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Malcolm Seaton, Grand Master, 1902

This Brother, the son of the late William Winston Seaton, Grand Master during the years 1821, 22, and 24, was born in Washington City, District of Columbia, May 12, 1829. He received his education in the private schools of the city of his birth, with the exception of the time he was a pupil in Benjamin Hallowell's school of Alexandria, Virginia, and a student at Captain Kingsley's military school on the Hudson River near West Point.

In 1848 he was appointed an aid in the United States Coast Survey, the distinguished scientist, Prof. Alexander Dallas Bache, at that time being its superintendent. In 1850 he resigned to accept the position of Assistant Engineer in the Boundary Commission to run the line between the United States and Mexico, under the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, and served in that capacity until the last stake was driven at the mouth of the Rio Grande in 1853, having in the meantime worked upon the line from New Mexico to California, returning across the country to El Paso, and thence down through Mexico to Camargo on the Rio Grande.

In 1853 he was reappointed as assistant in the Coast Survey, but his health failing from exposure to the swamps in Louisiana and Texas, he accepted a position October 26, 1860, in the clerical force of the United States Census, which position he held until the work on the Census was finished in July, 1866, when he was transferred to the U. S. Patent Office, his commission bearing date August 1, 1866. In this office he advanced through the several grades of assistant examiners, and in July, 1880, was appointed chief clerk of the bureau, and on October 1, 1882, was promoted to the grade of principal examiner, which position he held during the remainder of his life.

Brother Seaton was made a Master Mason November 7, 1867, in Columbia Lodge, No. 3, of this jurisdiction, and on removing his residence to Georgetown, District of Columba (now West Washington), he affiliated with Potomac Lodge, No. 5, of that city. He was elected Senior Warden of that lodge in 1889, and in 1890 was elected its Worshipful Master. In 1892 he was elected Junior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge, and successively passed through the several chairs, and was elected December 4 and installed December 27, 1901, as M. W. Grand Master. This position he filled with signal ability, dignity, and grace. He exacted a strict adherence to constitutional provisions, the ancient landmarks, customs, and usages, and observance of fraternal courtesies; his dignified and courtly bearing always commanded respect and deference; his suavity of manner made it always a pleasure to approach him and be in his society, and his choice of language and grace of expression always insured him an attentive audience.

Brother Seaton was also a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, in which he had taken eighteen degrees. He was a member of Orient Lodge of Perfection, No. 2, until it surrendered its charter in December, 1902, and was later a member of Mithras Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, and also of Evangelist Chapter Rose Croix, A. A. S. R., located in the city of Washington. The latter years of his life were years of suffering, which culminated in his death September 6, 1904, at Marblehead, Mass., whither he had gone but a short time before in the hope that the change might prove beneficial.

AHGP District of Columbia

Source: History of the Grand Lodge and Freemasonry in the District of Columbia, compiled by W. Brother Kenton N. Harper, 1911.

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