Freemason and the Founding Fathers
Many Americans celebrate our founding father and all they did to help create our country. What few of them know is that many of the founding fathers were also freemasons. Some of the more notable founding fathers to also be masons are: George Washington, Ben Franklin lead the Pennsylvania chapter, Paul Revere lead a Massachusetts chapter, John Hancock, and Chief Justice John Marshall who greatly influenced the shaping of the Supreme Court. All together it is believed that about nine of the fifty-six men that signed the Declaration of Independence were masons, and about thirteen of the thirty-nine that signed the US Constitutions were also masons.
However what is not known about the Freemasons and the Founding Fathers is what there political agenda was. Over the years many scholars have tried to dig up files and letters in order to better understand what the mason were trying to accomplish when helping found the United States. Little have had any luck but most find nothing at all. The masons took great pride in ensuring that their order stayed private and was not known to the outside world. Masons who were in the Public eye like George Washington and Ben Franklin did not openly connect their political views to their masonic association. Without any concrete evidence of what the masons believed it has been left open to the speculation and interpretation of later masons and historians. A view that is shared by all is that mason during the revolutionary period were the ones pushing for America to break away from Great Britain and become its own nation. James Brown wrote this about Ben Franklin "What influence Freemasonry may have had on the life and character of Benjamin Franklin can only be conjecture, but that it did influence him and his contemporaries in the great struggle for American independence seems beyond doubt". Its seems that even if masonry did not have a set standard of political views and agenda all the men that chose to be a part of it shared some common values and views. Like most of Founding Fathers the freemasons from this time period were men way before their time. Sharing views that many others during this time would not have shared or even understood. The bottom line of being a mason is to create a better man and a better world. They did this in America by pushing to separate from Great Britain, which was the only way they thought they could truly create religious freedom for their country. Masons are thought to also have viewed things like slavery and women’s right differently than most. Often pushing for equality in both categories. Many believe that George Washington knew that slavery was wrong and that it had no place in a free nation like America but that he knew the US was not ready to undergo such a change. All of this is speculation and some rooted in very shallow facts. To some extent however we can say that freemasons were men that strived for equality and making tomorrows America better than today.