Third president; born April 13, 1743; president, 1801; died July 4, 1829, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of independence of which he was the author. While the assertion has frequently been made that Jefferson was a Freemason and that he attended the Lodge of the Nine Sisters (the Muses) at Paris no further details are given and a letter from the Grand Orient of France under date of September 9, l919, assures us that there is no evidence in existence of any visit to that Lodge by Jefferson, nor does our own search through the history of that Lodge--one Lodge Maf onnique d'.Avant 1X89, by Louis Amiable discover any such allusion. Examination by Brother Julius F. Sachse and W. J. Paterson of the "Tableaux" of this Lodge, the "Regalements" of 1779 and 1806, and the "nnuaire" of 1838, preserved in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, disclose no mention of Thomas Jefferson as a member.
His letter to Madison on secret societies makes no allusion suggesting any personal acquaintance of Freemasonry. Dr. Joseph W. Eggleston, Past Grand Master of Virginia, was most positive that Jefferson was not a Freemason. From correspondence between Charles H. Callahan, also a Past Grand Master of Virginia, and Brother E. E. Dinwiddie, Secretary, Widow's Son's Lodge No. 60, Charlottesville, we find the latter examined carefully the records of his Lodge, but found no evidence of Jefferson's membership. He also ascertained that when General Lafayette visited Jefferson at Monticello in 1824, the Freemasons of Charlottesville, only four miles away, entertained him at an elaborate social function and banquet. At the Lodge meeting held before the banquet, the Marquis was elected an honorary member. Jefferson was then at home but was not present among the Freemasons with his guest but he did attend and participate in the public function of the citizens. Grand Secretary Charles A. Nesbitt of Virginia nrrote us, October 4, 1919, "To the best of my knowledge Thomas Jefferson was not a Mason. According to the records of our Grand Lodge he was not connected with the Craft in this State."
JOHNSON, ANDREW seventeenth president; born December 29, 1808; as vice-president he became president on the death of Lincoln in 1865; died July 31, 1875. Initiated, Passed and Raised in Greeneville Lodge No. 119, now No. 3, Greeneville, Tennessee, sometime in May, 1851. The records of Greeneville Lodge were destroyed during the Civil War. The Grand Lodge files were also partly burned up when the Masonic Temple was gutted by fire in 1856. Past Grand Master Charles Comstock who saw the name on the Lodge roster in the sixties, also added: "I am not sure about the Chapter membership but think he (Johnson) may have been exalted in Washington Chapter No. 21 at Jonesboro. In that event he was probably a charter member of Greeneville Chapter No. 82, chartered October 1, 1868." We note his name on the roster of Nashville Commandery No. 1, the "Date of Knighting" being July 26, 1859 (see Proceedings, first State Conclave, Nashville, 1859, page 27). This book contains a list with Andrew Johnson's name as of Nashville Commandery No. l and among the names of those present at the formation of the Grand Commandery of Tennessee is recorded Andrew J. Johnston.
Each name is not I in both lists and one might assume that these two names refer to the same Brother, the names being slightly misspelled. However, Brother Comstock quotes Knight Templar Registr7y by Brother James D. Richardson, 1883. to show that Johnston was a farmer from Franklin. Scottish Rite Degrees including Prince of the Royal Secret were communicated to the president, June '0, 1S67, at White House, Washington, by Brothers B. B. French and A. T. C. Pierson of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction. Johnson took part publicly in several Masonic functions, laving of corner-stones, etc., and at his funeral Deputy Grand Master G. C. Conner officiated. Coeur de Lion Commandery No. 9, Knoxville, also giving Templar ceremony.
