On Sept. 11, 1826, William Morgan, of Batavia New York, was forcibly removed from the jailhouse at Canandaigua, NY, to a two-horse carriage and borne away into the mists of time.
His disappearance was suspected to have been effected by overzealous Freemasons enforcing the penalties of their obligations. His suspected murder added furor to the anti-Masonic movement in New England and ushered forth the Anti-Masonic Party, the only political third-party to rise to prominence in the United States.
In 1823 or 1824, William Morgan arrived in Batavia, New York, traveling from Canada, most likely to apprentice as a bricklayer for a man named Warren. This Warren appears to have been a Mason, and Morgan seems to have impressed upon Warren that he, too, was a Mason made in a just and regularly constituted Lodge in Canada.
History records Morgan visiting a Lodge in Rochester, NY, in 1824, and then Wells Lodge No. 282, in Batavia. It is probable that Warren vouched for him. Differences in the work as practiced in Canada likely allayed any unfamiliarity Morgan might have demonstrated with the New York work, and he quickly set himself up within the Craft.
He must have enjoyed some popularity. On Apr. 12, 1825, a ballot was cast at Royal Arch Chapter No. 33 of LeRoy, NY, and on May 31 William Morgan, Israel Rathbone, and Beach Defores were Exalted to the august degree of a Royal Arch Mason. A tidy sum of $12 each was entered into the treasury. Thus history records Morgan Exalted in the East.
Later that year Morgan’s signature appears on a petition to Charter a new Royal Arch Chapter in Batavia. Morgan had already been recognized as a ritualist of some note – he was in some demand, at least at first, and he is said to have traveled to a few local Lodges to participate in the important work of making Masons. That his name is found among several Companions petitioning for the establishment of a new Chapter in Batavia reinforces this impression.
But something happened. Some dispute must have arose as to Morgan’s veracity. Inquiries into Morgan’s good-standing seem to have fallen short. Indeed, no record of Morgan’s raising to the sublime degree of a Master Mason has ever been found, despite much effort even now in the twenty-first century.
By 1825 it seems more and more Masons were beginning to doubt him. Among his detractors was Dr. Blanchard Powers, the Grand Lecturer of New York. Morgan’s character, perhaps taken to overextension, must have gone too far. His careless drinking and neglect of family might have played into it. Perhaps his tall stories, his precarious stack of words made to shelter him from his own image, began to tumble, dragging him down in a cascade of colorations and half-truths. Perhaps his demands upon the Lodge exceeded the bounds of generosity. Was his silver tongue cutting his own throat?
Back in 1819, already in his mid-forties, Morgan had married 19-year-old Lucinda Pendleton. They had never attained a fixed abode, taking up in boarding houses as Morgan moved first from Richmond, VA, to Canada, then to Rochester, NY, finally arriving at Batavia in 1823/4, around the time of the birth of his second child. He seems to have been searching for something; anything to lift himself beyond himself, but he never kept a fixed address; always on the move, he and his family, boarding house after boarding house. Something was missing.
He found elevation among the downtrodden and with them he cultivated overindulgence and impecuniousness.
Testimony taken by Bro. Robert Morris, who interviewed hundreds of Morgan’s associates and family members after Morgan’s disappearance in 1826, suggests Morgan was an alcoholic. There are substantial reports he would drink frequently and indulge in feats of hyperbole and puffery. “A worthless fellow,” “low down white trash,” “bankrupt,” “an habitual liar,” “a hanger-on at grog shops,” are among the niceties Morris records.
Morgan appears to have enjoyed some powers of persuasion, though, but these powers were ultimately short-lived. He was like the man who quickly impresses but then reveals himself an actor when forced off script. A simple prestidigitator. A charlatan, quick to tell stories to raise estimation in the eyes of his audience. But grasping. Always grasping. So he had to move from place to place, in search of an audience.
Even his rank of “Captain”, often applied even today, is questionable. The War Department shows no evidence of service undertaken by Morgan in the War of 1812, despite the frequent testimony to the contrary by the Anti-Masonic lecturer, Samuel D. Greene. In fact, it seems probable that Greene embellished Morgan’s past for his own purposes.
