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beyond the northeast corner

The Greatest And Best Of Men Have Been Promoters Of The Art


Richard h. sands

. . . The greatest and best of men in all ages have been encouragers and promoters of the art, and have never deemed it derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the Fraternity, extend their privileges, and patronize their assemblies.
    — Charge to the Newly Initiated Candidate


EVERY FREEMASON in Michigan has heard these words many times. He may well have wondered whether there was any truth in the assertions. As a matter of fact, they are completely true. Fourteen Presidents of the United States, innumerable U. S. Senators, many of our Forefathers, Generals, explorers, Famous composers, well known entertainers and Kings and Princes have been or are Master Masons. This particular claim was first made in the oldest version of the charge, published in 1735 (see below, pages VII-18,19): "The greatest Monarchs in all Ages, as well of Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been Encouragers of the Royal Art; and many of them have presided as Grand Masters over the Masons in their respective Territories, not thinking it any lessening to their Imperial Dignities to Level themselves with their Brethren in MASONRY, and to act as they did". At the time these words were written they no doubt referred to tales then current about the early history of the Craft. The Old Manuscript Charges mention several patrons of Masonry in addition to Solomon, King of Israel, and Hiram, King of Tyre: Nimrod, King of Babylon, an unnamed King of Egypt, Charles Martel, "King of France", and Athelstan, King of England.

To be sure, the alleged connection of these worthies with Freemasonry will hardly bear scrutiny. But happily, since the beginning of modern Masonry in 1717, a total of twenty-three Princes of the British Royal Family have joined the Craft, and nine have actually served as Grand Masters. Five of the Kings of Great Britain have been Masons. A ruling monarch has never retained the Grand Master's chair after he has ascended to the throne. Nevertheless, a king has often taken the gavel and ruled Grand Lodge for a particular meeting or ceremony. This restriction applies only to British rulers, and does not hold for other countries. For example, at the time of writing, the Grand Master of Sweden is H.M. King Gustaf VI.

Fourteen Presidents of the United States beginning with George Washington have been Master Masons. Of these, two have been Grand Masters and George Washington was Worshipful Master of his Lodge while he was President.

Before the Accession of Queen Victoria

The interest and participation of Royal Princes in the work of Masonry in England began a mere twenty years after the establish-ment of the premier Grand Lodge. On November 5, 1737, Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, the son of King George II, was initiated. Subsequently his brother and three of his sons became members of the Craft. Indeed one of the latter, the Duke of Cumberland, served as Grand Master of the "Moderns" from 1782 to 1790.

But it was the six Masonic sons of King George III who made perhaps the greatest contribution to the history of the Grand Lodge of England. The Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV, was Grand Master of the "Moderns" from 1790 to 1813, and Grand Master of Scotland from 1805 to 1820. In 1811, because the King, his father, was ill, he became Prince Regent. Soon afterwards he resigned as Grand Master of the Moderns, but took the title Grand Patron of the Masonic Order. He was succeeded as Grand Master by his brother, the Duke of Sussex.

Not long after the Duke of Sussex had been elected Grand Master of the "Moderns" in 1813, another brother, the Duke of Kent, was elected Grand Master of the Atholl Grand Lodge (the "Antients"). These two royal brothers had often expressed the wish that a union might be brought about between the two divisions of Masonry in England.

Under their leadership the hoped for union became a reality. This marked the beginning of the United Grand Lodge of England, which still exists today. The Duke of Sussex was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge on May 2, 1814. He held this office continuously until his death in 1843.

A fourth brother, the Duke of Clarence, had been initiated into the Craft in 1786. After he ascended to the throne as King William IV in 1830, he also became Grand Patron of the Order, in 1831. When he died in 1837 his kingdom was divided. The British Isles went to his niece, Queen Victoria, daughter of that Duke of Kent who had been Grand Master of the "Antients" and had played such a large role in the Union of the two lodges. The Kingdom of Hanover, in Germany, which was not permitted to pass through the female line, went to a fifth brother, the Duke of Cumberland, who had been made a Mason in 1796.Yet another brother, the Duke of York, was also a member of the Craft.

