Master Mason Certificate, 1796


Master Mason Certificate, 1796
Issued to Samuel G. Derby (1767-1843), Essex Lodge, Salem, Massachusetts
Designed by Joseph Hiller, Jr. (1777-1795), Salem, Massachusetts
Engraved by Samuel Hill (ca. 1766-1804), Boston, Massachusetts
Museum Purchase, A84/021/001

This certificate proclaimed “To all Brethren through the world” that Samuel Derby had received the Master Mason degree at Essex Lodge in Salem, Massachusetts. A note inked on the certificate’s back shows that Derby, a mariner, used his certificate to visit a Dutch lodge in Suriname. This certificate’s design reflected Essex Lodge’s many seafaring members’ interest in the world; the four allegorical figures at the bottom represent the continents of Africa, America, Asia and Europe.