When your fraternity boasts members like George Washington and Ben Franklin, it grows a certain respect for history. For nearly two centuries, St. James Lodge has maintained a complete archive of lodge records dating back to our charter. As the lodge approached its Sesquicentennial celebrations in 1994, Worshipful Brother Naresh Sharma noticed one document the lodge lacked – a complete history of the lodge. He took this time to create the History of St. James Lodge No. 47 F & .A.M.
The wealth of information in the Lodge Archives provided insight into the membership and its activities in years long gone by. The Lodge Archives is on the second floor, but extends to the East Baton Rouge Public Library and the Hill Archives at Louisiana State University. Several books (listed in the “Selected Bibliography”) on the early history of Baton Rouge and on Masonry in Louisiana were very useful.
All the hours spent sifting through the archives would have been fruitless without the assistance of Mary Joseph, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at Southern University, Baton Rouge. She spent many hours making proofreading and editing. Thank you, Dr. Joseph, for your painstaking efforts in seeing this through at the same time you were getting your own book ready for publication.
We must also thank our late brother, Calvin Lee Elliot. Without his tireless support, guidance and countless hours in the Archives, this work would not have been possible. The confidence that he inspired, and the encouragement he provided, and the time he generously and graciously volunteered are testimonials to the Masonic teachings of Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth and the Universality of Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. I am privileged to dedicate this effort to those very teachings.