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Dalcho, Frederick

One of the founders of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. He was born in the City of London in the year 1770, of Prussian parents. His father had been a distinguished officer under Frederick the Great and, having been severely wounded, was permitted to retire to England for his health. He was a very earnest Freemason, and transmitted his sentiments to his son. At his death, this son was sent for by een uncle, who had a few years before emigrated to Baltimore. Here he obtained a good classical education, after which he devoted himself successfully to the study of medicine, including a more extensive course of botany than has been common in medical course. Having received his degree of Doctor of Medicine, he took a commission in the medical department of the American army. With his division of the army he came to South Carolina, and was stationed at Fort Johnson, in Charleston harbor. Here some diviculty arose between Doctor Dalcho and his brother officers, in consequence of which he resigned his place in the army in 1799. He then removed to Charleston, where he formed a partnership in the practice of physic with Isaac Auld, and he became a member of the Medical Society, and a trustee of the Botanic Garden, established through its influence, On the 12th of June, 1818, Doctor Dalcho was admitted to the priesthood of the Protestant piscopal Church. On the 23d of February, he was elected assistant minister of Saint Michael's Church, in Charleston. He died on the 24d of November, 1836, in the sixty- seventh year of his age, and the seventeenth of his ministry in Saint Michael's Church. The principal published work of Doctor Dalcho is "An Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina. He also published a work entitled " The Evidence from Prophecy for the Truth of Christianity and the Divining of Christ : besides several sermons and essays, some of which were the result of considerable labor and research. He was also the projector, and for a long time the principal conductor, of the Gospel Messenger, then the leading organ of the Episcopal Church in South Caroline.

The Masonic career of Doctor Dalcho closely connects him with a York Freemasonry in South Carolina, and the Scottish Rite throughout. the United States. He was initiated in a York or Athol Lodge at the time when the Jurisdiction of South Carolina was divided by the existence and the dissension's of two Grand Lodges, the one deriving its authority from the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England, and the other from the rival Atholl Grand Lodge.

His constant desire appears, however, to have been to unit these discordant elements, and to uproot the evil spirit of Masonic rivalry and contention which at that time prevailed -a wish which was happily gratified, at length, by the union of the two Grand Lodges of South Carolina in 1817, a consummation to which he himself greatly contributed.

In 1801 Doctor Dalcho received the Thirty.-third and ultimate Degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite ; and May 31, 1801 he became instrumental in the establishment at Charleston of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, of which Body he was appointed Grand Secretary, and afterward Grand commander; which latter position he occupied until 1823, when he resigned. September 23, 1801, he delivered an oration before the Sublime Grand Body in Charleston. This and another delivered March 21, 1803, before the same Body, accompanied by a learned historical appendix, were published in the latter year under the general name of Dalcho's Orations. The work was soon after republished in Dublin by the Grand Council of Heredom or Prince Masons of that city; and McCosh says that there were other editions issued in Europe, which, however, Brother Mackey had never seen.

The oration of 1803 and the appendix furnish the best information that up to that day, and for many years afterward. was accessible to the Craft in relation to the history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in this country.

In 1807. at the request of the Grand Lodge of York Masons of South Carolina, he published an Ahiman Rezon, which was adopted as the code for the government of the Lodges under the jurisdiction of that Body. This work, as was to be expected from the character of the Grand Lodge which it represented, was based on the previous book of Laurence Dermott.

In 1808 he was elected Corresponding Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons, and from that time directed the influences of his high position to the reconciliation of the Masonic difficulties in South Carolina.

In 1817 the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and that of Ancient York Masons of South Carolina became united under the name of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of South Carolina. Doctor Dalcho took a very active part in this reunion, and at the first annual communication he was elected Grand Chaplain. The duties of this office he faithfully performed. and for many years delivered a public address or sermon on the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist. In 1822 he prepared a second edition of the Ahiman Rezon which was published the following year, enriched with many notes. Some of these notes he would have hardly written, with the enlarged experience of the present day; but on the whole the second edition was an improvement on the first. Although retaining the peculiar title which had been introduced by Dermott it ceased in a great measure to follow the principles of the "'Ancient Masons."' In 1822 Dalcho became involved in an unpleasant controversy with some of his Masonic associates, in consequence of difficulties and dissension's which at that time existed in the Scottish Rite; and his feelings were so wounded by the un-masonic spirit which seemed to actuate his antagonists and former friends, that he resigned the office of Grand Chaplain, and retired for the remainder of his life from all participation in the active duties of Freemasonry.

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