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Masonry and Early America 

The following comes from some Masonic publication in the state of Washington, and is probably attributable to Worshipful Brother Joseph Raby.

Did you know that? The first assembly of the Continental Congress was presided over by a Master Mason, Peyton Randolph; Provincial Grand Master of Virginia The Revolutionary War was a distinctly Masonic enterprise.

The Boston Tea Party was organized in St. Andrews Lodge at an adjourned meeting and that every member that threw the tea into the harbor was a member of that Lodge. Paul Revere, who made his immortal ride, was the Junior Warden of that Lodge.

More than half of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of the Masonic Fraternity All but one of the five members of the Constitutional Convention were Masons. Richard Henry Lee, who moved the resolution of Independence in the Continental Congress was a Mason, Lee and all five members of that committee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston were Masons.

The American Flag was made by the widow of John Ross, a Mason, and was placed in the hands of George Washington, who was elected Grand Master of Virginia, but did not accept because his duties as Commander-in-Chief of the American Army absorbed all his attention and energies.

Washington took the oath of office as President of the United States upon the Bible brought from St.

Johns Lodge No. I of New York. The Governors of every one of the original thirteen states at the time Washington was inaugurated were Masons. George Washington demanded that Lafayette coming from France, and Van Steuben coming from Germany, be made Masons.

The Constitution of the United States was written by Masons. Free speech, free religion and free public schools were gifts of Masonry to America, and these were opposed by all anti-Masonic institutions.

The four Major Generals who almost ruined Washington were the four who were not Masons. No part of the above is now taught in our free public schools, which were made possible by the foresight of our Masonic brethren, and fought by every anti-Masonic institution.

When each individual Mason comes to a full consciousness that there is something more in Masonry than the beautiful teachings found in the ritual, then will he learn with yearning thirst to that fertile and broad field, that storehouse of information of the centuries where in Free Masonry's origin traditions and history have been traced by many able writers and scholars of the past, and he will not be content until he knows more of the great human government founded in the belief of the Fatherhood of "God" and the Brotherhood of man.

Masonry needs Masons more than members. Were every Mason a Mason in all that the name signifies; if the education that Masonry gives were thoroughly comprehended by men and established as the universal system of education, of ethical instruction for human guidance and conduct and its form of government adopted and put into effect by nations and states everywhere, there would be such a forward step in all uplifting, enabling and altruistic things of life that the smoke and thunder and savage cruelty of war with the selfishness, bitterness and hatred that have so long nourished them would disappear. This past month, February, we are especially mindful of two great men. Most Americans would readily put George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in a class by themselves. Interestingly, they are the only two Presidents whose birthdays fall in February

Men think of George Washington with awe, even reverence. They regard Abraham Lincoln with deep affection. While George Washington and Abraham Lincoln may have been very unlike in manner, cultivation, administrative ability, and in the use of language, they had much in common in their possession of three qualities vital to their impact in human affairs.

It is doubtful that in all human history people have ever relied more completely and successfully upon two so nearly indispensable leaders than Americans did. George Washington, father, and Abraham Lincoln, savior, of the nation. While each was a distinctive personality with his own style of action and expression, both were independently great in spirit, in wisdom, and in devotion to their country. Their legacy enables each of us today to face the future with hope and confidence.