Anti-Masonry

Freemasonry Unmasked! - An exhibition about anti-Masonry

1835_AntiMasonic_Almanac_web

Freemasonry Unmasked!: Anti-Masonic Collections in the Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives opens October 3 at the National Heritage Museum in the Library and Archives reading room.

Freemasonry Unmasked! features forty objects from the Library and Archives collection, ranging from 1700s and 1800s ritual exposures to an anti-Masonic comic book from 1978. The topics covered in the show include early ritual exposures, the “Morgan Affair,” the Anti-Masonic political party of the late 1820s and early 1830s, late 19th-century American anti-Masonry, European anti-Masonry perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, and anti-Masonry from the past fifty years.

Over time, anti-Masonic propaganda has taken many forms. Exposés of Masonic ritual first appeared in the early 1700s.  In the 1820s and 1830s, following the kidnapping and presumed murder of a former Mason who threatened to publish an exposure of Masonic ritual, Americans began producing anti-Masonic newspapers, almanacs, broadsides and other pieces. During this same period, a political party that promoted anti-Masonic candidates formed.

1835_AntiMasonic_Almanac_eye

Pictured above is the cover of an anti-Masonic almanac from 1835. The woodcut on this almanac’s cover highlights the central role the press played in spreading the fear of Freemasons. In the detail on the right, you can see the all-seeing eye, a common Masonic symbol, depicted with a printing press in the center, casting light upon the alleged darkness of Freemasonry. The rays emanating from the eye contain names of prominent anti-Masonic politicians of the 1830s, including John Quincy Adams, Edward Everett, and William Wirt.

If you're in the Boston area, stop by and take a look at the printed history of anti-Masonry. To encourage visitors to learn more about Freemasonry and the history of anti-Masonry, we have prepared a couple of bibliographies on the topic of anti-Masonry. Many of these resources were used in the research that was done for Freemasonry Unmasked!

The New-England Anti-Masonic Almanac for the Year of Our Lord 1835. Boston: John Marsh, 1834.
Call number: RARE 19.3 .N532 1835 No.7


Calling All Masonic and Fraternal Scholars!

91_033T1 The National Heritage Museum announces its first symposium, to be held at the Museum on Friday, April 9, 2010 - New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism

We are now seeking proposals for papers to be presented at the symposium.  As one of the largest repositories of American Masonic and fraternal objects, books and manuscripts in the United States, the Museum aims to foster new research on American fraternalism and to encourage the use of its scholarly resources.

The symposium seeks to present the newest research on American Masonic and fraternal groups from the past through the present day.  By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members.  The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture.  Diverse perspectives on this topic are sought; perspectives on and interpretations of all time periods are welcome.

Possible topics include:

• Comparative studies of American fraternalism and European or other international forms of  fraternalism
• Prince Hall Freemasonry and other African-American fraternal groups
• Ethnically- and religiously-based fraternal groups
• Fraternal groups for women or teens
• Role of fraternal groups in social movements
• The material culture of Freemasonry and fraternalism
• Anti-Masonry and anti-fraternal movements, issues and groups
• Fraternal symbolism and ritual
• The expression of Freemasonry and fraternalism through art, music, and literature
• Approaches to Freemasonry – from disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transnational perspectives;  the historiography and methodology of the study of American fraternalism

Proposals should be for 30 minute research papers; the day’s schedule will allow for audience questions and feedback.

To submit a proposal: Send an abstract of 400 words or less with a resume or c.v. that is no more than two pages.  Be sure to include full contact information (name, address, email, phone, affiliation).

Send proposals to: Aimee E. Newell, Director of Collections, National Heritage Museum, by email at anewell[at]monh.org or by mail to 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA  02421. 

Deadline for proposals to be received is August 15, 2009.  For questions, contact Aimee E. Newell as above, or call 781-457-4144.

Masonic checkerboard, ca. 1890, Collection of National Heritage Museum, Special Acquisition Fund, 91.033.  Photograph by David Bohl.


A Presentation Pitcher

2007_013_tpitcher The National Heritage Museum recently acquired this stunning silver presentation pitcher, which is currently on view in the exhibition, “The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts: Celebrating 275 Years of Brotherhood.”  Made by Boston silversmith Benjamin C. Frobisher (1792-1862), the pitcher has a footed base and scroll handle with acanthus, flowering vine and thistle decoration.

