More Masonic Renunciations

Posted: April 30, 2009 in Secret Societies

From the Hartford A.M. Intelligencer.

The following renunciation of freemasonry, by Deacon Samuel Richards, of Farmington, was written, it seems, some time last October. It was sent in and read in the late State convention, Dec. 16. It was returned to the author and retained till yesterday, when it was sent by him to be published in the Intelligencer. Deacon Richards was made a Freemason at West Point, in 1778. At that time he was an officer in the army, (a captain if we mistake not.) — We can say in regard to those venerable patriots, Maj. J.B. Van Vaulkenburgh, of Cayuga county, N.Y. and Gen. Henry Sewell, of Maine; "Hear the voice of an old soldier."

Editor of the Antimasonic Intelligencer.

SIR, Agreeably to your request I send you a copy of a note signed by me, and read at a late public meeting in Hartford; which, if you judge expedient, you are at liberty to insert in your useful paper.
The subscriber having in early life become a member of the Fraternity of Freemasons; but for many years past withdrawn himself, on the most mature reflection, is induced thus publicly to give to those of his acquaintance, who have so frequently made the inquiry, the reasons of his withdrawing.
The most prominent, and to himself conclusive are, that the Principles of said society are in his view opposed to the glory of GOD, and to the best and highest interests of his fellow men; and therefore altogether repugnant to his duty as an accountable agent; and having arrived very near to the close of life he cannot contemplate his exit, which to himself is so interesting and momentous, without leaving this public testimony of his regret for having incautiously joined a society whose principles and obligations he was ignorant of, and which he now feels such strong reasons for disavowing.

                                                                                                                                   SAMUEL RICHARDS.
                                                                                                                                 Farmington, Oct. 1830.

Source: Star, April 6, 1831


I do not wish to wound the feelings of adhering masons, and especially those of my friends and acquaintance, whom as men I value and esteem; but the demands of duty are imperious, and they must be obeyed. If they are still hoodwinked and held fast by the cable-tow, I pity them, but for myself I must abandon an institution, which its warmest friends and ablest advocates cannot defend from the foul stain of imposture, infidelity and murder.
The secret abominations of the order are confirmed by thousands of the most unexceptionable witnesses; they cannot be wiped away in this enlightened age by the stale argument that Washinton, Lafayette and others of high standing in society were masons, which indeed is about all that can be advanced by adhering masons in this region, in justification of their infatuated conduct.
I was initiated and raised to what (by a wretched abuse of language) is called the sublime degree of master mason, in King David’s Lodge, Taunton, in 1825. The great advantages which I was enticed to believe would result from my connexion with the order have proved vain and illusory. – Language would fail me to express the detestation which I now feel for an institution which binds a man by the most shocking and barbarous penalties, to conceal all the crimes of a brother master mason, if committed to him as a secret, "except murder and treason," and even allows him to keep these secrets if he pleases, without exposing himself to the disapprobation or censure of the order.
In this oath masonry arrays itself in perfect hostility to all morality, religion and government. I should have retired silently had I not felt myself bound in duty to add my testimony to the truths of the disclosures made by William Morgan and others, as to the degrees I have taken. The charge of perjury heaped on seceding masons so liberally by that order that tauntingly boasts of its charity (which I am fully satisfied is entirely void of that charity which "seeketh not her own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;") brings no trouble to my conscience. I fully believe the oaths to be unlawful and impious, and renounce forever their obligations and all allegiance to the institution of Speculative Freemasonry.

                                                                                                                            RODNEY FRENCH
                                                                                                                        Berkley, May 18th, 1831

Source: Star, June 28, 1831, page 2

From the Woodstock (Vt.) Whig

SIR – Seeing my name, erroneously published in your paper a few weeks since, in the list of adhering Masons in Hartland, I feel it a duty which I owe to my friends and my country, to correct the error, and let them know how and where I stand in relation to the subject of masonry.
I am an old man; I have seen 82 winters; and I shall soon leave the stage of action, and I little thought of ever being drawn out in a newspaper; and my story shall be short.
I took the first degree in masonry in 1776, and I have taken three degrees in all. I have not met with a lodge for about twenty years. As soon as I was convinced of the evil of masonry, I renounced the Institution. This I did two or three years ago, and I thought it was so understood, till I saw my name in your paper. I have served my country more than five years in the Continental Army, fighting for liberty and independence. Our exertions were crowned with wonderful success, and I hope and believe that the struggle for liberty and equal rights, which was commenced at the Revolution, will not cease till all monopolizing and tyranizing evils shall be done away.
I wish well to my country and to my friends, and the public an affectionate, and probably soon, an eternal farewell.

                                                                                                                                                       Respectfully yours,
                                                                                                                                                        EPHRAIM CAREY.
                                                                                                                                                  Hartland, June 10th, 1831   

Source: Star, September 20, 1831, page 2


A late number of the Boston "Christian Herald" contains the following renunciation of freemasonry by the Rev. Mr. Stones.
"MR. EDITOR: Finding that I am named in your paper, as an adherent to the Institution of Freemasonry, I take this method to disclaim all connexion with the Institution, and to give the assurance that I have long strongly disapproved of it.           J.T. STONE"      

Source: Star, September 13, 1831, page 1


The gentlemen whose names are annexed are men of high respectability of character. Many of them are clergymen, and all men of benevolence and piety, who have left the institution of masonry for conscience sake. They have generally given their renunciations to the world with reasons at some length, for which we have not room at present. All of these concur in one statement, that masonry is revealed. They also agree that it is a wicked institution. – They have been convinced that masonic oaths are void, and having been taken in sin, should not be kept. They also, with one voice, declare it to be political and anti-religious in its tendency. They have deserted it now, because they have some assurance of protection in their property and lives from the universal scrutiny and feeling at present going forward among the public. They deferred their renunciations only because their safety might have been compromised by an early expression of their sentiments. – Sun.

Source: Star, May 11, 1831, page 2


The last Seneca Farmer contains a renunciation of Freemasonry from Doct. R.M. Smith, of Tyre, Seneca county. Doct. Smith says:
"I have heard some thirty or forty Masons converse in Lodge, exult in the exploits of Right Worshipful Brethren, in executing their unmerciful penalties, on the unfortunate William Morgan."
This is only another item of proof, that the act alluded to was justified by the order, and consistent with its principles.                      Ithaca Chronicle.

Source: Star. May 31, 1831, page 1



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