United Benefactors Lodge
To all the Free Masons of the Grand Lodge of New York, by their brothers the United Benefactors of Gentilly.
Most Illustrious Brothers: The holy cause of liberty has one martyr more. The secular work of emancipation of the human race began the day when tyranny took the place of fraternity between the strong and the weak; was continued in the Parthenon and on Calvary; then by reform and revolution has finally gained a new victory in the United States, where again the blood of the just has been shed. It is one of the laws of human development that no change can be effected in the social or political order without terrible convulsions, and at the sacrifice of the most precious lives. A victim of his devotion to the eternal principles of justice and truth, the very illustrious brother, Abraham Lincoln, has given his life for the love of his country and his fellow-creatures, thus setting the most noble example a masonic brother can give to his brethren—transiit benefaciendo!
The horrid crime that felled him in the hour of victory has carried pain and consternation into every heart. Let us mourn! Free masonry has suffered an irreparable loss. Let us mourn! For persecuted virtue only triumphs after long and frightful struggles, and after most cruel sacrifices.
But let us hope that the blood of Abraham Lincoln has not been shed in vain. The redeemer of the black race will hereafter be numbered among the benefactors of the human race.
Brothers, you will complete the work of the great and generous citizen, whose name will shine in history by the side of that of Washington; the founder and restorer of the American Union will go down to posterity together. Courage, brothers, courage! Slavery of the body is conquered; but slavery of the soul, the worst kind of servitude, yet remains. Let us face it boldly; we in the old continent, you in the new. Let us struggle to destroy the ignorance and prejudices that yet enslave the human mind.
Our zeal in effecting the complete emancipation of the human race is the greatest and most worthy homage we can render to the memory of the eminent man whose premature and tragic end is now deplored by all free masonry.[Page 60]
Brethren of the Grand Lodge of New York, receive the sincere expression of our ardent sympathy. Let our hearts form a chain of union. Fraternity knows no distance; let us stretch our hands across the Atlantic. Our thought is in you, as yours is in us.
Your devoted brothers of the United Benefactors.
- Honorary Venerable, LECAILLIER.
- Venerable, CAMPAGNE.
- 1st W. DEGONY, Orator.
- 2d W. V. FREQUDRE, Simors.
- Secretary, E. PERRECHAY.
- Almoner, BOURNIR.
- Treasurer, GUENDIN.
And many others.