Episode 3 of 4
Billy Kay continues the story of Scottish freemasonry, travelling to Fredericksburg Virginia home of the lodge of Scottish tobacco merchants who initiated George Washington into the Craft. He also visits Washington DC where the White House and the Capitol Building were built by Edinburgh stonemasons and freemasons, who were among the founder members of the prestigious Federal Lodge No 1 there.
A passage from the chapter The Mason Word in Billy Kay's book The Scottish World
Fredericksburg, Virginia June 29, 2007
Travis Walker: By 1755 it appears that local lodges had tied into a fashion to go back to the old world and get legitimate charters. It appears that the first was Kilwinning Cross Lodge down at Port Royal - they went to the Grand Lodge of Scotland and got a charter in 1755. So by 1758, the Brethren here at Fredericksburg decided that it would be expedient for them to do so as well.
Billy Kay: And that is the actual charter that is upstairs in the room I've just seen?
Travis : The original that dates to 1758
Billy: And so was George Washington then, a Scottish freemason?
Travis: I think it could be said that he was a Scottish freemason in that the majority of the individuals that he was meeting with. and who conferred the degrees on him were Scots.
George Washington was not the only great man of the Age of Enlightenment to find inspiration in what Robert Burns called the "mystic tie" which bound him together with major European figures like Goethe, Voltaire and Mozart and major Scottish icons like James Boswell, Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg.
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