Newspaper Articles On the Biennial Meeting of theBy: Ill. Brother McDonald "Don" Burbidge, 33º
Supreme Council Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina
On September 21-27, 1924
In May 1881, Francis Silas
Rodgers built his mansion on a large lot at the southeast corner of Smith
and Wentworth Streets. The architect hired to build the house at the time
was Mr. Daniel G. Wayne who designed the 13,883 for Mr. Rodgers and his
family and grandchildren to live in.
Mr. Rodgers was a wealthy merchant and cotton
grower who spared no expense in the building of his mansion. He had
intended that the mansion be used to live in by his children and
grandchildren. The exterior was covered in Philadelphia pressed brick the
windows and quoins were finished in stone. The Architect Mr. Rodgers
employed to build his four story 13,883 square foot mansion was Mr. Daniel
In 1920 the Rodgers heirs sold the Mansion to the
Scottish Rite Cathedral Association and on May 31, 1940 it was again sold
to the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company.
The Supreme Council last met in Charleston, South
Carolina on September 21-27, 1924. The "Charleston News and
Courier" provided a lot of press coverage on the events that were
happening daily along with quoting the various members of the Supreme
Council and other members Scottish Rite members in Charleston.
At the time of this celebration it was noted that
the following countries have established their own Supreme Councils either
directly or indirectly from the Mother Council established in Charleston
on May 31, 1801, Argentine, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central America,
Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt,
England and Wales, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbs Croates
and Slovenes, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and
within a few weeks a Supreme Council in Russia was expected to be
In 1813 when Dr. Dalcho was 43 years old he was
co-editor of the "Charleston Courier," which today it is called
the "Charleston News and Courier Newspaper." The building that
he once worked at no longer exists. The building was torn down and a new
one put up in its place.
Listed below is the date each article was written
along with the complete headline for each story as it was printed by the,
"Charleston News and Courier." An overview of each article is
provided to the reader in hopes of getting a better understanding of what
went on each day when the Supreme Council met in Charleston:
September 21, 1924
OF SCOTTISH RITE
Charleston Plays an
Important Part in
The History of the
CITY TO BE HOST
FOR THE MEETING
Hold One Session in
Building Where the
First Supreme Council Was Formed
The biennial started on a
Tuesday and ended on a Saturday
The history of the organization was provided
by Past Grand Master James D. Richardson.
Growing in numbers and influences,
"Admitting into the ranks of the Initiates, men of every creed and
country, who are found worthy of such fellowship; are becoming
Magnificent temples are scattered all over the
country from coast to coast.
Men of brilliant intellect and profound
philosophy are proud to be enrolled among its members and today to be
known as a Scottish Rite Mason around the world.
Not until 1847 was there a member of the Supreme
Council elected outside of the State of South Carolina.
September 21, 1924
Members of the Supreme
Council to Convene Here
City Will Welcome Masons Who Will Arrive
Tomorrow and Stay Until Saturday
for Biennial Session
Not only the citizens of
Charleston but the residents of the State of South Carolina are looking
forward with great pleasure to the arrival of the members of the Supreme
Council, Thirty-third Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction.
The most distinguished Masons in the United
States if not in the world, will be present for the meeting.
Rev. Samuel Cary Beckwith is the Deputy of the
Supreme Council in South Carolina.
The local members of the Scottish Rite have been
preparing a program and working out the details of the entertainment of
the guests. Mr. Jesse Sharpe, Mr. A. Clifford Thompson and Mr. Ben B.
Lawrence have been prominent in these preparations.
The last meeting of the Supreme Council was held
in Salt Lake City and Charleston feels honored that it was selected as the
September 23, 1924
IN ST. PHILIP’S CHURCH
All Masonic Officers Are Required to Wear
Regala of Office
Special services for the Supreme
Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry will be held
this in St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. The REV. S. Cary Beckwith,
rector, who is deputy in South Carolina, of the Supreme Council, will
conduct the services.