LINCOLN, ABRAHAM sixteenth president; born February 1 , 1809; president, 1861; died April 15, 1865. Brother Edouard Quartier-la-Tente, Past Grand Masters SNviss Grand Lodge "Alpina," in the Annuaire, International Masonic Association, listed Lincoln among illustrious Freemasons (see, for example, page 44, 1913, and page 59, 1923). William H. Grimshaw of the Library of Congress also in History of Freemasonry, 1903 (page 365), lists Lincoln as a Freemason. In a letter to us, April 5, 1917, this author says: "So far as my book is concerned I quoted M. Edouard Quartier-la-Tente, P. G. M., Grand Lodge 'Alpina.' I will further state that Mr. J. H. Brooks, who was Mr. Lincoln's messenger. informed me that Mr. Lincoln was a Mason. The degrees were conferred in an Army Lodge attached to Gen. Grant's army in front of Richmond. I wrote Robert T. Lincoln as to the matter, and he informed me that so far as he could find, there were no papers or other record among his father's papers to indicate that he was a Mason."
Nothing further to support the claim credited to Brooks has been discovered by us. In the memorial volume published by the Government at Washington 1866, there are found the tributes of forty-four foreign Masonic Bodies, most of these plainly referring to Lincoln as a Brother. An inquiry made by R. NV. Robert D. Holmes, Deputy Grand Master, New York; was answered by Brother B. B. French from the Washington office of the Grand Master, Knights Templar, April 91, 1865, "Yours of the 19th is just received. President Lincoln was not a Mason. He once told me in the presence of Most Worshipful Brother J. W. Simons that he had at one time made up his mind to apply for admission to our Fraternity but that he feared he was too lazy to attend to his duty as a Mason, 3S he should like to do, and that he had not carried out his intentions. I told him it was not too late now. 'Well,' said he, 'as likely as not I shall apply to nou some day to let me in' " (see the Masonic Monthly, May, 1865, page 351; Builder, volume 3, page 93; volume 10, pages 31, 286, 361). A published address by Dr. L. D. Carman, Past Master, before his Lodge, Harmony No. 17, Washington, District of Columbia, January 28, 1914, contains the B. B. French letter with much other data, including some peculiarly significant allusions made by Lincoln in Masonic style, a circumstance perhaps due to his early intimacy with Past Master Bowling Green at whose funeral Lincoln was asked by the Fraternity to make an address, which he was unable to complete owing to emotion, His great antagonist, Stephen Douglas was a Freemason whose framed petition, written in his own hand entirely, hangs on the wall of the Masonic Temple at Springfield, Illinois. For this information and other particulars we are indebted to Brother Hal C. McLoud of Springfield.
MADISON, JAMES fourth president; born March 16, 1751; president, 1809; died June 28, 1836. Mentioned in connection with the Craft but no proof offered. Brother Bovden found in the history of Richmond Lodge No. 10, Richmond, Virginia, where Brother Walthall records that on July 25, 1836, this Lodge with Nos. 14 and 19 took part in a general tribute of respect to the memory of the ex-president. But this offers no evidence of Masonic affiliation. A letter, not indicative of Masonic membership, purporting to be from Madison to a friend on January 24, 1832, is given in the Anti-Masonic Publications (page 22, volume ii, 1834-79), by Joseph Ritner, Governor of Pennsylvania, but the authenticity of the communication is not fully established any more than is Madison's connection with the Craft. Both are doubtful.
McKINLEY, WILLIAM twenty-fifth president; born January 29, 1843; president, 1897; died September 14, 1901. A native of Niles, Ohio, he took his first Degrees at Winchester, Virginia, in Winchester Hiram Lodge No. 21, Secretary C. Vernon Edd! kindly supplying us the dates, as Entered Apprentice, May 1, 1865; Fellow Craft, May 2, 1865; Master Mason, May 3, 1865. This occurred during the Civil War while Major McKinley was stationed there nith the Northern Army. Observing the Masonic brotherhood prominent under the afflictions of war a number of northern soldiers petitioned the local Lodge and received the Degrees. McKinley affiliated with Canton (Ohio) Lodge No. 60, August 21, 1867; then became a Charter Member of Eagle Lodge No. 43, also at Canton, a Lodge afterwards named after him. He received the Marl;, Past and Most Excellent Master Degrees in Canton Chapter No. 84, December 27, 1883, and the Royal Arch Degree, December 28, that year. The Red Cross was conferred upon him December 18, 1884, in Canton Commandery No. 38, and the Malta and the Order of the Temple, December 23, 1884. A gold card presented to him by California Commandery No. 1 of San Francisco for his reception there on May 22, 1901, came by gift after McKinley's death into the possession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania through the kindness of Brother John Wannamaker, formerly Postmaster General.
