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Freemason lodges in Louisiana

 Collection
Identifier: LaRC-895

Scope and Contents

This collection contains an eclectic assortment of records from numerous Masonic lodges of Louisiana, primarily in New Orleans, and other states. The main lodges included in this collection are French-speaking lodges such as Persévérance no. 4, Concorde no. 3, Le Foyer Maçonnique no. 44., as well as the English-speaking Friends of Harmony no. 58, and some Spanish-speaking lodges such as Silencio no. 9. Included in this collection are minutes, guest books, correspondence, accounting and dues ledgers, check books, receipts, by-laws, records of procedural discussions, and other internal documents. The minutes are a particularly rich source to understand the functioning and history of the lodges. Minute books offer a variety of information on its members, such as date and place of birth, occupation, financial situation, and religion, but also on their views regarding contemporary events. The main topics discussed during sessions are: the financial state of the lodges; national and international events; masonic values and behavior; help to deceased members’ families (widows, orphans) as well as to families of members of other lodges; ceremonies of initiation; elections of committees and members to new offices; upkeep of buildings and cemetery vaults.

Dates

  • 1807-1995
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1807-1985
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/08/1995

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to public. No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Many of the French-speaking lodges of Louisiana were originally founded in the Caribbean in the second half of the eighteenth century. During the Haitian revolution, some Freemasons fled to Cuba and the United States, where they reorganized chapters and lodges. Although Freemasonry was banned in the Spanish empire, Louisiana Freemasons endeavored to continue their works. The political turmoil during and after the French Revolution prevented the Grand Orient of France from granting them charters, prompting Freemasons to request charters from Orients in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Thus Louisiana lodges founded in the late colonial period have the peculiarity of following the rites of York while still maintaining a distinct French culture. Moreover, in the 1830s some French-speaking lodges merged with one another and integrated French and Scottish rites with rites of York—a rare occurrence in Freemasonry.



In 1812, when Louisiana acquired statehood, French-speaking Freemasons organized and created the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, which subsequently granted them new charters. Under this new jurisdiction, many lodges reorganized and some changed names—for instance, Persévérance no. 118 became Persévérance no. 4.

Extent

30.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into four series: Persévérance Lodge no. 4, Concorde Lodge no. 3, Friends of Harmony Lodge no. 58, and miscellaneous lodges.

Physical Access Requirements

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Source of Acquisition

Perseverance Lodge no. 4 through Milton J. Eiermann

Method of Acquisition

Gift

Related Materials

Fremason Series, manuscript collection 562 Black Masons, manuscript collection 596

Processing Information

Initially processed by Hellen Burkes Accretions processed by Eira Tansey Finding aid created Alix Riviere

Creator

Title
Archon Finding Aid Title
Author
Alix Riviere
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
eng

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US