A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
I caused quite a stir with my blog entries George W. Bush: Freemason Or Not? and Barack Obama: Freemason Or Not? Apparently, I am incorrect, and either I'm not high ranking enough in the fraternity to know anything, or I'm part of the global Masonic conspiracy . . . take your pick. I got quite a chuckle when I read through my email last night. So, as author of two books on the subject of famous Freemasons, and probably the best authority on the subject of who is and who isn't a Freemason, let me lay it all out for you.
Here's the whole list of American Presidents that were Freemasons. As I said in the previous post--this information is not a secret! In fact, in my Famous American Freemasons books, I go in to much greater detail about some of these Presidents' Masonic affiliations.
GEORGE WASHINGTON #1
Member of Fredericksburg Lodge (later No. 4) at Fredericksburg, Va. Charter Master, Alexandria Lodge No. 22, Alexandria, Va., April 28, 1788.
JAMES MONROE #5
Initiated in Williamsburg Lodge No. 6 at Williamsburg, Va., Nov. 9, 1775, but there is no record of his taking any further degrees, however the records of Cumberland Lodge No. 8 in Tennessee, show a reception for Monroe as "a Brother of the Craft" was given for him in 1819.
ANDREW JACKSON #7
Grand Master of Tennessee, 1822-23. His lodge is unknown but he is said to have attended at Clover Bottom Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He was present in lodge at Greeneville in 1801 and acted as Senior Warden pro-tem. The records of St. Tammany Lodge No. 29 at Nashville, which became Harmony Lodge No. 1 under the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, show that Jackson was a member.
JAMES K. POLK #11
Member of Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tenn. Exalted a Royal Arch Mason in La Fayette Chapter No. 4 at Columbia in 1825.
JAMES BUCHANAN #15
Member of Lodge 43 in Lancaster, PA. Served as Worshipful Master. Also Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
ANDREW JOHNSON #17
Member of Greeneville Lodge No. 119 now No. 3 at Greeneville, TN. Believed to be a member of Greeneville Chapter No. 82 Royal Arch Masons, since he joined Nashville Commandery of Knights Templar No. 1 in 1859. He received the Scottish Rite degrees in the White House in 1867.
JAMES A. GARFIELD #20
He was initiated and passed in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Columbus Lodge No. 3O in1864. Affiliated with Garrettsville Lodge No. 246 in 1866, and also Pentalpha Lodge No. 23 in Washington, D. C. as charter member. Exalted in Columbus Royal Arch Chapter, and became a Knight Templar. Also a member of the Scottish Rite.
WILLIAM MCKINLEY #25
He is sometimes said to have been initiated, passed, and raised in Hiram Lodge No. 10 in Winchester, West Virginia in 1865, but this event most likely took place in Hiram Lodge No. 21 at Winchester, Virginia. McKinley affiliated with Canton Lodge No. 60 at Canton, Ohio in 1867 and later became a charter member of Eagle Lodge No. 43. He received the Capitular degrees in Canton in 1883 and was made a Knight Templar in 1884.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT #26
He was a member of Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, N. Y.
WILLIAM H. TAFT #27
Made a Mason at sight in Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1901.
WARREN G. HARDING #29
Initiated in Marion Lodge No. 7O, Marion, Ohio, 1901. He received no other degree until after becoming President. He was passed and raised in Marion Lodge in 1920, Royal Arch Chapter degrees in Marion Chapter No. 62 in 1921; Knight Templar in Marion Commandery No. 36, in 1921. Scottish Rite and Shrine in 1921.
FRANKLIN D.ROOSEVELT #32
He was a member of Holland Lodge No. 8, New York City, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite in Albany Consistory, and a member of the Shrine.
HARRY S TRUMAN #33
He was a member of Belton Lodge No 450; organized and became a charter member of Grandview No. 618. Served as both district lecturer and deputy Grand Master for several years. Elected Grand Master of Masons in Missouri in 1940. He received the first Gourgas Medal of the Scottish Rite, NMJ. He was a 33rd Degree. He was buried on his library's grounds with impressive rites--it was the first time Masonic funeral services were ever televised.
GERALD R. FORD #38
Ford received the degrees in Malta Lodge No. 405, Grand Rapids, Michigan along with his three brothers. Brother Ford was the 1974 recipient of the NY Grand Lodge Distinguished Achievement Award, the highest honor that can be presented by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York. He was also a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Shrine.
AND THERE ARE A COUPLE IN QUESTION . . .
It is believed that John Adams was a Freemason by many Masonic scholars, however, no documentary evidence survives to establish it for certain. We just don't know for sure.
It has also been argued that Thomas Jefferson was a Freemason--he was known to have attended Masonic Lodge meetings in Paris, and there are several other indications that he may have been a member of the Craft--however, there is no evidence that has survived to prove he was a Mason either.
AND THERE ARE A COUPLE MORE THAT CAUSE CONFUSION!
Lyndon B. Johnson did receive the 1st Degree in Freemasonry, however, he never finished.
Bill Clinton is not a Freemason. He was a member of Demolay, which is an organization for boys sponsored by Freemasonry, however, he never joined a lodge when he became old enough.
And of course there's Ronald Reagan. He's often cited as a Freemason as well. But he wasn't. I posted a blog about that called Ronald Reagan: Freemason Or Not? recently.
And most recently, I talked about George W. Bush and his father George H. W. Bush and revealed the fact there is no evidence to support that either of them are Masons. I also posted a article about President Barack Obama and the fact there is little to support the contention that he is a Freemason.
That's the entire list of American Presidents who were Freemasons, and hopefully I cleared up a few questions about which Presidents were Freemasons, and those who weren't as well.