Master Mason

Washington as a Freemason

Washington as a Freemason, 1870.

Many printmakers produced work celebrating George Washington's Masonic career. Freemasonry played an important role in George Washington's private and public life from the time he joined the lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1752. In 1788, Alexandria Lodge No. 22, Virginia, composed largely of Revolutionary War officers, applied for a charter from the Grand Lodge of Virginia and petitioned Washington to be their charter Master. He served as charter Master for nearly twenty months, from April 1788 to December 1789, making him the first and only United States president to also serve as leader of a lodge.

After becoming president in 1789, Washington continued to support the fraternity. While touring the country, he often met with local Masons and took part in special ceremonies, such as the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the U.S. Capitol in 1793. For decades, Freemasons have taken pride in Washington's membership in the organization and continue to celebrate his life, legacy, and printed image.