High Lights of the Mexican Revolution - J. L. McLeish



Mexican Masonry And Mexican Clericalism


TWO POWERFUL FORCES IN THE MEXICAN PROBLEM


As January 1917 drew to a close, the American Punitive Expedition under General Pershing began its homeward march to the Rio Grande.

In point of accomplishment the brief sojourn of the American soldiers at Colonia Dublan is a psychological problem, the solution of which is still to be interpreted upon the pages of history. At this time it impresses one as a little less logical than the famous performance of a certain King of France who led his soldiers up the hill, then led them down again.

Negligible as it may seem in result, none will deny that the denouement of the Mexican drama draws nearer. With the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Party in comparative control, some semblance of order has been restored to revolution-ridden Mexico, and the bete noir of both the United States and its southern neighbor, Francisco Villa, has now become a negative character, reverting once more to his type that of bandit pure and simple.

The attempt of German diplomats to align Carranza and the Constitutionalist Party against their benefactor, the United States, shows a surprising lack of familiarity with the development of the Liberal Movement in Mexico, and of what the present effort to establish a really Constitutional Government in the southern Republic means.

No one knows better than Carranza that the success of his cause depends entirely upon the moral and financial support accorded him by the United States; no one knows better than Carranza that should his government fall, intervention by this country is certain.

In Latin America, two names are synonymous; Freemasons and Liberals.

Nowhere in all the world has the Masonic Order risen more promptly to its great opportunity, and fought the good fight for the survival of the fittest in the life and death struggle for Free Speech, Free Thought, and Civil and Religious Liberty than in our war-torn neighbor of the southland, Old Mexico.

Many labor under the delusion as recently expressed by a writer that Latin American Masonry is "atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico anarchistic and murderous." When one turns the pages of history unfolding a tragic story of three centuries of oppression and tyranny unresisted, until the Masons of Mexico took up the sword to bring Light out of Darkness, and restore to the native born that which was their very own, the fallacy of any such assertion is evident.

To fully understand the long drawn-out struggle for Mexican Independence dating from 1810 down to the present day and still unsettled, you must consider conditions prior to and after the conquest by the Catholic, Cortez.

At the close of the fifteenth century it was the fashion for Popes to preach "muscular Christianity." The Sons of the Church extended the doctrines of the Church with the sword in the right hand, the Bible in the left. In those days religious infidelity, (which meant any small divergence from the doctrines of Roman Catholicism), was regarded as a sin "to be punished with fire and faggot in this world, eternal suffering in the next." It was such dicta that led the "Holy See" to take title to any heathen land wherever found in the name of the Pope. Under this same theory in 1494, Pope Alexander VI, one of the notorious Borgia family, boasting a mistress Vanozia, and four illegitimate children, issued a Papal Bull dividing the whole world between two puppet Catholic nations, Spain and Portugal. "Bodies and souls, the property and services of the conquered nations were to be their peculiar inheritance and that of their successors forever."

This Bull of Borgia's was confirmed by later Popes. It served as the fanatic inspiration of Hernan Cortez and his band of adventurers to invade and overthrow a mighty empire quite as advanced in civilization according to fifteen century standards as that of the Old World. Says the historian Abbot, "Cortez and his followers were men of violence, and blood, little better than a horde of pirates and banditti." Says Chevalier, "They committed crimes which, by, the laws of all nations could be" expiated only by a gallows for the principal and the galleys for his followers."

With no other title than the Apostolic Dictum "the heathen are given as an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as a possession" came Cortez and his mail-clad men and his black-robed friars to bring darkness, misery, slavery and oppression to a hitherto happy people whose advancement in art and architecture and civilization rivaled that of ancient Egypt.

Our first definite records of Mexican civilization date back to the seventh century with the coming of the Toltecs to Anahuac. These Toltecs were designers of beautiful buildings and palaces. Their very name is synonymous with that of the Builders of Architects. Some of their fine handiwork you may see today in the classic ruins of Mitla, Cholula and Yucatan. In their day of dominance they controlled all of Anahuac or what is now modern Mexico. Through their wonderful hieroglyphic writings have come down to us their Race-Record presenting a series of picture-histories of an ancient and most honorable past.

History in the Old world as in the New has been but one long repetition. In the lives of men may be found the inevitable working out of that ancient law so clearly enunciated by Malthus in the curt saying, "LIFE IS A SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST."

It proved so in Mexico. Out of the north came the fierce Aztecs, the blood-ancestors of two-thirds of the native-born of modern Mexico. By right of might they swept the Toltecs before them and reduced all neighboring nations but one, the Tlascalans, to subservience.

Masters of Mexico in 1325, the Aztecs planned and laid the great foundations of their capitol, Tenochtitlan, a beautiful city of three hundred thousand people, on the site of the present city of Mexico.

Tradition tells us the Aztecs were induced to build in the lake-encircled Valley of Mexico by an omen shown of a monstrous eagle resting upon a cactus, holding between its talons a serpent. Here is a fine bit of symbolism for you symbol-loving Masons, the serpent perennially shedding its skin to emerge (refreshed and regenerated, the serpent an emblem of Immortality.

All that was best of the splendid Toltec civilization the Aztecs retained and during the several hundred years of empire under the dynasty of the Montezumas they exhibited an amazing advance in Hierogliphy or Symbolic Lore, Agriculture, Astronomy, Architecture, Metallurgy, Trade, and Jurisprudence.

The Aztec Empire was an elective monarchy made up of a confederation of states of which the united armies were quite invincible until the coming of Cortez and his mail-clad men with their artillery and cavalry, until then, quite unknown in Anahuac. The ruling Emperor was chosen from one family or its immediate blood-connections, so perpetuating the royal line from one generation to another.

"Fortunately," says Prescott, "the throne was filled by a succession of able Princes, who knew how to profit by their enlarged resources and by the material enthusiasm of the nation. Year after year saw them return loaded with the spoils of conquered cities, and with throngs of captives."

Sustaining the royal family was an hereditary nobility, the Caciques, who occupied to the throne, much the same position as that of the feudal barons of Merrie England.

With the surpassingly rich mines of Mexico and the illimitable natural resources of the tropics to draw from, the wealth of the Aztec nation knew no bounds. Gold, silver and precious stones were more plentiful with them than with any nation of the ancient or modern world.

A luxury surpassing even the fabled wealth of the Orient was a salient characteristic of the Aztec empire. The palace of the Montezumas in the center of Tenochtitlan was possessed of all the traditional glories of our own King Solomon's Temple. Let Prescott speak again:

"In the royal palace of Tezcuco was a courtyard, on the opposite sides of which were two halls of justice. In the principal one, called "The Tribunal of God" was a throne of pure gold, inlaid with turquoises and other precious stones. On a stool in front was placed a human skull crowned with an immense emerald, of a pyramidal form and surmounted by an aigrette of brilliant plumes and precious stones. The skull was laid on a heap of military weapons, shields, quivers, bows and arrows. The walls were hung with tapestry, made of the hair of different wild animals, of rich and various colors, festooned by gold rings and embroidered with figures of birds and flowers. Above the throne was a canopy of variegated plumage from the center of which shot forth resplendent rays of gold and jewels."

When the king decided important causes he passed to the Tribunal of God attended by the fourteen great lords of the realm, marshaled according to their rank.

In such state lived the Aztec monarch and his nobles.

A surprising landmark of the Aztec civilization were the great post-roads of the empire. These girdled the entire country. Couriers, men of mighty physique, especially trained for the purpose, relayed His Majesty's messages to and from the remotest parts of the empire in incredibly short time. Floating gardens, irrigation ditches and canals made Mexico a very wonderful horticulture.

All land was held in feudal tenure. While the emperor controlled the legislative power, he was held in check to a certain extent, by regularly constituted judiciaries. From these courts even he had no appeal.

Rights of property and persons were rigidly enforced. The marriage relation was sacred. Intemperance was severely frowned upon.

All nations of every civilization have had a weak spot. The Aztec religion is open to the same caustic criticism as is Old-World Christianity in its primitive stages. In Rome the gladiatorial combats in the Circus Maximus, in Spain the Holy Inquisition, in France of 1572 the coldly-conceived Massacre of St. Bartholomew, all products of the clerical class. Says Prescott: "Strange, that in every country the most fiendish passions of the human heart have been those kindled in the name of religion."

In the Aztec system the singular religious cult engrafted upon the nation by the dominant priesthood, but resembles that of other and older civilizations, the predominating good traits of which offset the outstanding bad.

The Supreme Being of the Aztecs was the War God Huitzil, "the invisible, incorporeal, one God of perfect perfection and purity."

As ministering agent to execute his will were thirteen lesser divinities, and subordinate to them two hundred more.

The Aztecs believed in life after death, in a place of dire punishment, and paramount pleasure. There was much of beauty in the Aztec religion. Witness these teachings:

"Keep peace with all. Bear injuries with humility. God, who sees, will avenge you."

Inferior only to Montezuma were the two HIGH PRIESTS, who jointly controlled the army of priests scattered throughout the empire. With the clergy rested all education and they trained the youth well. Hieroglyphic picture-writing, governmental science, theology, astronomy, agriculture, architecture, and military science formed but part of their curriculum. A sacrificial system of captives taken in war, was one of the darker shadows of Aztec theology. Upon this score however they are no more to be condemned than the conquering Spaniards of whom a Catholic historian Clavigero, says:

"The Spaniards in one year of merciless massacre, sacrificed more human victims to avarice and ambition than the Indians during the existence of their empire devoted, in chaste worship to their native Gods."

Commissioned by the Spanish governor of Cuba, a young adventurer of thirty-three, set forth to conquer the Aztec empire and Catholicize Mexico. Hernan Cortez had "eleven vessels, one hundred and ten mariners, five hundred and fifty-three soldiers, ten heavy guns, four lighter pieces and sixteen horses." With this little expedition this audacious adventurer purposed to conquer the mighty empire of the Montezumas. As representing the pope went with him two priests, Fathers Diaz and Olmedo.

On Good Friday of 1519 Cortez landed on the site of what is now Vera Cruz. From Montezuma came handsome presents, among them many fine specimens of gold. Cortez sounded the keynote of his expedition when he informed the Aztec ambassador, "We Spaniards have a disease of the heart for which gold alone is a specific."

In spite of the refusal of the Aztec emperor to receive the Spaniards, Cortez pressed boldly on into the interior, the superior arms, artillery and cavalry of the invaders winning victory against odds in innumerable engagements with far superior forces of the enemy.

In vain Montezuma sent costly embassies to the Spaniards, with helmets full of pure gold dust, massive plates of gold and silver exquisitely engraven, some of his presents totaling thirty thousand dollars each in value; collars and bracelets of silver and gold inlaid with emeralds, pearls, turquoise and other precious stones. In vain the opulent monarch gave freely of his all, hoping to placate the thirst of his unwelcome visitors that they might retire whence they came and leave him and his in peace. He was but holding forth the lure to draw the little band of adventurers on, so sounding the knell of Aztec rule forever.

As success attended his arms Cortez grew bolder, less careful of externals. Having defeated the doughty Tlascalans he received an embassy of fifty, had their hands severed from the wrists and sent them back to their overlords—but one of the little cruelties of which he was a consummate master.

Having subjugated this tribe and recruiting them as allies, Cortez next descended upon Cholula, the Sacred City and Mecca of the Indians with a teeming, peaceful population of 150,000 souls. Hospitably harbored here, Cortez had ample opportunity to gain some conception of the most magnificent civilization any New World adventurer had yet encountered. Here he found the great pyramid and temple to Quetzal with a base of fourteen hundred and twenty-three feet, and a height of one hundred and seventy-seven feet, surmounted by a magnificent teocalli or temple. In spite of the hospitality originally accorded, Cortez suspected treachery, summoned the inhabitants of the Holy City to the Great Square, where without any warning at a given signal the armed Spaniards fell upon them and cut them down pitilessly; many seeking refuge in the wooden buildings were burned to death; a few sought refuge in the wooden turrets of the great temple only to meet a similar fearful ending. Six thousand souls were cruelly slaughtered by the invading white men, and the beautiful Holy City of the Aztecs lay a smoldering heap of blackened ruins.

Such scenes as this characterized the whole career of Cortez in his conquest. Treachery marked his relations with the Emperor Montezuma from their first meeting until the murder of that unhappy monarch. There was the same reckless disregard of life and honor, promises unfulfilled, pledges broken, cities sacked and records obliterated. In one foul stroke Cortez and his bigoted followers obliterated all records of Aztec civilization with the razing of their monuments, the destruction of their temples, the killing of their most intelligent representatives. It has been the policy of Rome to destroy that which could not harmonize with Rome from the outset. The first act of Zumarraga, first Archbishop of the Church in Mexico was the public burning of the Great Library of the Aztecs, so obliterating forever from our ken any possible trace of the origin of this wonderful New World civilization which Cortez conquered only to destroy.

Says Draper the historian: "What Spain did to this continent can never be too often related—it ought never to be forgotten. She acted with appalling atrocity to those Indians, as though they did not belong to the human race. Their lands and goods were taken from them by Apostolic authority. Their persons were next seized . . . . It was one unspeakable outrage; one unutterable ruin, without discrimination of age or sex . . . . By millions upon millions whole races and nations were remorselessly cut off. The Bishop of Chiapa affirms that more than fifteen millions were exterminated in his time. From Mexico and Peru, a civilization that might have instructed Europe was crushed out."

The traditional cruelty and religious fanaticism of Hernan Cortez and his Spaniards soon manifested itself after their advent in Tenochtitlan. Hospitably received by the Aztec Emperor, assigned to one of the most pretentious palaces in this most pretentious of the New World Capitals, Cortez forcibly seized upon the person of his host, holding Montezuma hostage and subjecting him to personal indignities of a most reprehensible sort.

While lamenting the barbarity of the Aztecs in offering human sacrifices to their God, Cortez calmly decreed and executed, by burning alive, an Aztec Governor and sixty of his followers in the heart of the Aztec Capitol. He manacled Montezuma and seizing upon an Aztec Temple, tore down the native deity to set up a statue of the Virgin.

During an absence of Cortez at Vera Cruz, his lieutenant, Alvarado, graciously granted permission for the Aztec nobility to hold religious services in their Temple, stipulating only that they come unarmed. At the appointed time when six hundred of the flower of Montezuma's courtiers were worshipping, the Spaniards fell upon them and mercilessly cut them to pieces.

Do you wonder at the sudden turning of the worm, the uprising of an outraged people, the unleashing the dogs of war throughout all Anahuac? Does it surprise you to hear that the gentle Montezuma died of a broken heart?

Cortez conquered eventually. The iron rule of Spain was fastened upon the native-born and that unjust system of harsh government put into force, which held the Mexicans supine until a priest, Hidalgo, received Masonic Light and with the assistance of his brethren inaugurated the long struggle, the end of which is not yet.

You have seen Cortez and his mail-clad men and black-robed friars set foot on Mexico with practically nothing. Scarcely had they been the guests of Montezuma for a week than this cunning Spaniard prevailed upon the Aztec monarch to surrender gold and jewels from the hidden royal Treasure House amounting to six million dollars in American gold.

The Spaniards who came with the Conqueror were Soldiers of the Holy Inquisition, some of them veterans in previous Crusades against the heathen, trained to the highest degree in forcing their sort of Christianity upon the heretics. Their fine cruelties had already been perpetrated upon the Moors of southern Spain; they had tortured the poor Jews when they expelled them from the country; and now each mother's son of them, convinced that he was an Apostle of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, had come to this New World to seize and possess, sack cities, despoil the Aztec temples, slay defenseless women and children, enslave the fathers and ravish the daughters. Every demoniacal torture possible of invention by the fanatic minds of the Inquisitors was brought into play to convert these simple savages. Says Abbot the historian: "Any act of aggression, inhumanity or barbarism, was sanctioned if done in the name of religion. Under the banner of the Cross, the zest of the vilest men could be roused to almost any work of diabolical crime. Every description of wrong and outrage under the garb of religion was tolerated. Adultery, incest, murder, perjury and unmitigated despotism in kings, popes and queens were winked at, if they were only 'Defensores Fidei.' . . . It was no mere fling of the wits that the priests were all 'Fathers' and the Pope 'The Holy Father.' "



After Cortez—What?


When the flower of the Aztec nobility had given up their lives in vain to perpetuate the Empire of their fathers, when the last of the Aztec Kings, Guatamotzin had been tortured nigh unto death rather than reveal the source of the Aztec Gold, that system of government was devised for Mexico which endured for three hundred years until LIGHT came. It was a selfish system of feudalism worse than that which marred the Europe of the Middle Ages. It was a Government of Fueros or Privileges, a gigantic Government Trust, the like of which has been seen nowhere else in all the world. First came the Archbishop and his fat friars, then the Viceroy, a mere puppet of Pope and King, after him the nobility and the army. What was left —which was nothing—was divided among the hoi polloi or the native born. Tribute was paid the King of Spain as follows:

  • "One-fifth of all gold or silver; a monopoly on tobacco, salt and gunpowder.
  • "All moneys received from sale of Colonial Offices.
  • "An Oppressive Revenue Stamp Act.
  • "Poll-tax from each of the native born."


A Few of the Pope's Perquisites


In all Catholic countries the Church has managed by legislative action to amass an amazing amount of property, real and personal. When you consider that almost naked the first priests came to Mexico, and that ere long, under the Viceroyalty established by Spain, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy was proud possessor of over two hundred million dollars worth of land and other properties yielding an annual income of more than twenty million dollars, is it to be wondered at that when the native-born rose at length in their long-slumbering wrath, they should enunciate the old Bible Law: NAKED YE CAME AND NAKET YE GO?

If I dwell at any length upon the Catholic Fueros it is that you may later understand the seeming stringency of the Masonic Laws of Reform whereby the descendants of the old Aztecs merely demanded back that which was their very own by right of inheritance, asking only of the lumbering priests and the fat friars that they take their shovel hats and go, "Naked ye came and naked ye go."

As late as 1845 our American Ambassador General Thompson wrote:

"The immense wealth which is collected in the Churches of Mexico is not by any means all, or even the larger portion of the wealth of the Mexican Church and Clergy. They own very many of the finest houses in Mexico and other cities, (the rents of which must be enormous), besides valuable real estate all over the Republic. Almost every person leaves a bequest in his will for masses for his soul, which constitute an encumbrance upon the estate, and thus nearly all the estates of the small proprietors are mortgaged to the Church. . . . As a means of raising money, I would not give the single institution of the Catholic religion of masses and indulgences for the benefit of the souls of the dead, for the power of taxation possessed by any government. Of all the artifices of cunning and venality to extort money from credulous weakness, there is none so potential as the mass for the benefit of the souls in purgatory. . . . I have seen stuck up on the door of the Church of San Francisco, one of the largest and most magnificent in Mexico, an advertisement of which the following was the substance:

"HIS HOLINESS THE POPE HAS GRANTED THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED YEARS, TEN DAYS, AND SIX HOURS OF INDULGENCE FOR THIS MASS."

Is it any wonder that a priest, Father Gavazzi, pronounced the "dogma of Purgatory" the best goldmine of the Papal System?

Among the Fueros of the Church were:

  • Bulls de cruzada exempting its purchaser from all crimes except heresy, and most of the fasts prescribed by the Church.
  • Bulls de funtos the Bull for the dead, "a passport for the sinner's soul from Purgatory." This yielded a nice revenue from the poor and ignorant.
  • Bulls for eating milk and eggs during Lent.
  • Bulls of Composition absolving thieves from the crime of theft and necessity of restitution.

All necessities paid a tithe to the Church. All ornamental and artificial articles paid a Church tax. Especially tithable were all luxuries. A special Church impost was known as the "Alcabala" levied upon all merchandise changing hands, privilege of transit through Mexico, etc.

Says Abbot:

"The aggrandizement of the clerical body and the accumulation of their wealth was almost incredible. Churches and convents, estates and treasure, diamonds, gold and silver, swelled the accumulations to an aggregate of not less than one hundred millions of dollars. The monasteries of the Dominicans and Carmelites acquired immense riches in real estate, both in town and country."

Says another historian, Lempriere:

"The Mexican Church as a Church, fills no mission of virtue, no mission of morality, no mission of mercy, no mission of charity. Virtue cannot exist in its pestiferous atmosphere. The code of morality does not come within its practice. It knows no mercy, and no emotion of charity ever nerves the stony heart of that priesthood, which, with an avarice that knows no limit, filches the last penny from the diseased and dying beggar; plunders the widows and orphans of their substance; as well as their virtue; and casts such a horoscope of horrors around the deathbed of the dying millionaire, that the poor, superstitious wretch is glad to purchase a chance for the safety of his soul, by making the Church the heir to his treasures."

Under the Viceroys, so great was the reverence demanded by the Clergy that the priests announced their passage along the streets by a tinkling of bells, carried by an attendant who ran along in front of their carriage. Anyone in the immediate proximity was compelled to kneel and uncover as did all those living in the houses by which the procession passed. At the first tinkle of the bell, the Mexicans would prostrate themselves in the dust crying "Dios viene, Dios viene," (God comes). It was some pompous pageantry indeed when Senor Priest carried the Host to the dying in old Mexico.

I think I have said enough to convince you how at the very beginning of the nineteenth century, Mexico seemed hopelessly enslaved under the harsh rule of Roman Ecclesiasticism expressing itself through the puppet personalities of the Spanish Viceroys, who represented a King and a Cortez utterly subservient to the Pope of Rome.

Although the first priests came poverty-stricken to Mexico, in the three hundred years of their undisputed sway, they became stupendously rich and fortified in what to all seeming, was an impregnable position. After the insatiate demands of Clergy had been met, what was left of the natural resources of the country, after paying perquisites to the King of Spain as Suzerain, went to the enrichment of the Viceroy, the Spanish satellites who made up his court, and the Army which sustained him in power.

Abject misery, dire poverty and slavery was the lot of the native born, the descendants of those Aztecs who had once so wisely ruled old Mexico.

Throughout the whole country the dread Inquisition flourished and held sway. The wretched victims of this terrible Dominican System filled to overflowing the great military prisons like San Juan de Uloa, with their disease-disseminating, vermin-infested, dark dungeons, veritable hell-holes. So unutterably cruel were the penalties exacted by the Inquisitors for failure to pay the Clerical Tithes, or even daring to speak against the existing order of government, the least utterance that savored of heresy (which means any divergence from the teachings of Rome) that it is a wonder this politico-religious SYSTEM persisted as long as it did. And even much though the native-born contributed to their stern taskmasters, it was never, never enough.

Overseas, decadent Spain was in dire straits; upon the Viceroys of Mexico it devolved to pay the upkeep of the extravagant court of the Bourbons as well as to meet the continual urgent demands of the CLERICAL OCTOPUS which was fattening upon both countries.

The perfect understanding existing between the Viceroys and the Clergy had perfected an organization for grand grafting in Mexico that would have made our own King of Grafters, Boss Tweed, and his New York Ring blush for shame, had the two been placed in open contrast. The intricate ramifications of this band of politico-religious plunderers extended into the most remote rural districts of Spain's richest colony. All over Mexico the priesthood owned the choicest lands and through their fat friars wielded absolute sway over the humblest peons. In Mexico City alone the religious orders held in fee simple three-fourths of the most valuable real estate. Vast tracts of land and haciendas of fabulous richness were in the absolute possession of two numerically small classes, Spanish aristocrats and Catholic Clergy.

Of 7,000,000 people who made up the Mexican population at the opening of the nineteenth century, three-fourths were absolutely landless. Under such conditions, there was of course no middle class. The blanketed hoi polloi may be said to have merely existed. It is hard for them to do even that much today.

In the early days of the new century, Mexico gave the first signs of an awakening. Through devious secret channels Light was breaking into Mexico. It became evident that the people had been reading, thinking, talking among themselves. For the first time native Mexicans dared openly criticize the government, the Viceroys—and oh sacrilege—the Church. In the public prints and pamphlets widely disseminated native writers dared voice views hitherto taboo. They found a ready, eager audience in those who had hitherto had their mental pabulum dispensed by the priests.

From some mysterious source was emanating New Light on Mexico spreading its refulgent rays throughout the country, and supplanting the hitherto somnolent subservience of the native born with new and feverish ambitions.

In vain the Secret Agents of the Holy Inquisition sought to trace the promoters of the new doctrine of LIGHT and LIFE and LIBERTY, doctrines they knew too well would eventually mean the overturning of the old established order, the crushing forever of the SYSTEM, and the ending of Clericalism as an active factor in Mexican politics.

And yet right in the heart of Mexico City, almost under the shadow of the Viceroy's Palace, at a little house Number Four, Calle de las Ratas was meeting regularly the first Masonic Lodge ever established in the land of the Aztecs, the "Arquitectura Moral" Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons which was the immediate predecessor of "Valle de Mexico Lodge No. 1." Among its members were some of the most intelligent Mexicans of that early day, Don Manuel Luyando, Don Enrique Muni, Don Manuel Verdad, Don Gregorio Martinez, Don Feliciano Vargas, Don Jose Maria Espinosa, Don Miguel Betancourt, Don Ignacio Moreno, and Don Miguel Dominguez.

It is a splendid tribute to the sacred regard these men cherished for their Masonic obligations that they could regularly meet, work and spread their propaganda for civil and religious liberty so long as they did, escaping espionage from the Inquisition which was supposed to have the finest Secret Service operatives of the age. And yet it was these pioneer Masons of Mexico who aroused the country to action. In remotest regions spread the Masonic propaganda until it reached the ears of a native priest, Don Miguel de Hidalgo who had sounded the hollowness of the SYSTEM to its depths, and longed for Light, More Light.

Under the protecting shadows of night there rode into Mexico City upon a certain evening, dust-covered and weary from miles of mountain and desert travel, a priest and a soldier,—the former Don Miguel de Hidalgo, Cure of the Parish Dolores, the other, Don Ignacio Allende. Taking lodging at No. 5, Calle de las Ratas they made themselves soon known to the brethren in the house at No. 4. Having been found worthy and well-qualified, duly and truly prepared, these two were successively inducted into the degrees of APPRENDIZ, COMPANERO and MAESTRO, according to the liturgy of the Rito-Antiguo-Aceptado-Escoces.

In the unrest that spread over the country the first fluctuation as under all such conditions was in the financial situation. Depression was universal. The native born Mexicans attributed the near panic to the annual exportation of immense sums to Spain, and the greediness of the Clergy. The SYSTEM accused the agitators, the pamphleteers and secret societies in turn. In consequence the Inquisition redoubled its efforts to meet the danger that threatened its very existence. Spanish spies infested every street corner. Servitors in every household were subsidized agents of the Holy Inquisition. For all one knew to the contrary, the eminently respectable civilian living next one's door, was an accredited agent of the dominant powers.

Do you wonder then, that a house just across the way from Number 4 Calle de las Ratas was harboring a creature sent there for no other purpose than to spy upon the brethren of the Moral Architect Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons? In due time this infamous fellow, Cabo Franco the spy, spoke. The black-garbed hirelings of the Inquisition descended in force upon our Mexican brothers. A vigorous persecution ensued.

Fortunately Hidalgo and Allende had left the city before the raid. In consequence the Inquisitors had to content themselves with excommunicating them as "devil-worshippers and members of an accursed sect."

Not at all perturbed, Hidalgo sent out his signs and summons to the craftsmen sounding his grito of defiance on September 15, 1810. The hour had come; a leader was ready. The long struggle for Mexican Independence which is another word for Civil and Religious Liberty, Free Speech, and Free Thought was inchoated.

After its centuries-long slumber the blanketed hoi polloi of Mexico had aroused themselves to decisive action.

Everywhere Hidalgo was welcomed. His first move was upon the city of Guanajuato. For weapons his little army had pikes, machetes, and the most primitive mining implements. This undisciplined mob bravely assailed the far-better equipped Spaniards where they had taken refuge in a large granary, and by sheer force of numbers and intrepidity of _spirit carried everything before them. After the victory of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and his army of native sons invested successively Acambaro, Celaya, and Valladolid, all important cities.

The Viceroy Venegas equipped a most formidable army in Mexico City. They were the flower of the Spanish mercenaries, many of them veterans fresh from the Wars in the Spanish Peninsula. To assist

him, Holy Church preached a Crusade against the revolutionaries and launched its anathemas against Hidalgo and his devoted band.

It was a considerable army which marched against the Mexicans under Generals Hidalgo and Allende. While numerically stronger by many thousands, the native-born labored under the same advantages as their Aztec ancestors of the long ago, lack of arms, ammunition and equipment. Normally victory should have come to the splendidly drilled, thoroughly equipped Spaniards. Only the fiery enthusiasm of the natives, the reckless bravery of their leaders, and the justice of their cause enabled them to win the battle of Monte de las Cruces.

For a brief moment Hidalgo had a vision of ultimate success. His foes routed, falling back upon the city in wild disorder, his army receiving considerable reinforcements from the savage tribes of the north, had he acted with rapidity, he might have taken Mexico City without a blow.

Instead, waiting to bury his dead, and hearkening to the pleadings of his friends to retire to Aculco until additional reinforcements should inaugurate their army to invincible proportions, Hidalgo delayed, so affording the Viceroy and his Generals to call in all available reserves and throw against him. Practically the same elements contributed to the ultimate victory of the Spaniards as had contributed to that of their ancestors under Cortez—artillery of which Hidalgo's men had none, cavalry which hovered on the insurgent flank and slowly wore the enemy out, and far superior tactical training. The battle of Aculco which resulted in the rout of the Mexicans was a veritable shambles. Hotly pursued by the merciless Spaniards, Hidalgo and his remnant of an army fled north. Worn out, desperate and starving, he made one final stand at the little ford of the river Calderon, only to be taken prisoner with Allende, Aldama and Jiminez, Master Masons who had sworn to succeed or perish for Mexico.

With short ceremony these indomitable revolutionists were shot and beheaded—their gory skulls being long displayed on pikes in front of the granary where they had won their first victory.

The list of heroes who sustained the struggle during the years following the awakening of the Mexican people in 1810 is a long one. Many Masons may be found in the ranks of the patriots—the illustrious Don Jose Morelos, another priest who discarded the cassock for the square and compass, Don Ignacio Rayon, the illustrious Guerrero a York Rite Mason, Nicolas Bravo and other Generals representing every district of Mexico.

For ten long years the bitter struggle raged furiously, Spain sent her mercenaries across the seas and Rome strengthened the waning cause of the Spanish Arms by excommunicating all who dared rally around the red, white and green banner of the Revolutionists. That fetish hitherto supreme—the Curse of Rome—now fell flat. Masonic Light had come to the Native Sons. They knew the real nature of the Holy Inquisition, and men who but a few short years before had bowed supinely to its crushing yoke, now rushed into the ranks of the Nation's Armies to fight and die with the consciousness that others would fall in behind them sword in hand nor give up the good and glorious fight until the last accursed Spaniard had been driven south into the sea. "Naked ye came and naked ye go," was and is the slogan of the native born of Anahuac.

In the Royalist Armies was a General, Don Augustin de Iturbide whose meteoric career had made him a thorn in the side of the patriots for years. By some strange play of fate he came in touch with the Masons of Mexico City, knocked at the portals of the lodgeroom, and received Masonic Light. Anxious to right the wrongs his sword had perpetrated upon his own people, Iturbide besought and secured from the unsuspecting Viceroy the command of an expeditionary army which was being raised against the patriot General, Don Vicente Guerrero. Having led his forces from the city into the mountain fastnesses of the north, Iturbide sent trusted messengers to Guerrero requesting an interview. The two forces met in a defile. Iturbide made himself known as a Mason to the revolutionary veteran and the two joined forces.

