Originally posted by mauskov
Does anyone have any ideas what would possibly result inthe formation of this political party? I'd be interested in knowing if they ever got anyone
The Anti-Masonic Party was the first large “third party” in the U.S. It was formed as a result of the so-called “Morgan Affair” that erupted in
Batavia, New York in the early 1800’s.
The disappearance of William Morgan led many in the area to believe that he was murdered by members of the Batavia Masonic Lodge. The facts are
scarce, and historians are divided on the issue.
We know that Morgan arrived in Batavia in the 1830’s, and falsely claimed to have been a Captain in the U.S. Army in the War of 1812. He appears to
have been an habitual drunkard, and would not hold down a job, nor provide for his family. It also appears that he attempted to scam the Masons in
order to receive charity.
Apparently, he had blackmailed an acquaintance who was a Mason into vouching that he (Morgan) was a Mason. This allowed Morgan to gain admission to
the local Lodges, and also to collect Masonic charity (his claim that he was unable to work due to injuries incurred in the war was eventually shown
to be a lie).
A group of members of Batavia Lodge petitioned the Grand Royal Arch to form a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Morgan’s signature appeared on the
petition. Upon investigation, it was found there was no evidence that Morgan was a Mason, and the request was denied.
The Batavia Lodge then refused to admit Morgan to meetings. He was uncovered as a scam artist, and emotions began to run high.
In retaliation, Morgan threatened to publish a book revealing the Lodge’s secret rituals. This would be both revenge against the Lodge, and another
money making opportunity. To make a long story short, he appears to have been kidnapped from a Batavia jail after having been arrested for a bad debt,
It is almost certain that he was kidnapped by members of the Lodge. Whether or not he was murdered remains a mystery, and his body has never been
His book was eventually published, but it was not an original work, it was a plagiarism of a French expose on Masonic ritual, which had been in print
for over 50 years. Also, his “widow” did not believe he had been murdered, and was re-married to a Mason. It is possible that he was murdered, but is
also possible that he skipped town to escape bad debts, and used the kidnapping as an excuse.
We’ll never know for sure, but this incident caused the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party, who believed Morgan was killed. They put candidates in
office in he northwest, but were not successful nationally. They ran a candidate for President, but were defeated by Democrat Andrew Jackson, a Mason.
Eventually, the Anti-Masons merged with the Republicans, and the present-day evangelical, right-wing, ultra-conservative branch of the Republican
Party is the product of the Anti-Masons.