Fourth Avenue Historic District (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
The Fourth Avenue Historic District is a historic district in downtown Pittsburgh, United States. The district was the center of finance and banks for the city during the decades surrounding the turn of the 20th Century. Many ornate structures still exist from that era, including the location of the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Smithfield Street from 1864-1903, the now vacant lot of its location at 229 Fourth Avenue from 1903 to 1962 and the still standing structure of the Exchange from 1962 until it closed in 1974, it is bounded by Smithfield Street, Third Avenue, Market Square Place, Fifth Avenue. The period of significance for the District is from 1871 to 1934; some of its structures are: Burke Building, 211 4th Ave. Dollar Bank, 340 4th Ave. Pittsburgh Stock Exchange, 333 4th Ave. Arrott Building, 401 4th Ave. Benedum-Trees Building, 223 4th Ave; the Carlyle, 306 4th Ave. Skinny Building, 241 Forbes Ave. Investment Building, 239 4th Ave; the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 5, 1985.
A boundary increase was added on March 20, 2013. Historic District Request City's Fourth Avenue Tour News article
Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2018, a population of 308,144 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U. S; the metropolitan population of 2,362,453, is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania, the 26th-largest in the U. S. Pittsburgh is located in the south west of the state, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers. Pittsburgh is known both as "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges; the city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Whiskey Rebels, Civil War raiders. Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, shipbuilding, foods, transportation, computing and electronics.
For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment. S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out; this heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, research centers, a diverse cultural district. Today, Apple Inc. Bosch, Uber, Autodesk, Microsoft and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, energy research and the nuclear navy; the area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The nation's eighth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, six of the top 300 U. S. law firms make their global headquarters in the area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, FedEx, Bayer and NIOSH have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.
S. job growth. In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the "eleven most livable cities in the world"; the region is a hub for Environmental Design and energy extraction. In 2019, Pittsburgh was deemed “Food City of the Year” by the San Francisco-based restaurant and hospitality consulting firm af&co. Many restaurants were mentioned favorable, among them were Superior Motors in Braddock, Driftwood Oven in Lawrenceville, Spork in Bloomfield, Fish nor Fowl in Garfield and Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette in Bloomfield. Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham; as Forbes was a Scot, he pronounced the name PITS-bər-ə. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a borough on April 22, 1794, with the following Act: "Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania... by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be... erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."
From 1891 to 1911, the city's name was federally recognized as "Pittsburg", though use of the final h was retained during this period by the city government and other local organizations. After a public campaign, the federal decision to drop the h was reversed; the area of the Ohio headwaters was long inhabited by the Shawnee and several other settled groups of Native Americans. The first known European to enter the region was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle from Quebec during his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River. European pioneers Dutch, followed in the early 18th century. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, that year European fur traders established area posts and settlements. In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched an expedition to the forks to unite Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off; the French built Fort Duquesne based on LaSalle's 1669 claims.
The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center. British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Major George Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne; the British and colonial force were defeated at Braddock's Field. General John Forbes took the forks in 1758. Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough". During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run. Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare. Lord Jeffery Amherst ordered blankets contaminated from smallpox victims to be distributed in 1763 to the tribes surrounding the fort; the disease spread into other areas, infected other tribes, killed hundreds of thousands. During this period, the powerful nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York, had maintained control of much of the Ohio Valley as hunting grounds by right of conquest after defeating other tribes.
By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, Master Mason; the candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, entrusted with grips and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality part lecture; the three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, are administered by their own bodies; the basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are supervised and governed at the regional level by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient.
There is no worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry. Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted, that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the jurisdictions which have removed some, or all, of these restrictions; the Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation. In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song; the bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies. Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice.
Some time in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason. In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords and grips peculiar to his new rank. Another ceremony is officers of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, with its own secrets to distinguish its members. In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge. Most Lodges have some sort of social calendar, allowing Masons and their partners to meet in a less ritualised environment. Coupled with these events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity; this occurs at both Grand Lodge level. Masonic charities contribute to many fields, such as disaster relief; these private local Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, a Freemason will have been initiated into one of these. There exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate events, such as sport or Masonic research.
The rank of Master Mason entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the Craft, or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings. There is little consistency in Freemasonry; because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The officers of the Lodge are appointed annually; every Masonic Lodge has two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer. There is a Tyler, or outer guard, always present outside the door of a working Lodge. Other offices vary between jurisdictions; each Masonic Lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry. These principles have thus far eluded any universally accepted definition. Candidates for Freemasonry will have met most active members of the Lodge they are joining before they are initiated.
