was kind and generous and loved by all.
    One day in battle a poisoned arrow felled him. The enemy Indian rushed upon him demanding the secret of his power ( Hiram Abiff) or his life. Red Hand refused to divulge the secrets so he was scalped.
    A lone wolf came upon the body and howled so loud he brought all the animals from the forest. They each contributed a part of their bodies and revived the scalp which they put on Red Hand’s head. They formed a circle around him at signs of life and chanted. Red Hand listened with his eyes closed when a voice asked him these questions:

    VOICE: “Hast thou cleansed thyself from human guilt and impurity?”
    RED HAND: “ I have”.
    VOICE: “Hast thou ill will toward any of they fellow creatures?”
    RED HAND: “I have not”.
    VOICE: “Wilt thou trust and obey us, keeping thyself always chaste and valorous?”
    RED HAND: “I will”.
    VOICE: “Wilt thou hold this power with which we endow thee for thine own chosen company only?”
    RED HAND: “I will”.
    VOICE: “Wilt thou endure death or torture in its cause?”
    RED HAND: “I will”.
    VOICE: “”Wilt thou vow this secret never to be revealed save at thy death hour?’
    RED HAND: “I will”.
    VOICE: “They death hour will be revealed to thee; thou wilt be allowed to choose thy successor, and at the end of thy journey thou wilt be rewarded for faith and obedience.”(2)

    The circle drew closer and the brother who is the bear touched the breast of Red Hand. All stood erect. The bear grasped the hand of the leader who was to be raised thought slain, and by a strong grip pulled Red Hand to his feet.


    COMPARISIONS
    Let us look at some areas of commonality in the ceremonies of the Midewiwin only. The candidate pauses at the entrance and is prompted to say: “Let me come in and put down my gifts.” Thus he has demonstrated that his admission is of his own free will and accord. He is told that he is embarking on a new life and to take it seriously and to guard well the secrets of the “Grand Medicine”. Do we not tell our Masonic candidates pretty much the same thing? One item we did not discuss is that invitation to the Midewiwin ceremonies is sent out via a twig or stick presented to the invitee who deposits that inside the door of the Lodge when he enters. This is in reality a summons just like a Masonic summons. Attendance of the invited is considered mandatory. Is that not how Masonry used to be and still is in some foreign lands? Another item we did not talk about is that those who perform the ceremony have birch bark charts. These correspond to our tracing boards. The candidate is prepared in a separate room or place outside or attached to the Lodge room as in Freemasonry. The Native American never presents his back to the sacred stone or altar. Do we not have similar rules in navigating the Masonic altar? Upon being shot down, notice that the blow is to the head as in Freemasonry. On raising the candidate note that none of the other officiating Priests can raise the body except the Chief Priest. In Freemasonry only on the third try and only the Worshipful Master can accomplish this task. Upon completion of the degree the candidate is presented a brand new Mide-sack which he proudly wears. In Freemasonry we present the candidate an apron. In Midewiwin there is a certain time between the degrees, often a year, and in between the candidate must choose an Instructor to teach him and certify him before he goes onto the next degree. And we in Freemasonry do likewise. And most importantly there is much that is lost in these degrees as the guarders of the secrets failed to see to it that the passing down of the ancient truths were not interrupted. Just as Hiram Abiff had the word and now it is lost so did the Midewiwin have many words that have now lost meaning.

    CONCLUSIONS
    So here we are at the end of our brief tour of Native American Indians and Freemasonry. We have seen much but can conclude little. Did Freemasonry exist in the “New World” prior to European colonization? Dennis Chorenky, having written a great paper on the subject, says this:

    “In light of current scholarship, not to mention common sense, it is obviously absurd to claim that Native Americans practiced Freemasonry prior to the advent of European settlers. However, if seriously examined, there emerge many notable parallels and similarities between Western initiatic rites and symbols and those of Native Americans.” *(4)

    The “Ghost Dance” of the 1850’s shows a distinct imitation of Freemasonry. Because of that fact we have given it scant coverage here. Dennis Chorenky says this about “Little Waters”.

    “In the case of Red Hand and his scalping it should also be considered that scalping was not practiced in North America prior to the advent of Europeans.” *(4)

    The bear claw is just too similar to the Lions paw not to be a copycat. So we can say that “Little Waters” could have been corrupted by Freemasonry. A similar case can be made about the “Mankani Society” and many other Indian ceremonies and fraternities not mentioned here. At this point it looks like we can definitely say there is no Indian Freemasonry.

    But the Midewiwin ceremony presents a very different conclusion, which is why we have spent so much time on it. A factual case can be made that this ceremony(s) was in place long before the white man set foot on North American shores.

    First in the ritual certain words or figures of speech were used which have never been used in usual public discourse of Indians since the white man came. In fact the four days spent in the wigiwam sweat Lodge was one of learning ritual or words that were totally unfamiliar to the Indian of that day. One of the ways to date a ceremony such as this is to see if modern or ancient vernacular was used. In the case of the use of much archaic, venerable terminology we are shown that the ceremony dates back to a much more ancient time.

