The Truth about the Founding Fathers and Freemasonry
Washington's Farewell Address 1796
George Washington, in his Farewell Address, made it perfectly clear that he was opposed to Freemasonry and all it stood for:
“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Further, Governor Ritner, in response to a communication from the Legislature of Pennsylvania, prepared a vindication of President Washington from the stigma of adherence to secret societies, in which he proved from authentic documents:
- That in 1768 Washington had ceased regular attendance in the Lodge
- That in 1798, shortly before his death, his opinions were the same as thirty years before, when he was thirty-six years old.
- That he was never “grand Master” or “Master of any particular lodge.
- That in 1781, as appears by the record of King David Lodge, Newport, Rhode Island, it was agreeable to Washington to be addressed as a private Mason.
- That all the letters said to be written by Washington to lodges are spurious.
Washington was initiated into Masonry when a young man, but in his mature years it was distasteful to him to be addressed as a Mason, and in reply to a letter from Dr. Snyder, declared that he had not been in a lodge of Masons but once in or twice in thirty years. He was to all intents and purposes a seceding Mason.
Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold were good Masons, lived and died as such and so were nearly all the Southern generals of the War of the Rebellion, but to connect General Washington’s name with Freemasonry now is an insult to his memory and every honest and intelligent Mason knows it.
The Second President of the United States
John Adams never joined a secret society. His son, John Quincy Adams, wrote, August 22, 1831 of him: “There was nothing in the Masonic Institution worthy of his seeking to be associated with it. So said at that time the Grand Master of Masons, Jeremy Gridley; and such have repeatedly heard my father say was the reason why he never joined the lodge. The use of the name of Washington, to give an odor of sanctity to the institution as it now stands exposed to the world, is in my opinion as unwarrantable as that of my father’s name.”
John Quincy Adams
The Sixth President of The United States
“I am prepared to complete the demonstration before God and man, that the Masonic oaths, obligations and penalties, cannot, by any possibility, be reconciled to the laws of morality, of Christianity, or of the land.” J.Q. Adam’s letter to Ed. Livingston.
The Father of the Revolution
“I am decidedly opposed to all secret societies whatever!”
President of the Continental Congress
“I am opposed to all secret societies.”
The Fourth President of the United States
“From the number and character of those who now support the charges against Freemasonry, I cannot doubt that it is at least susceptible of abuse, outweighing any advantages promised by its patrons.”
The Sixteenth President of the United States
The following, by the well known correspondent, William E. Curtis, in the Chicago Record of March 17, 1899, is of interest:
“It is the popular impression throughout the country that President Lincoln was a Mason, but Secretary Hay says he was not. Several pictures of Lincoln in Masonic regalia have been published, with statements of men who claimed to have been members of the same lodge. Secretary Hay recalls that the question came up at one time during the war, upon receipt of several letters of inquiry, and Mr. Lincoln told him he had never been a Mason.”
Compiled from Washington, Lincoln and Their C patriots, National Christian Association, Chicago, Ill. Tract printed at the turn of Century, circa 1900.
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