I, Emperor of Russia. Alexander I succeeded Paul I in the year 1801, and immediately after his accession renewed the severe prohibitions of his predecessor against all secret societies, and especially Freemasonry. In1803, M. Boeber, counselor of state and director of the military school at St.Petersburg, resolved to remove, if possible, from the mind of the Emperor the prejudices which he had conceived against the Order. Accordingly, in an audience which he had solicited and obtained, he described the object of the Institution and the doctrine of its mysteries in such a way as to lead the Emperor to rescind the obnoxious decrees, and to add these words:
"What you have told me of the Institution not only induces me to grant it my protection and patronage, but even to ask for initiation into its mysteries. Is this possible to be obtained?" To this question M. Boeber replied:
"Sire, I cannot myself reply to the question. But I will call together the Masons of your capital, and make your Majesty`s desire known; and I have no doubt that they will be eager to comply. with jour wishes."
Accordingly Alexander was soon after initiated, and the Grand Orient of all the Russias was in consequence established with M. Boeber as Grand Master (see Thory's Acta Latomorum1, page 218)
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