Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Papers
Contains research papers delivered at Virginia Research Lodge or elsewhere.

  
  
  
  
  
collapse Year : 2020 ‎(1)
The Diverse Grand Lodges of FranceWor. Christopher Winston Douglas8/15/2020547 KB 69
An in-depth analysis of two dozen Grand Lodges, Supreme Councils, and other Masonic obediences that have existed in France going back over 300 hundred years. Includes a timeline of how they overlap and interact with each other. This paper was presented during a Zoom meeting and includes PowerPoint slides.
collapse Year : 2016 ‎(1)
Young George Washington and The Lodge at FredericksburgWor. Daniel Wilson Thompson3/5/20161013 KB 65
An exploration of two separate but related topics: First, The Lodge at Fredericksburg and second, one of its most famous members, George Washington …... young George Washington.
collapse Year : 2008 ‎(1)
The Virginia Craftsmen IIRt. Wor. Thomas Lee Varner9/27/2008134 KB
A second paper on the history of the Virginia Craftsmen, a group of Virginia Masons who dressed in Civil War uniforms and conferred Masonic Degrees across the Commonwealth.
collapse Year : 2003 ‎(3)
Athelstan, First King of All EnglandWor. Daniel J. Thompson9/27/2003236 KB 36
King Athelstan begins the Constitution of Masonry as adopted by the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1791. This paper will discuss the historical Athelstan, his lasting influence on English history and explore his legendary ties to the Masonic fraternity.
The Virginia CraftsmenWor. Keith A. Hinerman6/28/2003120 KB 35
The original paper on the history of the Virginia Craftsmen, a group of Virginia Masons who dressed in Civil War uniforms and conferred Masonic Degrees in Virginia, other states, and other countries. Based on  "Brotherhood in Action!" by Allen E. Roberts.
Are Lodge Meetings Supposed To Be EnjoyableMt. Ex. George B. Yeates3/15/200386 KB 34
A humorous admonition to keep Lodge meetings interesting and enjoyable, and not settle for simply reading the minutes and going home.
collapse Year : 2002 ‎(4)
William Moseley Brown - The Man and His MasonryRt. Wor. Baldwin G. Locher, Jr.12/14/200269 KB 33
A brief biography of the many accomplishments of William Moseley Brown, who served as Grand Master, Grand High Priest, and Grand Commander of Virginia; in addition to being active in many other Masonic bodies.
Virginia Lodge HistoriesMt. Wor. William Franklin Perdue10/5/200265 KB 32
Excerpts from a book commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Virginia about the History of Freemasonry. Provides interesting anecdotes of Masons and Lodges in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Masonry the Past, Present, and FutureRt. Wor. Joseph P. Westfall Jr.6/22/2002125 KB 31
Discusses the secret societies that populated America at the turn of the last century, how most have disappeared and all that Masonry has to say for itself is that it is still here.
Black FreemasonryRt. Wor. Douglas T. Boynton3/9/200291 KB 30
Explains the history of Prince Hall Masonry, the moral standards demanded by Prince Hall Masons of their members, and concludes with the current recognition of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia.
collapse Year : 2001 ‎(1)
The Grange Ritual - A Masonic HarvestRt. Wor. Douglas L. Jordan6/23/2001257 KB 29
The Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange) is a fraternal organization for farmers established by Oliver Hudson Kelley, a farmer and Mason. This paper explores how the lessons of our Fraternity could be redone using farm implements instead of stonemason tools.
collapse Year : 2000 ‎(5)
John DoveMt. Ex. Robert Stanley Hughes, Jr.12/9/2000174 KB 28
A well-researched biography of the life, work, and Masonic career of one of the most famous Virginia Masons, John Dove. He served as Grand Secretary/Recorder of the Grand Lodge, Grand Royal Arch Chapter, and Grand Commandery.
George Washington's Masonic CareerMt. Ex. William A. Brown6/24/200089 KB 27
A letter from Washington explaining why he became a Mason, his Royal Arch membership, his Honorary Membership, and his appointment as Grand Master AND General Grand Master.

