morris

 

Mississippians are justifiably proud that all phases of Rob Morris' great Masonic career began in our state, as well as the fact that he was married to Miss Charlotte Mendenhall described as "a daughter of one of the most prominent families in Mississippi".  On March 5, 1846, he received his Third Degree from William H. Stevens, from whom Dr. Morris acquired his first appetite for Adoptive Masonry.

     "When I began to write and lecture upon Freemasonry." Dr. Morris writes, "I found this desire for ladies' degrees as deeply planted in the breasts of others as my own, and I was called upon everywhere to confer such degrees as we had, named - the Good Samaritan, the Heroine of Jericho, the Mason's Daughter, and the others.  They were all rather thin - gave but little satisfaction, barren in matter and inartistic in form, and I was convinced that something better could be made...."

     Dr. Morris wrote a "record" of the "origination of the Eastern Star:"  "The degree called the Eastern Star... is strictly my own origination.  By the aid of my papers, and the memory of Mrs. 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 my drama within due limits of time, etc.  The name was first settled upon, the Eastern Star.

     I wrote every word of the original lectures and composed the songs.  For twenty-eight years I have been communicating it as my own origination.  I am the founder of the system, and no one can show any proof of its existence prior to 1849."