George Washington

Born at Bridges Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, February 22, 1732, of the present calendar, but February 11, 1731/2 of the birth record and on December 14, 1799, he died at Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia, about fifteen miles from Washington, District of Columbia. At sixteen he became surveyor on the estate of Lord Fairfax, then joined the army and later was on the staff of General Braddock.

Delegate to First and Second Continental Congresses. Unanimously chosen in 1775 as Commander-in-Chief of Colonial Army and his Yorktown campaign ended the war on October 19, 1781, with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his British Army. Washington presided at the Federal Convention in Philadelphia, May, 1787, for the framing of the Constitution, and then was elected President, and in 1792 reelected, refusing a third term. He was recalled from his retirement in 1798 to again serve as Commander-in- Chief but the prospect of war with France did not materialize.

The Oath of office as President of the United States was administered on April 30, 1789, New York City, to General Washington, by Brother Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of the State of New York, and who was also the Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons.

The name of Washington occupies a prominent place in Masonic biography, not perhaps so much because of any services he has done to the Institution either as a worker or a writer, but because the fact of his connection with the Craft is a source of pride to every American Freemason, at least, who can thus call the "Father of his Country" a Brother. There is also another reason. While the friends of the Institution have felt that the adhesion to it of a man so eminent for virtue was a proof of its moral and religious character, the opponents of Freemasonry, being forced to admit the conclusion, have sought to deny the premises, and, even if compelled to admit the fact of Washington's initiation, have persistently asserted that he never took any interest in it, disapproved of its spirit, and at an early period of his life abandoned it. The truth of history requires that these misstatements should be met by a brief recital of his Masonic career.

Washington was initiated, in 1752, in the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the records of that Lodge, still in existence, present the following entries on the subject. The first entry is thus: "Nov. 4th. 1752. This evening Mr. George Washington was initiated as an entered Apprentice", receipt of the entrance fee, amounting to £2 3s., was acknowledged, F.C. and M.M. March :3 and August 4, 1753.

On March 3 in the following year, "Mr. George Washington" is recorded as having been passed a Fellow Craft; and on August 4, same year, 1753, the record of the transactions of the evening states that "Mr. George Washington," and others whose names are mentioned, have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.

Curiously enough each of the days when Washington attended Lodge was Saturday, the dates already mentioned falling on that day, and he was last in the Lodge at Fredericksburg on Saturday, January 4, 1755. Brother Franklin Stearns, Past Master of Fredericksburg Lodge, says that Washington paid his fees November 6, 1752 and that no further fees appearing in this connection he has arrived at the conclusion that £2 3s was paid for all three Degrees.

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License