    Secondly, The sacred Migiis shells (cypraea moneta) used by the Midewiwin, have been found in various North American earth mounds, lost and buried long before the first known white contact. Since they only grow in the South Pacific, western Africa and perhaps a stretch, occasionally found in Central America, their prevalence in pre-contact days, that is before the white man, is one of those mysteries that is difficult to explain. It is known these same shells, cypraea moneta, have been immediately valued and desired by nearly every so-called primitive people when introduced by traders. It is as if every tribal people recognize something very "special" about this certain shell. Other cowries are larger, more colorful, and are liked for their ornamental value, but cypraea moneta, the Migiis shell, is revered. So at this point we can definitely say that there is Indian Freemasonry of sorts.

    I prefer to take the path of Robert C. Wright who said that “there is no Indian Masonry. There is Indian Masonry.”(2)

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    1. “FREEMASONRY AND THE AMERICAN INDIAN”, by William R. Denslow
    2. “INDIAN MASONRY”, by Robert C. Wright
    3. “A SHARED SPIRIT” - Freemasonry and the Native American Tradition -- by Robert G. Davis and Jim Tresner, a joint publication of the Masonic Service Association of North America and the Most worshipful Grand Lodge of Oklahoma
    4. “FREEMASONRY AND NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONS” by W. Bro. Dennis V. Chorenky.
    http://www.masonicrestoration.com/im...Traditions.pdf
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

  13. #13
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O~NDN~O~+777~XI+<><

    I think you missed one.

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2007
    Summit County, CO
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    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O ~NDN~ O~+777~XI+<><

    My goodness, cccalco, what a post. I don't agree with most of that at all, and don't think you have a lot of actual experience with native Americans, but I learn something everytime you post so keep it up and I'll keep an open mind. It was interesting that your missionaries came in and one of the things on their agenda was have nothing to do with 'secret' societies: Masons, KGC, KKK, maybe those red hat ladies too. The Ghost Dance was born of desparation and was probably harmless, but it scared the whites, so my cousins out on the plains ate the big one for it. Hardin BigBow was a friend of mine, and he had some pretty good thoughts about plains Indian culture, none of which involved Masonry. The civilized tribes were a different story. Most of their famous leaders were white and rich for all practical purposes. The common full bloods, of which there are very few now, lived a completely different life. I do like your posts, though.
    Just like Texas in 1880.

  15. #15
    Knights of the Golden Circle

    Jul 2009
    204
    35 times

    Re: ><>+IX~LLL+~O ~NDN~ O~+777~XI+<><

    Excerpt from Montezuma (mythology)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montezuma_(mythology)
    Montezuma was the name of a heroic-god in the mythology of certain Amerindian tribes of the Southwest United States.
    In the Tohono O'odham legend, at the beginning of time the Great Spirit finds clay by digging a hole; he then drops the clay into the hole again and out comes Montezuma, who assists him in bringing out all the Indian tribes...

    It is said that all men and animals were speaking a common language in the early days; however a great flood destroyed everyone, with only Montezuma and his friend, Coyote, escaping. Because Coyote had warned him of the flood beforehand, Montezuma had fashioned a boat that he kept prepared on the peak of the Santa Rosa Mountains in Arizona....
    After the flood had subsided, Montezuma and Coyote meet again atop Monte Rosa, and Montezuma sends Coyote out four times, once in each direction, to find out how far the sea is. He quickly returned from the south and the west, reporting that it was nearby. The journey east took a bit longer, but eventually he found the sea there also. Finally, he journeys northward and never finds water before growing tired.
    Meanwhile, the Great Spirit, helped by Montezuma, has again repopulated the world with people and animals. Montezuma is entrusted with the governance of mankind, but becoming proud and wicked, he rebels against the Great Spirit, dismisses Coyote, and commands mankind to build a house tall enough to reach Heaven. Before he can succeed at this endeavour, the Great Spirit casts it down with thunderbolts, causing a confusion in the languages of mankind.

    This legend was related by chief Con Quien of the Tohono O'odham and published in the Indian Affairs Report of 1865, p. 131.

    Montezuma also figures prominently in the religion of the Pueblo Indians, who held that their god-king Montezuma was variously from Taos, Acoma, or one of the other pueblos, and was conceived from a beautiful virgin and a pinyon pine nut. Although weak as a youth, he was chosen to be their unlikely leader, and surprised everyone with his miracles, including the ability to produce rain. He taught the people their customs, and how to build the adobe pueblos. One day he kindled a fire that they were never to allow to burn out, then departed for Mexico (in some versions, on the back of an eagle), promising to return some day and save them from the Spanish.

    Finally, Llewellyn Harris, a Welsh-American Mormon missionary who visited the Zuni in 1878, claimed that they told him they were descended from Montezuma, who was himself descended from white men called "Cambaraga" who came from over the sea 300 years before the Spanish, and that they still had many Welsh words in their language (see Madoc for many more tales along this theme). However, these much more sensational claims have never been independently verified.
    Knights of the Golden Circle Archive and Research
    Sons of Liberty and the Order of American Knights

 

 
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