Something was not right about Morgan, though, that much is clear. When you speak with a forked tongue you eat your words. And in short order, then, the Brethren came to suspect Morgan’s purported initiation into the Craft and his attainment of the next five degrees through Most Excellent Maser, was fiction.
Was Morgan a Cowan?
In latter 1825, when the Charter for the new Royal Arch Chapter in Batavia issued, William Morgan’s name was no longer among the Charter Members. This must have chapped Morgan. We may never know what happened exactly to cause his removal from the rolls, but Morgan seems to turn on the Masons then, slighted.
Come March of 1826 Morgan filed with the clerk of the Northern District of New York for copyright of a book he intended to write, titled provocatively “Illustrations of Masonry by One of the Fraternity – God said Let There Be Light & There was Light!” Simultaneously Morgan entered a contract with David Miller (who was Entered an Apprentice at Albany, NY, sometime around 1805, but for reasons unknown was never advanced), John Davids (with whom Morgan was then boarding his family), and Russell Dyer, of Rochester, to publish the book on David Miller’s press and share the proceeds.
Things might have blown over had Morgan acted delicately and not touted his intentions opportunely. But he was heard to posture this new book in the drinking establishments around Batavia, deliberately, we might imagine, to draw attention – not just from the public at large (he seems to have liked attention), but also to goad the Masons. Jilted, perhaps, at being cast out it seems plausible his book was motivated not just for revenge, but by petulance – to claim some vestige of importance back from those who had rejected him.
Things turned sour. Word was spreading. By August of 1826, ads denigrating Morgan began appearing in local newspapers around the state, warning Masons to spurn Morgan as a “swindler” and “a dangerous man”. The Masons of Batavia began demanding Morgan’s silence. On Sept. 1, 1826, an angry letter by Henry Brown, a Mason, decrying oath-breakers and pretenders, appeared in the Spirit of the Times: “No man in his sober senses,” he wrote, “can credit the perjured wretch who commences his career by publishing his infamy.”
Most counseled prudence – pay the man no heed, they probably muttered, he will go elsewhere to find a new bandwagon. The book will likely flop. But Morgan’s provocations continued. And somewhere they struck a chord.
On Sept. 11, 1826, Constable Holloway Hayward, of Canandaigua, NY, rode out to Batavia and arrested Morgan on a warrant sworn by a tavern-keeper, Ebenezer Kingsley. Morgan, they alleged, had stolen a shirt and cravat some five months prior. They carted him away, against protests of Miller and other witnesses, and arraigned him at Canandaigua. He was acquitted of larceny – he had merely borrowed the shirt, he claimed – but was immediately arrested again, this time for an unpaid debt of $2.68.
Unable to pay it there and then, he was jailed.
In the early evening the following day a coach drew up. A man got out, entered the jailhouse. After some discussion with the jailer’s wife he paid Morgan’s debt in full. Morgan was released, but he didn’t get far. Immediately outside the jailhouse he was coopted into the coach by a handful of men. He might have screamed. He might have struggled. All that was left was his hat, abandoned in the street.
The coach sped over 125 miles to Fort Niagara near the Canadian border. Morgan was removed to an unused magazine (a stone building devised to hold armaments; thus secure). From this point the trail splits, and the ultimate destination of William Morgan is lost in the mists churning there on the banks of the Niagara.
The Mists According to Thurlow Weed
Thurlow Weed, a staunch anti-mason who made a political career by denigrating the Craft, gave testimony on his deathbed in 1882 to the New York Sun. He claimed that one of the chief conspirators of the abduction, Bro. John Whitney, had confessed to him personally in 1860 in Chicago, that he, John Whitney, and four other Masons had abducted Morgan to Fort Niagara in hopes of secreting him away in Canada. But after the plan to set him up in Canada failed they instead took him out on the Niagara river under a midnight moon. Midstream they tied him up, weighted him down, and cast him overboard into the ink-black water, swallowed up by that midnight moon. Then they rowed ashore and went their separate ways. Weed told the Sun that he had prepared a written confession for Whitney to sign, but that on the way to collect the signature from him, Whitney had died. Thus only Weed’s oral testimony remained.
The problem with this version of events, though, is John Whitney died in 1869, more than nine years after the supposed confession was made.
