Provincial Period


The first Provincial Grand Master, Daniel Coxe, was appointed to oversee NY, NJ, & PA.  He formed one of the oldest Lodges in the New World still in existence, St. John's #1 in New York City (1737).  St. John's Lodge owns the Bible that George Washington used to take oath of office as first President of the United States.  The bible has been used to swear in a number of Presidents, the last being George Bush on Jan. 20, 1989.

Another Lodge in the New World, which has retained its original identity, is Lodge # 139 of Savannah, Georgia (1735).  It was renamed Solomon #1 in 1776.  The Lodge kept English registry till 1813 even though it was on the Grand Lodge of Georgia rolls.

During this Provincial period many field Lodges were established.  One such Lodge is listed on the NY Grand Lodge roster as Lake George Lodge #4 April 23, 1756.  It was established by Richard Gridley, younger brother of Jeremy Gridley (Boston), the then Provincial Grand Master of Massachusetts.  During the infamous massacre at Fort William Henry, all records were destroyed.

Other field Lodges within the NY State boundaries included:

  • Union Lodge #1 formerly Lodge #74 Irish Registry, now Mount Vernon Lodge #3 1737
  • Lodge #74, a Military Lodge that was under Irish Registry was formed in 1737 and came into the Albany area about 1757.  It serviced His Majesty's 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Foot, now known as Royal Scots.  General James Clinton appealed to Provincial Grand Master George Harrison, who had been made Provincial Grand Master in 1753, to grant a new Charter to this Lodge.  On Feb. 21, 1765 it became Union Lodge #1.   On May 12, 1767, the cornerstone for the new Masonic Temple was laid; a little more than a year later on June 14, 1768 the new Temple was dedicated.  This was the first Masonic Temple built in America, which was used exclusively for Masonic purposes.  The property in Albany on the corner of Maiden Lane and Lodge Street still houses a Masonic Temple and is said to be the oldest property in America with continuous Masonic use.  After the American Revolution and the formation of the Grand Lodge of New York, with much dissension, Union Lodge surrendered its original charters and the new Mount Vernon Lodge #3 was formed on January 6, 1807.
  • Lodge # 52 in General Stewart's 37th Regiment 1756
  • St. Johns Lodge #2 (now # 1) 1757
  • Crown Point Lodge #5 1759 In 1759 (April 13) Crown Point Lodge was authorized by Grand Master Gridley to congregate all Masons into one or more Lodges that participated in the expedition at Crown Point.  He gave this authority to Abraham Savage.
  • St. Johns Independent Royal Arch #8 (Now # 2) 1760
  • Lodge #90 in 32nd Regiment 1762
  • New York #7 in the 55th Regiment 1762
  • Lodge # 399 1763
  • Zion Lodge #1 in 60th Regiment (now Zion #1 Detroit, MI) 1764
  • Lodge #441 in 38th Regiment 1765
  • St. Patrickís Lodge #4 1766   In 1765 Sir William Johnson became a member of Union Lodge and later, he went on to become a charter member of St. Patrick's Lodge #4 in Johnstown and its first Master.   General Nicholas Herkimer, who was a friend of Sir William, joined this Lodge on April 7, 1768.  Sir William Johnson died in 1774.
  • King Solomonís Lodge #7 1767
  • Moriah Lodge 132 in 22nd Regiment 1767
  • Masters Lodge #2 1768 Masters Lodge #2 (now #5) was formed on March 5, 1768, also under Warrant issued by Provincial Grand Master George Harrison, with Temple Lodge following in that same year shortly thereafter.
  • Temple Lodge 1768
  • Trinity Lodge 1768
  • Union Lodge 1768
  • Hiram Lodge 1768
  • Lodge 478 in 17th Dragoons 1769
  • King Davidís Lodge 1769
  • Lodge 169 afterward St. Andrews Lodge #3 1771
  • Solomonís Lodge #1 (#5) 1771
  • Sion Lodge 1773
  • St. Georges Lodge #1 1774
  • St. Johns Regimental Lodge 1775
  • St. Johns Lodge #4 1776
  • American Union Lodge #1 and Military Union Lodge 1776
  • Washington Lodge #10, army lodge 1779
  • Lodge # 210 afterward Temple Lodge #4 and then Jerusalem # 4 1779
  • Solomonís Lodge #212 1780
  • Sions Lodge in 57th Regiment 1780
  • Lodge # 213 in 4th Battalion Royal Artillery 1781
  • Lodge #215 in 2nd Regiment 1781
  • His Majesty's Loyal American Regimental Lodge 1783
  • Lodge #232 1786
  • Lodge of Unity # 517 at Fort William Henry 1787
  • New Oswegatchie Lodge #520 1787
  • St. Patrickís Lodge #212 1788

