Was Ill. Bro. Frederick Dalcho?
By: McDonald “Don” Burbidge, 33°
No one…could have been more honestly devoted to the studies in general,
of the Christian Ministry, than Rev. Frederick Dalcho or have been found
more willing so as to surrender himself to it, as “to spend and be spent”
in it’s work… In this office he served with great faithfulness to his
In the character of his preaching, there was a
striking adherence to “the old paths” of truth; and the essential
doctrines of the gospel, as held in the Church of whom he was a Minister,
was his fond and constant theme. Affectionate, earnest, solemn, in
exhortation and admonition, which were his duty, he always observed the
sobriety of a sound mind and a
sound faith. He was unusually well versed in the Scriptures, and had read
extensively the writings of most of the Divines of the Parent Church. He
was familiar with polemic theology, but not fond of controversies.
text shown in “Italic” was written by Ill. Bro. Frederick Dalcho. This
was done to provide the reader a way of getting to know him through his
Dalcho was born to John Frederick and Euphemia Dalcho in the Borough of
Holborn, London, in a parish known as St. Giles-In-The-Fields.
On August 26
Frederick Dalcho father passed away at the Age of 58.
- Frederick Dalcho arrived at Baltimore, Maryland
on a sailing vessel “after a boisterous passage of 8 weeks on the sea
from London.” He was 15 years of age and went to live with his father’s
sister who was married to Dr. Wiesenthal. Under the guidance of Dr.
Wiesenthal young Frederick pursued his education.
Dr. Dalcho received his medical degree from his Uncle Wiesenthal’s
Medical School. His Uncle was also a Mason.
- Frederick Dalcho was appointed a “Surgeon’s Mate” in the Army.
While stationed in Savannah, Georgia Dr. Dalcho joined a Masonic Lodge
believed to be Hyram Lodge No. 2, Ancient York Mason.
- Dr. Dalcho married Miss Vanderlocht of Savannah, Georgia. The marriage
was of brief duration as she died on June 4, 1795.
Dalcho was appointed a Lieutenant of Artillery in the Army.
Dr. Dalcho was transferred to Fort Fidius located in Georgia on the Oconee
Dr. Dalcho was transferred from Savannah; Georgia to Fort Johnson located
in the Charleston harbor.
Dr. Dalcho resigned his commission to become a ship’s surgeon to the
factoring firm of McClure and Company and made several trips to Africa
while in their employment.
Dalcho returned to the Army for an additional 15 months service.
Dr. Dalcho left the sea and settled down to practice medicine with his
good friend Dr. Isaac Auld.
Dr. Dalcho was a contributor to the “Medical Repository and the Recorder.”
Dalcho along with John Mitchell opened the first Supreme Council of the
Scottish Rite in America at Shepheard’s Tavern located at the corner of
Broad and Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Dalcho was
elected to the office of Lt. Grand Commander and John Mitchell was elected
should also be noted that
Dr. James Moultrie was elected as
Sov Gr Inspector General who is also a member of St. Philip’s Church and
is buried in the churchyard.
Dalcho was elected as the 66th member of the Medical Society
and opened a drug store facing the Bay, which he later moved to the
northeast corners of Church and Tradd Street and operated with his long
time friend Dr. Isaac Auld.
Dr. Dalcho Volunteered to serve as attending physician of the new
Charleston Dispensary for a term of one year.
– Dr. Dalcho helps to established the “Charleston Courier” newspaper
with Aaron S. Willington and Edmund Morford.
Dr. Dalcho wrote and delivered an “Oration” entitled;
Delivered In The
Sublime Grand Lodge
Of South Carolina, In Charleston
On the 21st of March, A. L. 5807
I have before mentioned to you,
that in the sublime degrees of a Mason, we are bound to be true and
faithful to the government of the country in which we live. Nay, more, we
are sworn to discover to the lawful authority any knowledge which we may
posses of the establishment of a conspiracy against it.
Dalcho was elected to the standing committee to establish a Botanic Garden
located at the northwest corner of Meeting and Columbus Streets. The
Medical Society placed the following article in the locale newspaper
announcing the opening of the Botanic Garden; in part it reads;
“Innumerable are the
advantages which will result from this establishment. It will induce in
young persons, a taste for the studies of Nature. “The structure of a
feather or flower is more likely to impress their minds with a just notion
of infinite power and wisdom, than the most profound discourses on such
abstract subjects, as are beyond the limits of their capacity to
comprehend. Botany is a
branch of natural history that possesses many advantages; it contributes
to health of body, and cheerfulness of disposition, by presenting an
inducement to take air and exercise----it is adapted to the simplest
capacity, which renders it attainable to every rank in life.”