Also presented to A. Douglas Smith Lodge of Research No. 1949 on 7/31/1999.
Whither Are We TravelingWor. Nelson King, FPS6/24/200075 KB 25
Examines the decline in our Lodges, how we sell Masonry too cheap and offer little to new members, and how this is not a recent problem. Talks about Traditional Observance Lodges in Australia and Canada and asks why they wouldn't work here in America.
Research LodgesWor. John Shroeder6/24/200083 KB 26
A brief discussion of the several Research Lodges in Virginia, using Rt. Wor. Paul Bessel's guide to research papers with an explanation of using that guide.
Freemasonry in Winchester During the Civil WarWor. Jeffrey G. Burcham3/18/2000370 KB 24
Provides details of how the Civil War affected the activities of Winchester Hiram Lodge, including a visit from a well-known Masonic President, William McKinley. Describes the beautiful Masonic frescoes painted in the lodge room.
collapse Year : 1999 ‎(5)
The Middle Chamber and the Ethic of Self ImprovementBro. W. Kirk Crady12/11/199994 KB 23
This paper consists of two things: a report on an experiment in Masonic education undertaken in January 1996 at Widow's Sons' Lodge in Charlottesville, and a rationale for an ethic of self-improvement as revealed in the experience of our second degree.
Hidden Masonic LessonsWor. Samuel L. Cochran9/25/199975 KB 22
What are the lessons taught by the Masonic degrees and how can we apply them to our daily lives?
Century-Ending DilemmasMt. Wor. Stewart Wilson Miner9/25/1999127 KB 21
The author talks about the upcoming Y2K scare and explores several "double-zero" issues he sees in Masonry that need to be addressed.
Masonic Symbolism - Thoughts on Its Philosophical SourceWor. W. Kirk MacNulty6/19/19992082 KB 20
An in-depth look at Masonic Tracing Boards and their symbolism, which demonstrates that Freemasonry is a profoundly noble view of humankind, which deserves to be taught once again.
Selected History of Widows Sons LodgeRt. Wor. Robert E. Simpson3/27/1999169 KB 17
Selections from a new book detailing the 200 year history of the Lodge, including four Grand Masters, interactions with Presidents and Civil War Generals, and community leaders. Also discusses Moon Lodges, of which over 200 Virginia Lodges once were.
collapse Year : 1998 ‎(3)
Tabernacle, Temple, SelfBro. Joseph P. Gardner12/12/199886 KB 16
A detailed description of the tabernacle, or tent, used by Moses to house the Ark of the Covenant while in the desert; and the rich designs of Solomon's Temple which was built as it's permanent home.
Freemasonry in EnglandMt. Ex. George B. Yeates9/26/1998102 KB 15
An explanation of how Freemasonry increased dramatically in England during the 18th and 19th centuries and the attraction it held for the middle class.
Anti-Masonry and our ResponseWor. Wallace Edmund McLeod, Ph.D.6/27/1998173 KB 14
Describes in depth the charges leveled against Masonry by various religious organizations and handily refutes them.  Recommends that Brothers should speak out and defend the craft.
collapse Year : 1997 ‎(4)
The Rise and Decline of Masonic FlasksWor. Jeffrey G. Burcham12/13/199780 KB 13
A history of Masonic flasks manufactured by glass works and popular in the early 1800s. Also provides details about the Anti-Masonic party and it's possible cause of the decline of their use.
OpportunitiesBro. Robert D. Springer9/27/1997148 KB 10
Brother Robert Springer, a career Air Force Officer, recounts the numerous opportunities that Masonry and military service offered him in his life, and calls on all Masons to provide that opportunity to those who should join us.
A Little Bit O'AllenMt. Wor. Richard E. Fletcher6/28/199786 KB 9
Mt. Wor. Fletcher, Past Grand Master of Vermont, recounts selected works from the prolific writer Allen E. Roberts following his untimely death. He speaks of the efforts of the Masonic Information Center to keep Masons informed about our history.