Engraving on the front reads “To Benja. Smith Esq. From the Members of St. Andrews Lodge Jany. 1832.”  Research in the records of the Lodge of St. Andrew, and in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, turned up enough details to fill in the story of the pitcher.  Boston’s Lodge of St. Andrew was established in 1756 when a group of artisans, who had been denied membership in the city’s St. John’s Lodge, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a charter.  The pitcher’s recipient, Benjamin Smith, was raised a Master Mason in the Lodge of St. Andrew in the early 1790s, and later served as Senior Warden from 1813 to 1815.  However, the timing of the pitcher's presentation - in the midst of the Anti-Masonic period - seemed remarkable.

Throughout Freemasonry’s history, some non-members have regarded it with suspicion. This distrust escalated in 1826 with the Morgan Affair. After William Morgan (1774-1826?) of Batavia, New York, announced his intention to publish a book exposing Freemasonry’s “secrets,” he was kidnapped and never seen again. Courts tried local Masons for abducting Morgan. Although found guilty, the men received lenient sentences. Morgan’s true fate remains a mystery.  The Morgan Affair sparked anti-Masonic proponents to organize a national political party. They published newspapers around the country promoting their views that Freemasonry was dangerous and overly influential in American society. Popular opinion swung against Freemasonry. Lodges around the country felt the ill effects. Many local lodges, and even some Grand Lodges, faced with declining membership and threats, were forced to disband.

Gl20040167t1_cropped Despite these difficulties, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts continued to meet throughout the Anti-Masonic period, and in 1832, built its first Masonic Temple in Boston, seen in the engraving here.  Benjamin Smith served on several committees to oversee the Grand Lodge’s meeting places up to this time.  When he was presented with this pitcher on January 31, 1832, it was to honor “long and valuable services,” including the role he may have played in finding the Grand Lodge’s new home.  Smith passed away two years later, on September 11, 1834.  His pitcher remains a symbol of Freemasonry's resiliency.

For more on the Anti-Masonic movement, see these previous posts on our blog:  The Anti-Masonic Party's First National Convention and The Frenzy of Anti-Masonry in Vermont.

Pitcher, 1832, Benjamin C. Frobisher (1792-1862), Boston, Massachusetts, National Heritage Museum, Museum Purchase with the assistance of the Kane Lodge Foundation, 2007.013, photograph by David Bohl.

Masonic Temple, Boston, ca. 1832, Benjamin F. Nutting (ca. 1803-1887), Boston, Massachusetts, Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, GL2004.0167.  Photograph by David Bohl.


'Light on Masonry', the old and the new

Light_paper The advertisement at left first appeared in the Anti-Masonic Champion on May 7, 1829.  It was one of many attempts to publicize a newly published exposé on Freemasonry, and it appeared in one of the dozens of new newspapers that sprung up (mostly in the Northeast, N. Y., Pennsylvania and Ohio) during the Anti-Masonic reaction to the Morgan Affair.   'Elder D. Bernard' was David Bernard, a Baptist minister and Freemason from Utica, N.Y. and the publication was Light on Masonry: a Collection of all the Most Important Documents on the Subject of Speculative Free Masonry, Embracing the Reports of the Western Committees in Relation to the Abduction of William Morgan, Proceedings of Conventions, Orations, Essays, etc. etc.  Bernard included the craft rituals William Morgan exposed along with several higher degrees.  It was not the first exposé issued at the time, but arguably the most successful.  Light on Masonry, at over 500 pages, went through five editions alone in 1829!

Grand Archivist and Grand Historian of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, Arturo De DehoyosHoyos, has just published a new look at Light on Masonry: the History and Rituals of America's Most Important Masonic Exposé (19 .D5 2008).  The recently published work provides a facsimile of the 5th edition of Bernard's 1829 work along with an extremely interesting and informative introduction.  Of particular interest is correspondence between J.J.J. Gourgas (then Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council and later third Sovereign Grand Commander) and Giles F. Yates (Sublime Grand Master of Delta Lodge of Perfection in Schenectady, N.Y. and later Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, NMJ) after Light on Masonry appeared.

