TO BE the first to enter an unexplored field, and attempt to map out before the understanding of one's readers its various characteristics; to delve below the soil and thus endeavor to discover the hidden sources from which has sprung that which appears upon the surface; and thus to add to the store of knowledge, is no easy task, and requires patient, persevering labor.Although the writer of this book has been an active worker in the Order of the Eastern Star for twenty‑eight years, and during all that time has been a diligent gatherer of material and facts concerning it, and has, by the favor of his fellow‑members been placed in positions of trust and responsibility, which have given him rare opportunities to learn much of the workings of the order, yet he had no idea, when he undertook the production of this history, how great the task would prove, for he has undertaken to be doubly sure of the facts stated and has spent days in running down some particular item that, perhaps, when secured, would not add a dozen lines to the work.He trusts that none of them will be disappointed in its perusal, and that they will by kindly words, en‑courage, others to purchase it, that he may receive at least some return for his months of labor.
The titles, Jephthah's Daughter, Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa, sufficiently denote the histories comprehended in the degrees.* * * The following extracts from the published ritual, translated into English, are in point: "The Sisterhood of the Eastern Star is manifest, to the world by its adoring virtues - five.
Honor in bright loneliness is the sanctity and moral guarantee of all the obligations of the Eastern Star.
Many months of continuous labor have been bestowed upon it, and as he indites these words as his task is drawing to a close, it is with the desire that his readers will consider how hard it is for one to write unbiasedly of his own times, and of events in which lie has been an active participant, so that if the fiat person singular is sometimes singularly prominent, it is simply because a full recital of essential facts rendered it necessary, as he, has no desire to use both ends of the trumpet of fame.
He would be singularly remiss if he did not express his deep sense of obligation to the many brothers and sisters who have given him material assistance in se‑curing information that has helped to make the work both valuable and interesting; and he would also give expression to his sense of obligation to those more numerous sisters and brothers who have so generously confided in his ability to create a work worthy of their encouragement, and have manifested that confidence by subscribing in advance of its production, and thus rendered its publication possible.
This will be understood when it is stated that when the secrets were given by communication the singular number was used in the early days, but when given in constellations or Chapters, they were spoken of in the plural, and I have followed this custom.
AN organization would hardly be entitled to the designation Masonic whose origin was not shrouded in mystery, and in this respect the Order of the Eastern Star is the peer of any of the branches of Masonry.
But these statements are made without corroborative proof, and have been contradicted by the brother himself.
In A Monument of Gratitude (1884), brother Morris said: Some writers have fallen into the error of placing the introduction of the Eastern Star as far back as 1775, and this they gather from my work, "Lights and Shadows of Free Masonry," published in 1852.
He will always be glad to know of any copies of old rituals that can be purchased, and he will also be pleased to supply to his fellow Eastern Star bibliomaniacs copies of any rituals of which he may have duplicates.