windy fascination about the society of Freemasons has increased since the organization came to be the subject of several freshly published novels. A feeling of the mysterious surrounds the fraternity. However, countless myths around Masonic activities and rituals are started on rumor and also suspicion alone. Prominent Freemasons aided to more the 18th century pundit movement recognized as The enlightenment that supported ideas such as equality, freedom and also tolerance.


The month of July is especially far-reaching to every Americans because we celebrate the bear of our country on the fourth of July. Top top that day in the year 1776, representatives of the thirteen American colonies, assembled in ~ what is now known as freedom Hall in Philadelphia, embraced a declaration asserting their political independence from the brother crown. We recognize that record as the American explanation of Independence.

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Over the last two centuries miscellaneous Masonic writers have frequently attempted to inflate the involvement of members of the Masonic fraternity in the occasions leading up to and also resulting indigenous this crucial historic event. It has regularly been asserted that all or most of the signers of the declaration ; or the all or many of the general officers serving under Washington were Freemasons. These cases have been made come bolster the theory that the occasions of the American transformation and the development of the American nests into an live independence republic were brought out according to part Masonic plan, and in accordance with universal Masonic principles.

It is always best the such claims be tempered by the light of responsible and accurate historical research, no for the objective of discounting the patriotic nature of our at an early stage American Masonic for-bearers, but rather to understand the function that Freemasons walk play in the formation of this an excellent nation. Probably the best accounting of Masonic membership among the signers the the statements of self-reliance is listed in the publication Masonic member of the starting Fathers, by Ronald E. Heaton, published by the Masonic company Association at silver Spring, Maryland. According to this fine researched and also documented work, evidence of Masonic membership can be discovered for only eight that the fifty-six signers the the explanation of Independence. They are:

Benjamin Franklin, the the Tun Tavern Lodge at Philadelphia; john Hancock, the St. Andrew’s Lodge in Boston; Joseph Hewes, that was recorded as a Masonic visitor to Unanimity Lodge No. 7, Edenton, phibìc Carolina, in December 1776; william Hooper, the Hanover Lodge, Masonborough, phibìc Carolina; Robert treat Paine, existing at cool Lodge at Roxbury, Massachusetts, in June 1759; Richard Stockton, charter master of St. John’s Lodge, Princeton, Massachusetts in 1765; George Walton, of Solomon’s Lodge No. 1, Savannah, Georgia; and William Whipple, the St. John’s Lodge, Portsmouth, new Hampshire.

Additionally, an additional five or six signers have from time come time been established as members of the fraternity based on inconclusive or unsubstantiated evidence.

When analyzing the participation of Freemasons in the battle of the American transformation we should very first remember the ancient Charges the a Freemason, and especially that charge concerning “the polite Magistrates, Supreme and also Subordinate,” i beg your pardon enjoins the Mason to be “a peaceable subject to the polite Powers” and “never to be concern’d in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation.” This fee was noted as the second of those consisted of in the Constitutions embraced by the Premier cool Lodge in ~ London in 1723, long prior to the American Revolution. How then does this fit right into what has been taken into consideration over time together the solitary greatest act of Treason?

This conclusion have the right to be reached merely by reviewing the action of ours forefathers, and also their desire for the implementation the the simple tenets i beg your pardon have given the basis because that the starting of ours nation. We must necessarily testimonial that paper which started it all, The statements of Independence. When this document, written by cutting board Jefferson who was himself not a Freemason, that is undeniable the within this paper lies some inalienable similarity which hold together Freemasons and that which hold together our nations under one flag. If the ethics indoctrinated in the main point or mission declare of our early country are not distinct to the Freemasons, in reality hey have actually been the basis of numerous books and philosophies transparent the ages, that which the is well know Thomas Jefferson to be an apt college student it is undeniably true the Freemasons amongst all others hold these ideals to be essentially vital to have been brought from the darkness the ignorance and also self absorbent thinking into the light of truth and also brotherly affection. Amongst these principles which have provided the declaration of independence shape space Honor & Truth, Humanitarianism, Brotherly Love and also Equality, and Duty come Men and also God.

the public is occasionally mystified by the ambiguous symbolism supplied by the Freemasons consisting of nine-point stars, the Egyptian all-seeing eye and also two-headed eagles, but Masons are usually open around the ethics that guide their organization. This values include honor and also truth which space referenced in the statements of independence through the condemnation of specific acts cursed by the British including “mock trials,” the development of false legislation, and injustice. Authors of the Declaration discovered fault with the exercise of tenure and also salary increase for judges v the king permission alone.

