Sankey Lecture looks at upstate New York’s historic role in reshaping Masonry

Steven Bullock

Steven Bullock

American scholar Steven Bullock will be at the podium Sunday when the third annual Charles A. Sankey Lecture resumes a public discussion about the role of Freemasonry in Western history, focused on the rise and fall of the first great age of American Masonry.

In a talk entitled The Heart of Masonry: Upstate New York and the New Nation, 1776-1826, Bullock will argue that, 200 years ago, it was Lodges in upstate New York who were transforming the U.S. Masonic movement during the 50 years following American independence.

Bullock – a professor in History at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. – will examine how New York members reshaped rituals, developed new degrees and deepened belief in the spiritual nature and mission of the fraternity. But the lecture will also look at how the upstate brothers ultimately engaged in incidents – including an 1826 kidnapping – that led to a dramatic decline in the fraternity and an equally extraordinary shift in American culture and public life.

The lecture series is named for the late Charles Sankey, a former Chancellor at Brock University and a Mason who donated his extensive personal collection of Masonic literature to the Gibson Library at Brock. Subsequently a number of other Freemasons added more titles to the collection, creating what is today one of the largest archives of Masonic material at a Canadian university.

Sunday’s lecture takes place at 3 p.m. in the David S. Howes Theatre at Brock’s main campus. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

To reserve tickets, contact the Brock Centre for the Arts box office at 905-688-5550 x3257 or

Quick links:
Sankey lecture promotional poster (PDF)

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