The Ancient Freemasons are sometimes called Atholl Freemasons, because they were presided over by the Third Duke of Atholl as their Grand Master from 1771 to 1774, and by the Fourth Duke from 1775 to 1781, and also from 1791 to 1813 (see Ancient Freemasons). ATOSSA. The daughter of King Cyrus of Persia, queen of Cambyses, and afterward of Darius Hystaspes, to whom she bore Xerxes. Referred to in the degree of Prince of Jerusalem, the Sixteenth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. ATTENDANCE. See Absence. ATTOUCHEMENT. The name given by the French Freemasons to what the English brethren call the grip. ATTRIBUTES. The collar and jewel appropriate to an officer are called his attributes. The working tools and implements of Freemasonry are also called its attributes. The word in these senses is much more used by French than by English Freemasons. ATWOOD, HENRY C. At one time of considerable prominence in the Masonic history of New York. He was born in Connecticut about the beginning of the nineteenth century, and removed to the city of New York about 1825, in which year he organized a Lodge for the purpose of introducing the system taught by Jeremy L. Cross, of whom Atwood was a pupil. This system met with great opposition from some of the most distinguished Freemasons of the State, who favored the ancient ritual, with had existed before the system of Webb had been invented, from whom Cross received his lectures. Atwood, by great diplomacy and untiring energy, succeeded in a making the system which he taught eventually popular. He took great interest in Freemasonry, and being intellectually clever, although not learned, he collected a great number of admirers, while the tenacity with which he maintained his opinions, however unpopular they might be, secured for him as many enemies. He was greatly instrumental in establishing, in 1837, the independent body known as the St. John's Grand Lodge, and was its Grand Master at the time of its union, in 1850, with the legitimate Grand Lodge of New York. Atwood edited a small periodical called The Sentinel, which was remarkable for the Virulent and un-Masonic tone of its articles. He was also the author of a Masonic Monitor of some pretensions. He died in 1860.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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