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Washington, D. C. is filled with of famous people, many of whom were Freemasons. MSA will be doing a series of two Short Talks on this subject.

We would like to thank Charles S. Iversen, PGM, D. C. and SGIG Valley of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia, S.J, and Hugh Y. Bernard, Jr PM. of William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge #7, D.C. and Librarian Emeritus of the George Washington University Law School for compiling the information on the statues in Washington, D. C. that have Masonic significance. This article was originally published in the 2000 Spring Bulletin, Scottish Rite, S.J., Orient of D. C.



(ca. 1745-1803)

(Statue in Franklin Park, 14th Street end, facing west, north of I Street, NW-Architect was John J. Boyle)

Regarded as the "Father of the United States Navy." Commodore Barry was the senior officer in the service when his career ended. He commanded privateers and Navy ships which wrought havoc on British shipping. He commanded the vessel which took Lafayette home after the Yorktown victory (1781). He trained such later Navy luminaries as Stephen Decatur (a Mason) and is generally revered by our Navy to this day. Masonically, he was initiated in Lodge No. 2, Philadelphia, October 12, 1795, but is recorded as being suspended N.P D. in 1800.



(Statue in front of State Department, Foggy Bottom area of northwest Washington Architect was Felix de Weldon)

In his short life span, Bolivar fought for over twenty years to free much of South America from Spanish despotism; the present nations of Bolivia (named for him), Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru owe their independence to this notable warrior-statesman, called the George Washington of South America, and "The Liberator." His long and complex Masonic history is interwoven with his career. Though born in Caracas, he became a Mason in Spain and entered the Scottish Rite and Knight Templary while in France. He was also Masonically active in England while on a diplomatic mission to London. His Scottish Rite collar and apron are exhibited by the New York Grand Lodge Museum. His lovehate relationship with Roman Catholicism reflects the effect of his devotion to freedom as conflicting with his longing for spiritual aid. But it was as a Mason that he performed the deeds for which he is most remembered.



(Statue, in the pose of an orator, most fitting for him, at Constitution Avenue in West Potomac Park near the former Riverside Drive. Sculpted by the Mason, Gutzon Borglum)

Bryan, the liberal Democratic apostle of free silver and a generally loose monetary policy during the depression-ridden 1890's, was three times nominated by his party for the Presidency, in 1896, 1900, and 1908, only to lose each time. He is revered by proponents of a farmer-labor populism and government activity on behalf of their causes. Also, late in life he participated as a prosecutor in the famous Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee, concerning the validity of a statute in that state prohibiting the teaching of the evolution theories of Darwin in public schools. Although he and his associates won a conviction in the case, Bryan died a short while later after being savaged by the media. He was also very active in the peace movement during World War I, resigning as Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State in 1915 in a disagreement over war preparations in this country. He is best remembered as a spell-binding orator, the "Silvertongued Commoner." Masonically, Bryan was raised in Lincoln Lodge No. 19 in his home state of Nebraska, April 15, 1902 and later affiliated with Miami Lodge No. 247 in Florida, in which state he resided when he died, July 26, 1925.



(Statue on an imposing slope in Meridian Hill Park, 16th Street, Between Florida Avenue and Euclid Street, NW-Architect was Hans Schuler)

Buchanan, the only President from the prominent State of Pennsylvania, and the last President to be born in the eighteenth century, was born near Mercersburg but spent most of his life at his estate near Lancaster. A lawyer, diplomat (Minister to Russia 1832-34), Secretary of State under James K. Polk, US Senator, and Minister to England from 1853 to 1856. Nominated by the Democrats to run against the first Republican nominee (John C. Fremont), Buchanan won the contest. Few men have entered the Presidency with such promise and such impressive credentials. Few have left the office under such obloquy. He was unequal to the demands placed on his office caused by the hastening tide of disunion stemming from the slavery and states-rights disputes that proved irreconcilable. Masonically, Buchanan was raised in Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, PA, January 24, 1817. Being single and interested in the Craft, he plunged into Masonry wholeheartedly. His Masonic resume shows he was Master of his lodge for the year 1823; and by the end of that year was made a District Deputy Grand Master. His last attendance at his own Lodge was in May 1865. He was also active in the Royal Arch in Lancaster. As President, he participated in the dedication of the George Washington statue on Washington Circle in the Capital ,City, February 22, 1860, delivering the dedicatory address. Whatever may have been the general opinion about his term as President, he was revered in Lancaster. When he died June 1, 1868, his Lodge gave him a Masonic burial at a service attended by 4,000 persons.



(Statue in a small triangular park at Massachusetts Avenue and 11th Street, NW Architect was Harvard Thomas of England)

Like most strongly intellectual thinkers and writers, Burke is hard to characterize. He was born in Ireland of a Protestant father and Catholic mother. Reared a Protestant, Burke studied law for a while but abandoned it for a career of writing and intense activity in public life. Entering the Commons in 1765 as a Whig at the time of the Stamp Act, Burke earned popularity among the American colonists through championing their cause, along with Pitt and his associate John Wilkes, all strongly pro-American. His career is marked by a strong advocacy of individual freedom, emancipation of slaves, free trade, and aid to Catholics in Ireland. His writings on the French Revolution (which he condemned for its excesses), and his opposition to imprisonment for libel, showed a strong bent for individual freedom as opposed to statism and government power. Today, Burke would be typecast as a libertarian conservative. Masonically, there is no sure evidence of Burke's membership, though he is thought to have belonged to Jerusalem Lodge No. 44, Clerkenwell, London, sometimes referred to as "Burke's Lodge." Members of this Lodge made John Wilkes a Mason while that worthy was in prison, in 1769.

