On Saturday evening, August 4, 1753, in the village of
Fredericksburg, Virginia, George Washington, as a major in the
Continental Army, was raised to the Third Degree, a Master Mason. He had
joined the ranks of such illustrious men as Ben Franklin, Alexander
Hamilton and Paul Revere.
36 years later, on April 30, 1789, George was inaugurated as the first
President of the United States with John Adams as Vice-President. The
oath that George took was administered by the Grand Master of the
Masonic Grand Lodge of New York. (See below) Both the Marshal of
the day and his escort were generals in the United States Army and
Masons. The Bible on which he swore his oath was that of St John's Lodge
of New York. George, himself, was Master of the Lodge at Alexandria,
On September 18, 1793, the cornerstone of the Capitol was officially
laid. The Grand Lodge of Maryland presided over the ceremony and George
was asked to serve as Master. The affiliated Lodges under Maryland's
jurisdiction were in attendance, as was his own Lodge from Alexandria.
There was a great procession, which included a company of artillery.
Then came a band, followed by himself, attended by all officers and
members of the Lodges in full Masonic regalia.
When George reached the trench in which the northeast cornerstone was
laid, he was presented with a silver plate commemorating the event and
inscribed with the designations of the Lodges in attendance. The
artillery fired a volley. He then descended into the trench and placed
the plate on the stone. Around it was placed containers of corn, wine
and oil. All present joined in prayer, and the artillery fired another
Six years and three months later, in December, 1799, George Washington
died. He was buried at his home at Mount Vernon, with full Masonic
honors, by the Alexandria Lodge, whose members were his pallbearers.
There is no question that Masonry contributed something to the
structures and machinery of the American government. The Constitution of
the United States, in a very real sense, is a Masonic document. In its
final form, the Constitution represented the collective thoughts of Ben
Franklin, Edmund Randolph, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George
Washington. Of these, all but Jefferson were not only active Masons, but
men who took their Freemasonry extremely seriously.
The New Republic, when it emerged with the Constitution, conformed to
that ideal image, and that image reflected the ideals of Freemasonry:
That the United States of America was, and is, the "Great Masonic
Keith F. Walker, PM, et al
(Source: South Dakota Lodge of Research Bulletin, March, 2003)
The Inauguration Prayer of George Washington
"Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United
States in Thy Holy protection, that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the
citizens to cultivate a spirit of obedience, and to entertain a
Brotherly affection and love for one another, as fellow citizens. May we
be pleased to do justice, to love mercy, and to conduct ourselves in
charity, humility, and gentle temper of mind, which were the
characteristics of the divine author of our blessed religion, and
without whose humble example we can never hope to be a happy nation.
Grant us our supplication through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
* Webmaster's note:
So Mote It Be!
I find myself wondering what "The Media" and the vociferous liberals of
today would have to say about this prayer....