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What I intended to say in that book was, that the French officers introduced adoptive Masonry into the colonies in 1775, but nothing like the degree called the Eastern Star, which is strictly my own origination. Morris, I recall even the trivial occurrences connected with the work, how I hesitated for a theme, how I dallied over a name, how I wrought face to face with the clock that I might keep may drama within due limits of time, etc.
The name was first settled upon, The five androgynous degrees, combined under the above title (The Eastern Star Degrees), are supposed to have been introduced into this country by the French officers who assisted our government during the struggle for liberty.
That it is perfect, and that every essential fact that it is possible to ascertain in regard to the order is contained in it, he would not pretend to say; but he does say that he has made an honest effort in that direction flow far he has succeeded perhaps time only can demonstrate.
Although there have been brief historical sketches of the order written, they have been produced generally for a purpose other than a simple development of the truth, and the writer knows of none, however brief, that has not contained more or less inaccurate statements, even as his may be found to do, but none have been knowingly made, and he has tried to present every fact in an unbiased manner.
It will be noticed that in this work the Eastern Star degrees are sometimes spoken of in the singular, and sometimes in the plural.
Many months of continuous labor have been bestowed upon it, and as he indites these words as his task is drawing to a close, it is with the desire that his readers will consider how hard it is for one to write unbiasedly of his own times, and of events in which lie has been an active participant, so that if the fiat person singular is sometimes singularly prominent, it is simply because a full recital of essential facts rendered it necessary, as he, has no desire to use both ends of the trumpet of fame.
He would be singularly remiss if he did not express his deep sense of obligation to the many brothers and sisters who have given him material assistance in se‑curing information that has helped to make the work both valuable and interesting; and he would also give expression to his sense of obligation to those more numerous sisters and brothers who have so generously confided in his ability to create a work worthy of their encouragement, and have manifested that confidence by subscribing in advance of its production, and thus rendered its publication possible.
In the history it will be found that while he has made no direct quotations from the present authorized ritual, with one or two minor exceptions, he has quoted, sometimes quite copiously, from rituals that are now obsolete, but in doing so he has carefully avoided incorporating therein anything that might throw any light upon what is the real secret work of the order, and in this respect he believes his work will be found to compare favorably with the Masonic encyclopedias.
He has endeavored, at the same time, to convey to the enlightened reader as full knowledge of the subject in hand as was possible with these limitations.
Under the title of "Ladies' Masonry," William Leigh, Past Grand Master of Alabama, in 1851 set forth the degree of the "Holy Virgin," and the de‑gree of the "Heroine of Jericho." In 1866, under the title of the "Ladies' Friend," G. Brown, of Michigan, published the "Eastern Star," "Mason's Daughter," "Kindred Degree," "Good Samaritan," and "Heroines of Jericho." Other degrees bore the titles of "Ark and Dove." "Maids of Jerusalem," "Sweet Brier," "Daughter of Zion," "Daughters of Zelophadad," "Daughters of Bethlehem," "Cross and Crown," and "Lady of the Cross." Of the origin of these degrees little is known.