New York USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
In OLD BATAVIA CEMETERY, Harvester Ave. between the Erie and New York Central Railroads, are the graves of Joseph Ellicott (see below) and a number of Batavia pioneers, and the MORGAN MONUMENT, erected in 1880 by the National Christian Association Opposed to All Secret Societies. When William Morgan (1775-1826) was denied membership in a Masonic lodge in Batavia, he threatened to reveal the secrets of the order. After a series of arrests he was secretly carried off to Fort Niagara, where all traces of him were lost. A hue and cry was raised through the countryside, and a movement was set on foot to break the power of Free Masonry; tinged with patriotic and religious sentiment, it took form as a political party. For several years the vote of the 'infected district,' as this part of the State was called, determined the results of State elections. In the presidential campaign of 1828 the Anti-Masonic party polled 33,000 votes. Some time before the election a man's body was washed up on the shore of Lake Ontario and was identified as Morgan; when informed that the identification was doubtful, Thurlow Weed is reported to have said that it was 'good enough Morgan till after the election.' Morgan's fate has never been definitely determined.