Page 24 - Montana Freemason Magazine March 2014
P. 24

Montana Freemason               March 2014	                                 Volume 90 Number 1

Carter shares a statement by Pike in 1884 that Taken together, the dilapidated state of the Scottish
confirms that he considered the bulk of his academic Rite (again), the imminent incursion by the Northern
career closed by the time Morals and Dogma was put Jurisdiction, as well as the problems of clandestine
to print in 1872. “Pike then said that all he thought, Scottish Rite groups springing up again, all had an
twenty-five years ago, could be accomplished for the impact on Pike making several enormous tours of
Rite, “and very much more” had been done. This the country. Pike wrote in 1880: “Knowing in part
statement was followed by a proposal that an invested this condition of things, I, unwillingly leaving home
charity fund... be created.” This Fund later became a and suspending my studies, undertook to change it.”
focus for Pike. Carter, p. 283                               Carter, p.195

[3] 1876-1880: The Four Western Tours                           Carter says that “Born somewhat of a mystic and
   “Meanwhile Pike’s Masonic duties were demanding           plagued with frustration in other areas of his life, Pike
                                                             turned more and more, as the years progressed, to
an increasing amount of his time. By the late seventies      Scottish Rite Masonry as an outlet and a fulfillment for
he feared that the Northern Supreme Council had              his energy and ability. By the end of 1878, it is evident
intentions of encroaching upon the domain of the             that he had ended all pretense of major activity in
Southern Jurisdiction. He needed to travel into the          any other endeavor - he had become the apostle of
western states and territories to build up the Scottish      Scottish Rite Masonry without equal...” Carter, p. 179
Rite and to establish control of his Supreme Council
over the whole region west of the Mississippi and               “Grand Commander Pike opened 1880 with some
south of the Ohio, but he was desperately poor and           intensive study and writing; for five weeks, he had not
could not do it with his own means. Four times -             left his rooms. Later events in the year indicate that
in 1876, 1878, 1879 and 1880 - he went on extensive          portions of this work were devoted to the preparation
western and southern visitations into the Southern           of materials for No. 1 Volume IV of the Official
Jurisdiction at the expense of the Supreme Council,          Bulletin, to an analysis of what he had learned during
and three times on returning home he found himself           his western tours of 1878 and 1879, and to preparations
without money to buy bread.” In fact, Pike continued         for a third tour to the Jurisdiction prior to the Session
long tours in 1882 and ’83 and ’84 and again in 1885.        of the Supreme Council scheduled to open on the
Brown, p. 463                                                “third Monday in October,” 1880.” Carter, p.185

   While it was not the only thing Pike did                     “Pike’s successful defense of the territorial
administratively for the Supreme Council in his              jurisdiction of the Supreme Council was another
post-Morals &Dogma years, it was one of the most             major achievement to his credit. It began with his
significant. An 1880 formerly Confidential Allocution        insistence that all sections of the Jurisdiction be
by Pike, published by Carter, shares him saying that,        represented in the membership of the Supreme
“I had learned, early in 1878, that in all that part of our  Council... For a short period of time after the close of
jurisdiction between the Mississippi and the Pacific         the Civil War, there was a demand from the Northern
States, our Rite was in a paralytic and perishing            Masonic Jurisdiction that the boundary lines be
condition.” He then goes on to catalogue a list of the       revised whereby the territory under that Jurisdiction
dead or dysfunctional bodies across the United States.       would expand. Pike refused to consider the proposal
Immediately preceding this statement, Pike had also          and instituted measures to insure the territorial
noted that “Prior to 1878, the Supreme Council for           integrity of the Southern Jurisdiction. The rise of
the Northern Jurisdiction had seen fit, using phrases        Cerneauism constituted a threat to the territorial
at which we might have justly taken umbrage as               jurisdiction of the Supreme Council during all of
indecorous, to prefere anew its claim to exclusive or        Pike’s administration. His vigorous condemnations
concurrent jurisdiction over the Country acquired            of illegitimate Cerneauism and the impregnable
by the United States since 1827.” In other words, the        presentation of the justice and right of the claims
Northern Jurisdiction was threatening to stake claims        of the Supreme Council in thousands of words of
out West. Carter, p. 193                                     writings not only preserved legitimate Scottish Rite
                                                             Masonry in the Southern Jurisdiction but aided other
   In 1881 it was initially reported in Montana that         Supreme Councils in their struggles with imposters.”
signs were again seen “by the representatives of             Carter, p. 381
spurious Cerneau bodies followed almost immediately          [4] 1880-1886: Administrative Leisure: More Touring
by similar letters from widely separated localities.”
These reports of clandestine bodies were as far apart           Again, Pike shows that he considered his scholarly
as Canada and Florida. Carter, p. 214.                       activities largely a bygone era, when Brown says of

Page 24
   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29