As soon as the alliance of these two Masonic leaders became known, the revolutionary bands flocked to the new movement from all sides. At the head of a most formidable force, Iturbide quickly invested the cities of Valladolid, Queretaro and Puebla, three keys to the Mexican capitol.

In view of the failure such movements as his had been in the past, so colossal an undertaking as that precipitately planned by General Iturbide might have dismayed one less astute and far-seeing. He had managed however to attach to himself through ultra-clever intrigues Mexicans of all parties, ecclesiastical, political, military and Masonic. Advancing upon the new Viceroy General O'Donoju, freshly arrived from Spain, he had no difficulty in convincing that doughty old soldier that resistance would be useless. On September 21, 1821, Iturbide entered Mexico City in complete control of the country.

Before Spain had fully recovered from the surprise and humiliation of this practically bloodless coup, the Liberator General of the Mexican people had completely organized the new government, abolished the restrictive laws of the Spaniards and for the first time accorded the Nationals recognition. By a vote of four to one the Mexican Congress acclaimed him Emperor.

And now prosperity undid this astute Mexican. He reverted to his type, the old aristocracy. His court became a place of gorgeous ceremonials. He attempted to create a New World aristocracy. Such tried and true friends as his brother Masons, Generals Guerrero and Victoria were relegated to the background. Sadly they withdrew.

In the hourglass, that emblem of human life swiftly ran the sands of time for this short-lived Emperor.

Another Mason, General Don Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna of the Scottish Rite proclaimed against him. And to the new standard of revolt rallied such old-time Masons as Victoria, Guerrero and Bravo.

In vain Iturbide sent signs and summons to the craftsmen to rally around the Imperial standard. The magic of its name had lost its charm. The Ides of March had come for this New World Caesar. Reading the handwriting upon the wall Iturbide abdicated. He realized that one mere man might not prevail against the forces of Scottish and York Rite Masonry which had elevated him to a throne, and when weighing him in the balance had found him sadly wanting.

Under a liberal pension Iturbide was permitted to depart for foreign shores, where in distant exile he yearned and waited for a recall.

In Santa Anna, the fallen Emperor possessed a more bitter foe than he had dreamed. That aspiring young politician, fully appreciating the caliber of the soldier-emperor who had terminated Spanish rule in one short year, craftily prevailed upon the Mexican Congress to enact a law decreeing the death of Don Augustin de Iturbide should he ever again set foot on Mexican soil. Unable longer to endure the bitterness of exile, Iturbide did return to cast himself upon the mercies of his own people. Instead of the welcome he anticipated he met the coldest of receptions at Vera Cruz. A night in prison and in the early morning he was led out to be shot from a living perpendicular to a dead level.

And now the Mexicans came into their very own for a brief space. A Republic was proclaimed. A peon of the peons became First President, General Guadalupe Victoria.

While patriot Masons had been fighting in the field, not at all had the craftsmen been idle in Mexico City. If the Inquisitors thought to forever end Mexican Masonry, when they raided the Moral Architect Lodge in Calle de las Ratas No. 4, took possession of the Book of Constitutions and Records, they were quite mistaken. Although they did disperse the brethren only to later hound them individually, they could not with all the intricate machinery of the Church prevent the spread of Masonic Light.

In 1813 there was established in Mexico the first Grand Lodge under the Scottish Rite. Its Grand Master was Don Felipe Martinez Aragon. It was this body that numbered among its craftsmen Iturbide and Santa Anna. Under its jurisdiction a number of subordinate lodges sprang up throughout the country. In 1816 the Grand Lodge chartered lodges at Vera Cruz and at Campeche. In 1824, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania charted a lodge at Alvarado.

The craft was sufficiently strong to become a formidable factor in the reconstruction of the Mexican Nation after the declaration of the Republic in 1824. For its very existence sake it was compelled to have a hand in the politics of the time. Arrayed against it was the horrible Octopus of the Inquisition whose tentacles still extend all over the country. Better than anyone else the Freemasons of Mexico realized that by no possible manner of means could the Light of Liberty cast its refulgent rays over Mexico, as long as the dungeons of San Juan de Uloa, and the gloomy cells of the Acordado and Belem Prison were packed to overflowing with the native sons still in durance on charges of Heresy, or because of past inability to meet the clamorous demands of the tithe-taking friars of Rome.

And so you see in addition to its own heritage of hate because of the cruelties inflicted on the brethren of Moral Architect Lodge, these later craftsmen found their mission clear before them in fighting the Inquisition to the bitter end. Again it was to be a survival of the fittest, a duello al muerte between the Sons of Loyola and the Brotherhood of LIGHT.

Another element entered into Mexican Masonry at this time. The American Minister to Mexico, Brother Joel Poinsett was a Mason of highest standing in the American York Rite. In 1825 there came to him a number of the leaders of the Mexican Scottish Rite who had become dissatisfied with the political machinations of Santa Anna and other leaders of the pioneer Mexican body, and now besought charters for their lodges under the American York Rite. As they were all men of high repute in the Mexican Capitol, Bro. Poinsett exerted himself in their behalf and in due time the Mexican York Grand Lodge was chartered through the Grand Lodge of New York with General Vincente Guerrero as its first Grand Master.

From now on there commenced a bitter struggle for dominance between the two Mexican Masonic bodies, Scottish and York, interspersed with the inevitable conflict with the Church Party. In the early stages of Mexican Masonry both York and Scottish Rite bodies included in its membership some of the native born priests. Their numbers were sufficient to prevail upon the leaders to publicly observe certain feasts in honor of the Virgin. The Scottish Rite chose to honor the Virgin of Pilar, while the York Rite selected a rival Virgin in Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Ignoring these little courtesies, the Church officially from its pulpits anathematized Masons of all Rites. In 1828 there were one hundred and two lodges under York Rite jurisdiction in Mexico.

A definite policy inherited from the Moral Architect Lodge was now having genesis. In its early manifestations it vaguely dealt with ways and means to reform the aggrandizement of the Catholic Clergy, and a final separation between Church and State.

A great many Mexican Scottish Rite Masons now awakened to the treacherous politics being played by one of their leaders, General Santa Anna. This reached a culmination when the President Guerrero, also Grand Master of the York Rite was ruthlessly executed to eliminate him from politics. A number of Masons of both the York and Scottish Rites met and agreed that the time was ripe for a distinctive Mexican Masonic Rite which might unite both factions more strongly against their common foe, the Church Party.

So was established the Mexican National Rite composed of both Scottish and York Rite Masons, and announcing this signs and summons to the craftsmen throughout the Republic:—"Among Mexican Masons should exist peace and harmony, so insuring the strength of the institution: whenever, wherever circumstances make it necessary, war must be waged upon the Clergy, the common foe of all Masonic Bodies. In 1833 the leaders of the New Rite formulated their fixed policies as follows:

"Absolute freedom of thought and speech: the freedom of the press; the abolishment of all the peculiar privileges claimed by the Catholic Clergy, and the Military Caste as a heritage; suppression of Monastic Institutions; curtailment of monopolies; the full protection of Liberal Arts and Industries; the development of Libraries and Free Schools; the abolishment of capital punishment."

If you will compare this initial platform with the famous Laws of Reform embodied in the Mexican Constitution of 1859, you will find them substantially the same with a few needed additions. It is these Laws of Reform which represent the purest of Masonic principles to which the great Mason Benito Juarez devoted his efforts and life; which Diaz kept in force until a few years prior to 1910, and whose abrogation by Diaz permitting the return of the Jesuits and increasing influence of the Church Party, led to the Revolution by Francisco Madero Jr. It was to enforce them that Madero and his brother Mason Suarez gave up their lives to the assassin; it is to enforce them that Don Venustiano Carranza is now standing with his back to the wall in the last breach of the Masonic defenses. I will speak more at length of them later.

Upon the formation of the New Rite, General Santa Anna, utterly undismayed by the silent rebuke administered him by his brethren in inchoating the Mexican National Rite and leaving him without its pale, plunged more feverishly into the maelstrom of Mexican politics, carrying behind him a considerable faction of the old Mexican Scottish Rite. With their influence he succeeded in becoming five times President of the Republic, and five times Military Dictator.

Conscienceless politician that he was, Santa Anna did not scorn to call to his aid when need was, the powerful Hierarchy of Rome. More times than one in those stormy days the Church Party held the balance of power. It was then that Santa Anna made concessions. It was then that he decreed that infamous platform upon which Mexican Catholics have made their stand from that day to this. Let us summarize it:

  • "Church property and Church revenues shall be inviolable. "There shall be restoration in toto of the special fueros or privileges of the Clergy and Military Caste.
  • "Reaffirmation of the Roman Catholic Religion as the one and only Religion of Mexico.
  • "Censorship of the Press and Public Expression.
  • "The confining of immigration to individuals from Catholic countries.
  • "The abolition of the Institute of Sciences at Oaxaca."

This college so particularly referred to was one which numbered in its faculty some of the most active adherents of the Mexican National Masonic Rite.

Occasionally Santa Anna chose to humiliate the Church Party which at heart he truly hated. Such was enforcing them to arrange a most elaborate funeral ceremony over the leg he had lost at Vera Cruz.

Rome never forgets: never forgives. Two years after this droll funeral ceremony, the Archbishop of Mexico placed the ban of the Church upon Santa Anna's demand for a forced loan of $4,000.000. The Army too revolted, "No dinero, no combate." That is a military tradition in Mexico.

Santa Anna abandoned by his Clerical supporters gathered what money was at hand in the Treasury and departed on one of his usual pleasant vacations in foreign climes—at the expense of the Mexican Republic.

During his absence the Mexican National Rite gained in power. From the Masonic College at Oaxaca, was turned out a small army of educated young men fully equipped to fight the battle of Liberalism as opposed to Clericalism in Mexico. Among them were Juarez, Diaz, Perez and other youths destined for the seats of the mighty in their native land.

Only the long war with the United States precluded the earlier inchoation of the fight for Civil Liberty. Santa Anna recalled to take command of the Mexican Armies made a dismal failure, facing reverse after reverse at Santa Fe, Matamoras, Monterey, Bracito, San Luis Potosi, Vera Cruz, Cerra Gordo, Churubusco and finally Mexico City.

In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo consummating peace between the United States and Mexico, Santa Anna had but little voice. In 1853 the fickle Mexicans permitted him to return. He at once proclaimed himself Dictator. His first official act was the same mistake which ultimately led to the downfall of his greater successor Diaz. He gave permission to the Jesuits to return to Mexico from which they had long been banished. Awakening to the fact that his tenure of office was doomed, Santa Anna dispatched Senor Estrada, a leader of the Church Party, to Europe to carry on negotiations for the coming of Maximilian as Emperor. He was willing to surrender control of his country to the Church Party if only he might deal a deathblow to Juarez and the Liberal Party.

There came the sudden deposition of Santa Anna, a trial for high treason, his sentence to death by hanging. This sometime Master of Mexico was in dire straits indeed. A greater Mexican than he, a man of finer mould, thoroughly imbued with the true principles of Masonic Charity, Don Benito Juarez commuted his sentence to exile. And so Santa Anna ceased to trouble Mexico.

One Mexican Mason stands out upon the pages of history as the particular champion and defender of the Liberal Party upon a platform as pure in its principles as any ever enunciated in any Republic of the world. Don Benito Juarez, a full-blooded Indian, a lineal descendant of the original owners of Anahuac or Mexico, after a thorough training in the Institute of Sciences at Oaxaca took up the practice of law but not for long. The Liberals recognized his particular fitness to wage the struggle against the Church Party on the basic principles of "equal rights for all men; universal freedom in the exercise of man's inalienable rights; the reform of abuses; freedom of conscience, of opinion, of speech, of worship, of the press; of universal education, and nationalization of all Church Property with complete separation of Church and State."

So effectively did Benito Juarez establish these principles while Governor of his native state of Oaxaca that he was elected representative to the Federal Congress, to be later appointed Minister of Justice under the President. In all his busy career he never neglected his Masonic associations and rose rapidly to be Sovereign Inspector General of the Mexican National Rite and a brother of the thirty-third degree.

From his very entrance into National Politics Benito Juarez declared himself in favor of Government Of the People, By the People, and For the People. It was this principle which permeated the Law which bears his name, the famous Laws of Reform, laws which have been a thorn in the side of the Church Party ever since. Its enforcement has ever been fought by the Clericals because of its utter suppression of "the privileged" and especial tribunals and charters of the clergy and the army. All of the Reforms sponsored by Don Benito Juarez, especially Article XV, establishing absolute freedom of all religious creeds, were embodied in the famous Constitution of 1857 which with few changes has been in force ever since.

In 1858 Benito Juarez was officially recognized as President of the Republic of Mexico. He appointed a Cabinet whom he knew to be in complete sympathy with his determination to enforce the laws of reform.

Then followed the "Three Years' "War during which Juarez with a depleted treasury found himself opposed to the Church Party, a considerable number of able Generals and the boundless resources made possible by an immense income derived from the vested wealth cumulative during three hundred years. For three years Juarez was forced to move his seat of Government from city to city, from state to state, constantly harassed by the Catholic Armies under Zuloaga and Miramon. The indomitable spirit of the Liberals eventually prevailed and in December of 1860 Juarez led his victorious army into the Mexican Capitol.

The triumph of the Liberals was destined to be short-lived however. While the militant Catholics were fighting the battles of the Church at home, unpatriotic ambassadors like de Estrada were sowing seeds at the various Courts of Europe to focus the avarice of foreign potentates upon poor Mexico which they declared was a rich cow ready for the milking. As an ally of their pernicious meddling they had behind them Pope Pius IX who fully realized that the triumph of Juarez meant the death of Clericalism as an active factor in Mexican politics.

After the flight of Miramon in 1860, Napoleon III persuaded England and France to join him in a demonstration against the Republican Government of Mexico in an effort to force the payment of large Claims long due on the Mexican National Debt and hitherto unpaid because of the Three Years' War and the lack of time afforded the Republicans to recoup their treasury. When England and Spain fully understood the inability of Mexico to at once meet their claims, they had faith enough in the sterling character of President Juarez to withdraw their representatives and wait.

Not so Napoleon the Third for France.

The claims presented by France against Mexico were most unjust and astounding. During the brief period of supremacy enjoyed by the Church Party under the leadership of General Miramon, these unrecognized and unconstitutional authorities in temporary control sponsored bonds issued by a Swiss banker,. Jecker, which with interest amounted to $15,000,000 and although the constitutional Republican Government of Juarez had not enjoyed one penny of this amount, France demanded that his government pay it. In addition a bulk claim of $12,000,000 for injuries and losses undergone by French citizens was presented without affidavits or particularization of one individual case. While repudiating utterly these two items Juarez was willing to allow the original National debt of $750,000 with five per cent interest which of course France would not hear to.

So much for the reputed reason for French intervention. The real reason and underlying cause was the realization of the Church Party that the end of their tenure in Mexico had come. Compare this summary of the Laws of Reforms as enunciated by the Constitution of 1857 and the Allocution of Pope Pius IX declaring the Catholic Position.

Those admirable enactments which follow form the distinctly Masonic Laws fought for and sustained by Juarez, maintained by Porfirio Diaz until a young wife and extreme old age led him to let down the barriers safeguarding the Republic, reinforced by the Mason Madero, and now being fought for by Carranza who only this month reiterated his firm intention of supporting this Constitution. Hear them and judge. They were:

  • "Laws establishing liberty for all opinions, liberty of the press, and liberty of faith and worship.
  • "Laws granting to the members of all denominations the right of establishing schools and colleges.
  • "Laws permitting the intermarriage on terms of religious equality of Catholics and Protestants.
  • "Laws establishing public schools for secular education that shall be free from the control of the Roman priesthood."

I have already mentioned the abolition of religious orders, the nationalization of Church Properties, and the nullifying of the fueros or especial privileges also embodied in this Constitution.

What the viewpoint of the Church Party was and is today of this Constitution of 1857 is best set forth in this summary of the famous Allocution of Pope Pius IX, a Papal head who had an especial weakness for meddling in the political affairs of other countries. While writing officially to Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy this most indiscreet Papal Head could disrespectfully refer to our own Chief Magistrate as "Lincoln & Company." Hear now his position on Mexico:

"The Catholic Church ought freely to exercise until the end of time a salutary force, not only with regard to each individual man, but with regard to nations, peoples and their rulers.

"The best condition of society is that in which the power of the laity is compelled to inflict the penalties of the law upon violators of the Catholic religion.

"The opinion that 'liberty of conscience and of worship is the right of every man,' is net only an 'erroneous opinion, very hurtful to the safety of the Catholic Church and of souls,' but is also 'delirium.'

"Liberty of speech and press is the liberty of perdition.

"The judgments of the holy see, even when they do not speak of points of faith and morals, claim acquiescence and obedience, under pain of sin and loss of the Catholic profession.

"It is false to say that every man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true, or that 'those who profess and embrace any religion may obtain eternal salvation.'

"The Church has the power of availing herself of force, or of direct or indirect temporal power.

"In a legal conflict between the ecclesiastical and civil powers the ecclesiastical 'ought to prevail.'

"It is a false and pernicious doctrine that the public schools should be open without distinction to all children of the people and free from all ecclesiastical authority.

"It is false to say that the principle of non-intervention must be proclaimed and observed.

"It is necessary in the present day that the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other modes of worship."

Here you have the ideal platform of government from a Catholic standpoint. It represents Clerical Conservatism as opposed to Masonic Liberalism, a destructive force as opposed to a constructive force. It served as the motive for the invasion of a helpless nation by the troops of a French Emperor who was the puppet supporter of this same Pope.

As to what the United States thought of so bigoted an utterance you may know by referring back to Congressional Records and reading the speech of Hon. Mr. Bingham before Congress. He said in part:

"The syllabus is an attempt to fetter the freedom of conscience; it is an attempt to fetter the freedom of speech; it is an attempt to strike down the rising antagonism against every despotism on the face of the earth; in the form of representative government, foremost among which is America, the child and hope of the earth's old age: . . . Under the omnipotent power of that utterance, every tyrant, whether in Rome or out of it, holds today the reins of power with a tremulous and unsteady hand, and the day is not far distant when the very throne of his power shall turn to dust and ashes before the consuming breath of the enlightened public opinion of the civilized world, which declares for free government, free churches, free schools, free Bibles and free men."

In 1864 the Catholic Archduke of Austria, Maximilian, sustained by fifty thousand mercenaries under Marshal Bazaine entered Mexico City. An empire was proclaimed. The Church Party was once more dominant.

During the next few years the Constitutional President Benito Juarez was really head of a peripatetic Government having his capitol now at San Luis Potosi, now at Chihuahua, now at El Paso Del Norte now named after him. Not once did he leave his country. Not once would he admit that the Laws of Reform were not still in force. A faithful Army of Liberals, the backbone of the Mexican Nation, sustained their President, and refused to be beaten by the splendidly equipped veterans of France.

It took two years to convince Napoleon III that Mexico was not to be conquered; could not be Catholicized. Even while the French mercenaries in Mexico were openly boasting that they had forever abrogated the Monroe Doctrine, Secretary Seward through our American Ambassador at Paris sent the French Government Official notification that the United States would not tolerate any effort of European Nations to overthrow Republican Institutions on this continent, and intimated that France would be allowed a reasonable time to withdraw its forces from Mexico. Napoleon read checkmate in this letter and did eventually withdraw. The Church Party still sustained by immense wealth, and by the three Clerical Generals, Miramon, Mejia and Marquez sought to stay the advance of the Liberal Armies from the north by the infamous Black Decree condemning all men found with arms, and not under the Emperor's commission, to death. City after city fell. The last stronghold of the Clericals Queretaro capitulated. In mid-June 1867 Maximilian, Miramon and Mejia paid for their cruel invasion of Republican sovereignty with their lives.

President Juarez now assumed the seat of government at Mexico City and during his brief tenure from 1867 to 1871 had the satisfaction of seeing the Constitution of 1857 enacted into practical operation with the most general good for all of Mexico.

Perhaps the greatest of his successors General Porfirio Diaz who for thirty years governed under this Constitution saw the' Republic prosper into a condition which gained it a high place among the nations of the world. Foreign capital was poured into the country, its investors being convinced of absolute protection under one of the most liberal of Republican Constitutions the world has ever seen.

Railroads were developed, the great mining resources of the country opened up, oil fields financed, foreign relations of the most advantageous sort cemented, peace assured—it seemed indeed as though Mexico had become a wonderland of good government, sterling citizenship, square dealing—when wonder of wonders—shortly before 1910 General Porfirio Diaz relaxed many of the cherished protective enactments of the Constitution of 1857; restored many of the old Catholic privileges; allowed the return of certain religious orders; made it possible once again for the priest to play politics. A Mason, Madero protested.

He championed the candidacy of General Venustiano Carranza for the Governorship of his state of Coahuila, and saw the very principles of the Constitution of 1857 as assuring honest ballot, free speech, and free press put to shame. When Francisco Madero Jr. convinced the people that Porfirio Diaz had surrendered to the influences of his young Catholic wife's influential Catholic family, that the very existence of the beloved Masonic Constitution would be henceforth in danger, he found the craftsmen eager and prepared to answer his signs and summons. From the inchoation of the Madero movement to the abdication and precipitate flight of Porfirio Diaz from Vera Cruz, Mexico was in turmoil of excitement. With the assumption of the Presidency by Madero affairs apparently quieted down and the old march of progress and prosperity again began.

President Francisco I. Madero was an unusually high type of Mexican Masonry. Had he been spared it is almost certain that the unrest and anarchy which has marked Mexico since his overthrow could have been averted. Madero and his able Vice President Brother Pino Suarez 33, stood for our highest Masonic Ideals. They fell, martyrs of intolerance, victims of a blind and bigoted hatred against the Masonry they sought to exemplify in actual life as government officials.



Don Miguel de Hidalgo

The following and succeeding papers by Brother McLeish will be regarded as timely and good, revealing something of conditions in that trouble-torn country. A knowledge of the past is necessary to understand the present. Our contributor gained his information at first hand, having lived in Mexico and there being interested in the history of the land, and especially during the period of revolution and the throwing off of Spanish authority.—Editor Freemason.

There are some chapters of Mexican history as yet unwritten. Among these is the patriotic part played by Mexican Masons during different crucial epochs in the struggle of a people against great odds for more light and emergence from the mediaevalism of many centuries.

The story of the Mexican people is a strangely pathetic one, and presents the vacillating, fickle history of all Latin races. It is read for three hundred years in the life stories of the sixty-two Spanish Viceroys. And then at the time when the power of Spain was tottering to its downfall, after the breaking of the Catholic coalition dealt a vital blow to the Spanish monarchy's old world resources, the Spanish Bourbons sought to recuperate their depleted treasury by taking a strangle-hold upon the as yet undeveloped riches of New Spain—Mexico.

Viceroy rule was a sore trial for the people of Mexico. The masses were practically slaves, due to their ignorance, a reign of terror maintained by Spanish mercenaries, the despotism of the Viceroys ever increasing, above all due to the dominance of the Inquisition which had behind it such supports as a vast military force, and the almost superstitious reverence accorded the clergy by the masses.

Such schools as there were depended solely upon the Jesuits, the Black Brotherhood, whose axiom "the end justifies the means," was not calculated to engender the spread of inspiring maxims and useful truths, among a people they designed to use, for the glory and enrichment of Holy Church, and its subservient tools the ruling Spaniards.

Three-fifths of the native Mexicans were landless, occupationless.

The vast tracts of land and haciendas of fabulous richness were in the absolute possession of two numerically small classes, the Spanish aristocrats and the clergy. The richest of the lands of Mexico were owned by the black-robed members of Third Sex, the Clergy. Over the humblest peon family they wielded supreme sway through their fat itinerant friars.

Of course there was no middle class. During the three hundred years of Viceroy rule, the blanketed hoi polloi had degenerated into the pitiable state of merely existing. They were even grateful to their feudal masters for a place to eat and sleep. Then as now, they were quite content to face the exigencies of a day, nor worry ever at all as to the possible requirements of a morrow they might never live to see. Upon the superstitions of a simple people like this, the priests could readily plan.

An acquisition of tremendous fortunes in the hands of a very few accentuated the line of demarcation between master and man. And so, each year, the lot of the blanketed hoi polloi became more difficult to bear.

It was in the year of Grace 1810 that Mexico showed signs of an awakening. A close observer could have appreciated the fact that the people had been reading, thinking and talking among themselves, that they were cherishing new and indefinable ambitions. For the first time native Mexicans dared to openly criticize the government, the Viceroy and the Church.

In the public prints, native writers expressed their dangerous doctrines. The subjects of which they wrote had hitherto been taboo. They proved of much greater interest to the masses, than the effete mental pabulum until now furnished them by their priests.

The Spanish Viceroy at this period was Don Francisco de Venegas, a stern, an intolerant martinet. He had come to the capital in September of 1810, just a few days prior to the revolt inaugurated by Don Miguel Hidalgo, a priest and a Freemason. Only recently Hidalgo had been attracted to the Universal Brotherhood. As a Master Mason he quickly imbibed the gentle philosophy of our order, and with it dreamed a dream of national independence.

The Mexico of that day was in upheaval. Everyone appreciated the vital need of a change. No one seemed to know just what would be best for the public weal. A lack of general confidence had paralyzed the business of the country. Speculative ventures were held in abeyance. Mexicans attributed financial depression to the annual exportation of large sums of money to Spain without adequate returns. Spaniards and Clergy were equally fixed in a belief that the panic was solely due to the liberal doctrines disseminated by the literati and especially the Freemasons. They failed to see that they themselves had forced the condition. Accordingly Venegas sought to muzzle press and pamphleteers. In this of course he failed.

The lodges had not been idle. Their membership was made up of native professional men and the better element of the common people. From the inchoation of their activities they had worked under insurmountable handicaps. Nowhere was to be found an audience bold enough to openly hearken to their propaganda of independence.

No household of consequence was free from Spanish spies. No man in the capital was brave enough to assume the leadership of the proximate revolt. It therefore became necessary to seek a competent general in a district less infested with secret agents of the government.

Don Miguel Hidalgo in his distant parish of Dolores heard the low mutterings of the awakened people. He realized that the Mexican masses were at last prepared to raise the standard of revolution. The hour had come and found him ready, duly and truly prepared, worthy and well qualified.

For many months he had been making advances to various men of influence. He was on especially friendly terms with the military authorities of his own district. Many of them were brother Masons.

Quite too late Viceroy Venegas, informed of Hidalgo's plotting, issued orders to the mayor of Queretaro, Senor Dominguez, to arrest Hidalgo, Allende, Abasolo, Jimenez, and other leaders of the new movement. Before ever this man could carry out his instructions, Hidalgo and his supporters sounded their cry. It happened on September 15th, 1810.

The response was immediate. Upon reading the pronunciamiento of Don Miguel Hidalgo, Mexicans from every district dared to declare themselves openly. The blanketed hoi polloi had aroused themselves to action after a long, long slumber. Everywhere the revolutionary chieftain was made welcome.

Hidalgo's first move was against the city of Guanajuato. The revolutionists had for weapons pikes, machetes, palings, and primitive mining implements. The Spanish garrison fortified themselves in private houses and the public granary. This latter was an edifice well adapted to have withstood a long siege had its defenders but taken the necessary precautions. Hidalgo's undisciplined mob of natives assailed the granary with dogged determination. The butchery on both sides was appalling. "Death to all Spaniards," was the battle cry of the patriots as they forced their opponents back to the very outskirts of the city. Guanajuato was a veritable shambles. Following its fall, Hidalgo invested Acambaro, Celaya and Valladolid. His rapid headway fairly stupefied the authorities in the Mexican capital.

The Church was the first to hurl itself into the breach and the Inquisition launched its anathemas against Hidalgo and those who in any way assisted him. The Holy Office denounced the movement for independence as rankest heresy. Next Viceroy Venegas showed his hand. Equipping a formidable body of troops, he sent them forth to battle under the command of General Trujillo, a pampered drawing-room knight; one after his own heart, vain, loud-mouthed, overbearing, cruel and self-assertive. Indeed, this Trujillo was an aristocrat of the aristocrats. His departure from the capitol was made the occasion for great pomp and display.

Viceroy Venegas, debonair, fat and well-groomed, galloped into the plaza at the side of Trujillo, to review the veteran regulars of Spain. Many of these latter had been seasoned in battling against the legions of Napoleon. And a splendid showing they made in their brilliant panoply of blue and gold and azure, their Toledo blades shining brightly in the rays of the tropic sun.

An advance guard of 2000 men under General Calleja had already preceded them along the Queretare highway. Adding these, the Spaniards who were to oppose Hidalgo's heterogeneous crowd numbered more than ten thousand of the flower of the Spanish chivalry. Opposed to them the revolutionists had an ever-growing army daily recruited by bands of fierce guerilla fighters pouring out of the mountains into the fertile valley until they soon ran up to a hundred thousand. Hidalgo and Colonel Allende led these by forced marches with intent to take the capitol even as they had taken fair Guanajuato.

More quickly marched the Spaniards along the Toluca road which led southeast from Mexico City. In consequence they arrived at their destination in ample season to take possession of the defiles and advantageous coignes adjutting upon the highway. Trujillo, over-confident, led them on into a level plain, exposed on all sides to the fire of an enemy. He had merely repeated a mistake common and fatal to generals of the classes. He despised the rabble, made light of the masses. Now there began a battle worthwhile. The insurrectos, wild-eyed and naked, mobs-men who had never before faced artillery fire, rushed upon the great guns of the Spanish, waving their sombreros, and shouting their battle cry with that same sort of fanaticism with which their ancestors in the long ago had hurled themselves upon the mail-clad men of Hernan Cortez. Even such hardened veterans as the legionaries of old Spain could not long withstand an onslaught in vastly superior numbers, from an enemy actuated by the fires of a rage which had lain dormant for many centuries.

After a scene of indescribable carnage, the patriots won the day. This battle of Monte las Cruces took place October 30, 1810. With the remnant of a brigade, Trujillo fled to the capitol.

One would expect the insurrecto chiefs buoyed up by their magnificent victory, to have advanced forthwith upon Mexico City to enjoy the fruits of a hard-won victory over the trained veterans of the Asturias. Within easy marching distance of the hated Viceroy's stronghold, and their foes in full flight, in the capitol too, their friends and the Masonic Lodges were anticipating with feverish eagerness the oncoming of that army whose success meant "more light" for Mexico. Most unfortunately, Hidalgo's entire campaign had been formulated without military training or system. The call had come to find the Mexican masses not yet materially prepared. In the confusion following upon his victory, poor Hidalgo was quite at a loss to know just what to do. The very magnitude of his recent successes overwhelmed him. He was a tremble with the joy of a great fear. His chief of staff, Colonel Allende, possessed more resolution in the crisis. He strongly advocated an immediate following up of their great victory. To his pleas no attention were accorded. Hidalgo's gentle spirit revolted as he gazed out over the battlefield to behold the battered bodies of his patriots locked in the stiffened embrace of the bronzed veterans of Spain.

