Freemasons: A Midnight Ride and Other New England Br. Patriots
Dr. Joseph Warren sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on their midnight ride to warn Lexington and Concord that the government was coming to seize their guns.
The British were also headed to Pastor Jonas Clarke's home to arrest two anti-government activists: Tea Party leader Samuel Adams (not confirmed as a Freemason, however he had numerous Masonic connections, he was a close and principle associate of Hancock, Revere & other Masons) and businessman Br. John Hancock (Massachusetts Lodge No. 277, Quebec, Canada. Later affiliated with St. Andrews Lodge, Boston, MA), who was targeted by the King's tax collectors, having had his ship Liberty confiscated.
Dr. Joseph Warren, born June 11, 1741 was a Harvard graduate and a successful doctor in Boston. Br. Warren was made a Mason in the Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston, September 10, 1761. He received the Second Degree on September 2, 1761, but it was not until November 28, 1765, four years after his initiation, that he was made a Master Mason. The delay was in the spirit and practice of the times. In December 1769 Warren received a commission from the Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Master of Masons in Scotland, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of Masons in Boston and within 100 miles of the same. The commission was dated May 30, 1769. When the Earl of Dumfries succeeded Dalhousie as Grand Master of Scotland he issued another appointment to M:. W:. Br. Warren, dated March 7, 1772, constituting Warren "Grand Master of Masons for the Continent of America," thus extending his original limits.
Br. Joseph Warren left his medical career when the British passed the hated Stamp Act of 1765.
After the Boston Tea Party, King George III decided in 1774 to punish the colonists by enacting Intolerable Acts:
-blocking Boston's harbor until citizens reimbursed the East India Tea Company;
-quartering British soldiers in private homes;
-allowing British officials to be unaccountable for their crimes; and
-replacing Massachusetts' elected officials with royal appointees.
In protest, Br. Joseph Warren and Samuel Adams organized the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.
In September of 1774, Br. Joseph Warren wrote the Suffolk Resolves, urging Massachusetts to establish a free state, boycott British goods, form militias and no longer be loyal to a king who violates their rights:
"Whereas...the vengeance but not the wisdom of Great Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged, and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity... It is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations."
Br. Joseph Warren became President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, April of 1775.
In June of 1775, as British ships entered Boston's harbor, 34-year-old Br. &Dr. Joseph Warren joined the militia.
Though appointed a Major General by the Provincial Congress, Warren chose to serve as a private, acknowledging that Br. & General Israel Putnam (Hiram Lodge No. 1, New Haven, Connecticut), and Colonel William Prescott had more military experience.
On June 17, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren asked to be placed where the heaviest fighting would be and Putnam pointed to Bunker Hill.
He fought in the redoubt, repelling the British soldiers, till he ran out of ammunition.
The British made a third and final assault on the hill, and M:. W:. Br. Joseph Warren was killed instantly by a musket ball in the head. The British stripped his body, bayoneted it until it was unrecognizable, then shoved it into a ditch.
Ten month later, M:. W:. Br. Paul Revere helped identify his remains by examining an artificial tooth he had placed in his jaw. He was initiated in St. Andrew's Lodge on September 4, 1760. He was the first candidate received after their Charter dated 1756 was received from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He was raised on January 27, 1761. The records of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, functioning as part of St. Andrew's Lodge, indicate that Paul Revere became a Royal Arch Mason and Knight Templar on December 11, 1769 (4). Brother Revere was very active in his Lodge by his attendance and serving as Junior Deacon, Junior Warden, and Secretary before being installed at age 35 as Worshipful Master on November 30, 1770. At that time he was already serving as Senior Grand Deacon of the Massachusetts (Provincial) Grand Lodge. This was the beginning of his "very active Masonic career" which is indicated by the list of his Lodge Offices attached to this paper (attachment 1, p 102 ref 1). He served nine (9) terms as Worshipful Master, 5 with St. Andrew's Lodge and 4 with Rising States Lodge and, with the exception of the Revolutionary war years, served continuously as a Grand Lodge Officer from 1769 to 1797. In 1794 when he was elected as the second Grand Master of the newly-formed Grand Lodge of Massachusetts A.F. & A.M.
A monument marks where Dr. Joseph Warren died.
Br. Joseph Warren's brother, M:. W:. Br. & Dr. John Warren (Massachusetts Lodge, of Boston, Grand Master, Massachusetts Grand Lodge, 1783-1784, 1787-1788), served as a surgeon at the Battle of Bunker Hill and later helped found Harvard Medical School.
Three years earlier, Br. Joseph Warren delivered an address in Boston, March 5, 1772, to commemorate the second anniversary of the Boston Massacre:
"If you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers, who enabled them to turn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare His arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring...
May this Almighty Being graciously preside in all our councils. May He direct us to such measures as He Himself shall approve, and be pleased to bless. May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguishable ruin!"
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Acknowledgement: These short articles are not so much written as they are assembled. I use many sources, one primary source is American Minute (www.AmericanMinute.com) to which I add Masonic details. In this article additional sources were:
W. Martin Myers
Past Master, Metropolitan Lodge No. 11
Historian, Meridian Lodge No. 284
Member, Richmond-Randolph Lodge No. 19
Member, Temple Lodge No. 9
Member, Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777
Turcopolier, Richmond Council, Knights Kadosh, Scottish Rite
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
-- M:. W:. Br. Benjamin Franklin
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation;
for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company"
-- General, President and W:. Br. George Washington
"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men."
-- Br. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Thursday, June 11, 2015