Since Queen Victoria

Three of Queen Victoria's sons traveled to the East. Edward, Prince of Wales, was initiated into Masonry by the King of Sweden while on a visit to Sweden in 1868. He was invited to become Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1874, when the Marquis of Ripon resigned that office. He was installed in 1875, and retained the office of Grand Master until 1901, when his mother died, and he succeeded her on the throne as King Edward VII. His brother, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, also had a distinguished Masonic career. He was initiated in 1874, the same year that a third brother, Prince Leopold, entered the Craft. The Duke of Connaught succeeded his brother Edward VII as Grand Master in 1901. After holding the office for thirty-eight years he resigned in 1939 because of advanced age and its infirmities. Thus he left the Grand Master's chair sixty-five years after he was initiated!

The eldest son of Edward VII, the Duke of Clarence, was initiated in 1885. In 1890 he was installed as the Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire. He died in 1892, without ever becoming King. His younger brother, who succeeded to the throne as George V, was not a Mason. Even so, at his accession in 1910 he became the Patron of the three Masonic Institutions, and his consort, Queen Mary, became the Grand Patroness of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls.

Three of the princely sons of George V were prominent Masons. Edward, Prince of Wales, was initiated in 1919. He was appointed Senior Grand Warden in 1922, and was invested by his grand-uncle, the Duke of Connaught, in the Royal Albert Hall. He also was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Surrey in 1924. In June, 1936, after he had become King under the title of Edward VIII, he accepted the office of Past Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.

His younger brother, the Duke of York, was initiated on December 2, 1919. He was invested as Senior Grand Warden in June, 1923, and became the Provincial Grand Master of Middlesex in 1924. In 1936 the Grand Lodge of Scotland celebrated its two hundredth anniver-sary. During the course of preparation for that celebration, the Prince of Wales had consented to become the Grand Master Mason of Scotland. He did not in fact do so, because in January, 1936, his father died and he became king. Accordingly he asked to be excused from becoming the Grand Master Mason.

The Scottish Masons then approached his younger brother, the heir presumptive, the Duke of York, who consented.

He was installed in Usher Hall, the largest public hall in Edinburgh, on St. Andrew's Day, November 30, 1936, by the Grand Master Mason, Sir Iain Colquhoun. Sixty-two delegations attended, more than three thousand Masons in all, representing all parts of the Masonic world. That evening in the dining hall of Edinburgh Castle a banquet was held, at which His Royal Highness presided as Grand Master Mason. One toast was received only, that to "The King".

Little did any of the guests think that in ten days' time His Royal Highness would be His Majesty King George VI!

After he became King, even though he held no active office, he continued to maintain a close contact with the Craft.

In 1937 he accepted an appointment as Past Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. When his younger brother, the Duke of Kent, became Grand Master after the Duke of Connaught resigned in 1939, the King installed him in his high office. In 1943, when the Duke of Kent had been killed on active service, King George VI also installed his brother-in-law, the Earl of Harewood, as Grand Master. After Harewood's death in 1947, His Majesty again installed the new Grand Master, the Duke of Devonshire. The Earl of Scarbrough was the next Grand Master. His installation ceremony in November, 1951, was likewise to have been conducted by His Majesty. When the date came, however, another had to preside in his stead, for the King was too ill to attend. He did send a message, part of which ran as follows:

I pray to the Great Architect of the Universe that under your guidance the Craft will continue to maintain the beneficial influence which has characterized it in the past.

The world today does require spiritual and moral regeneration. I have no doubt, after many years as a member of our Order, that Freemasonry can play a most important part in this vital need.

I send my greetings to all assembled in Grand Lodge, and particularly to those from overseas, who have made long journeys to be present. May prosperity, happiness, and peace attend you and all my brethren.

King George VI died on February 6, 1952.

