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FACTS FOR SPEAKERS, ABOUT GEORGE WASHINGTON, MASTER MASON
“A short compilation of facts of the Masonic history of the First President, for the use of speakers who will prepare and deliver addresses on the Father of His Country, on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth.
In Fredricksburg Lodge (now No.4), Fredricksburg, Virginia, Washington was:
Alexandria-Washington Lodge No.22, Alexandria, Virginia was:
Holland Lodge No.8, New York City, New York, Elected Washington an Honorary Member, 1789. _______________
1753 - September 1, Washington visited his Lodge at Fredricksburg shortly before his leaving for the Western Country. 1755 - January 4. Again visited his Lodge.
1777 - June 23. Proposed as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
1778 - December 28. Marched in procession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Masonic celebration in Honor of St. John the Evangelist.
1779 - June 24. Celebrated with American Union (Military) Lodge, the festival of St. John the Baptist, at West Point, New York.
1779 - October 6. Washington (Military) Lodge was instituted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Washington visited this Lodge.
1779 - December 15. Proposed by American Union (Military) Lodge at Morristown, New Jersey, as General Grand Master of the united States.
1779 - December 20. Proposed by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania as General Grand Master of the United States.
1779 - December 27. Celebrated with American Union (Military) Lodge, the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, at Morristown, New Jersey.
1780 - January 13. Again proposed by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania as General Grand Master of the United States.
1781 October. Said to have visited Lafayette Lodge No. 9 at Yorktown, Virginia after the surrender of Cornwallis there.
1782 - Presented with a Masonic Apron, and other Masonic Regalia by Brothers Watson and Cassoul, of Nantes, France. Acknowledged the August, 1782.
1782 - June 24. Celebrated with American Union (Military) Lodge the Festival of St. John the Baptist , at West Point, New York.
1782 - December 27. Solomon’s Lodge No.1, Poughkeepsie, New York, records: Visitors, Bro. George Washington, Comdr in Chief.” Celebrated with them on this date the Festival of St. John The Evangelist.
1784 - June 24. Celebrated with Alexandria Lodge, Alexandria, Virginia, the Festival of St. John the Baptist.
1784 - August. Was presented by General Lafayette with a Masonic Apron made by Madame Lafayette.
1785 - February 12. Walked in the Masonic procession at the funeral of Brother William Rams, at Alexandria, Virginia.
1789 - April 30. Inaugurated as President of the United States, and took the oath of office on the Bible belonging to St. John’s Lodge No. 1, New York City, New York.
1791 - April 15. Visited Newbern, North Carolina, and was welcomed by the Freemasons of St. John’s Lodge No. 2, “with the mystic numbers,” and attended a ball in the evening.
1791 - Mat. While on a visit to Charleston, South Carolina, was greeted by General Mordecai Gist. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, who extended the greetings of that Grand Lodge.
1793 - September 18. Acting as Grand Master “pro tem,” laid the Cornerstone of the United States Capital, at Washington, D.C.
1794 - Late in this year Alexandria Lodge received and accepted the Masonic Portrait of Washington, painted by Williams of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on order of the Lodge, and for which Washington sat while in the city some time in the latter part of 1793, or early part of 1794.
1797 - March 28. Received a delegation from Alexandria Lodge and accepted an invitation to be present in Alexandria, April 1st.
1797 - April 1. Attended Alexandria Lodge, and, at the banquet, proposed the toast, “The Lodge of Alexandria and all Masons throughout the World.”
Buried Masonically, at Mt. Vernon, December 18, 1799, Alexandria Lodge, No.22.
(The above facts taken from Brother William L. Boyden’s “Masonic
Presidents, Vice-Presidents and signers).
Minutes of: “The Lodge of Fredricksburg” (now Fredricksburg Lodge No.4):
RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FREDRICKSBURG LODGE (Adopted 1769)
1. That the meetings in course be the first Friday of every month, from March to September at 6 o’clock in the evening; and from September to March at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
2. Every member of the Lodge shall pay three Shillings Quarterly for expenses thereof. Visit. at last day, Midsummer, Michaelmas and Christmas - extra Expenses to be defrayed by such members as present on these occasion.
3. Every new made Brother shall pay the Fee of three Pistoles for being admitted to the First degree. The fee of one Pistole for being Passed to the Second and the same sum on being Raised to the Third. These Fees must be received the night of his admission, passing, or raising, or the Brothers who recommend to be responsible for them.
4. Any Brother not made in this Lodge, Petitioning to become a member thereof, shall upon his being received as such (after due examination) pay the Fee of one Pistole. But Brethren made here may become members without further Fee than that of their admission.
5. No Visiting Brother is to be admitted without due Examination, unless vouched for by a Brother present; nor more than once without paying One Shilling and Three Pence.