The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge. In modern times, interested people track down a local Lodge through the Internet; the onus is on candidates to ask to join. Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview follows to determine the candidate's suitability. If the candidate decides to proceed from here, the Lodge ballots on the application before he can be accepted; the absolute minimum requirement of any body of Freemasons is that the candidate must be free, considered to be of good character. There is an age requirement, varying between Grand Lodges, capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge; the underlying assumption is that the candidate should
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette known as the PG, is the largest newspaper serving metropolitan Pittsburgh, United States. It has won six Pulitzer Prizes since 1938; the Post-Gazette began its history as a four-page weekly called The Pittsburgh Gazette, first published on July 29, 1786 with the encouragement of Hugh Henry Brackenridge. It was the first newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains. Published by Joseph Hall and John Scull, the paper covered the start of the nation; as one of its first major articles, the Gazette published the newly adopted Constitution of the United States. In 1820, under publishers Eichbaum and Johnston and editor Morgan Neville, the name changed to Pittsburgh Gazette and Manufacturing and Mercantile Advertiser. David MacLean bought the paper in 1822, reverted to the former title. Under combative editor Neville B. Craig, whose service lasted from 1829 to 1841, the Gazette championed the Anti-Masonic movement. Craig turned the Gazette into the city's first daily paper, issued every afternoon except Sunday starting on July 30, 1833.
In 1844, shortly after absorbing the Advocate, the Gazette switched its daily issue time to morning. Its editorial stance at the time was conservative and favoring the Whig Party. By the 1850s the Gazette was credited with helping to organize a local chapter of the new Republican Party, with contributing to the election of Abraham Lincoln; the paper was one of the first to suggest tensions between North and South would erupt in war. After consolidating with the Commercial in 1877, the paper was again renamed and was known as the Commercial Gazette. In 1900, George T. Oliver acquired the paper, merging it six years with The Pittsburg Times to form The Gazette Times; the Pittsburgh Post first appeared on September 1842, as the Daily Morning Post. It had its origin in three pro-Democratic weeklies, the Mercury, Allegheny Democrat, American Manufacturer, which came together through a pair of mergers in the early 1840s; the three papers had for years engaged in bitter editorial battles with the Gazette.
Like its predecessors, the Post advocated the policies of the Democratic Party. Its political opposition to the Whig and Republican Gazette was so enduring that an eventual combination of the two rivals would have seemed unlikely; the 1920s were a time of consolidation in the long-overcrowded Pittsburgh newspaper market. In 1923, local publishers banded together to kill off the Dispatch and Leader. Four years William Randolph Hearst negotiated with the Olivers to purchase the morning Gazette Times and its evening sister, the Chronicle Telegraph, while Paul Block arranged to buy out the owner of the morning Post and evening Sun. After swapping the Sun in return for Hearst's Gazette Times, Block had both morning papers, which he combined to form the Post-Gazette. Hearst united the evening papers. Both new papers debuted on August 2, 1927. In 1960, Pittsburgh had three daily papers: the Post-Gazette in the morning, the Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph in the evening and on Sunday.
The Post-Gazette moved into the Sun-Telegraph's Grant Street offices. The Post-Gazette tried to publish a Sunday paper to compete with the Sunday Press but it was not profitable. In November 1961, the Post-Gazette entered into an agreement with the Pittsburgh Press Company to combine their production and advertising sales operations; the Post-Gazette owned and operated its own news and editorial departments, but production and distribution of the paper was handled by the larger Press office. This agreement stayed in place for over 30 years; the agreement gave the Post-Gazette a new home in the Press building, a comfortable upgrade from the hated "Sun-Telly barn." Constructed for the Press in 1927 and expanded with a curtain wall in 1962, the building served as the Post-Gazette headquarters until 2015. On May 17, 1992, a strike by workers for the Press shut down publication of the Press. During the strike, the Scripps Howard company sold the Press to the Block family, owners of the Post-Gazette.
The Blocks did not resume printing the Press, when the labor issue was resolved and publishing resumed, the Post-Gazette became the city's major paper, under the full masthead name Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sun-Telegraph/The Pittsburgh Press. The Block ownership did not take this opportunity to address labor costs, which had led to sale of the Press; this would come back to lead to financial problems. During the strike, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife expanded his paper, the Greensburg Tribune-Review, based in the county seat of adjoining Westmoreland County, where it had published for years. While maintaining the original paper in its facilities in Greensburg, he expanded it with a new Pittsburgh edition to serve the city and its suburbs. Scaife named this paper the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Scaife has invested significant amounts of capital into upgraded facilities, separate offices and newsroom on Pittsburgh's North Side and a state of the art production facility in Marshall Township north of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County.
