Formation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas
In D. D. Tidwell's article The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas, he discussed the formation of the Grand Chapter, and he also cited the newspaper article in the Austin City Gazette for October 12, 1841 issuing the notice calling for a convention to create the Grand Chapter, as well as the article in the Austin City Bulletin for December 25, 1841 which stated the results of the convention, but he failed to list the Companions who were the charter members of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas. Both of these articles are reprinted verbatim below in their entirety.
Austin City Gazette, October 12, 1841:
"To the Officers of the several Chapters and all worthy Royal Arch Masons in the Republic of Texas:"
Companions:-- In accordance with the wish of many of the Companions resident in this Republic, expressed by letter, or otherwise, calling for the establishment of a Grand Royal Arch Chapter. For the republic of Texas, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted at the regular meeting of Lone Star Chapter no. 3 held in their Lodge room, in the city of Austin, on the evening of the 11th of October. The occasion for which the Convention is called being important, it is hoped that there will be a general attendance, and that all the Chapters in the republic will be represented.
"B. Gillespie, H.P.L.S.C., pro tem.
"Where as, the Masonic Fraternity possessing within itself all the necessary elements and principles of self government, and being founded for the preservation of order and advancement for the cause of virtue and morality-which is the cause of truth-the uniting of men of every nation and every clime together, by a lasting bond of fraternal love and brotherly regard; and whereas, in the opinion of the Companions present, the welfare of the institution would be better protected, and harmony better preserved, by the formation of a grand Royal Arch Chapter, for the republic of Texas, to regulate the proceedings of the various Chapters which are, at present, or may, hereafter, be established within the political boundaries of this Republic; and whereas, in our opinion, the longer the establishment of a supreme head for the regulation of Royal Arch Masonry in this country be delayed, the greater will be the inconvenience of establishing such organization, for the purpose of carrying out the great fundamental principles of the Order: therefore, be it
"Resolved,1. That a Convention of Royal Arch Masons be holden in this city on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in December next, for the purpose of organizing, forming, and establishing a Grand Royal Arch Chapter for the Republic of Texas, and that the Chapter in Galveston, Matagorda, and San Augustine be requested to send or appoint Delegates to meet like Delegates from this Chapter in said Convention, and the Companions generally throughout this Republic be invited to attend.
"Resolved, 2. That the Secretary be instructed to have the forgoing preamble and resolution be published in the Austin City Gazette, and that all newspapers throughout the Republic, friendly to the Institution, are requested to copy the same.
Lone Star Chapter No. 3,
City of Austin, Oct. 12 A.D. 1841, A.L. 5841.
"I hereby certify the above to be a true copy of the preamble and resolutions adopted by the Chapter, at the regular meeting on the 10th Instant.
"H. W. Raglin,
"Secretary Lone Star Chapter No. 3
Austin City Bulletin, December 25, 1841
Tuesday December 21, 1841
A convention of Royal Arch Masons met pursuant to a notice duly published in the Austin City Gazette to take into consideration the propriety of forming and constituting a Grand Royal Arch Chapter for the Republic of Texas.
The convention was organized by the nomination, and election of Companion John H. Walton, as President of the Convention, and Companion George K. Teulon as Secretary.
Delegates from the following Chapters working under dispensation of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas were present.
Cyrus Chapter, Matagorda, S. Ingram, Wm. W. Stewart, and B. H. Perkins.
Sanfelipe de Austin Chapter, Galveston, Companion John H. Walton.
Lone Star Chapter, Austin, Companions C. Daniel, B. Gillespie, J. Izod
Rising Star Chapter, San Augustine, Companions J. A. Greer, N. H. Darnell, J. Gillespie.
The Following Companions were also present; Companions Sam Houston, E. Burleson, C. Mann, H. W. Raglin, W.L. Cazeneau, H.B. Hill, S. W. Perkins, G.K. Tuelon, A. Sterne, T.J. Hardeman, M. Johnson, S. Whiting, J. Matossy, A. Seeger, and R.S. Neighbors.
Companion B. Gillespie introduced the following resolution, which after being duly seconded, was immediately adopted.
