Famous Freemason Quotes – George Washington
America’s most famous Freemason, George Washington was initiated in 1752, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. George Washington was a founding father of the United States of America, it’s first President, and led the military forces against the British. He is best remembered as the President that stepped down to allow after his term of office was completed to allow another to be elected as the President of the USA.
Here are some famous and a few less famous quotes of a famous Master Mason named George Washington:
- “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”― George Washington
- “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
- “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
- “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”
- “But lest some unlucky event should happen unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.”
- “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
- “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation. ”
- “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”― George Washington
- “In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.”
- “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”― George Washington
- “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
- “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.” ― George Washington
- “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
- “There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”
- “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
- “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
- “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.”
- “Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.”― George Washington
- “Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
- “A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool.”
- “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.”― George Washington
- “Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. ”― George Washington
- “the harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.”
- “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”― George Washington, George Washington’s Farewell Address
- “Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”― George Washington
- “The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.”
- “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”
- “I regret exceedingly that the disputes between the protestants and Roman Catholics should be carried to the serious alarming height mentioned in your letters. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause, and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this kind.
Who was George Washington?
As stated earlier George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) and served two terms as the first U.S. president, from 1789 to 1797.
He was the son of a prosperous planter, Washington was raised in colonial Virginia. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor then fought in the French and Indian War (1754-63).
During the American Revolution, he led the colonial forces to victory over the British and became a national hero. In 1787, he was elected president of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution. Two years later, Washington became America’s first president.
Realizing that the way he handled the job would impact how future presidents approached the position, he handed down a legacy of strength, integrity and national purpose. Less than three years after leaving office, he died at his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, at age 67.
More famous quotes from George Washington…
- “Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and commendable nature; and in all cases of passion admit reason to govern.”
- “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”
- “Every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.”― George Washington, George Washington’s Farewell Address
- “If the cause is advanced, indifferent is it to me where or in what quarter it happens.”
- “The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in.”
- “A man ought not to value himself of his achievements or rare qualities of wit, much less of his riches, virtue or kindred.”
- “It is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.”― George Washington, George Washington’s Farewell Address
- “For myself the delay may be compared with a reprieve; for in confidence I assure you, with the world it would obtain little credit that my movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution: so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an Ocean of difficulties, without that competency of political skill, abilities and inclination which is necessary to manage the helm.”
- “the great mass of our Citizens require only to understand matters rightly, to form right decisions.”
- “Men may speculate as they will; they may talk of patriotism; they may draw a few examples from ancient story, of great achievements performed by its influence; but whoever builds upon it, as a sufficient Basis for conducting a long and bloody War, will find themselves deceived in the end. We must take the passions of Men as Nature has given them, and those principles as a guide which are generally the rule of Action. I do not mean to exclude altogether the Idea of Patriotism. I know it exists, and i know it has done much in the present Contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting War can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of Interest or some reward. For a time, it may, of itself push Men to Action; to bear much, to encounter difficulties; but it will not endure unassisted by Interest.”
- “Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.”― George Washington
- “There might, Gentlemen, be an impropriety in my taking notice, in this Address to you, of an anonymous production, but the manner in which that performance has been introduced to the army, the effect it was intended to have, together with some other circumstances, will amply justify my observations on the tendency of that Writing. With respect to the advice given by the Author, to suspect the Man, who shall recommend moderate measures and longer forbearance, I spurn it, as every Man, who regards liberty, and reveres that justice for which we contend, undoubtedly must; for if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”
- “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”
- “Its good to live alone than to live in a bad company”― George Washington
- “The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.”― George Washington, George Washington’s Farewell Address
- “Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad Company.”
- “The nation which indulges toward another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to it animosity or two its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and it’s interest.”
- “Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life. (Address to Congress on Resigning Commission Dec 23, 1783)”
- “I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.”― George Washington
George Washington’s Known Masonic History…
George Washington joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the age of twenty in 1752. During the War for Independence, General Washington attended Masonic celebrations and religious observances in several states. He also supported Masonic lodges that formed within army regiments.
At his first inauguration in 1791, President Washington took his oath of office on a Bible from St. John’s Lodge in New York. During his two terms, he visited Masons in North and South Carolina and presided over the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the U.S. Capitol in 1793.
In retirement, Washington became charter Master of the newly chartered Alexandria Lodge № 22, sat for a portrait in his Masonic regalia, and in death, was buried with Masonic honors.
Such was Washington’s character, that from almost the day he took his Masonic obligations until his death, he became the same man in private that he was in public. In Masonic terms, he remained “a just and upright Mason.” Brother Washington was, in Masonic terms, a “living stone” who became the cornerstone of American civilization.
Here is the known chronology of George Washington’s Documented Masonic Activities
This chronology contains only those that are documented by letters, lodge minutes, objects, or other artifacts in which George Washington is on record for.