You see, Hidalgo had not been reared in the school of war. The calm quiescence of his little home in Dolores, was not an atmosphere at all calculated to develop in so sensitive a soul complete indifference to loss of human life nor, was the symbolic philosophy imbibed in Valle de Mexico Lodge Number One of a character to approve of this carnival of blood. The grim silence prevailing over the bivouac of the dead, brought tears to Hidalgo's eyes. Again and again he asked himself, if after all, Liberty was worth the price demanded? At his feet he could see outstretched the friends and companions of his happier days in Dolores. Before him lay the village notary, the old sexton, the jovial innkeeper, the gruff Jefe Politico—alas, all martyrs to the quest for more light in Mexico. What gloomy tidings must he now send back to their patiently biding mothers, widows and orphans. And so, pity cost Hidalgo the fruits of all his victories. The First Chief lost some very vital moments while his soldiers were digging trenches for the dead. A golden opportunity had come. As quickly it was gone.

From the capitol came couriers. They reported that Viceroy Venegas had assembled another army to crush out the insurrection. A council was hastily held. Another grave mistake was made. It was voted to advance east to Aculco. This meant a wearisome march over a barren, alkali plain. Aculco was twenty leagues distant. Mexico City was but eight leagues away.

On the long retreat, for it was nothing else, the revolutionists afforded Venegas an opportunity to bring his splendidly trained cavalry into action. Repeated and vengeful assaults were made by the Spanish. In this crisis, even Allende's martial training availed but little, since of the many thousands of savages included in Hidalgo's army but few had a knowledge of Spanish. Hidalgo, Allende, and their lieutenants knew nothing of the several dialects. An army like theirs was but ill prepared to enter upon another engagement like that of Aculco. They lacked munitions of war, provisions, and clothing. They were utterly exhausted from the forced march through the desert. Discord everywhere prevailed. None the less, orders were misunderstood, or openly and indifferently disobeyed. The inevitable happened. This time, the patriots proved an easy prey to the trained veterans of the Spanish commander, General Callejo. Everywhere the insurrectos were mowed down by artillery, or cut to pieces by the cavalry. Annihilation was almost complete. A few surviving bands sought refuge in flight, leaving their leaders prisoners in the hands of the enemy with the exception of Don Miguel Hidalgo, Colonel Allende and a small remnant of the general staff.

It seemed as though the whole cause of Mexican Independence had been dealt a mortal hurt. When the news of the atrocities perpetrated at Aculco by the Spaniards reached the native Mexicans in the capitol, they hid their faces in shame and grief. The Spaniards celebrated the supposed end of the revolution with a solemn Te Deum in the cathedral. Viceroy Venegas inaugurated a veritable reign of terror in the capitol. It was forbidden natives and creoles even to mention the name of Miguel Hidalgo. Any refusal to participate in the fiestas of the Spanish resulted in instant death as a suspect. The capacity of the city prisons was tested to their utmost. Everywhere gallows were groaning under countless bodies of political offenders.

The families who were made victims of these punitive measures of the Spaniards, might awhile dissemble their righteous resentment. But they could never forget. And by these very means whereby Venegas was hoping forever to crush the Spirit of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, was brought into being the nucleus of an active revolutionary junta. The Viceroy prohibited the printing of newspapers, and abolished the circulation of pamphlets. In everything he was a Dictator.

Hidalgo and his brother Masons fled into the east. Nor did they find asylum at every stopping place. Many there were who believed that the men who through poor judgment had sacrificed a glorious opportunity to attain Mexican Independence, must merit the consequence of defeat, however dire. Beyond Guadalajara the fugitives found a more kindly reception. Ever hot upon their trail traveled Calleja and the Spaniards. On his way, the Spanish commander added to his forces all such natives as might be in anywise depended upon. These were followers and dependents of the rich Spanish landholders, who from sheer ignorance and discouragement, had become quite indifferent as to who should control the destinies of Mexico.

A crafty method resorted to by Calleja to draw to his standard native support, was an attempt to engender universal horror of the insurrecto leaders as excommunicates and traitors to God, to the Church and to the King. Priests well suited for the purpose were scattered through the army, exhorting the superstitious natives to exterminate the outlaws if they hoped to be saved.

The final stand of Hidalgo and his companions was made at the bridge of the Calderon on the night of January 16th, 1811. Halting at the river banks, they erected their defenses against the oncoming Spaniards. It was almost grey dawn when the enemy appeared, crossed the river and fell upon the Mexican troops. Long, sanguine and fiercely fought was the ensuing engagement. Into the thick of the fray rushed Hidalgo, now here, now there, his long, grey hair waving in the wind, his face lighted by the noble fire of firm determination, to do or to die. Alas, it was not fated that victory crown his standard. After losing eighteen hundred men, Hidalgo realized that the battle had gone against him.

In front of the Mint, at Chihuahua City, there once stood an adobe monument. It may be there yet, unless recent revolutionists have destroyed or obliterated it. It marks the spot where fell the first four martyrs to the cause of Mexican Liberty—Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama and Jimenez.



Don Augustin de Iturbide

After the death of Hidalgo, the list of heroes who kept up the fight against Spanish rule is a long one. Don Ignacio Rayon, Don Jose Morelos, the illustrious Guerrero, a York Rite Mason; Padre Matamoras, Nicolas Bravo and many others from every district of Mexico are on the roll of honor.

There was one officer in the Royalist army, of Mexican birth and patriotic inclination, who by unusual ability had long held in check the leaders who took up the fight where Hidalgo left it. His name was Don Augustin de Iturbide. The man destined of the gods to bring liberty to Mexico was, strange to say, a product of the aristocracy. By early associations and training he had but little in common with the masses. His brief career upon the stage of his country's history was replete with excitement and action. It was almost as dramatically romantic as that of the man he idealized and emulated—Napoleon Bonaparte. His ending was quite as pathetic. Like Napoleon, too, Iturbide was a Mason. This leader commanded a battalion of provincial troops in the service of the Viceroy Venegas. He was a native of Valladolid. In his early training and education, he had enjoyed exceptional advantages. During the early days of the first Mexican Revolution, Iturbide and his command had participated in many engagements. These battles had cost the patriots dear, for Iturbide was a born soldier and most intrepid fighter.

Iturbide was a man of ordinary appearance and average physique. He possessed a tireless activity and an endurance bred of long and hard campaigning. He was ambitious, self-assertive, intolerant of authority, as are most born leaders of men. He depreciated danger, laughed at all obstacles, however formidable. He seemed not to know the meaning of fear. Each battle in which he participated found him in the most exposed position.

At the time when he heard the call of his people, and answered the signs and summons of the Craft by espousing the cause of those who fought for the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, Iturbide did not underestimate the prowess of the Spaniards. He knew from contact the personal capacity of each Royalist commander, but above all he appreciated his own superior qualifications as a practical soldier.

For years Iturbide had been thoughtfully observing the progress made by the patriots. Soon he was brought to a realization of the fact that, slowly but surely, Spain was losing her iron grip upon Mexico. He was a far-seeing man. He had always yearned for honors, for military distinction and for glory. The mother country, torn by internecine strife, trembling on the very verge of a precipice, could not, thought Iturbide, long maintain her foothold in the New World. Nearly all of Spain's American provinces had won their freedom. Bogota and Caracas had thrown off the yoke of suzerainty. Driven to desperation by such losses, the Spaniards now clung desperately to Mexico. Large reinforcements were being constantly dispatched across the sea to uphold their imperiled authority. Viceroy Venegas had been replaced by an even sterner martinet, Don Juan Apodaca. With barely enough military leaders to successfully direct the moments of their armies in the peninsula, the Spaniards nevertheless set aside enormous amounts to pay for the transportation of fresh troops to Mexico, and sent with these some of their ablest generals.

Iturbide could now see plainly the handwriting upon the wall. He realized that the wide scope of his ambitions could never be fulfilled were he content to remain an officer in the Royalist army. For years he had been quietly formulating a plan to be used against the Spanish, when the time should come for him to openly declare himself. Astute, clever, far-seeing, he had attached to himself, by ultra-clever intrigue, Mexicans of every party—ecclesiastical, military and political. Now looking back through the years upon his colossal undertaking, against what had seemed at its inchoation insurmountable odds, Iturbide could have the satisfaction of having performed a sacred duty to the Grand Architect of the Universe, to his country, to his neighbors and himself.

Knowing the yearning of his compatriots for independence above everything else, he made that a fundamental feature of his plan, which he denominated "Las Tres Garantias": To exemplify his objects he used the word "Union;" to conciliate the native clergy he added "Religion;" to inspire the sympathy of the blanketed hoi polloi, he added the inspiring slogan "Liberty." With the magic symbolism of these three words, Iturbide confidently hoped to rally those powerful enough to drive the Spaniards to the shores of the sea, thus forever ending Viceroy rule in old Mexico.

Veiling his plans with the greatest secrecy, Iturbide obtained from the Viceroy the command of a division to set forth in pursuit of the insurgent leader General Guerrero, with whose downfall a vital blow would be struck at the patriot's cause. Yet far from his plans was the overthrow of that gallant and able representative of York Rite Masonry, whose whole life had been modeled upon the Symbolic Code of the Square and Compass. Quite to the contrary, Iturbide knew that he must have Guerrero's support at any cost, inasmuch as this insurrecto general represented a very powerful faction in the national life. Couriers were dispatched ahead to arrange a meeting of the two. Towards the latter part of January, 1821, Iturbide and Guerrero met in a mountain canon. The scene was one of striking contrasts. Upon one side General Iturbide, in a brilliant uniform of azure and gold, at the head of his smartly equipped Spanish battalions. Opposite was the little bronzed band of patriots, martialed by lion-hearted Vicente Guerrero, their torn, weather-stained, homespun uniforms affording striking evidence of many a hard fought fray.

The interview was brief but was to the point. After the two generals had embraced, Iturbide said, "I cannot express the satisfaction which I experience upon meeting with a patriot who has sustained the noble cause of independence, and has survived unaided such hardships, maintaining alive the sacred fire of liberty. Receive this merited tribute to your valor and your virtues," to which Guerrero, greatly moved, responded: "I, senor, am happy that my country has this day received a son whose valor and sentiment have been so marked."

With extreme frankness Iturbide disclosed his plans to the commander of the York Rite. And Guerrero, completely convinced of their merit, attracted irresistibly by the magnetic personality of the younger soldier, carefully aligned his troopers and cried: "Soldiers, this Mexican whom you see present is Don Augustin de Iturbide, who for nine years has been an opponent of the cause which we defend. Today he has sworn to defend the national interests, and I, who have been your leader in battle, and whom you cannot doubt as willing to die in sustaining Liberty, I am the first to recognize Don Iturbide as the Chief of the national armies. Viva la independencia,—Viva la Libertad."

So soon as Guerrero's alliance with Iturbide became known, the revolutionary chieftains flocked to the new leader from all quarters. Soon Iturbide, at the head of a powerful army, in quick succession invested Valladolid, Queretaro, and Puebla. Viceroy Apodaca proclaimed martial law. He forcibly conscripted all male citizens capable of bearing arms. Even with such strenuous measures, he found himself beset by insurmountable odds and was forced to abdicate.

The authorities at Madrid had anticipated just such a happening. Already there was landing at Vera Cruz, the sixty-fourth and last Spanish Viceroy, General O'Donoju. On his march to the Mexican capital O'Donoju was permitted to advance as far as Cordoba. Here he was met by General Iturbide with an overwhelming force of patriots. Realizing the utter futility of resistance, General O'Donoju signed the Treaty of Cordoba, recognizing the independence of the Mexican people, allowing them to form a provisional junta, and to make choice of a ruling sovereign, this latter to be selected, from the royal family of Spain.

Crafty, far-seeing Iturbide! From the first he had known instinctively that the Spanish Cortes would never countenance any such arrangement, wherefore he permitted himself to be named president of the Mexican junta. He hoped, and not without reason, that when the time arrived, his people would elevate him to the place he coveted.

On the morning of September 27, 1821, a great crush of people flocked to the southern outposts of the Mexican capital. There were poverty-stricken leperos, and dirty, squalid Indians, who pressed ever so closely about the closed caleches, through the tiny openings of which timidly peeped black-robed senoras and petite senoritas. Occasionally an aguador with his great clay pitcher strapped upon his back, and filled with fresh water, elbowed his way through the crowd, as he cried his most monotonous refrain, "Agua—agua fresco." And some gaily decked cavalier in silver-bullioned black jacket, with gold-braided zapateros and peaked sombrero, wearing the colors of his lady love upon his arm, a gaudy serape jauntily wrapped about his gold-embossed saddle, dug the rowels of his spurs into the foam-flecked side of his steed, recklessly riding down a group of affrighted children, or helpless leperos, to the great delight of the petite senoritas in the caleches. The chimes of the Cathedral rang out merrily, as well they might on this day of days. The Liberator general, who had done for his country what many patriots had failed to do in ten years incessant warfare, was about to enter the capital. Therefore, Mexico City rejoiced. Loud sounded the petards of the soldiery. Occasionally a troop of cavalry dashed into the crowd, blending oaths and shouts and adding to the general confusion all about.

At the Portales which flanked the Vera Cruz road a regiment of Jalapa infantry were drawn up. The monotony of their long wait was enlivened by the martial music of a regimental band, interrupted at times by a distant roll of drums, or the prolonged blowing of bugles from an approaching troop of cavalry. Everywhere excitement exercised supreme sway. Beneath a huge triumphal arch at the Plaza Mayor, were assembled the authorities of the city in gorgeous uniforms. With them were the prefects and clergy. Close at hand waited a band of white-robed little ones, bearing huge floral pieces adorned with the tricolor adopted by General Iturbide. Only where a few Spaniards had been bold enough to foregather, might be seen the cockade of the Spanish Bourbons.

Presently the great guns at the southern entrance to the city told the populace that the national army was about to enter the capitol. Soon they came marching by. First, a regiment of chausseurs in green and gold, followed by troops of dragoons and hussars. Next a procession of black-robed native priests, with banners and chasubles, chanting a Te Deum. After them the dusky, bronzed veterans of General Guerrero and the fighting Indians of Guadalupe Victoria. Last of all came the "Scarlet Riders," the regiment of General Iturbide, with long black plumes waving in their helmets, facings of gold showing jauntily upon their red uniforms, their fierce moustaches bristling and their scarred faces, aglow with pride. At a double quick these troops marched through the streets of Mexico City. They were warmly welcomed on all sides. After them came a gorgeous state carriage drawn by ten sturdy mules with silver trappings, and driven by savage looking mozos with rough jackets of skins, great zapateros and peaked sombreros. As outriders four trumpeters rode. Within this coach sat the last of the Spanish Viceroys, General O'Donoju, and the Liberator of Mexico, General Augustin de Iturbide. On each side of the coach rode the swarthy, gorgeously uniformed suite of His Majesty's Vicegerent, led by Brigadier General Linan, General Don Jose Davila, Captain Fernando del Valle, and Teniente Navarette.

Such a scene of pomp and panoply this staid old Mexican capitol had never before witnessed in all the three hundred years of its existence. The blanketed hoi polloi were wild with enthusiasm. They thought that they had come into their own at last. Poor fools! Nor did these peons dream that they were but exchanging task-masters: that the future held for them a period of stress and bloodshed destined to extend over many, many years: that the man they now acclaimed their Liberator General, was soon to fall a victim to that fickleness which is an inherent characteristic of all Latin-Americans: that grim old Guerrero too, was to share a similar fate: least of all, that the young General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who now rode proudly with the staff, was eventually to compass the downfall of all these patriots when they stood in the way of his own preferment, and after sweeping them away like chaff, would hold Mexico in his own iron grip for fifty long, weary years. And so, quite ignorant of the future, the Mexican masses shouted and entered happily into the spirit of this day of days, to many of them symbolic of brotherly love, relief and truth.

Nor did it take long for Iturbide to evolve order out of chaos. With an eye to his own future, he carefully organized the new elements of the Mexican government, abolishing the restrictive laws of the Spaniard, and to all intents playing into the hands of the Mexican people. Day by day Iturbide's personal popularity increased. There came at last news to the capitol. The Spanish Cortes had rejected the treaty of Cordoba. But for this Iturbide had prepared. The time for his own great coup had come. It was the culmination of his many years of watchful waiting. The Mexican Congress was packed with his personal adherents and members of the Lodges.

Before ever the people had recovered from their shock of surprise caused by Spain's repudiation of "Las Tres Garantias," the personal following of Don Augustin de Iturbide proclaimed him Emperor of Mexico. A vote of four to one in his favor, taken by Congress, confirmed him in his new dignity. And the man who had so cleverly manipulated the patriot generals, who had united all the diverse patriot factions, now ascended the new world throne as Emperor Augustine I. His coronation was another occasion for magnificent display. It took place in the great cathedral of Mexico City, July 21, 1823.

From this moment Iturbide cast aside his mask. To the patriots he revealed that they had but served as stepping stones to further the personal ambitions of a Mexican aristocrat of the aristocrats. Yet he was equally honest with the representatives of the Clerical party. When to the Palacio Iturbide there came His Eminence the Archbishop of Mexico, attended by his black-robed suffragans, to advance the claims of Holy Church and to insist that the Inquisition be not at all curtailed in its activities, he brusquely concluded with the statement: "Refuse my demand and I shall withdraw from your cause the countenance and support of the Church of Rome."

To this Iturbide coolly retorted:

"Your Eminence, my cause was reared without the aid of the clergy, and it will live without the aid of the clergy. In England, Henry VIII divorced church and state. In France the republicans hurled defiance at the Pope. In Mexico, I, Augustin de Iturbide, Emperor by the Grace of God and the will of the Mexican people, bid you go with your empty forms and mummery, fit alone for the priest-ridden Bourbons. For two hundred years the Church of, Rome has preyed upon this poor country, like the sopilote of the desert, exercising the vilest extortions, practicing the most fearful inhumanities, working upon the fears of the simple minded by the dread terrors of the Inquisition, and taking over the national resources to fatten your monks and your nuns, to build your cathedrals, and rear up a tinsel frame work of ceremonials and to pander to your idle vanities, while the ragged lepero, the beggared ranchero, and the despairing tradesman bow their worn, emaciated bodies in the dust to receive, in return for all they have given to the Church, the empty, vacuous smile and meaningless benediction of some over-fed, lumbering priest, whose very shovel hat and black robe have been paid for from the full measure of their sacrifice. Out upon such sophistry as yours which excuses all things on the ground that the end justifies the means."

"You have hurled down your grito of defiance and must answer to the Pope," cried the exasperated Archbishop, his form shaken with wrath, "The cause of the Excumulgado has ever been a lost cause."

"I shall answer to my God and to Him alone," was Iturbide's unshaken response, "And if my cause fail because I have been the first of the Mexicans to raise my voice against extortionate priestcraft, then be it so. But hearken, your Eminence, that day will come for Mexico when some man shall rise strong enough to forever divorce Church and State. Perhaps it may be an Iturbide, perhaps a man of a future generation, as yet unborn; but so surely as tomorrow's sun shall rise over the city, so surely will the hour and the man come. Go then, Your Eminence, mete out the curses of the Church of Rome, let the Papal Bulls decry against my cause, flee across the water to the Court of the Bourbons. I defy you all, and rest my cause before Almighty God."

"So be it," said the Archbishop, restraining himself with difficulty, "Until you retract your words, Augustin de Iturbide, you rest under the ban of disapproval of the Church of Rome." And motioning his somber suite to follow, he left the presence of the Emperor.

About his gorgeous court Iturbide now gathered the wealthiest and oldest of the native families in the country. He was lavish in his expenditures. He created a new world nobility. He distributed titles promiscuously. The Order of Guadalupe which he created was modeled upon the Order of the Garter.

He also fashioned another after Napoleon's Legion of Honor. In his self-absorption and burning eagerness to build up a brilliant aristocracy, founded upon old world traditions, aiming to surround himself with an atmosphere of formal ceremonial and magnificence, the Emperor accorded scant attention to the men whose tireless energies and personal sacrifices had brought him to his present high estate. And so he sealed his doom. Iturbide, in reverting once more to his type, was compelled to relegate such sincere patriots as Guerrero and Victoria to the background. His vanity told him that such men, pure products of the common people, would in nowise add to the brilliant court functions now of daily occurrence in his capitol. In the hourglass, that emblem of human life, swiftly ran the sands for poor Iturbide. Before the year was fairly done, Santa Anna proclaimed a Republic at Vera Cruz. And in the north, Generals Guerrero, Bravo and Guadalupe Victoria sent signs and summons to their trained veterans to take the field once more. This time, theirs was a punitive purpose, for they meant to overthrow the clay idol they had set upon a pedestal.

In vain the Emperor dissolved the Congress of the Mexican people. In vain he summoned the soldiers of the Empire to rally to his Imperial standard. The magic of his name had lost its charm. All past performances of the Liberator General seem to have been forgotten in the hatred now inspired by the arrogance, extravagances and personal vanity of the Emperor. The Ides of March had indeed come for this new world Caesar. On the nineteenth of that month, in 1823, Augustine the First abdicated from the throne of Mexico. And the blanketed hoi polloi proved very generous in their hour of triumph. They voted Don Augustine de Iturbide an annual pension of $25,000 conditional upon his living abroad. Iturbide with his family took up his residence at Nice. Like the great Mason he had taken for his model, Napoleon Bonaparte, poor Iturbide in exile, was constantly dreaming of a recall by his people. He yearned deeply for that power, his no longer.

In Mexico far-seeing Santa Anna, fully appreciating the caliber of the soldier who had terminated Spanish rule in one short year, not underestimating the personal ability of the man who had been his emperor, craftily prevailed upon the Mexican Congress to enact a law decreeing the death of Don Augustin de Iturbide, should he ever again set foot on Mexican soil. The man against whom this cruel enactment was made, in his faraway exile, knew nothing of his Machiavellian enemy's machinations. He heard only that Mexico was once more in a state of dire anarchy. Promptly he responded to what he deemed his country's need. He felt assured that the army would quickly flock to the standard of the Liberator General. Alas, instead of a welcome at Vera Cruz he found prison bars. On July 19, 1824, the soldier whose sword had won for him a new world throne, was shot by men he had often led to victory.

More to Don Augustin de Iturbide than to any other man does Mexico owe her independence of Spain. He was as intrepid as a lion, farseeing, a shrewd diplomat, a natural politician, with a pleasing personality and, best of all, a Mason of the Masons. It was Iturbide's great misfortune to have been born an aristocrat. It seems but natural that in the little hour of his prosperity he should have favored his class. To his own vanity he fell a victim, but more he was the victim of the selfishness and fickleness of the people for whom he had done so much, a people he had brought from the darkness to the light, a people he had perhaps served best when he firmly told His Eminence that for Mexico the Inquisition had had its day forever. So ended the first revolution in Mexico with the establishment of the Republic on October 10, 1824.

A peon of the peons it was whose privilege it became to take up the reins of power rudely snatched from an aristocrat of the aristocrats. General Guadalupe Victoria, the old guerrilla chieftain, was chosen first President of Mexico. Anarchy soon followed. Not a year passed but some new aspirant for power unleashed the dogs of war against the incumbent of the presidency. Guerrero enjoyed a little period of power as third President, and in due course was shot in 1831 by the people whose freedom he had so long striven for. For fifty years General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna played a melodramatic part in the drama of Mexican history, now as President, again as dictator; at times an exile, at others the popular idol, occasionally a hunted fugitive, yet ever in the public eye, this irrepressible, omnipresent, crafty, soldier-statesman and Scottish Rite Mason, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. After him came the few years' fiasco of emperor Maximilian, then the reestablished Republic of another Mason, Benito Juarez, until for thirty years the iron hand of grim old Porfirio Diaz, another popular idol held supreme sway until swept aside by the young idealist, Don Francisco Madero, Jr.



Don Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna


Renegade Mason


When General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna of the Mexican Scottish Rite issued a pronunciamiento against his brother-Mason, the Emperor Iturbide, many Mexican Masons approved his act as one of purest patriotism. The leaders of York Rite Masonry—Don Vincente Guerrero, Don Guadalupe Victoria, and Don Nicolas Bravo—speedily led their armies to the support of the revolting young commandante at Vera Cruz. In consequence the empire collapsed completely. Another Mason, occupied the Hall of the Montezumas. He was Don Guadalupe Victoria, first president of the newly born Republic of Mexico.

Now we must not blind ourselves to the true motives which served as an incentive to Santa Anna in espousing the cause of liberalism as against absolutism. Young and inexperienced as he was at that time, Santa Anna had already formulated future plans for "a career" in the drama of Mexican politics. As profound a student of history as he was of men, he had set up as his idol and model, another great Mason, the Corsican, Napoleon Bonaparte. Already he was dreaming of the time when he, too, might wield a scepter. First must be crushed forever, all such "dangerous" men as Augustin de Iturbide, General Guerrero, and other able soldiers who had been sorely tested in the crucible of their country's needs and not found wanting. The leniency of the Mexican Congress in allowing the deposed emperor to depart into exile with a substantial pension was not at all pleasing to the intriguing Santa Anna. He had in mind the ever-present possibility that the fickle Mexicans might recall their Liberator General. To forfend any such dire happening for himself, Santa Anna persuaded the puppet legislators in the Mexican capitol to pass a decree of death upon Iturbide, effective the moment he might again set foot upon Mexican territory. In this case Santa Anna was gifted with remarkable foresight. He knew that the arrogant clergy, having nothing to look for from the Republic, would cajole the unfortunate Iturbide into making another dash for his throne, preferring to depend upon a certain amount of tolerance under absolutism, than fare so desperately as they must under men like Victoria, Guerrero and Bravo, patriots true and tried. At the behest of the priests he had hitherto despised, Iturbide hearkened to the supposed voice of his people. He landed at Soto la Marina, to be forthwith dropped from a living perpendicular to a dead level by the bullets of republican rifles.

A great many of the Mexican Scottish Rite Masons had become thoroughly disgusted with the treacherous politics being played by General Santa Anna and his satellites. When a few years, later, President Guerrero of the York Rite was ruthlessly assassinated, a number of Masons from both factions concluded that the time was ripe in Mexico for the establishment of a new Masonic rite. Thus was established "The Mexican National Rite," composed of both Scottish and York Rite Masons, openly declaring the intent that among Masons must prevail peace and harmony, as the strength of the institution; and whenever and wherever necessary, war must be waged upon the clergy, the common foe of all Masonic bodies. These pioneers of the new Rite, ultimately numbering in its ranks such eminent Mexicans as Ocampo, Arteaga, Farias, Lerdo de Tejada, Juarez, Perez, Escobedo, Corona and Porfirio Diaz, well understood the innate selfishness and Machiavellian unscrupulousness of Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Nor had they any inclination to lend Masonry and its intricate machinery, even then a controlling factor in the national scheme, to the purely personal purposes of the Scottish Rite general. As early as 1833 the leaders of the Mexican National Rite fearlessly declared their public policy for all future time: "absolute freedom of thought and speech; the freedom of the press; the abolishment of all the peculiar privileges claimed by the Catholic clergy and the military caste as a heritage; the suppression of monastic institutions; the curtailment of monopolies; the protection of Liberal Arts and industries; the development of libraries and free schools; the abolition of capital punishment and colonial expansion."

Compare, if you will, this enlightened Mexican Masonic allocution of 1833 with the splendid Laws of Reform of 1858; you will find a marked similitude. Nor do I mean to detract from the guerdon of praise due the greatest of all the Inspectors General of the Mexican National Rite, Don Benito Juarez, who after years of untold disappointments, and unparalleled sacrifices, eventually consummated the Laws of Reform in Mexico,—essentially Masonic laws.

Santa Anna, utterly unabashed by the silent rebuke administered him by his brethren when they formed their National Rite, leaving him without its pale, plunged more feverishly into the maelstrom of Mexican politics, being still supported by many of his Scottish Rite satellites. Right well did he play the game: five times President of the Republic, almost as many times military dictator; when his star was in the ascendant seeing Mexico abased at his feet; more times than once a hated exile, yet unwilling even from afar to lose his iron grip upon his country, with unblushing effrontery this daring political adventurer presumed to dictate as to who might sit in the high place at Mexico City, or else to threaten a new and more formidable revolution.

There was a mysterious something about the personality of this daring, dashing, southland soldier-schemer, an inherent dramatic instinct for staging coup d'etat so dear to the Latin heart; a fascinating something in the very unusual characteristics contributing to his striking personality, that gave him a following even at times most desperate, and for many long years. In all his troubled, stormy career Santa Anna only once met his master, a man of finer, nobler mold, a man of equally iron will and far higher ideals. This was Don Benito Juarez, a man so imbued with true Masonic charity that he could forgive the unforgiveable, and pardon Santa Anna for attempting to strike a vital blow at the one thing Juarez loved better than all other things on earth, the Republic of Mexico.

When the need was, even as the Mason Santa Anna scrupled not at all to manipulate the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the furtherance of his ambitions, so not at all did he scorn to call to his aid the powerful hierarchy of Rome, when the Mexican clergy seemed to wield the balance of power, as was often the case. To do so, Santa Anna must of course make concessions. Such were:

  • Church property and Church revenues shall be inviolable. There shall be restoration in toto of the special privileges of the clergy and military caste.
  • Reaffirmation of the Roman Catholic religion as the one and only religion of Mexico. Censorship of the Press and Public Expression.
  • The confining of immigration to individuals from Catholic countries.
  • The abolition of the Institute of Sciences in Oaxaca.

This last was the one liberal college in all Mexico, a college numbering in its faculty and among its sponsors some of the most active adherents of the Mexican National Rite.

Whenever he needed support from the Roman hierarchy Santa Anna rigidly enforced the "Plan of Tacubaya," outlined above. This was and is now, with restrictions, "the platform" of Mexican clericalism. There were times in the Dictator's heyday of power, when it suited him to compel even the arrogant Catholic clergy to yield to his whims, even at considerable sacrifice of their own personal dignity. One of these occasions is not without humor.

At the battle of Vera Cruz when Santa Anna was opposing the French he lost a leg. Having achieved ultimate success, and wishing to humble the priests, whom at heart he hated, he sent orders to Mexico City that preparations be made forthwith for the reception of his limb with full church ceremonials, and solemn interment in the Catholic cemetery of St. Paul. Of course the Archbishop of Mexico was horrified; he protested: "There is no precedent for religious services over a leg, your Serene Highness; it is not to be thought of." "Let us establish a precedent in that case, Your Reverence. Mine was a Christian leg; it deserves a Christian burial. So mote it be," quoth the facetious Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Therefore it happened that upon the 27th day of September, 1842, the Archbishop of Mexico, the clergy, the Mexican army and the hoi polloi turned out en masse to participate in the unusual ceremonial of the interment of General Santa Anna's leg. After the choir boys had sung their masses, the priests mumbled their prayers, the higher dignitaries invoked due blessings, and a firing squad given martial salute, a certain Don Ignacio Sierra y Rosa indulged in a flowery oration, and dedicated a very costly monument to the defunct limb, so concluding an historic farce.

Rome never forgets; never forgives. Exactly two years after this drollest of funeral ceremonies, the Archbishop of Mexico placed the ban of the church upon Santa Anna's demand of a forced loan of $4,000,000, and even the Army revolted. For a while the Clergy held smugly aloof, awaiting results. Tacitly if not openly, they were quite ready to abandon him by whose grace they had been permitted to return to Mexico and help plunder the poor natives. When the mobs in the capitol arose, it was their priests who led them to the cemetery of St. Paul and helped them overturn the stately monument to Santa Anna's leg. What remained of the "Christian Limb" was kicked and tossed about the purlieus of the city until even the callous mob wearied of its sordid sport.

