Home|The History of Freemasonry (Vol. III – Part 2)

The History of Freemasonry (Vol. III – Part 2)

by Albert Mackey

The History of Freemasonry with the History of its Introduction and Progress in the United States, the History of the Symbols of Freemasonry, and the History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite by William R. Singleton, 33. 

Of all the institutions which have been established for the purpose of improving the condition of mankind, Freemasonry stands preeminent in usefulness as it is in age. Its origin is lost in the abyss of unexplored antiquity. No historical records, no traditionary accounts, can with certainty point out the precise time, the place, or the particular manner of its commencement. While some have endeavored to discover its footsteps amongst the master builders and artists engaged in the construction of the first Jewish temple, others have attempted to trace it to the Eleusinian mysteries, which are said to have taught the immortality of the soul and the other sublime truths of natural religion. Some again have ascribed its rise to the sainted heroes of the Crusades; while others have endeavored to penetrate the mysteries of the Druids, and to discover its origin amongst the wise men of that institution…

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Customs Of The German Stonemasons
The Secrets Of The Medieval Masons
Gothic Architecture And The Freemasons
Two Classes Of Workmen, Or The Freemasons And The Rough Masons
Masons Marks
The Mark Degree
Transition From Operative To Speculative Freemasonry
The Remote Causes Of The Transition
The Way Prepared For The Transition



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Albert Gallatin Mackey (1807–1881) was an American medical doctor and author. He is best known for his writing many books and articles about freemasonry, particularly the Masonic Landmarks.
He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of John Mackey, a physician, journalist and educator, and his wife. His father published The American Teacher’s Assistant and Self-Instructor’s Guide, containing all the Rules of Arithmetic properly Explained, etc. (Charleston, 1826), the most comprehensive work on arithmetic that had been published in the United States. His son was Edmund William McGregor Mackey, later a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina.
After completing his early education, Albert Mackey taught school for some time to earn money for medical school. He graduated from the medical department of the College of South Carolina in 1832. He settled in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1838 he was appointed demonstrator of anatomy in that institution.
In 1844 he abandoned the practice of medicine. For the rest of his life, he wrote on a variety of subjects, but specialized in the study of several languages, the Middle Ages, and Freemasonry. After being connected with several Charleston journals, he established in 1849 The Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, a weekly magazine. He maintained it for three years, mostly by his own expense. He conducted a Quarterly 1858-1860 which he devoted to the same interests.
He acquired the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and continental languages almost unaided, and lectured frequently on the intellectual and moral development of the Middle Ages. Subsequently, he turned his attention exclusively to the investigation of abstruse symbolism, and to cabalistic and Talmudic researches.
He served as Grand Lecturer and Grand Secretary of The Grand Lodge of South Carolina, as well as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
Mackey was a Union sympathizer during the Civil War and in July, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed him Collector of the Port of Charleston. He was a delegate and president of the 1868 South Carolina Constitutional Convention. He ran for the United States Senate in South Carolina in 1868, but was narrowly defeated by Republican Frederick A. Sawyer.
Mackey moved to Washington, D.C. in 1870. He died in Fortress Monroe, Virginia in 1881.