Rev. L. E. McNair will deliver an address,
Thirty-third degrees, of Jacksonville, and chaplain of the Supreme
Council. Mr. J. Campbell is chairman of the arrangements for these special
A feature of the occasion will be the music,
especially arranged for the occasion by Mr. Cotesworth P. Mears, a member
of the Rite, who will be assisted by the Scottish Rite Male Quartet. There
will be a male chorus of fifty voices.
Mr. Bissell announces that seating arrangements
for the services provide that the main body of the church be reserved for
the Masonic fraternity; the center aisle for the Supreme Council and the
Knights Templar, who will act as escort.
Members of the Craft and their ladies will be
seated on the side aisles, both of the north and south. In the gallery the
people will be seated.
The Knights Templar will escort the Supreme
Council as a guard of honor and all Knights Templar are requested to
appear at the church in full uniform.
While the Supreme Council will not open until
tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the
services at St. Philip’s will mark the first assembling of the council,
this being the opening ceremony incident to the series of meetings that
will occur during the week.
September 23, 1924
DEPUTY FOR SCOTTISH RITE
COUNCIL IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Samuel Cary Beckwith was born November 17,
1870, in Petersburg, Va., received his education at McCabe’s School, the
Davis Military School, the Davis Military School and the University of the
South, taking his bachelor of arts degree in 1895 and the master of arts
degree in 1896.
Mr. Beckwith was raised to the sublime degree of
Master Mason in Landmark Lodge, No. 76, A. F. M., March 2, 1910, and was
appointed chaplain November 17, 1923. He received the Thirty-second degree
in Dalcho Consistory May 16, 1912, served as wise master of Buist Chapter,
1915 to 1917, as commander of Bethlehem Council, 1922-1923. He was made a
Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, October 21, 1919, and received the
Thirty-third degree, Inspector General Honorary, October 19, 1923.
November 17, 1923, he was appointed Deputy of the Supreme Council in South
Carolina, succeeding Hyman Wallace Witcover, Thirty-third degree, who was
elected Secretary-General of the Supreme Council.
September 24, 1924
CALLS ON MASONS
TO LEAD MANKIND
TO A HIGHER LIFE
Chaplain of Supreme
Council of Scottish
Rite Preaches Service
in St. Philip’s
YORK RITE MEN
ACT AS ESCORT
Big Congregation in
"Westminster of the
South" to Hear the
Speaking to an assemblage that filled
"old historic" St. Philip’s Episcopal church last night, the
Rev. L. E. McNair, D. D., delivered a forceful and impressive address on
the subject of "Selected Lives, the distinction conferred on men of
rank and station."
Mr. McNair said of his sermon that it implies
competency whether on the athletic field, in literary world or in a place
of moral leadership. They are men singled out, set apart, trained and
commissioned unto a special opportunity. He also stated that his message
related to the fact of a selected life and declared that there is no
thought to which the soul more profoundly responds that a life specialized
unto a purpose.
In conclusion to his sermon Mr. McNair said:
"So may we carry the banner of Masonry; so may our lives produce the
evidences of our selection, and may the deliberations of our great country
be under the blessing of God, devoted to His glory and fruitful in service
of our fellows, our country and mankind."
The Rev. S. Cary Beckwith, deputy of the Supreme
Council in South Carolina and rector of the parish of St. Philip’s,
introduced Dr. McNair, and welcomed the council to Charleston, saying,
"We welcome you not as guests but as a loving mother coming back to
September 24, 1924
Grand Commander to Deliver
Allocation Before the
HONORS TO BE AWARDED
Charleston Men Among Those
Who Will Be Invested as
Knight Commanders of
Court of Honor
SCOTTISH RITE SCHEDULE
10 a. m., Supreme Council assembles in Scottish Rite Cathedral, Grand
Commander’s allocation and reference.
1 p. m., Barbecue at Old Faber Place, followed by sightseeing of places
8:30 p. m., informal reception at Scottish Rite Cathedral, followed by
"Plantation Melodies" in auditorium
10 a. m., Council convenes.
