The Album of Masonic Impostors was the subject of our very first blog post, back in May 2008. Each May, we revisit the subject of Masonic impostors to celebrate another year of blogging at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.
This year, we feature the front page of The Bulletin of the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada, No. 630, from November 1946. The entire page focuses on Fred Coopey, a Masonic impostor with at least seventeen aliases listed. As with many Masonic impostors, what little I was able to find about Coopey suggests that he was living a hard knock life early on. The 1920 U.S. Census lists a Fred Coopey, born the same year as the Bulletin's Coopey, as being a 17-year-old inmate at the New Jersey State Home for Boys in Jamesburg.
In just a few words, the Masonic Relief Association's Bulletin paints a picture of a man who has traveled far and wide, using a number of different aliases, and who has imposed on the charity of Freemasons along the way. The inclusion of fingerprints suggests prior criminal behavior on the part of Coopey.
If you want to learn more about Masonic imposters, including an answer to the question why would someone impersonate a Freemason?, be sure to check out our previous posts on Masonic imposters.