The Earl of Scarbrough presided over Grand Lodge for sixteen years. During that time H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, joined Masonry, in December, 1952. On December 16, 1963, H.R.H. the Duke of Kent was initiated into the Craft. On June 27, 1967, when the United Grand Lodge of England celebrated its two hundred and fiftieth anniversary, the Duke of Kent was installed as Grand Master by the Earl of Scarbrough. This marks the only occasion when a Royal Prince has become the eventual successor of his father as ruler of the Craft, for the older Duke of Kent had been Grand Master at the time of his death in 1942.

As well as members of the British Royal Family other persons of royal blood have been granted the rank of Past Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. In 1888 H.M. Oscar II, King of Sweden, received that rank. In 1897 H.R.H. the Crown Prince (afterwards King Frederick VI11) of Denmark was so honored. In 1946 H.M. Christian X, King of Denmark, became a Past Grand Master, as did H.M. Gustaf V, King of Sweden, in 1947, and H.M. Gustaf VI Adolf, King of Sweden, in 1966.

Time alone will record the part still to be played by Princes and Kings in the Masonic life of the future. It may well be that others of the Blood Royal may in due course fill the high office now graced by H.R.H. the Duke of Kent.

Monarchs themselves have indeed been promoters of the art, and have changed the scepter for the gavel many times in the past. May they do so many times in the future.

The United States of America

Many of our forefathers who helped establish this country before and after its inception can be counted among our members: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Marquis de LaFayette, James Otis, Joseph Warren, John Hancock, William Allen, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Richard Gridley, Henry Knox and Ethan Allen are but a few of the names that come to mind – nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and thirteen signers of the Constitution were Freemasons.

The Presidents of the United States of America who were Master Masons are: George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, James A. Garfield, James K. Polk, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Lyndon B. Johnson received the Entered Apprentice Degree, but never advanced any further.

George Washington was our first President (1789) and was born February 11, 1731 (old style), owing to the reform of the calendar the date is February 22, 1732, by our modern calendar. He died December 14, 1799. He was initiated November 4, 1752, passed March 3, 1753, and raised August 4, 1753, in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 3, Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was the charter Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22, Alexandria, Virginia, April 28, 1788, and reelected December 20, 1788. This Lodge, formerly No. 39 under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, became No. 22 under the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and after the death of Washington was renamed Alexandria-Washington Lodge in 1805. Washington lived his Freemasonry and supported it throughout his life. A neighbor, Major General Lee, on December 26, 1799, said, ”Washington taught an admiring world that to be truly great you must be truly good.”

James Monroe was our fifth president (1817) and was born April 28, 1758. He died July 4, 1831. He was initiated in Williamsburg Lodge on November 9, 1775, at the age of seventeen, while he was a student at William and Mary College. No record exists of his passing and raising; however, it most probably occurred in a military lodge in Valley Forge. He left College in 1776 and enlisted in Washington’s Army. In later years he was a member of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and regularly attended that lodge, so he must have been a Master Mason. He declared in the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 that the republics in South, Central and North America were never to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power. Such acts would be considered a threat to the United States.

Andrew Jackson was our seventh president (1829) and was born on March 15, 1767. He died June 8, 1845. No record exists of his initiation, passing or raising as many of the Masonic records in Nashville were destroyed during the Civil War; however, he was present on March 24, 1800, at a meeting of Tennessee Lodge No. 2 and was credited with being a member of Harmony Lodge No. 1 of Tennessee. He was elected Grand Master of Tennessee on October 7, 1822, and reelected on October 6, 1823.

James K. Polk was our eleventh president (1845) and was born on November 2, 1795. He died June 15, 1849. He was initiated June 5, 1820, passed August 7, 1820, and raised September 4, 1820, chosen Junior Deacon October 2, 1820, and elected Junior Warden December 3, 1821, all in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tennessee. He was active in the Lodge until he left for Washington, D.C., as a congressman. He supported and practiced Freemasonry his entire life. He was a very effective Chief Executive.