After congress debated and also revised the explanation of Independence, the final paper contained a perform of grievances because that acts contradictory to the principles held sacred by Masons and all other guys who signed the document. These grievances consisted of the experiencing of American citizens in ~ the hands of brothers soldiers that “harassed the people and also ate the end their substance.” The authors of the Declaration likewise protested versus the British an option of gathering places for legislative meetings i beg your pardon were daunting for colonial representatives to attend, denying your involvement and also forcing them right into compliance.

Brotherhood is a major value organized by the Freemasons. Back African-American men arisen a different Lodge in the 18th century, petition for membership is not based on wealth or ethnicity. Mason’s organize that each man should it is in judged on personal character. The writer of the statements pledged your lives and also their fortunes to each various other to attain their goal. Representatives who signed the Declaration asserted the crown denied the brotherhood that American citizens through the catch of American seamen that were captured and also forced to offer as british soldiers.

The members the the the Freemasons must conduct themselves through duty and honor. The Declaration described the English king together a tyrant due to the fact that he persecuted the claims who petitioned because that redress. As representatives that the claims of America, they declared it was your duty to different from a tyrannical federal government that persecuted the subjects and also denied them their freedom. Freemasons must follow their own faith and place duty come God prior to all other responsibilities. The explanation of independence closes with the statement the the writer relied on magnificent protection.

This gives way to a brand-new question; how then have the right to we justify the joining of American Freemasons in your rebellion against the King?

The answer have the right to be provided in two parts. First, the Masonic fraternity in the American swarms took no component in the Revolution, adhering to Masonic heritage by taking no official stance. However, the fraternity’s main neutrality may have actually owed as much to the divided loyalties that its leadership as that did to Masonic tradition. Numerous Masons to be Loyalists. And also second, rebellion versus the state, whether justified or unjustified, is not a Masonic offense. The Old fees state clearly “if a Brother need to be a Rebel versus the State, … if convicted of no various other Crime, … they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his relation to it continues to be indefeasible.” This simply way that, in the instance of the American Revolution, plenty of brethren, feeling that the action of the crown warranted change and independence, to be justified in complying with their consciences without fear of violating their Masonic responsibilities or any kind of Masonic law.

As the charge concerning the civil Magistrates reminds us, “Masonry on foot been always injured by War, Bloodshed, and Confusion,” the fraternity was certainly injured by the war. General Joseph Warren, Grand master of the Ancient’s Provincial grand Lodge of Massachusetts, lost his life at the fight of Bunker Hill in June 1775 and also his body was thrown into an there was no sign grave. While he had led the American troops during that battle, his lodge brother, Dr. John Jeffries helped the british troops. Virtually a year later, his body to be exhumed and also identified by one more Lodge brother, Paul Revere.

Even prior to the statements of Independence, colonial Masonry experienced from the interruptions of the war, and the division of loyalties amongst its members. Many lodges discovered it difficult to satisfy regularly, and others end to meet at all. Countless lodges to be disbanded together occupying British pressures prohibited exclusive assemblies, and loyalist Masons fled the nation or join the brothers forces.

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Although the Masonic fraternity play no component in the Revolutionary War, the can quickly be shown that in numerous ways the revolutionary ideals of equality, freedom, and also democracy to be espoused through the Masonic fraternity long prior to the American colonies began to complain about the injustices of british taxation. The revolutionary ideals expressed in the invoice of Rights, the statements of Independence, and also the works of cutting board Paine, to be ideals that had come to fruition end a century prior to in the early speculative lodges the the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, where guys sat as equals, governed themselves by a Constitution, and also elected their own leaders from their midst. In countless ways, the self-governing Masonic lodges that the previous centuries had been discovering laboratories for the concept of self-government.

On September 18, 1793, chairman George Washington, dressed in his Masonic apron, leveled the cornerstone the the United states Capitol through the classic Masonic ceremony. Historian Stephen Bullock in his publication Revolutionary Brotherhood closely notes the historic and symbolic meaning of the ceremony. The Masonic brethren, dressed in their fraternal regalia, had assembled in cool procession, and were created for that occasion as representative the Freemasonry’s new found place of respect in an elevation American society. At the moment, the chance of the laying that the new Republic’s foundations, Freemasons suspect the mantles “high priests” of the “first temple dedicated to the sovereignty the the people,” and they “helped kind the symbolic foundations of what the an excellent Seal dubbed ‘the brand-new order because that the ages’.”