The Disappearance of William Morgan

William Morgan

Two pictures were often used when referring to William Morgan. The above picture was used by anti-masons and many other that depicted Morgan as a upstanding and educated citizen. The picture used by the Masons however, showed Morgan to be a drunk and he often was wearing old beaten clothes. 

William Morgan

This political cartoon from the early 1800s shows Morgan being escorted by some Masons into Fort Niagara. This is where many believed Morgan would eventually be murdered by the Masons. 

Willam Morgan was a brickmason in Batavia, New York. The people in Batavia did not have the most postive view of Morgan. He was often looked at as a uneducated, shrew, and carless man. Often arrested for his debuts and then had to be bailed out by masonic charity. It is hard to say if Morgan was actually a mason or not. Some believe he had become a mason at the lodge in Rochester and others belive he only attended meeting as an imposter, pretending to be somone he wasnt in order to gain passage into the very private meetings. Once it became known that Morgan might not actually be a member the Freemasons started to look for Morgan to ensure he no longer attended meetings. At this same time Morgan annouced that he was going to publish a book exposing the freemasons and tell the world all about their rituals, secrets, and procedures. Morgan did this very publically and did not shy away from talking about the book her was writing in public to friends and even strangers at the local bar. Not too long after Morgan annouced he was writing a book he was arrested for some little charge that is so insignificant it is unknown. After he was released it is said he left in a coach with several other men. From there Morgan is believed to have been taken to Fort Niagara. This is where Morgan was allegedly murdered and then dumped into Lake Ontario. 

Newspaper on William Morgans Murder

News paper clipping following the Morgan Murder tria. 

To this day Masonic organization deny any envolvement with William Morgans murder, some chapters even go so far as to say he was never murdered at all. No mason was ever convicted of murdering Morgan, the court did not feel it was okay to charge any of the 54 men indicted because there was no body to prove Morgan han been murdered. Instead only 11 were convicted or minor kidnapping chargers with sentences ranging from 1-28 months. No record of Morgans book was never found or published. Many Masons claim that Morgan knew nothing of the organization and that his accusation about them were prulely lies. There was a group however that did belive that Morgan was telling the truth and that he was murdered by the freemasons. This group then went on to found americans Third major politcal party in the Anti-Masonic party. Morgans dissaperance in 1826 is what sparked the movement and then lead to party being formed in 1828.