James Buchanan was our fifteenth president (1857) and was born April 23, 1791. He died June 1, 1868. He was initiated December 11, 1816, passed and raised on January 24, 1817 ( at this time he was just finishing his term in the state legislature), elected Junior Warden on December 18, 1820, and Worshipful Master on December 23, 1822, all in Lancaster Lodge No. 34, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Following his term as WM, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for his District.

Andrew Johnson was our seventeenth president (1865) and was born on December 29, 1808. He died on July 31, 1875. He was initiated, passed and raised in Greeneville Lodge No. 119 (now No. 3) in Greeneville, Tennessee sometime in May, 1851. (The records of Greeneville Lodge were destroyed in the Civil War and the Grand Lodge records were partly burned up when a fire gutted the Masonic Temple in 1856.) He is a perfect example of what Freemasonry can do in the life of one individual when he takes the principles of Masonry seriously and dedicates himself to live by them. Johnson stated that he had taken two of the most important obligations that any man could take in life: the first and foremost was the obligation of a Master Mason, and the second was taken when he was inaugurated as President of the United States and swore to defend, maintain and support the Constitution of the United States.

James A. Garfield was our twentieth president (1881) and was born on November 19, 1831. He died September 19, 1881. He was initiated November 19, 1861, passed on December 3, 1861, in Magnolia Lodge No. 20 in Columbus, Ohio. He was raised in Columbus Lodge No. 30, by request of Magnolia Lodge, on November 11, 1864.

(During the Civil War, Columbus Lodge and Magnolia Lodge often exchanged courtesies in conferring the degrees on soldiers in the service, and this was done in conferring the degrees upon General Garfield.) L. Randall Rogers in his booklet entitled Our Masonic Presidents states, “He was remembered by his colleagues as a gifted man of tireless energy, with an inate capacity for hard work; always a preacher of righteousness; loyal to his friends and magnanimous to his enemies. In congressional debates, he never spoke ill of his opponent, but always treated him with respect and courtesy.”

William McKinley was our twenty-fifth president (1897) and was born on January 29, 1843. He died on September 14, 1901, from an assassination. While he was a Major in the Northern Army, he was initiated on May 1, 1865; passed to the degree of Fellow Craft on May 2, 1865; and raised a Master Mason on May 3, 1865; all in Winchester Hiram Lodge #21, Winchester, Virginia. McKinley affiliated with Canton (Ohio) Lodge #60 on August 21, 1867, and became a charter member of Eagle Lodge #43 also of Canton. The latter lodge was subsequently named after him.

In his political life, he gained a reputation for honesty and never spoke ill of his opponents, treating everyone with dignity and courtesy. His administration was one of prosperity and material growth; he entered into a war with Spain to gain liberty for the peoples under the possessions of Spain, including Cuba, and these actions resulted in the additions of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt was our twenty-sixth (1901) president ascending upon the death of William McKinley. He was born on October 27, 1858. He died on January 6, 1919.

While Vice-President, he was initiated January 2, 1901, passed to the FC degree on March 27, 1901, and raised to the MM degree on April 24, 1901, in Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, New York. Despite his obligations, he learned his work well and gave perfect performances at his examinations. He was an enthusiastic member of this lodge, and entered into a variety of correspondence with brethren abroad and at home as well as participating whole-heartedly in a number of public Masonic functions while president. He loved Freemasonry and spoke well of it on every possible occasion. He thoroughly enjoyed attending lodge and “meeting on the level.” As A.Wesley Johns wrote, “He put the presidency on the front page of every newspaper in America” with his boundless energy and positive leadership. He was reelected on his own in 1904 and the major events of his administration included reforms to bring honesty to both government and industry, legislation to insure pure food, conservation of our natural resources, and the initiation of the Panama Canal, arranging peace conferences to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the war between Germany and Spain over Morocco in 1906.