The new Light on Masonry also provides details about each of the printings and editions, so armed with it and Kent Walgren's Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in the United States, 1734-1850, I decided to take stock of our holdings of the early editions.  While our catalog listed eight first editions, one 2nd edition, and six 3rd editions, I discovered we actually own four of the initial stage of the 1st edition, two of the 2nd stage and seven of the 3rd stage, along with two 2nd editions and three of the 3rd edition.  Fortunately for us De Hoyos decided to use a 5th edition to replicate as we don't own any of that rare imprint.

When you gather 18 copies of any book published in 1829 and check each for provenance and Light_spink markings, you're bound to find something interesting.  Not surprisingly for our library, several of the first edition copies were from the libraries of William L. Cummings, Alphonse Cerza, and William G. Peacher since our collection is comprised of significant holdings from each.  Two owners had interesting notes in their copies:  in one of the stage one copies is handwritten 'The Property of Saml. D. Spink, To be kept in the family' (as shown at right); one of the stage three copies has 'A. Parker, Go ye into all parts of the world and tell what Freemasonry has done.'

Everett_bookplate The most well-known previous owner of one of our copies, however, is Edward Everett (1794-1865), well-established as an Anti-Mason, and whose bookplate appears at left.  Everett's resume is about as stellar as any you'd find in 19th-century America:  educated and later taught at Harvard, represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Governor of Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain, President of Harvard, Secretary of State under Millard Fillmore, and always known as a great orator.  To many though, Everett is best remembered as the person who spoke for two hours at the dedication of the national cemetery in Gettysburg on Nov. 19, 1863 -- the one who spoke before Abraham Lincoln.  To Everett's credit, it's often reported, he told President Lincoln, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."

Sources mentioned above include:

Anti-Masonic Champion, Vol. 1, No. 10, Thursday, May 7, 1829.  Printed and Published by Patterson & Dewey, Union Village, Washington Co., NY.

Bernard, David.  Light on Masonry: A Collection of all the Most Important Documents on the Subject of Speculative Free Masonry, Embracing the Reports of the Western Committees in Relation to the Abduction of William Morgan, Proceedings of Conventions, Orations, Essays, &c. &c.  Utica:  William Williams, 1829.  Call number:  RARE 19 .B518 1829 [Online edition]

De Hoyos, Arturo.  Light on Masonry: The History and Rituals of America's Most Important Masonic Exposé.  Washington, D.C.: Scottish Rite Research Society, 2008.  Call number:  19 .D4 2008

Walgren, Kent Logan.  Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in the United States, 1734-1850: A Bibliography.  Worcester:  American Antiquarian Society, 2003.  Call number:  Ref 04 .W165 2002 v. 1 & 2

Library copy of Light on Masonry with Edward Everett bookplate was a gift of Augustus P.Loring, 85-211SC

Dust jacket image of Light on Masonry used above with permission of the author.


The Anti-Masonic Party's First National Convention

People who know a bit about the history of U.S. presidential politics are familiar with some of the third-party candidates that have made bids for the office of President: Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, William Wirt.

William Wirt? That's right. Wirt is actually the first name in a long line of third-party candidates for U.S. President. Now that the 2008 major-party conventions are behind us, it seems like a good time to take a brief look at the introduction of the first third-party candidate in a U.S. presidential election, as well as the first nominating convention for a political party in the U.S.

Cast your mind back to the late 1820s and early 1830s...

Antimasonic_national_convention_web The Anti-Masonic Party (yes, that was its official name) had its roots in a moral crusade in upstate New York, which was the direct result of the so-called Morgan Affair. In September 1826, William Morgan, who was planning to print an exposé on Masonic rituals, was believed to have been kidnapped and murdered by Freemasons supposedly intent on making sure that Morgan did not reveal any Masonic secrets. (Morgan's book, Illustrations of Masonry, by One of the Fraternity Who Has Devoted Thirty Years to the Subject, was published shortly after his death.)