Relations between the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review, during its existence as a local print publication, were competitive and hostile, given Scaife's longstanding distaste for what he considered the Blocks' liberalism. On November 14, 2011, the Post-Gazette revived the Pittsburgh Press as an afternoon online newspaper. On February 12, 2014, the paper purchased a new distribution facility in suburban Findlay Township, Pennsylvania. In 2015, the paper moved into a new, sta
Christopher Magee (politician)
Christopher Lyman Magee was a powerful political boss in Pittsburgh, United States. Along with William Flinn, his political partner, the two ran the Republican Party machine that controlled the city for the last twenty years of the 19th century, he was born in Pittsburgh and was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Western University of Pennsylvania, today's University of Pittsburgh. When his father died, he became an office boy for the iron manufacturing firm of Park, McCurdy, Company. By 1864 he took a job in the city controller's office, in 1869 a better position in the city treasurer's office. Magee came from a large family, prominent in local politics, his uncle, Squire Thomas Steele, had been president of city council and had run the office of controller. Through Steele's influence, Magee obtained his first jobs in government. At age 22 Magee lost. In 1873, however, he won, he helped to pass a bill revising property assessments upward, another bill to collect from tax delinquents.
Magee cut city debt in half during his term. In 1879, in the city's Sixth Ward, one of Magee's brothers ran for office against William Flinn, an upstart in local politics; however Magee and Flinn struck up a partnership, as Flinn eyed a seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Magee had a natural enemy at the state level, the political boss Matthew Quay. So Flinn became Magee's man. In 1887 the two succeeded in changing the city charter at the state legislature that took the power of appointments away from city council and granted it to department heads. Magee and Flinn consolidated Republican control within both the city and Allegheny County; the two were successful in placing public monies into banks and financial markets associated with industrial Pittsburgh's phenomenal growth after the American Civil War. This won them untold favors from big business allowing them to grant jobs to thousands and thus build their political machine. Magee did win two terms to the state senate, but his political influence was limited to Pittsburgh.
Magee made his early forturne in the local street car industry. He began as president of Transverse Railway Company, secured franchises through his political maneuverings, gained control over competing lines, he merged the street car companies into the Consolidated Traction Company, of which he served as president. He owned much real estate in the city and he served on the boards of many banks and corporations. Magee's chief business partner was Joshua Rhodes, chairman of the National Tube Company, which became part of U. S. Steel. Magee served on the boards of nonprofit institutions such as hospitals and universities. In 1895 he donated $125,000 to establish the Pittsburgh Zoo. In the mid-1890s, Magee helped complete the construction of the Schenley Park Casino, which had the first known artificial ice surface in North America, was the first place in Pittsburgh where organized ice hockey was played; however the Casino was destroyed in a fire. Magee purchased a trolley barn at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Craig Street in 1895, turned it into a 5,000-seat arena and named it the Duquesne Gardens.
The building hosted its first hockey game in 1899, became the home of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League. When the Democratic minority party supported a sand filtration plant for Pittsburgh's water supply, Edward Manning Bigelow, his brother Thomas Bigelow contended over different plans. Magee's maneuvers were in part responsible for the slow adoption of filtration, the resultant deaths of Pittsburghers from cholera, he married Eleanor Louise Gillespie in 1878. Shortly after their marriage, they moved into a stately home called the "Maples". Under ownership of the Magees, the house was renovated and became a local showplace, where they entertained business and political associates; the house was at Halket Street in the city's Oakland district. The couple had no children; the Magees were members of the First Methodist Church of Pittsburgh. However, prior to her husband's death, Eleanor became a strong supporter of the Christian Science faith. Magee took a leave of absence for treatment and rest.
During this time his partner Flinn became involved in a flap over the rigged bidding system the two had concocted for city contracts. The "lowest responsible bidder" scheme, as it was known, assured that Flinn's company and Flinn, won most large construction and paving contracts in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Edward Manning Bigelow, director of public works and a cousin of Magee's, was moved by public reform pressure to liberalize specifications for streets, which allowed competition. Flinn retaliated by having city council fire Bigelow. Bigelow's brother Thomas, who had a long grudge against Magee because of "bad" deals involving street car lines, enlisted the help of Matt Quay at the state level. A new bill was introduced in Harrisburg to amend the city's charter, it passed dismantling the Magee-Flinn machine. Magee was buried in Allegheny Cemetery days later. According to University of Pittsburgh historian, Carolyn Carson, thousands of people lined the streets between Trinity Episcopal Church and Allegheny Cemetery, women all along the route threw flowers and sometimes themselves onto the coffin.