William Howard Taft was our twenty-seventh (1909) president. He was born September 15, 1857. He died on March 8, 1930, a month after resigning as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. He was made a Mason at sight on the afternoon of February 18, 1909, by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and in the evening he witnessed the Master Mason degree by a degree team of Kilwinning Lodge #356 in the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 417 Broad Street, Cincinnati, Ohio. He was given a demit from the Grand Lodge of Ohio on February 18, 1909, and was elected a member of Kilwinning Lodge #356 on April 14, 1909. He was a model of integrity and devoted to his country; however, he was not a strong president. He was relieved when he lost reelection to Woodrow Wilson.

Warren Gamaliel Harding was our twenty-ninth (1921) president and was born on November 2, 1865, in Blooming Grove, Ohio. He died August 2, 1923. He was initiated in Marion Lodge No. 70 in Marion, Ohio, on June 28, 1901; passed on August 13, 1920; and raised on August 27, 1920. The reason for this 20-year delay was political – he was blackballed after receiving his Fellowcraft degree by the editor of the Democratic newspaper in town who allowed politics to intervene. When he was elected President, the Lodge decided that it would be in its best interest to have him as a Master Mason, so it prevailed upon his detractors to stay home while he was elected to receive the MM degree. He harbored no ill will. After receiving his MM degree he addressed the lodge saying, “ I want to thank everyone of you for accepting me into Masonry. I am grateful that you made it possible for me to realize my dream of twenty years ago. I hold no enmity nor ill will against anyone who may have hindered my advancement over these years. I am proud to be a Master Mason.” He became a member of Royal Arch and Commandery and also Consistory as well as the Grotto. He was elected to Council and to receive the 33rd degree but death intervened.

While President,, he took advantage of every opportunity to speak for Masonry and to attend lodge when he could. He laid the cornerstone for the new Masonic Temple in Birmingham, Alabama, in August, 1921, and on that occasion he stated in his address, “There is nothing in Masonry that a free, religious and just American could not be proud to subscribe to, and be a better citizen for so doing.” In June of 1923 he made the welcoming speech to the annual Imperial Convention of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in Washington, D.C., and declared an open house at the White House for the Shriners – twenty thousand Nobles and their families visited it that one day. That evening, Harding, along with Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., were inducted into the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. Harding was not a good administrator, nor was he a leader. He was aware of his weaknesses and appointed a strong cabinet, giving the cabinet members free rein. A few took advantage of that power and ran their departments for their own personal gain. That led to Harding’s downfall and subsequent illness which took his life.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our thirty-second (1933) president and was born on January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York. He died on April 12, 1945, of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was initiated October 10, 1911, passed November 14, 1911, and raised November 28, 1911, in Holland Lodge No. 8, New York, NY. He received the 32nd degree in the A. A. S. R. in Albany Consistory, February 28, 1929, made a Prophet at sight in Tri-Po-Bed Grotto, Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 30, 1931, and a member at sight of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon in Greenwood Court No. 81 in Warwick, NY, on April 25, 1930. He was elected to the State Senate in 1910 and was appointed as Assistant Secretary to the Navy in 1912. He was nominated as vice-president on the Democratic ticket in 1920 with Governor James M. Cox of Ohio as the presidential candidate. The loss in this campaign did not dim his prospects for a political career.

In August of 1921 he contracted polio and lost the use of his legs for life. When he was inaugurated president in 1932, the admission fee to the presidential balls went to the March of Dimes which he had helped to start in 1927 to raise funds for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which he had organized. Due in part to the political efforts of Eleanor, he was elected Governor of New York in 1928. This opened the door for his election as president in 1932. He was a truly great president, as rated by the historians of our country in 1962. He led the country out of the Great Depression by challenging the people with “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He gave the people hope and led them to believe that he sincerely cared about them. He lifted their morale, courage, faith and hope and in 1936 was re-elected by the largest plurality in history. He was the first president to be elected for a third term. As Masons we can take pride in the fact that his man, one of the greatest presidents of our country, was a Mason. We can all be inspired in our personal life by his example that difficulties and hardships can be overcome with a smile, cheerfulness and a positive attitude, based upon a firm faith in God’s providence and a conviction that life is good.