A Memorial Tribute To Allen Earl RobertsMt. Wor. Lloyd Ulrich Jefferson3/22/1997108 KB 8
A fond tribute to the life and work of Allen E. Roberts, a prolific Masonic author and long time Secretary of Virginia Research Lodge.
collapse Year : 1996 ‎(1)
Benjamin Franklin - MasonRt. Wor. Clarence E. Whitley12/14/199690 KB 7
A biography of one of our most famous Masons, Benjamin Franklin, his early years, his service to our country, and his Masonic career.
collapse Year : 1995 ‎(3)
Another Look at the TrestleboardMt. Wor. Ralph L. Haltquist9/23/199599 KB 6
Using the Trestleboard to build Solomon's Temple, to form the Grand Lodge of England, and in our Lodges today. Enumerating the Ancient Landmarks, whether they should be enumerated or still considered Landmarks at all.
Why There's Confusion Among The WorkmenMt. Wor. John A. Anagnostis6/24/199593 KB 5
The author compares Northern and Southern English with humorous results, explains the importance of reaching younger Masons and ensuring we bring about necessary change together, and provides several examples of Masons living up to their obligations.
The Mounties and MasonryWor. Nelson King, FPS3/25/199589 KB 4
Wor. King, a Canadian Mason, gives a detailed history of the ties between Masonry and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including his lifetime fascination with the RCMP.
collapse Year : 1994 ‎(5)
Addressing the Membership Crisis in VirginiaMt. Wor. Thomas F. May12/10/199464 KB 3
The Grand Master of Masons in Virginia spoke on the membership crisis we are experiencing and described the twenty three point plan he instituted to address it.
Quarterly Bulletins 1994Rt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts12/10/199480 KB 111
At one time, Virginia Research Lodge issued Quarterly Bulletins to its members. In the 1994 Transactions, a sampling of these Bulletins from previous years were included.  They were written by Allen E. Roberts (the Secretary) unless otherwise noted. They are presented here as a "bonus" research paper.
The Price of FreemasonryRt. Wor. Clayton M. Robertson9/24/199459 KB 110
The speaker gave off-the-cuff remarks, presenting a brief overview of the persecution of Masons during WW2, which led to a lengthy discussion by the members present about Anti-Masonry. An Addendum with more details was provided in the Transactions, and has been included here.
What of TomorrowRt. Wor. Thomas W. Jackson6/25/199474 KB 109
The author examines the reason for our decline in membership, and asserts we must focus on quality, not quantity. A great organization that demands more will attract great men, while an organization that lowers its standards to match society must die out, and deservedly so.
Whence Came You - A New Look at an Old QuestionBro. Richard T. McGrath3/26/199496 KB 108
The author makes the argument that early Masonry did indeed evolve from operative stonemasons into our speculative art, and that right up until the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, all Masons were required to be Christians. This requirement has evolved over time into simply requiring a belief in a Supreme Being.
collapse Year : 1993 ‎(4)
The 200th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia - Behind the ScenesRt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts12/11/199387 KB 107
The author, who produced a film for the bicentennial of our grand lodge, gives us insight in to the various workings and missteps that when into producing this historic event.
The Urgency of Masonic EducationMt. Wor. Royal C. Scofield9/25/199374 KB 106
In this paper, the author asserts that we need to make Masonic education the focus of our Lodges. If we do not strike a light in the hearts of the new members who joined our Lodge, then they will fall away from Masonry. In addition, the younger members are usually the source of new petitions, so it is doubly important.
Evolution of the RitualWor. Wallace Edmund McLeod, Ph.D.6/26/1993119 KB 105
In this paper, the author describes in detail various versions of the ritual that are hundreds of years old noting how much the ritual has changed throughout the years. He also makes an argument for the now discredited theory that our craft evolved from operative trade lodges and guilds in Europe into what is now known as Freemasonry.