6. No person to be admitted to become a Mason in this Lodge under the age of twenty-one years on any account whatever, being Contrary to the Constitutions of Masonry, nor without the unanimous Consent of the Lodge by Ballot.
7. All Fees and Quarterages to be paid to the Treasurer for the time being. His Acc’t to be Annually examined and Balanced on the Night his office expires,
THE CHARTER GIVEN TO ALEXANDRIA LODGE BY THE GRAND LODGE OF VIRGINIA, DATED APRIL 28, 1788. Edm. Randolph: G.G.
TO ALL AND EVERY to whose knowledge these presents shall come. Greetings:
WHEREAS, It has been duly represented to us, that in the County of Fairfax, and Borough of Alexandria, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, there reside a number of Brethren of the Society of Freemasons, who have assembled as a Lodge agreeably to the Regulations of Masonry by the Title of the Alexandria Lodge, and it appearing to be for the good and increase of the Fraternity that the said Brethren should be encouraged to proceed and work, as heretofore they have done in a Regular Lodge.
KNOW YET, That we, EDMUND RANDOLPH, ESQ. Governor of the Commonwealth aforesaid, and Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Freemasons, within the same, by and with the consent of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, do hereby Constitute and Appoint our Illustrious and Well-beloved Brother, GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQ, late General and Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the United States of America, and our worthy brethren, Robert McCrea, William Hunter, Jr., and John Allison, Esq., together with all such other brethren as may be admitted to associate with them, to be a just, true and regular Lodge of Freemasons, by the name, title and designation of the Alexandria Lodge, No.22.
And further do hereby appoint and ordain, all regular Lodges to hold and acknowledge, and respect them, as such; hereby granting and committing to them, and their successors full power and authority to assemble and convene as a regular Lodge, to enter and receive Apprentices, pass Fellow-Crafts, and raise Master Masons, according to the known and established customs of ancient Craft Masonry, and No otherwise, and also to elect and choose Masters, Wardens, and other officers, annually, at such time or times as to them shall seem meet and convenient; and to exact from their members such compensation as they shall judge necessary for the support of their Lodge , the relief of their brethren in distress, and contribution towards the Grand Charity, and agreeably to the Book of constitutions and the laws of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and recommending to the brethren aforesaid, to receive and obey their Superiors in all things lawful and honest as becomes the honor and harmony of Masons, and to record in their books this present Charter with their own regulations and by-laws, and their whole acts and proceedings, from time to time, as they occur, and by no means desert their said Lodge hereby constituted, or form themselves into separate meetings, without the consent and approbation of their Master and Wardens for the time being. All which, by acceptance hereof, they are holden and engaged to observe; and the brethren aforesaid are to acknowledge and recognize the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge as their Superiors, and shall pay due regard and obedience to all such instructions as they have received or hereafter shall receive from thence. And, lastly, they are requested to correspond with the Grand Lodge, and to attend the meetings thereof, by their Master and Wardens, or their proxies being Master Masons and members of their said Lodge.
GIVEN under the Seal of the Grand Lodge at Richmond, in the State of Virginia, the 28th day of April, A.L. 5788, A.D. 1788.
By the Grand Master’s Command
COLUMBIAN MIRROR AND ALEXANDRIA GAZETTE OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1793
Georgetown, September 21, 1793
On Wednesday, one of the Grandest Masonic processions took place for the purpose of laying the corner-stone of the Capitol of the United States, which perhaps, was ever exhibited on the like important occasion. About ten o’clock, Lodge No.9 was visited by that congregation so graceful to the Craft, Lodge No.22 of Virginia, with all their officers and regalia; and directly afterwards appeared on the southern banks of the grand river Potomac, one of the finest companies of Volunteer Artillery that has been lately seen, parading to receive the President of the united States, who shortly came in sight with his suite, to whom the artillery paid their Military Honors, and his Excellency and suite crossed the rive and was received in Maryland by the officers and brethren of No.22 Virginia and No.9, Maryland, whom the President headed, proceeded by a band of music; the rear brought up by the Alexandria Volunteer Artillery, with Grand Solemnity of March, proceeded to the President’s Square, in the city of Washington, where they were met and saluted by No.15, of the City of Washington, in all their elegant badges and clothing, headed by Brother Joseph Clarke, Rt. Wor. G.M. p.t. and conducted to a large lodge prepared for the purpose of their reception. After a short space of time, by the vigilance of Brother Clotworthy Stephenson, Grand Marshal, p.t., the brotherhood and other bodies were disposed in a second order of procession, which took place amidst a brilliant crowd of spectators of both sexes, according to the following arrangement, viz.:
The Surveying Department of the City of Washington
The procession marched two abreast, in the greatest solemn dignity, with music playing, drums beating, colors flying, and spectators rejoicing from the President’s Square to the Capitol, in the City of Washington, where the Grand Marshal ordered a halt, and directed each file in the procession to incline two steps, one to the right and one to the left, and face each other, which formed a hollow oblong square, through which the Grand Sword Bearer led the van; followed by the Grand Master pro tem, on the left, the President of the united States in the center, and the worshipful Master on No.22, Virginia, on the right; all the other orders that composed the procession advanced in the reverse of their order of march from the President’s Square to the southeast corner of the Capitol, and the Artillery filed out to a destined ground to display maneuvers and discharge their cannon. The President of the United States, the Grand Master pro tem, and the Worshipful Master of No.22, taking their stand to the east of the large stone, and all the Craft forming a circle westward, stood a short time in solemn order.
