American anti-masonic notes
1.It should also be emphasized that Rochester lay at the heart of the Burned-Over District [upstate New York] and that the Sabbatarian movement [In 1828 Rochester First Baptist Church enlisted Lyman Beecher and Lewis Tappan.] coincided with the Anti-masonry crusade, [Charles Grandison] Finneys revivals, the perfection and extension of the Auburn penitentiary system, and the birth of Mormonism. [p. 438]
Old Hickory [Andrew Jackson] would have won a sweeping victory even if the opposition votes had not been divided between Henry Clay, the National Republican candidate, and William Wirt, the reluctant leader of the Anti-Masons, a party based on the widespread fear that free institutions were endangered by the secret society of Freemasons. [p. 505]
Millard Fillmore, Zachary Taylors successor, was a genial but colorless Whig party hack who had begun his political career as an Anti-Mason and ended it by running for president in 1856 on the nativist and anti-Catholic "Know-Nothing" (or American) party ticket. [p. 509]
In 1827 [Thurlow] Weed and his young protégé William S. Seward took up the cause of Anti-masonry as a means of embarrassing the ruling Van Buren machine. [p. 514]
By 1830 Anti-Masons had captured approximately one-half the popular vote in New York state.
Although the Anti-Masons organized the first national political convention in American history, Weed began to sense that the movement could be no more than a springboard for a successful national party. Weed launched his powerful Albany Evening Journal as an Anti-Masonic newspaper, but he increasingly downplayed Masonry and combined blistering attacks on the Albany Regency with the advocacy of various social reforms.
By 1934 Weed has abandoned Anti-masonry and had succeeded in organizing a New York Whig coalition.
... Weed finally came into his own in 1838 when he succeeded in getting William Seward elected governor of New York.
In 1840 Weed played a key role in blocking the Whigs' nomination of Clay and in opening the way for [Ohios William Henry] Harrison. [p. 515]
Anti-masonry had been one of the early expressions of such reformists and issue-oriented politics, and many of the Anti-Masons who had joined the Whigs had never been comfortable with the Weed school of leaders, who placed victory above principle. In addition to the Anti-Masons, the Whig party became the uneasy home for people who wanted laws enforcing a stricter Sabbath, laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, laws barring slavery from the territories and abolishing slavery in the District opf Columbia, and laws prolonging the time before an immigrant could be naturalized or allowed to vote. [p. 516]
These notes are gleaned from The Great Republic, A History of the American People. Fourth Edition. Bernard Bailyn, Robert Dallek, David Brion Davis, David Herbert Donald, John L. Thomas, Gordon S. Wood. D, C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts, Toronto. : 1992. ISBN: 0-669-20986-4. 723pp plus appendexes and index pb.. They are provided here as further information to that found on the related pages noted on the left.