Brief US Masonic History
Freemasonry has historically played a fundamental role in several major world events, including the establishment of independance of our United States of America.
The strength of Freemasonry today lies primarily in charitable works and the strengthening of community. There is no other organization in the world today than can approach the financial and material contribution that is provided by Freemasons the world over, reaching a staggering $1.5 million DAILY.
Historically, it has been suggested that the first Grand Lodge in the United States was Pennsylvania’s, in 1730. However, most research points to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as being the first North American Grand Lodge to be chartered, established, and opened, in April of 1733, a Lodge that is still active to this date. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was founded by Henry Price, who was appointed as
provincial Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of England. This was a mere 16 years after the first Grand Lodge of England itself was established, and was the first Grand Lodge created outside of what is today the United Kingdom. Throughout the next several years, Lodges and Grand Lodges were established all over the Colonies. In addition, “Foot Lodges,” or “Army Lodges” were established along military routes for the brethren to congregate and raise more brothers seeking the honor of becoming Masons. Additionally, although Freemasonry itself can not be solely credited with the American Revolution, it is certainly true that many of the country’s founders were prominent Masons, including George Washington, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Robert Livingston, and Jonathan Belcher (Royal Governor of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and later, New Jersey, and founder of Princeton University). Legend has it that The Boston Tea party was planned in a Boston Masonic Lodge.
All of these first great Americans stood for, lived up to, and promoted, fundamental Masonic (and now fundamentally American) beliefs, such as civil liberties, equality and freedom..
You may be surprised of the number of men in history, American and other, that share the common bond of Masonry. Lists of famous Masons are avaiable everywhere. A few notables have been included below (in no particular order):
|John Philip Sousa||Joseph Warren||David Crockett||James Bowie|
|Sam Houston||Daniel Boone||Sir Alexander Fleming||Danny Thomas|
|Sir Winston Churchill||William Cody (Buffalo Bill)||Stephen Austin||John Glenn|
|Charles Lindbergh||Bob Dole||Rev. Jesse Jackson||Samuel Colt|
|Steve Wozniak||Walter Chrysler||Henry Ford||David Sarnoff|
|Louis Armstrong||Nat King Cole||Al Jolson||Gene Autry|
|Burl Ives||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Richard Pryor||Roy Rogers|
|Peter Sellers||Mel Blanc||Mark Twain||Rudyard Kipling|
|Cecil B. De Mille||Harry Houdini||Clark Gable||Sir Arthur Conan Doyle|
One of the beauties of Freemasonry, is that regardless of social, economic, or political status, all brothers are equal within the lodge.
Although Freemasonry is not a secret society, there are secrets within the Craft. Occasionally the presence of these secrets have caused suspicion, curiosity, and sometimes animosity. Neither is Freemasonry a religious organization. It is open to people of all beliefs. The only common religious bond among brothers is the belief in a higher power, and frankly, conversations of religion (and politics for that matter) are typically discouraged within the Lodge.
Freemasons today are men who are interested in fellowship and charity, through the oldest Fraternity in the world, without asking for anything in return. What should any man should hope to gain through Masonry…
- A heartwarming feeling of contribution and fellowship as part of the worlds oldest Fraternity, sharing something in common with our country’s founders
- Social stimulation and friendship with brothers all over the world
- Focus and improvement of moral character