The Mists According to Robert Morris
After the disappearance, Bro. Robert Morris made considerable effort to interview as many friends and family members of William Morgan as he could find. He also interviewed Masons swept up in the affair, including John Whitney who served 18 months in the County lockup for his participation in the abduction.
According to Morris, Whitney admitted to conspiring to abduct Morgan and force his relocation to Canada, out of reach of the publishers with whom Morgan had contracted his Illustrations. Whitney and Bro. Nicholas Chesebro hatched the plan to forcibly remove Morgan in fear that Morgan would abscond with a down payment on a $500 sweetener he’d received and violate the bargain.
As Morris tells it, Whitney, enraged by Morgan’s provocative rhetoric around the region, had approached M.W. Bro. DeWitt Clinton, Governor (and Past Grand Master) of New York, for counsel in how to deal with Morgan. Apparently he had been advised to try to procure the rights to the book, and was ensured up to $1,000 for the purpose. Whitney then took to Batavia and set himself up in the Danold Tavern there, waiting on Morgan. Morgan is said to have arrived, and dined with Whitney. During the course of the dinner, Morgan allegedly agreed to accept $500 not to publish his Illustrations and remove to Canada, never to be seen in New York again. His family would be cared for until such time as he would send for them. Morgan, in debt, probably acquiesced at this chance for a new life. And a new audience, too, no doubt.
But fears grew when, for some reason, Whitney began to believe that Morgan did not intend to live up to his side of the bargain. Morgan’s arrest was devised, the 125 mile route from Canandaigua to Fort Niagara was planned, fresh horses were arranged, and the forcible abduction was undertook. The plan, so Morris records, was to get Morgan to the Canadian border quickly, before Miller and his associates could determine the ultimate destination, and then introduce Morgan to some Canadian brethren who’d ensure he made a new life for himself anywhere north of the border.
According to this version of events, Morgan was taken across the Niagara to meet two Canadian Masons charged with resettling him in Canada. On the evening of Sunday, September 17, 1826, the party, with Morgan in tow, set off once again across the Niagara river. They rode through the night and the following day reached Hamilton, Ontario, on the evening of September 18. The $500 was paid to Morgan, as agreed, and his promissory note was received never to return to New York without the express permission of Freemasons Captain William King, Sheriff Eli Bruce, or Whitney. From this point on, no one knows where Morgan went. Attempts to locate him after the furor in New York several weeks later were entirely unsuccessful. Morgan was never heard from again. He is lost in history.
The Mists According to R. H. Hill and Samuel Greene
R. H. Hill supplied a written confession that he had murdered Morgan. But upon arraignment it was determined he was insane. He was dismissed.
Samuel Greene published a confession he said he found in a book from a man named Henry L. Valance, a supposed Mason of New York. Valance allegedly confessed to the murder just before his death. The original document recording this confession has never been found. In Greene’s account three Masons, including Valance, took Morgan to that midnight moon in the Niagara where he was swallowed up into obscurity when Valance pushed him out of the boat.
The Mists According to The Anti-Masonic Party
A report delivered to the Anti-Masonic Party Convention held at Philadelphia on September 11, 1830, just four years after Morgan’s disappearance, is incredible in its detail surrounding the abduction of William Morgan and the supposed lengths the Fraternity undertook to suppress convictions for the alleged murder. Considering the audience, there is no way to read the report without countering some bias. But the facts Mr. Whittlesey sets forth in his committee report are indeed of interest, exceedingly thorough, if not entirely consistent with other sources. There is indubitably truth to the account, at least up to the night of September 14, 1826.
According to this version of events, the Masons of New York state had already had Morgan arrested, first in July, 1826, and again on August 19, and attempts to find the manuscript of his Illustrations while he and his associates were in custody were unsuccessful. On September 10, Richard Howard and a band of other Masons conspired to burn down Miller’s printing studio. Apparently they doused the exterior with “spirits of turpentine” and, with sodden cotton wadding and straw for tinder, set it alight. According to the Anti-Masons, “it burnt fiercely and brightly upon the first application of the lamp, and had it not been instantly discovered by an individual who was accidentally a witness of it, the office must have been speedily consumed, and the lives of ten persons, then asleep in the two buildings, possibly made a sacrifice.”
