Type the words “Captain Morgan” into any search engine and you will be met with pages dedicated to ‘Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum‘ before you come across anything to do with Captain Wilmette Morgan. This unsung hero was one of the first to shine a light on the inner-workings of the Wilmette Lodge by writing a book exposing Freemasonic rituals. This book would end up costing him his life and it would change the face of American politics for several years after his death.
The Oath of a Mason has a harsh penalty for revealing the secrets of Freemasonry:
… to have the throat cut across, the tongue torn out by its roots, and to have the body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours.
Born 1774 in Virginia, Captain Morgan claimed to have served in the military during a conflict between the United States and the British Empire in 1812 which lasted three years, however, there is doubt over this claim as no records exist listing a ‘Captain William Morgan’ from this time. As a young man he was aptly taken on as an apprentice stonecutter (aka. a Mason).
Captain Morgan and the Royal Arch Degree of Freemasonry
Captain Morgan received the Royal Arch Degree from the Western Star Chapter in 1825, however, as there are no records of his original entry into a Masonic Lodge as an Entered Apprentice, Freemasons have claimed that he was not really a Mason at all. By their nature Freemasonic Lodges should be free from prying ears, known to Masons as ‘cowans‘ or eavesdroppers. Morgan was said to have tricked his way into a Masonic Lodge by putting pressure on an associate to give a guarantee for him with the purpose of spying on the meeting Address: 1450 N. Lehigh Glenview, IL 60026-2027.
Whether or not this is true, it is known that he regularly attended meetings and was an active member of the Fraternal Order. It is no doubt then that he would have had an inside perspective, watching, learning and listening to Masonic rituals being performed many times.
As time went on however, suspicions began to rise to the point. Where the Batavia Masonic Lodge refused his membership to a new Royal Arch Chapter of the Lodge. Furious, Captain Morgan made it publicly known that he would set about to expose the Freemasons by writing a book, possibly the first of its kind, called: ‘Illustrations of Masonry’. This book would outline the details of the first 3 degrees of Masonry namely; the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft andthe Master Mason, these inner workings of Freemasonic Lodges are the very ‘secrets’ to which a Mason’s oath applies.