Was George Washington (Really) A Freemason?

George Washington is one of the most well-known figures in American history.

He served as commander and leader of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and he presided over his country’s Constitutional Convention and became America’s first President.

However, there is one other thing that George Washington has in common with many figures of American history: he was a Mason.

Washington’s membership in Freemasonry began after his initiation into the Lodge at Fredericksburg on November 24, 1752, and continued until his death from a throat infection or blood poisoning on December 14, 1799.

Was George Washington a Freemason

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Was George Washington Really a Freemason?

Yes, he was.

In 1792, Washington was elected Worshipful Master of the Masonic lodges for Alexandria and Mount Vernon. He also held the office of Grand Master Mason (the ceremonial head) for Virginia.

Washington’s Freemason’s membership is an interesting question that many historians have debated. There are no definitive answers as to why George cut ties to Freemasonry so dramatically after being elected President.

He became a member of the Alexandria Lodge No. 39 in 1752 and served as Worshipful Master from December 15, 1783, through April 30, 1784, and it’s said he remained very involved with Masonic affairs until his death on December 14, 1799.

Achievements By George Washington (As a Freemason)

  • Raised to the degree of Master Mason in 1752 after three years as Entered Apprentice.
  • Elected Master of Alexandria Lodge in 1788 and served until 1789.
  • He received honorary membership from the Maryland Society on October 20, 1784.
  • Elected Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 39 on December 15, 1783, and served until April 30, 1784, when he was elected Grand Master for Virginia (the first state to have organized lodges of Freemasons).
  • Elected Grand Master of Masons for the United States in 1788.
  • Became a charter member and first President of the Society of Cincinnati, an organization composed of former officers and soldiers who served during the Revolutionary War (held office from December 15,1784-September 13th,1786).
  • Holder of the office of Master in Chancery, a hereditary honorary title (December 15,1786-October 14th, 1788).
  • Elected General Grand High Priest on May 18, 1797.
  • Became a charter member and first President of Alexandria Academy (held position from September 24,1783-April 14th,1786).
  • Became a charter member and first President of the Masonic Charitable Foundation in 1788.
George Washington Masonic Memorial
The George Washington Masonic Memorial.
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Reading Material Regarding George Washington As A Freemason:

  • George Washington and Freemasonry by Allen E. Roberts, published in 1987 as part of the MSA’s series on US Presidents & Masonic Membership.
  • Freemasons for Dummies by Christopher Hodapp, coauthor of The Templar Code For Dummies, is a history and overview of the Freemasons as well as a guide to becoming a Mason.
  • George Washington’s Masonic Correspondence ┬áby W. Ralph Eubanks, published in 2006 by Jeremy R. T. Pritchard
  • Washington’s Masonic Correspondence by Julius F. Sachse, published in 1909 by the MSA (reprinted 1971).
  • George Washington And The French Revolution┬áby Edward J. Nicholson

What Other US Presidents Were Freemasons?

  • James Monroe was a Freemason, holding the office of Junior Warden in 1799.
  • Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States (1829-1837), was a Freemason.
  • James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the US (1857-1961) and tenth Vice President (1853-1856), was also a member.
  • William McKinley, the twenty-fifth President (1897-1901), was a Freemason as well.

NB: While there were 15 “official” US Presidents who were also Freemasons, there were actually 17. You can see who these two “unofficial” US Masonic Presidents were here.

What Other Founding Fathers of The United States Were Freemasons?

* Benjamin Franklin, who was Provincial Grand Master for Pennsylvania (1734-1752)

* John Hancock, who served as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts from 1789 to 1797.

* Paul Revere, a well-known American patriot and Freemason’s member during the Revolutionary War period.

Will We Ever See Another Masonic President?

It is not likely that the United States will have another Freemasonic President. While many members of Congress are Masons, none have been elected to fill the nation’s highest office since Buchanan left in 1861.

However, with Freemasonry being so popular around the world, it would be interesting to see if a future candidate for President came from a Masonic lineage.

At any rate, we can be sure that George Washington was one of Freemasonry’s most notable members, and his influence continues to this day.

George Washington was a Freemason. He joined the fraternity in 1752 and remained an active member until his death on December 14, 1799 (he is buried at his family home of Mount Vernon).

He may have also attended meetings while being President, but this cannot be confirmed as there are no records of what took place inside these gatherings.