Then, on September 10, Nicholas Chesebro, Master of the Lodge at Canandaigua, applied to the Magistrate of Canandaigua, Jeffrey Chipman, for a warrant to arrest Morgan on the basis of Ebenezer Kingsley’s complaint that Morgan had stolen a shirt and a cravat. Then Chesebro roused the Constable, Bro. Halloway Hayward, and a posse of four other Freemasons, and headed out to Batavia to arraign Morgan. It was about 10 a.m. They traveled by stage, hired by Chesebro.
Four other Freemasons joined them en route. Doctor Samuel S. Butler, met at Stafford about six miles east of Batavia, was sent ahead to bring a message to the Masons of Batavia that the posse was coming, and that they had a warrant for Morgan’s arrest. But William Sever, the Master of the Lodge in Batavia, didn’t approve of the mission; word was brought back to abort and return home. The stage was turned back to Canandaigua, but some of the posse continued to Batavia on foot, arriving early in the morning of September 11.
Morgan was arrested and taken to a pubic house while another stage coach was procured. Morgan was then in custody to Canandaigua for arraignment on the charges of larceny. When the charges were dismissed, Chesebro immediately applied for a new warrant for an outstanding debt due one Aaron Ackley, a tavern keeper (probably an unpaid bar tab, we might imagine) which, Chesebro alleged, was discharged to him. Judgment for $2.69 was entered against Morgan on the spot. Unable to pay the sum, Morgan offered his coat to Constable Hayward as collateral, but Hayward refused. Morgan was jailed.
While Morgan was locked up in Canandaigua, Brother Loton Lawson, a farmer at Canandaigua, rode the twenty-eight miles to Rochester, returning early in the morning of September 12. Later that day, Burrage Smith and John Whitney from Rochester, and James Gillis from Victor, arrived at Canandaigua by stage coach. In the evening of September 12, Lawson arrived at the jailhouse and attempted to discharge Morgan’s debt. But the jailer was absent, and his wife was unwilling to release the prisoner without more information. Several attempts to release Morgan were rebuffed until Chesebro, the plaintiff in the arrest, arrived and waived the charges by accepting the payment. Morgan was released. On the jailhouse steps he was met by another man Lawson summoned suddenly with a loud whistle. Morgan protested; he screamed “Murder!”, “Murder!”; but Edward Sawyer and Chesebro descended upon him, and silenced him with a handkerchief stuffed into his mouth. Hiram Hubbard drove up on the board of a two-horse carriage. Morgan was forced inside. It circled in the street in a flurry and sped away, north. Morgan’s hat lay discarded in the street. It was about 9 p.m. and the moon was out.
Bros. Loton Lawson, Burrage Smith, John Whitney, James Gillis, and a couple other Masons, accompanied the carriage on horseback or in a second carriage.
Morgan was bound to Fort Niagara, near the Canadian border. They drove hard at the whip through the night. The horses and drivers were refreshed near Victor, Clarkson, Gaines, and Newfane. They met up with Bros. Eli Bruce (the Sherriff of Niagara County) and Colonel William King at Youngstown on the evening of September 13. Morgan was hoodwinked and bound. King arranged a crossing into Canada with Bro. Edward Giddins, the ferryman. They landed removed from any houses, standing on the bank in the moonlight. Giddins and Bro. David Hague kept Morgan at the ferry while King and Eli Bruce went into Niagara village. Two hours later they returned with two Canadian Masons, one identified as Edward McBride, a member of parliament of Upper Canada. Plans were made to return with Morgan in a few days after better arrangements had been made for his resettlement. They returned across the river before dawn on September 14, and holed Morgan up in an unused magazine which had been prepared for him three days prior. The Fort was deserted. Edward Giddins acted as jailor.
A Royal Arch Chapter was then opened at Lewiston on September 14, bringing Royal Arch Masons from Rochester, Buffalo, Lockport, and the surrounding area. Now, forty-eight hours into his captivity, with his fate uncertain, Morgan became hysterical. Actions were taken to silence him. About midnight, or early in the morning of September 15, seven Royal Arch Masons assembled near a graveyard outside of Lewiston and determined to seize Morgan and drown him in the river. But en route to the Fort they came to their senses, and dispersed.
