Marsha Keith Schuchard, Restoring the Temple of Vision,
Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture, Brill, Leiden, 2002, 845 pp.
Throughout the 18th century, the "ancient" Stuart traditions were maintained in clandestine
Jacobite lodges in Britain and in the Écossais lodges of the Stuart diaspora.
As I will demonstrate in future books, the Jewish associations were carried on by Francis
Francia (the "Jacobite Jew"), Dr. Samuel Jacob Falk (the "Baal Shem of London"), Martines
de Pasqually (the "Élu Cohen"), and Count Cagliostro (the "Grand Cophta"); the Swedish-
Stuart loyalties were preserved by Carl XII, Carl Gustaf Tessin, Carl Gyllenborg, Emanuel
Swedenborg, and Gustaf III; the Scottish architectural agenda was transmitted by William Bruce,
the Earl of Mar, James Gibbs, and the Earl of Burlington; the Cabalistic-Hermitic mysticism was
expressed by Swift, Pope, [John]
Byrom, Ramsay, Casanova, St. Martin, Goethe, Herder, Lavater,
Oetinger, Loutherbourg, Cosway, Blake, Novikov, and Mozart. The Stuart Masonic belief in
religious toleration was affirmed by Theodore I in Corsica; stanislaus Leszczynski, Czartorisky,
and Kosciusko in Poland; Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Lafayette in France; Frederick the Great in
Prussia; Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, and Washington in America.
Thus, when Mozart portrayed a chorus of Egyptian priests who escort the initiate
into the Masonic Temple of Wisdom, and when Washington imported Scottish stonemasons
to construct the American Capitol as a Temple of Liberty, they bore the fruits of
a Masonic tree planted long ago in the stony soil of Israel and Scotland. (p. 793)
Eugen Lennhoff, The Freemasons,
The History, Nature, Development and Secret of the Royal Art,
A. Lewis (Masonic Publishers) Ltd., London, 1978, 375 pp.
Original in German Die Feimaurer (1930)
translated by Einar Frame, Methuen, London, 1934
But the spiritual leaders of Freemasonry were to be found chiefly in
the Independence camp. The large majority of the men who rendered the country such
memorable service at this time wore the masonic apron, and it has been computed that
out of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, so magnificent in its
liberal conception and of such great importance to Europe, no less than 53 were Freemasons...
In the 'long room' of the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, which was later described by
many historians as the headquarters of the struggle for independence it actually
was the meeting place of a large number of political clubs and 'sons of liberty'
a Lodge, the St. Andrew's Lodge, also had its Temple, which was attended by the most
eminent men of the city and many of the most prominent patriots... Its first Grand
Master, General Joseph Warren, was later at the battle of Bunker Hill the
first to lay down his life in the cause of freedom. Warren was also the spiritual force
behind the 'Caucus Pro Bono Publico' Club, whose members were Freemasons, which conceived
the idea of the 'Boston Tea Party' and many other plans that actually brought about the
American Revolution. When the British General Gage received report of Warren's death,
he said that his death meant more than if 500 other rebels had fallen.
Of the many Freemasons whose names are inscribed on the Roll of Honour
of the American War of Independence, let us here mention the following: George Washington,
Benjamin Franklin, James Otis, who when only a young Boston advocate, was the first to
plead for the inalienable natural rights of man in a brilliant speech before the Court;
Samuel Adams, the man of the people, whose words at the Boston Town Meeting: 'This assembly
can do nothing more for the deliverance of the country' acted like an alarm signal and led
to the storming of the tea ships lying in the harbour; Alexander Hamilton who, as a member
of the legislative body of New York, drafted the Constitution of the United States and
created the foundations of the public treasury; Patrick Henry, the 'orator of the revolution';
John Marshall, not only the highest, but also the greatest judge of his time; James Madison,
who, with the latter and Hamilton, built up the new political structure; Washington's heroic
generals and fellow-combatants Nathaniel Greene, Lee, Sullivan, Lord Stirling, and the two
Putnams, the German Baron Steuben, who having served and received his training under
Frederick the Great, made the army ready to take the field again after many defeats;
Lafayette, Montgomery, Jackson, Gist, Henry Knox, Ethan Allan; and also Paul Revere,
the Spanish Grand Master of Massachusetts, who, when the Freemason John Pulling caused
the signal lights to blaze up on the tower of the ancient North Church of Boston to announce
the landing of the English at Cambridge, threw himself on his horse and gave the alarm to
the patriots on his daring ride through the night from Charlestown to Lexington. (pp. 169-170)
Most of these men were active Masons like Benjamin Franklin, and notably
Washington himself, who was initiated in the 'Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4' in Virginia,
and later became the Worshipful Master of the 'Alexandria Lodge No. 44' in Alexandria.
