In tribute to our February George Washington Observance Event, I take the opportunity to use my space in this month’s Trestleboard to share an excerpt from “George Washington, The Mason” as available on The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Website.
George Washington joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia at the age of 20 in 1752. His Masonic membership, like the others public titles and duties he performed, was expected from a young man of his social status in colonial Virginia. During the War for Independence, General Washington attended Masonic celebration and religious observances in several states. He also supported Masonic Lodges that formed within army regiments. At his first inauguration in 1791, President Washington took his oath of office on a Bible from St. John’s Lodge in New York. In death, Washington was buried with Masonic honors.
Such was Washington’s character from the day he took his Masonic obligations until his death that he was the same man in private that he was in public. In Masonic terms, he remained “a just and upright Mason” and became a true Master Mason. Washington was, in Masonic terms, a “living stone” who became the cornerstone of American civilization. He remains the milestone others civilizations follow into liberty and equality. He is Freemasonry’s “perfect ashlar” upon which countless Master Masons gauge their labors in their own Lodges and in their own communities.