Then again, in the evening of September 15, four Royal Arch Masons are alleged to have discussed executing Morgan, but without finality. Giddins pushed for Morgan’s release, but King intervened. It was too late to release him now, criminal acts had already been committed. Giddins turned over the key to the magazine to King, which was handed over to Bro. Elisha Adams. Morgan remained alone in the magazine through September 16 and 17. He may have been detained there as late as September 19.
On the night of September 19, the Anti-Masons allege, Morgan was rowed out into the middle of the Niagara and, so the report suggests, drowned under the midnight moon.
Whatever happened to Morgan, his disappearance was seized upon by political opponents of the Masons. In the 19th Century, Masonry remained an influential society. Many elected men were Brethren of the Craft. Thus an opportunity was opened in Morgan’s disappearance, whether legitimate or not, and motivations for political ascendency enflamed anti-Masonic sentiment across the northeastern States. Although ultimately short lived, the ten years the Anti-Masonic Party rose in prominence marks the emergence of the only major third-party in US politics. This is significant. Morgan, by his absence, is yet a man of history.
By 1826 Anti-Masonic sentiment is already stirring in the Northeast. Too many politicians are Masons, and two weeks after Morgan’s disappearance an Anti-Masonic rally is held at Batavia. There are elections upcoming, November 1827. The Presidency is up in 1828 – and a Mason, a past Grand Master of Tennessee, Andrew Jackson, is running.
Political ambitions deliver expediency to the moment.
The Masons decry the abduction and an inquiry is launched against growing public uproar. A conspiracy to abduct Morgan is uncovered; a few zealous Masons had arranged for the arrest, payment of monies, and several changes of horses necessary to court Morgan from Canandaigua to Fort Niagara. Brothers Nicholas Chesebro, Loton Lawson, Edward Sawyer, and John Sheldon of Batavia are arraigned. Their trial begins January 1, 1827. They all serve prison time for participating in the conspiracy to abduct Morgan. But no evidence of a murder is uncovered. The Anti-Masons decry a conspiracy to suppress evidence.
The Sheriff of Niagara County, Eli Bruce, is removed from office by Governor Clinton. Severe actions are taken, perhaps sharpened by public demand. Bruce is sentenced to two years in prison for his role in facilitating the abduction. He had arranged for some of the horses that took Morgan to Fort Niagara.
The furor increases when, a year after the abduction, on October 7, 1827, a body washes ashore 40 miles downriver from Ft. Niagara. Word spreads and a party from Batavia descends on Oak Orchard Harbor demanding to see the corpse, among them are Morgan’s associates, Miller, Dyer, even Morgan’s widow is drawn into the fray. Despite the miraculous preservation of a corpse supposed to be more than a year in the water, Morgan’s widow testifies that, even though the clothing is not her husband’s, the corpse is William Morgan. Sensation erupts. But word reaches Newcastle, Canada, where, on September 24, 1827, one Timothy Munroe was seen rowing over from the south side of the border at sundown. His widow, Sara, comes to Oak Orchard Harbor and testifies a description of her husband and the clothing he wore on the last night he was seen. On the basis of her testimony the Coroner’s Jury impaneled at Batavia reverses the judgment – the corpse is not Morgan – it’s clearly Munroe. But the damage is done and anti-Masons suspect conspiracy at the highest levels attempting a cover up. The Masons suspect foul play – had Thurlow Weed, instigator for the Anti-Masonic Party, sabotaged the corpse, shaved it, to make it a “good enough Morgan till after the election”?
Party lines were being chiseled into the populace by a virulent, impassioned rhetoric. Political affiliation was distinguished by membership in the Fraternity. The presidential election of 1828 was approaching. John Quincy Adams rode the Anti-Masonic ticket and his opponent, Andrew Jackson, was a Past Grand Master of Tennessee. Pundits beat on Masonry like wedge.
Despite the furor, Jackson would sweep the election, taking 178 electoral votes to Adams’s 83, winning 56% of the popular vote.
The Anti-Masons would morph into the Whigs. And then the Whigs would merge into the Republicans, and a third-party’s rise to prominence would end as an afterthought. A bubble pressuring a moment. Just a small redefinition – a re-shuffling of political interests – of ambitions that led men of consequence from moments of opportunity.
