George Washington Raised a Master Mason

August 04, 2017

George Washington Raised a Master Mason

264 years ago, George Washington was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in the Masonic lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia. The lodge at Fredericksburg was organized in 1752 and comprised mostly of Scottish immigrants and merchants. The lodge’s first secretary, Daniel Campbell, would later secure its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland in July 1758. After the formation of the Grand Lodge Virginia, the Lodge at Fredericksburg was re-chartered as Fredericksburg Lodge № 4 on January 30, 1787. The lodge continues to meet in its lodge hall, which is over 200 years old.

Prior to receiving the Third Degree, Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on November 4, 1752, and passed to the degree of Fellow Craft on March 3, 1753. The lodge’s minute books record Washington attending next meeting of the lodge on September 1, 1753.

In October, however, Major Washington was sent by Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie to warn the French to vacate western Pennsylvania. After returning from this mission, and a second one in 1754 that ended in military disaster at Fort Necessity, Lt. Col. Washington attended the January 4, 1755, lodge meeting.

General Washington remained a member of Fredericksburg Lodge № 4 after it received its Grand Lodge of Virginia Charter which came under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1778. The Grand Lodge of Virginia's Annual Proceeding of 1800 lists Washington among the recently departed of Fredericksburg Lodge № 4 in the necrology.

For further reading:

William Moseley Brown. Fredericksburg Lodge № 4, A.F. & A.M.: George Washington’s Mother Lodge, A Bicentennial History, 1758–July 21, 1958. Fredericksburg, Va.: The Colonial Press, 1958.

Ronald E. Heaton and James R. Case, compilers. The Lodge at Fredericksburgh: A Digest of the Early Records: Abstracted from the Record Book of Minutes, 1752–1771; Lodge Accounts to 1785; with an account of the Members of the Lodge in the American Revolution; and a Nominal Roll of all names in the Records. Norristown, Pa.: n.p., 1975.

J. Travis Walker, Fredericksburg Lodge № 4 A.F.&A.M. (1752–2002). Fredericksburg, Va.: Sheridan Books, 2002.