Freemasonry and the ChurchMt. Wor. Cabell F. Cobbs3/27/199381 KB 104
This is another paper addressing the attacks upon Freemasonry by the Southern Baptist convention and other evangelical Christian churches. The author in exquisite detail lays out the lies 1/2 truths and misquoting used by our religious enemies to reveal the truth about Freemasonry.
collapse Year : 1992 ‎(4)
Grand Master's Jewel - Fact Fable or FantasyRt. Wor. Robert E. Simpson12/12/1992115 KB 103
The author continues to investigate claims from earlier research papers about the origins of the Grand Master's Jewel, whether it was actually crafted for George Washington, and when it was first used. This is the third research paper in Virginia Research Lodge on this subject.
Answering Our Religious CriticsMt. Wor. Forrest D. Haggard9/26/199261 KB 98
This paper addresses the problem of various religious groups that condemn Masonry as being a false religion, when in truth we do not claim to be a religion at all. The author recommends steps we should take to defend our craft against these unfounded allegations.
Two Strange Words in Freemasonry - Hele and LewisMt. Ex. George B. Yeates6/27/1992175 KB 97
This paper explores the origin, pronunciation, and meaning of two words in our craft: Hele, and Lewis.
The American DoctrineMt. Wor. Stewart Wilson Miner3/21/1992107 KB 96
The concept of a Grand Lodge having sovereign jurisdiction of all Lodges that fall within their prescribed territory is known as "The American Doctrine". The author provides detailed examples of exceptions to the doctrine, as well as conflicts between different Grand Lodges over several issues. It concludes with an analysis of the current state of recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges in America.
collapse Year : 1991 ‎(4)
The Bulls of RomeRt. Wor. Herbert M. Hartlove12/14/199183 KB 95
This paper explores the various papal bulls issued by the Catholic Church condemning Freemasonry and denying Catholics the opportunity to join. It details numerous incidents where the Church has attacked Freemasonry as a Satanic organization that seeks to subvert and overthrow the Church, and forbids its members from being or remaining Masons.
Freemasonry and its CriticsBro. John J. Robinson9/28/1991210 KB 94
This is an edited version of an address given by the author of Born in Blood, John J. Robinson, to Virginia Research Lodge. He goes into great detail about the central premise of his book and justifies his conclusions about the origin of our craft. He talks at length about the Catholic Church and the reasons they were and are so opposed to Freemasonry. He then answered several questions from the Lodge.
Masonic Education - A Subject Too Often OverlookedMt. Wor. Richard E. Fletcher6/22/199165 KB 92
This paper address the greatest deficiency in Freemasonry: the lack of proper Masonic education. In modern Masonry, we rely entirely on ritual and do not make an effort to teach our members what Masonry is about, where it came from, and why they became a Mason in the first place.
The Greatest and Best - Brother John MarshallWor. Thomas P. Tignor3/23/199199 KB 90
This paper is a detailed biography of a Past Grand Master of Virginia and a Supreme Court Justice of the United States, John Marshall. It describes his early years, his marriage to his wife, his military career and his lengthy service to the craft.
collapse Year : 1990 ‎(2)
Masonry And ReligionMt. Ex. Thomas E. Weir12/8/199083 KB 89
Mt. Ex. Weir presents a paper on the history of the Catholic Church with regards to Masonry and the roots of their condemnation of our craft. He then explores the Royal Arch ritual referring to "Ju-Bal-On" and whether we should change our ritual to longer reference pagan deities, a major source of contention among religious groups for Masonry.

This paper was also presented in A. Douglas Smith Jr. Lodge of Research No. 1949 on Aug 31st 1991.