Date: August 8, 1805
- Dr. Dalcho delivered the “Oration”
before the Medical Society of South Carolina, at the Anniversary Meeting
of which he was the Secretary. In his opening statement he commented that;
“Agreeable to the rules of our
society, it is the duty of our president to nominate a member “to
prepare and record, at each Anniversary, a review of the weather and
diseases of the current year, together with such medical observations as
may appear to him to be useful, and connected with the objects of the
institution.” He has done me the Honor to nominate me for the present
Anniversary. I could have wished his choice to have fallen upon some
person more worthy of this distinguished honor; upon one, whose capacious
mind, illumined by the rays of science, could have rendered his subject
more worthy of your attention; who could have recorded the medical
occurrences of the passing year, in language suited to the dignity of his
theme. Little accustomed to write upon medical subjects, I have only been
induced to acquiesce in the nomination, by my sincere desire to contribute
every talent which I posses, to the service of our society, and to the
advancement of our profession. Before an audience so imposing I should
stand abashed, did I not feel conscious of receiving your candid
– Dr. Edward Jenkins married Dr. Dalcho and Miss Mary Elizabeth
Threadcraft at St. Philip’s Church. They were childless throughout their
- Dr. Dalcho became co-editor of the Charleston Courier,
a vigorous Federalist paper, then in its fourth year of
Dr. Dalcho published the “Ahiman Rezon or a book of Constitutions” at
the request of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons for the state of
South Carolina. With the help of Dr. Dalcho the Grand Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons and that of Ancient York Masons of South Carolina united
under the name of “The Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of South
Carolina” which continues to exist to the present time.
John Fowler who was directed
by the Original Chapter of Prince Masons of Ireland to write Dr. Frederick
Dalcho and ask his permission to reprint his orations from 1801, 1803, and
1807. Dr. Dalcho replied on February 25, 1808, expressing his
gratification at the request and readily acceding to it.
Dalcho sent a response letter back to John Fowler who lived in Ireland at
the time. At this time it seems that John Fowler wanted Dr. Dalcho to
visit Ireland with the intent of establishing a Sovereign Grand Council of
Inspectors General of the Thirty-third Degree for Ireland, to which
kindly promised to accede, however because President Jefferson had stopped
all trade with Europe as well as with Great Britain at this time Brother
Dalcho was unable to assist in the creation of a Supreme Council for
Dr. Dalcho was elected “Corresponding Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge
of Ancient York Masons, and from that time directed the influences of his
high position to the reconciliation of the Masonic difficulties in South
November 22, Dr. Frederick Dalcho mother dies at the age of 81; both of
Dalcho’s parents are now buried at the German Evangelical Church of St.
Dr. Dalcho resigned as co-editor of the Charleston Courier and as a member
of the Medical Society of South Carolina, which the Medical Society
refused and made him an honorary member for life.
Frederick Dalcho accepted the call of the vestry
of St. Paul’s, Stono, to officiate as Lay Reader without any
compensation, as he was not yet ordained.” He began his service, which
was to last only for the winter and spring season. It should also be
stated that Dr. Frederick Dalcho was the first rector of this church since
Rev. Dalcho kept St. Philip’s Church open after the death of Rev. James
Dewar Simons for the summer. Written in the minutes of St. Philip’s
Church record is the following report;
Special meeting of the Vestry of
St. Philip’s, Friday 27th May 1814. The Rev. James Dewar
Simons, Rector of this Church, having departed this life, between the
hours of nine and ten o’clock this morning, the Vestry was called upon
the Solemn and awful occasion. Resolved Unanimously, that in consideration
of the long, able and eminent services of there many beloved and greatly
lamented Rectors and Divine, and in testimony as well as sincere
veneration and affection to his Person while living, as with deep and
unfeigned sorrow and regret which is felt on the mournful event, the
following honors be paid to his Memory.
pulpit, the reading desk, the communion table and organ gallery to be hung
with “Black Broad Cloth.” The vestry of St. Michael’s is requested
to have the Bells of that church tolled muffled during the funeral
That the Rev. Dalcho be
requested to read the funeral service and the Rev. Doctor Percy to deliver
a funeral oration on the melancholy occasion.
Dr. Dalcho resigned from St. Paul’s Stono Church and on February 2,
became assistant minister at St. Paul’s Radcliffeborough located in
Charleston, South Carolina.