The Artillery discharged a volley. The Grand Marshal delivered the commissioner a large silver plate, with an inscription thereon, which the Commissioners ordered to be read, and was, as follows:
“This southeast Corner-Stone of the Capitol of the United States of America in the City of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September, 1793, in the thirteenth year of American Independence, in the first year of the second term of the Presidency of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his country have been as conspicuous and beneficial as his military valor and prudence have been useful in establishing her liberties, and in the year of Masonry 5793, by the President of the United States, in concert with the Grand Lodge of Maryland, several Lodges under its Jurisdiction, and lodge No.22 from Alexandria, Virginia. Thomas Johnson, David Steuart and Daniel Carroll, Commissioners, Joseph Clark, R.W.G.M. pro tem,., James Hobam and Stephen Hallate, Architects.”
Collin Williamson, Master Mason.
The Artillery discharged a volley. The Plate was then delivered to the President, who, attended by the Grand Master pro tem., and three Most worshipful Masters, descended to the cavazion trench and deposited the plate, and laid it on the corner-stone of the Capitol of the United States if America, on which were deposited corn, wine, and oil, when the whole congregation joined in reverential prayer, which was succeeded by Masonic chanting honors, and a volley from the Artillery.
The President of the United States, and his attendant brethren, ascended from the carazion to the East of the corner-stone, and there the Grand Master pro tem., elevated on a triple rostrum, delivered an oration fitting the occasion, which was received with brotherly love and commendation. At intervals during the delivery of the oration several volleys were discharged by the Artillery. The ceremony ended in prayer, Masonic chanting honors, and a 15-volley from the Artillery.
The whole company retired to an extensive booth, where an ox of five- hundred pounds weight was barbecued, of which the company generally partook with every abundance of other recreation. The festival concluded with fifteen successive volleys from the Artillery, whose military discipline and maneuvers merit every commendation. Before dark the whole company departed with joyful hopes of the production of their labor. _______________
SOME QUOTATIONS FROM WASHINGTON’S MASONIC LETTERS.
December 28, 1783, to Alexandria Lodge No. 39:
June 19, 1784, to the same:
August 22, 1700, to King David’s Lodge, Newport, Rhode Island:
1791, to St. John’s Lodge, Newbern, N.C.
1791. To Prince George’s Lodge No.16, Georgetown, South Carolina.
Response to an address of Charleston, South Carolina, Masons.
1792. To the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Response to the dedication in the constitution Book of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts:
MASONIC DEDICATIONS TO WASHINGTON The Pennsylvania Ahiman Rezon of 1783:
To His Excellency. GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq,. General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America; In “Testimony,” as well as his exalted Services to his Country, as of that noble Philanthropy which distinguishes Him among Masons, the following Constitutions of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of “Free and Accepted Masons,” by order and in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, &c. is dedicated, By his Excellency’s Most humble servant and faithful Brother,
William Smith, G. Secretary.
The Constitutions of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New York; Collected and digested by Order of the Grand Lodge of said State (printed in 1789).
To His Excellency, GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq. In testimony, as well as o his exalted Services to his Country, as of his distinguished Character as a Mason, the following book of constitutions of the most antient and honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, by order and in behalf of the GRAND LODGE of the State of New York, is dedicated, By His Most Humble Servant, JAMES GILES, G. Secretary, A.L. 5785Virginia New Ahiman Rezon of 1791:
To George Washington, Esq., President of the United States of America. The Following Work is Most Respectfully Dedicated by His Obedient. and Devoted Servant, THE EDITOR. The Massachusetts “Book of Constitutions,” (printed in 1792 and 1798):
In Testimony of His Exalted Merit, And of Our inalienable Regard, THIS WORK IS Inscribed and Dedicated to our Illustrious BROTHER GEORGE WASHINGTON; The Friend of Masonry, Of His Country, and Of Man.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014