Beginnings of Freemasonry in America 

Excerpt from A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry by Henry Coil

SINCE THE UNITED STATES has come to have

approximately one-half of the Grand

Lodges and two thirds of the Freemasons

in the world, the events attending the introduction

of Freemasonry into this country are

of great significance. In this regard as in others,

Masonic writers have endeavored to antiquate

Masonic activities as much as possible

and sometimes more than probable. An example

of this tendency is the story of the "Nova Scotia

Stone," which was found some years ago and

which bore very clearly the numerals, "1606."

The stone was subsequently lost but, fortunately,

before that event, it had been photographed. In

some way, the rumor spread that it bore Masonic

symbols and thus indicated the work of some

member of the Craft. Some imaginative person

expanded that statement to say that the stone

bore the square and compasses, and this has

even crept into publications of pretended accuracy.

The fact is easily observable from the

photographs that, while there are vague markings

on the stone, they bear not the slightest

resemblance to any Masonic symbol, much less

the square and compasses. Then there was the

claim that a manuscript existed showing that

some Jews had opened a lodge in Rhode Island

in 1656 or 58 and had conferred the degrees of

Masonry on one of their race. The deficiencies

in this story should have been apparent, viz.,

that at the time stated, Freemasonry was nominally

Trinitarian Christian in doctrine, and

there were no degrees such as were conferred

in later years when this manuscript, if it ever

existed, was probably written.

If you would like to read more, you can purchase the book here A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry by Coil