Ohio History Journal

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The Civil War had been fought out and peace had returned to the land

when a group of churchmen and reformers led by the Rev. Charles G. Finney

of Oberlin, who had long served as president of Oberlin College, turned to

make war on secret societies and the Masonic order in particular. The

crusade mildly agitated a part of the country for some years, but lacking as

it did the frenzy, hysteria, and political potency of the anti-Masonic move-

ment of the 1820's and 1830's it eventually fell of its own weight.1

The persistent crusaders in the Finney camp were fond of referring to

recusant Masons as proof that the principles of the order were repugnant to

thinking Christian men--that they renounced the order once its secrets and