With Santa Anna's absence from the scene the Mexican National Rite slowly gathered strength. From its Institute of Sciences in Oaxaca is sent out a small army of educated young men, ready and willing when the time should come to flock to the defense of Liberalism as against Clericalism in Mexico. While students like Juarez and Diaz and young Perez were being trained for the inevitable battle between Church and State, a few brilliant Catholic statesmen like Don Gutierrez Estrada sought to stem the propagation of democratic thought by boldly proclaiming in the Mexican Senate that racially and temperamentally the people were quite incapacitate for self-government, that continuance under republican rule must eventually mean reversion to the old vice regal system or subservience to some other foreign power, if not old Spain.

For this the professors of the Institute of Sciences had their answer. They pointed out how the Catholic church in Mexico held in fee simple property amounting to more than $250,000,000, or one-half of the landed estate of the nation: an annual income of approximately $8,000,000. Of how the monastic orders and church functionaries were maintained by an army of nearly fifty thousand men. As to the monasteries themselves they were the shame of Mexico, even in days when lewdness was viewed more tolerantly than as civilization advanced. Even the Pope protested from distant Rome, but the Mexican clergy paid him scant heed. They were swollen with pride and easy living. Behind them they had the Spanish land owners, the subsidized army, all that wealth and entrenched privileges can give. When need was, they had to lead their armies the most dashing soldier of the time—the reckless, daredevil, conscienceless Santa Anna, the renegade Mason, who when not permitted to manipulate the greatest utilitarian brotherhood in the world for his own selfish advantages, turned to its age-old enemy, the Catholic church, and smilingly offered to crush the brothers he had sworn to defend.

The long series of civil wars might have been precipitated earlier before ever Juarez, Diaz, Escobedo, Perez, and the patriots of 1858 were ready, had it not been for the sudden break with the United States, over the taking into the Union of Texas, regardless of the claim of ownership to that vast territory still made by Mexico. Of course such a soldier as Santa Anna was needed to lead the Mexican armies against the invader. Of course the clergy could play their part and did. I quote from the official report of Major General Casey of the United States Army, in the "Christian World," Volume XXIV, page 47:

"On the 20th of August the battles of Contreras and Cherubusco were fought. At the latter place the principal point of attack was a fortified convent, and the American army lost 1000 men in killed and wounded by the obstinate resistance. This was caused by the presence of more than two hundred deserters from the American army, composed mostly of Catholic Irish, who had been persuaded to desert at the instigation of the Mexican Catholic priests. Fifty of these men were afterwards captured and hung, the drop of the gallows falling just as the American flag went up on the castle of Chapultepec."

Of the same incident Rev. William Butler says in his "Mexico in Transition":

"The sectarian treachery of the Irish deserters might have proved to be overwhelming. It might have involved the destruction of the whole American force, which was so small comparatively. As it was, it cost them nearly one-seventh of their whole number. Nor should it be forgotten that this was not the first time. A few months before, a similar act of treachery had occurred in General Taylor's command at Monterey, by the same class of men deserting and crossing the river to join their co-religionists on the other side and help them fight the Americans. . . . On some occasions yet to come, the celebrated order may need to be repeated as a precaution, "put none but Americans on guard tonight."

In short the war against the United States, even the duplicity and guerilla tactics of the veteran Santa Anna could not prevail against the hardier, bulldog tenacity of the Americans led by such generals as Scott, Taylor, Pillow and Twiggs. A succession of Mexican reverses at Santa Fe, Matamoras, Monterey, Bracito, San Luis Potosi, Vera Cruz, Cerra Gordo, and Churubusco found Santa Anna at bay, with the Mexican Capital threatened on every side by the soldiers of the northland. On the eve of the fall of Chapultepec, the key to Mexico City, Santa Anna fled with his staff, but, determined to wreak vengeance on the gringoes, stole stealthily upon Puebla, where the American Colonel Childs, with a small force stood guard over eighteen hundred sick and wounded Americans. So fierce was the resistance that the fleeing dictator was prevented from putting into effect the wholesale massacre he had had in mind. Lane's reinforcements led him to continue his flight.

In the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, consummating peace between the United States and Mexico, Santa Anna had but little voice. His successive reverses in the war had taken much from the prestige of his name, and the Mexicans were content to allow him the obscurity of exile for five years.

In 1853 the fickle people permitted him to return, and he at once proclaimed himself dictator. His very first official act was the same mistake which ultimately led to the downfall of his great successor, Diaz, permission for return of the Jesuits to Mexico, from which they had been banished. When he realized that his tenure of office was foredoomed, Santa Anna dispatched the Catholic Estrada to Europe to negotiate for the coming of Maximilian, so hoping to perpetuate the power of the Jesuits, who had led to his undoing, and thus strike a fatal blow to the aspirations of Juarez and the liberal party. There came sudden depositions, a trial for high treason, a sentence of death by hanging,—Santa Anna was in desperate straits indeed. A greater Mexican than he, however, Don Benito Juarez, now his master; a man of finer, nobler mold, a man of equally iron will, and far higher ideals, a man so imbued with true Masonic Charity, that he could forgive the unforgiveable, found it in his heart to commute the traitor's sentence and pardon Santa Anna.

And so Santa Anna ceased to trouble Mexico. Greater men than he now strutted upon the Mexican stage to continue the duel al muerte between Church and State, between the Jesuits and the Freemasons.



Don Benito Juarez


Father of the Mexican Constitution


In the hilly country about San Pablo Guelatao, the Zapotecan boy, Benito Juarez, tended his uncle's flocks. He was undersized, swarthy, poorly nourished, with a mournful cast of countenance, sharp, scintillating eyes, rather high forehead and the wiry black hair characteristic of the Aztec native sons. Through the long hot days, he led his lonesome little existence, to return at night to the sordid, humble jacal of his relatives, receiving a scant dole of food and more times than one a sound beating. Tradition tells us that his uncle was a perverse man of utterly uncontrollable temper, venting his spleen upon the little lad chance had thrust upon his bounty.

Came a day when the boy rebelled, and stealing along the highway, set forth for the great city of Oaxaca, twenty miles distant, where lived a sister . . . where too was the mighty Pontifical Seminary, the Monastery of Santo Domingo and the Institute of Sciences, this last supported by the Liberals of Mexico.

It was no small undertaking for a barefoot, illy-clad boy to compass this considerable distance, yet Benito proved equal to the task and came at last to the city of his dreams, footsore, weary and well-spent, to find the people upon their knees in the dust in salutation to two lumbering, fat friars, who had issued from the monastery. The same tradition tells us that because the boy, alone of all the throng, failed to make obeisance, one of the priests admiring his independence, gave him a kindly word instead of the expected rebuke, and promised him a place to study and work at the monastery.

"For you shall be a priest, my muchacho," the friar promised.

Benito did not reply in words. Of Spanish he knew little. Only his furtive, black Indian eyes flashed forth defiance as he abruptly turned his back. Of priests as seen by him at San Pablo Guelatao the lad had conceived no great opinion. They were a lazy lot. The very servility exhibited by these city folks in Oaxaca at the sight of two lumbering friars, appealed not at all to the independent spirit of the Zapatecan boy.

In due time he found his sister's house. She procured him work at the home of Don Joaquin Salaneuva, a wealthy gentleman intimately associated with the Clerical Party.

Salaneuva soon saw possibilities in the energetic little fellow attached to his menage, and personally instructed him in Spanish and the elementals. Presently he entered his protege as a scholar in the Ecclesiastical Seminary.

"You shall be a priest, Benito," he promised the boy.

Young Juarez said nothing but devoted himself to his studies with assiduity, eventually graduating with high honors in Latin and Philosophy. One year he gave to the study of Theology which appealed to him not at all. When his chum, Don Miguel Mendez, left the Seminary to enter upon the study of Law at the heretic Institute of Arts and Sciences, it did not take Juarez long to follow suit, although by so doing he lost the friendship of Salaneuva and two other student friends, Don Isadora Sanchez, and Don Francisco Parra, with whom he had been qualifying for the priesthood.

Another friend he found, however, in Don Marcos Perez, who filled the Chair of Law at the Institute, and who besides was an ardent Mason. With his new friend's aid, Juarez sought and found Masonic Light in the Mexican National Rite, then the militant Masonic Body of the Nation.

It did not take the little group of Liberals at Oaxaca long before realization that in young Juarez had been found the needed leader of their party. He was a radical of the radicals.

Simultaneously with his receiving his degrees of Bachelor-in-Law he was elected a Deputy to the State Legislature.

In 1836 he was thrown into prison for supposed connection with one of the many revolutionary movements of the period. His friends celebrated his release by making him Civil Judge of the State Treasury Department, from which he was quickly transferred to the more important office of Secretary of the State of Oaxaca. When the Republicans gained complete control of the State in 1846, a triumvirate was formed consisting of Don Benito Juarez, Fernandez del Campo and J. M. Arteaga.

In 1846 Juarez had his first essay in the larger arena of national politics. He was elected by his constituency as a Deputy to the—General Constituent Congress of the Nation assembled at Mexico City.

Don V. Gomez Farias, Grand Master of the Mexican National Rite of Freemasons, was also President of the Republic. To the new Congress he proposed a bill for the raising of a loan of $14,000,000 on the property of the Clergy, with the alternative that if such a loan could not be negotiated, all church property should be sold until the amount needed by the nation should be at hand. This was the first assault of the Mexican National Rite upon the Roman hierarchy.

An immense uproar was at once precipitated. Lines were closely drawn. The Clerical Party and Monarchists, backed by the Conservatives, were led by Otero, the Radicals or supporters of Farias by Don Benito Juarez.

Upon vote, the President's Bill passed by a bare majority.

The fame of Juarez had preceded him to his native state, and upon his return in November 1847 he was elected Governor of Oaxaca.

There was plenty of work at hand. Mexico was at war with the United States. The Oaxaca Division under General Leon suffered severely at Molino del Rey. Juarez exerted himself to the utmost to raise new troops and himself established a state factory and munitions plant.

Now came his first personal clash with Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, a clash which while he scored a victory was yet to cost him dearly.

Santa Anna, defeated repeatedly by the Americans, discredited by his own army, fled with a few faithful followers to the borders of Oaxaca and immediately requisitioned Governor Juarez to turn over the command of the new Oaxacan soldiery with all their batteries and arms to his leadership. Juarez refused and forbade Santa Anna's entry into Oaxaca.

Peace came. The Governor found leisure for pleasanter pursuits.

With the aid of the National Rite of Mexico which had its ramifications in every large city of Mexico, Benito Juarez spread his propaganda to the native sons, hurling defiance at Santa Anna who was now the recognized champion of the Church party, perjured, foresworn, autocratic Santa Anna—a renegade Mason.

Juarez was constantly denouncing the abuses of the Roman Hierarchy from the Institute of Sciences. He it was who brought about the banishment of the Jesuits from Mexico.

When the Dictator, Santa Anna, recalled that hated Order, Juarez protested loudly. In reply, Santa Anna closed the great Liberal Institute, arrested Juarez and sent him to San Juan de Uloa. Here, for many days Don Benito Juarez suffered every indignity, biding his time, buoyed up by the knowledge that his brethren on the outside would eventually find a means to set him free.

His arrest and incarceration in this most horrible of Mexican prisons was the one spark needed to rekindle the smoldering fires of resentment against the Dictator and his supporting Clericals.

Santa Anna in the capital seemed possessed of immeasurable advantages. Behind him he had the Army, the Jesuits, and the unlimited resources of the Roman Hierarchy, the aristocracy with their great landed estates, government funds of over $20,000,000 and a new nest egg acquired from the sale to the United States of a section of Sonora for $10,000,000.

Indeed, Santa Anna's position seemed impregnable.

Unfortunately for himself, the Dictator had forgotten entirely the Great Brotherhood he had betrayed, whose dominating spirit he had outraged by condemning Juarez to imprisonment at San Juan de Uloa.

Simultaneously with the arrest of Juarez, came the pronunciamiento against Santa Anna, by General Juan Alvarez, an old veteran of the Revolution against Spain. To this doughty leader came young Porfirio Diaz, who had fought his way out of Oaxaca and placed himself at the head of a band of poorly armed Indians, defeating a superior force of government troops.

The long fight was now on.

Through the secret connivance of the Mexican Nationals, Don Benito Juarez was enabled to make his escape from the fortress of San Juan de Uloa, to New Orleans, from which city he took passage for Acapulco, where Alvarez, Diaz, and the Liberal Army were awaiting the advance of the forces of Santa Anna.

In the ensuing battle, the Dictator suffered one of his most disastrous defeats. Condemned by court-martial to be hanged for high treason Santa Anna owed his life to the clemency of the Masonic Brother he had sought to immure for life in the fetid dungeons of San Juan de Uloa.

Alvarez was chosen President of the Republic. Juarez became Minister of Justice and Religion.

With the Liberals now in power, there was an opportunity for putting into practice some of the Laws first proclaimed by the National Mexican Rite as early as 1833.

The Laws of Reform, drawn up by Juarez, and passed by the Mexican Congress Feb. 12, 1857, substantially provided:

"Separation of Church and State; Abolition of the privileges heretofore claimed by Clergy and Military Caste; Non-establishment of any especial religion; Non-recognition of religious festivals on other days than Sundays; Confinement of religious exercises to places of worship; Barring of clerical habiliments from the streets; Prohibition of religious processions; Limitations in the use of Church-bells; Pulpit discourses counseling disobedience to the law, or injury to any one not permissible; All worship to be public; Abolition of Monastic Orders; Restrictions upon the gifts of real estate to the Church; Suppression of the Sisters of Charity; Banishment of the Jesuits forever; Matrimony, by Civil contract; Opening of Cemeteries to burial of all persons indiscriminately; Relaxation from religious vows; Free and compulsory education in the public schools."

The Clerical Forces driven to the last ditch aligned themselves throughout the Republic. With them was the army.

Alvarez faced a divided Cabinet, Juarez, firm, unshakeable, leading the Liberals, Comonfort the party in favor of greater moderation.

As the revolt of the Church Party grew in strength, Alvarez resigned in favor of Comonfort.

The new President's first official act was to demand the resignation of the author of the Laws of Reform. Juarez cheerfully complied. He would have a freer hand in Oaxaca, that hot-bed of Liberalism. But he was mistaken. Upon his arrival in the State Capital he found himself opposed by a strong party led by General Jose Garcia.

Affairs looked black indeed for the Great Reformer. One of his brother Masons, now a power in the state, Don Marcos Perez, sent secret word to young Porfirio Diaz at Ixtlan. That ardent Mason rallied the Indians who had fought with him a few years before, and rode into Oaxaca to defend the man who had saved him from becoming a priest.

Once firmly seated as Governor of Oaxaca, Juarez renewed his activities for the ultimate overthrow of Clericalism in Mexico. Through his secret emissaries in Mexico City, a law was promulgated that the Church dispose of all holdings with the one exception of buildings actually devoted to religious services.

In dire desperation the Roman Hierarchy refused the privilege of the Confessional or Absolution to any holder of ecclesiastical property procured through purchase.

This stringent measure failing, the Clericals rallied 15,000 men at Puebla, and proclaimed against Comonfort.

Their rising was quickly quelled. Confiscation of Church property proceeded more rapidly. The Clergy were disfranchised. Freedom of the press was added to the Laws of Reform. Other immigrants than those from purely Catholic countries might now enter Mexico.

Against the Laws of Reform, the Clericals promulgated the old plan of Tacubaya, which Santa Anna had fought so desperately to insure. To its absolute revocation of the laws of Juarez, it added the very unpatriotic provision for the establishment of a monarchy or protectorate.

The Clergy were making the last fight for Absolutism and Class Privileges in the new world.

To aid them Pope Pius IX issued one of his characteristic allocutions. Mexico was anathema. Upon it rested the curse of the Church of Rome. His Holiness the Pope had spoken. Already he was crystallizing those dangerous doctrines later embodied in his famous or rather his infamous Encyclical.

A better ally for his cause Don Benito Juarez could never have found than this head of the Mother Church, Pope Pius IX, whose frankly undiplomatic utterances from Rome revealed to the Mexicans the amazing fact that for the preservation of the Catholic Faith even the native Clergy were willing to barter the independence of Mexico to a foreign suzerainty.

Juarez, aided by Diaz and his Indian militia suppressed successive uprisings of the Clericals in Oaxaca and Tehauntepec.

In Mexico City affairs were not running smoothly. The city was in a ferment. Street fighting was of daily occurrence. The monks who had been drilling secretly in the Convent of San Francisco, now came boldly out into the open, armed and eager for the overthrow of the government. With difficulty they were repressed.

This by no means dismayed the Clericals. The Church was spending money with a .lavish hand. Mercenaries and professional adventurers flocked to the banner of Rome. Skilled fighters like Marquez and Miramon assumed the leadership of the forces of Absolutism.

President Comonfort scented danger ahead. He was a weakling.

Too late he sought to placate the priests. He declared against Juarez and his following and had the great Liberal leader arrested. For the second time poor Don Benito Juarez found himself helpless in a filthy cell.

Not for long. Quickly the brethren rallied. After desperate fighting they forced the flight of Comonfort, released Juarez and elected him First Constitutional President of Mexico.

One of his first official acts was the enforcement of Article XV amending the Mexican Constitution to the effect that there be freedom of all religious creeds. His next decided stand was upon the "suppression of the Order of Jesuits and the confiscation of their property."

Determined to oppose two measures which meant ruin to their cause, the Church Party made a supreme stand in Mexico City, led by the Papal Nuncio Clementi, who called a "Council of Notables" and proceeded to proclaim General Zuloaga President of Mexico.

President Juarez established his seat of government at the city of Guanajuato and received the allegiance of most of the states of the Republic. From there he was compelled to remove to the city of Guadalajara.

Through bribery the bodyguard of Juarez, made up of the Fifth Infantry, was led to declare for the Church. They seized their commandante, old General Nunez, arrested Juarez and his Cabinet and held them all as prisoners of war in the palace.

The citizens of the city, enraged at this treason, rallied the National Guard under Don Antonio Alvarez: Messengers were sent with "signs and summons" to General Santos Degollado, then Inspector General of the Mexican Rite, and one of the Republican Commanders in the field.

When the National Guard took up their stations in the public square commanding every approach to the palace, the treacherous officers who had sold themselves to the Church Party, Landa and Morrett, demanded that Juarez send an order to the militia to suspend their firing. His reply was characteristic of the man:

"You tell me my life is at stake, if I refuse. So be it. The life of an individual is of no moment, when the fate and interests of a whole people are in jeopardy."

His very boldness saved his life. The traitors capitulated on the condition of being allowed to withdraw from the city, with such of the troops as still held allegiance to the Clericals.

As they were marching away, there arrived from Salamanca the two Republican Generals, Degollado and Parrodi, the latter commander-in-chief of the Federal army.

From then on, Mexico's government was in the hands of a wanderer President. On his way to Colima he was again assailed by the treacherous Landa and the Church Mercenaries, his forces outnumbered, and only his own desperate courage held his little escort from capitulating. Parrodi was outmaneuvered at Guadalajara, and when he reached Colima, Juarez appointed his faithful brother Mason, Santos Degollado, Minister of War and Commandante of the Federal Army. There was no army, and few funds worth mentioning, yet Juarez did not despair. He had placed his faith on the loyalty of the Mexican people and subsequent events showed that it was well founded.

When matters seemed desperate at Manzanillo, where he had taken temporary headquarters, Juarez took passage on a steamer bound for Vera Cruz, which from its natural advantages seemed admirably adapted for the seat of government. With him went his Cabinet, Guzman, Ruiz, Prieto and Ocampo.

The superior resources of the Clericals gave them success in many pitched battles, during the next three years. Doggedly the Liberals refused to be beaten. As soon as one army was defeated, they rallied another.

Presently the tide turned. The armies of Juarez scored a few victories at Soma, Tepic, Silao and Oaxaca.

In alarm, the Church Party turned to Europe for aid. They had already secured recognition for themselves as the "de facto" government by Spain, France and England. It is pleasant to know that from the commencement of the Civil War, the United States had recognized the government of President Juarez.

Zuloaga had been succeeded by General Miramon in the leadership of the Church Party. He still held his seat of government at Mexico City. The resources of the old regime were constantly growing weaker. They knew that they could not long hold out against the feverish spread of Liberalism throughout Mexico.

Rome's agents at Paris and London prevailed upon those governments to offer mediation. Almost simultaneous with the offer of the French and British Ministers, Miramon menaced Vera Cruz with a large army, as though to convince Juarez that he had no alternative but to submit.

Don Benito Juarez knew the crafty foes against whom he was making his stand, however. He knew that Miramon, hard pressed for money, had borrowed immense sums from the Swiss banker, Jecker, on the promise that France would see to its collection with the interest due from Mexico. He knew too, that Miramon had violated the sanctity of the British Legation by forcibly taking therefrom $650,000 in cash, deposited by the Liberal Government with the British Minister, in payment of Mexico's debt to Great Britain. Much justice had he to expect from these two creditor nations. That they would sustain Miramon and the Church Party as against himself, Juarez doubted not for a moment. Therefore he rejected the offers at mediation. He could not do otherwise.

Miramon was not successful in taking Vera Cruz. His situation became so desperate that he evacuated Mexico City on Christmas eve of 1860.

Benito Juarez entered his lawful capital early in February 1861. It did not take him long to ascertain that Miramon and his Clerical supporters had emptied the Treasury. Even in the great City of Mexico, poor Juarez found himself the President of a Republic without any pecuniary resources to maintain governmental operations. As a first protective measure, President Juarez suspended all payments agreed upon in diplomatic conventions for the period of two years. Congress supported him.

Rome laughed. Her hour had come. Her puppet, the French Emperor, had been waiting for the rare opportunity to re-establish Catholicism as the State Religion of Mexico. Another puppet, the Catholic Archduke of Austria, Maximilian, was selected to re-establish the old regime in the New World.

Two other creditor nations, England and Spain, not fully understanding the real animus of the French, agreed to make a demonstration in force against the Mexican Government, with the object of procuring the nullification of the latest law of Juarez.

In due time, the armed representatives of the three creditor nations appeared at Vera Cruz, and were permitted to land their troops by Juarez. It was in the most unhealthy season of the year. For the unwelcome visitors to sojourn long in the hot lands meant decimation of their forces from yellow fever. Knowing this, Juarez graciously accorded them permission to remove into the healthier hilly country, pending progress of negotiations, upon official promise that they would withdraw in case the conference came to naught.

When no agreement could be reached, Spain and England held to their pact. France repudiated her plighted honor and held to the coigne of advantage secured through treachery.

Enter Maximilian, a son of the Church of Rome, supported by fifty thousand French troops under the veteran Marshal Bazaine.

The first formidable essay of the French arms met with a very disastrous defeat at Puebla on May 5th, 1862. One of the Liberal Generals who wrested the laurels of victory from the invaders, was the same Porfirio Diaz, now a General, who long ago at Oaxaca Benito Juarez had dissuaded from becoming a priest of the Church of Rome. Now a soldier and a Mason he was fighting the battle for Mexican Independence. He continued in the field for all the succeeding years of the French occupation.

In May 1863, the French had thrown such reinforcements into the field that longer tenure of Mexico City by the Republican Government, would have been suicidal.

Juarez reluctantly abandoned the city and established his new headquarters at San Luis de Potosi.

Maximilian, sustained by Marshall Bazaine and his French regulars, assisted by the Catholic Mexican Generals Mejia, Miramon and Marquez, this latter known as "The Tiger of Tacubaya," (because he had massacred fifty of Juarez' staff of officers in cold blood,) now ruled at Mexico City.

The extravagances of the new regime, the cruelties perpetuated upon the Liberals, made the next four years a saturnalia. Rome ruled Mexico through her weakling puppet, Emperor Maximilian, held upon a tottering throne by French bayonets, even as Pope Pius IX was maintained in the Vatican through the armies of the unscrupulous ruler of France.

From city to city went Juarez and his Cabinet, still issuing their decrees, at times hard pressed for men and money, yet ever confident that the day of Liberty would dawn again for Mexico.

A picturesque figure indeed the peripatetic President made, in his somber black suit, traveling in a modest diligencia from town to town, ever closely pursued by French hirelings and traitor Mexicans. From San Luis Potosi his capitols were many, Monterey, Santa Catalina, Chihuahua, where he remained until he was driven to the very border, making his headquarters at Paso del Norte in 1865.

Meanwhile affairs had not proceeded any too brightly for Maximilian. His administration was handicapped for money, and his European sponsors neglected to fill their pledges. He was unpopular with his Clerical Advisors because he refused to put into active practice all the preposterous punitive measures they deemed fit to re-establish Rome's ascendancy over the native born.

Retribution was near, however. Our own Civil War having been terminated, the United States had time and opportunity to thoroughly look into the Mexican question.

A diplomatic hint to France that the further retention of Marshall Bazaine and the French soldiers in the New World would be looked upon as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, and an open challenge to the United States, led to the gradual withdrawal of the one prop of the throne of Maximilian and Clericalism.

Light began to dawn upon Mexico.

From all sides the Liberal armies drew their lines tighter around the capital.

In vain Maximilian issued the infamous Black Decree, condemning to death all Liberal officers and soldiers who fell into the hands of the Imperial armies. In vain his Generals enforced it.

Driven at last to take refuge in Queretaro, Maximilian and his Generals, Mejia and Marquez, with the forlorn hope of a native following, and the Foreign Legion, made up of Austrians and Belgians, for a few months sustained a hopeless siege.

When at last the city capitulated, and Juarez had at his mercy the men who had made a nightmare of his life for the preceding five years, and cost poor Mexico her brave sons, her prosperity, her happiness, it might have seemed a just reprisal for Benito Juarez to have fallen back upon the Black Decree for which Maximilian had set a precedent.

Instead, the Constitutional President of Mexico accorded his fallen foes a trial by due process of law, allowed them the counsel of the ablest lawyers their Clerical adherents might hire, and left their fate to their judges.

Three monuments today mark the spot where were executed the sometime Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian, and his two Generals, Miramon and Mejia, on the Hill of the Bells just outside of Queretaro. Scant retribution indeed for the awful toll they had taken from Mexico.

Seated once more in the National Palace at Mexico City, Don Benito Juarez had ample time to work out the Laws of Reform to which he had dedicated his life. With the shrewd statesmanship he had exhibited ever since the inchoation of his career as a national politician, Juarez chose for his Cabinet men of the broadest and most utilitarian views, Don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, Minister of State, Don Jose Maria Iglesias, Minister of Home Affairs, Don Ignacio Mejia, Minister of war and marine, Don Ignacio Marescal, Minister of Justice, Don Matias Romero, Minister of the treasury and public credit.

Many of these were brother Masons. In 1867 Don Benito Juarez found time to serve as Inspector General of the Mexican National Rite.

Associated with him in Masonry were many of the brave Generals who had long sustained the cause of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity against the organized forces of Clericalism and Absolutism in Mexico.

Upon the soldiers' roll of honor, you will find to-day in Mexico City, the names of Generals Escobedo, Corona, Trevino, Regules, Porfirio Diaz and Degollado.

For Mexico and Masonry Don Benito Juarez accomplished more than any other native son, and the Nation wept at the passing in 1871 of the indomitable creator of the Laws of Reform, which dealt a death-blow to Clericalism and the Sons of Loyola.



Don Francisco Madero, Jr.

The rapid sequence of events in Mexico following the downfall of President Porfirio Diaz, and an overnight injection of new and strange personalities into the muddy maelstrom of politics across the Rio Grande, cannot but confuse one's memory of historic facts and personalities associated with the inchoation of the greatest of Mexico's many revolutions.

Only recently a correspondent writing from Mexico City, referred to Mexico's Masonic Martyr, as "a little epileptic Indian (Madero), former inmate of an insane asylum."

So gross an historical error, deserves correction in justice to the memory of one of Mexico's greatest utilitarians.

Several generations ago, a poor Portuguese gentleman came to the state of Coahuila. He was penniless. It was his fixed determination to rehabilitate his flagging fortunes. As an incentive to actual accomplishment, old Everisto Madero had the personal responsibility of providing for a wife and eighteen children.

Some family, this first generation of the Mexican Maderos.

Evaristo's initial undertaking was the establishment of wagon trains for commercial freighting between the larger cities of Coahuila and Texas towns along the Rio Grande. In those days before the development of railroads in Mexico, such an enterprise could not but be profitable. The first of the Maderos prospered greatly.

His next venture was in cotton. Soon the plantations and cotton mills of the family stretched from Parras to the Rio Grande.

Equally timely investments in rubber plantations, fruitful ranches, oil, the establishment of private banks, extensive mining operations, and stock raising, laid the foundation of one of the greatest private fortunes in Mexico.

In consequence, in the early eighties, a man who had come to Coahuila with nothing but his rifle, and good judgment, was honored by election to the governorship of his state.

One of his sons, Francisco Madero, undertook the personal direction of the old millionaire's many commercial interests. He met with equal success. He too had a large family, twelve children in all.

The Madero brothers of the third generation were all highly educated and trained for the great responsibilities to devolve upon them in the management of the vast family fortune, one which compared favorably with those of the Terrazas, Diaz, Romeros, and other great holdings of the southern Republic. Soon a great business corporation known as Ernesto Madero & Brothers, exerted commercial control not alone in Coahuila, but in many neighboring states.

Of the Madero brothers, none received a more careful training than Francisco Madero Jr., who after graduating from college in the United States, continued his studies in. Paris and abroad until the time came for him to return to Mexico and enjoy his personal fortune of over $30,000,000 as only one of his exceptional character, sound common sense, and liberal culture could.

Madero, happily married found time to delve deep into that gentle philosophy which has for its basic foundation Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, which regards the internal and not the external qualifications of a man, which imposes upon each of its disciples the stern injunction, "never to sit down contented while fellow creatures around us are in want when it is in our power to relieve them, without inconvenience to ourselves."

Fully realizing the pitiable condition of the Mexican masses, beholding the government practically owned by foreigners through the concessions granted the Pearson Syndicate of England, the commercial interests of Germany, and United States Standard Oil, seeing the prolific estates of the country in the hands of a few selfish and unprogressive families, Madero pondered deeply. He had but little confidence in the aged dictator Porfirio Diaz who, according to his own light, had ruled with an iron hand for longer time than any other President or Dictator. Presently Francisco Madero Jr., cast down his gauntlet. He issued a pronunciamiento of revolution. To the Mexican people and their freeing from peonage he dedicated his own private fortune of thirty million dollars.

Of how this gently reared, college-bred, man spent succeeding months in the desert, followed by a ragged, devoted army of the common people, of how he withstood the most amazing hardships and disappointments, prior to reaching the Mexican capitol and forcing the abdication of Diaz, of how for six months he refused to take supreme control of Mexico until a constitutional election by the people should establish his right to become the first gentleman of Mexico,—all this has become history.

Preston S. Krecker in his "Personal Side of Madero" thus describes him:

"My first meeting with the late President Madero took place in the Presidencia of the National Palace. Standing in the midst of a group of Cabinet officers I saw a little, swarthy man talking and gesticulating excitedly. He was not more than five feet, two inches in height. He had a rather broad forehead and his bright eyes were set well apart. His black, pointed beard was carefully trimmed. His cutaway coat was in marked contrast with the more formal frock coats of his dignified councilors.

"Ernesto Madero, Minister of Finance, presented me.

"'Ah, I am glad to know you,' exclaimed the little man in excellent English, smiling, 'Look,' he cried triumphantly, showing me a letter, 'all the New York papers are my friends. They want me to succeed.'