The Morgan murder was never solved and although some men were tried and convicted, the investigation dragged on for a few years with no satisfying conclusion. Many non-Masons began to fear that there was a great Masonic conspiracy to cover up the murder of Morgan and to let the alleged murderers - all supposedly Freemasons - off the hook. This incident occurred at a time when hostility toward Freemasonry and other secret societies was starting to rise to the surface, in part due to the effects of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Although there are many reasons why anti-Masons perceived Freemasonry as a threat, and why the Anti-Masonic Party took shape when it did, William Preston Vaughn sums it up well when he writes:

"Morgan's abduction and probable murder occurred at a crucial time in New York state politics. The Adams-Clay party was in a rapid state of decline, and [Dewitt] Clinton had affiliated with the Jacksonians, leaving many of his followers in a quandary, for most of them could hardly follow Clinton into a party controlled on the state level by Van Buren and the hated Regency. Conditions were ripe for creation of a new organization that would submerge factional differences and would unite voters behind a platform pledged to defend democracy and equality before the law. It was no accident that this party evolved in January 1827 from a series of local conventions that met while the first trial of Morgan's kidnappers was taking place."

The first national nominating convention held by the Anti-Masonic Party - in fact, by any political party in the United States up until that point - was held on September 11, 1830. The date was a resonant one: it was the four-year anniversary of the abduction of William Morgan. Although much took place at the first convention, it was not until the second convention, in 1831, that a candidate was nominated for the party. That candidate was William Wirt, who had served as U.S. Attorney General from 1817 until 1829.

Wirt was a reluctant candidate. When first offered the nomination he declined, but was eventually convinced to run for the party. Curiously, Wirt himself had been a Freemason thirty years before. Instead of harboring any grudges toward Freemasonry, Wirt appears to have been, instead, simply not very interested in it. In his letter accepting the nomination from the Anti-Masonic Party, he admits that he had been initiated in a lodge, but that he had never taken the Master Mason degree. In this same acceptance letter he wrote that his lack of interest in Freemasonry in not attaining the Master Mason degree "proceeded from no suspicion on my part that there was anything criminal in the institution, or anything that placed its members in the slightest degree in collision with their allegience to their country and its laws."

Massachusetts_antimasonic_conventio Wirt even gave the Anti-Masonic Party a way out, stating that if, after reading his views they wanted give the nomination to someone else, then he would "retire from [the nomination] with far more pleasure than I should accept it." (You can read the entirety of Wirt's acceptance letter here.) Even after accepting the nomination, Wirt tried to get out of it. Between October 1831 and February 1832, he tried to withdraw from the nomination, but was unsuccessful. Despite all of this, in the general election held in the autumn of 1832, Wirt still managed to get seven electoral votes and carry Vermont, a state that, as we noted in earlier post, was a particular hotbed of anti-Masonry at the time.

In our collection, we have several books, pamphlets, proceedings, and newspapers that were published during the late 1820s and through the 1830s, and serve to document a time when anti-Masonry was at its height. We'll be addressing more of those items in the future. Below we've listed some of the Proceedings of various Anti-Masonic Party conventions that are in our collections. As you can see, there were many state conventions that took place before the national convention first met in September 1830. And if you're interested in learning more about the Anti-Masonic Party and its candidate, William Wirt, a great overview is the only full-length book on the subject, which we list first, before a selection of various proceedings:

Vaughn, William Preston. The Antimasonic Party in the United States, 1826-1843. Louisville, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.
Call number: 19.2 .V371 1983

The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830 : Embracing the Journal of Proceedings, the Reports, the Debates, and the Address to the People. Philadelphia: I. P. Trimble; New York: Skinner and Dewey, 1830
Call number: RARE 19.61 .U58 1830 [You can find a digitized version here.]

An Abstract of the Proceedings of the Antimasonic State Convention of Massachusetts, held in Faneuil Hall, Boston, Dec. 30 and 31, 1829, and Jan. 1, 1830. Boston : John Marsh, 1830.
Call number: RARE 19 .M414 A631 1830

Proceedings and Address of the Pennsylvania Anti-Masonick State Convention, held at the Court House in Harrisburgh, June 25 and 26, 1829. New-Port, R.I. : Printed by Allen and Folsom, 1829.
Call number: RARE 19.2 .A631 1829

Proceedings of the Antimasonic Convention for the State of New York : Held at Utica, August 11, 1830 : with the Address and Resolutions. Utica, N.Y. : William Williams, 1830.
Call number: RARE 19 .N567 A631 1830


The Frenzy of Anti-Masonry in Vermont

Last week we mentioned some of the anti-Masonic collections in our Library & Archives. Today, we'll be looking at some interesting archival material from our collections that relates to anti-Masonry in Vermont in the 1820s and 1830s.

