•  Spring 2015 | Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library

the medal. Born in Windham, New 
Hampshire, in 1759, Campbell lived 
in Acworth, New Hampshire, and 
later Walpole, New Hampshire. A 
farmer, Campbell also served as the 
Register of Deeds for Cheshire Coun-
ty, New Hampshire. When he died  
in 1825, an obituary in a local paper 
recorded that Campbell was “a man 
universally esteemed.  He has held the 
office of Registrar, by universal con-
sent for about 20 years.”
 This medal was of particular in-
terest to us because it is one of four 
similarly engraved badges owned by 
different institutions: the Museum & 
Library, the Grand Lodge of Masons 
in Massachusetts, the Grand Lodge  
of Iowa and the Henry Ford Museum.  
Of like size and displaying the same 
selections of emblems, manner of  
engraving and style of script, these 
badges appear to have been decorated 
by the same craftsman. Each medal 
includes the original owner’s name: 
James Campbell, Joseph Winslow, 
Joseph Williams and Roger Ransted, 
as well as each man’s initiation date, 
ranging from 1796 to 1807.
 Three of the medal owners, Roger 
Ransted (1769–1852) of Westmoreland, 
New Hampshire, Joseph Winslow (dates 
unknown) of Putney, Vermont, and 
Campbell, lived in the same part of the 
country on the New Hampshire and 
Vermont sides of the Connecticut River.  
The craftsman who made these medals 
probably worked in the same area. 
Membership records at the Grand Lodge 
of New Hampshire show that Ransted, 
Winslow and Campbell all belonged to 
Jerusalem Lodge No. 4 in Westmore-
land and Walpole, New Hampshire.
 Like the medal, this apron also 
bears some similarities to at least one 
other object. Unfortunately, the history 
and provenance of this apron has been 
lost. Judging from its materials and 
style, this apron was made sometime 
between 1800 and 1820. The distinc-

nOW On vieW

tive central archway, which is shaped 
like a pediment, shows strong similar-
ities to a particular style of pedimented 
doorway that has been documented in 
the Connecticut River Valley of New 
England during the late 1700s and 
early 1800s. This may be a clue that 
this apron was made in this area too.
 A second apron exists that shows  
a similar design and color palette to 
this one. That apron is currently in 
the collection of the Detroit Historical 
Society in Michigan. Family history 
suggests that the apron was made  
for Oliver Williams (1774–1834) by 
William Marshall in 1813. Before 

moving to Detroit after the War of 
1812, Oliver Williams lived in Concord, 
Massachusetts, where he joined  
Corinthian Lodge in 1813.
 We look forward to continuing  
to learn more about both of these  
objects and to sharing our findings 
with our visitors. Both the medal and 
the apron demonstrate the importance 
of being able to compare similar objects 
to each other. While we are always 
excited to find a “one-of-a-kind” item, 
being able to compare it to something 
similar is equally fruitful and helps  
us add layers of context to American 
fraternal history.

Masonic Medal, 1798, unidentified maker, probably new Hampshire or Vermont, 

scottish rite Masonic Museum & Library purchase, 2014.100.

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