* * *
There are thus two competing stories as to what ultimately befall William Morgan, each with some persuasive considerations. Political expediency on one side and Masonic collusion on the other cloud the issue. It is true that Morgan was abducted, and abducted by Masons. It is true that they took him away, against his will and outside justice, to Fort Niagara and holed him up in an unused magazine for a number of days. It is possible he was murdered there. Things might have derailed. As time went on the finality of the situation must have closed down options. The Masons were already on the other side of the law. Could they let him go now? An operation intent on removing Morgan may have faltered, or taken too long, and a few overzealous Brothers may have determined to finish the job in a fit of pique. If so, such murder was deplored by the Fraternity then, as it is now.
But just as likely Morgan was not murdered. As Whitney testified, it seems equally probable that Morgan took the $500 and set himself up in Canada and beyond. It’s not unlikely that he deserted his family, seeing them as an unnecessary expense, a heavy weight he was pleased to loose.
But if he did disappear wittingly, why did he remain silent? In 1827 the Governor of New York, Past Grand Master DeWitt Clinton, had offered a reward of $2,000 for any information leading to the recovery of Morgan or the conviction of his killers. That’s a nice payout in the 19th Century. The Governor even offered immunity for any accomplice willing to play ball.
But no one came forward.
That works both ways. And there were reasons Morgan might prefer anonymity. It was a time without networked communication; it’s possible he’d removed himself far enough to be unaware of the furor behind him. Or perhaps he delighted in the consternation his silence caused. Accident could have befallen him traveling in the wilderness. He could have been paid to remain silent. He could have waited too long, in hopes the bounty would increase. He could have been told to wait until after the presidential election. And trial for murder might have revenged him against those who had coerced his removal. There were strong influences pressuring from both sides.
We’ll never know.
One thing’s for sure, though. Morgan left many debts in the shadow of his corpse. And to reclaim his name would have meant owning up to a life he’d spent a lifetime running from. He’d be obliged to resume his wife and family.
For the likes of William Morgan, it’s just possible he preferred being dead.
Suggested Further Reading
The Morgan Affair and Anti-Masonry, by John C. Palmer. Masonic Services Association. 1924
William Morgan, by Robert Morris. New York, R. Macoy. 1883
The Anti-Masonic Party: A Study of Political Anti-Masonry in the United States 1827-1840, by Charles McCarty, Ph.D. American Historical Association.
The Morgan Craze, A Story in Seven Chapters, by Peter Ross. 1902.
Report on the Abduction and Murder of William Morgan, and on the Conduct and Measures of the masonic Fraternity to Prevent Convictions, &c., Whittlesey. The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention: Held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830, Volumes 1-2. Pg. 15-32
 Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924. Pg. 16.
 Ibid. Pg. 18.
 Ibid. Pg. 15.
 See Broken Seal; or Personal Recollections of the Morgan Abduction and Murder by Samuel D. Greene, as quoted in Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924. Pg. 14-15
 Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924. Pg. 18.
 The Abduction and Murder of William Morgan, and on the Conduct and Measures of the Masonic Fraternity to Prevent Convictions, &c. Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention: Held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830, Volumes 1-2. Pg. 15 and 17.
 Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924. Pg. 19.
 The Anti-Masonic Party’s report of 1830 lists this amount as $2.69. See The Abduction and Murder of William Morgan, and on the Conduct and Measures of the Masonic Fraternity to Prevent Convictions, &c. Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention: Held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830, Volumes 1-2. Pg. 17.
 Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924. Pg. 24.
 The Report on the Abduction as given to the Anti-Masonic Party Convention, Sept. 11, 1830, lists William King’s rank as Colonel.
 The Abduction and Murder of William Morgan, and on the Conduct and Measures of the Masonic Fraternity to Prevent Convictions, &c. Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention: Held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830, Volumes 1-2. Pg. 17.
 This quote was attributed to Weed at the hearing in Batavia when the verdict was reversed. He denied saying it, qualifying he’d said the corpse of Munroe was “a good enough Morgan until Morgan can be found.” See Morgan & Anti-Masonry, by John Palmer. The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1924.