The best proof of his sincerity and dedication to Masonry is exhibited in the fact that he motivated all of his sons to follow his example and become members of the fraternity.

Harry S. Truman was our thirty-third (1945) president and was born in Lamar, Missouri, on May 8, 1884. He died December 26, 1972. He was initiated in Belton Lodge No. 450 on February 9, 1909, and was raised March 18, 1909. He was appointed Senior Deacon in 1909 and became Junior Warden in 1910. In 1911, he was the Charter Master of Grandview Lodge No. 618 and was District Deputy Grand Master of the 59th District from 1925 to 1930.

In 1925, he was elected Grand Lecturer and in 1930 was appointed to the first step in Grand Line which culminated in his election as Grand Master of Masons in Missouri in 1940 and presided over the Grand Communication in St. Louis beginning September 30, 1941, while United States Senator. He was introduced to the Grand Lodge of Texas as a visiting Grand Master on December 4, 1940, and made the following remark:

“The highest honor that has ever come to me, and that can come to me in my life, is to be Grand Master of the State of Missouri, and I feel that your Grand Master must feel the same way. We represent a fraternity which believes in justice, and truth, and honorable action in your community. It represents men who are endeavoring to be better citizens in the community, who are endeavoring to make a great country greater. This is the only institution in the world where we can meet on the level all sorts of people who want to live rightly.

As long as there are three and one-half million and more Freemasons in the United States, this great Republic can’t help but survive.”

He was elected Vice-President in 1944. On April 12, 1945, he was sworn in as President four hours after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died in Warm Springs, Georgia. He completed the Scottish Rite in 1917 and was the first U. S. President to be coronetted 33rd Degree on October 19, 1945.

The principles of Masonry guided Truman in the performance of his duties as President. At the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in 1950 he stated:

“Now for five years I have been endeavoring to mobilize the moral forces of the world, those forces which believe in God, those forces which believe in the welfare of the individual, who believe that the government is formed for the welfare of the individual and not that the individual is formed to be a slave to the government. We need to mobilize the moral forces in this country of ours to prevent selfishness of certain groups. I like my job because I think I am doing something to help the people of this nation to live better than they otherwise would live, and also because the efforts that are now being put forth are in the hope that eventually we will have a peaceful world. I believe in the Sermon on the Mount. I think it is the fundamental basis of free government. There are no deep dark secrets of Freemasonry. It is merely a manner of living with your neighbor, doing to him as you would have done to yourself. I like to do things that I think are right. I don’t care whether anybody likes it or not. If I think it is right, I am going to do it.”

Truman guided the nation to the conclusion of World War II, he made the decision to drop the atomic bomb, which shortened the war, and ushered in a new age, he wanted all citizens to enjoy prosperity, and he began the civil rights program. After the destruction of war was over, he sought to build the economy of all war-torn nations, but at the same time he followed a line in confronting Communism. There was never a hint of moral failure in either his public or private life. He stands as one of the very few presidents who managed their offices with eminent benefit to the public interest. Behind the public life of Truman was a personal life of moral integrity.

Gerald Rudolf Ford, Jr., was our thirty-eighth (1974) president and was born on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was initiated in Malta Lodge No. 465, Grand Rapids, MI, on September 30, 1949; he received his Fellowcraft and Master Mason degrees (the latter on May 18, 1951) in Columbia Lodge No. 3, Washington, D.C., as a courtesy to Malta Lodge. Ford was never active in Freemasonry – it is generally thought that he received several Masonic honors because of the position he held, rather than what he did for Freemasonry. Ford is unique among the presidents in that he has been vice-president and president without ever having been elected to either office. He was chosen Vice-President by Congress to replace Spiro T. Agnew in December 1953 after Agnew was forced out of office on a charge of bribery. Nine months later, he became president when Richard Nixon resigned to escape impeachment.

