Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Masonic Documents

Letter from Hendreson to Fuertes 1845, belletisdale.blogspot.com
Letter from Stephen Hendreson to A. R. Fuertes, June 25, 1845

Among Belle's letters were several documents that pertain to the St. James Lodge #47, Free and Accepted Masons, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Belle's father, Benjamin Franklin Tisdale, was a member of the lodge and served as Secretary in 1848 and Worshipful Master in 1850. The lodge is still active.<http://www.stjameslodge47.org/officers.htm>

According to Le Raconteur, the journal of Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc., St. James lodge was formed in 1844 after two former lodges in Baton Rouge had ceased to exist. (Le Raconteur, Volume XXXIII, No. 3, September 2013, page 193.)

Letter dated June 25, 1845 from Stephen Hendreson to A. R. Fuertes

The first letter is a thank you to A. R. Fuertes of the Sacred Music Society of Baton Rouge signed by Stephen Hendreson. Original. 7 1/2" x 12 1/4" sheet of paper folded to 3" x 5 1/2" and addressed on the center back to A. R. Fuertes Esq. Manuscript ink. Original in possession of V. B. Zimmerman. Transcribed exactly as written.

Baton Rouge June 25th 1845

A. R. Fuertes Esq
Leader of Baton Rouge
Sacred Music Society

                                    I have been deputed by the Members of the Masonic Fraternity, composing the St. James Lodge, in this Town, to tender to yourself and the Sacred Music Society, their sincere and grateful thanks, for the voluntary and efficient aid rendered by the choir, in assisting the Members of the Lodge to celebrate the anniversary of their patron, St. John the Evangelist.
                                  I seize for myself this opportunity, to express to you, my admiration of the untiring industry, that actuates yourself and Lady, in your efforts to improve the Sacred Music Society, which has become the ornament and pride of the Town of Baton-Rouge.
                                                                              I am
                                                                                Very respectfully
                                                                                  Your obtS”
                                                                                 Stephen Hendreson

[Center Back]

     A. R. Fuertes Esq: .
Leader of the Sacred Music Society


I could not find A. R. Fuertes in Louisiana census records. Stephen Henderson (spelled Henderson instead of Hendreson as in the signature) is on the 1840 and 1850 censuses in the 8th Ward of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. 

In 1850 Stephen Henderson is on line 21, family 811. Stephen is listed as age 51, born in Scotland. His wife is Mary Henderson, age 39, born in Germany. Their children, all born in Louisiana, are Stephen, age 20; Zelia, age 18; Robert, age 14; Mary, age 12; and Caroline, age 8. Also living with the family are Alexander Boreland, Accountant, age 24, born in Louisiana; William W. Rogers, Druggist, age 24, born in England; and Ann Randolph, Mulatto, age 55, born in Louisiana. He is also listed on the 1850 Slave Schedule with 55 slaves. (United States Census, 1850, index and images, FamilySearch.org, NARA mf M432.)

McCaughey Masonic Documents

The next four documents are related to William H. McCaughey, husband of Frances Ann Augusta Pratt.  She was Belle Tisdale's aunt and Eliza Pratt's sister. William was born in Ohio about 1820 and was initiated as a master Mason in 1842.

Wm. H. McCaughey 1842, belletisdale.blogspot.com
Wm. H. McCaughey Masonic initiation 1842

Photocopy of 1842 Masonic certificate of initiation for William H. McCaughey. Location of original unknown. Transcribed exactly as written.

Wheeling, Oct 13th 1842

This is to certify that the bearer hereof our trusty and beloved brother Wm H McCaughey has been regularily innitiated passed and voiced to the sublime degree of a master Mason and is now a member of Ohio Lodge No. 101

Witness the seal of Said Lodge this 13th

day of October AL 5842 A.D. 1842.

[Signed] James W. Clemens

[Seal]                                    [Signed] Geo. W. Sights Secty
[Signed] Wm H. McCaughey

William McCaughey came to Louisiana sometime before 3 December 1846 when he married Frances Pratt. He was admitted to Baton Rouge Lodge #47 of the Masons on 
4 November 1848.
Wm. H. McCaughey Masonic document 1848, belletisdale.blogspot.com

Original Masonic document granting Demit to William H. McCaughey, dated 4 Nov 1848, signed by B. F. Tisdale. 8” x 16" grey paper folded in half, then folded to 3" x 5" with address center back, manuscript ink. Original in possession of V. B. Zimmerman.
Transcribed exactly as written.

St. James Lodge No. 47
Baton Rouge Nov 4th 1848

To All Free and Accepted
Masons throughout the World
                                                          Our Worthy Brother
William H. McCaughey, having made a written application to this L. for a Demit, and his dues to the Same being all paid, the Said Demit was Granted him unanimously in Open Lodge the day and date above Written.

In testimony whereof I have            
placed my Official Signature          
and affixed the Seal of the             
L .. to this instrument of Demitment
[Seal of St. James Lodge]
[Signed] B. F. Tisdale
Secretary St. James
L.-. No. 47.

Center Back:
W. H. McCaughey Esq

On 26 March 1850 William McCaughey died of consumption. The family had funeral notices printed as was the custom at the time. Photocopy, 5" x 7 1/2". Original location unknown.

McCaughey Funeral Announcement, belletisdale.blogspot.com
William McCaughey Funeral Notice 1850

The final McCaughey Masonic document is a letter of condolence to his widow with the resolutions passed at the March 27, 1850 sitting of St. James Lodge.  10" x 16" grey paper with watermark, folded in half with the letter on the first page and resolutions on the third page. Manuscript ink, faded and difficult to read. Original in possession of V. B. Zimmerman. Transcribed as written with brackets to indicate illegible writing.

Baton Rouge March 28/50
Mrs Wm H. Mc Caughey
                  Baton Rouge

                                At the request of St. James Lodge No 47 - I have the honor to hand you herewith, the Resolutions passed by [him? or tm for them?] at the sitting of the 27th Inst, In token of respect for the memory of our departed Brother:
I remain with much respect
Your obedient Servant,
[signed] Eugene Lanoue
St. James L: M 47


           Whereas it has pleased Almighty God, in the dispensation of his all wise providence to take from us by Death, our Worthy & beloved Brother Wm H. Mc Caughey in the       year of his life.
           Therefore be it Resolved:
That in the death of Bro: William H. McCaughey, we have lost a worthy Brother and this community a good citizen.
           Resolved that whilst we bow to the decree of Divine Providence, yet we Sincerely deplore the loss of Bro. Wm H. Mc Caughey & deeply sympathize with his family in their bereavement & tender them our heartfelt condolence for their loss.
           Resolved that in token of respect for the memory of the Deceased, this Lodge & its furniture be clothed in Mourning for the space of 30 days.
           Resolved that a copy of these resolutions be furnished to the Widow of the deceased and published in the papers of this City.
[signed] Eugene Lanoue
of St. James L: No 47
St. James Lodge No. 47
Baton Rouge March 27, 1850

"William McCoy" is listed in the 1850 U. S. Census Mortality Schedule and in the population schedule his widow Frances and one year old daughter Bernice are listed as living with her parents, William and Bernice Pratt. Their surname is given as "McCoy." Until I saw that census it never occurred to me that McCaughey could be pronounced as McCoy. The family always pronounced it McCoffee.

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