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MEXICO: The Masons in the 1820s

Paul Rich and his Mexican assistants Guillermo de los Reyes and Antonio Lara conduct research on the role of Masonry in Mexico. They have found important material in Philadelphia, where Masonic books were printed in Spanish and smuggled into Mexico. They located relevant documents in the Library Company and in the Pennsylvania Historical Society Archives. The title of their article,"Smuggling Masonic Books into Mexico: A Philadelphia Publisher and the Inquisition" raises the question of how the Inquisition acted to seize and suppress banned books and when the Inquisition was abolished or at least lost this power (under Juárez?).

A forthcoming book in Spanish by Antonio Lara tells the story in greater detail. It is entitled México en los primeros años de la década de 1820: un país con caos y conflictos sociales. It was the period when US Ambassador Joel R. Poinsett, an active Mason after whom the poinsettis is named, was busily intervening in Mexican politics. This activity must have ceased when Mexican Masons could stand on their own feet, so certainly this aspect of Mexican Masonry has passed into history. Am I being naive?

Ronald Hilton - 7/21/00