Union #21 in Orange

Warrant 1/14/1809

At a yearly Communication of the Grand Lodge of the State of New Jersey, held at their hall, in the city of Trenton, on the 14th day of November, 1809, the following was stated:


Upon the petition of Stephen D. Day, Joseph Munn, Nathaniel H. Baldwin, and twenty-three others, all Master Masons, a warrant for a new Lodge, to be called Union Lodge, No. 21, to hold their meetings alternately in Orange, in the county of Essex, and State of New Jersey, and in Bloomfield, in the county and State aforesaid, two years in each place, and Jeptha  Baldwin was appointed the first Master of said Lodge, Alexander Wilson the first Senior Warden, and Matthias Smith the first Junior Warden.


In early 1810, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master William McKissack sends the following report to the Grand Master, Aaron D. Woodruff:


"Agreeably to your directions, I attended at the town of Orange and having opened a Lodge of Master Masons in due form, and convening a number of brethren from St. John's, Paterson and Cincinnati Lodges, and by the authority of a warrant from the Grand Lodge, did on the 28th Dec., 1809, constitute and form them into a new Lodge, by the name of Union Lodge, No. 21, and with the assistance of the Grand Chaplain, did consecrate the room according to the most ancient forms and usages, to Masonry, virtue and universal benevolence. I would also state that I visited the Lodge on the 7th inst., and was highly pleased with the order and regularity with which the Lodge as conducted. I found the officers generally well-informed and the members very attentive and diligent in their Work. The Talent committed to their care has not been buried, but highly improved to the benefit of the Craft."


The brethren of Union #21 then adopt by-laws on 17 Apr 1810, which are viewable HERE.


FAST FORWARD to the 8th day of November, 1842, at an Annual Communication of Grand Lodge in Trenton:


Resolved, that all subordinate lodges under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge that have lain dormant for three or more years be stricken from the list of Lodges, but that on application to the Most Worshipful Grand Master for a Dispensation until the next Annual Communication, they may resume their labors, and on proper application at that time their warrant may be restored. All Lodges that may hereafter be restored or warranted shall take number in the order in which they are restored or warranted. 


So Union #21, having "lain dormant" for reasons perhaps relating to the "Morgan Affair" and anti-Masonic sentiments that resulted, as well as 32 other lodges, are stricken that day. Only 8 working lodges remain in the state.

Four years later. The Grand Lodge meets at St John's #1 in Newark on 12 May 1846, where Grand Master Ira Merchant says:


"I have granted a dispensation for resuscitating Union Lodge, of Orange, which is now in successful operation; and it will be your province and your duty either to grant or withhold a legal warrant for the same."


A motion follows that the dispensation to Union Lodge, now No. 11, is continued until a warrant be made and signed in due form. That November, it is ordered that the dispensation to Union Lodge be taken up and a warrant issued.