In this series called “Snapshots from the National Statuary Hall,” I am showcasing unlikely pairs of historical figures in the National Statuary Hall at the U. S. Capitol who have things in common with each other.
In this segment, I am pairing John Gorrie, a physician and scientist representing the State of Florida with William King representing Maine, a merchant among other things, and Maine’s first governor.
In the first segment of this series, I paired Michigan’s Gerald Ford, a former President of the United States, and Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederate States of America; and in the second segment, I paired Dr. Norman Borlaug, Ph.D, often called the “Father of the Green Revolution; and Colorado’s Dr. Florence R. Sabin, M.D, remembered as a pioneer for women in science; and in the third segment I paired Louisiana’s controversial Governor, Huey P. Long, and Alabama’s Helen Keller, a deaf-blind woman who gain prominence as an American author, lecturer, political activist, and disability rights activist; and in the fourth segment, I paired Henry Clay, described as an attorney and statesman from Kentucky, and Lewis Cass, described as an American military officer, politician and statesman from Michigan.
Like Henry Clay and Lewis Cass in the last segment, John Gorrie and William King were contemporaries of each other.
King was the older of the two men by 35-years , but they died within a few years of each other in the 1850s.
Florida’s John B. Gorrie was a physician and scientist, credited with the invention of mechanical refrigeration.
John B. Gorrie was born to Scottish parents in October of 1803 in St. Kitts and Nevis, which were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be colonized by Europeans.
St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest sovereign state and federation in the western hemisphere, in area and population, in the British Commonwealth, with the British Monarch as its head-of-state.
Gorrie spent his childhood in South Carolina, and received his higher education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York, also known as the Fairfield Academy.
The Trustees of the Fairfield Academy had petitioned the Trinity Episcopal Church in Fairfield in 1812 for a funding grant with which to establish a college of liberal culture under Episcopalian auspices, but the petition was denied.
According to what we are told, the Trinity Episcopal Church in Fairfield was built in 1808.
The following year, a different petition to the Corporation of Trinity Church granted the funding for the theological seminary at the Fairfield Academy, until the Theological School was transferred to Geneva, New York, in 1821, at what later became the Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
The origin of the Corporation of Trinity Church was in 1697, when Governor Benjamin Fletcher established the Church of England as New York’s official religion, and leased property in Lower Manhattan that was known as the “King’s Farm” to the newly established Trinity Church.
Eight-years later, Queen Anne granted the entire parcel of land to the church outright, and the Episcopal parish was located at corner of Wall Street and Broadway.
With the Queen’s grant, Trinity Church became the second-largest landholder in New York, after the Crown itself, and this set-up Trinity Church to become the wealthiest in the North American colonies.
This is a scene of Trinity Church from Broadway in 1915.
In 1894, the Trinity Corporation was exposed by a New York Times reporter to have substandard living conditions on their Charlton Street properties.
Even today, Trinity Church is one of the largest landowners in New York City, now under the name of Trinity Real Estate.
In July of 2018, the Walt Disney Company acquired the rights to develop 4 Hudson Square to become the new site of Disney’s New York operations from Trinity Church Wall Street.
Back to John B. Gorrie.
He moved to Apalachicola, Florida in 1833, where he was a resident physician at two hospitals, and served as a council member; postmaster; President of the Bank of Pensacola’s Apalachicola branch; secretary of his Masonic Lodge; and was a founding vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church, that is still in use today, located at the corner of ‘D’ And 6th Street in Gorrie Square.
Dr. Gorrie’s medical research involved Yellow Fever, for which the prevalent hypothesis at the time was that mal-aria – or ‘bad air’ – caused diseases.
Hurged the draining of swamps and cooling of a sickrooms based on this theory, and to this end he experimented with making artificial ice.
Gorrie first mechanically produced ice in 1844, and by 1850, he was able to mechnically produce ice the size of bricks.
He was granted the patent on May 6th of 1851 for a “machine to make ice.”
