Hogan examines the relationship between Masonry and early Utah Mormonism, noting Brigham Young's efforts to limit Masonic influence and his attribution of Joseph and Hyrum Smith's deaths to Masonic actions.

Mervin B. Hogan

Mervin B. Hogan, The Origin and Growth of Utah Masonry and Its Conflict with Mormonism (Salt Lake City, UT: Campus Graphics, 1978), 4–7

Mervin B. Hogan
James Buchanan, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Abraham Jonas, Lorenzo Snow, Mervin B. Hogan, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, George Q. Cannon, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr., Lucius N. Scovil, Franklin D. Richards, Albert Sidney Johnston, Heber C. Kimball
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1,000 Masons into the Territory during the next several years. For various reasons these Mormon Masons never formally organized into Masonic bodies.

The Mormon Masons were deliberately and purposely kept busily engaged in Church assignments and building up the Territory by Brigham Young. He intended that any possible inclination among his followers to think about organizing Masonically should be nipped in the bud at once. He was fully occupied with the multitude of challenges associated with his building and administering a theocratic state. He would countenance no distractions nor diversions of interest and effort. As the builder of a theocratic empire, Brigham Young was concerned with holding together his members and forging a cohesive, dynamic organization. Regardless of his attachment to Freemasonry, he could not afford to allow the Order's presence or influence to detract from or interfere in any way with the successful attainment of his administrative goals.

It must also be remembered that among the Mormons generally the certain knowledge that Masons were largely instrumental in the murders of Hyrum and Joseph Smith at Carthage Jail scarcely tended to arouse fervent Masonic emotions of attraction or affection within their breasts. As a group they almost unitedly tended to view their fraternal interlude with Illinois and Iowa Freemasonry as a most unhappy experience which pained least when least recalled.

Little is really known as yet regarding civilian Masonry in Utah between the years of 1847 and 1866; as far as being actually documented. A much clearer understanding will doubtless be established in the future as some of the many records in the Mormon Archives are made available for scholarly analysis and evaluation.

As non-Mormons more or less trickled into Utah after the Mormons, those who were Masons doubtless made discreet inquiries and personal estimates which indicated to them that they were greatly outnumbered. The existence of such a community unbalance was inevitable under the obvious given circumstances. It was but natural, it would seem, for those non-Mormon Masons who wished to congregate to do so and in that category.

The first organized Masonry in Utah was authorized at Camp Floyd [today's Fairfield] by a Grand Lodge of Missouri Dispensation dated March 6, 1859 and a Charter from the same authority issued in May 1860 for Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205.

President James Buchanan, a Mason, had ordered the mobilization of the Utah Expedition in 1857 under Col. Albert Sidney Johnston; also a Mason." These troops spent the winter of 1857-1858 in a frigid camp at Fort Bridger, Wyoming. After much lengthy, tedious negotiation with Brigham Young, the troops were permitted to march through Salt Lake City in June 1858 and establish a post at Camp Floyd, approximately fifty miles southwest of that city.

Due to the unrest presaging the Civil War, Col. Johnston and a number of troops were ordered from the Camp during 1860. Col. St. George Cook was sent to take command of the post, which he re-named Fort Crittenden. On May 17, 1861 he was ordered to Fort Leavenworth with some of the remaining soldiers, and on July 27, 1861 what remained of the Utah Expedition departed under orders.

"All jewels, records and charter were returned to the office of the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Missouri." On March 9, 1877, the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge "loaned the Grand Secretary of Utah" the original charter and the annual returns for the year 1860 of Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205, together with other papers. It was stipulated that these records were "to be returned," but "have never been returned to the Grand Lodge of Missouri."

The presence of troops in Utah caused a certain amount of unrest among the residents. The associated Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205 doubtless stimulated Masonic urgings in the breasts of some of the Mormon Masons. Lucius Nelson Scovil was the son of a devoted Connecticut Mason and had been the Junior Warden under dispensation when Grand Master Jonas constituted Nauvoo Lodge U.D. He was the ever present, ever loyal, and always dependable leader of that Lodge throughout its turbulent, short life. He clearly became dedicated to Freemasonry and its principles.

Over the past century and more, many fictional and fraudulent explanations have been concocted or fabricated and with sober mien utilized by the Grand Lodge of Utah in an effort to justify its virulent opposition to all things related to Mormonism. Probably the greatest falsehood of all, actually acceptable only to the gullible, the ignorant, or the totally prejudiced, is the claim that Mormondom would "take over" Utah Masonry if Mormons were allowed to become members of the Utah Lodges.

In the Archives of the Mormon Church are the priceless holograph volumes of the astounding Journal of Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the Mormon Church and a certified Master Mason. Under the date of August 19, 1860, I find the following entry which speaks for itself. I reproduce it in full and with permission.

Presidents Young and Kimball, with O. Pratt, W. Woodruff, J. Taylor, G. A. Smith, L. Snow, F. D. Richards and G. Q. Cannon of the Twelve met for Prayer, when the following conversation took place. President Young said the people of the United States had sought our destruction and they had used every exertion to perfect it. They have worked through the Masonic institution to perfect it. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Master Masons and they were put to death by Masons or


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