By David G. Hackett
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Additional resources for That religion in which all men agree : freemasonry in American culture
Dominating the town’s moral framework was the Dutch Reformed church, which stood at its center and counted nearly all of the townspeople as members. ”86 Indeed, participation in the beliefs and practices of Reformed Calvinism was the most enduring collective social action of the colonial Dutch community. Estate inventories of Albany’s Dutch householders reveal catechisms written by the town’s ministers, the Bible, and little other reading material. ”88 Providing the leaven of polite society in Albany were the Schuylers and several other interrelated “inhabitants of the upper settlement,” who once a year went to New York City.
97 Prominent Dutch and British Masons, including the young Leonard Gansevoort and the alderman Peter W. Yates, were elected to the Committee of Correspondence. Yates also served as a delegate to the Continental 42 | European American Freemasonry Congress and, after the war, become the town’s most famous antiFederalist. Members of the local lodges were similarly conspicuous in the leadership of the Albany militia and the town’s Continental Army regiment. Tory sympathizers could also be found among the lodges’ members.
Convenient to their powers and degrees” and were to wear it every year when attending Mass on the Feast of the Four Crowned Martyrs, after which they were to have dinner or “honest” recreation. ”22 These were trade or technical secrets intended to enforce membership requirements against the growing number of competitors in a time of building expansion. Although nearly all early modern trades asserted high standing and great antiquity, the fact that masons created the vast stone cathedrals, arguably the most awe-inspiring human works in the Middle Ages, distinguished their claims from those of other medieval craftsmen.