An interesting note per James Holden, who claims that Israel Putnam (1718-1790), who was made a Mason at the Military Lodge at Crown Point on June 7, 1758, had been captured by the French a few months later near Ft. Ann.  He was saved from torture by giving the Masonic Sign of Distress, which was recognized & answered by French Commander Marin.  (James A. Holden address May 15 1913)   There is an oak tree in Crown Point where he was bound; a plaque exists there today.  During the War of Rebellion he became a Major General in the Continental Army (Battle of Long Island).

There were three (3) Lodges in existence in Albany, N.Y., which have some bearing on this area.  The first was Lodge #74, a Military Lodge, which was under Irish Registry, was formed in 1737 and came into the Albany area about 1757.  It serviced His Majesty's 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Foot, now known as Royal Scots.

General James Clinton appealed to Provincial Grand Master George Harrison, who had been made Provincial Grand Master in 1753, to grant a new Charter to this Lodge.

On Feb. 21, 1765 it became Union Lodge #1. In 1766 Sir William Johnson became a member of this Lodge so that later in the same year, he went on to become a charter member of St. Patrick's Lodge #4 in Johnstown and its first Master.

General Nicholas Herkimer, who was a friend of Sir William, joined this Lodge on April 7, 1768.  Sir William Johnson died in 1774.

In this connection it is interesting to note among the membership of this Lodge, the names of persons who were clearly identified and intimately connected with the early history of this region.  Signed to the By-Laws of Union Lodge #1 in Albany, as belonging in 1765 are the names of:

Peter Tearse (State Assembly 1786-89), the noted ancestor of our late Brother William Tearse of Glens Falls Lodge 121;

Col. Robert Conchran, a Revolutionary hero and later a large land owner around Hague;

Seth Warner of Green Mountain fame;

Tobias VanVechton the lieutenant killed at Ft. Edward the morning of the Jane McCrea murder;

John Vernor (Delegate to Constitutional Convention in 1801), prominent in the Revolution who in after years conducted a tavern at Lake George;

Major John Chipman who had charge of Ft. George when it surrendered to the British in 1780.  At a later date, we find the names of Seth Baldwin & Peter Threehouse, who were prominent in Queensbury Masonic history later.

On May 12, 1767, the cornerstone for the new Masonic Temple was laid; a little more than a year later on June 14, 1768 the new Temple was dedicated.  This was the first Masonic Temple built in America, which was used exclusively for Masonic purposes.  It still stands in Albany today on the corner of Maiden Lane and Lodge Street and is said to be the oldest structure in America with continuous Masonic use.

After the American Revolution and the formation of the Grand Lodge of New York, with much dissension, Union Lodge surrendered its original charters and the new Mount Vernon Lodge #3 was formed on January 6, 1807.

Masters Lodge #2 (now #5) was formed on March 5, 1768, also under Warrant issued by Provincial Grand Master George Harrison, with Temple Lodge following in that same year shortly thereafter.

On the rolls of Masters Lodge in Albany, preceding the Revolution, appear the names of:

  • Dr. Stephen McCrea, Jane McCrea's brother;

  •  James Caldwell, for whom Caldwell was named;

  •  David Jones, Jane McCrea's betrothed lover;

  • Capt. Seth & Lt. Col. Adiel Sherwood of Ft. Edward;

  •  Morgan Lewis, afterwards Governor, Grand Master of Masons and later a Major General in the War of 1812; and,

  •  Dr. Jonathon Potts who had charge of the smallpox hospital at the head of Lake George in 1776.

In 1765 (May 20, 1762) Abraham Wing, the Quaker founded the Town of Queensbury in Charlotte County.  Charlotte County was renamed Washington. Thereafter, Warren County was formed from part of Washington County on March 12, 1813.

Warren County was named for General Joseph Warren, hero of the American Revolution and the first Provincial Grand Master of Masons in the Colony of Massachusetts (December 27, 1769).  He continued as Grand Master until he was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775). The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts assumed its independence on March 8, 1777 becoming the first independent Grand Lodge in the United States.


* News * Forum * Warren * Washington * Saratoga * Essex * Clinton * Additional Topics * Concordant Bodies * Membership * Donations * Names * Home *


Go To Home Page

Copyright © 2002 - 2009 Allan M. Bryant.  All rights reserved. 

For information relating to this site e-mail webmaster.