This letter was written by James Loring Child (1792-1862) of Augusta, Maine — the son of James Child (1762-1840) and Hannah Cushing (1762-1842). The following biography was found among the family records:
J. Loring Child entered into his first legal partnership “with Hon. Thomas Rice of Winslow, Me; the election of Mr. Rice as representative in Congress, caused an early dissolution of the firm; but Mr. Child retained the lucrative business of the office. At this period, 1812, the War with Great Britain awakened much military enthusiasm. In January 1814, Gov. Strong of Massachusetts, appointed Mr Child captain of the Augusta Militia; and justice of the peace for Kennebrew. Ill Health soon rendered change of scene and rest imperative, and Mr. Child traveled both in the United States and abroad. An acquaintance formed in England led Mr. Child to form a commercial partnership in Charleston, S.C.; the failure in Liverpool of Mr. Witherspoon, a brother of Mr. Childs partner, abruptly terminated the business. Mr. Child returned to Augusta Me, and resumed his professional duties, and was not long after an active participator in the ceremonies and labors attending the separation of Maine from Massachusetts, and the formation of a district state government; this was in 1820. Mr. Child had won so fine a reputation for business dispatch, that he was at once chosen Clerk of the House of Representatives of the New State, a post he held for eleven years. Later he was made Councilor of the United States District Court of Maine. He was elected a member of the State Legislature, be declined to serve. In all municipal interests he was an active and able organizer and director. He was one of the directors of the Augusta bank, and in uniform attendance till the day before his death, which occurred in 1862. His life was marked by great energy, versatility of talent and executive ability.
The letter is addressed to the Secretary of the Grand Royal Arch [Masonic] Chapter in New Hampshire — a position then held by Albe Cady (1764-1845) of Concord, New Hampshire.
Addressed to the Secretary of Grand Royal Chapter of New Hampshire, Hopkinton, N. H.
February 10th 1821
To the Secy. of the G. R. A. Chapter of New Hampshire
Last week a G.R.A. Chapter was organized in this state and its officers installed, and as soon as our proceedings are published in pamphlet form, we shall forward them to you. It is deemed important by our G. Chapter that a uniformity as to the amount of fees to be paid for exaltation should be established between this & N. Hampshire G. Chapter. We have adopted provisionally the Constitution of the G.R.A. Chapter of Massachusetts and this fixes the fees at $31 & we understand the fees are conferred by your subordinate chapters at a less price.
As our states are contiguous & many persons living near the boundaries might be influenced to apply to the one or the other as interest might dictate and thus perhaps excite jealousies and unmasonic feelings in the breasts of the companions of the respective states, we have considered it important to come to some arrangement which will obviate even the possibility of such an event. We think $31 is as small a sum as ought to be received for the four degrees, and should be glad to hear from your G. Chapter upon this subject.
A communication from you with proposals with reference to the suggestion above-mentioned will be very acceptable. If convenient, will thank you to send me a copy of your G.R.A. Constitution & any proceedings which at anytime you may have published. Should they be sent I’m pamphlet form, the expense of postage will be in a great measure saved.
In great haste, with fraternal regard, your obedient servant, — J. Loring Child, G. Sec. of G.R.A. Chapter of Maine