When anti-Masonry took hold in the Northeast of the U.S. in the late 1820s, Freemasonry became suspect in most states and the effects were felt strongly. Because of societal, religious, and political pressures, many Masons left their lodges during this time period. In fact, so many men left their lodges during the 1820s and 1830s that many Masonic lodges closed. In New York State, out of 480 lodges, only about 75 lodges remained open. In Massachusetts only 56 were still active out of 108. However, in the state of Vermont no lodges were active during the immediate aftermath of the Morgan Affair.  Lodge after lodge in Vermont surrendered their charter to the Grand Lodge, until every lodge was charterless or dormant. For a short time the Grand Lodge of Vermont itself ceased to have meetings.

Why was there such a frenzy of anti-Masonry in Vermont?  There are a number of reasons. 

First, there was politics. There were national leaders and statesmen who were deeply devoted to the National Republican Party which had controlling influence in Vermont.  The people of Vermont followed these political ambitions as well as aligning themselves with the Anti-Masonic Party.

Second, there was economics. William Preston Vaughn (in The Anti-Masonic Party in the United States: 1826-1843) has ventured that it's possible that Freemasonry was doing "too well" in Vermont during the period leading up to the Morgan Affair. He writes:

"Masons in Vermont seemed to be drawn mainly from the wealthy and prominent men of the town, and this discrimination rankled with poor farmers and villagers. A careful examination of Antimasonry in the Green Mountain State shows that the movement and party became the strongest in the poorest villages - those with the lowest tax assessments and property valuations per lot and dwelling...Because most of the prominent legislators and lawyers were Masons, and these men dominated both the National Republican and Democratic parties, the disadvantaged flocked to the banner of Antimasonry."

And, finally, there was religion. The ministers of Vermont preached vigorously against Freemasonry and about the supposed un-Christian nature of Masonic lodges. This was further fueled by the perceived threat of Freemasonry to many of the congregations. Masonry, to the clergy, could be seen as a potential surrogate religion and could possibly lure congregants from the church to the lodge (this, despite the fact that many Masons were also members of churches). Churches and their Boards of Deacons closely reviewed their membership and required Masons to renounce their membership in various places of worship. Even before the Morgan episode, there were accounts of antagonism against Freemasonry in Vermont churches.  It took only the events surrounding the disappearance of William Morgan to spark older, deep-rooted conflicts.

In the collections at the Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives, there is an interesting group of manuscripts which illustrates this frenzy of anti-Masonry in Vermont very well.  The collection, the Thetford Congregational Church Documents, 1829-1833 (MM 023), is a sequence of manifestos, petitions, resolutions, complaints, and protests concerning the members of the Congregational church in Thetford, Vermont which documents the congregants arguments both for and against having Freemasons as church members.   

A96_007_001_thetford_manuscripts_we The manuscript seen here, "Manifesto of Free-Masons" (MM 023), dated 1829, at Thetford, Vermont is what started the difficulties within the Thetford congregation.  In this manifesto, the Freemasons of Thetford proclaim the harmony in both being a member of one's church and of one's lodge.

Despite the attempts of the Masonic members of the Thetford Congregational Church, another group of members of the Congregational Church wrote a number of petitions back and forth from 1831-1833 to the church stating that, with much grief, they could not agree that the church values and Freemasonry were in agreement. 

In 1833, a group of 32 members of the Thetford Congregational Church withdrew in protest over all the unresolved issues between Freemasons as church members.  In 1833, the church members and pastor, Elisha G. Babcock, finally asked an Ecclesiastical Council to assist them in deciding about whether the values of Freemasons and the church could co-exist.  The Council decided after much deliberation that Freemasons who were members of churches should refrain from all Masonic proceedings.

Of course, Freemasonry in Vermont eventually recovered. By 1846, The Grand Lodge of Vermont reported that there were now ten working lodges in the state.

