1824 Tennessee Masonic Manual

Tennessee Masonic Manual, or Freemasonry Illustrated by Wilkins Tannehill, Past Grand Master , published 1824

This is the original equivalent of our Tennessee Craftsman which was used by Tennessee Lodges starting in 1824, and continuing until the next edition was published. It is a window into the Masonry of our forbears in the early years of Tennessee Freemasonry.

The PDF of the entire Manual is quite large, so we have divided it into manageable sections. Click on one of these links below to open the corresponding PDF file.

Each file has bookmarks to assist with navigation. From the Adobe Acrobat menu, click View | Show/Hide | Navigation Panes | Bookmarks.

Part I,Books I and II–Origin and History of Masonry, and “Masonic Constitutions”

Part I, Book III–The Blue Lodge (Chapters 1 through 10, covers the Degrees)

Part I, Book III–Ceremonies, Prayers, and Precepts (Chapters 11 through 18)

Part II–Royal Arch Chapter and Cryptic Degrees

Appendix–Tennessee Masonic History and Constitution

For background information, see this informative history by Brother John Meldorf, Fellow and Charter Master of the Tennessee Lodge of Research:

The Origins of The Tennessee Craftsman, 1772-1866, excerpted from our book, Traveling East, Selected Essays from the Annual Proceedings 1985-2005

From the 14th page of Brother Meldorf’s paper:
At the October 9, 1823 Annual Communication, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee appointed a committee to examine a “manuscript” complied by Bro. Wilkins Tannehill. The name of this “manuscript” is not known, but most likely it was his Masonic Manual, or Freemasonry Illustrated, because on October 8, 1824, the Grand Lodge voted to “highly approve of the Masonic Manual, or Freemasonry Illustrated, by Wilkins Tannehill, PGM, and does adopt and recommend it as a useful Manual to all Lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge.” Thus Tennessee, for the first time, had its own Masonic text.


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