Resolved that it is the sense of this convention, that it is expedient to form and constitute a Grand Royal Arch Chapter for the Republic of Texas, for the government and control of those Royal Arch Chapters which are at present formed, or may hereafter be formed within this Republic.
On motion of Companion Ingram, duly seconded, a committee of four was appointed to draft a Constitution for the government of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas, when the same shall be formed. On Motion, the Convention adjourned until Thursday evening inst.
The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
On motion, the convention proceeded to the election of Grand Officers of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas for the next ensuing year.
On motion it was resolved that these proceedings be signed by the President and Secretary of the Convention and Published.
On motion the Convention adjourned, sins die
Attest G.K. Teulon, Sec'y.
Officers of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the
Republic of Texas:
"M.E. Barry Gillespie, G. H. Priest
"Dugald McFarlane, Dept. G. H. Priest
"John H. Holland, G. King*
"Anthony B. Shelby, G. Scribe
"Charles Daniel, G. Capt. of Host
"John A. Greer, G. P. Sojourner
"Wm. W. Stewart, G. R.A. Capt.
"James Izod, G. M. 3rd. V.
"George K. Teulon, G. M. 2d V.
"William Cazeneau, G. M. 1st. V.
"Moses Johnson, G. Treasurer
"H.W. Raglin, G. Secretary,
"John H. Walton, G. Lecturer
"Samuel Whiting, G. Marshall
"Jacob Matossy, G. Sentinel
Copies of both of these articles have been acquired from the Texas state archives. Due to their age the reproduction quality of these articles is extremely poor.
* The Austin City Bulletin December 25, 1841 newspaper article did not list John H. Holland as being a member present, but he is listed as being the Charter Grand King. This is the same John H. Holland, who served as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana of Ancient York Masons that issued the dispensation to form Holland Lodge No. 36, which became Holland Lodge No. 1 under the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas of Ancient York Masons. Companion Holland was also Louisiana's defacto Grand High Priest, while serving as the Grand Master of Louisiana's Grand Lodge. John H. Holland returned to Louisiana before his death, and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tidwell's article states that John Walton, the Delegate from San Felipe de Austin Chapter in Galveston, Texas served as the Convention's President, and that he helped to draft the Constitution, but after he was not elected as the Most Excellent Grand High Priest, he became incensed and refused to sign the Constitution, and withdrew from the Convention, although he did help install the Officers of Austin Lodge No. 12 and Lone Star Chapter No.3.
Tidwell further states, that sometime after the Convention a letter was sent to the General Grand Chapter from the Galveston Chapter, advising of the formation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas. The General Grand Chapter held that the formation of the Texas Grand Chapter was un-Masonic, as they did not apply for a Charter or permission from the General Grand Chapter, which resulted in the General Grand Chapter refusing to recognize the legality of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas. The Texas Companions felt they had the authority being that Texas was an independent Republic and needed no outside permission to form a Grand Chapter and this lead to the enmity between the two Grand bodies.
The Convention forming the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas was held in the building which also housed The Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas of Ancient York Masons, Austin Lodge No.12, and Lone Star Chapter No. 3. This building was located at the intersection of Congress and 6th Street in Austin, Texas. The Scarborough Building occupies this site today.
No picture of the Lodge building from that era is available, seeing that building was destroyed by fire in early February of 1866, but a picture of that street corner after 1866 was discovered in the book entitled the History of Austin Lodge No. 12 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons by C. L. Hill.
There is a reproduction of an oil painting in the Masonic Lodge located in Bay City, Texas showing the Lodge building located in Matagorda, Texas prior to the great storm of 1855, which destroyed the records for Cyrus Chapter.
A photo of McFarland Lodge No. 3 in San Augustine, Texas circa 1880's has been located in Red Land Lodge No. 3 San Augustine, Texas and it shows the Lodge building as it was standing in the 1840's which at that time also housed Rising Star Chapter. Some minutes from Rising Star Chapter are also in possession of Red Land Lodge No.3.
The location of the building that housed San Felipe de Austin Chapter in 1841 has not been determined.