1 p. m., Luncheon at Francis Marion Hotel for members of Supreme
Council and visiting Masons.
2 p. m., Council reconvenes.
8:30 p. m., Investiture of Knight Commanders Courts of honor.
10 a. m., Council Convenes.
1 p. m., Luncheon at Francis Marion Hotel.
3 p. m., Council reconvenes.
4 p. m., Session of Supreme Council in birthplace of Supreme Council,
northeast corner Broad and Church streets.
6:30 p. m., Banquet for thirty-third degree Masons and ladies.
8:30 p. m., Thirty-third degree conferred.
September 25, 1924
MAKES ADDRESS TO
THE SCOTTISH RITE
Calls on the Masons
To Take a Leading
Part in Promoting
AT FABER PLACE
Is Held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral
Mayor Stoney, extended the
official welcome of the city and also stressed the historical significance
of the council and Charleston, adding that this town was the birth place
of many good things, prominent among which was the Supreme Council of the
The Grand Commander, Mr. Cowles, stated that the
meeting was in the nature of a homecoming and reminded the assembled
members of the allegiance of the Scottish Rite to the Blue Lodge. He then
proceeded with his allocation.
The Sovereign Grand Commander reaffirmed the
intention to urge the adoption by Congress of the Sterling-Reed bill
providing for a federal department of education with a secretary in the
President’s cabinet and giving federal aid to public schools, and in the
general educational program of the Supreme Council of the Southern
Allusion was made to resolutions introduced at
the last meeting of the Supreme Council establishing a fund of fraternal
assistance and also looking toward the building of a tuberculosis
sanatorium for Masons by the Supreme Council. These matters had been
turned over to special committees.
The Grand Commander referred in eloquent words to
the first meeting of the Supreme Council held in City of Charleston in May
1801, and paid touching tribute to the memory of the men who were
responsible for the organization of the Scottish Rite in this country.
September 26, 1924
OF COURT OF HONOR
ARE DULY INVESTED
Ceremony Is Held by
Supreme Council of
The Scottish Rite in
The Cathedral Here
Arthur C. Furchgott
to Be Elevated to
By Council Tonight
The evening session of the
Supreme Council was given over last night for the purpose of investing
those eligible in South Carolina who were designated at the last session
of the Supreme Council to be Knights Commander of the Court of Honor.
At 1 p. m. the members of the council and
visiting Masons were entertained at an informal luncheon at the Francis
Marion and afterward a party was made up which left the city for Folly
The program last night which featured those
eligible to become Knights Commander was not a degree but a ceremonial of
investiture, and all members of the Rite who had attained their
thirty-second degree and who were in possession of their 1924
identification cards were allowed to witness the service. The ceremony was
presided over by Hyman Wallace Witcover, thirty-third degree, and
secretary general of the Supreme Council.
The Supreme Council created the decoration of
Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, in 1870. The ritual formulated by
Albert Pike was established to point out and to honor those who have
deserved well of the Rite. It is an honor that cannot be applied for or
bought and the number of Knights Commander that may be designated at any
regular session of the Supreme Council is fixed by stature.
The Masons again discussed the reaffirmation of
the resolution in connection with the Oregon education bill, which was
taken up by the Supreme Council yesterday.
"We approve and reassert our belief in the
free and compulsory education of the children of our nation in public
primary schools supported by public taxation, which all children shall
attend and be instructed in the English language only, without regard to
race or creed, and we pledge the efforts of the membership of the Rite to
promote by all lawful means the organization, extension and development to
the highest degree of such schools, and to continually oppose the efforts
of any and all who seek to limit, curtail, hinder or destroy the public
school system of our land.
September 26, 1924
MASON FROM CUBA
Speaks for Supreme
Council of Colon,
At the session of the Supreme
Council of the Scottish Rite yesterday Senor Lesardo Munoz-Sanudo, of
Havana delivered an address in Spanish. The Grand Commander, Mr. John H.