"Although I met the little man of Chapultepec quite frequently after that occasion I never saw him appear depressed or worried. Even when his situation looked the blackest, he never wavered. He was constitutionally optimistic and courageous. He had the happy gift of inspiring those around him with his own spirit. The supreme confidence of Madero was not that of a Dictator who relied on brute force of arms. It was the confidence of a man who had faith in himself and in the equity of his policies, and who felt that the great silent masses were supporting him. He was a new type of Latin-American in politics. He was not a political buccaneer. There was no yellow streak in him. He felt that he had a mission to perform,—the mission of lifting the masses of Mexico from poverty, ignorance and superstition in which they were submerged. He died a martyr to an idea, possibly for Mexico a chimera . . . government by the people. Government by constitutional methods as contrasted by government by a predatory oligarchy was Madero's political creed. He was the first man elected President by constitutional methods, the first to attempt to govern by the same methods. Madero hated bloodshed. Humanity with him was a cardinal virtue. It also was his weakness as ruler of a people who understand only the iron hand. He alone of Mexico's Executives would not resort to the old barbarous "ley de fuega" to get rid of his political enemies."

A high mason, Francisco Madero Jr., appreciated the Machiavellian activities of the Clerical party of Mexico. Right bravely he answered the signs and summons of the craft and accepted the gage of battle offered by the sworn enemies of Freemasonry. Madero was convinced that the Roman Catholic Church was wholly responsible for the dense ignorance and childish superstition pregnant among the Mexican masses. He knew from previous precedents that the light of Republicanism, could never shine upon poor Mexico while dominated to the slightest degree by those taking orders from the overseas Vatican.

The aged Mason, Porfirio Diaz, no longer ruled with the iron hand within the velvet glove. His failing health and physical infirmity had rendered him more easily susceptible to the suborned agents of Politico-Clericalism infesting the Mexican capital.

Madero realized forcibly that the old order must go, that Church and State must be forever separated if Mexico was to take her place among the enlightened nations of the world. Like Napoleon the First, as enthusiastic a Mason as himself, Madero believed that the priest has no place in politics.

In his early days at Coahuila young Madero had had a hand in the game of politics to his cost. He espoused the cause of a scholarly old gentleman of Cuatro Cienegas who had had the temerity to become a candidate for Governor of the State, Don Venustiano Carranza. Following a farcical election these two saw the votes of their adherents cast aside uncounted and the candidate of the Politico-Clerical Party inducted into office.

Then might be said to have commenced the revolution which has cost Mexico much in lives, and material welfare, and shown no sign of any abatement until the recent triumph of the Carranza arms.

Madero sacrificed family, fortune and personal comfort for the people and country he dearly loved. Had he been spared, Mexico today would have been fifty years ahead instead of one hundred years behind civilization.

The murder of Francisco Madero Jr., and his Vice President Pino Suarez took place in the National Palace on the last Saturday in February, following the brutal murder of his brother Gustavo Madero, with whom the perfidious Huerta had been dining tete a tete just a few moments before playing Judas and sending his guest to execution.

Few incidents in history have more pathos than the last hours of President Madero. Until the very last, he had that supreme confidence in the people, that unarmed and unattended, he daily rode through the street of his capital, a pathetic little figure on his great white horse.

He implicitly trusted his two Generals Huerta and Blanquet. He could not bring himself to believe the news that they had betrayed him.

Awaiting with his family in the railroad station, permission to go into the same exile he had graciously accorded his fallen rival Don Porfirio Diaz, he was torn away by Huerta's soldiers to be taken to that place of dark secrets, the National Palace, where with poor Pino Suarez, sometime in the hours preceding midnight, their two helpless bodies were riddled by the bullets of the men they had raised to power.

O tempora! O mores! Even that campaign-hardened conspirator, General Felix Diaz, could no longer countenance companionship with things like Huerta, Blanquet, and their coterie of old-time Mexicans but fled in disgust to the cleaner atmosphere and associations of our United States, leaving poor Mexico to the temporary ministrations of offal of humanity.



Don Venustiano Carranza

The Constitutional President of Mexico is of a higher type intellectually than many of those who aspired to the exalted position after the overthrow of Madero.

Don Venustiano Carranza offers an interesting study to the historical psychologist.

This educated old gentleman for many years has been a profound student of men and events. His political training was acquired in the trying school of practical experience. His is the judicial mind, calm, unexcitable, coldly intellectual. He presents few characteristics commonly associated with our established concepts of the Latin American temperament.

When the news was brought to Carranza, that American Marines had taken possession of Vera Cruz, during the stormy days of the Huerta regime, he was undoubtedly the least perturbed of any of the Mexicans grouped in his suite.

Carranza clearly recognized the fact that history was but repeating itself. He knew that Huerta and his Clerical advisers had again resorted to the Machiavellian trick first played upon the Mexican people by the Church Party in 1847, when they precipitated American Intervention: and again in the sixties, when they connived at the French Occupation rather than see Benito Juarez supreme, Master of Mexico City.

Don Venustiano Carranza is fifty-five years of age. In his native state of Coahuila, he has played a most conspicuous role. Of the people born, he is a product of the Public Schools. His professional training he received in Mexico City. He has always been a Liberal of the Liberals, a Patriot of Patriots, a Mexican of the Mexicans.

At the age of thirty-four, Carranza defied Diaz and his "Ring."

He it was who inaugurated a revolt against Governor Galan the puppet of the Dictator, carrying it to a successful termination.

After attaining high standing as a man of the law in Coahuila, Carranza turned politician. His first essay in this field was as state representative in the Legislature of Coahuila.

For some years he had been the close friend of Francisco I. Madero. After that young Idealist attained his great ambition, and was elected Constitutional President of Mexico, Governor Carranza dispatched from Coahuila, a battalion of expert riflemen to serve their State's most distinguished son, as a personal bodyguard. These gallant volunteers were the very first victims of the treacherous Huerta. While still commanding the Madero forces, Don Victoriano commanded the men of Coahuila to charge the Citadel. He knew full well that it was defended by the machine guns of General Felix Diaz, that should they comply with his orders, they would be ruthlessly shot down to a man.

It was by such ruthless tactics that Huerta precipitated a wholesale slaughter of the friends of Madero. Only so could he compass his own eventual elevation to power.

After the downfall of his friend, Carranza was the only one of the twenty-seven Governors of States in Mexico, who had the moral temerity to send his grito of defiance to the assassins of the Maderos.

On February 19th, 1913, Carranza sent his decree to the Congress of his State. It openly disavowed Huerta and his associates in crime. Its endorsement was prompt and unanimous. It was timed simultaneously with the arrival of the information that Madero and Suarez had been done to the death.

It became patent to Generals Huerta and Felix Diaz that they were not dealing with any ordinary revolutionist in Carranza. They were quick to make him overtures. They offered him the most alluring terms and concessions. Their envoy was authorized to "arrange matters on the spot."

Carlos de Fornaro, one of his biographers gives as his response:

"Messrs. Huerta y Felix Diaz:

"My only answer to the despicable proposals offered to me in your letter dated February 27th, is that I want to inform you that men like myself do not betray, do not sell themselves: that is your function, you, who have no other objects in life, than the shameful satisfaction of ignoble ambitions.

"Raise the black flag of your tyranny, and over the country the voice shouts, 'Treason and Death.'

"On my part, with the help of the Mexican people, I shall lift from the mud, into which you have thrown it, the flag of my country. Should I fall defending it, I shall have obtained for my small action in life, the greatest prize which we honest men can aspire to.

(Signed) "VENUSTIANO CARRANZA."

The ink was scarcely dry upon this document, than Carranza made public his Plan of Guadalupe, proclaiming himself First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army. He knew quite well the serious undertaking upon which his love for Mexico was leading him to embark. Just before leaving his State Capitol he remarked:

WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT THE THREE YEARS OF WAR OVER AGAIN.

Even so it has proved in the passing of time.

Today Carranza stands like his greater predecessor, Juarez, opposing the same formidable influences that were arrayed with illimitable resources against the Liberals of 1857—in plain English, the Clergy of the Roman Hierarchy, backed by innumerable privileged landowners, and the Foreign Interests, who foresee for themselves only blackest ruin, in a free and enlightened Mexico.

It is interesting to know that the father of Don Venustiano, fought as a Colonel in the Great Liberal Movement of '57, under Juarez.

Carranza took the field to meet defeat at Anhelo.

Undiscouraged he pressed on, rallied his forces, and with a long succession of defeats and victories, began at last the arduous march through the States of Durango, Sonora and Chihuahua, pursued closely by the minions of Huerta who had placed a price of $150,000 upon his head.

Eventually he occupied Hermosilla, Sonora and rallied to his arms three formidable armies. These operated under Generals Obregon, Villa and Gonzales. As personal advisers he had Zubaran, Capmany, Escudero, Villareal and Angeles, all ardent Liberals.

Of the successive Constitutionalist victories along the border, culminating in the capture of Juarez, of the ultimate investment of Chihuahua, Torreon, Saltillo, Monterey, Tampico, Tepotzotlan,—of the complete reorganization of the State Governments—the final occupation of Mexico City—the crowning treachery of Francisco Villa, culminating in his frenzied raid upon Columbus, New Mexico, so precipitating American intervention,—contemporary history has told.

By the recent invasion of Mexico by General Pershing, Carranza was put to the supreme test. He was not found wanting. His attitude offers much hope for the future of Mexico under his regime.

A little later he proved himself too shrewd a diplomat to take seriously, the fatuous proposition from Herr Zimmerman of Berlin: he was not to be bribed by the luring offer of Wilhelmstrasse that for his treacherous alignment against his benefactors he might have in exchange such prizes as Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, three precious stars in the glorious firmament of the United States.

Unfortunately for Wilhelmstrasse, Carranza knows his American history, appreciates the illimitable resources of his northern neighbor, knows full well that alliance with Germany spells inevitable Ruin for Mexico.

It does seem unfortunate that President Wilson was compelled to dispatch an expeditionary force to Colonia Dublan. Undoubtedly the Administration knew much not made known to the public. Perhaps some inkling of the German intrigues was already in evidence at Washington, whereby our demonstration in force south of the Rio Grande became a coup d'etat. Quien sabe?

In all his replies to President Wilson's notes, Carranza has been studiously polite and free from any wish to play his own galleries, a common failing with the average Mexican. Nor must his attitude be attributed to fear of the Colossus of the North. The de facto Government, has at hand a force of trained veterans, officered by experienced Generals, a combination capable of offering us even greater resistance than in '47.

Carranza's diplomacy is undoubtedly influenced by a fixed wish of giving no cause for American Intervention. Undoubtedly he has long ago visualized the hand of the Roman Hierarchy trying to force our Administration to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the Italian monkey. This for Mexico could only mean utter annihilation, and a resumption of intolerable inquisitorial rule, to forfend which Carranza and his Generals, Obregon, Gonzales, Trevino and Angeles have been fighting many, many months.



Masonic Light Upon Mexico

(Through the courtesy of the Editor of The Builder I have been privileged to peruse advance sheets of "Mexican Masonry, Another Side," written for the October issue of the magazine. I am sorely tempted to plain speaking. Realizing fully our Masonic Doctrine of Tolerance, I shall stress the fact that any allusions herein made apply strictly to Catholicism in Mexico, and I shall support my arraignment by references easily obtainable to those seeking More Masonic Light Upon Mexico.)

In 1494 Pope Alexander VI divided the undiscovered regions of the earth by an imaginary line of longitude running through the Atlantic Ocean from pole to pole, three hundred and seventy miles west of the Azores. He gave the Portuguese unlimited sway over all the countries that they might discover to the east of that line, and pledged himself to confirm to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, the right to every isle, continent and sea where they should plant the flag on the western hemisphere.—(Mexico and the United States, by G. D. Abbot. Putnam.)

The Catholic Conquistador Hernan Cortez and his little band of mail-clad men brought only the sword and the cross to the New World. They took freely of the Emperor Montezuma's gold, enjoyed his hospitality, and in return began "a holy war" ruthlessly destroying the monuments, history, literature and records of a splendid Aztec civilization quite equal to that of the effete Spain from which they had come.

A Jesuit historian, Abbe F. S. Clavigero, in his History of Mexico, says: "The Spaniards in one year of Merciless massacre sacrificed more human victims to avarice and ambition, than the Indians during the existence of their empire devoted in chaste worship to their native gods."

A more recent authority, L. Gutierrez de Lara, in his The Mexican People: Their Struggle For Freedom, says:

"In Mexico on the other band, the invading Spaniards found not barbarism, but a feudal civilization, private ownership of land in place of communal ownership, and serfdom in place of nomadic liberty. With fire and sword they laid waste a civilization in many respects superior to their own: and the fighting elements among the natives, once subjugated or exterminated, the serfs fell perforce into the most abject servitude of their new masters. . . . Spain brought to Mexico an arrested civilization and a fanatic Romanism embittered and perverted by the fierce conflict with Islam. The Holy Inquisition set its bloody fangs in the heart of the people: persecution, fire and torment quenched all liberty of conscience and the soul of Mexico lay degraded and shackled as even her body. The ignorant priests went so far in their hatred of all enlightenment, that emanated from any other source than the Vatican, that they burned to ashes the invaluable library in the Imperial Palace of the Aztecs, destroying at a blow the records of the culture beyond their comprehension."

The Pope's proclamation in 1494 set the precedent for the later policy of the Vatican to "Catholicize" the world, was the forerunner of the latter day slogan of the Cardinals, "We shall make America Catholic." Witness the Council of Trent convened by Pope Paul II in 1545 legislating "a body of canons that were to subject all mankind for all ages to the will of one man in the papal chair."

The Conquest successful, Spanish civilization fastened a firm hold upon Mexico. To quote from Wilson's Mexico:—"Many of these wretched people were formally reduced to the condition of absolute slavery, and some were even branded as such with the owner's initial by a red-hot iron, women as well as men, while the middle class, the real backbone of the nation, perished from the land."

Now quoting from my own article, "Mexican Masonry," published in "Light" of June 15, 1916:

"At the inchoation of the nineteenth century Mexico seemed hopelessly enslaved under the harsh rule of Roman ecclesiasticism expressing itself through the puppet personalities of Spanish Viceroys, representatives of a king and cortes utterly subservient to the Pope of Rome. For three hundred years this sad condition had persisted in Mexico. In consequence the clergy were stupendously rich, and seemingly fortified in an impregnable position. What was left of the natural resources of the country after supplying the priests and mother country went to the enrichment of the Viceroy and the Spanish satellites making up his court. For the native-born was abject misery, slavery, dire poverty. Through the country the dread Inquisition flourished and held sway. Its wretched victims filled to overflowing the great military prisons like San Juan de Uloa with their disease-disseminating, vermin-infested, dark dungeons, veritable hellholes. So unutterably cruel were the penalties attached by the Inquisitors to failure to pay the clerical tithes, or any utterance against the existing order, a breath of what they might consider heresy, that wonder is the SYSTEM held sway as long as it did. However much the native-born contributed to their taskmasters, it was never enough. Overseas, decadent Spain was in dire straits: Upon the Viceroys it devolved to pay the upkeep of the Court of the Bourbons, to meet the endless demands of the CLERICAL OCTOPUS fattening upon both countries."

A Roman Catholic Bishop, Las Casas, protested strenuously against the Spanish cruelties crossing the Atlantic twice to show convincing evidence that a continuation of the policy inaugurated by Cortez could only result in utter extermination of the Aztecs as a race and nation.

Let us now take more testimony from a Catholic Authority. Let a French Abbe, the Catholic Chaplain of Napoleon's Expeditionary Force to Mexico, speak to you from his book, "Mexico as It Is," published in Paris in 1867. Says this very reverend father, Abbe Emanuel Domenech:

"Mexican faith is dead. The abuse of external ceremonies, the facility of reconciling the devil with God, the absence of internal exercises of piety, have killed the faith in Mexico. It is in vain to seek good fruit from the worthless tree which makes Mexican religion a singular assemblage of heartless devotion, shameful ignorance, insane superstition, and hideous vice. . . . The idolatrous character of Mexican Catholicism is a fact well known to all travelers. The worship of saints and Madonnas so absorbs the devotion of the people, that little time is left to think about God. . . . If the Pope should abolish all simoniacal livings, and excommunicate all the priests having concubines, the Mexican clergy would be reduced to a very small affair. Nevertheless there are some worthy men among them, whose conduct as priests is irreproachable. In all Spanish America there are found among the priests the veriest wretches, knaves deserving the gallows, men who make infamous traffic of religion. Mexico has her share of these wretches. Whose fault is it? In the past it has been Spanish manners . . . climate. In the present it is the episcopate. . . . Priests who are recognized as fathers of families are by no means rare. The people consider it natural enough and do not rail at the conduct of their pastors excepting when they are not contented with one wife. They make merchandise of the sacraments, and make money by every religious ceremony, without thinking that they are guilty of simony, and expose themselves to the censure of the Church. If Roman justice had its course in Mexico, one-half of the Mexican Clergy would be excommunicated. . . . The well-instructed priests, disinterested and animated by a truly apostolic spirit, holy souls whose religious sentiments are of good character constitute an insignificant minority. . . . One of the greatest evils in Mexico is the exorbitant fee for the marriage ceremony. The priests compel the poor to live without marriage, by demanding for the nuptial benediction a sum that a Mexican mechanic, with his slender wage, can scarcely accumulate in fifty years of the strictest economy. This is no exaggeration. The consequences of the excessive demands for perquisites in general are as lamentable to public morality as to religion."

It was just such esoteric knowledge of the evils of his brother clergymen that led. Miguel de Hidalgo, a Mexican priest, to foreswear his vows and seek MASONIC LIGHT in Mexico City in 1806. From the time he sounded the slogan of revolution against the, puppet Viceroys of Rome and Spain, to the ultimate triumph of Juarez, the enforcement of the Laws of Reform, through the successive revolutions of Madero, and Carranza, the fight has been for the one great principle of compelling the separation of Church and State.

If, as it is claimed, "The Church in Mexico was stripped and had the melancholy satisfaction of witnessing the chagrin and rage of the strippers because the booty was so much below their calculations," WHY NOT?

Nearly naked and poverty-stricken came the priests to Mexico to kill and plunder the poor natives and amass fabulous wealth during the three hundred years of their undisputed sway. When the worn turns at last, to drive them from their piratical strongholds, to give back to the State that which the Church took by right of might and the Inquisition, is it other than the enforcement of a good law "Naked ye came and naked ye go"?

Again a writer says:—"Latin American Masonry is atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico it has become anarchistic and murderous."

I do not agree with this assertion at all. Only in one of the twenty-seven states of Mexico was the Great Light absent from the altar and this I believe in Monterey, during the mastership of General Reyes. In regard to a statement concerning Bro. Castellot, I again quote from the "New Age," the official organ of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, of January, 1915:—"Scottish Rite Masonry in Mexico is under the leadership of Dr. Joseph G. Castellot, formerly President of the Mexican Senate."

Permit me now briefly to epitomize from my article, Mexican Masonry, already referred to:

"Our first authentic Masonic record in Mexico may be traced back to a little house in Mexico City, Calle de las Ratas No. 4, where as early as 1806 the Masonic Lodge then known as "Arquitectura Moral" held regular meetings. . . . Although the SYSTEM crushed the Moral Architect Lodge not at all did they preclude the spread of Masonry. In 1813 was established the first Grand Lodge under the Scottish Rite, having for its Grand Master Don Felipe Martinez Aragon. A number of subordinate lodges sprang up through the country. In 1816-1817 there were working under charter from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana these lodges, "Friends United No. 8," and "Reunion By Virtue No. 9." In 1824 the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania gave charter to a lodge working as "True Brothers of Papaloapam No. 191." . . . Factional fights and internecine strife were but natural in an order embracing men of the fervent, effervescent disposition of the native Mexicans. The time seemed ripe for a schism. It so happened that the American Minister to Mexico, Mr. M. Poinsett, was one of the high authorities of York Rite Masonry in his native land. For many symbolic lodges who petitioned him, Bro. Poinsett secured a Charter under the York Rite of the United States through the Grand Lodge of New York. In 1828 there were as many as 102 York Rite lodges in Mexico working under this Charter. Out of the jealousies of the two active Rites, Scottish and York, emerged still a third, the Mexican National Rite, composed of York and Scottish Rite Masons. . . . Although the York and Scottish Rites had taken a considerable part in the shaping of the Republic's welfare, it remained for the youngest of Masonry's Mexican daughters to openly formulate a definite platform. In 1833 the Mexican National Rite set forth its policy as follows:

"'Absolute Freedom of Thought, Freedom of the Press, Abolishment of the Fueros (Privileges) of the Clergy and of the Army, Suppression of Monastic Institutions, Destruction of Monopolies, Protection of Arts and Industries, Dissemination of Libraries and Schools, the Abolishment of Capital Punishment, and Colonial Expansion.'"

All of these high principles and others were embodied in the Laws of Reform enacted and put into the Mexican Constitution by the greatest of the Masons of the Mexican National Rite, Brother Benito Juarez. They are the same principles for which First Chief Carranza is fighting today.

Some authorities assert:—"The Laws of Reform were not aimed at securing freedom of worship, but at the spoliation of the Catholic Church."

Even were the statement just, and I cannot for one moment admit that it is, may we not answer that when the Mexican State says to the Roman Catholic Church, "Take that thine is, and go thy way," is it the fault of the State that "Naked they came and Naked they go"? On the contrary, "We are satisfied: that is a GOOD LAW."

Naturally the Laws of Juarez did not at all appeal to the Vatican as you may see from reading a summary of their intent. They were:

  1. Laws establishing liberty for all opinion, liberty of the press, and liberty of faith and worship.
  2. Laws granting to the members of all denominations the right of establishing schools and colleges.
  3. Laws permitting the intermarriage on terms of religious equality of Catholics and Protestants.
  4. Laws permitting civil marriage.
  5. Laws permitting the burial of Protestants in Romish lands where Protestants have no cemetery of their own in which to bury.
  6. Laws establishing public schools for secular education that shall be free from the control of the Romish priesthood.

Said the Pope (Pius IX) in condemning them, "They are contrary to the doctrines, rights and authority of the Catholic religion. Let it be understood that the Roman Catholic Church declares such laws as these, wherever they may be enacted, to be null and void." (See Christian World, Vol. XIX, pp. 312-314.)

Now to consider that portion of the Laws of Reform appertaining directly to the Roman Catholic Church. William Butler, D. D., summarizes them in his Mexico in Transition, published by Hunt & Eaton, New York, 1893:

"The complete separation of Church and State.

"Congress cannot pass laws establishing or prohibiting any religion.

"The free exercise of religious services. The State will not give any official recognition to any religious festivals save the Sabbath as a day of rest.

"Religious services are to be held only within the place of worship.

"Clerical vestments are forbidden in the streets. "Religious processions are forbidden.

"The use of church-bells is restricted to calling the people to religious work.

"Pulpit discourses advising disobedience to the law, or injury to anyone are strictly forbidden. Worship in churches shall be public only.

"Gifts of real estate to religious institutions are unlawful, with the sole exception of edifices designed exclusively to the purpose of the institution.

"The State does not recognize monastic orders nor permit their establishment.

"The association of the Sisters of Charity is suppressed in the Republic, and the Jesuits are expelled and may not return.

"Matrimony is a civil contract and to be duly registered. The religious service may be added.

"Cemeteries are under civil inspection and open for the burial of all classes and creeds.

"No one can sign away their liberty by contract or religious vow.

"Education in the public schools is free and compulsory."

I am sure when one carefully considers these wise enactments he will admit "The Laws of Reform are Good Laws, Just Laws."

Three years the Mexicans under Juarez fought for the Laws of Reform. Says De Lara, in his The Mexican People:

"But the fight was destined to be bitter and prolonged, for against the limited resources of the Constitutionalists were pitted the millions of the Church and against the calm statements of the constitution were pitted the inflammatory, seditious harangues of every priest in the country. . . . The Church indeed, leaning strongly upon her fundamental policy of psychological debauchery, exploited every device known to the science of class rule, in order to counterbalance the simple, mighty appeal to the people of the great Constitution of 1857. Her priests throughout the land proclaimed "a holy war" characterizing the struggle as one against the enemies of God. The soldiers marched to battle bedizened with scapularies and crosses, bearing aloft flags and banners inscribed with the sacred images and symbols of religion. Those who fell were extolled as martyrs in the holy cause—the peers of the first Christian martyrs under the. Roman Empire"

None the less right triumphed. The Clerical forces were utterly routed. Before President Juarez had full time to perfect the magnificent reforms he had in mind, the Clerical Conspirators prevailed upon France, Spain and England to press their claims for debt. As Napoleon the Little had foreseen Spain and England withdrew in disgust when they fully understood the full conditions of affairs in poor Mexico. Only the French remained to establish by force of arms the Empire of the Pope's puppet, Maximilian. I make this statement advisedly, and quote from the letter of Pope Pius IX to his Austrian fugleman as given in Mexico a traves de los siglos, Vol. V, pp. 671, sic:—

Your Majesty is fully aware that in order to remedy the wrongs committed against the Church by the recent revolution, and to restore as soon as possible her happiness and prosperity, it is absolutely necessary that the Catholic religion, to the exclusion of any other cult, continue to be the glory and support of the Mexican Nation: that the Bishops have complete liberty in the exercise of their pastoral ministry: that the religious orders be reorganized and reestablished, according to the instructions and powers that We have given: that the estates of the Church and her privileges be maintained and protected: that none have authorization for the teaching or publication of false or subversive documents: that education public or private be supervised and led by the ecclesiastical authorities: and finally that the chains be broken that until now have held the Church under the sovereignty and despotism of civil government."

Of how well Maximilian obeyed his Papal Master you may read in history. In 1866 Napoleon III ordered the withdrawal of the French Army of 50,000 men under Marshal Bazaine, leaving the Pope's puppet to pay the penalty with his life for his numerous Black Decrees and an unblushing effrontery in trying to "Catholicize" the Republic of Mexico.

A careful examination of the records will show that before the enactment of the Laws of Reform the Roman Catholic Church actually owned $200,000,000 of property from which and other sources the Church derived an annual income of not less than $20,000,000. How did they get it? You will remember that the priests who came over with Cortez possessed only a scanty wardrobe and their crosses backed by the mail-clad men and the Holy Inquisition. "Naked they came and naked they go." It is a just law.

I have shown that Mexican Masonry had no clandestine origin.

Now relative to the claim that the late revolution was an I. W. W. and Socialists' Movement. Again I emphatically differ.

Matters were running along nicely enough in Mexico as long as President Diaz held true to his Masonic Vows, and kept in force the Laws of Reform. When having married a second time, he succumbed to the relatives of his young wife Senora Carmelita Diaz—all Catholics,—when he lifted the barriers and allowed the Catholic Clergy some of their old Fueros or Privileges, Trouble Brewed in Mexico as it always will there and everywhere when the black-robed members of the Third Sex are allowed to play Politics.

Says De Lara, in The Mexican People:

"Never for a moment since Diaz came into power in 1876) ?> had the spirit of revolt ceased to fire the hearts of the people. Its manifestation had been repressed but the spirit lived on and grew stronger with the passing days. . . . Mexico under Diaz was no place for revolutionists. . . . A movement such as this which had for its avowed object the enforcement of the Constitution of 1857 in general, and the restoration of the agrarian democracy in particular called for prompt suppression at the hands of Diaz and the Scientificos. Such a suppression was not an altogether easy matter. Up to the year 1910 literally millions of dollars were expended by the Mexican government to stamp out the revolutionary organization. At the same time the Scientists played into the hands of the Roman Church with the result that Mexico was fined more than a million dollars in the matter of the restitution of the long cancelled Pious funds formerly paid by Mexico to the Church in California for the upkeep of the missions to the Indians."

Now let us listen to William R. Tourbillon, speaking on "The Curse of Mexico" in The New Age of September, 1913:

"The Catholics in Mexico as in all parts of the world diligently seek and acquire special influence over the boys and girls, and over the sisters, wives and mothers of men. They especially direct their attention to the sisters, wives and mothers of men who are least religious so that they are able to dominate even where the head of the house is not a Catholic. . . . The Catholic Party knowing that General Diaz could not abolish the Laws of Reform as Chief of the Liberal Party, whose program was and is bound up with these very laws, worked with all the influence in their power to secure the aid and influence of the women in the families of Porfirio Diaz and his Cabinet. During the life of the first wife of President Diaz this influence was very small, and Diaz stood firm in his convictions. His second wife, Mrs. Carmelita Romero Rubio de Diaz, a most devout Catholic, allowed herself to fall under the influence of the Church, which is ever ready to gain a foothold in some way or other, and through her dominated Diaz and the Government. Mrs. Diaz tried in every way possible to influence her husband. The Catholic Church through this influence gained many advantages, and even General Diaz was rapidly becoming a Mocho.

"Several years before the late Madero revolution materialized, and even during the time the late assassinated President, Francisco I. Madero was going through the country lecturing about the great principles of the Liberal Party, a great many Liberals, feeling the necessity that Mexico had for the preservation and enforcement of the Laws of Reform, and knowing that the Catholic Party was attaining greater and greater influence, hoped and wished secretly for the success of Don Francisco I. Madero. President Diaz had been so long in power and had become so old that he did not realize the truth and strength of the movement that a few Liberals helped to blow into a great flame and secure his downfall. These Liberals knew that the great Catholic Party was regaining control and they were determined to stop it. After the loss of thousands of lives the Madero revolution triumphed."

I only wish space permitted the inclusion of the whole of this very convincing and authoritative narrative. As it is I shall abstract only enough to show the sordid conspiracy which caused the present dire state of affairs in Mexico directly due to "The Catholic curse":

"The Catholics knew that with the late President Madero in power they could not dominate. Above everything they demand their former power. They are working with determined will to have the Laws of Reform revoked, and to that end nothing can stand in their path. . . . The principles of the Madero Government were based on Masonic ideas. . . . The principles of Masonry were deeply instilled in the heart of Madero and his Government. Based on these principles Madero spared the life of Felix Diaz who had forfeited it at Vera Cruz, where he was defeated and taken prisoner by General Baltran after his first revolt. . . . President Madero with the help of Vice-President Pino Suarez, (both Masons of the highest degrees,) believed, and what is more to the purpose put into practice even in the machinery of the Government, practical Masonry. His was a Masonry that meant enlightenment for the people—a Masonry that did not speak but acted, having always in view the advancement and education of the masses, with absolute faith in his brethren to carry out all the principles contained in the Masonic Code. The Catholics in Mexico, on the other hand, have been, were, and are today opposed to uplifting the masses. Their interests have been and are today joined with the 10,000 who own practically the whole of Republic of Mexico against the 12,000,000 that are the tools of the few. The 12,000,000 have always been kept by them where we now find them, for the priests know that if through Masonic principles the populace receive light, the Catholic Church would soon lose its hold over them."

I ask you to read the following arraignment by William R. Tourbillon and then tell me if you think that "the Mexican Revolution is an I. W. W. Revolution":

"Madero represented honor and truth. His Government despised treachery and cunning and unfortunately for him he had faith in all men. The Catholic Party stands guilty today of a base combination and they are morally guilty of the assassination of President Madero and Vice President Suarez. They lent their moral aid to its accomplishment. They are responsible for the present revolution in Mexico, because of their intrigues with Huerta and Diaz.

"With Madero's Government, Masonry stood for everything that is absolutely true, fair, honest and above-board, and the Catholic Party forsook all this, thinking they could gain more power."

