THE FIRST organized Masonic authority at Brazil, the Grande Oriente do Brazil, was established in Rio de Janeiro, in the year 1821, by the division into three of a Lodge at Rio de Janeiro, which is said to have been established under a French warrant in 1815.
The Emperor, Don Pedro I, was soon after initiated in one of these Lodges, and immediately proclaimed Grand Master.
But finding that the Lodges of that period were nothing but political clubs, he ordered them to be closed in the following year, 1882.
After his abdication in 1831, Masonic meetings again took place, and a new authority, under the title of “Grande Oriente Brazileiro” was established.
Some of the old members of the “Grande Oriente do Brazil” met in November of the same year and reorganized that body, so that two supreme authorities of the French Rite existed in Brazil.
In 1832, the Visconde de Jequitinhonha, having received the necessary powers from the Supreme Council of Belgium, established a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite; making thus a third contending body, to which were soon added a fourth and fifth, by the illegal organizations of the Supreme Councils of their own, by the contending Grand Orientes.
In 1835, disturbances broke out in the legitimate Supreme Council, some of its Lodges having proclaimed the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Brazil their Grand Commander, and thus formed another Supreme Council.
In 1842, new seeds of dissension were planted by the combination of this revolutionary faction with the Grande Oriente Brazileiro, which body then abandoned the French Rite, and the two formed a new Council, which proclaimed itself the only legitimate authority of the Scottish Rite in Brazil.
But it would be useless as well as painful to continue the record of these dissensions, which like a black cloud, darkened for years the Masonic sky of Brazil.
Thing are now in a better condition, and Freemasonry in Brazil is united under the one head of the Grand Orient.