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George Martin is Born

Today in Masonic History George Martin is born in 1844.

George Martin was a French politician and co-founder of Le Droit Humaine.

Martin was born on May 19th, 1844 in Paris, France. In 1861, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1863 he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He began his studies at the Faculty of Science at the University of Paris. His studies were briefly interrupted when he joined the Army under the Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian, who was marching to war with Prussia. He completed them in 1870 when he received his Doctor of Medicine degree.

In 1871, Martin moved his medical practice to Rue Mouffetard in Paris. This was during the Paris Commune a violent two months in Paris when the French Second Empire was collapsing and a radical socialist group was fighting against the Government. Martin became very popular for moving his medical practice into the middle of the most violent area of Paris. Because of his popularity he was elected in 1874 to the Paris City Council. He was elected three more times to the position. On the City Council, Martin, in 1876 tried to pass a law on workplace accidents. He also worked to improve public assistance especially to the children, infirmed and elderly of Paris.

In 1879, Martin was initiated into the Lodge Union et Bienfaisance. Shortly after this he turned his progressive ideas about society inward to the fraternity. He believed Freemasonry should be open to everyone and pushed to allow women to join lodges. He also struggled against the perceived power of the Grand Lodge of France and the power the Blue Lodges held. Eventually he along with other French Masons formed the Grande Loge Scottish symbolic which was a "mother lodge" meaning they had the power to grant charters, although they were not in control of the lodges they helped create.

In 1890, there was a call put out to all French lodges to create mixed local lodges. This led to the creation of the International Mixed Masonic Order of Human Rights (Le droit Humaine). Martin worked the rest of his life to make the organization a success he put much of his time and his own money into creating the organization.

Martin passed away on October 1st, 1916.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.