"Out of a clear sky the revolt in Mexico City started. The Catholic Party began its intrigue through General Mondragon, who was afterwards made Minister of War. Mondragon through his friendship with the Colonel of the Government Boys' School "Aspirantes" induced the Colonel and the boys to join him. They united with another regiment, went to the military prison, freed General Reyes . . . and released General Felix Diaz. The band separated into two parts, Reyes going to the National Palace and in the fight that ensued lost his life. Felix Diaz and Mondragon went to the arsenal which surrendered after a sham fight, and they took possession. All this had been prepared.

"Huerta came to the President and Vice President and reiterated his loyalty. He was Commander-in-chief. All the troops in Mexico were put under his command. . . . The army under Huerta, President Madero's trusted friend, shot at everything but the enemy. He was a part of the plot. The Roman Catholic Party had joined hands with him.

"The conspiracy was carried out in every particular. . . . The farce had to be well played. Failure for the Roman Catholic Church, Huerta and Diaz was impossible. Diaz knew that the troops under Huerta would not shoot at him or his troops. All had been arranged beforehand by the Catholic Party.

"After the tenth day, Huerta personally invited the President's brother Don Gustavo Madero to dinner. . . . Don Gustavo was seized and bound. He was sent to the arsenal, the enemy stronghold, where without any trial he was shot to death.

"While Huerta did this, Huerta's aid, General Blanquet two blocks away from the National Palace, with a group of soldiers made prisoners of President Madero and Vice President Pino Suarez in the palace. Huerta the trusted friend and General of Madero and Suarez became President.

"Huerta held them prisoners in the palace for two days before they were killed. . . . After the second day and at eleven o'clock at night Huerta ordered that Madero and Pino Suarez should be silently taken from the palace in a closed automobile and sent to the penitentiary. When they arrived there, they were taken out to the wall at one side of this prison and met by a captain and twelve soldiers. Vice President Suarez was first shot. He had three bullets through his head and the brain in the back part of it was all destroyed. The twelve men were ordered to shoot Madero, but, recognizing the President, refused to do so. . . .

"The Captain then struck Madero over his left eye with his pistol, knocking him senseless to the earth, and then the coward shot him from behind, the bullet going through his brain and coming out between his eyes. When President Madero was seen last, just before lowering his body into his grave in the French cemetery, his left eye was swollen; it was red and blue from the blow.

"Huerta, in order that no witnesses to this bloody murder might survive, had the twelve soldiers shot, and the Captain promoted to be a Colonel. During all that night Huerta did not leave the National Palace.

"This is the man, Huerta, to whom the Catholic Party of Mexico 'representing the Mochos,' gave their assistance, friendship and money. Will they give him and his deeds the holy blessing of the Pope?"

Remember the facts stated are given on absolute authority. For more Masonic Light on this period I refer to Hon. Luis Manuel Rojas, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, Valley of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, during that period, a true Mason who exhausted all the Masonic machinery at his disposal at that time to save the lives of his brothers Madero and Suarez.

President Taft to whom he repeatedly appealed by telegraph, had already imparted instructions to the American Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, and relying upon his timely intervention referred Grand Master Rojas to him. Now I quote once more from Bro. Tourbillon:

"The Grand Master after the conference with Mr. Wilson, knew that the Ambassador was carrying out a policy that up to today has had no satisfactory explanation. Henry Lane Wilson, representing in Mexico the American Government, which since the days of its independence has despised treachery and cunning, and has never been a party to anything that is not absolutely true and above-board, allowed himself to become the tool of the Roman Catholic Party of the Mochos, of Huerta, Diaz, Leon de la Barra, and Mondragon. Ambassador Wilson therefore could have requested, could have demanded, could have secured the lives of Madero and Suarez, while he walked arm in arm with Huerta and the combination. . . . Ambassador Wilson would not listen to the plea of Mrs. Madero and Mrs. Suarez to save the lives of their husbands; he was implored and humbly besought by them to interfere, as they knew it was in his power to do. . . . Mr. Wilson knew that Madero and Pino Suarez were to be taken prisoners, for the representatives of the treacherous plot met in the American Embassy, but he did not advise either Madero or Pino Suarez to escape.

"One word from Ambassador Wilson would have been sufficient to have delivered them to one of the battleships which were then in Vera Cruz harbor. . . . Nor was Mr. Wilson moved by the Grand Master's appeal in the name of all Master Masons in Mexico, made to him as a Master Mason, to save the lives of brother Master Masons."

I have presented the facts supported I think by sufficient authority. I lived some years in Mexico, part of the time in Mexico City where I had the privilege of daily meeting General Agramonte, Judge Andres Horcasitas, J. Mostella Clark and other Masons active in those days: also much time in interior Chihuahua where I saw daily for myself the oppressiveness of conditions for the masses. In our mines and smelter we employed many hundred men with whom I came in daily contact.

Much more I might say did space permit but as Bro. Denman Wagstaff says sapiently:

"Masonry does not fight Catholicism, . . . she tolerates it because of her great Charity for all things. The Roman Church is continually attacking Masonry. Very unchristian-like I should say. We are not intending to attack or storm the Vatican. There is nothing therein contained that we need or want or prize. We not only do not covet our neighbor's goods, but being plain truth-tellers, we are in addition constrained to confess that "there is nothing there which would be of use to an American."



The Mormons in Mexico

Among settlers of foreign birth in Mexico who have suffered severely from the depredations of the banditti, variously styled "Villistas," "Colorados" and other free lances of the northern states, none have fared worse than the Mormons.

Infinitely pathetic is the story of this people without a country, living in isolation for the sake of a principle which they have ever believed to be a correct one.

Familiar to all is the story of tribulation and persecution clustering around the early days of Mormonism in America. The finding of the "Golden Plates" containing the Book of Mormon, by a fifteen-year-old farmer boy, Joseph Smith, "chosen of the Lord," on the night of September 21, 1823, a slow but gradual spread of his cult, the foundation of the first Mormon settlement at Kirkland, Ohio, the open profligacy and dishonesty of the "Prophet" culminating in his flight westward accompanied by a small army of "the Faithful" and the erection of Nauvoo as an independent nation. The murder of Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram by an indignant populace, the First Crusade of the Latter Day Saints over the arid desert to Salt Lake, and their final settlement in Utah, are all part of American history.

The Second Crusade of the Latter Day Saints is however an unwritten chapter.

From the earliest propagation of the doctrines of polygamy by the "Prophet," the seeds of opposition on the part of civilized people were sown. No effectual step was taken to blot out the nefarious custom until the passage of the Edmunds Law in 1882.

The enforcement of this led to the imprisonment of 12,000 of the polygamists. At that time in 1880 the Mormons numbered about 150,000 and were quite helpless to resist the spread of righteous reaction against their unconventional marriage customs. It was no longer possible, as in the old days of the Nauvoo National Guard, and the Danites, to offer any substantial resistance to the lawful authority of the United States.

Therefore, the Mormons yielded to the Edmunds Law perforce.

In 1884 the head of the Mormon sect in Utah was President John Taylor. He was a man of somewhat broader views than his predecessors. He was also a past master in diplomacy. Seeing the near doom of polygamy in the United States, Taylor, after due consultation with the Patriarch and Apostles of Utah, formulated the Second Crusade of the Latter Day Saints, which was to lead those of the Faithful, polygamously inclined to a haven of rest.

Knowing the venality of Mexican officials, the projectors of the movement turned to that country as a place where, without fear of any molestation, they might establish harems to their hearts content.

The exodus into Mexico began in 1885 with an advance guard of four families, all of them being "plural families." Over the alkaline desert they toiled, finding an oasis at last near Ascension in the state of Chihuahua. Two thousand Mormons followed in their wake.

Until the outbreak of the present revolution, the Mormon settlements at Juarez, Diaz, Pacheco, Du Blan, and Oaxaca, were as ideal and prosperous communities as one might find anywhere in the tropics.

Although an ostracized people, the polygamous Mormons inherited the innate cuteness of their American progenitors. In their location of their new colonies, they chose the most fertile and best irrigated lands of northern Mexico. In consequence, they soon attained a monopoly on agriculture in their several districts. The poor peon Mexican of the neighborhood was compelled to purchase Mormon watermelons at Mormon prices else solace himself with desert cactus.

It has been known from the outset that polygamy was openly countenanced in Mexico. Should a man be blessed with several wives, he had no hesitancy in maintaining individual establishments for each. It had become down there "costumbre del pais." A quite convenient arrangement. Should Brother Smith happen to have a martial unpleasantness with Sister Mary Smith, (wife number one), he could find consolation at the adjoining residence of Sister Jennie Smith, (wife number two), and so on, until he had eventually made the rounds of the ladies comprising his menage.

There is no place for the suffragette under the ruling spirit and control of this religion begotten of sexuality. Their belief in the hereafter is deification of the dead in proportion to the number of times the deceased may have been joined in wedlock. A woman can be "sealed" or married to a dead personality, should the powers that be wish to sanctify some deceased brother by giving him an additional wife.

There is an element of Terrorism in the system.

In order to attain to the enjoyment of the hereafter, a woman's life must be such, as to warrant her being "called" by her husband to join the assembly of "the glorified."

It is a Polytheism, the leading spirit in the after world being Adam, the next in rank Jesus Christ, Mahomet, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and so on ad infinitem through numberless Saints more difficult of enumeration than the Josses of a Chinese temple.

Few people realize the present strength of the Mormon Church.

They have ceased to be a mere sect or community. They are a power.

Mormon missionaries are scattered over Europe and the vast extension of an immense territory, gathering recruits from the lower walks of life, from the peasantry and canaille of the world, for on such soil their teachings thrive.

Today the Mormons number nearly half a million. Among the male members of the sect, are many of scholarly attainments and bright intellect,

In Mexico, as a class the men are plain sturdy farmers and ranchers, honest, practical and long-suffering, firmly believing in the principles and precepts of their church, quite willing to undergo any sacrifice or privation for a cause to which they are devoted body and soul.

Mormon women have ever been a simple and trusting class with an inherent resignation to their lot. Many of them in Mexico fade early, and have the haggard, nervous, careworn look that marks a secret sorrow.

And why not? The status of the women doomed to live in polygamy, is at best a humiliating one. It is contrary to the very best traditions of Anglo-Saxon peoples to degrade their women to the level of concubines. Even the later generation of Mexican Mormon women, born and reared to regard plural union as their only path to salvation, have within their inmost hearts a something which must cry out against the shameful practice, and which in time must serve to bring their benighted souls back to an appreciation of the unwritten laws of civilization and twentieth century progress.

The question of polygamy has been solved in the United States.

Its future in Mexico is still hidden behind the veil of the great unknown.

Porfirio Diaz tolerated Mormonism because of the considerable revenues added to the Mexican Treasury by these intelligent and hard-working agriculturists. It is probable that his successor, Madero, had he been spared would have exhibited a like tolerance for the Mormons, insisting only that they abolish polygamy, as inconsistent with the utilitarian ideals of Constitutional Government. Under Huerta, cupidity would have been his inspiration to leave this people without a country unmolested.

As to the policy of Don Venustiano Carranza, the future alone will reveal. The new Constitution now under drafting at Queretaro, not only embodies the best features of the Constitution of 1857 but contains many new clauses calculated to meet more modern conditions. The same incentive that has led to abolishment of Monastic Orders from Mexico, the curbing of sectarian religious activities, will undoubtedly apply to the practice of the Mormons resident in Mexico.

Greater problems than this must first be met and solved by the little old gentleman of Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila. With his back to the wall, Carranza is making a final stand for Mexican Liberalism as opposed to Mexican Clericalism.

The success or failure of the Constitutionalist Party in Mexico depends entirely upon the support—moral and financial—accorded by the United States. Had Herr Zimmermann of Berlin studied a little more closely the Foreign Relations between Mexico and the United States, he would hardly have attempted so diplomatic a faux pas as his fatuous plot to align Mexico with Germany and Japan against an American administration which has materially aided Carranza's cause against insurmountable obstacles, when all the world was clamoring for intervention.



Life Across the Rio Grande

In Mexico history has shown a remarkable number of repetitions.

Again and again the popular idol of yesterday has degenerated into the "malo hombre" of today. For example:

In 1823 the blanketed hoi polloi had worked themselves into a frenzy of enthusiasm over their Liberator General Iturbide. They acclaimed him Emperor. One year later they lined him up against a mud wall at Padilla and shot him from a living perpendicular to a dead level.

Some little time thereafter another of their national heroes, old Vicente Guerrero became President. When the fickle masses had wearied of his rule, they conveniently deposed him and bestowed upon him the fate accorded Iturbide.

Time and again, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna triumphantly entered the national capital to a deafening chorus of "vivas," and time and again he was forced to flee. Always he was shrewd enough to carry away with him all such government securities as proved portable. Then from a safe distance the wily old diplomat would inchoate negotiations for a recall. He generally succeeded. You see, the Mexicans needed the money. Then as now they were over-burdened with financial desuetude.

Perhaps, when you fully understand the peculiar psychology of the Mexican peons who constitute two-thirds of the population, you can form a conception of how very uncertain is this country's future, based upon the past performances of this vacillating and bromidic people.

As the peon was yesterday, he is today, will be tomorrow.

Human nature seldom changes. Types remain the same.

Peon customs, traditions and habits of life are as firmly fastened upon them as were almost identical characteristics upon the serfs of the old world during the middle ages.

In spite of all claims to the contrary, in old Mexico the time of "Jacques Bonhomme" has not yet arrived. When their day does dawn, a man of far different type than Don Venustiano Carranza or any of the idealistic "Richmonds" who have taken the field in the last five years, will lead the peon masses from the darkness into light.

Every country has its types, studies in human nature these "world's canaille," ever offering to the student of psychology a most fertile field for investigation.

France furnishes us the Savoyards, Germany the Suabians, Mexico the peons.

The traveler, gliding through Mexico by well-traveled trails, fails to come into intimate contact with that real peon class who form so major a part of the population. To study them to the best advantage, one must travel by diligencia, into the remote interior, where the onward march of progress has not yet intruded to do away with the pastoral simplicity of these adult children of the southland.

In spite of an ever-present scarcity of "real money," the peons manage to derive considerable pleasure out of life under the most monotonous conditions.

The peon language is a dialect rich in patois. It is entirely different from the musical Castilian spoken by the cultured classes.

Like the old world peasants, the peons have a wealth of tradition behind them. Their folklore is as rich in imagery as the old world Yule tales.

In the dusk of evening, it is no uncommon thing for them to gather in little groups, and in the softest of musical patois tell over and over again the beautiful legend of "Our Lady of Guadalupe," or some equally weird tale handed down to them from their forbears. Nor is it an uncommon sight to see a withered old peon granddad grouping about him a little brown band of scantily clad tots, to tell them stories of brave Hidalgo, poor Iturbide, rugged Victoria Guadalupe, brave Benito Juarez and other idols of the common people. All the history that the masses possess has been acquired in this primitive fashion.

Peon music has the weird strain of the wilderness. It is a music of the plain people. Like all such people it has a superabundance of simple sentiment. It is replete with pathos, simplicity, love and fiery passion.

One may seek far yet fail to find more touching melody than the songs of the peon swains. Into their singing they put their whole heart and soul. You know it comes from the heart. As it rings through the arroyos and mountain canyons, there is about the peon music a wild, barbaric strain which holds the listener spellbound. Their love songs have a martial strain which is passion personified.

The average peon home of the interior is a jacal hollowed out of the hillsides and arroyos. Miserable, hovel like little shacks they are, about as large as your bathroom, with scarcely room enough to admit of a tall man standing upright. If the peon happens to be working, he thatches his jacal in the building with straw. And sometimes he manages to carpet the earth floor with coyote skins. In time of leisure, which is most often, the straw and the skins are exchanged for a few drinks.

The sole source of ventilation in a peon home is the narrow aperture which answers for a door. Within one of these cramped, eight foot apartments, may generally be found the head of the house, four or five children, the wife, her mother and maybe a few sisters. In addition to this interesting family there are usually three or four dogs, a pig, a rooster, the inevitable hens and sometimes a long-eared burro.

When everyone is wrapped in slumber, some uncharitably disposed dog lets out a long, resounding howl which is immediately taken up by all the other dogs in the neighborhood. In this pandemonium the pigs, the rooster and even the burro join. But the peon sleeps placidly on. They are used to this concatenation of sounds.

The staple menu of a peon family is tortillas and coffee. The tortillas are made from maize ground on a "metate," a curved stone shaped like an inclined plane. Sometimes the diet is varied with meat and red pepper dished up in the familiar "chili con carne."

In their daily life this happy-go-lucky people greatly resemble the Savoyards. Unless held down by an incubus of debt, as is often the case, they are of a roving, peripatetic disposition. In the mining districts in particular is this the case. Here the daily average wage scale for the man laborer is from thirty-two cents to two dollars. If a boom occurs nearby, the head of the peon household cries "Vamonos." The family exodus is on.

Moving for the peons presents no arduous task. Their average household goods consist of a few tattered serapes, a coffee pot, a metate, a frying pan, tin cups and the animal menage.

In the south of Mexico the peons are generally attached to one of the large haciendas, where wages are good, conditions comfortable.

As manual laborers the peon men are tolerable, provided they are kept constantly under surveillance. Probably no other class of people are so lazy. The fault is bred of generations of laziness, and a dolce far niente climate.

"Peon Paradise" consists of a shady spot where one can roll innumerable cigarettes and puff one's soul away into dreamland.

Even from such an ideal state the peon can be aroused if some soul philanthropically inclined appears at the door of a cantina and agrees to "pay for the drinks."

A more generally illiterate people it would be hard to find. Their mental estate is but a grade higher than that of the savage. Their education is of brawn not of brain.

On one point custom has trained them well. They possess a splendid capacity for remembering innumerable national and religious holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, September 16th, etc.

Among most peons moderation is an unknown quantity. On the holiday which happens regularly once or twice a week, they glut themselves with native liquors at three cents the glass, until they have attained a nirvana of happy stupefaction. Some celebration theirs, believe me.

In dress simplicity is the peon rule. The women wear the cheapest of cheap manta gowns, falling loosely about their persons like a "Mother Hubbard." The men are quite content to wear whatever turns up, provided only they may have a nice sombrero with a little more silver upon it than one's neighbor. The sombrero with its heavy bullion is in Peonland the visible badge of prosperity, a sort of Order of the Golden Fleece, and an ever evident sign of eminent respectability and uncompromising virtue.

It matters not that one's overalls are sadly worn at the seat, so worn indeed as to necessitate the wearing of one's shirt-tail without in due deference to decency's demands,—the gaudy eagle and cactus worked in bullion upon one's headgear, gives the lie to any palpable accusation of poverty insinuated by a rent in one's overalls' rear.

The full-blooded Indians of peonland are studies in the nude.

It is no infrequent thing in some of the interior towns to see a family of these strutting through the streets clad quite in the altogether.

Black-eyed peon children play about half-naked in the sun. Most of them wear only a tight-fitting little undershirt or smock.

These children even as ours have their characteristic games. To them such crudities are quite as interesting as the more decorous juvenile amusements of effete civilization. For example:

Some enterprising youngster possesses himself of an old pair of horns and personates a bull. The other children with sticks and rags adopt the respective roles of espada, and picadors. An imaginary bullring is arranged. Soon a genuine combat is in progress, from the opening procession around the ring to the final slaying of the bull. And all the while the play is enlivened by shrill cries in childish treble:

"Bravo—bravissimo,—El Toro!"

Sometimes the play ends up in a free-for-all fight. There are alas, resultant black eyes and bloody noses.

Among the peons of the interior there is an astounding lack of morals. In many communities a priest is seen but once or twice a year. His charges for tying the matrimonial knot are generally too high for the improvident peon. In consequence common law association has taken the place of church ceremony. The necessarily infrequent coming of the priest has a distinct influence upon the funeral obsequies. There is upon such occasions, little of the solemnity which the presence of a clergyman insures.

A dead peon is placed in the cheapest of wood boxes, unembellished and unmarked, to be borne away to his "ultima casa," some six feet of desert soil, where he is stowed away with as little ceremony as his pet dog.

When a peon child dies there is a difference.

A band of peon musicians, violin, mandolin and guitar players, are procured. These precede the funeral procession playing such pieces as practice has made near-perfect, with an utter disregard of the solemnity of the occasion for which they have been hired.

The dead child is laid out in red, blue or green, or such other combination of gaudy colors as the odds and ends of the peon household afford. Were it not for the low Wailing "Ay de mi—ay de mi"—you could hardly realize that you were witnessing a funeral. About the peon cemetery is something inexpressibly pathetic.

Over a desert, sun-baked waste, you may see scattered at intervals, a few stone-covered mounds, each surmounted by a crude wooden cross, with the name of the deceased. There is always a pitiful contrast between these poor, neglected little interior graveyards, and the well-kept, imposing cemeteries of the rich in Mexico.

There is no middle class in old Mexico. The population has a strict line of demarcation between the very rich, and the poor peons.

To find the superlative degree of uncleanliness, one should pass a little time in an interior village. The people fairly wallow in dirt, indeed seem to like it. Such a thing as a bath is an unheard-of luxury. The streets are full of offal, and were it not for the sopilotes, or carrion birds of prey, the mortality would be frightful. Even in the larger cities, the unhygienic condition of the native quarters is a frequent menace to health. In times of epidemic of smallpox, typhoid or typhus, peon women flock recklessly into a sickroom accompanied by their babies and young children exhibiting an utter disregard to all danger. They have a superstition that these infections are necessary. When opportunity presents, they take every chance to contract disease and so the sooner have it over with. Generally they succeed, as an inspection of the local graveyard will demonstrate.

The Mexican masses have not a little knowledge of the healing merits of herbs. In the interior, if no doctor is at hand, they themselves confidently undertake the treatment of their sick. Their greatest reliance is placed on purgatives.

Perhaps the peons who have the hardest lot are those employed in the mines. They must drill down in deep shafts where the atmosphere is almost suffocating, the ventilation wretched. Some of them haul on their heads huge sacks of ore which would prostrate an average man. Some of these sacks weigh 150 to 200 pounds.

It is a novel sight to enter a Mexican mine and peer down into a very inferno of darkness where can be seen the twinkling glow of many candles. From far below comes a labored, stertorious groaning like unto the wail of a lost soul. It is the slow, measured chorus of peon miners keeping time to the steady tintinabulation of their drills.

At the entrance to every mine is a shrine to one of the saints. It is pretty because of its simplicity. Usually there is a little wooden virgin decked out in white manta and surrounded by tawdry tinsel decorations. Behind this figure is a plain, wooden crucifix. It is quite impossible to prevail upon a peon to descend a shaft in which there is not a shrine.

Passing from shaft to shaft one sees dusky, sweating miners quite naked save for their overalls, hard at their task. They are splendid specimens of physical manhood, their huge, corded muscles responding to every movement of arms and limbs.

In appearance, the peon somewhat resembles the American Indian. Dusky in complexion, with long, smooth, black hair, high cheekbones and eyes of piercing black, they are easily distinguished from the lighter, more clean-cut Mexicans of Castilian descent.

In the larger towns on the railroads the peon exercises many functions. Huckster, small merchant, dispenser of pulque, professional guide, and beggar make him a Jack of all trades.

Since 1910 he has added a new vocation to his varied many,—professional revolutionist. It depends on circumstances whether his voice be raised for Senor Villa, General Obregon, First Chief Carranza, or some independent Jefe who has issued a pronunciamiento against all of these martial aspirants for power. The peon follows the bellwether. If the Jefe Politico of his town happens to be a Carranzista, the little peon pawn will acclaim the bespectacled gentleman from Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila. Just as readily will he enthuse over Villa should an unlucky turn of the wheel place the northern General's star in the ascendant. To tell the truth our poor peon hardly understands at any time just who or what he is shouting and mayhap fighting for. When a crowd comes along with old-fashioned flintlocks, if they find him in the notion, a new recruit is gained. The peon seizes his machete or stiletto, and marches along docilely enough. And when it is all over, if he has been lucky enough to escape unshot, he bobs up again serenely in his native village, a "sure 'nough" hero.

As a beggar the peon has few superiors. There is not an ailment to which humanity is subject, which he cannot simulate to perfection.

At train time, a railroad station in Mexico resembles an outdoor hospital. Here one may find a variety of interesting if not genuine clinical studies. The traveler is beset by a whining crowd appealing with a doleful,

"Un centavo, senor,—Un poquito centavo, no mas. For the love of Christ just a penny, kind sir."

The peon's ideal recreation is "El Baile" (the dance).

Whenever a band of straggling musicians invade a peon village, they may be reasonably assured of employment, so long as a dollar remains in town. If it chances to be a feast day, the baile is on more elaborate lines. Crudely scrawled invitations are sent out to the peon elite by "the committee."

The house chosen for a baile is generally the largest in town. Some extra candles are borrowed from the neighbors. The musicians are ensconced on some soap boxes piled one upon another to form a stage.

By nine thirty the ball room is ready for the guests. Those not belonging to the "society of Peonland" peep in at the open door or crowd the windows. Everybody smokes with an air of stolid indifference to the oppressive atmosphere.

A copious supply of the strong native liquors, tequilla and mescal, is ever the concomitant of a peon dance.

Senoras and senoritas are seated. The men line themselves along the walls. All are smoking.

I once asked an old Kentucky mining man who had accompanied me to one of these functions, as to the particular etiquette of the baile.

"Wal, when you git thar," he drawled, puffing at his pipe, "jes' don't you wait for no interduction. Hike up to any of them senoritas, say "vamonos," grab her around the waist, then dance. That's the way I does, and it goes, too."

I found he was right. There is little or no etiquette at a peon baile. During the intermissions the "ladies" occupy every available seat, while the "gentlemen" dash off to the adjoining room to sample such liquid refreshments as may be available.

Perhaps at long intervals during the evening some thoughtful senor will bring his senorita a piece of dulce, a cake and a glass of red wine. He never omits taking copious refreshment unto himself after each and every dance.

One custom seems to be firmly established at these functions.

You are expected to retain the same partner all through the evening.

If you have been unlucky enough to draw a dusky belle weighing 250 or 300 pounds, as did the writer on one ever-to-be-remembered evening, when it was hot and stuffy, I think you'll vow never again to be lured into being guest at a baile.

In the subdued glow from many candles, the peon senoritas present a very winsome appearance. Neatly dressed in white, with their exquisite black tresses tastily arranged, their large, luminous black eyes aglow with pleasurable excitement, there are naturally in their number no wall flowers.

The orchestra starts up at the appointed hour. Every one cries "Vamonos."

There is the universal grab for a partner.

The couples are off.

The room is a swish of noise and a glow of color, as the petite senoritas, mine was an exception—and dusky caballeros sway slowly along through the mazes of la danza.

The movements of a Mexican dance are aggravatingly slow and sinuous. The tension on the limbs of one uninitiated is almost painful.

Sometimes while a waltz is in progress, the various couples at a given signal form in a circle. Then the two leading couples pirouette up and down, until a clapping of hands signal them to break away and afford another couple opportunity to preen themselves in the public eye.

Another pair follow and so on ad infinite, until all have played their little part. Then they begin all over again.

Now the hour grows late. After each dance the drunkenly philanthropic "committee" appear carrying a little brown jug and glasses. Every one present libates. It is insulting (according to the ethics of Peonland) to refuse.

The room has now taken on the appearance of a London fog, thanks to the inevitable cigarettes.

More and more frequent is doled out the tequilla, the mescal, the red wine. When the supply at hand gives out, the committee shamelessly take up a collection.

The little brown jug disappears in the darkness of the night to come again presently like the phoenix from the flame, "a live little jug" once more.

By two o'clock in the morning, one or more of the orchestra has succumbed to intoxication. The rest of the band manfully struggle along, until one by one, the live little jug puts them down and out for the count.

This involuntary retirement of the last musician marks the closing of El Baffle.

Such are the peon proletariat of old Mexico, a type of the world's canaille.

Poor, twentieth century serfs these peons, helpless, ambitionless, yet not soulless.

They are happy because they have never known different environment nor lot in life. Give them land for their very own, and they would quickly hunt the shady spots, there to roll innumerable cigarettes while patiently awaiting upon their particular patron Saint, "Our Gracious Lady of Guadalupe," to work the miracle and grow their crops.



Masonry: Its Philosophy and Influence in Wartime

Years ago one of our greatest Masonic writers declared: "Masonry, is the great Peace Society of the World. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes, and to bind Republics, Kingdoms and Empires together in one great band of peace and amity."

The general laity little appreciate the boundless influence for good exerted in troublous wartimes by the Order whose keynote is silence and unostentation, whose basic foundation is cemented by the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, of liberty, fraternity and equality. The Masonic Order is a vast army of men bound together by the mystic tie of brotherhood universal.

In the United States it numbers over two million members, and has fifty-one sovereign Grand Lodges. Of these, the smallest jurisdiction is the District of Columbia comprising sixty square miles and embracing thirty lodges with more than ten thousand members.

The Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 lodges with a total membership of 234,333. Eight Grand Lodges of Canada dominate 94,359. In Germany are eight Masonic sovereign jurisdictions, in South America six, in Australia six, in India five, in the West Indies three, in Mexico, Liberia, Egypt, Central America, Hungary and Servia, one each. In France and Italy Freemasonry is exceptionally powerful, as also in Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.

To the lot of the Freemasons of the United States it has fallen to send first aid to their distressed brethren abroad. Right nobly they have responded to the call. Through the United States Masonic War Relief Association, with headquarters at Cincinnati, Ohio, a most substantial sum has been raised and liberal disbursements made respectively to the Grand Priory, Knights Templar of England and Wales, the Grand Lodge of Masons of Ireland, Masonic Relief Fund of Scotland, Grand Lodge of Masons in Germany, Supreme Council of Scottish Rite in Luxembourg, Grand Lodge of Masons in Switzerland, Grand Lodge and Supreme Council in Belgium, and the London Branch of the Masonic War Relief Association of the United States.

It is hoped and planned to expend in like manner $100,000, by the end of the current year. At this moment measures are under way to make ample provision for veteran distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans, whose need will be especially pressing in the aftermath of war.

At no time in the world's history has the Universal Brotherhood failed to answer the crying need of humanity; never has it shirked the call of country when the cause was just, nor failed to raise its mighty voice in protest at a time when to draw the sword against a weaker enemy, could only mean the staining of a nation's flag with lasting dishonor.

American Masonic History is especially interesting. How many people today know that the Boston Tea Party had its inchoation in a Masonic lodge room, that the participants in the history making raid upon British ships in Boston harbor were all Masons? Of all the minute men answering the summons of Paul Revere, many were brothers of his Masonic lodge. General Warren who fought and fell at Bunker Hill, was a Worshipful Master. Our Declaration of Independence was the handiwork of two great Masons, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine. Of the fifty-six signing it, two-thirds, it is said, were Masons, among them Charles Thomson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Captain William Whipple and the entire Virginia delegation. Peyton Randolph, the President and most of the First Continental Congress, were Freemasons.

Every army of civilization has its Masonic lodges. Among members of the American military lodges were Washington, Light Horse Harry Lee, Gens. Warren, Israel Putnum, Mad Anthony Wayne, Baron de Kalb, Lafayette, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, David Crockett, Worth, Quitman, McClellan, Hancock, Banks, Rawlins, McClernand, Logan, Pickett, Robert Anderson, Garfield, McKinley, Albert Pike, Nelson A. Miles, and John Corson Smith.