Just as a point of reference, the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition in London started on May 1st of 1851 and went until October 15th of 1851.
John B. Gorrie died, however, in 1855, not long after his invention was patented.
He was unable to raise the money needed to manufacture his machine and everything in his life went south for him, including his health.
One of the two statues representing Maine in the National Statuary Hall is one of William King.
William King was an American merchant, ship builder, army officer and statesman from Bath, Maine, who became the first Governor of Maine when Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820.
King’s father Richard was a merchant and ship-owner, and he was born in February of 1768 at Scarborough, Maine.
Maine was part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay of Britain’s colony in America at that time in history.
He was said to have attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, for a term, though he was largely self-educated.
Phillips Academy is one of the oldest incorporated secondary-schools in the United States, having been established in 1778 and considered to be the most elite boarding school in America.
In 1787, King left Scarborough at the age of 19 to live with his sister and brother-in-law in Topsham, Maine.
Between the years of 1780 and 1820, the District of Maine was the governmental designation for what became the State of Maine when it was admitted to the Union in 1820.
The District of Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which was admitted to the Union as a State in February of 1788.
Interestingly, when I was looking information up on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts becoming a State in 1788, I encountered the Massachusetts Act banning “Any African or Negro,” which was made law on March 26th of 1788, apparently in response to Prince Hall leading black masons to petition the court in 1788 to put an end to the slave trade.
Two things I want to draw to your attention in the wording of this law is that first, “it does not apply to African or Negro that are subjects of the Emperor of Morocco or a citizen of one of the States that can prove it.”
Why would subjects of the Emperor of Morocco be specifically mentioned in this law?
What if what became known as America was originally part of Morocco, and this knowledge deliberately removed from our collective awareness and the civilization was intentionally destroyed?
The second is that this law was punitive towards the so-called African or Negroes themselves, not slave traders. If they didn’t leave within ten days, they would be committed to a house of correction, and if they continued to stay, they were to be whipped and then forced to leave in ten days.
This is a 1775 map of the Shawmut Peninsula, which we know as Boston, and of which Beacon Hill was the center.
Land reclamation took place here roughly between 1820 and 1900 to create land, where there was originally water, around the original peninsula.
The area originally had three hills.
Pemberton Hill and Fort Vernon Hill were near Beacon Hill, and both of these hills were levelled for Beacon Hill development.
Beacon Hill itself was reduced from 130-feet, or 42-meters, to 80-feet, or 24-meters, between 1807 and 1832.
Boston’s Fort Independence was the location where Prince Hall, and fourteen other men of African-American descent, became Freemasons in their initiation into the British Army Lodge 441 of the Irish Registry, after having been declined admittance into the Boston St. John’s Lodge.
He was the founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry, and the African Grand Lodge of North America.
Until Prince Hall found a way in, Moorish Americans were denied admittance into Freemasonry. There are 360-degrees in Moorish Masonry, compared to the 33-degrees of Freemasonry.
Masonry is based on Moorish Science, which also includes the study of natural and spiritual laws, esoteric symbolism, natal and judicial astrology, and zodiac masonry.
With regards to zodiac masonry, this is where the perfect alignments of infrastructure on earth with the sky comes from – the consummate alignment of earth with heaven that is seen around the world – like the lunar roll along the top of this recumbant stone in Crowthie Muir in Scotland…
…and the alignment with the Orion constellation at the ancient stone circle of Nabta Playa in Egypt.
The Moors were the custodians of the Ancient Egyptian mysteries, according to George G. M. James in his book “Stolen Legacy.”
You see these precise astronomical alignments with what would be considered more modern infrastructure as well.
I mean, someone knows about the Moors and what happened to them.
They are just not telling us directly.
Back to William King.
In 1795, William King became active politically, representing Topsham in the Massachusetts House of Representatives until 1799.
In 1799, King moved to Bath, Maine, where he served as Bath’s Representative in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1800, and then as Senator for Lincoln County in 1807 to 1811.
