Freemason lodges in Louisiana
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.
- Other: Majority of material found in 1807-1985
- Other: Date acquired: 01/08/1995
- Freemasons (Organization)
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.
30.00 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
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
Initially processed by Hellen Burkes Accretions processed by Eira Tansey Finding aid created Alix Riviere
- Fraternal Organizations -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Subject Source: Local sources
- Freemasonry -- Lodges Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Freemasonry -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Freemasonry -- Rituals Subject Source: Local sources
- Louisiana -- History -- 19th century Subject Source: Library Of Congress Subject Headings
- Louisiana -- History -- 20th century Subject Source: Lcnaf
- New Orleans (La) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century Subject Source: Library Of Congress Subject Headings
- New Orleans (La) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century Subject Source: Library Of Congress Subject Headings
- New Orleans (La.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Secret societies -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Subject Source: Local sources
- Archon Finding Aid Title
- Alix Riviere
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note