The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry: As Connected with Ancient Norse Guilds, and the Oriental and Mediæval Building Fraternities

by George F. Fort

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Social history as a corrective to a historiography is often too limited to diplomacy and wars. It began an upward trajectory as early as the 1930s, but it remains constrained by the frustrating cost and availability of materials that even great research libraries lack. This volume is a case in point. Fraternal movements like Freemasonry have impacted society for hundreds of years. Yet, over time research into their undoubted influence has been handicapped by their codes of secrecy, arcane rituals, and the paucity of continuing tertiary research projects. As a step towards “more light” Westphalia Press has produced a number of scarce titles that will be helpful in understanding the “secret empire” of lodges, initiations, and (candidly) the deliberately inscrutable.

George Franklin Fort was born on June 30, 1809 in New Jersey and would rise to prominence in his home state. Among other things, he would serve as the Governor of New Jersey from 1851 to 1854. He began practicing medicine in 1830, but by the mid-1840s he became very involved in politics. He was largely a reform-minded candidate, and supported universal suffrage, 10-hour workdays, and ending child labor. In 1868 he left politics to practice medicine again. He passed away on April 22, 1872.