According to the Register of Wills of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, J. N. Mackrell, his personal property and real estate at his death exceeded $4 million. Like many prominent political leaders of the era Magee is either viewed as a generous saint of a man or a corrupt
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
The Anti-Masonic Party known as the Anti-Masonic Movement, was the first third party in the United States. It opposed Freemasonry as a single-issue party and aspired to become a major party by expanding its platform to take positions on other issues. After emerging as a political force in the late 1820s, most of the Anti-Masonic Party's members joined the Whig Party in the 1830s and the party disappeared after 1838; the party was founded in the aftermath of the disappearance of William Morgan, a former Mason who had become a prominent critic of the Masonic organization. Many believed that the Masons had murdered Morgan for speaking out against Masonry and subsequently many churches and other groups condemned masonry; as many Masons were prominent businessmen and politicians, the backlash against the Masons was a form of anti-elitism. Mass opposition to Masonry coalesced into a political party. Before and during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, there was a period of political realignment; the Anti-Masons emerged as an important third party alternative to Andrew Jackson's Democrats and Adams's National Republicans.
In New York, the Anti-Masons supplanted the National Republicans as the primary opposition to the Democrats. After experiencing unexpected success in the 1828 elections, the Anti-Masons began to adopt positions on other issues, most notably support for internal improvements and a protective tariff. Several Anti-Masons, including William A. Palmer and Joseph Ritner, won election to prominent positions. In states such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, the party controlled the balance of power in the state legislature and provided crucial support to candidates for the Senate. In 1831, the party held the first presidential nominating convention, a practice, subsequently adopted by all major parties; the convention chose former Attorney General William Wirt as the party's standard bearer in the 1832 presidential election and Wirt won 7.8% of the popular vote and carried Vermont. As the 1830s progressed, many of the Anti-Masonic Party's supporters joined the Whig Party, which sought to unite those opposed to the policies of President Jackson.
The Anti-Masonic Party held a national convention in 1835, nominating William Henry Harrison, but a second convention announced that the party would not support a candidate. Harrison campaigned as a Whig in the 1836 presidential election and his relative success in the election encouraged further migration of Anti-Masons to the Whig Party. By 1840, the party had ceased to function as a national organization. In subsequent decades, former Anti-Masonic candidates and supporters such as Millard Fillmore, William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed and Thaddeus Stevens would become well-known members of the Whig Party; the opponents of Freemasonry formed a political movement after the Morgan affair convinced them the Masons were murdering men who spoke out against them. This key episode was the mysterious 1826 disappearance of William Morgan, a Freemason in upstate New York who had turned against the Masons. Morgan claimed to have been made a member of the Masons while living in Canada and he appears to have attended a lodge in Rochester.
In 1825, Morgan received the Royal Arch degree at Le Roy's Western Star Chapter #33, having declared under oath that he had received the six degrees which preceded it. Whether he received these degrees and if so from where has not been determined for certain. Morgan attempted unsuccessfully to help establish or visit lodges and chapters in Batavia, but was denied participation in Batavia's Masonic activities by members who were uncertain about Morgan's character and claims to Masonic membership. Angered by the rejection, Morgan announced that he was going to publish an exposé titled Illustrations of Masonry, critical of the Freemasons and describing their secret degree ceremonies in detail; when his intentions became known to the Batavia lodge, an attempt was made to burn down the business of the printer who planned to publish Morgan's book. In September 1826, Morgan was arrested on flimsy allegations of failing to repay a loan and theft of a shirt and tie in an effort to prevent publication of his book by keeping him in jail.
The individual who intended to publish Morgan's book paid his bail and he was released from custody. Shortly afterwards, Morgan disappeared; some skeptics argued that Morgan had left the Batavia area on his own, either because he had been paid not to publish his book, or to escape Masonic retaliation for attempting to publish the book, or to generate publicity that would boost the book's sales. The believed version of events was that Masons killed Morgan by drowning him in the Niagara River. Whether he fled or was murdered, Morgan's disappearance led many to believe that Freemasonry was in conflict with good citizenship; because judges, businessmen and politicians were Masons, ordinary citizens began to think of it as an elitist group. Moreover, many claimed that the lodges' secret oaths bound Masons to favor each other against outsiders in the courts and elsewhere; because some trials of alleged Morgan conspirators were mishandled and the Masons resisted further inquiries, many New Yorkers concluded that Masons controlled key offices and used their official authority to promote the goals of the fraternity by ensuring that Morgan's supposed killers escaped punishment.
When a member sought to reveal its secrets, so ran the conclusion, the Freemasons had done away with him. Because they controlled the courts and other offices, they were capable of obstructing the investigation. True Americans, they said, had to defeat this conspiracy. If good government was to be restored "all Masons must be purged from public office"; the Anti-Masonic Party was formed in Upst