September 1st – 1752: This is the first recorded meeting of the Masonic Lodge at Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
November 4th – 1752: George Washington is ‘Made’ a Freemason by being initiated an Entered Apprentice Freemason (First Degree) in the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Lodge records show he paid 2 pounds, 3 shillings and no pence when he joined.
March 3rd – 1753: Brother George Washington is ‘Passed’ to the Degree of Fellow Craft Freemason (Second Degree) in the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
August 4th – 1753: Brother George Washington is ‘Raised’ to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason (Third Degree) in the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
September 1st – 1753: Brother George Washington attends the Lodge at Fredericksburg.
January 4th – 1755: Brother George Washington attends the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
December 28th – 1778: Brother George Washington attends the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Feast of St. John the Evangelist service at Christ Church (Anglican).
June 24th – 1779: Brother George Washington attended a meeting at the West Point, New York, American Union Lodge’s minute books record Gen. Washington attending St. John the Baptist celebration.
December 27th – 1779: Brother George Washington attended a meeting at American Union Lodge’s minute books record Washington attending St. John the Evangelist celebration at Morristown, New Jersey.
March 23rd – 1782: Brother George Washington receives a letter with an embroidered silk Masonic apron from Elkanah Watson (an American) and Francis Corentin Cossoul (a Frenchman) two commercial agents in Nantes, France.
Masonic scholars agree that it is generally accepted that Washington wore this apron at the 1793 U.S. Capitol cornerstone ceremony.
Further, Masonic scholars and historians agree that in 1812, Lawrence Lewis, Washington’s nephew, gave it to Alexandria-Washington Lodge № 22, Alexandria, Virginia. The apron remains in the lodge’s vault within the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
August 10th – 1782: Brother George Washington writes a reply letter to Watson and Cossoul, acknowledging the Masonic apron.
December 27th – 1782: The Solomon’s Lodge № 1, Poughkeepsie, New York, official minutes record Washington attending the lodge’s St. John the Evangelist celebration.
December 26th – 1783: A letter from Alexandria Lodge № 39, Alexandria, Virginia, congratulating Washington on his happy homecoming and inviting him to attend St. John the Evangelist’s Day celebration.
December 28th – 1783: Brother George Washington writes a reply letter that respectfully declines the invitation to the Master and Wardens of Alexandria Lodge № 39.
June 19th – 1784: Brother George Washington writes a letter accepting the invitation from Alexandria Lodge № 39, to attend St. John the Baptist Day celebration.
June 24th – 1784: Brother George Washington attends Alexandria Lodge № 39 Feast of St. John the Baptist Day and is elected to receive an honorary membership from the lodge.
At some point between August 17th to 29th -1784: Brother Lafayette visits Mount Vernon and he presented Brother Washington with a Masonic Apron.
January 21st – 1785: A group of Freemasons in Newport, Rhode Island send a letter and an address to Washington seeking support to regain lodge charter. There is no record of a written reply was returned by Brother George Washington.
February 12th – 1785: Brother George Washington records in his diary that he walked in the Masonic funeral procession of Brother William Ramsay, Alexandria Lodge № 39, Alexandria, Virginia.
Sometime between January to March in 1788: A committee is formed from Alexandria Lodge № 39 to visit with Brother George Washington at Mount Vernon. This committee asks him to serve as “Charter Master” of the lodge as it seeks to move from under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and be re-chartered by the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Brother George Washington agrees.
April 28th – 1788: The Grand Master of Masons in Virginia – Edmund Randolph, grants a charter to Alexandria Lodge as the twenty-second lodge in Virginia. The charter names George Washington as the lodge’s Worshipful Master. This charter is still in use by Alexandria-Washington Lodge № 22.
December 20th – 1788: Worshipful George Washington is re-elected Master of Alexandria Lodge № 22 for one year: 27 December 1788 to December 27, 1789.
March 7th – 1789: The officers and members of Holland Lodge 8, New York, send a letter to Worshipful George Washington informing him of his election as an honorary member and enclosing a membership certificate.
April 30th – 1789: In New York City, George Washington is inaugurated President of the United States using a Bible from St. John’s Lodge № 1. The oath is administered by Chancellor and Grand Master of New York, Robert R. Livingston. Inaugural Bible owned by St. John’s Lodge № 1, New York, New York.
August 17th – 1790: The King David’s Lodge № 1 of Newport, Rhode Island, official minutes record a unanimous resolution to present Worshipful George Washington a Masonic letter and address. Letter and address drafted, approved and delivered to Washington.
August 22th – 1790: Worshipful George Washington replies to King David’s Lodge № 1, Newport Rhode Island, stating in part: “. . . I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother.”
April 20th – 1791:
- A welcome address is delivered to Worshipful George Washington from officers of St. John’s Lodge № 2, New Bern, North Carolina.
