How Thornhill Decided the
American Election of 1832
In 1826, in Batavia, N.Y., William Morgan published
Illustrations of Masonry, an expose of the first three degrees of
Masonry. For his efforts he was imprisoned, allegedly for a two
dollar debt. Someone paid off his debt, and upon his release from
prison, he was seized, gagged and thrust into a yellow carriage.
There was a wild ride, with relays of horses, to the Niagara
Frontier. It was commonly believed he was then murdered and dropped
into Lake Ontario.
His disappearance and the obstruction of justice by politically
influential Masons raised popular indignation to a point that a
third party, the Antimasonic Party with William Wirt as its leader
and Presidential candidate, was born.
Just prior to the Presidential election of 1832, a body found near
the mouth of the Niagara River, said to be Morgan's, was claimed by
his family. It turned out to be someone else's, but was said by the
Antimasonic Party to be a "Good enough Morgan 'till after the
election", a statement of political deceit. Andrew Jackson won, in
part because the Antimasonic candidate drew votes Republican Henry
All this time William Morgan was in Thornhill, operating a
distillery in Brewers Hollow, southeast of this