Albert Pike

(December 29, 1809–April 2, 1891)

albert_pike

American attorney, Confederate officer, and Freemason. The only Confederate military officer or figure honored with an outdoor statue in Washington, D.C.

When the Mexican-American War started, Pike joined the cavalry and was commissioned as a troop commander, serving in the Battle of Buena Vista. He and his commander, John Selden Roane, had several differences of opinion. This situation led finally to an “inconclusive” duel between Pike and Roane on July 29, 1847 near Fort Smith, Arkansas. Although several shots were fired in the duel, nobody was injured, and the two were persuaded by their seconds to discontinue it

As a Freemason, he was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite’s Southern Jurisdiction in 1859. He remained Sovereign Grand Commander for the remainder of his life (a total of thirty-two years), devoting a large amount of his time to developing the rituals of the order.

In 1944, his remains were moved to the House of the Temple.

Albert Pike has often been named as influential in the early Ku Klux Klan, being named in 1905 as “the chief judicial officer” of the Klan by a sympathetic historian of the early Klan, Walter Fleming.