A movement started in Europe in 1693 as a result of a previous plan to send a colony of Rosicrucian leaders from the principal European branches to America.
They were to found a colony and establish the Rosicrucian arts and sciences.
The plan had its incentive in the book, The New Atlantis, written by Sir Francis Bacon while he was Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order.
In the fall of 1693, the colonists started out in a specially chartered vessel called the Sarah Maria under the leadership of Grand Master Kelpius who was connected with the Jacob Boehme Lodge of the Rosicrucians in Europe. They reached the city now known as Philadelphia in the first months of 1694.
They built many buildings in what is known as Fairmount Park. Later they moved farther west in Pennsylvania. They established their own printing plant and many of the documents printed there are preserved as historical literary works. In this centre the genuine secret teachings of the Rosicrucians were first introduced in America.
Dr. H. Spencer LewisIt was in Pennsylvania that many important American institutions were likewise established and valuable contributions made to the scientific and art foundations of the United States. Eminent persons such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson made intimate contact with this national headquarters of the Rosicrucians.
As one historian says: "In that retired valley beside the flowing brook, the secret rites and mysteries of the true Rosicrucian philosophy flourished unmolested for years until the state of affairs brought about by the American Revolution. . . ."
In accordance with the rules then established, the Order went into its cycle of outer silence in America. It was, however, active in France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, and the Orient.
In 1909 Dr. H. Spencer Lewis made a visit to France for the purpose of receiving instruction about the Rosicrucian Order. He had been a scholar in the field of metaphysical and esoteric sciences for a number of years. After many tests and trials, Dr. Lewis was permitted to meet one of the officials of the French Rosicrucian Order.
He was duly initiated near Toulouse, France, and instructed to begin the preliminary foundation for reactivating the true Rosicrucian Order in America.
AMORC ManifestoAfter further qualifications and preparations, the first official public Manifesto was issued in the United States, announcing the birth of a new cycle of the Order.
Dr. H. Spencer Lewis was duly appointed by the American Supreme Council as Imperator. In this capacity, Dr. Lewis served well, perpetuating the ancient traditions of the Order and extending its activities throughout the jurisdiction. He passed through transition (the Rosicrucian term for death) on 2 August 1939. Dr Lewis was succeeded by his son, Ralph M. Lewis, in the office of Imperator, the latter being duly elected by the Board of Directors of the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC.
Ralph M. Lewis passed through transition in 1987. Gary Stewart was then Imperator until 1990. The current incumbent chief executive of the world wide jurisdiction of AMORC is Christian Bernard who resides in France.