SOUTH CAROLINA. There is no evidence, by record or tradition, of the existence of a Masonic Lodge in the Province of South Carolina anterior to the year 1736. Oct. 28, of that year, the first Lodge of Masons in South Carolina was opened in the city of Charleston, then known as " Charles-Town." In this year John Hammerton was appointed Provincial Grand Master for the Colony, which office he resigned the following year, when he was succeeded by James Grnme. The early history of the Order in South Carolina is shrouded in some doubt, particularly in consequence of the apathy of the brotherhood, and partly by reason of a large fire ffich occurred in Charleston in 1738. The period of inaction which marked the Order for several years :previous to 1754 was, in that year, brought to a happy conclusion, and folloaved by an important reac tion. In 1754, the Marquis of Car uarvqn granted a deputation "to Peter Leigh, Chief Justice of South Clutlina, for Carolina.' Mr. Leigh proved an efficient officer. He, im mediately after his arrival, appoint ed a Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens, and reorganized the Provincial Grand Lodge. Masonry, for a time, flourished with renewed vigor. The Hon. Peter Leigh died Aug. 21, 1759. In 1761 Benjamin Smith was appointed Prov. Grand Master, who resigned the office in 1767. In 1769 the Duke of Beaufort, Grand Master of England, appointed the Hon. Egerton Leigh Provincial Grand Master, which office he held until lie left the country, in 1774. In 1777 the Grand Lodge elected the Hon. Barnard Elliott "Grand Master of Masons in this State."
This, Dr. Mackey strongly urges,WaS "the true date of the organization of the Grand Lodge of South Caro lina." In 1787 the Grand Lodge became an independent body, and called itself the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of South Carolina. In the same year the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons was organized. In 1808 the two Grand Lodges united and formed the Grand Lodge of South Carolina. In 1809 the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons was re vived. In 1817 the final union took place between the Grand Lodge of South Carolina and the revived Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons, which forms the present Grand Lodge of South Carolina.
The GRAND ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER was organized May 29, 1812. Win. Young was elected the first Grand High-Priest.
The degrees of Royal and Select Masters were first introduced into South Carolina iu the year 1783, and conferred in the Lodgs. of Perfection, at Charleston, under the authority of the Ancient and Accepted rite. After a time the Supreme Council relinquished its authority over the councils estab lished in the State, and, in 1860, a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters was established. Albert G. Mackey was elected the first Most Puissant Grand Master.
The order of Knights Templar was introduced into South Carolina about 1780-1803. The exact date is involved in obscurity and doubt. There is but one Commandery (South Carolina Commandery No.1) in the State.