His treatise on Defence of the Colonists in America was required reading in public high schools in Washington, DC in the 1930s.




(Statue in front of the British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, NW, placed with one foot on British and one foot on American soil, reflecting his dual heritage and citizenship)

Winston Churchill is such a towering giant-one of the great figures of the Twentieth or of any century in which he could have lived, that it is hard to compress this vigorous and intense life into a sketch. The son of Sir and Lord Randolph Churchill and his American wife, nee Jenny Jerome, Sir Winston was descended from the Dukes of Marlborough. He early began an adventurous life in the Army (1895) and served in Cuba, India, Egypt, and the Sudan; and during the Boer War he was a correspondent. In World War I he saw service in France in 1916. He held numerous government posts, in the Colonial Office, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, First Lord of the Admiralty, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and finally Prime Minister twice (1940-45 and 1951-55) as a Tory. It was during his first term in the latter office that Churchill reached the heights. He invigorated and inspired a nation in its darkest hour during World War II and turned it into a fighting machine that held firm until American aid could arrive. Not only was this brilliant man a statesman and fighter; he was an author. Of his many books, perhaps the most noteworthy are his History of the English-speaking Peoples (4 v., 1956-58), and his The Second World War (6 vols., 1948-54). He received the Nobel Prize in 1953.

Masonically, Churchill was initiated in Studholme Lodge, No. 1591, in London; and raised March 25, 1902, in Rosemary Lodge No. 2851. His intense activity understandably precluded his active participation in the Craft.

Masons whose statues stand in or near Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

Stephen A. Austin

Thomas Hart Benton

William Jennings Bryan

Henry Clay

George Clinton

Benjamin Franklin

James A. Garfield

John Hancock

Sam Houston

Andrew Johnson

Marquis de Lafayette

Robert M. Lafollette,

Sr. Robert Livingston

John Marshall Winfield

Scott John Sevier

Lew Wallace

George Washington

Joseph Wheeler






WASHINGTON, DC - The Wireless Foundation and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence today launched a nationwide "Donate a Phone" campaign designed to collect one million used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence. Anyone interested in donating a phone to the campaign can visit or call 1-888-901SAFE.

Wireless industry analysts estimate that there are currently as many as 24 million inactive wireless phones in people's homes and businesses.

"Every day, 5,000 women across the U.S. become victims of domestic violence," said Michael Evans, Executive Director of the Wireless Foundation. "The program's main goal is to put no-longer-used wireless phones in the hands of women who need to protect themselves against domestic abuse," Evans said.

Sponsored by Motorola, "Donate a Phone" is part of CALL to PROTECT, a national program that provides domestic violence victims with wireless phones that are preprogrammed with emergency numbers so that they can access help at the touch of a button.

Since CALL to PROTECT began, Motorola hag donated 16,000 wireless phones, and free airtime has been provided by 74 wireless carriers across the United States who are members of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).

The Masonic Information Center Steering Committee, meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 2000, voted enthusiastically to support this program. It is our hope that Freemasons, everywhere, will see its value and want to participate. The commitment made by the Information Center was to act in the role of coordinator, gathering all necessary information and providing it to each Grand Lodge in the United States. There is a real probability the program will soon expand into Canada. Preliminary information has been sent to each U.S. Grand Lodge encouraging them to participate in this most worthwhile program.


The United Grand Lodge of England has been subjected to scrutiny by the government because of false charges that indicated some law enforcement officers, who were Freemasons, may have been involved in a cover up of criminal activity. The Dec. 1999 Focus had an article dealing with this issue.

The latest attack is on Freemasons in the military. The Defense Council issued an Instruction that: "Freemasons are to be banned from actively recruiting members from the Armed Forces or holding meetings on military property."

An extremely well written letter from Lord Farnham to the Prime Minister follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

I have been asked by the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of England, HRH The Duke of Kent KG, to write to you about a recently issued Defence Council Instruction relating to Freemasonry. For ease of reference I enclose a copy of the Instruction.

The Defence Council Instruction was issued on the advice of Ministers as a response to a Parliamentary Enquiry to the Minister of Defence from Chris Mullin MP resulting from an anonymous letter he had received from the wife of a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

The Defence Council Instruction with its references to "disparate loyalties", "a destabilising influence", "undue influence" and to Freemasonry being of a "secretive nature" has caused great upset and genuine hurt to the many thousands of Freemasons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and know that their allegiance to the Crown and the Service in which they serve is paramount. As Freemasons their duties are to God, the law, their families, their professional responsibilities and the community as a whole. Any duty they might owe to a fellow Freemason comes after their prime duties and only in qualified circumstances. In the process of becoming a Freemason candidates acknowledge and declare on several occasions that using their membership to gain an advantage for themselves or others is contrary to the principles of Freemasonry and that if they do so they will become subject to Masonic disciplinary procedures.

What saddens Freemasons is that this Instruction has been issued on the basis of a purported perception to support which - in this area as in others - no evidence has been produced other than anecdotes. They have been angered that a request from the Grand Lodge for clarification of certain aspects of the Instruction was rebuffed by a Ministry of Defence official with the response that there was little she could usefully add.

Whilst the Defence Council Instruction does not ban service personnel from becoming Freemasons, Freemasons see it as being discriminatory. The message it gives is that Freemasons are not to be trusted and that joining Freemasonry would be looked at with disfavour and could put at risk career prospects. On behalf of His Royal Highness the Grand Master, of the 320,000 Freemasons under this Grand Lodge and of their families I ask that the Defence Council Instruction be withdrawn.

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