Freemasomy aid rexas Jistory
JAMES D. CARTER
WHEN one historian speaks to another of a Puritan,
Roman Catholic, Fascist, Communist, or Prohibition-
ist, he projects a set of principles into his thinking.
The same should be true when he speaks of Freemasons, be-
cause Freemasonry is a system of morality,' perhaps veiled to
some extent but no more so than the philosophy of many other
groups. It is a philosophy of rational idealism, but it is not a
religion-that is left to the churches.
Freemasonry thus possesses a wide appeal to many men who
prize dearly their freedom of thought and action, circumscribed
only by ideals of morality. It cuts across the ties of blood, race,
nationality, and religious sects to bring such men into one broth-
erhood. It is a force for domestic tranquility, international peace,
and orderly progress of society. Freemasonry seeks no prefer-
ment but is content to teach, through precept and example, the
basic moral principles of private and public conduct which have
made present-day achievements possible, in the hope that these
principles will assist future generations to produce a more nearly
Since Freemasonry is a philosophy without political organiza-
tion, the historian must resort to induction if he ascribes any
influence in politics to Freemasonry.
Speculative Masonry developed out of seventeenth and eight-
eenth century liberalism and assumed its Grand Lodge organ-
izational form in England in 1717,2 retaining many of the outward
features of the old craft guild of the Operative Masons. The
unshackling of philosophy from theology produced a remarkable
growth which spread rapidly over the western world.
Freemasonry approached Texas from two directions-from the
'Carl H. Claudy, Introduction to Freemasonry (Washington, 1931), 8.
2Melvin M. Johnson, The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America (Kingsport,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed December 19, 2014.