King worked his way up the ladder from his beginnings working on the family farm and in various mills.
He was credited with building at least 14 ships, and was either owner or part-owner of 35 merchant ships involved in trade with England, the West Indies, and various ports in the United States.
He married his wife, Ann Frazier of Boston, shortly after moving to Bath, and were said to have built their home, “Stone House,” overlooking the wharves on the Kennebec River where his merchant fleet was docked.
King was considered Bath’s leading citizen, and besides hosting parties in his mansion, he started the South Church in 1805, initially a Congregational Church but we are told later abandoned by them and purchased by the Irish Catholics.
The South Church was said to have been burned down by an angry mob during what is known to history as the Anti-Catholic Riot in 1854, when a group of local citizens was enraged to violence by a travelling street preacher named John Orr, who called himself the “Angel Gabriel,” preaching anti-Catholic sentiment in town.
At the beginning of the War of 1812, William King became a Major-General in the Massachusetts militia in charge of the District of Maine.
He was said to have played a key role in enlisting troops and organizing coastal defenses to protect the Maine coast against attack from the British.
He also was a leader in recruiting efforts for the regular army, for which he was made a Colonel in the U. S. Army.
In 1813, King started a petition process for Maine to become separate from Massachusetts.
King was re-elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1816, and in 1818, the approval was secured for Maine to become a separate state.
The Missouri Compromise allowed Maine to become a state on March 15th of 1820 and shortly thereafter, William King was elected Governor.
William King was also a Scottish Rite Freemason, and he became the first Grand Master of Maine in June of 1820 after becoming Maine’s first Governor.
President James Monroe named King one of three commissioners in May of 1821 to settle land claims resulting from the Adams-Onis Treaty, a position for which King resigned the Governorship of Maine and held until 1824.
The 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty was a treaty between the United States and Spain that ceded Florida to the United States, and defined the boundary between the U. S. and New Spain.
King was appointed by President Andrew Jackson in 1828 as Customs Collector of Bath.
The job of Customs Collector was to collect taxes on goods imported from other countries.
The construction of the historic Customs House in Bath was said to have started in 1852 and completed in 1858.
The building was made out of granite with iron beams inside the stone wall, and considered unusual for the time because of its “fire-proof” construction.
Even though King’s formal education was limited, he served as a Trustee for both Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, which was chartered in 1794…
…and for Waterville College, now called Colby College, which was established in 1813.
It’s interesting to note that in 1858, former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who represents the state of Mississippi in the National Statuary Hall, received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, for his contributions as an army officer, Secretary of War, and as a U. S. Representative and Senator.
In early 1858, Davis had had a severe illness involving the inflammation of his left eye which threatened the loss of his eye, and went to Portland, Maine, to recover his health in the summer of 1858, during which time he received the honorary degree.
In June of 1852, William King died at home, and was buried in Bath’s Maple Grove Cemetery.
The Governor King Monument pictured here was said to have been erected in 1855 in memory of him at his burial site.
For King’s funeral, the Masonic Lodge of Bath organized a procession for him to his burial site which included a brass band, and state and local officials.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am showcasing unlikely pairs of historical figures who are represented in the National Statuary Hall who have things in common with each other, as mentioned at the beginning of this post.
In this pairing, both men attended Academies for their education, with John Gorrie attending Fairfield Academy in New York State for his medical education, which was affiliated with the Trinity Church and the Corporation of Trinity Church through its theological school, and William King attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for his formal education, which is considered to be the most elite boarding school in America.
Both John Gorrie and William King were considered leading citizens of their respective communities, involved in founding their churches and in the lives of their communities in other ways…
And both men, like Henry Clay and Lewis Cass in the last segment, were acknowledged Freemasons and very active in the Grand Lodges of their states.
The next pairing from the National Statuary Hall that I am going to showcase for things in common is General Dwight Eisenhower for Kansas and General Lew Wallace for Indiana.