Weird History

US Presidents Who Were Freemasons  

Mike Rothschild
18.6k views 14 items

14 Presidents of the United States have also been members of the Freemasons. While Masonry has a number of negative connotations, due to its secrecy and arcane lingo, there's no doubt that the organization has had a real impact on American history. Beyond the many presidents who held Masonic ranks, a number of other important figures have as well. Quite a few Senators and Congressmen were Masons, as were some of the Founding Fathers, many judges, business leaders, military figures, athletes, and even astronauts.

Despite a large amount of organized opposition to Masonry, many Freemason presidents were outward and public with their membership, or at least as public as possible. Several, including Harry Truman and Gerald Ford, attained the highest rank possible in Masonry, the coveted 33rd Degree. There are also a number of Masonic symbols associated with US government and currency, including the layout of Washington D.C.'s streets - designed by an architect who was a Mason.

The association of so many presidents with the Freemasons has prompted a number of conspiracy theories, but few, if any, have any compelling evidence to support them.
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list US Presidents Who Were Freemasons
Photo: patrickhashley/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

As a 20-year-old planter, young George Washington became a Master Mason, the highest beginning rank in the organization. He was later elected Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22. Additionally, the Bible Washington used when sworn in was from the St. John’s Lodge No. 1, of the Ancient York Masons.

That Bible has since been used by a number of other presidents.

Age: Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America

Date Born: 1732

Presidency: 1

V.P.: John Adams

Profession: Surveyor, Politician, Soldier, Military Officer, Farmer, + more

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James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list US Presidents Who Were Freemasons
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain
Monroe is thought to have apprenticed in 1775 at Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, but not taken his membership further than that.

Age: Dec. at 73 (1758-1831)

Birthplace: Monroe Hall, Virginia, United States of America

Date Born: 1758

Presidency: 5

V.P.: Daniel D. Tompkins

Profession: Politician, Farmer, Lawyer

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Andrew Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list US Presidents Who Were Freemasons
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Jackson was an active Mason, attending several Lodges and eventually becoming Grand Master of Masons of Tennessee, from 1822 to 1824.

Age: Dec. at 78 (1767-1845)

Birthplace: Waxhaws

Date Born: 1767

Presidency: 7

V.P.: Martin Van Buren, John C. Calhoun

Profession: Prosecutor, Judge, Politician, Soldier, Farmer

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James K. Polk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list US Presidents Who Were Freemasons
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Polk was initiated as a Master Mason in 1820, became a Royal Arch Mason in 1825, and as president, arranged for the laying of the cornerstone of the Smithsonian in 1847.

Age: Dec. at 54 (1795-1849)

Birthplace: Pineville, North Carolina, United States of America

Date Born: 1795

Presidency: 11

V.P.: George M. Dallas

Profession: Politician, Farmer, Lawyer

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