MONROE, JAMES fifth president; born April 28, 1758; president, 1817; died July 4, 1831. Brother W. L. Bovden finds from the original records that Monroe was on November G. 1775, recommended to be admitted a member of Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, at Williamsburg, Virginia, and that on November 9, 1775, Monroe was "preferred, received and balloted for, passed, accepted and entered an apprentice." Where his other Degrees were given is not clear but as there is an old tradition oft repeated of him taking Degrees in an Army Lodge that may account for them. Brother J. G. Hankins. Richmond, Virginia, mentioned in a letter his correspondence with the president of Williams and Mary College at Williams burg, Virginia, that Dr. Lyon G. Tyler wrote a history of the Lodge from the records, that this was published in the William and Mary Quarterly, 1892, volume I, number 1, lists the name of James Monroe, afterwards President of the United States. Dalcho Consistory Bulletin at Richmond, Virginia, March April, 1915, tells of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19, taking part in a memorial meeting in honor of James Monroe. A much more conclusive instance is the one given by Brother Boyden that the records of Cumberland Lodge No. 8, of Tennessee, June 8, 1819, show a reception to Monroe as "a Brother of the Craft," that the Worshipful Master W. Tannehill, afterwards Grand Master, headed the procession meeting the president, and that he was given a "Private Reception by the Masons." Admiral George W. Baird, Past Grand Master, Credits Monroe, on page 125, Masonry in the formation of Our Government, by Philip A. Roth, with also being a member of Kilwinning Cross Lodge No. 2 at Port Royal, Virginia (see also Quarterly Bulletin, Iowa Masonic Library. October, 1923, pages 121-3).
PIERCE, FRANKLIN fourteenth president; born November 23, 1804; president, 1853; died October 8, 1869. Has been claimed as a Freemason, but Brother lV. L. Boyden in View jlyc, August, 1920, asserted there was no record of it, nor has any since come to our notice.
POLK, JAMES KSTON eleventh President; born November 9, l795; president, 1845; died June 15, 1849. Initiated, June 5, 1820; passed, August 7, 1820; Raised, September 4, 1820; chosen Junior Deacon October 20, Junior Warden December 3, 1821, all in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tennessee. Lafayette Chapter No. 4, Columbia, Tennessee, gave him the Royal Arch April 14, 1825.
ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN DELAN O. thirty second president; born January 30, 1882; died April 12, 1945. Initiated October 10, 1911; Passed, November 14, 1911 Raised, November 28, 1911, Holland Lodge No. 8, New York, N.Y. Received the 32 A. A. Scottish Rite in Albally Consistory February 28, 1929. Cyprus Temple A.A.O.M.S. Albany, A. Y., March 25, 1930. Tri-Po-Bed Grotto M.O.V.P.E. R. Poughkeepsie, N. "at sight" October 30, 1931. Greenwood Court No. 81, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Warwick, A. Y., "at sight' April 25, 1930.
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE twenty-sixth president; born October 27, 1858; as vice-president he succeeded the assassinated President McKinley 1901; died January 6, 1919. A member of Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, New York, he was initiated January as, 1901; Passed, March "7, 1901, and Raised, April 24, 1901. His Masonic interests were keen, loyal, and constant, and his intercourse vsith Brethren abroad and at home most enjoyable. He participated w hole- heartedly in a number of public Masonic functions
TAFT, WILLIAM HOWARD twenty-seventh president; born September 15, 1857; president, 1909. Brother F. Wm. Harte, Secretary, Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote us as follows: "William Howard Taft was made a Mason at sight on the afternoon of February 18, 1909, by Worships ful Brother Charles S. Hoskinson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. In the evening of the same day Brother Taft witnessed the conferring of the Master Mason Degree in full form on one candidate, the work being done by Kilwinning Lodge No. 356. All of the above took place in the Scottish Rite Cathedral 417 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio. He was given a demit from the Grand Lodge of Ohio and presented same to Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, F. & it. LI., on February 18, 1909, and he was elected a member of said Lodge on April 14, 1909." "At sight" in this case meant that the Grand Master convened a Lodge of such assisting Brethren as he deemed necessary and the three Degrees were given concisely on the one occasion.
