More than half of Bro. George Washington’s generals were Freemasons.

Chart—41% of Washington's generals were Freemasons.

Myth, but it’s close!

The number of general officers in the Continental Army who were Masons is often exaggerated—by Masons and anti-Masons alike! Well-meaning Masons want to claim as many as possible to show the positive influence of Freemasonry from the country’s first days. Anti-Masons want to claim as many as possible to show the “sinister” influence on Freemasonry from the country’s first days.

Here are the facts. There were 81 general officers in the Continental Army, and 33—or 41%—of them are Freemasons. This is an impressive number of Masons in service to their country. It’s probably not enough to satisfy over-enthusiastic Masons or conspiracists, but it has the advantage of being the truth.

General Officers in the Continental Army who were Freemasons

  • Benedict Arnold, Hiram Lodge No. 1, New Haven, Conn.
  • James Clinton, Warren Lodge No. 17, N.Y.
  • Elias Dayton, Lodge No. 19, Pa.
  • Joseph Frye, attended the Feast of St. John, December 27, 1760, Mass.
  • Mordecai Gist, Army Lodge No. 27, Pa.
  • John Glover, Philanthropic Lodge, Mass.
  • John Greaton, Masters Lodge, Albany, N.Y.
  • Edward Hand, Military Lodge No. 19, Pa.
  • James Hogun, Royal Arch Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia
  • Henry Knox, attended First Lodge, Boston
  • Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, attended Loge de St. Jean de la Candeur, Paris
  • Benjamin Lincoln, Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston
  • William Maxwell, Military Lodge No. 19, Pa.
  • Hugh Mercer, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Va.
  • Richard Montgomery, Unity Lodge No. 18, Pa.
  • John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Royal Arch Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia
  • John Nixon, attended American Union Lodge, Conn.
  • Samuel Holden Parsons, American Union Lodge, Conn.
  • John Paterson, Berkshire Lodge No. 5, Stockbridge, Mass.
  • Israel Putnam, attended American Union Lodge, Conn.
  • Rufus Putnam, American Union Lodge, Conn.
  • Arthur St. Clair, Nova Caesarea Lodge No. 10, Cincinnati
  • John Stark, Masters Lodge, Albany
  • Friedrich W. A. H. F. von Steuben, Trinity Lodge No. 10, N.Y.
  • John Sullivan, Grand Master of Masons, N.H.
  • Jethro Sumner, royal White Hart Lodge No. 2, Halifax, N.C.
  • William Thompson, Royal Arch Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia
  • James Mitchell Varnum, attended St. John’s Lodge, Providence, R.I.
  • George Washington, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Va.
  • George Weedon, Port Royal Kilwinning Cross Lodge No. 2, Va.
  • Otho Holland Williams, American Union Lodge, Conn.
  • William Woodford, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Va.
  • David Wooster, Hiram Lodge No. 1, Conn.

—From May/June 2012 Scottish Rite Journal