- Worshipful George Washington delivers a reply to St. John’s Lodge № 2, New Bern, North Carolina.
April 30th – 1791: A welcome address is delivered to Worshipful George Washington from Georgetown Lodge № 16, Georgetown, South Carolina.
April 31st – 1791: Worshipful George Washington delivers a reply to Prince George Lodge № 19, Georgetown, South Carolina.
May 2nd – 1791: Worshipful George Washington is greeted by Grand Master of South Carolina, Mordecai Gist and is given a letter, Charleston, South Carolina.
May 4th – 1791: Worshipful George Washington delivers a reply to Grand Master Gist and Grand Lodge of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
May 14th – 1791:
- Washington is greeted by Grand Master of Georgia – George Houston and is given a letter, Savannah, Georgia.
- Washington replies to Grand Master Houston and Grand Lodge of Georgia, Savannah, Georgia.
January 2nd – 1792: A letter written by the Rev. Dr. William Smith from the “Ancient York Masons” of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, was delivered in person to Worshipful George Washington at his house in Philadelphia.
January 3rd – 1792: Worshipful George Washington replies to the “Ancient York Masons” of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
December 27th – 1792: The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts – Grand Master John Cutler and other grand lodge officers send a letter and enclose a copy of its newly published Grand Constitutions to Worhsipful George Washington.
January 22nd – 1793: Worshipful George Washington replies to Grand Lodge of Massachusetts’ letter and its Grand Constitutions.
August 29th – 1793:
- Letter from the Master and officers of Alexandria Lodge № 22, Alexandria, Virginia to Pres. Washington requesting he sit for portrait artist William Williams.
- Worshipful George Washington did sit for the portrait and it was completed in September 1793.
- William Williams’ portrait of Washington wearing Masonic jewel, sash and apron is displayed in the Replica Lodge Room of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia.
September 18th – 1793:
- The cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol is laid by three Masonic Lodges, Potomac Lodge № 9 and Federal Lodge № 15, under the Grand Lodge of Maryland, and Alexandria Lodge № 22, under the Grand Lodge of Virginia with Worshipful George Washington presiding as “Acting Master” of the ceremony with the title of President of the United States.
- Items Used at the Cornerstone Ceremony:
- Silver Trowel with Ivory handle made by John Duffy owned by Alexandria-Washington Lodge № 22, Alexandria, Virginia.
- Wood T-Square and Level own by Alexandria-Washington Lodge № 22, Alexandria, Virginia.
- Marble Gavel with wood handle, made by John Duffy owned by Potomac Lodge № 5, Washington D.C.
- Masonic Scholars and Historians agree that Washington wore the Watson-Cassoul apron sent to him in 1783 to the ceremony. In 1812, Lawrence Lewis, nephew of Washington, gave it to Alexandria-Washington Lodge № 22, Alexandria, Virginia where it remains today.
December 27th – 1796: The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania delivers a letter and congratulatory address, written by the Rev. Dr. William Smith, to Worshipful George Washington at his house in Philadelphia.
December 28th – 1796: Worshipful Washington replies to Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
March 21st – 1797: The Grand Master of Massachusetts – Paul Revere and its officers send a congratulatory letter to Worshipful Washington.
March 28th – 1797: At Mount Vernon, Worshipful George Washington receives a Masonic delegation of Dennis Ramsay and Phillip G. Marsteller of Alexandria Lodge № 22, with an address and invitation to dine with the lodge.
April 1st – 1797: Worshipful George Washington dines with Alexandria Lodge № 22 and presents a reply to the lodge’s address.
November 5th – 1798: While visiting Baltimore, Worshipful Washington receives William Belton, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, the Deputy Grand Master and other brethren, who hand-deliver a letter and a gift of the Grand Lodge of Maryland’s 1797 edition of George Keatinge’s The Maryland Ahiman Rezon of Free and Accepted Masons, (Grand Constitutions).
November 8th – 1798: Worshipful George Washington replies to William Belton, who is the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
December 18th – 1799:
- Worshipful George Washington is buried at Mount Vernon with Anglican Christian Burial Rite accompanied by a Masonic funeral ceremony conducted by members of Alexandria Lodge № 22.
- The Bible used at Washington’s funeral is owned by Federal Lodge № 1, Washington, D.C.
January 11th – 1800: John Warren, Grand Master, and other officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts send a letter conveying the sorrow and sympathy to Martha Washington on the death of her husband, and requesting a lock of his hair as “an invaluable relique of the Hero and Patriot . . . ”
January 27th – 1800:
- Washington’s private secretary, Tobias Lear, replies for Martha Washington to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts thanking them for their sympathy and support and enclosing a lock of Pres. Washington’s hair.
- The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts keeps the lock of hair in a gold urn made by Paul Revere in 1800.
Thank you for reading this brief Masonic documented history of Brother George Washington. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as the Freemasonry Report has researched it.
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