One of his biographers, Sidney Hayden, wrote of the General:
The key to Washington's public and private life is to be found
in his character as a Freemason. Through his whole life is
discernible the practice of the sence coined by himself:
"The virtues that ennoble mankind are taught, nourished, and
fostered in the halls of the Freemasons; they encourage domestic
life and serve as a standard for the highest duties of the State."
W. Kirk MacNulty, Freemasonry,
A Journey through Ritual and Symbol,
Thames & Hudson, London, 1991, 96 pp.
John Hamill & Robert Gilbert (Eds.), Freemasonry,
A Celebration of the Craft,
Salamander Books Ltd., London, 1993, 256 pp.
Steven C. Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood
Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order 1730-1840,
University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 1996, 421 pp.
Philadelphia's Masonic lodges did not participate in the 1790 funeral of
brother Benjamin Franklin. Twenty thousand people watched the funeral procession
"a concourse of Spectators", judged the Pennsylvania Gazette, "greater than ever
was known on like occasion." The Society of the Cincinnati, the American Philosophical
Society, and the Council and Assembly of the state all took part as did "all the Clergy
of the City, including the Ministers of the Hebrew Congregation."
The city's Masonic lodges, however, completely ignored the event, failing
even to note the death of one of the first Freemasons in America and the former head of
the order in Pennsylvania. By 1790, Franklin was simply the wrong sort of Freemason for
the Philadelphia brothers. Their refusal to acknowledge his death underlined the social
and institutional transformation that had occurred within the fraternity the 60 years
Franklin had been a member. While Franklin lived abroad (virtually the entire period
between 1757 and 1785), a new set of men took over Pennsylvania Masonry. The new group's
first lodge had already been organized in 1757 when he left Philadelphia for England.
Its founders, drawing upon English example, called it "Ancient" to distinguish it from
previous lodges that, Ancient brothers claimed, had profaned the fraternity's sacred
traditions. By the title and their labeling the older ground as "Moderns", the new
Masons laid claim to priority and precedence despite their later organization. (p. 85)
When General Joseph Warren, grand master of the Ancient grand lodge of
Massachusetts, died at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, the British threw his
body into an unmarked grave. British evacuation the following March allowed recovery
of the body and a funeral organized by Warren's Masonic brothers... Even before the
Declaration of Independence, the Ancient St. Andrew's Lodge had faced problems that
plagued American brothers during the war and afterward. Simply continuing to meet
proved difficult. Hindered by British occupation, the lodge stopped meeting in April
1775 just before Lexington and Concord. It revived only in the following year. The issue
of Revolutionary loyalty further weakened the lodge. While General Warren led American
troops at Bunker Hill, his lodge brother Dr. John Jeffries aided the British. Jeffries
and a number of other members left with the British in 1776 after he revealed
the location of his grand master's body...
Grand master Warren had helped lead such Whig groups as the North-End
Caucus and the Sons of Liberty in meetings held at the Ancients' Green Dragon Tavern.
Later, St. Andrew's members would even claim that the Boston Tea Party was planned at
their hall. Whether or not this was the case, lodge minutes reveal a close connection
with the event. St. Andrew's convened for its annual election the night before the first
public meeting discussing the tea's arrival, but adjourned because of low attendance.
