This morning I read a post on a forum that a new book will be published by author Stephen Dafoe. Bro Dafoe has written several other books including The Compasses and the Cross and Nobly Born to name just two. In his latest book Morgan: The Scandal that Shook Freemasonry, Dafoe will take the Masonic reader in a new direction. This from Bro. Dafoe’s Blog; “What makes this telling of the Morgan story different is that it has no partisan axe to grind. Almost every book written on the Morgan Affair has been written with an anti-Masonic or pro-Masonic agenda. Morgan: The Scandal That Shook Freemasonry will walk the path left by the various materials still available: court transcripts, letters, affidavits and firsthand accounts. And there are plenty of materials to draw from; the bibliography runs some nine pages. But that doesn’t mean this will be some dry academic tome. Although the book will be well cited, I’ve chosen to go with a narrative nonfiction style this time around, making the book read more like a mystery novel than a traditional nonfiction book.”
I look forward to reading Bro. Dafoe’s book and looking more closely at the incident that nearly destroyed Freemasonry in the US in the years after. The book is being published by Cornerstone Book Publishers soon. “Masonic publishers did not want to touch it, afraid to publish something that suggested Freemasons might be guilty of murder, and non-Masonic publishers were reluctant to touch it for fear of alienating the Freemasons who might buy their books.” again from Bro. Defoe’s blog. I would encourage anyone to read this book that may be interested in Masonic history, especially anti-Masonic history.
A bit about William Morgan: Morgan was born in Culpeper, Virginia in 1774. He was apprenticed as a bricklayer or stone cutter, then briefly was a brewer in Canada, before returning to quarry work in Rochester, New York.
In October 1819, when he was 44, Morgan married 16-year old Lucinda Pendleton in Richmond. They had two children, Lucinda Wesley Morgan and Thomas Jefferson Morgan. Two years after his marriage, he moved for unknown reasons to York, Upper Canada, where he operated a brewery. He has been described as a heavy drinker and a gambler.
When his business was destroyed in a fire, Morgan was reduced to poverty. He returned to the United States, settling first at Rochester, New York, and later in Batavia. Morgan claimed to have served with distinction as a captain during the War of 1812, though there is no evidence that he did so. Several men named William Morgan appear in the Virginia militia rolls, but none held the rank of captain.
I will leave the rest of the story to Bro. Dafoe to tell and hopefully shed some light on this nagging question.