Yes, George Washington was a Freemason. Yes, we know you are reading Dan Brown’s recently released “The Lost Symbol” and are now looking for hidden Masonic symbols. We, hate to disappoint but you won’t find them here. But here are some historical facts about George Washington and freemasonry:
- He joined a Fredericksburg, Va lodge at age 20 and eventually rose to the rank of Master Mason.
- Many of his friends were Masons, most of his Revolutionary War officers, and over a third of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention were Masons. So yes, there were lots of Masonic connections.
- The Bible used at his Inauguration belonged to a New York Masonic lodge.
- Just as Dan Brown writes, the Capitol’s cornerstone was laid by Washington in a Masonic ceremony and he wore a Masonic apron.
- He received a letter from a G.W. Snyder about the Illuminati but Washington’s response was very critical of the group.
- Washington was placed in the family vault upon his death in 1799 with full Masonic honors.
In an 1860s Masonic print, U.S. Founding Father and Freemason George Washington is surrounded by portraits of Masons Andrew Jackson and the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as biblical scenes and Freemason symbols.
Washington wears the ritual Masonic apron, modeled on those of stonemasons. To Freemasons, the apron symbolizes innocence and sacrifice. The trowel in his right hand, another traditional masonry tool, symbolizes the spreading of brotherly love.
Washington himself has become something of an symbol to the brothers of his order, said Mark Tabbert, director of collections at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.
“From the Masonic point of view, he exemplifies the virtues and morality that Masons strive to live up to.”
—Image courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division