Next time: how anti-Masonry during the 1820s and 1830s affected national politics.

Here are some suggestions for further reading related to the history of 19th-century anti-Masonry in Vermont:

Palmer, John C.  The Morgan Affair and Anti-Masonry. Washington, D. C.: Masonic Service Association, 1924. 
Call number: 61.L778.1924 v. 7

Spargo, John.  The Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Vermont the Green Mountain State, 1765-1944. Burlington, Vt.: Grand Lodge of Vermont, A. F. & A. M., 1944.
Call number: 17.9789.S736 1944

Vaughn, William Preston. The Antimasonic Party in the United States, 1826-1843. Louisville, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.
Call number: 19.2 .V371 1983


Anti-Masonic Collections

Some people are surprised to find that our Library & Archives holds an extensive collection of anti-Masonic material. Why do we collect this material?

The subject of anti-Masonry - especially in early 19th-century America - is important to understanding the history of Freemasonry in America. Anti-Masonic material is collected by us in order to cover the breadth of topics related to Freemasonry, but specifically because, as the Masonic scholar William L. Cummings states in the foreword to A Bibliography of Anti-Masonry:

The events which followed the abduction of and mysterious disappearance of William Morgan in September, 1826, form an important chapter in American history, not alone on account of their effect upon the Masonic Institution, but also because of their influence upon the social, political and religious affairs of a large part of the country, some of these effects existing down to the present day.

While the disappearance of Morgan was not the only cause of the Anti-Masonic excitement of 1826-1840, it was the immediate incident which kindled the fire, the fuel for which was already laid.

Because of its importance from both a Masonic and a political standpoint, what is commonly referred to as the "Morgan Affair" has maintained its interest over the years that have passed since it occurred.

Morgan_abduction_antimasonic_alma_9Cummings's take on the Morgan Affair may sound like an overstatement to those not familiar with American political history in the 1820s and '30s. But as those who are familiar with U.S. presidential election history know, the 1832 U.S. presidential election included the nomination of the first “third party” candidate in a United States presidential election, the Anti-Masonic Party's nominee, William Wirt. We'll talk a bit more about Wirt and the Anti-Masonic Party in an upcoming post.

In addition to manuscript and archival material pertaining to anti-Masonry, we have many anti-Masonic books, pamphlets, newspapers, and sermons in our collection. These include John Quincy Adams’ Letters on the Entered Apprentice’s Oath (Boston: Young Men’s Antimasonic Association for the Diffusion of Truth, 1833), Letters on Freemasonry (Hartford, CT: Joseph Hurlburt, 1833), and Letters on the Masonic Institution (Boston: Press of T.R. Marvin, 1847). We also have numerous early editions of William Morgan’s exposé Illustrations of Masonry, first published in 1826, as well as several early years of Edward Giddins’s The New England Anti-Masonic Almanac, published in Boston beginning in 1829. We also have a collection of anti-Masonic newspapers, including 227 issues of The Banner and the Anti-Masonic Champion, both published in New York State in the years 1829 – 1833, as well as a number of individual anti-Masonic newspapers, published around 1831, in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, illustrating the geographical spread of anti-Masonry during this period. Much of our anti-Masonic material was once owned by the Masonic scholar William L. Cummings, who used much of his own personal collection for compiling his Bibliography of Anti-Masonry. Cummings's anti-Masonic collection came into our collection when we acquired his entire library.

Next time: The frenzy of anti-Masonry in Vermont.

If you're interested in bibliographies that deal with anti-Masonry, a great place to start are the first two titles listed below.

Cummings, William L. A Bibliography of Anti-Masonry. 2nd ed. Revised and enlarged. New York: Press of Henry Emmerson, 1963.
Call number: 04.4 .C971 1963

Walgren, Kent Logan. Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in the United States : 1734-1850: A Bibliography. Worcester, MA : American Antiquarian Society, 2003. 2 volumes.
Call number: REF 04 .W165 2003

Today's illustration of the abduction of William Morgan comes from Edward Giddins's Anti-Masonic Almanac for the Year 1833. Utica, NY: William Williams, 1832.
Call number: RARE 19.3 .G453 1833