Has it ever occurred to you to reflect exactly what in Masonry has attracted and sustained the unflagging, lifelong interest, devotion and enthusiasm of Americans like Washington, John Paul Jones, Franklin, Monroe, Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Thomas Marshall, Bryan, and a legion more of our most representative men of affairs?

The whole Philosophy of Masonry is uplifting and inspiring. Nowhere else can be found a more bitter arraignment of the horrors and futility of war, than in the Masonic teachings. The question has been asked frequently of late: "What is the attitude of Freemasonry towards the World Powers at present engaged in a titanic struggle to prove the right of might?"

I think it may best be answered by the beautiful paragraphs scattered through that voluminous masterpiece by Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogmas of the Scottish Rite." They apply as forcibly today as when first offered to his Masonic brethren a generation ago. Read with me:

"Wars like thunderstorms are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of fire."

"When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretense and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is a baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to chasten."

"In the mutual appeal of Nations to God, there is the acknowledgement of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of duty, the stirring sense of honor, the measureless sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of Fraternity. . . . The nation that grasps at the commerce of the world, cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the noblest impulses and sympathies which ought to actuate States."

"It will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its commercial interests by war; while to subserve those interests it will wage unjust war on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has dared exile its kings, and elect its own ruler."

"A war for a great principle ennobles a nation."

"A war for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext is despicable, and more than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness, men and nations can descend."

"Who can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single War?"

"Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp, and circumstance, all its glitter and glory."

"War comes with its bloody hands into our very dwellings. It takes from ten thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender ties of family and kindred. It drags them away to die untended, of fever, of exposure, in infectious climes, or to be hacked, torn and mangled in the fierce fight; to fall on the gory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away in awful agony to noisome and horrid hospitals."

"The groans of the battlefield are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands of desolated hearths."

"There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table."

"Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, the infection which he has caught of camp vices."

"The country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down from the noble interchange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge and base pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength in battle,"

"Treasures are expended that would suffice to build ten thousand churches, hospitals and universities or rib and tie together a continent with rails of iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be calamity enough: but it is put to worse use, for it is expended in cutting into the veins and arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood."

"Each age reenacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and, still war licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations."

"There has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in murdering each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resources, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations."

"Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing debt, mortgages all estates and brings upon states the shame and infamy of dishonest repudiation."

"At times the baleful fires of war light up half a continent at once. At times, the storm revolving, howls over small areas only. At times, its lights are seen like the old beacon fires on the hills, belting the whole globe."

"No sea but hears the roar of cannon, no river but runs red with blood: no plain but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons: no field but is fertilized by the blood of the dead: and everywhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier."

"No city is not tortured by shot and shell, and no people fail to enact the horrid blasphemy of thanking a God of love, for victories and carnage."

"Te Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew, and the Sicilian Vespers."

"Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruction, by which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, torn and mangled."

"MASONRY ALONE preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by his own faith, the right of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and subjugation."

In every war has been in evidence the potency of Freemasonry as an ameliorating influence in the horrors all abounding. Masonry was especially dominant during the American Civil War and self-sacrifices between brethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost daily occurrence. It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first voiced the policy its brethren should pursue towards brother Masons of the North, as early as 1862, when the strife was young. A Grand Lodge of Maine approved the encyclical almost word for word, and the beneficent Masonic principles were put into actual practice by Grand Lodges of the North and South almost simultaneously. Among the other things Masons were ordered:

"Be faithful towards all and singular the brethren whether these be met in lodges dedicate, or only known to you by divers means in darkness or light, in health or sickness, in wealth or want, in peril or safety, in prison, escape or freedom, in charity or evil-mindedness, armed or unarmed, friend or seeming foe, and as to these, most certainly as towards brethren, when Masonically met on, by or with all due and regular intercommunication and intelligence. . . . Let us not hear among us that there is war that strife and dissension prevail, as Masons it concerns us not."

How different this fraternal stand of the Grand Lodge of a state at war, in 1862, and that this year manifested by the Grand Lodge of Germany which has issued an open announcement to the world from its headquarters in Berlin, suspending all fraternal relations with the Masons of France, Italy, and England during the continuance of this war.

Despite all this, the international Masonic press is repeatedly filled with circumstantial and convincing proof-positive that German Freemasons have not at all forgotten their Masonic obligations, and many heroic deeds are narrated as performed by soldier Masons of the several belligerents to help a worthy brother in the ranks of the enemy.

At no time in history has Freemasonry played a treasonable part against the country which gave it shelter. In the eighteenth century the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Wharton, a partisan of the Stuart Pretenders, endeavored to enlist the Masonic machinery of England against the established Government. In spite of his magnetic personality, and unusual popularity, the Grand Master could not prevail upon his Masonic brethren to have a hand in his nefarious plot. In disgrace, he surrendered his high office and fled to unhappy exile on the continent.

As a reward for their unswerving loyalty in times of cunning conspiracy, and revolution, the Freemasons of England today are the only Secret Society in Great Britain permitted by special grant and act of Parliament.

It may be that the human race is not yet ready for the practical application of the Gentle Philosophy of Freemasonry.

One man in the present century tried to govern his administrative functions as President of a Republic on Masonic Ideals. He fell a martyr to the passions of blind bigotry and darkness. I refer to Francisco Madero, Jr., for a brief period President of Mexico. This college-bred man of fine old Mexican ancestry is an ever present obstacle to the recognition by our country of any chieftain in any way identified with the politico-religious sect responsible for his assassination. Convincing proof may be found in "An Open Letter to American Masons" in the New Age Magazine for August, 1915, by a high Mexican Masonic Brother. This same journal of the Scottish Rite, in its issue of March, 1913, had a touching tribute to Madero by Brother George Fleming Moore, 33. In it he says:

"The murder of Francisco Madero, late President of the Republic of Mexico, seems to me the foulest and blackest crime of the age. Not very long ago, I received a letter from him which clearly proved his sincere desire to guide his life and actions, public and private, by those principles of equity and justice which make for the happiness and prosperity of the individual and the race.

"He believed in the doctrine of sacrifice: that sacrifices for the sake of the truth, or for his fellowmen would bring its reward either in this or in some other life.

"He was an active member of the Supreme Council A. & A. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Mexico, and was a MASON. On one occasion while addressing his lodge, he said: 'Brethren, this ritual of ours is very beautiful, and we teach high ideals, but what are we, you and I, doing to carry out these ideals and teachings into expression in our own lives, and in the affairs of our country?'

"He was called weak and inefficient because he would not shoot men merely because they crossed his pathway to power.

"He was laughed at as an Idealist because he hoped to lead his country to a place of honor and power without ruining it by military despotism.

"He has fallen a victim to his ideals of truth and justice and the evil wiles of false friends, for no man ever reproached him with vices until after he became a prisoner and in the power of the men he had trusted.

"If his death shall teach men that nations must not let such crimes go unrebuked, and shall render them impossible in the future, whether through intervention or by other modes, then Francisco Madero's murder will bear good fruit, and we verily believe, he would have sacrificed his life to secure that great result."

Can we not hope that before the present Carnival of Blood is carried to more sickening extremes, the Sovereign Masters of the World's Grand Lodges will rally the Sons of Light and Peace to making a practical protest against the insensate madmen glutted with power and relying upon the obsolete doctrine of Divine Right, to send their subservient subjects to death? Stranger things have happened.

In any event, when the last shot has been fired in the present world war, when the representatives of the exhausted powers assemble to determine the readjustment of territories, the payment of indemnities, and the signing of Treaties, . . . the Power behind the Pen which drafts documents of so vital an interest to posterity, will unquestionably be that Masonry which has fought the good fight through the ages, that Masonry which will insist that War must end forever, so that there may be cemented more firmly hereafter, Republics, Kingdoms and Empires, . . . if these two latter still exist, . . . in one great band of Peace and Amity.



Modern Masonry: 1717 And 1917

Sunday, June 24, 1917, St. John Baptist's Day, is the two hundredth anniversary of Speculative or Modern Masonry. Then was established the Mother of all Grand Lodges inchoating an invisible empire which to-day girdles the globe. It was the consummation of an evolution in the greatest of the world's brotherhoods which had had genesis long before. The Speculative or Scholar Masons then relegated to the background the old Operative or Practical Masons, who for generations had transmitted among themselves by word of mouth, under pledge of secrecy, the quaint, complex and curious philosophy and secret doctrine of Freemasonry inherited from the Cathedral Builders of mediaeval days, who themselves had it from the Comacines, the lineal descendants of the old Collegia Romana, and so on back into the dim dead past of Hittite predominance, if we may believe the claims of Masonic Archeologists and Historians—Gould, Hughan, Ravenscroft, Findel, Rylands, Belzoni and others.

Since England gave birth to the Mother of all Grand Lodges, it is there we must turn for the history of a transition which in the passing of the centuries has made Masonry a World Force.

In England, during the last years of the seventeenth century, there was upon the part of the Clergy both Protestant and Roman Catholic, a marked tendency to play politics. Rather reluctantly the dominant hierarchy, which was the Anglican (Episcopalian), had acquiesced in the accession of James II to the throne. Their hesitancy seemed justified, when in 1687 James issued a Religious Edict affording ample opportunities for Catholic activities throughout his kingdom. In consequence, the Anglicans declared against the House of Stuart successfully.

Protestant William of Orange, the successor of James, contributed another shock to the Anglicans. Instead of rewarding them by making their denomination the official Religion of State, he proclaimed universal religious tolerance. Under his new edict, it became possible for a new element to enter—the Dutch Presbyterians,—so forming a hypotenuse for a Clerical Triangle of Dissension—Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Dutch Presbyterians. Each wished the National Supremacy in England. All contributed to a verbal warfare and indulged in intrigues of a most unchurchly character.

Now while these Churchmen quarreled among themselves, the plain people who made up the backbone of the Nation were thinking. Quite disgusted with the unreasonable assumptions of Clergy of all Creeds, reluctantly concluding that their ghostly advisers were all dogma-bound, narrow, selfish and top-heavy with pride, these plain people needed only King William's Edict of 1695 permitting freedom of the press, to loose their tongues and give the Intellectuals free play.

A seed had been sown. The English people began to find themselves. National life assumed a more moral tone. Superficiality and shams gave way to an actual practice of moral and social virtues. The plain people exerted themselves to relegate into fitting oblivion the memory of the licentiousness which had characterized national life under Charles II and James II, the predecessors of their new monarch. An Age of Frivolity was supplanted by an Age of Self-Respect.

The Spirit of the Times found ready expression through the journalists and pamphleteers and those convivial conversationalists who met men of all classes in the London Taverns, "the busy man's recreation, the idle man's business, the melancholy man's sanctuary, and the stranger's welcome; the broachers of more news than hogsheads, more jest than news."

Masonic thought of the day found its outlet through Richard Steele's "Tatler," Jonathan Swift's Satires, and Dr. Desaguilier's Natural Philosophy. Perhaps Joseph Addison crystallized conditions then existent in his famous sentence: "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."

It was as though to answer that very need that the "Gentle Philosophie of Masonry," whose animating spirit is brotherly love, took on a sudden impetus and reincarnated as a Living Force in National Life through the Great Revival of 1717. In the Masonic Lodges of 1700 were to be found men of all Creeds and all Religious Sects. Says Findel, a German Masonic historian:

"Originating from the Fraternity of Operative Masons, the Craft has borrowed its emblems and symbols from the Building Corporations to impart to its members moral truths and the rules of the Royal Art. . . . Freemasonry as it is understood at the present day, dawned into existence. Retaining the spirit of the Ancient Brotherhood, their fundamental laws and their traditional customs, yet all were united in relegating Architecture and Operative Masonry to the station to which they belonged, the customary technical expressions which are excellently well-suited to the Symbolic Architecture of the Temple, were retained but figuratively withal, bearing a higher significance."

The Report of the Proceedings of the First Grand Lodge of England does not occupy much space. An official account written by Dr. James Anderson says:

"1717—King George I. entered London most magnificently on Sept. 20, 1714, and after the rebellion was over, A. D. 1716, the few Lodges at London, finding themselves neglected by Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master as the Center of Union and Harmony, viz. the Lodges that met,

  1. "At the Goose and Gridiron Ale-House, in St. Paul's Churchyard.
  2. "At the Crown Ale-House in Parker's Lane, near Drury Lane.
  3. "At the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles St., Convent Garden.
  4. "At the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster.

"They and some old Brothers met at the said Apple-Tree and having put into the Chair the Oldest Master (now the Master of a Lodge) they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore.

"On St. John Baptist's Day, in the third year of King George, A. D. 1717, the Assembly and Feast of the Free and Accepted Masons was held at the foresaid Goose and Gridiron Ale-House.

"Before dinner, the Oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge), in the Chair, proposed a list of proper candidates: and the Brethren by a Majority of Hands elected, Mr. Anthony Sayre, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons; Mr. Jacob Lamball, Carpenter; Capt. Joseph Elliot, Grand Wardens; who being invested with the Badges of Office, and Power, by the said Oldest Master, and installed, was duly congratulated by the Assembly, who paid him the Homage."

While rather meager in detail, this account is sufficient to give us a mental concept of an event of unusual importance to Masons, inasmuch as it paved the way for changes destined intimately to affect the nature of the most influential of the World's Secret Societies for years to come.

We can conjure up an imaginative picture of the scene, dominated by such forceful personalities as Edward Strong, Anthony Sayer, George Payne, John, Duke of Montagu, Dr. Desaguiliers, Thomas Monice and other prominent men of that period, some destined to become Grand Masters. We can conceive in imagination the solemn procession of those four old Lodges through the streets of London, the rich and elegant attire of the Speculative Masons showing no more resplendently than the plainer, simpler garb of the old Operatives, because of the long, white Aprons then affected by the Craft. Nor must we forget the Feast, some idea of which we may gather from a Masonic Menu recorded by the historian Conder. Doubtless there were:

  • "9 dishes of fowl, three in a dish.
  • "2 roasted and 1 boyled with oyster sauce.
  • "3 Yorkshire Hams.
  • "6 Geese, two in a dish.
  • "3 Turkeys.
  • "3 Chines.
  • "3 Dishes of Tongues and Udders.
  • "6 Dishes of Tarts.
  • "Wine:—12 Gallons of Red Port. 4 Gallons of White Port."

And need we add the self-satisfied testimony of one who attended one of these early Grand Lodge Banquets?

"We had a good dinner, and to their eternal honour, the brotherhood laid about them very valiantly."

It is known that a caucus had previously prepared the several transactions requisite to afford the Speculative element complete control of this and succeeding Grand Lodges. It was realized by the deeper thinkers like Payne, Desaguiliers and Anderson, that many changes must be wrought to modernize the machinery of a very potent force in national life. Through them it was arranged for a complete overhauling of the Old Constitutions which had governed the Operative Lodges of Freemasons for centuries. This was accordingly done at the next session.

Dr. Anderson was ordered to "digest the Old Charges in a new and better manner," a task in which he received valuable assistance from both Payne and Desaguiliers. At the same time, many "scrupulous Old Brothers" burned their ancient mss., and copies of the Gothic Constitutions of old Operative Masonry, through excess of zeal. Their idea was that the Secrets of Freemasonry might not fall into the hands of the Profane, as all were and still are styled who are not Masons.

When Dr. Anderson reported back to Grand Lodge the fruits of his labors, fourteen brethren audited and approved them. His handiwork known as the Constitution of 1723, insofar as it materially widened the horizon of Freemasonry, can be considered as the most important result of the Great Revival of 1717. It was the dividing line between Ancient and Modern Masonry—the Operative and the Speculative. Its most striking feature was to forever-more make Masonry and Religious Tolerance synonymous. In consequence, since 1717 Masonry has had no quarrel with any religion of the world. In the old Operative Charges there was a specific mandate to every Mason "in every country to be of the Religion of that country wherever it was." In this New Constitution, all Masons were admonished "to keep the Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves."

It is more than probable that the Speculative membership upon securing control of the Order, wished to disarm once and forever all opposition from any Church or Hierarchy. They aimed to promote that Harmony, which is the strength and support of all institutions, especially Masonry.

From recent bitter experience in England, they had witnessed the destructive influence upon a Nation of a Quarrel of Creeds. They had seen Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian at swords' points, to the great peril of Civil Government, the toppling of a Dynasty and the unstable seat of its successor. They hoped that by playing up to no particular Creed, that they might perpetually disarm the antagonism of all. Another incentive impelling the founders of Modern Masonry to substitute Monotheism for Christianity as a requirement for admission behind the exclusive doors of the Order, was to make eligible as brothers men of all nations, a Universal Belief in the Supreme Being, the sine qua non of Modern Masonry, per se eliminating Atheists and Irreligious.

Unfortunately, if the Old Landmarks or essence of Masonry were to be retained, it was not then, and is not now possible to make sufficient eliminations, to make our Institution persona grata to one of the most powerful of the World Religions. That great cardinal landmark of Masonry—SECRECY—sets up an insurmountable barrier to a cardinal landmark of the Catholic Church—the CONFESSIONAL.. No true Mason can kneel at the Altar of Masonry, and take the most solemn and binding obligations evolved by man, and even pretend to answer the possible questions of the priest at the Confessional.

Bro. Count Goblet D'Alviella adds three other reasons why Masonry is unavoidably condemned by the Catholic Church, viz: "(1) in its origin the discarding of the obedience to the Church; (2) in its purpose: the promotion of benevolence and morality independent of religious differences; (3) in its pantheism and naturalism." This probably best explains the early formal excommunications of Masonry by the Bulls of Clement XVI in 1738, and Benoit XIV in 1751.

Of course, all well-informed Catholics know and admit that Masonry in the United States, Great Britain and Germany at least, is made up of tolerant, representative, law-abiding citizens, "picked men," quarreling with no religion, nor discussing Catholicism in their lodges, much less seeking its overthrow. As is but natural, Masons are staunch supporters of one particular institution essential to that patriotism—which is part of their philosophy—the Public School. Aside from this little hobby, all their energies are given to foster a spirit of brotherhood among men, peace among the nations, and, greatest of all, Sweet Charity. The doors of Masonry are as open to a worthy Catholic, as to a good Mohammedan, nor is it the fault of Masonry that the priests say "Nay!"

Our Latin brethren of various countries, like France, Italy, South America and Mexico, are often held up to us as fomenters of revolution, and active participants in politics. There is a reason. Let D'Alviella explain it.

"It must not be forgotten that wherever the Roman Church predominates, Freemasonry has to fight for its very life, and Masons as such, have to protect themselves against persecutions, which threaten their private no less than their public life. This ought to be kept in sight, when one sits in judgment upon the anti-clerical dealings of Masons in Roman Catholic countries."

Reverting to the New Constitution of 1723. The Old Brothers did not take at all kindly to the elimination of Christianity as a requirement for admission into masonry. Nor did they like to see their time-honored old Gothic Constitutions set aside for Dr. Anderson's more modern creation. As Rylands says: "To them it would be a severance from one, perhaps the most treasured of their ancient usages, in the use of the Roll of the Old Charges at the making of a Mason."

There was ground for their dissatisfaction, for as Hughan says: "The Charges are our title deeds and prove the continuity of the Society through a very long period." However, the Speculatives had their way: the Grand Lodge grew rapidly in authority and numbers. The quality of the Masons of those early days was of the highest.

Just one attempt was made to manipulate the potential influence of the Masonic Order for political purposes in England. The adherents of the House of Stuart had never abandoned all hope of ultimate restoration. They scorned no means to undermine established government in the country where they had once been dominant. Their agents were at every Court of Europe. Liberal support was accorded them by Catholic France and the Papal See, for upon the Stuart success depended the future of English Catholicism as the religion of the nation.

A most remarkable personality of this early eighteenth century period was Philip, the young Duke of Wharton. Possessing a superior education, a fascinating and debonair manner, and unusual originality coupled with recklessness, with utter contempt for public opinion and conventionality, this wealthy young rake and profligate made friends wherever he went. He was guilty of many a mad prank which would have been severely frowned upon if perpetrated by one of lesser degree and influence. Having set Dublin agog with his rakish performances, the Duke came to London, at once taking Society by storm. Indeed for a time he was the most talked-of Lordling of His Majesty's domain. Being an astute politician, he regarded with interest the growing power and popularity of Freemasonry. At heart a sympathizer with the Pretender, he was doubtless planning the future treachery which wrecked an otherwise promising career.

An English authority, Rylands, advances what seems the most probable explanation of the Duke's erratic conduct. "It appears to me likely that Wharton imagined at a slightly later time, that it would be possible to gain over the strong body of Freemasons, for the Stuart cause, by his extraordinary power of fascinating all he knew. For this purpose he became a Freemason and was ultimately elected Grand Master in 1722."

It was on a St. John's Day when this youngest of Grand Masters presided as toastmaster at a banquet, that he determined to sound the brethren out by ordering the musicians to play that Stuart slogan, "Let the King enjoy his own again!" only to hear the orchestra abruptly silenced by the vociferous shouts of disapproving Masons who were horrified at so flagrant an attempt to inject politics into one of their assemblies.

Another Masonic Faux Pas of the madcap Master was the spirited defense he made of a Stuart adherent, Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, on trial for high treason. Wharton spoke long and brilliantly in the House of Lords. At the next meeting of the Grand Lodge he was roundly denounced. Philip, Duke of Wharton, never again appeared before the august assembly of his Masonic brethren.

Filled with bitter resentment, the young Duke surreptitiously inaugurated a new Jacobite movement intended to weaken and if possible destroy Freemasonry by the greatest of all weapons, ridicule. His fertile brain it was which conceived and founded the "Ancient Order of Gormogans" claiming Chinese antecedents and a pedigree far antedating the Building of King Solomon's Temple. Nor did he blush to borrow boldly many of the Masonic Symbols and Emblems. Dominated by his peculiar personality this society started in jest, waxed strong and was the forerunner of an even more determined attempt by the Jacobites and Jesuits, in the nature of another widely exploited society which flourished in 1741-2—the "Scald Miserable Masons." Considerable money was expended by both societies for magnificent pageants the tour de force of which was burlesquing the solemn processionals of the Freemasons. This red to a custom which has never been abandoned. Masons, except under dispensation of the Grand Master, parade publicly only at funerals. The Gormogans perished simultaneously with their creator, Wharton, in 1731. Two great artists, Benoit and Hogarth, have immortalized these anti-masonic organizations in their engravings.

The subsequent career of Philip, Duke of Wharton, was what one might anticipate from so eccentric an individual. He vanished from London. Trace of him was lost until Lord Mahon wrote from the continent: "Lord North and the Duke of Wharton had lately gone abroad and openly attached themselves to the Pretender's Party, and now each separately renounced the Protestant and embraced the Roman Catholic Faith."

The good-natured Stuart exile put up with Wharton's wildness until patience ceased longer to be a virtue, when he sent him "upon a mission to Spain." This was a polite and convenient way of exiling him.

In his new environment, the Duke found a second wife. For a time peace and quietude was his. Eventually his wanderlust again asserted itself. He asked for and received from the Pretender a liberal allowance, alleging that his open espousal of the Stuart Cause had cost him wealth and standing in England. As this was true, he received a liberal douceur of many thousand pounds. Upon this he lived like a wastrel Prince in Belgium until so reduced that he had to practice an unworthy subterfuge upon a Portuguese friend to secure decent raiment. Broken in spirit and means, the Duke hastened back to Spain to accept a commission in the Spanish line. At the siege of Gibraltar he sought to throw away his life by exposing himself recklessly before the English defenses. Doubtless the gallant gentleman behind those ramparts recognized a former Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England; doubtless they remembered their most solemn oath; not a shot was fired.

In 1731 Philip, Duke of Wharton, died of hasty consumption, alone, abandoned by friends and foes alike. On him the poet, Pope has written:

"Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days,

Whose ruling Passion was the Lust of Praise:

Born with whate'er could win it from the Wise,

Women and fools must like him or he dies.

 

A rebel to the very King he loves,

He dies, sad outcast of each Church and State,

And harder still, flagitious yet not great:

Ask you why Wharton broke through every rule?

'Twas all for fear the knaves should call him fool."

Gould attributes to Walpole this epithet: "It is difficult to give an account of the works of so mercurial a man, whose library was a tavern, and women of pleasure his muses."



The Great Revival


It is to the Great Revival of 1717 that Modern Masonry owes its unprecedented growth to almost unbelievable proportions. Today behold the Invisible Empire. In the United States are nearly two million Masons Under forty-nine sovereign Grand Lodges. The Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 subordinate Lodges. In Canada eight Grand Lodges control 100,000 Masons. In Germany are eight sovereign Grand Lodges; in South America are six; in Australia six; in India five; in the West Indies three; in Mexico five; in Liberia, Egypt, Central America, Hungary, Servile and Italy, one each. The Craft is potentially influential in Switzerland, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Out of the little movement of 1717 sprang the Grand Lodge system which developed a universal force of vast possibilities, once the sleeping giant awakens, once the Masonic Fellowship of the Sons of Men is more firmly welded as an aftermath of the World War.

"More ancient than any of the world's living religions," Masonry today retains jealously many of its ancient landmarks which have been handed down by word of mouth from time immemorial. As one of our Masonic Philosophers has written, and as Masters still instruct those who knock at the portals of the Lodge:

"Our ancient landmarks you are carefully to preserve, and never to suffer any infringement of them or on any pretense to countenance deviations from the established usage and customs of the Order. . . . If our secrets and peculiar forms constituted the essence of the Art, it might with some degree of propriety be alleged that our amusements were trifling and our ceremonies absurd. But this, the skillful, well-informed Mason knows to be false."

Today Masonry is awaiting the ultimate call of Humanity, eager to minister to the widows and orphans of those overseas brethren who so bravely responded to the call of country; Masonry has already wrought wonders in an eleemosynary way. Much Masonry can and will achieve.

The brethren of the Invisible Empire are awakening to a fuller realization that in a measure they are indeed responsible for their fellow man's well-or-ill being.

Legions of true men, square men, men worthy and well qualified, men duly and truly prepared, men humanitarian in their ideals, moral in their code of life, tolerant of All Religions, are carrying into actual daily performance that Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth which makes Masonry a Very Vital Force, cemented by unfailing belief in that religion in which all men do agree—The Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man.

When the inevitable moment comes, and may it come soon, that the Warring Nations cast aside their weapons, broken, spiritless, crushed, yet not wholly despairing, the millions of the Invisible Empire of Freemasonry will be found laboring side by side with Other Great World Forces, to again promote Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men, to help build up instead of to destroy, since Masonry is a Constructive and not a Destructive Potentiality.

So Mote It Be.



The Fellowship of Masonry


Masonry is an earnest fellowship of tried and true men, cognizant of human failures in the past, conscious of human limitations in the present, and animated by the loftiest human aspirations for the future. That Mason who best understands the real, the esoteric meaning of our gentle philosophy, is best equipped to further the highest ideals of brotherly love, relief and truth, for which Masonry stands.

The sleeping giant of Masonry is awakening at last. The Spirit of Masonry is permeating the Mighty Fellowship, arousing them to the call of humanity in a time of trial, the like of which this generation of the Sons of Men had never thought to face.

Amidst stress and storm, in the olden days, when men harbored suspicion and hate, and Nations knew not peace, nor Brotherly Love, nor Divine Truth, sprang the Spirit of Masonry to evolve a philosophy of Moral and Social Virtues which should cement the Sons of Men of diverse Nations by unbreakable bonds of Fellowship.

For centuries, the propagation of a Secret Doctrine, "older than the oldest Church, more enduring than the most ancient Religion," slowly spread, girdling the globe, gathering into its Great Brotherhood the very best of every civilization until today, when it stands a Mighty Force, well equipped to properly fight the battles of Humanity, fearless in its sublime principles, and assured of ultimate achievement of its highest ideals, because of its practical application of that Great Masonic Dogma, the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. Its very vitality is dependent absolutely upon unfaltering Faith in the Grand Architect of the Universe, cemented by those ties of true Masonic Fellowship quite unbreakable even in death.

It is fortunate that this is so. New problems to-day confront the Sons of Men. Mighty issues must be faced by the Nations of the World including our own. Ours the task to minister to the peoples of Europe, emerging supine from the dread cataclysm of War. We must meet their pressing need and extend the hand of true Masonic Fellowship the underlying principle of which is Masonic Charity. We are one of the World's Great Forces ever struggling along a common highway of Human Utilitarianism. There are others less constructive.

Let the Father of Masonic Philosophy, Albert Pike, impart to you his conception of Freemasonry:

"It began to shape itself in my intellectual vision into something more imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden for the enlightenment of coming generations, the Sacred Books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the world: like the Sphynx half buried in the desert. . . . In its Symbolism which, and its Spirit of Brotherhood are, its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. It has the symbols and doctrines which, older than himself, Zarathrustra inculcated, and it seemed to me a spectacle sublime, yet pitiful . . . the Ancient Faith of our Ancestors, holding out to the world its symbols once so eloquent, and mutely and in vain, asking for an interpreter. . . . And so I came at last to see that the true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its other symbols: and that its symbolism is its soul."

History shows clearly close connection between the Faiths and Philosophies of widely separated peoples. This is due to the fact that human nature never changes. It is the same now as it was in the pre-pyramidal days of ancient Egypt. Now, even as then, Man is groping blindly yet none the less determinedly in his endless Quest for Truth.

In the long ago, before the age of books, Man expressed himself in Architecture through the use of various symbols, as the Swastika of the Chaldees, the Triangle of the Egyptians, the Triple Tau of the Hebrews, the Cross of the Christians, the Square, Compasses, Plumb, Level and Circle of the Architects, blood brothers of the Accepted Masons.

In 1818 an archeologist, Giovanni Belzoni undertook the excavation of the Tombs of the Kings at Biban-el-Maluk, on the outskirts of what was once the thriving and populous City of Thebes. The result of his efforts was to establish the existence of Masonry among the ancient Egyptians; a Masonry working upon the same basic principles as our Modern Masonic Philosophy.

Some of Belzoni's most convincing "finds" were in the Hall of Beauties, a stone chamber 20 feet by 14 feet in the tomb of Pharaoh Osiris. The walls were profusely adorned with painted pictures in relief, the old hieroglyphic symbol-writing of ancient Egypt which has thrown much light upon the customs and manners of antiquity.

We come now to the border land between Ancient and Modern Masonry.

In its various ramifications, the Secret Doctrine was carried by the Tyrians from Mount Moriah where they had participated in the building of King Solomon's Temple, back to their homeland. They who had had a hand in the most stupendous architectural undertaking of ancient times, now formed themselves into a Society known as the Dionysian Architects.

Presently the sway of Rome began to extend itself over the ancient world. The Roman legions came to Tyre. With them they took back to the City of the Seven Hills, many of those skilled workmen who had developed Architecture to a high degree until then not dreamed of in Rome. In the home of the Caesars they imparted their wondrous skill to others and in time an Order akin to their own, The Collegia, sprang into being. These too were fraternities of skilled artificers closely correlated, and protected by the same Secret System as their instructors. A somewhat significant characteristic of each of these Roman Collegia was the fact that each had its Master, its Wardens, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and a Quorum of three, as a requirement to meeting. The Square, the Plumb, the Level, the Cube, the Compasses and the Circle were symbolic emblems of the Roman Builders. Secrecy was a keynote of their organization.

