Wednesday, September 21, 2016

General Rufus Putnam's Army Chest

The Marietta Register, May 16, 1878

Through the courtesy of our well known and respected fellow citizen, Col. William R. Putnam, American Union Lodge No. 1 of Free and Accepted Masons have been put in possession of a very valuable relic, the old hero's army chest. It is made of pine, 3-1/2 feet long, 18 inches wide and 16 inches deep, with a till across one end. On the outside is the name in well shaped letters, R. Putnam, Lew't Colo'n 22 Reg. The chest shows unmistakable signs of antiquity and rough usage.

In 1740, there were 80 males of the name of Putnam in America, two of whom became conspicuous in the history of our country and Free Masonry. Rufus was born at Sutton, Worcester County, Mass., April 9th, 1738, joined the Revolutionary Army at Cambridge, 1775; made a Mason in American Union Lodge No. 1, July 26th, 1779. The place of meeting of the Lodge when he received the degrees was at the "Robinson House," on the east bank of the Hudson, about two miles below West Point. 

Eleven years after (June 28th, 1790), he was present at a meeting of the Lodge in Campus Martius, Marietta, Ohio, at which time he was elected Junior Warden. This was the first Lodge opened in the Northwest Territory. He was elected Master of the Lodge in 1791, served six years and gave great satisfaction. In 1808, a convention was called at Chillicothe to organize a Grand Lodge of Ohio. At this meeting Putnam, at the advanced age of 70, was unanimously elected Grand Master of Masons in Ohio.

He continued his membership in American Union Lodge until his death, which took place in Marietta, May 4th, 1824.

Any person having old Masonic books, papers or relics of any kind, pertaining to American Union Lodge or Masonry generally, are most earnestly solicited to present them to Old No. 1, and the undersigned is duly authorized to receive them.

George T. Hovey

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