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6 > Page 6 of Addresses delivered at the Grand annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky : held at the Masonic Temple in the city of Louisville, October 18th, A.D. 1869, A.L. 5869 / Elisha S. Fitch.

ADDRESS OF GRAND MASTER To Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 14, at Georgetown, Scott co., June 14; To Morrison Lodge, No. 76, at Elizabethtown, Hardin co., Aug. 28. I have also granted like Dispensations to the following Lodges, whose charters have been lost: To Columbus Lodge, No. 173, at Columbus, Hickman co., April 3; To Monticello Lodge, No. 431, at Monticello, Wayne co., Sept. 15; These dispensations having now expired by constitutional limitation, it will devolve upon you to renew them, or supply charters in their stead, as in your judgment may seem expedient. In regard to all those lodges, which have been unfortunately despoiled of their charters, I would recommend the donation of duplicates by this Grand Lodge, upon payment of the Grand Secretary's fees. Quite a large nuimber of petitions for new Lodges have been received and dulv considered, and in withholding all further dispensations I fear I may leave unfortunately subjected myself to the censoriousijudgment of many good brethren throughout the State, whom I personally esteem and honor, and would delight to serve in any matter involving simply a personal responsi- bility. But while I sincerely regret their disappointment, and would not willingly perpetuate any of the grievances, real or imaginary, of which they complain, I nevertheless feel sustained in the negative policy I have pursued by the highest interests, as I conceive, of the fraternity in this jurisdic- tion. By way ot self-vindication, permit me to say that in many instances the petitioners themselves have unwittingly defeated their own purpose by put- tiDg the case too strongly, or proving too much; for, in addition to the usual loran of appeal, it would often be represented to the Grand Master, by way of special inducement, that many members of an adjoining Lodge would procure dimits and affiliate with the proposed new Lodge, as soon as organ- ized; and yet, upon an examination of the annual returns, it would turn out in evidence (as lawyers say) that the aforesaid adjoining Lodge was it- self too feeble to undergo any depletion, and yet remain self-sustaining. In all such cases, therefore, the establishment of the new Lodge would perhaps involve the suspension or embarrass the work of an old one, and the result would be, that while adding to the number of our Lodges, and thereby in curring the expense of separate organizations, there would be but little, if any, addition to our aggregate membership, and no commensurate increase whatever of the general prosperity. In other cases it was very apparent that the applications for new Lodges were prompted by General Regulation No. 15. According to the represen- tations of the parties, a large majority of them had been for many years the victims of something like chronic coma-a sort of Rip Van Winkle sleep-on the subject of Masonry, until their working tools had become 6