Dr. Dalcho publishes a book on the theological works titled;
On Public Baptism
As Established By
“The Protestant Episcopal Church
United States of America
This work was produced
after some parish members asked Dr. Dalcho to perform a private Baptism in
their home for their children. Due to the rules and regulations of the
church he could not honor this request that was asked of him.
At the end of his letter Dr. Dalcho made the following statement in
hopes that the individuals would understand why he had to turn down their
From this exposition of
the Rubrics of the Church, and of the duties of
the Clergy, I flatter myself, my Dear Sir, you will be satisfied
have acted from a sense of duty in refusing to comply with your
And I trust you will do me the justice to believe, that no other motive
could have influenced me in the discharge of the Sacred Office, or have
induced me to oppose the wishes of my friends.
I am, Dear Sir,
Rev. Dalcho undertook the task of completing and editing the register of
the Church at St. Paul’s Radcliffeborough located at Charleston, South
Dalcho was retained as an assistant minister for St. Michael’s Church.
- Rev. Dalcho was elected Assistant minister of St. Michael’s Church for
one year at a salary of $1,000.00.
Dalcho published another story,
Divinity of Jesus Christ;
Christian and Heathen Writers,
That He was Called
And Worshipped as GOD,
First Three Centuries
had his chief work published,” An Historical Account of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in South Carolina. It took Dr. Dalcho two years to write
covered the first settlement in the province, to The War of the
Revolution; with notices of the Present State of the Church in each
parish; and some account of the early civil history of Carolina, never
before published. Also included are the laws relating to religious
worship; the Journals and rules of the Convention of South Carolina, the
Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and an index
with a list of subscribers.
Dr. Frederick Dalcho published his second edition of the “Ahiman
Rezon.” In the opening page of his second edition Dalcho wrote the
“Freemasonry comprehends within
its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an
indelible mark of pre- eminence on its genuine professors, which neither
chance, power, nor fortune can bestow. When its rules, are strictly
observed, it is a sure foundation of tranquility,
amidst the various disappointments of life. It is a friend that will not
deceive, but will comfort and assist us in prosperity and adversity. It is
a blessing that will remain with all times, circumstances, and places, and
to which recourse may be had, when other earthly comforts sink into
Dr. Dalcho became involved in an unpleasant controversy with some of his
Masonic associates, in consequence of difficulties and dissentions, which
at that time, existed in the Ancient Rite his feelings were so wounded by
the unmasonic spirit which seemed to actuate his antagonists and former
friends that Dr. Dalcho resigned the Office of Grand Chaplain of the Grand
Lodge, and Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, and retired for the
remainder of his life from all participation in the active duties of
Masonry. At the end of the year Dr. Dalcho withdrew his membership from
the Grand Lodge which marked the end of his Masonic career. In Dr. Dalcho’s
resignation letter to the Grand Lodge he states in part the following:
friend of the Masonic institution, as well as every member, of our Order,
must have felt, not only deeply interested, but greatly grieved, at the
unhappy difference which, for a few weeks, has existed in the Grand Lodge.
As an old Mason, and particularly as a religious man, I confess that it
introduced in my mind the most painful sensations. Believing, as I
conscientiously do, that genuine freemasonry is a powerful auxiliary to
the religion I profess, I cannot but be solicitous to see it practiced in
its native purity and truth. That charity which covert a multitude of
sins; and that Brotherly-love, which makes the friend of his species, are
fundamental principles of both. And where these principles are permitted
to govern our feelings and our conduct, whether in the domestic and social
circle, in the Lodges of the Fraternity, or the community in which we
live, there peace and happiness, the types of celestial enjoyment, must
Dr. Dalcho established “The Charleston Gospel Messenger and Protestant
Episcopal Register” a monthly journal of the church’s activities.
The first volumes of these registers included many highly
interesting and some well-elaborated and learned essays from his pen.
May 16 - Dr.
Dalcho published another address,
Delivered in St. Michael’s Church
Charleston Protestant Episcopal
Sunday School Society,
the Tuesday in Whitsun Week
The evening prayer was read by the Rev. Dr. Gadsen, Rector of St. Philip’s
Church, and an Address, adapted to the occasion, was delivered by the Rev.
Dr. Dalcho, Assistant Minister of St. Michael’s Church.
It should also be noted that a recently discovered letter written by Rev.
Dalcho dated 1828 shows that he was the superintendent of the Sunday
Schools Children which was attended by 800 children.
After Service, the members of the Society met to receive the Report of the
Managers, to elect Officers, &c.
On motion of Mr. Thayer, the thanks of the Society were returned to Dr.
