Dartmouth Historian Richard K. Behrens has documented extensive Dartmouth College connections to early Masonry. Two of his key publications are: (10 “Dartmouth Arminianism And Its Impact on Hyrum Smith and the Smith Family” Published by The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal Vol. 26 (2006), pp. 166-184, and (2) “Dreams, Visions, and Visitations: the Genesis of Mormonism”. Published by The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal Vol. 27 (2007), pp. 170-183.
“On December 18, 1788, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts chartered the first lodge in Hanover, Dartmouth Lodge. James Wheelock, Eleazer Wheelock and their cousin Bezaleel Woodward were among the names on the petition. This was the last lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the State of New Hampshire. Once the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire was chartered in 1789, many of the lodges originally chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts dissolved. All of their records disappeared as no Grand Lodge would claim them; as a result, there are no other records of these early lodges.”
Link to a history of the Saint Andrews Lodge
Other Spalding family members of interest: Lyman A. Spalding, second cousin of Solomon Spalding, business partner with Alanson Cooley, a member of the Genessee County Lodge #215, along with William Morgan, and Dr. Solomon Spalding (1797-1862). Lyman A. Spalding was the eldest child of Erastus Lyman Spaulding (1775-1830) and Jennett Mack (1779-1836). Erastus, in turn, was the grandson of Ephraim Spalding of Plainfield, Connecticut — who was also the grandfather of Solomon Spalding.
Ethan Smith was familiar with Royal Arch Masonry, and divided Masons into two groups: “reputable free masons” and “lodges of Illuminism” that were “utterly disowned by reputable free masons”. Smith cited Rev John Ernst, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of New York, as saying that “The unrivalled and deep designs of modern masons, called the Illuminati, who have inundated Europe and are fast gaining ground in America have clearly demonstrated the abuse untyled mason lodges have met with; and how they, when not presided over and guarded by men of genuine masonic principles, can be overthrown, revolutionized, and moulded at pleasure”, pp. 177-178 in: A Dissertation on the Prophecies relative to Antichrist and the last times; exhibiting the rise, character and overthrow of that terrible power: and a treatise on the seven apocalyptic vials. Second Edition.