Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in The United States, 1734-1850, A Bibliography

Walgren, Kent Logan Worcester, MA.

American Antiquarian Society

2003 small 4to., cloth. cxvi, (ii), 497+(1); vi, (ii), 499-1136 pages.

Two volumes. $195 + Post and Packing
(No cover image as yet available)

Below is the publishers ‘review’ of this book. We are reliably informed that this book is an important addition to our understanding of Freemasonry and how it developed in the United States of America (although it started in the then British colonies! – Ed.). Once we have obtained a copy an independent review will be posted here.

A comprehensive successor to earlier bibliographies of Masonic books printed in the United States, such as Richard Barthelmess’s “Bibliographie der Freimaurerei in Amerika” (1856) and Enoch T. Carson’s ” Bibliotheca Masonica Carsoniana” (1874). Volume 1 contains Introductory Essays and Entries from 1734 to 1827; Volume 2, entries from 1827-1850 and Indexes. The author has compiled 5,560 annotated entries, personally examining 95 per cent of those for which surviving copies are known. Arranged in a chronological/geographical format, listing U.S. Masonic publications by date and state; and attempting to (1) reclaim lost bibliographical and historical lore known to the Masons of earlier generations; (2) by means of textual quotations, a sense and flavor of the social, political, and religious issues that preoccupied U.S. Freemasons and their detractors in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the mythical early history of Masonry, women and Masonry, African-American Freemasonry, religion and Freemasonry, and politics and Freemasonry; (3) Raw data on printing of Masonic literature and its economics in the early United States. “The chronological/geographical arrangement, which allows one to track the genesis and growth of the Craft in each state through the year 1850, provides a sense of time (cause-and-effect), context, and history.” (introduction). Illustrated throughout with 70 title-page facsimiles, from “The Constitutions of the Free-Masons” (Phila., Benjamin Franklin, 1734), to the “Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of California, and Minutes of the Proceedings of the Convention to Constitute Said Lodge” (San Francisco, Bartlett & Robb, 1850). A valuable reference for scholars of U.S. Freemasonry, historians of U.S. social, political, and religious thought, librarians, and students of early U.S. printing.

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