Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library | Spring 2015  

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becoming a member of the Knights Templar and the  
Scottish Rite. Manson moved to Indiana where he taught 
school and maintained an apothecary business. As noted 
on the apron, he fought in the Civil War for the Union, 
commanding the Second Brigade on January 19, 1862, 
when the Confederates attacked the Union troops at  
Logan’s Crossroads at dawn. The Union troops defeated 
the Confederate Army and Manson must have found  
this apron and decided to keep it since the proper owner  
was not known. After the war, Manson went on to serve 
as Lieutenant-Governor of Indiana in 1884. After his 
death in 1895, the apron was passed down through  
four generations until his great-great-granddaughter  
gave it to the Museum & Library.
 Soon after the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum &  
Library was founded in 1975, the collection began to 
grow, with Masonic aprons among the first donations.  
Today, with more than 400 aprons, the Museum &  
Library has one of the largest collections in the world.   
Examples date from the late eighteenth century to the  
present and come from the United States, England,  
China and other countries.
 Published by the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum &  
Library, this lavishly illustrated volume offers stories  
to  be enjoyed by Freemasons around the world, as well  
as new ways to understand these aprons for scholars,  
researchers and museum curators. The Badge of a Free-
mason
 is the first in-depth study of American Masonic 
aprons published in recent decades and is a fascinating  
resource for collectors, enthusiasts and museums.
 Author Aimee E. Newell is the Director of Collections 
at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. She is the 
former Curator of Textiles and Fine Arts at Old Sturbridge 
Village, as well as the former Curator of Collections at the 
Nantucket Historical Association. She holds degrees from 
Amherst College and Northeastern University and received 
her Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts 
–Amherst. She is the author of A Stitch in Time: Needle-
work by Aging Women in Antebellum America
 and lead 
author of Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the 
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection
. She writes 

 

and lectures frequently on the history of American  
Freemasonry and fraternalism.

To pre-order at the discounted price, please visit our  
website (www.nationalheritagemuseum.org
) to download 
an order form to mail with a check or email anewell@
monh.org
. Pre-orders MUST be paid before June 1, 2015, 
to receive the discounted price and must show a current 
membership number. 

To order after June 1, visit www.ScottishRiteNMJ.org/shop

Recent Acquisitions  

Strengthen Masonic 

Medal and Apron 

Collections

A

t the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, 
we actively collect by gift and by purchase to 
continue preserving the past and interpreting 
American Masonic and fraternal history. While 

we are always pleased to fill gaps in our collection, we  
also like to add to our strengths. Recent purchases of a 
Masonic medal and an apron do exactly that.
 This personal Masonic medal, marked with its original 
owner’s name—James Campbell—and the date he had it 
made—1798—as well as a variety of Masonic symbols, 
celebrated Campbell’s lodge membership. We received  
two handwritten notes with the medal, which hinted at  
the names of two of its previous owners. One note also 
suggested that Campbell served as a private in the Revolu-
tionary War.  Research into these previous owners helped 
us to identify the James Campbell who originally owned 

Masonic apron, 1800–1820, unidentified maker, new England, 

scottish rite Masonic Museum & Library purchase, 2014.115.3.

continueD on page 6