Media Information

Collection name:
[NY] - Biographical Sketches
Name and Title :
1829-1896; Charles T. McClenachan; Right Worshipful
Description :
Charles T. McClenachan was one of the most important Masonic authors of all time.
Lodge :
Munn Lodge No. 190
Town and State :
New York; NY
Royal Arch Chapter Name and Number :
RoyalArch: Metropolitan Chapter No. 140; 1859; Ancient Chapter No. 1
Royal and Select Masters Council Name and Number :
Union Council No. 1
Knights Templar Commandery Name and Number :
KnightsTemplar: Palestine Commandery No. 18; Joined in 1859
Scottish Rite Degree and Consistory Name :
ScottishRite: Active Member of the Supreme Council; 1861; 33rd Degree in 1860; New York Consistory; Cosmopolitan Consistory; Aurora Grata Consistory
Scottish Rite Title and Year :
Grand Master-General of Ceremonies of the Supreme Council; Master of the New York Lodge of Perfection; 1858; 1859; 1860; 1861; 1862; 1863; 1864; 1865; 1866; 1867; 1868; 1869; Commander-in-Chief , Cosmopolitan Consistory and Aurora Grata Consistory, as well as the New York Consistory, which was formed from these two bodies merging.
Grand Lodge Office and Year :
GrandLodge-Office: Grand Historian; 1887; 1888; 1889; 1890; 1891; 1892; 1893; 1894; 1895; 1896;
Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania near the Grand Lodge of New York; 1889; 1890; 1891; 1892; 1893; 1894; 1895
Affiliated Lodge Name Number Town and State :
Howard Lodge No. 35; New York; NY; Chancellor Walworth Lodge No. 271; New York; NY
Affiliated Lodge Title and Year :
Master of Howard Lodge No. 35; Senior Deacon of Howard Lodge No. 35 upon its reorganization
Associated Artifacts :
Born :
1829, April 13
Raised :
1854, February 24
Died :
1896, December 19
Other 1 :
To students of Masonic literature the name of Charles T. McClenachan is one of the most familiar, not only in this country, but throughout the world. His great work on the Grand Lodge of New York...ranks him as an accurate historian and a writer of the widest information and most erudite mind. It is a work that will live as one of the contributions to the history of his time, containing facts that could not have been compiled by one less gifted as a student and writer.
But the particular branch of Freemasonry to which he gave his best thoughts, and for which he expended his most energetic efforts, was the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. He believed the lessons therein and had a great mission to perform by principles that must end warfare and strife, and to them he devoted himself with unremitting care. Part of what he accomplished, great in its scope, but only a part, may be found in his great "Book of the Scottish Rite," which is a standard work the world over. His addendum to Mackey's great Encyclopedia would entitle him to rank high as a scholar if he had produced nothing else. His thorough knowledge of the esoterics and ritual of all the degrees of Freemasonry, from Entered Apprentice to Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Thirty-third Degree, was marvelous and provoked wondering admiration.
"He was certainly one of the most learned and distinguished Masons in the world, and yet in his community, where he had a host of friends, and also wherever he was personally known, he will be mourned as one of the most simple, gentle and lovable of me." (Pittsburgh Dispatch, 1896)
Other 2 :
>"His Book of the Rite is the acknowledged authority on all the grades [of the Scottish Rite]. His History of Freemasonry in the State of New York is an exhaustive work, comprehensive and complete in detail and preserves many facts connected with the fraternity not found elsewhere." (New York Dispatch, 1896)
"Although ill for months, almost to the last day of his life he attended to his duties at the office of the Department of Public Works in New York City, where he had held a position of trust for more than thirty years.." (Voice of Masonry...1897)
Other 3 :
He was also a member of the New York Masonic Veterans' Association, and was a past President of that organization. He was also a member of the Seventh Regiment, New York National Guard, with which he served in the field during its service in the late Civil War. He was also a member of the Old Guard of New York, and of the Grand Army of the Republic. (Ross, 1899)
Other 4 :
He was the author of the following (call numbers for the Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library of Grand Lodge book collection are listed):
"The book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry : containing instructions in all the degrees..." printed in 1868 [M14.6 M13 1868]
"History of the Most Ancient and honorable fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in New York, from the earliest date..." a four-volume set printed from 1888-1894 [M17 M13];
"Forms and ceremonials as proposed [and accepted] for use of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ..." printed in 1878 [M20.6 Un3 1878];
An addendum to "Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and its kindred Albert Gallatin Mackey," printed in 1896 [M00 M19 1896]
Other 5 :
Brother McClenachan's "grand-uncle, Charles Thompson, was for a long time private confidential Secretary of General Washington, and it was he who in one gift pledged to the distressed Colonial Government at Philadelphia $200,000...At the age of sixteen, Charles McClenachan accepted the position of assistant teacher in the New York Institution for the Blind, which position he so faithfully filled that he was appointed four years later to the place of Principal. He resigned after two years service and went to Cuba for his health which had been impaired by incessant labor. He returned in 1851, re-invigorated, and began his life in the service of the city of New York, being Clerk of the Board of Aldermen. He held this position until 1862. In 1863 he was appointed Accountant in the Department of Public Works, which position he retained until his death. In every place of trust he was found faithful, and his systematic traits enabled him to accomplish an amount of work that can hardly be estimated." (New York Dispatch, 1896)
Associated Names 4 :
Engraved by Bather, NY
Image Source :
Ross, Peter, A Standard History of Freemasonry in the State of New York...The Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899, pg. 869;
Unknown author, Obituary printed in the "New York Dispatch," New York, December 27, 1896;
Unknown author, Obituary printed in "Voice of Masonry and Family Magazine, Masonic Gleanings," Chicago : John C.W. Bailey ; Bailey & Brown ; John W. Brown, 1875-97, 1874, 1862-73.
Unknown author, Obituary printed in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, Ohio, December 22, 1896
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CONTENTdm file name :
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Linking :
1829-1896; Charles T. McClenachan; Right Worshipful

1829-1896; Charles T. McClenachan; Right Worshipful