Cowles, read its translation.
I take advantage of the opportunity that fills a
young heart full of enthusiasm and faith, speaking amidst my hosts in this
city, admired always for its lofty virtues, as more than a lover of its
traditions, to declare publicly that I am most pleased by the reception
given me by the Masons since my arrival last Sunday.
My visit was made in compliance with the charge
laid upon me in Cuba by the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council of Colon, Thirty-third Degree, Illustrious Brother Dr. Antonio
Ruiz, to represent him in the session of the Supreme Council of the
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States held this week.
To the men of today, as well as to those of
tomorrow, a connection binds these two supreme Scottish organizations in
such a manner that could be broken only by the dissolution of both, but
that while they live the union shall remain inseparable.
In taking leave of my brethren and other
gentlemen of Charleston I assure you that I carry away most grateful
memories and I pray you to accept my heartfelt gratitude.
September 26, 1924
Scottish Rite Pioneers
Praised by the Chief
Their Faith Made Possible the Magnificent
Order, Mr. Cowles Says, in Paying
Glowing Tribute to Their Work
John h. Cowles, grand commander improved the
opportunity to pay a glowing tribute to Charleston as the birthplace of
the Scottish Rite in this hemisphere. "A poor Old World indeed would
be our place of habitation if it were devoid of Sentiment," he said.
"Sentiment rules the world. It is the mainspring of heroic actions;
it is the reward of deeds well done. It gives richness and beauty to life,
it glorifies joy and lightens the clouds of sorrow."
Here we now meet to pay the tribute of our
presence and appreciative word to the memory of the men whose faith made
possible the magnificent Order of which we are the leaders in this later
day. Splendid men they were, Mitchell, Dalcho, and their confreres, men of
sterling character, of broad vision, of unconquerable faith. They were
prophet-souls, too, and as the prophets have always done, they dreamed,
then built an institution that has far surpassed their dreams.
To organize a regular Supreme Council, 33degree,
of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry necessitated
adherence to the principles laid down and then in erecting the structure
on the foundation explicitly provided in the Grand Constitution revised in
1786. This was a task for men of courage and faith, and these qualities
were possessed in full measure by the men who met in this city a century
and twenty-three years ago and launched on its career the first Supreme
Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite ever established, the
Mother Council of the world.
How well their confidence and vision were
justified is seen in the marvelous development of the Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry in the intervening years. In the two jurisdictions in this
country there are approximately a half million Thirty-second Degree
Masons. The bodies of the Rite are housed in splendid temples of which the
supreme examples is the peerless House of the Temple in Washington, fit
symbol of a monument to the beautiful, austere and unselfish teaching of
What they did, what has developed from their
work, are full confirmation of the greatness and divine destiny of the
Scottish Rite and are the assurance that in time shall be fulfilled the
dream of the poet. "Out of darkness and night: The world rolls into
light, It is daybreak everywhere."
September 27, 1924
Scottish Rite Council
Enjoys Its Home-coming
Sovereign Grand Commander Declares
Order Is in Unusually Prosperous
Condition Popular Education Espoused
"I am glad to take advantage of this
opportunity to express appreciation for the gracious welcome accorded to
the Supreme Council by the Scottish Rite bodies and by the people of
Charleston. The local committees have been very zealous in their efforts
to make our visit pleasant and despite inclement weather they have
succeeded in rendering an entertainment program that made us forget the
cloudy skies and rain.
"The best traditions of Southern hospitality
have been exemplified and maintained by our gracious hosts," said Mr.
John H. Cowles, thirty-third degree sovereign grand commander of the
Scottish Rite Masons, yesterday.
This home coming has been historic and Scottish
Rite history will record this visit as of unique sentimental interest.
This session has been a pilgrimage to a shrine made by faith, vision and
courage of the splendid Masons who in this city establish the foundation
of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry that now belts the globe.