The Masonic Breastpin

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In 1852 Rob Morris published The Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry “consisting of Masonic Tales, Songs and Sketches never before published.” This book, published in 1852 by Morris’s friend, J. F. Brennan, Louisville, Ky. is written to “illustrate the principles, by exhibiting the effects of Freemasonry.” One story from the book is The Masonic Breastpin: A Tale of Indian Times. A massacre of a family had occurred outside the town of Catesby. Villagers were terrified and a small troop of volunteers (some of which had served in the War of 1812) with a self appointed Major rallied. One of the volunteers, Capt. Carnarson, was a Mason who wore a Masonic breastpin on his chest. Unfortunately the party of volunteers met with a war party of Indians who quickly dispensed the soldiers leaving only a few brave soldiers one being Capt. Carnarson. As his comrades were tortured and killed, Carnarson’s time came to be burned at the stake. “Already the flames were scorching his feet; his breath was already drawing fast and hard in the rarified atmosphere” when the chief appeared. . . “the light of the blazing fire . .glanced full upon the breastpin” on Carnarson’s bosom. When the chief beheld it he examined the breastpin which exhibited the double triangle, emblem of the Royal Arch degree. Immediately the chief had Carnarson taken from the burning fire and mumbled the world “brother” to the tribe. The two retired to the chief’s tent where Carnarson left the breastpin in the chieftain’s mantle as a pledge to be redeemed some future day.