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Masonic and Anti-Masonic Presidents of the United States

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  • Ram Lau
    http://www.bessel.org/presmas.htm Masonic and Anti-Masonic Presidents of the United States presented at Federal Lodge #1, F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25 12:01 AM
      http://www.bessel.org/presmas.htm
      Masonic and Anti-Masonic Presidents of the United States
      presented at Federal Lodge #1, F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia
      February 9, 1998, by Paul M. Bessel

      Which U.S. Presidents were Freemasons?

      1 George Washington (Pres. 1789-1797)(MM 1753)
      2 James Monroe (Pres. 1817-1825)(MM 1776)
      3 Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)(MM 1800?)(Fedl #1 1830)
      4 James K. Polk (Pres. 1845-1849)(MM 1820)
      5 James Buchanan (Pres. 1857-1861)(MM 1817)
      6 Andrew Johnson (Pres. 1865-1869)(MM 1851)
      7 James A. Garfield (Pres. 1881)(MM 1864)
      8 William McKinley (Pres. 1897-1901)(MM 1865)
      9 Theodore Roosevelt (Pres. 1901-1909)(MM 1901)
      10 William H. Taft (Pres. 1909-1913)(MM 1901)
      11 Warren G. Harding (Pres. 1921-1923)(MM 1920)
      12 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Pres. 1933-1945)(MM 1911)
      13 Harry S. Truman (Pres. 1945-1953)(MM 1909)
      14 Gerald R. Ford (Pres. 1974-1977)(MM 1951)

      Discussion: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Lyndon B. Johnson,
      Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover,
      Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton

      Were Masonic U.S. Presidents active in the Craft?

      Harry S. Truman was Grand Master of Missouri, an enthusiastic Masonic
      ritualist, and Master of lodges while an active politician. He
      attended Masonic lodge meetings while campaigning, and while he was
      President of the U.S., and he wrote, "The greatest honor that has ever
      come to me, and that can ever come to me in my life, is to be Grand
      Master of Masons in Missouri"

      On the other hand, for some of the Presidents who were Masons there is
      little or no evidence that they attended lodge meetings or said
      anything about their Masonic memberships.

      Were there U.S. Presidents who were actively opposed to Freemasonry?

      John Quincy Adams ran for Congress as a representative of the
      Antimasonic Party. He hoped Freemasonry would disappear from America.
      He wrote that his father, John Adams, also a U.S. President, decided
      not to join because "there was nothing in the Masonic Institution
      worthy of his seeking to be associated with it."

      Why was John Quincy Adams opposed to Freemasonry?

      Adams wrote that Freemasonry was tainted by its oaths, penalties,
      ritual, and the actions of its leaders and members. He was incensed by
      the evidence that Masons had kidnapped and killed William Morgan in
      upstate New York in 1826, and by the evidence that Masons helped
      brethren who were accused of having participated in these crimes.

      Adams said Masonic ritual, titles, and practices were childish,
      ridiculous, foolish, harmful, and against the basic principles of
      democracy and equality, and respect for the laws of the U.S.

      What did Presidents who were Masons say about Freemasonry?

      President William McKinley said in 1901 that the brotherhood of
      fraternal societies was similar to the brotherhood of "equal
      citizenship" in the U.S.

      Theodore Roosevelt, said in 1902, "One of the things that attracted me
      so greatly to Masonry . . . was that it really did live up to what we,
      as a government, are pledged to -- of treating each man on his merits
      as a Man"

      Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "The more I come in contact with the work
      of the Masonic Fraternity the more impressed I am by the great
      charitable work and the great practical good which we are carrying out."

      How much was George Washington involved in Masonic activities?

      George Washington became a Mason at age 20 in 1753. He may have
      attended about 9 lodge meetings during the remaining 46 years of his
      life, and probably never presided over any lodge.

      However, George Washington wrote letters in which he said he was happy
      to be a Mason, and also, in 1791, describing Masonry as being "founded
      in justice and benevolence," and "the grand object of Masonry is to
      promote the happiness of the human race."

      But, when he was asked more specifically about Freemasonry in 1798, he
      wrote, ". . . So far as I am acquainted with the principles and
      Doctrines of Free Masonry, I conceive them to be founded on
      benevolence and to be exercised for the good of mankind. If it has
      been a Cloak to promote improper or nefarious objects, it is a
      melancholly [sic] proof that in unworthy hands, the best institutions
      may be made use of to promote the worst designs."

      Conclusion

      Freemasonry has played a significant role in the history of the United
      States, so it influenced most or all of our Presidents. Some U.S.
      Presidents who were Freemasons were great, some failures, and some
      average.

      Presidents have spoken of Freemasonry's good work on behalf of charity
      and helping others. George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt also
      spoke of Freemasonry as an institution that teaches us how to get
      along in society, with respect for the equality of everyone, tolerance
      of differences among people, and taking action for that which is right.

      Questions to think about and discuss

      How well are Masons today carrying on the ideals referred to by
      Masonic Presidents?

      Does Freemasonry now promote equality and tolerance of all races,
      colors, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles?

      Why do current politicians who are Masons keep that quiet?

      Is it true that "Masons today appear to be more concerning with
      perpetuation of the imagined past than they are with adaptation to a
      present that is real," and, "... that Masons in another day ... did
      not hesitate to promote the well-being of mankind, even to the point
      of putting themselves at the cutting edge of movements organized to
      achieve social and political change."

      What can we do to promote strong leadership, maintain the best of what
      we have in the Craft, and reestablish the best of what we were in the
      past, so we may again have proud Masonic Presidents of the United States?

      Bibliography

      Adams, John Q. Letters and Opinions of the Masonic Institution.
      Lorenzo Stratton publishers, Cincinnati, 1951.

      Boyden, William L. "Our Masonic Presidents." The Short Talk Bulletin.
      Masonic Service Association of the United States. July 1933.

      Cerza, Alphonse. Anti-Masonry. Missouri Lodge of Research, 1962.

      Coil, Henry W. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia. Revised edition by Allen
      E. Roberts. Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1996.

      Denslow, Ray V. Freemasonry and the Presidency, U.S.A. Missouri Lodge
      of Research, 1952.

      Denslow, William R. 10,000 Famous Freemasons. Missouri Lodge of
      Research, 1959.

      Miner, Stewart W. Let Your Work Become Your Mark. Anchor
      Communications, Highland Springs, Virginia, 1986.

      Roberts, Allen E. Brother Truman: The Masonic Life and Philosophy of
      Harry S. Truman. Anchor Communications, Highland Springs, Virginia, 1985.

      Roberts, Allen E. Freemasonry in American History. Macoy Publishing
      and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., Richmond, Virginia, 1985.

      Roberts, Allen E. G. Washington: Master Mason. Macoy Publishing and
      Masonic Supply Co., Inc., Richmond, Virginia, 1976.

      Sachse, Julius F. Masonic Correspondence of Washington as found among
      the Washington papers in the Library of Congress. Grand Lodge of
      Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1915.

      Stone, William L. Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry, addressed to
      the Hon. John Quincy Adams. O. Halsted, New York, 1832.

      Tatsch, J. Hugo. The Facts About George Washington as a Freemason.
      Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, New York, 1931.
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