DiscriminationMt. Wor. Marvin E. Fowler 9/22/199099 KB 85
This paper addresses the topic of discrimination, not in the negative sense of racial discrimination, but in the positive sense of how Masons must be discriminating in the quality of men we let join the Fraternity and be discriminating in our behavior.
collapse Year : 1989 ‎(3)
Thomas Jefferson and a Masonic CeremonyBro. Lewis A. Martin, Jr.9/23/198998 KB 83
This paper provides great detail about the cornerstone laying of Central College in Charlottesville, which becomes the University of Virginia. Present were three U.S. Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson. The author then explores the rumor that Jefferson was a Mason, and ends up concluding that he was not based all evidence available.
George Washington's Greatest MistakeWor. Richard H. Curtis6/24/198988 KB 82
This paper examines the idea that George Washington was asked to be the first General Grand Master of the United States, and he declined. The author recommends strongly that all U.S. Grand Lodges should form a General Grand Lodge to act as a single voice for American Masonry when speaking with the profane world.
In Search of A VisionMt. Wor. William T. Watkins3/25/1989138 KB 81
This paper speaks very critically of the problems we are facing in Masonry and the lack of vision and leadership from the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge. He presents several recommendations to deal with these problems and highlights Mt. Wor. Cobbs' plans submitted in 1989 to address these issues.
collapse Year : 1988 ‎(3)
The Grandest SecretaryMt. Ex. George B. Yeates12/10/1988166 KB 80
The following is the transcript of a roast of our Lodge Secretary, Rt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts. This event occurred at our Annual Stated in 1988, in place of a research paper. Brother Roberts was completely unaware of the event until he was called up. The first speaker was George B. Yeates.
Freemasonry Under AttackBro. Robert R. Collins, Jr.6/25/198883 KB 75
This paper concerns itself with the report,"Guidance to Methodists on Freemasonry," presented at the 1985 Methodist Conference in England. The report charges that Masonry is incompatible with Methodism and that Methodists who are Masons or might become one should reconsider.
George W. Wright PavilionRt. Wor. Robert E. Simpson3/26/1988165 KB 74
This paper chronicles the George W. Wright Memorial Tubercular Pavilion at the Blue Ridge Sanatorium in Charlottesville, Virginia. The money raised by Virginia Masons for this act of charity is only exceeded by our Masonic Home.
collapse Year : 1987 ‎(3)
Notes on Royal Arch Masonry in VirginiaWor. E. Robinson Lee12/12/198780 KB 73
This paper is a detailed study of the history and degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter, which in Virginia contains the Cryptic Degrees as well as the degree of the Holy Royal Arch.
To Be Or Not to BeMt. Wor. William M. Johnson9/26/198798 KB 72
The author was on the Long Range Planning Committee for the Grand Lodge. His paper asks the question, "To be a Mason, or not to be a Mason?" Are we doing everything we can to make Masonry what it needs to be? If not, then it is for all of us to "Bring the line up to the standard!"
The Best of the BestRt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts3/28/1987100 KB 71
Rt. Wor. Roberts was the author of the column "Through Masonic Windows" which appeared in two different Masonic publications for a number of years. He was asked to compile a list of his best columns to present as a paper.
collapse Year : 1986 ‎(3)
What's OnMt. Ex. George B. Yeates12/13/198668 KB 70
This paper researches the origin of the proper noun "On" from Royal Arch ritual and finds a possible answer in ancient Egypt.
What Have You Done TodayRt. Wor. Tom Eggleston6/13/198695 KB 67
This paper explores the question, "Does Masonry still have a purpose in today's society?" The answer is a resounding yes, and the follow up question is, "What are you doing, TODAY, to bring that about?"
The Perfect CubitMt. Wor. Lloyd Ulrich Jefferson3/14/198684 KB 66
This paper explores the concept of a "Perfect Cubit" used to build King Solomon's Temple. A cubit is a measurement of a man's arm, and there was no consistent length of a cubit among the different workmen of the Temple. Paper also presented in A. Douglas Smith Lodge that same year.
collapse Year : 1985 ‎(4)
The Three Great LightsBro. Catlin E. Tyler12/14/198579 KB 64
This paper offers several symbolic meanings of the Square and Compasses as displayed on the Bible, including exactly how many degrees wide the Compasses are supposed to be and the reason for such.