"Consignees of TEA", the secretary noted, "took the Brethen's time." On the night of
the event itself, the lodge also held a scheduled meeting. The group conducted some
business, but the minutes perhaps suggest a desire for an alibi to prevent connecting
lodge members with the activities in the harbor. Only five members attended that night:
the master, the two wardens, and the two deacons. (pp. 110-111, 113)
John J. Robinson, A Pilgrim's Path
Freemasonry and the Religious Right,
M. Evans & Co., NY, 1993, 179 pp.
Consider the diverse nature of the men who had embraced the Masonic
philosophy. Today, we lump them together as "patriots", but they differ in their
education, occupation, and social background. Paul Revere was a silver craftsman.
John Hancock was a merchant. George Washington was a wealthy planter. John Warren,
who died leading his men at Bunker Hill, was a medical doctor. John Paul Jones was
a Scottish seaman. Benjamin Franklin was a printer, the Marquis de Lafayette a
French nobleman. What did these, and hundreds of other patriots, have in common?
Nothing, except that they were all Freemasons. They were attracted to Freemasonry
because its philosophy of individual freedom matched their own convictions. It gave
them a common bond and a gathering place for the meeting of minds that they otherwise
would not have. Perhaps it was no coincidence that in Philadelphia in 1775, while the
local Masonic lodge conducted its business on the upper floor of Tun Tavern, their
Masonic brother Samuel Nicholas was seated at a table on the ground floor, encouraging
men to sign up for a totally new colonial military force, to be called the Corps of
Marines. Appointed to the rank of captain, Brother Nicholas became the first commandant
of the Marine Corps.
No one should be surprised that the Freemasons feel a special involvement
with the American Revolution. On the military side Freemasons Washington, Jones, and
Nicholas commanded the army, navy, and marines. Off at the distant frontier, their
Masonic brother George Rogers Clark led a force of Kentucky pioneers and woodsmen
hundreds of miles across rivers, through deep woods, and across a treacherous swamp
to take the British forts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes.
The senior statesman of the Revolution, Benjamin Franklin, drew on
the help of his Masonic brothers in France to gain audiences at the French court
to seek assistance against a common enemy. The legend persists that a meeting of
St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston was cut short to give the members ample time to join
the Boston Tea Party; disguised as Indians, they hurried to the harbor to throw
the tea overboard. Some say it is more than mere legend: The original minutes of
that evening's business indicate a very short meeting. Masons like to remember
the Junior Deacon of that lodge, Paul Revere, waiting in the darkness beside his
horse. He was watching anxiously for one of his Masonic brothers to hang one
lantern or two in the tower of the Old North Church, so that he could ride off to
warn the neighboring rebels of the approach route of the British troops. (pp. 25-26)
Alexander Piatigorsky, Who's Afraid of Freemasons?
The Phenoenon of Freemasonry,
The Harvill Press, London, 1997, 398 pp.
On the eve of the Revolution, there were between 90 and 110 Lodges
with between 1350 and 1500 members in the 13 Colonies. This numerical insignificance
is offset by the influential position of a number of leading Masons. As well as the
16 signatories of the Declaration of Independence, 30 members of the first Constitutional
Assembly were also members of the Craft. (p. 169)
William J. Whalen, Christianity and American Freemasonry,
3rd Edition, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1998, 213 pp.
Masonic orators and writers sometimes get carried away and assert
that most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons, but
the evidence of Masonic affiliation for many of these signers is flimsy or
nonexistent. A publication of the Masonic Service Association identifies only
nine of the 56 signers as Freemasons, and some historians put the figure at eight.
(Masonic Signers of the Declaration, Masonic Service Association, Silver Springs, MD, 1975, p. 4)
Many of the founders of the Republic were Deists rather than orthodox
Christians. Deism, a product of the Enlightenment, maintained that everything could
be known by reason alone, and it acknowledged no debt to divine revelation. The God
of the Deists was the master clock builder who wound up the universe and watched it
tick away. He could also be viewed as the Great Architect, so it was understandable
that many Deists found the religious and philosophical stance of Freemasonry to be
congenial. Neither Thomas Paine nor Thomas Jefferson was a Freemason, but as Deists
they shared the rationalist orientation of the Craft; some have called them
"Masons without aprons". (p. 19)
Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons,
Constable, London, 340 pp.
Arturo de Hoyos & S. Brent Morris (Eds.), Freemasonry in Context,
History, Ritual, Controversy
Lexington Books, Lanham, MD, 2004, 348 pp.