Circular Letter to "all Masons," 20 July 1868
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A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2007
Circular letter, 20 July 1868, addressed "To all Masons to whom these Presents shall come - Greeting" and signed in print by R[obert] S[tewart] Bruns, 32°, conveys his argument to vindicate himself "from an attack whose personality is only equaled by its untruth and malignity."
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The accusation, leveled at Bruns by A[lbert] G[allatin] Mackey, 33°, Secretary General of the Holy Empire and Sovereign Grand Inspector General for South Carolina, is also reprinted in the circular. In it Mackey claims that "one Robert S. Bruns, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, has, without any legal authority, claimed to be a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and has been, and still is, in the constant habit of affixing the figures ‘32°’ to his signature of Masonic documents, thereby assuming to be in possession of that Degree" - this, despite the fact that "the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the State of South Carolina...have never received any evidence that he has legally received the degree of S.P.R.S…." Following the accusation are notarized statements sworn by Bruns and fellow Masons James G. Moffett, G.W. Aimar, C.E. Chichester, Ebenezer Thayer, Archibald Armstrong, John H. Honour, and T.A. Honour validating Bruns’s claim to the thirty-second degree.