Published by: Kessinger Publishing; (01 March, 1997)
Ranked # 569252 on Amazon.com© on Oct 10, 2004Editorial Review:
The manuscripts are a veritable gold-mine of Masonic information, for they constitute, as far as we are aware, the most complete set of early Scottish Rite rituals in the United States. Each of the five books was copied from rituals belonging to Giles F. Yates, 33rd Degree, a member of both the Northern and Southern Supreme Councils, who had most, if not all, of the manuscript rituals of Mr. Frederick Dalcho, one of the founders of the first Supreme Council. At one point the original Dalcho manuscripts were lost or sold, and when the collection was rediscovered in 1938, it had several rituals missing. Our collection, however, is complete, from the 4th Degree-33rd Degree. Most of the rituals are dated 1801 and 1802, which we believe indicates they are copies of the Dalcho versions, although we have not had the opportunity to compare them with the originals in the archives of the Northern Jurisdiction. For some unknown reason, however, each is designated as belonging to either the "first series" or "second series," while some rituals have apparently been switched around in numerical order. For example, one ritual is labeled the "30th, 31st and 32nd Degree of the First Series (1802)...now 32nd, called Sovereign, or Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret;" although it seems to have become the 32nd Degree only after a "31st Degree Tribunal of Grand Inquiring Commander" ritual appeared (dated 1804). Another revision is the "29th Degree Grand Master Ecose...Knight of St. Andrew." Following the degree is the outline of an apparent 1806 revision which radically departs from the earlier form, yet is similar to that found in Albert Pike's Magnum Opus (1857). Did Pike have this 1806 ritual? Possibly, yet, we know from Pike's writings that he didn't have all these rituals. Pike's revisions were done without the benefit of reading the original rituals contained in this set. One of the most interesting rituals is the "33rd Degree Sovereign Grand Inspector General." Not only is it the earliest form of this degree, but it includes a copy of a "Letter of Credence" (our modern "Patent") and an early version of the Constitutions, Statutes and Regulations. For all who have wondered what the original Scottish Rite rituals were like, this set, and only this set may answer the question. The rituals in this set are not the same as the Francken MS. These is the only set of its kind. If you want authentic information on the Scottish Rite, this book will become your prime set of source documents. Volume 2 (the 19th - 33rd) starts after page 222.