The Architects of America: Freemasons and the Growth of the United States

By Russell Charles Blackwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5. THE SOUTH EAST PART…

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth
year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of
Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the
month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build
the house of the Lord.

—Kings, 6:1


I

Henry Price had obviously done the right thing in the eyes of the Grand Lodge, for a year after his appointment over all Masonic activity across New England promotion was again in the air, on this occasion to the new, but far more powerful, office of Grand Master of His Majesty’s Dominions in North America. Such exalted status meant the Boston tailor was now positioned to maintain the momentum of the fraternity’s spread along the Eastern Seaboard, a development he clearly anticipated when, early in 1734, he appointed the Philadelphia printer Benjamin Franklin to be the Order’s Grand Master for Pennsylvania.

Franklin’s elevation was one of Price’s most astute moves, for within a year, the printer had published the first Masonic book in America, a reprint of Doctor Anderson’s Constitutions, and was almost certainly involved with the construction of the first Masonic Temple in Philadelphia. Having had the foresight to recognize Franklin’s indefatigability, and the mature state of Pennsylvanian Masonry, on the surface it looked logical

-99-

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