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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
Justus H. Rathbone
Justus H. Rathbone
October 29, 1839 - December 9, 1889
With four friends, school teacher and federal government employee, Justus Henry Rathbone founded the Order of Pythias on 15 February 1864, based on "Damon and Pythias", a dramatic play by Irish poet John Banim (1798/04/03 - 1842/07). Rathbone instituted Washington Lodge No. 1 with thirteen charter members on 19 February 1864
"Many new organizations grew directly out of the divisiveness of the Civil War experience. The Knights of Pythias was organized in 1864 by a group of federal clerks in Washington, D.C., who felt that the nation urgently needed to rekindle a brotherly spirit. Justus H. Rathbone designed the ritual, which is based on the 4th century, B.C., story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias. Rathbone was a Freemason and a Red Man, and incorporated aspects of these organizations into his new ritual. The society's motto is Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence."
Freemason

Source: "Many Fraternal Groups Grew From Masonic Seed" (Part 2 — 1860-1920) by Barbara Franco (assistant director for museum programs at the Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, Mass.) The Northern Lights, November 1985. His masonic membership has not been confirmed by any masonic body. Also see Knights of Pythias accessed 2007/08/30.

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