When we think of famous explorers we think of Meriwether Lewis and Richard Clark, and Admiral Richard Byrd, Composers who were Freemasons include Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jean Sibelius, and John Philip Sousa.

Actors and Entertainers include Bud Abbot, Eddie Arnold, Gene Autry, Wallace Berry, Harry Blackstone, Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Cantor, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Charles Coburn, Buffalo Bill Cody, Roy Clark, Royal Dano, Jimmy Davis, Glen Ford, Andy Griffith, Emmett Kelly, Stan Laurel, Tom Mix, Pat Morita, Will Rogers, Richard (Red) Skelton, Danny Thomas, Mel Tillis, and John Wayne.

Astronauts who were Freemasons include Edwin Aldrin, Gordon Cooper, Don Eisle, Virgil Grissom, Fred Haise, Edgar Mitchell, Walter Schirra, Thomas Stafford, and Paul Weitz.

Other outstanding names include John Barney, Clyde Beatty, Joseph Brant, Wilbur Brucker, DeWitt Clinton, Samuel Colt, Cecil B. DeMille, Conan Doyle, Charles Lindbergh, Robert Livingston, Jacob Morton, J. C. Penney, Oliver H. Perry, Joel Poinsett, David Sarnoff, and Darryl Zanuck.

Sports stars include George Brent, Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Jack Dempsey, Hoot Gibson, Arnold Palmer, and Cy Young.

U. S. Senators: Henry Clay, Tom Connaly of Texas, Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, Sam Rayburn of Texas, Burton K. Wheeler of Montana, Arthur Vandenburg of Michigan and many others too numerous to mention.

Most Generals in the Army of the Revolution were Freemasons including George Washington, Israel Putnam, Richard Montgomery, Benedict Arnold, Nathaniel Greene, Henry Knox, Benjamin Lincoln, John Muhlenberg, Arthur St. Clair, Baron Friederick W. A. von Steuben, Marquis de LaFayette, and many others. John Paul Jones was a Freemason. During the Civil War, the majority of Generals on both sides were Master Masons: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, Winfield Scott, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Henry Heth, George E. Pickett, James L. Kemper, Louis A Armstead, Albert Pike and John C. Breckenridge of the Confederates; General George B. McClellan, Joshua Chamberlain, Lew Wallace, Winfield S. Hancock, and Robert Anderson. During the two World Wars we think of Generals Henry (Hap) Arnold, Omar N. Bradley, Mark W. Clark, James Doolittle, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, George Patton, John J. Pershing, and Jonathan Wainwright among others.

Supreme Court Justices William Cushing of Massachusetts and John Blair, Jr. of Virginia were two of the original Supreme Court justices who were Freemasons. Through 1968 there were 39 of the 96 justices who were Freemasons including Henry Baldwin, Hugo L. Black, James F. Byrnes, John Catton, William O. Douglas, John Marshall, William Moody, Potter Stewart, William H. Taft, Frederick M. Vinson, Thomas Clark, Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall, a Prince Hall Mason. After 1968, no Freemason has been appointed.

Clergymen include Rev. Frances Bellamy, Joseph Fort Newton and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale as well as several Catholic Priests.

The architect of the Statue of Liberty was a French Freemason, Frederic A. Bartholdi, a member of Lodge Alsace-Lorraine of Paris.

Famous generals from history were Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington.

Famous authors include Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and Rudyard Kipling.

Selected References

William R. Denslow, 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Missouri Lodge of Research 1960-62

C.R.S. Foottit, English Royal Freemasons,, A.Q.C., volume 81, 1968, pages 348-354.

H.L. Martyn, ``In every age Royal sceptres have yielded to the Gavel”, Indiana Freemason, volume 35, number 1,

June, 1957, pages 4 – 5, 30 – 32.

Allen E. Roberts, Masonic Trivia and Facts, Anchor Communications, Highland Springs, VA 1994

L. Randall Rogers, Our Masonic Presidents, Texian Press, Waco, TX 1998

Masonic Year Book, England, 1972. Year Books, Grand Lodge of Scotland.

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