Robert BurnsWor. George D. Stevens9/28/198596 KB 63
The tragically short history of the Poet Laureate of Scotland, Robert Burns. He is perhaps our most famous Masonic poet.
The State of FreemasonryMt. Wor. Henry G. Law6/22/198583 KB 62
An analysis of the reasons for the decline in membership in the Fraternity, tying it to the austerity of those who lived through the Great Depression and the enormous influx of members following World War II. The author suggests a dramatic increase in dues to resolve the issue and restore our Lodges to their proper state.
Masons' HallMt. Wor. L. Douglas Delano3/23/1985115 KB 61
A detailed history of the oldest Masonic building in the United States, Masons' Hall, in Richmond. Originally the home of the first Lodges in Richmond, it is still in continuous use, and is nearly as old as the city of Richmond itself.
collapse Year : 1984 ‎(3)
George Washington and the Virginia ConventionsMt. Wor. Donald M. Robey, MPS9/22/198490 KB 49
An analysis of the several conventions to form the Grand Lodge of Virginia and why George Washington was not asked to serve as our first Grand Master.
John CoustosWor. Wallace Edmund McLeod, Ph.D.6/23/1984163 KB 48
A detailed history of John Coustos, who was tortured by the Inquisition to obtain Masonic secrets. Information is provided about the many famous Masons in the Lodges he was a member and Master of.
Masonry Within The BeltwayMt. Wor. Stewart Wilson Miner3/24/198430 KB 46
The author examines the Lodges of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia that are found within the Beltway of Washington, D.C. He highlights their numerous problems and recommends a possible solution.
collapse Year : 1983 ‎(3)
Advice to a LeaderRt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts12/10/1983153 KB 47
An excerpt from an installation by the Grand Master of India, presented as advice to any Masonic leader on how to rule and govern.
Pulling Down IdolsWor. James Royal Case9/24/198368 KB 43
Off-the-cuff comments by the Grand Lecturer of Connecticut on common Masonic folklore reprinted in magazines, such as the number of Masons who signed the Declaration of Independence. Most are factually incorrect.
Research and the Grand BodiesMt. Wor. Stewart Wilson Miner6/25/1983109 KB 42
An in-depth analysis by a Past Grand Master of the lack of the Grand Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery to utilize research lodges to their full effectiveness and suggestions for improvement of research in general in Virginia Masonry.
collapse Year : 1982 ‎(2)
The Jewel - Square or QuadrantMt. Wor. A. Douglas Smith, Jr.12/11/1982148 KB 39
Past Grand Master A. Douglas Smith, Jr. elaborates on the legend of the Grand Master's jewel and his effort to disprove the common theory it was crafted for George Washington, when in truth it was made in 1911.
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free MasonryWor. Phillip V. Whitley3/27/198277 KB 37
A detailed history of the origins of the Mother Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite and the growth of Scottish Rite Masonry in Virginia.
collapse Year : 1981 ‎(1)
YORKTOWN 1781 -- 1881 -- 1981Rt. Wor. Allen E. Roberts9/26/198182 KB 38
A study of George Washington and the battle of Yorktown, the climactic battle of the Revolutionary War. Also the centennial and bicentennial celebrations and the Grand Lodge's involvement.
collapse Year : 1980 ‎(2)
Within Our PowerMt. Wor. Dwight L. Smith12/13/1980113 KB 40
Brethren, let us address ourselves to ways whereby we, as Freemasons, can help to bring about the dawn of a better day for ourselves, and, in so doing, a better day for all mankind.

That's all very good – but how?
Levi L StevensonWor. Walter M. McCracken3/29/1980139 KB 41
A biography of a prolific and active Mason, not only a Grand Master, Grand High Priest, and Grand Generalissimo, but the only Most Illustrious Grand Master of the short-lived Grand Council of Cryptic Masons in Virginia.