TAYLOR, ZACHARY twelfth president; born September 24, 1784; president, 184t9; died July 9, 18a0. Brother Boyden suggests that the story of Taylor being a Freemason arose from resolutions passed by Santa Rosa Lodge No. 16, Milton, Florida, on the death of "Brother Taylor," and from his presence when the Grand Lodge of Virginia laid a cornerstone at Riellmond, February 22, 1850. But nothing conclusive has arisen to establish his Masonic affiliation.
TRUMAN, HARRY S President and Bro. Harry S. Truman was initiated in Belton Lodge, No. 450, Missouri, Feb. 9, 1909; raised March 18, 1909, and became Junior Warden in 1910. In 1911 he became Charter Master of Grandview Lodge, No. 618; was District Deputy Grand Master of the 59th Masonic District from 1925 to 1930, and was an expert ritualist. He entered the Grand Lodge line in 1930; became Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, in 1940. He presided over the Grand Communication, held in St. Louis, beginning September 30, 1941. His address was memorable. He was a United States Senator at the time, with temporary residence in Washington, D. C.
Harry S. Truman was born at Lamar, Barton Co., Rio., May 8, 1884. He attended the grades and high school in Independence Hall, and studied law for two years in Kansas City. He served as Captain of Artillery in World War I, and was demobilized with the rank of Major in 1913. After many years as County Judge, and in the Senate he was elected Vice-President in 1944. On April 12, 1945, at 7:08 P.M. he was Sworn in as President, four hours after President and Bro. Franklin D. Roosevelt had died in Warm Springs, Ga.
In his address as Grand Master he called the attention of his Grand Lodge to the martyrdom of tl1ousands of Masons in Europe and Asia at the hands of Faseists, Nazis, and Japanese. They were executed, he said, because they stood for freedom in polities, religion, thought and Speech, which are principles of Freemasonry, and he expressed the hope that American Masons would hold their martyrdom in sacred memory. He also warned that the fraternity should not admit new members with insufficient examination.
TYLER, JOHN tenth president; born Marsh 99, 17'D0; president, 1841, as vice-president succeeding President Harrison on the latter's death; died January 18, 1862. No support of consequence has appeared for the claim that he was a Freemason. The Virginia Masonic Journal, September, 1919, published the following: "In a public address before a body of Masons at a corner-stone laying a few years before his death, John Tyler used these words 'It is not my good fortune to belong to your (Masonic) society, or to any of a kindred character' " (see also Bulletin, Dalcho Consistory, Richmond, Virginia, March-April, 1915, quoted in above).
WASHINGTON, GEORGE first president; born February 11, 1731/2 (Old Style, owing to reform of the calendar date now celebrated is February 2 , 1732); president, 1789; died December 14, 1799. Initiated, November 4, 1752; Passed, Marsh 3, 1753; Raised, August 4, 1753, in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Charter Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22, Alexandria, Virginia, April 98, 17S8, and re-elected December 20, 1788. This Lodge formerly N o. 39 under Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, became N o. 22 under the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and after the death of Washington v as in 180o named Alexandria-Washington Lodge (see article on Washington for additional details?.
A thorough-going treatise on Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers (of the Declaration of Independence), Washington, is published by Brother William L. Boyden, Librarian of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, arid in the Stew Age, August, 1920, Brother Boyden also deals with the subject. His list of Masonic Vice Presidents includes John C. Breckinridge, Aaron Burr, Schuyler Colfax, George LI. Dallas, Charles W. Fairballks, Garret A. Hobart, Andrew Johnson, Richard LI. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas R. Marshall, Theodore Roosevelt, Adlai E. Stevenson, Daniel D. Tompkins, all of u horn are given the obtainable details of their respective memberships. Lists have also appeared in Masonic journals, notably the Quarferly Bulletin, Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, January, 1917, and October, 1923.
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