ORIGIN OF THE SCOTTISH RITE
After the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, Masonry became very popular. It passed over the Channel to France in 1725 where many ritualists invented numerous “Side Degrees” subject to no governing body, and hawked them about the country and through the continent.
In 1740, Chevalier Ramsey, a Scottish nobleman, gave some famous lectures in Paris and Bordeaux on the origin and objects of Masonry. He subdivided the “Three Degrees” and concocted Degrees from the parts explained by his philosophic lectures. He established a Lodge, which he called Harodim, but the French styled it Scotchman’s Lodge Masonry, which fact may have had something to do with the misnomer, “Scottish Rite.”
The Scottish Rite had its beginning in France. In 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established in the College of Clermont in Paris a chapter of twenty-five so-called High Degrees. This college was a sort of refuge for the Stuarts of Scotland, which fact may also have had some bearing on the name Scottish Rite. The body established by Bonneville, including the three Symbolic Degrees, was called the Rite of Perfection. In 1758, these Degrees were taken by Marquis de Lernais to Berlin where they in the following year were placed under a body called the Council of the Emperors of the East and West, which was formed at Paris from the ruins of the Clermont Chapter.
In 1762, it is said that Frederick the Great “formed and promulgated” what is known as the Constitutions of 1762. In 1786, a reorganization took place in which eight Degrees were added to the twenty-five and the name changed to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. By these Constitutions, Frederick resigned the authority of Grand Commander, which title he had held since the adoption of the Grand Constitutions in 1762, and deposited his Masonic prerogatives with a council in each nation to be composed of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-third and last Degree of Freemasonry.
SCOTTISH RITE COMES TO AMERICA
In 1761, the year before Frederick the Great was said to have taken under his patronage all Masonry in Germany, Stephen Morin of France was commissioned Inspector General for the New World by the Grand Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in Paris to introduce the Rite in America. Morin established bodies in Santo Domingo and Jamaica, but he did not enter the North American continent. He did, however, commission Henry Andrew Francken, who had come to Jamaica, to establish the Rite in the American Colonies.
Francken reached New York in 1767 and established a Lodge of Perfection in Albany, the first in continental “America.” Francken brought a copy of the Grand Constitutions of 1762 with him, which he left at Albany. Both Morin and Francken were given authority to establish Lodges and to appoint Inspectors possessing powers equivalent to their own. Records of many established Lodges of Perfection seem to have been lost, but some accounts are still extant. A Lodge of Perfection was established at Philadelphia in 1781. In 1783, one was organized at Charleston, South Carolina, by Isaac DeCosta. A Lodge was established at Baltimore in 1796 by Henry Wilmans, a Prussian, but the source of his authority is not definitely determined.
The Lodges of Perfection from the beginning were in full harmony with the Symbolic Lodges, assuming no authority over them and invariably beginning their work with the Fourth Degree. Agreeable to the Constitutions of 1786, in 1813 the United States was divided into two Jurisdictions of the Rite. The Northern Jurisdiction now consists of fifteen states, and the Southern Jurisdiction of thirty-five states. Since 1845, each jurisdiction, “In deference to the Constitutions of the York Rite practiced in this country, waives its rights of privileges, so far as they relate to the first three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry.”
THE SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY IN TEXAS
The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry became established in Texas with the organization of Texas Consistory and Co-ordinate Bodies of the Rite in Galveston, May 15, 1867. Since that time other Consistories of the Rite have been established at Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio and Waco. The total Scottish Rite membership in Texas is approximately 20,000.
During the existence of the Rite in Texas, the following Illustrious Brethren have served as the titular head of the Rite in this state as Sovereign Grand Inspectors General in Texas and Active Members of the Supreme Council, 33°, for the Southern Jurisdiction, United States of America:
PHILLIP CROSBY TUCKER, 33°, GALVESTON
1868 - 1893
Sovereign Grand Commander, 1893
AUSTIN BEVERLY CHAMBERLIN, 33°, SABINE PASS
1893 - 1911
Secretary General, Supreme Council, 33°
1908 - 1911
SAMUEL POYNTZ COCHRAN, 33°, DALLAS
1911 - 1936
Lt. Grand Commander
WALTER CALVIN TEMPLE, 33°, DALLAS
1936 - 1941
JAMES CECIL JONES, 33°, DALLAS
WILLIAM STEPHENSON COOKE, 33°, FORT WORTH
1945 - 1951
ROBERT LEE LOCKWOOD, 33°, WACO
1952 - 1973
W. CHANDLER, 33°, HOUSTON
1974 - 1988
SAM E. HILBURN, 33°, MIDLAND
1988 - 2001
JACK E. HIGHTOWER, 33°, AUSTIN
2001 - 2006
DOUGLAS ADKINS, 33°, DALLAS
2007 - 2016
MICHAEL L. WIGGINS, 33°, DALLAS
THE SCOTTISH RITE ENTERS DALLAS
The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry entered Dallas with the Dispensation charter of Dallas Lodge of Perfection granted on January 20, 1897.
The Bodies have had three homes, or meeting places in the city. The first was in the Stafford Building at 1704 Elm Street, where the Lodge of Perfection met at intervals and gave the Degrees chiefly by communication.
After a short time the place of meeting was moved to the Dan Sullivan Building, with a 25 foot front, on the north side of Commerce between Lamar and Poydras Streets. The bodies remained in their cramped quarters there until adequate space could be acquired for their purpose in a permanent home of their own.
Plans for a new home began when “The Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral Association” was organized in 1903. No Reunion had up to this time been held in The Valley of Dallas for lack of suitable quarters. In May, 1904, the first Reunion of the Rite took place in Turner Hall at Harwood and Canton Streets, the site on which the Masonic Temple now stands. They continued to be held there until November, 1908, when the tenth Reunion was held in the new Cathedral.
The Dallas Bodies soon felt the need of a paper to keep their members Masonically informed. So the first issue of the SCOTTISH RITE HERALD came from the press in March, 1910. DeWitt McMurray, 32°, later 33°, was the first editor
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE SCOTTISH RITE?
Our Order is more than a fraternity of good fellows, engaged in the benevolent practices of friendship and relief. It is a militant order, a knighthood, devoted to the cause of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
To establish righteousness and ordain mercy; to protect the weak and combat all dogmas that would imprison the human spirit; this is the mission of Scottish Rite Masonry.
The Scottish Rite seeks to cultivate in the hearts of men personal morality and the sentiment of tolerance and fraternity. What has been said and done by the historic emancipators for the liberation of the human mind is vividly portrayed in its Degrees, and the Scottish Rite Mason is dedicated to the effort to make the spirit of Masonry relevant in society.
Albert Pike, 33°, a famous Masonic scholar, in 1858 said: “This is the Masonic creed: Believe in God’s infinite benevolence, wisdom and justice; hope for the final triumph of good over evil, and for perfect harmony as a final result of all the concords and discords of the Universe; and be charitable as God is toward the unfaith, the errors, the follies and the faults of men; for all are one Brotherhood.” This is the teaching of the Scottish Rite.
“Mission Statement of the Valley of Dallas”
It is the Mission of the Valley of Dallas to improve its members and enhance the communities in which we live by education and in community activities by emulating the principles of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity, and Truth.
We will always embrace high social, moral and spiritual values in our fellowship within and without the Cathedral with compassion for each other and dedication to the GAOTU, our families and our Country.
Scottish Rite Creed
Human progress is our cause,
liberty of thought our supreme wish,
freedom of conscience our mission,
and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.