Dalcho for his appropriate Address, and a copy therefore requested for
Dr. Dalcho delivered a sermon before the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons
of South Carolina at St. Michael's church located in Charleston, South
Carolina. Again, as in 1807 a decade earlier, his text was John 12:36.
Dalcho remarked: “ May the
light of the everlasting Gospel burn in your hearts with a pure and steady
flame, guiding your footsteps unto all righteousness, and directing your
conduct in every scene and condition of life." Free-Masonry, like the
Religion of the Redeemer, is eminently Calculated to dispense “peace on
earth, and good will towards men. ” Let me then, earnestly beseech you,
in the name of your Savior, to endeavor, by a life of piety and devotion
to flee from the wrath to come, that you walk before him as becomes your
Christian calling; that you fulfill
the Royal law according to the Scriptures to love your neighbor as
yourself; and finally that you afford to the world a bright example of
piety and faith, by walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the
Lord blameless, for so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put
to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
On November 24th
- Dr. Frederick Dalcho passed away at his resident which was located
at 54 Meeting Street. His physician was Dr. Campbell and he listed his
death as “Paralysis."
wife Mary passed away 16 years later in December 1852 at the age of 66
years. Her resting-place is in an unmarked grave next to Dr. Dalcho’s at
St. Michael’s church.
in the Charleston News and Courier;
The Clergy of the Episcopal
Church and of other denominations; the Members of St. Michael’s
congregation, and of the other congregations
of the Episcopal Church in this city, and the Friends and Acquaintances
are invited to attend the Funeral of the late Rev. Dr. DALCHO, from his
house in Meeting street, This Afternoon, at 4 O’clock precisely.
Reference: The Charleston News and Courier
Dated: Friday Morning Nov. 25, 1836
Rev. Dr. Dalcho’s life of great industry was now over. His remains were
laid to rest in St. Michael’s Church Cemetery on the south side. The
vestry defrayed the expenses of his mahogany coffin and interment in the
churchyard, and caused a memorial tablet to be erected to him. This tablet
was to have been placed inside the
church, but because of a certain animosity
towards the Masons at the time, it was erected outside against the south
wall. In 1847, and again in 1852, the suggestion was made that it should
be brought inside the building. Action was taken on neither occasion. Not
until many years later was Dr. Dalcho’s tablet brought inside the
church, which he loved and served for seventeen years.
showing their due respect for their late Assistant Minister was draped in
black merino. The Masonic Grand Lodge was ordered to be clothed in
mourning, for the space of six weeks” at its Quarterly Communication on
the 16th of December.
Dr. Joseph Johnson, M.D. (a
member of St. Philip’s Church) provides us with a first hand description
of Dr. Frederick Dalcho from one that knew him personally and as a Mason.
“Dr. Dalcho was about five and a half
feet in height, muscular and well proportioned. Having been accidentally
wounded in his lungs, he became occasionally asthmatic, and his voice,
naturally pleasant, was thus sometimes oppressed. His features were well
marked, denoting a vigorous and well-cultivated intellect, as well as a
thoughtful and earnest spirit. His kind, amiable and genial disposition,
his fine social qualities, his extensive information and liberal
principles made him a great and general favorite in the community.
posed a spiritual quality throughout his life. Ordained to the ministry
after a varied career and displayed throughout his life a gentleness and
goodness of nature which would have put to shame more prominent
Frederick Dalcho passed away on November 24, 1836, the lives he touched
through his addresses, sermons, and the other writings he left behind will
continue to inspire others for generations to come.
closing I would like to leave you with this one last passage written by
Rev. Dalcho in December 1805 for the Medical Society Oration he delivered
for that year. To me this is what Rev. Dalcho had intended to accomplish
throughout his life.
“Let us, gentleman, cheerful
and resolutely determine to make our society as useful as it is
respectable, to make it the school of instruction, and the deposit of
important information for our posterity. The ardent pursuit of scientific
information, which it adds respectability and honor to a country, is of
incalculable depth; an inexhaustible source of usefulness and profit. The
human mind, vast and capacious in its resources, is bounded by no limits,
but the GREAT FIRST CAUSE, and yields to no impediments, but the
disorganization of matter. The hearts expands with virtue and benevolence,
as the mind extends its information. The riches of the ancients become our
property, and the labors of the learned, become our amusement. Compared to
the learned, of the present day, the ancients were but the pupils of
science; and we, in turn, will have to yield the palm of knowledge to
those who will succeed us, and who, probably, will look back upon us, but
as the removers of literary rubbish, or the pliers up of disjointed facts.”
before the Medical Society by Dr. Frederick Dalcho on December 24th,