In the days when Christianity was forbidden Heresy in still-pagan Rome, many of The Collegia became afflicted with the strange new Cult. For a time, the Emperor Diocletian purposely permitted himself to be blind to their departure from the ancient Faith to that of the Nazarene. When four of their most influential members refused to erect a statue to the God Aesculapius, Diocletian inaugurated a vigorous campaign for their undoing. Four of the Masters and one Apprentice suffered a horrible death. It is these Four who today are gratefully remembered by the Craftsmen of Europe, as our First Masonic Martyrs. After them is named the greatest Lodge of Research in the world, the Quatuor Coronati of London.

Such of the brethren of the Collegia as escaped fled to an impregnable refuge on Lake Como. Here they kept their secret organization alive perpetuating it as the Comacine Gild which flourished during the Dark Ages.

After Charlemagne, when the spread of Christianity led to an immense revival in building as a fine art, expressing itself in the erection of great Cathedrals, the Comacines followed in the wake of the Clergy, availing themselves of their ancient privileges as Free Men to go whither they might desire.

Out of their wanderings resulted the Cathedral Builders or Free Masons—the old Operatives—who traveled from city to city, from nation to nation, welcomed by all and recognized as the only Gilds quite competent to express the Spirit of the Times in speaking stone. Their organization was that of Lodges, with a Master, Fellowcrafts and Apprentices.

Apprentices were required to serve seven years before they might become Fellowcrafts. Then there was due examination and only such as were found duly and truly prepared, worthy and well-qualified were passed. Another characteristic was that each Mason had his own individual mark. Many of these you may see today in some of the great Cathedrals of Europe.

Perhaps I can best explain the great dependence of Freemasons upon Symbolic Expression by following the example of Ossian Lang and quoting from that masterly Chapter in Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame." It takes its title, "THIS WILL KILL THAT", from the gloom of one of its leading characters, the Archdeacon, as he contrasts a crudely printed book, one of the first of its kind, with the towers and gargoyle-decorated walls of the Church, supreme consummation of Masons' handiwork, to gloomily exclaim as he points to the printed page, "This will kill that." Says Victor Hugo:

"The human race has had two books, two registers, two testaments—Architecture and Printing—the Bible of Stone, and the Bible of Paper. Up to the time of Gutenberg, Architecture was the chief and universal mode of writing. In those days if a man was born a poet, he turned architect. Genius, scattered among the masses,—kept down on all sides by feudality,—escaped by way of Architecture, and its Iliads took the form of Cathedrals. From the moment that printing was discovered, architecture gradually lost its virility, declined and became denuded. Being no longer looked upon as the one all-embracing, sovereignty and enslaving art, architecture lost its power of retaining others in its service. Carving became Sculpture,—Imagery, Painting,—the Canon, Music. It was like the dismemberment of an Empire on the death of its Alexander,—each province making itself a kingdom."

While Masonry expressed itself in the handiwork of the Compagnons as our craftsmen were called in France, of the Comacines in Italy, and the Vehmgerichte in Germany, Gothic Architecture springing up in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066, gave an equal degree of prosperity to the Freemasons there. And as early as 1600 it was quite common in England for Operative Lodges to admit Speculative members.

Although engaged in the service of the Church the Freemasons did not even in mediaeval days wholly approve of the Church. Upon some of the highest cornices of their handiwork they have indelibly cartooned this contempt. For example Findel says: "In the St. Sebaldus Church of Nurembourg, is a carving showing a nun in the embrace of a monk. In Strassburg an Ass is reading Mass at an altar. In Mecklenburg may be seen priests grinding dogmas out of a gristmill, and the Apostles in well-known Masonic attitudes. At Brandenburg you may see a fox in priestly robes preaching to a flock of geese."

With the Reformation came a distinct break between Church and Freemasonry.

A direct off-shoot of the traveling Freemasons were City Gilds which embodied much of the Philosophy, and some of the brotherhood features, of our Order. Still they were quite distinct. They sometimes worked for the Freemasons. To enter the older and more artistic fraternity they must prove possessed of unusual skill.

There can be no doubt of our direct descent from the mediaeval craftsmen of whose splendid symbolism I have tried to give a glimpse. Says Joseph Fort Newton in his classic of the Blue Lodge:

"Masonry was then at the zenith of its power: in its full splendor: the Lion of the tribe of Judah its symbol, strength, wisdom and beauty its ideals. Its motto "to be faithful to God and the Government." Its mission to lend itself to the public good and fraternal Charity. Keeper of an ancient and high tradition, it was a refuge for the oppressed, and a teacher of art and morality to mankind."

It was when the Freemasons took Liberty for a slogan that the Church looked askance. In the more Catholic countries Freemasonry was frowned upon.

They through united action drove the hated Spanish Inquisition from the shores of the New World. In Mexico, Masons since 1833 have had their own particular platform, later formulated as the Laws of Reform into the Constitution of 1857, that same Constitution for which Madero gave his life, for which Carranza is fighting now.

Social Service is another latter day call upon the craft. In some cities, Masonic Social Service has been developed to the highest degree of efficiency.

He who would best serve Masonry must be tireless in his efforts. Maintain close connection with your Lodge; Make the visiting stranger feel at home; Aid the Master in devising ways and means to vary the monotony of the ceaseless grinding of our Degree Mills, endless repetition, an unavoidable consequence nowadays because of the Wave of Masonic Enthusiasm overspreading the country. If you would better fit yourself for the Fellowship of Freemasonry as an Active Worker, inform yourself of its splendid traditions, its history, aims, and present-day activities.

All this is possible through our readable Masonic Magazines, and periodicals for those of you pressed for time, and the weightier tomes of Masonic Lore for the Booklover. You will soon learn there is much that we must do. We Masons are just finding ourselves.

I might consume hours telling of the problems to be met. Perhaps most of you know better than I many of them now staring us in the face. Signs of Unrest are all about us. How to meet new issues, new conditions, Masons may find by keeping in close contact with their Lodges, their Chapters, their Masonic Clubs and subsidiary organizations where the best of the brethren meet to take council together, and plan for the future, while showing an unrelaxing interest in the present.

There is much more to Masonry than the continuous repetition of Ritualism. While that has its function, in reminding us of the Great Philosophy which has successfully weathered the storms of centuries, and contributed its quota to the making of Better Men, Squarer Men, Truer Men, yet it has failed utterly and its beauty and rhythmic charm has had no meaning to him who came merely to be raised from a dead level to a living perpendicular, if he passes out again to the Profane, to flaunt his emblem proudly, while altogether out of touch with the Brotherhood, with the lodge, with himself—a Button Mason indeed, who comes no more to lodge unless it be to dine.

There is no more splendid Fellowship than that of Masonry—the glorious interlacing Fellowship of Man with the Great Architect of the Universe, the invisible, incorporeal ONE GOD—and next the Fellowship of Man with Men, mutual recognition of brotherhood. Such a fellowship expresses both human ideals and spiritual aspirations.

All through the long centuries Masonry has borne the Secret Doctrine of Fellowship teaching Man to live in harmony with Man.

I have spoken of the Great Quest all Masons have made, all Masons are making, that steady secret search which some have found, and some have not, the goal.

To each man is the Secret Doctrine unraveled insofar as he senses his proximity to his God, his brotherly responsibility for his kind.

WHEN IS A MAN A MASON?

Find the answer in that Blue Lodge Classic, The Builders, by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton:

"When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and courage . . . which is the root of every virtue. When he knows that down in his heart, every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive and to love his fellow-man. When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrow, yea, even in their sins, knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds. When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all, to keep friends with himself. . . . When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. . . . When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. . . . When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. . . . When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, with his God: in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of song, . . . glad to live, but not afraid to die. Such a man has found the ONLY REAL SECRET OF MASONRY, and THE ONE which it is trying to give all the world."



Epilogue: "Sit Lux"

EDITORIAL NOTE.—This article was specially written for "Light" by Prest. McLeish, of the Masonic Library Association of Cincinnati. Several years ago he wrote an article for Masonic Bibliophile, then under the able management of the late Bro. Scott Bonham. This has been widely copied by the Masonic Press, but does not contain as full an account of the various branches of Mexican Masonry as the present writing, bringing the story up to date.

The data for the original Bibliophile article, referring only to the Scottish Rite, was obtained by the author from General Agramonte, of Mexico City. The father of Doctor McLeish spent six years of mining activity in Sabinal, Chihuahua, which town he founded and where he died, in the days when Porfirio Diaz was President.

Through his Masonic connections the family were able to have the body brought through a practically unsettled district 120 miles coffinless, across the Chihuahua desert to Villa Ahumada, where a special train and undertaker were waiting. A special escort of Masons accompanied it to El Paso, Texas, where it was received by the Knights Templar in 1896.

The younger McLeish was not then a Mason, but naturally gathered much first hand information as his father came into close contact with such Masons as President Diaz, General Agramonte, Governor Ahumada, the Macmanus Brothers, Senior Horcasitas and Vice-President Pombo.

Since the days prior to 1896 Brother McLeish has become a Mason and continued his pursuit of information concerning other rites. The latest of these is the American York Grand Lodge, which claims to be the only legitimate successor to the Valle de Mexico, Grand. Brother Frederick E. Young, Past Grand Master, has given what may be regarded as the official statement, the American faction side, in an article originally published in the Ars Quattuor Coronati and republished by the Trestleboard together with the Bibliophile article as a preface.

In order that the Masonic press may get a "fresh start" as it were, therefore, Brother McLeish has carefully revised his data and brought it up to date by reference to all sources available to Americans at present.



Mexican Masonry and the Men Who Made It



A General Summary


No small part has been played by Mexican Freemasons in an historic drama as replete with action as any ever staged by humanity.

At the inchoation of the Nineteenth century Mexico seemed hopelessly enslaved under the harsh rule of Roman ecclesiasticism expressing itself through the puppet personalities of Spanish viceroys, representatives of a king and a Cortez utterly subservient to the Pope of Rome.

For three hundred years this sad condition had persisted in Mexico. In consequence the clergy were stupendously rich and seemingly fortified in an impregnable position. What was left of the natural resources of the country after supplying the priests and mother country went to the enrichment of the viceroy and the Spanish satellites making up his court. For the native-born was abject misery, slavery, dire poverty.


Terror of the Inquisition

Through the country the dread inquisition flourished and held sway. Its wretched 'victims filled to over-flowing the great military prisons like San Juan de Uloa with their disease-disseminating, vermin-infested, dark dungeons, veritable hell holes. So unutterably cruel were the penalties attached by the inquisitors to failure to pay the clerical tithes any utterance against the existing order, a breath of what they might consider heresy, that wonder is the SYSTEM held sway as long as it did. However much the native-born contributed to their taskmasters, it was never enough.

Overseas, decadent Spain was in dire straits; upon the viceroys it devolved to pay the upkeep of the Court of the Bourbons, to meet the endless demands of the Clerical OCTOPUS fattening upon both countries.


First Masonic Record 1806

Our first authentic Masonic record in Mexico may be traced back to a little house in Mexico City, Calle de las Ratas No. 4, where as early as 1806 the Masonic lodge, then known as "Arquitectura Moral," held its regular meetings to disseminate Masonic light and plan for the great day when the yoke of the Spaniards and the inquisition should be driven from the country forevermore. In the membership of this little pioneer lodge were some of the most intelligent of Mexico's citizens, Don Manuel Luyando, Don Enrique Muni, Don Manuel Verdad, Don Gregorio Martinez, Don Feliciano Vargas, Don Jose Maria Espinosa, Don Miguel Betancourt, Don Ignacio Moreno and Don Miguel Dominguez.


Hidalgo, the Priest-Mason

To the city, seeking Masonic light, there came dust-covered and weary from miles of mountain and desert travel two great men, a priest and a soldier, the one, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, cure of the parish of Dolores, the other Don Ignacio Allende. They abode in No. 5 Calle de las Ratas, and, having been found worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared, were successively inducted into the mysteries of Aprendiz, Companero and Maestro, according to the Liturgias of "Verdadera Masoneria" or "Rito-Antiguo-Aceptado-Escoces."

A sufficient authority for this statement is the authenticated historian of the period, Richard E. Chism, corroborated at a later date by an equally reliable writer,. Senor de la Pena.

Not easy in those days of inquisitorial supremacy was it even for a Masonic lodge to meet, however great the precautions taken. Spanish spies infested every street corner; servitors in the houses were subsidized agents of the inquisition; the apparently respectable civilian living next one's door was an accredited agent of the system which terrorized the nation.


Cabo Franco the Spy

What wonder, then, that a house across the way from the lodge room of "The Moral Architect," the house at No. 12 Calle de las Ratas, should shelter a creature there domiciled for no other reason than to spy upon the patriots and in due time denounce them to his superiors?

So it happened. The fellow, Cabo Franco, spoke at an appropriate time, the black-garbed hirelings of the inquisition descended upon the house at No. 4, and a vigorous persecution of the brethren followed.


Hidalgo Excommunicated

Fortunately for the cause of Mexican independence, Brothers Hidalgo and Allende had left the city before the raid; in consequence the inquisition had to content itself with excommunicating these "devil-worshippers" and "members of an accursed sect," which not at all precluded them sounding "el grito" in September of 1810 and raising the standard of revolt against "the system."


His Death

Of the brief heroic efforts of Hidalgo, Allende, and their brother Masons to bring light to poor Mexico, history has told the tale. Of how, after a scintillating victory over the trained forces of the viceroy and the troops of the Spanish line, indecision, lack of proper equipment and dissension among the ignorant Indian chieftains who had flocked to their standard brought inevitable defeat; of how Hidalgo and his few remaining followers made a last brave stand at the River Calderon, only to find defeat and death, their heads displayed on pikes in Chihuahua City. With this sad sequel to the first act in the long struggle for Mexican independence you are doubtless familiar.

From the uprising of Hidalgo and his patriots, affairs moved rapidly in Mexico. Leader after Leader succeeded to the command of the revolutionary armies. From 1810 on, the Viceroyalty knew not peace. Some of the best forces of the Spanish line were sent across the water to quell the revolt.

In vain—in vain. Priestcraft can never conquer LIBERTY.

Always in Mexico arose again an Army of the NATIVE BORN.

In the capitol, varying successes, in the field, had loosened the tongues of men. Pamphleteers were legion. For the first time the public press presumed to openly criticize the August Representative of the King of Spain. That Fetish hitherto Supreme—THE INQUISITION,—you may well believe, came in for caustic, captious criticism. Its persecution, its incredible inhumanities were brought to light.

Perhaps the Inquisitors thought, when they raided the house at No. 4, Calle de las Ratas, dispersed the Brethren, took possession of the Book of Constitution and Records of the Lodge—that they were ending Mexican Masonry forevermore!

Poor, fatuous fools!

They labored under the same mistake in France, in 1780, when they laid their trap for Count Cagliostro, Grand Cophta of the Egyptian Rite of Masonry.

Out of the mystic East had come this mysterious personage bringing with him the wisdom of Isis and Osiris, and the Ritualism of one of the purest, most uplifting branches of Masonic Lore known to man.

From country to country traveled the Grand Cophta, forming his Lodges, making alliances with other established Masonic Bodies, working ever with one fixed purpose in view, the overthrow of Like Voltaire, and Rousseau, Franklin and Paul Jones, the Grand Cophta was the precursor of a general philosophic movement, symbolized by the slogans, ""LIBERTY, FRATERNITY, AND EQUALITY."

In every country of his sojourn, the Grand Cophta was the victim of a studied campaign of lying and slander and malice. Unterrified and confident, he pursued his course, achieving inconceivable success and came at last to France. From the provincial towns like Lyons, the ramifications of the Egyptian Rite Lodges extended their network in and about Paris, where at last came Count Cagliostro, to perform the finishing touches to his self-assigned task, prior to sounding the summons to a general revolution.

In Paris the Grand Cophta made his one vital mistake. He renewed his former friendship with a minion of Mother Church, the Cardinals de Rohan.

On the very eve of his success, when the Grand Orients of France, the Illuminati, and the Philaletae were ready and willing to form a pact of union with Cagliostro's Rite of Egypt, a union which would have hastened the French Revolution by many years, the Inquisitors struck. They struck hard. Rome never does things by halves.

To ruin a man of Cagliostro's immense fraternal influence called for something quite out of the ordinary. Rome was ready however. It cost the Inquisition a Cardinal of the Church: they hurried De Rohan off to the Bastille: with him went the man who had been a faithful friend. With these two into the gloomy French Prison went the serpent who had been the original temptress, Madam de St. Remy de Valois de la Motte, the beautiful but wicked Countess, also the poor little wife of the Grand Cophta.

In the subsequent imprisonment and torture of Count Cagliostro and his wife, in the persistent damning of his reputation by the lying paragraphers of the Inquisition, his unscrupulous enemies hoped and thought they were dealing a deathblow to the powerful SECRET BROTHERHOOD of which he had been but . They were mistaken.

When the time was come, the patriots struck hard and with no less telling effect.

The Inquisition had it is true, killed a single Grand Lodge and its known Grand Master, but MASONRY then as formerly, then as now, then as in time to come it will, went marching bravely on, undeterred, unafraid.

There were, and there are, other Rites than that of Egypt.

So in Mexico.

Although the System had crushed the Moral Architect Lodge which is also known to later writers as Valle de Mejico No. 1, although the inquisitors hounded the brave little band who had made up its charter membership, although they executed Hidalgo and Allende—not at all did they preclude the spread of Masonry.

In 1813 was established the first Grand Lodge under the Scottish Rite, having for its Grand Master, Don Felipe Martinez Aragon. A number of subordinate Lodges sprang up throughout the country.

Naturally there were factions. One might find Lodges composed of Spaniards only, and those of Mexicans. Aragon was the leader of the Spanish Masons. Of the Native Born, the patriot General, Don Nicolas Bravo was the head.

It was during this period that Don Augustin de Iturbide, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Guadalupe Victoria and the brave Guerrero received MASONIC LIGHT.

In 1816, and 1817, there were working under charter, from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, these Lodges, "Friends United No. 8," at Vera Cruz, and "Reunion by Virtue No. 9," at Campeche.

In 1824, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania gave Charter to a Lodge in Alvarado working as "True Brothers of Papaloapam No. 191."

From its humble beginning in Calle de las Ratas, Mexican Masonry had its heritage of hate. Nolens volens, it must enter politics to fight for its very being, to combat the horrible OCTOPUS OF THE INQUISITION, whose tentacles were still far-reaching throughout the country.

By no possible manner of means, could the Light of Liberty come to this priest-ridden country, while the filthy dungeons of San Juan de Uloa, the gloomy cells of the Acordado and old Belem, were packed with the native sons, held in durance on charges of Heresy, and through sheer inability to meet the demands of the fat friars and tithe-takers of the existing government.

MEXICAN MASONRY had its mission clearly defined.

It was to be a duello al muerte between the Brotherhood of LIGHT and the Sons of Loyola.

Factional fights and internecine jealousies were but natural in an Order embracing men of the fervent, volatile, effervescent temperament of the native Mexicans.

The time seemed ripe for a schism.

It so happened that the American Minister to Mexico, Mr. Joel Poinsett, was one of the high authorities of York Rite Masonry in his native land. To him then, came certain of the disaffected leaders of the Mexican Scottish Rite, Don Jose Maria Alpuche y Infante, Don Miguel Ramos Arizpe, Don Ignacio Esteva, and Don Jose Antonio Mejia, representing as many symbolic lodges. They petitioned for a Charter under the York Rite of the United States, which Mr. Poinsett eventually procured for them, through the Grand Lodge of New York.

The Grand Master of the New Rite was Genera Vincente Guerrero destined soon to become President of the Republic, destined too, to share the same sad fate as his brother Mason, Iturbide,—at the hands of his compatriots.

From now on a merry strife commenced between the two dominant Masonic Bodies, interspersed with the inevitable conflicts with the Clerical Party.

An amusing anomaly of that early period of Masonry in Mexico, may be found in the fact that each Rite had among its membership, some friars and priests, in sufficient number to prevail upon the brethren to observe publicly certain Fiestas of the Ladies of Pilar and La Mercedes for the Scottish Rite, and Our Illustrious Lady of Guadalupe for the York Rite

All this while too, MOTHER CHURCH was anathematizing Masonry of every Rite from its pulpits.

Early York Rite Lodges working under the New Charter were:

"La Libertad No. 1," "La Federacion No. 2," "La Independencia No. 3."

In 1828 there were as many as 102 York Rite Lodges in Mexico. Of these, some were Military Lodges having no fixed habitat.

From the cradle of Mexican Masonry in Calle de Las Ratas o had come into being the two powerful bodies which, with the establishment of the First Republic of Mexico, following the collapse of Iturbide: short-lived Empire, were destined to offer as Leader; in the Civic and Dictatorial government of the country,—men thoroughly trained in the principles of LIBERTY, FRATERNITY, AND EQUALITY,—statesmen, diplomats, soldiers and writers, each in his own occupying an especial niche in the MASONIC ROLL OF HONOR.

The long struggle for Independence had furnished as Masonry's quota to the national leaders, Hidalgo, Allende, Mina, Iturbide, Santa Anna, Guerrero, Victoria,—nay, the roll is long, too long indeed, for individual mention here.

It was but natural that out of the jealousies existent between the Scottish and York Rites, should emerge still a third Masonic Rite, claiming its own individual Masonic Sovereignty and its own share in the partitioning of public offices and state control, while ever ready to battle with its Sister Rites against the common foe of Masonry—the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1825 there assembled in Mexico City representatives from both the Scottish and York Rite bodies, among them such prominent Masons as Don Jose Maria Mateos, Guillermo Lamott, Guillermo Gardett, Cayetano Rinaldi, Luis Luelmo, Juan Maria Matheus, Francisco Ocampo, and Mariano Rodriguez. Through their deliberations was evolved the NATIONAL RITE OF MEXICO under the following general rules.

The membership must be limited solely to regularly raised Masons of Recognized Rites. The afore-mentioned Rite was to be entirely free and independent of any other Rite as to sovereignty throughout the Mexican Nation, and its dependencies, its government, residing in a Supreme Grand Orient and A National Grand Lodge of Mexico. That the symbolic degrees shall be the same as those of other recognized Masonic Rites, Aprendiz, Companero and Maestro: the higher grades, thirty-three, among these Past Master, Knight of the Secret, Knight of the Mexican Eagle, Perfect Artificer, Grand Judge and Grand Inspector.

The Grand Lodge "La Luz" under the new Grand Master Guillermo Gardett, assembled in 1826 with these symbolic lodges subordinate:

Igualidad: Terror de los Tiranos: Meridiano Anahuassense: Luz Mejicana: and Desocupacion Indiana.

Perfect peace, harmony and recognition prevailed for a time between the three distinct ruling bodies. All mixed more or less in public affairs.

In 1828 through the ascendancy of the Clerical Party, a decree was issued forbidding all Secret Societies to assemble or have being, under the most severe penalties.

For the time, MASONIC ACTIVITIES were very quiescent in the Republic of Mexico.

Then came into power, President Bustamente of the York Rite, who abrogated this decree. In consequence, Masonry took on new life.

All of which evidences, that try as they will, the Sons of Loyola, with all the intricate machinery of the Inquisition behind them, as they had in those days, cannot hope to crush the soul out of Masonry. The germ may linger long quiescent, only to spring anew to life when time is ripe.

Although the York and Scottish Rites had taken some considerable part in the shaping of the Republic's welfare, it remained for the youngest of Masonry's Mexican daughters to openly formulate a definite platform upon the conduct of public affairs.

In 1833 the National Rite set forth its policy as follows:

"Absolute Freedom of Thought: Freedom of the Press.

"Abolishment of the Privileges of the Clergy, and of the Army.

"Suppression of Monastic Institutions: Destruction of Monopolies.

"Protection of Arts and Industries: Dissemination of Libraries, and Schools: Abolition of Capital Punishment: Colonial Expansion."

Most of these high principles were later embodied in the Laws of Reform enacted and put into the Mexican Constitution by the greatest of the Masons of the Mexican National Rite, Brother Benito Juarez, when President of Mexico.

In the Civil War inaugurated by Santa Anna and his brethren of the Scottish Rite, Mexican National Rite Masons were led by General Valentin Gomez Farias.

In 1845 a French Lodge began to work in Mexico under a Charter from the Grand Orient of France. This was called "Les Hospelalicedes deux mondes."

In 1868 was inaugurated a joint sovereignty under the title, "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Mexican Rite."

In its long career, the Mexican National Rite interchanged and received recognition from and with many foreign Masonic Bodies.

It is especially interesting to us Masons of the United States because in its very considerable membership, may be found many of the leaders of Mexican Masonic fame, men who have passed into history. Need I mention Degollado, Farias, De Tejada, De la Pena y Barragan, Benito Juarez, Porfirio Diaz, Corona, Escobeda, and Iglesias?

It was due to the iron will and determination of Brother Benito Juarez, whose memory today is honored by Masons of all Mexican Rites, that needed restrictions were placed by his LAWS OF REFORM upon aggrandizement of the Catholic Clergy, limitations upon Monasteries and Convents, and the rendering impossible in Mexico of that horrible Bete Noir of all time,—the Holy Inquisition,—an institution which exacted grievous toll from Masonry, long before ever was made public, its horrible torture of Brother John Cuestos in Portugal.

In 1880 was founded the Gran Oriente of Mexico to work only in the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master.

On May 27, 1883 the Supreme Council of Mexico City issued a decree pronouncing upon the freedom and sovereignty of Symbolic Masonry in the Republic, and renouncing all jurisdiction over it.

In 1890 by invitation, all Symbolic Lodges sent representatives to the Grand Orient of Mexico. Together they formed with this body, La Gran Dieta Symbolica de los Estados Unidos Mejicanos, under a General Constitution prohibiting the working of other than the first three degrees of Masonry, and interference of any kind on the part of the degrees from the fourth to the thirty-third.

In other words, Symbolic Grand Lodge Sovereignty now became an independent working body, having subordinate to it, seventeen State Grand Lodges, and two subordinate Lodges.

It might be thought that this was a satisfactory adjudication of jurisdictional authority for Mexican Masonry.

Not so.

Another change was still to come, largely resultant upon the unsettled state of Mexico, incidental to the kaleidoscopic turn of events subsequent to 1910.

Very naturally, the English-speaking Lodges made up mostly of Americans, had no desire to become involved in the political affairs appertaining to the Mexican people only.

In consequence, they renounced their allegiance to the Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico to form yet another independent Masonic Sovereignty, THE YORK GRAND LODGE OF MEXICO.

This was in 1912.

In explanation, Brother Ernest Tudor Craig, one of the early Masters of the New Body, said:

"Our position in Masonry is somewhat unique. The York Grand Lodge of Mexico is a Grand Lodge composed of York Rite Lodges, and working in the English language with two exceptions, while the so-called Masonry of the indigenous inhabitants is so-called Scottish Rite, and their natural inclination is at least cooperation with, if not subordination to their Supreme Council, thus making the so-called Mexican Grand Lodges subordinate instead of sovereign bodies. IN AMERICAN PRACTICE, IT IS FUNDAMENTAL THAT A GRAND LODGE MUST BE SUPREME IN ITS GOVERNMENT."

When the National Mexican Rite flourished independently, before the merger, of all the Mexican Bodies, Porfirio Diaz received Masonic Light under its auspices. During his long rule of over thirty years, Masonry in Mexico flourished as never before. Eventually he took unto himself a second wife of Catholic persuasion. Supposedly through the influence wrought upon him by her family, he relaxed considerably the iron restrictions until then in force upon the Clericals, allowing them much greater rein than they had ever enjoyed under the Laws of Reform instituted by his great predecessor, BENITO JUAREZ.

As might have been anticipated, once politico-religious interference entered into the hitherto harmonious Mexican polity, trouble began.

Once again the CLERICAL OCTOPUS reared its slimy head in the until then prosperous Mexico.

There happened the inevitable Revolution led by Don Francisco Madero, Jr, 32 A. & A. S. R., ably advised by Brother Pino de Suarez, 33 A. & A. S. R.

Following the flight of Porfirio Diaz,—the very brief, idealistic administration of Mexico's Masonic Martyr, and then the short-lived saturnalia of HUERTA.

History has told us of the cold-blooded assassination of Madero and his Vice President Suarez, in the wee, small hours preceding dawn, while they waited in uncertainty in that place of dark deeds and darker secrets, the Palacio Nacional.

What all the world does not know, is how the Catholic Huerta celebrated the triumph of CLERICALISM by having a solemn Te Deum and the Presentation of the Arms to the Host in the old Cathedral of Mexico City, on the morning following the murder.

Unblushing effrontery you may say, but Huerta thrived through insolence.

Not so easily was foul murder to rear its ghastly and lugubrious head even in Mexico City of 1913, unchallenged.

Two women, the grief-stricken wife of Francisco Madero Jr., and the utterly crushed wife of poor Pino Suarez, addressed a pitiful plea for help, to the sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction A. & A. S. R., of this United States.

In letters short and convincing, they told the sordid tale of murder and rapine, and the true tale of the Black Tragedy was flashed to the civilized world through the New Age, the official journal of the southern Scottish Rite in this country.

In support of their charges against Victoriano Huerta, was the official statement of Brother Rojas, then supreme Representative of the Mexican Scottish Rite.

Could Huerta long remain after civilization knew the Truth?

For a long time, his very effrontery sustained him in power.

Presently came complete collapse.

Followed the inevitable flight of that hoary old champion of CLERICALISM.

THEN CHAOS.

Then the Unspeakable Villa.

More Chaos: then HOPE.

It may be that President Carranza will not prove strong enough to hold his coigne of advantage against the insuperable odds offered him by opponents whose motto is THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS—and should it happen so, even as the sun rises in the east to open and illumine the day, so will rise some other MASTER, an Hidalgo, a Guerrero, or yet another Madero, to leap into the bloody breach and fight Clericalism to the last ditch.

For it is written,

LIGHT MUST DAWN IN MEXICO. If the "Frailes" and the "Padres" would live in the land of Hidalgo, they must bow to the wise dictum first enunciated by another great Mason of the long ago,—Brother Napoleon Bonaparte, tersely set forth, "THE PRIEST HAS NO PLACE IN POLITICS."

On Sunday March 11, 1917, an Election was held throughout the Republic of Mexico. With little opposition, CARRANZA was regularly elected President the first constitutional executive to be chosen since the cruel assassination of Francisco I. Madero. A constitutional Convention sitting at Queretaro for the past few months has carefully considered, and revised the Masonic Constitution of 1857 to modernize it and render it a more effective working document compatible with new and untried conditions.

Much of the success of the Carranza administration now having so auspicious a beginning depends upon the continued moral and financial support of the United States of America.

Sensational reports transmitted to this country from various sources insinuate that Germany has been and is making strenuous efforts to enkindle Mexican hatred against the Gringo—that German Reservists are pouring into the southern Republic with the ultimate design of leading an armed invasion against us, on the instant War is declared between the United States and Germany—that the German Bank of Mexico City has practically financed all of Carranza's recent undertakings.

It is possible, even probable, that Germany has left no stone unturned to bring to a successful culmination her intrigues against the United States.

It is improbable that President Carranza could consistently betray the friendly Government whose moral support during his own darkest hours has made possible of realization the dream of the Liberals for a Free and Enlightened Mexico—and the reincarnation of Constitutionality, with its attendant blessings of Free Speech, Free Press, Civil and Religious Liberty.

If Carranza and the Masonic Liberals of Mexico run true to form, the United States can anticipate no danger from the German Menace across the Rio Grande. Instead, we have every reason to anticipate a reciprocity of that utilitarian policy which it has been the joy and pride of this splendid country of ours, to manifest towards Latin America—a policy founded upon the basic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.