Today marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Scottish Rite's Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, in New York City on August 5, 1813, the date of the warrant, or charter, shown above.
In 1813, the Charleston Supreme Council (today’s Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction), tasked its Grand Treasurer General, Emanuel De La Motta, to sort out which of the competing Scottish Rite bodies in New York City was legitimate. He ruled in favor of the group headed by Antoine Bideaud — stating that group members were the "legal and lawful founders of the sublime degrees." De La Motta drafted this charter, or warrant, which states that he does "hereby duly and legally form, constitute and establish" Bideaud’s group as the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction’s first Supreme Council on August 5, 1813. Although signed by De La Motta, the document is in the handwriting of J.J.J. Gourgas, who served De La Motta in a secretarial capacity during the formation of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in 1813 and served as the first Grand Secretary General and third Sovereign Grand Commander for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction's Supreme Council.
You can learn more about the creation of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction's first Supreme Council and about the six men that comprised the Council by reading "The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction's First Supreme Council" on pages 11-15 of the May 2013 issue of The Northern Light [pdf].
The actual charter itself is currently on view in the exhibition "A Sublime Brotherhood: 200 Years of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction" here at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Charter/Warrant for the Northern District of the United States of America, 1813.
Issued by Emanuel De La Motta, New York, New York. SC 001.018, Photograph by David Bohl.