Brother Washington's apron: A Masonic mystery
Part 1 of 3
Many of us have the Antiques Roadshow fantasy.
Some object or work of art, inherited or bought on the cheap (then relegated for years to the back of your attic or bottom of the closet) is revealed to have a connection to someone famous or worth thousands of dollars.
From the standpoint of American history, they don't come much bigger than George Washington and recently the Museum was offered the chance to acquire a true rarity - a Masonic apron that was said to belong to the First President.
The first question - was this fact or fiction?
It is well established that George Washington was a member of the Freemasons, a fraternal society that had reached America from Great Britain by the 1720's.
He became a member of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 in 1753 at the age of 20, and would serve as the master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in 1788.
Five years later, while serving as President, he led the Masonic ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the new United States Capitol.
As a Mason, he would have owned at least one apron, perhaps more.
These aprons are worn at Masonic meetings, called lodges, as well as at public ceremonies and serve to identify the wearer as a member of the fraternity, a link to the leather work aprons worn by stone masons of the Middle Ages.
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Posted: 10:17:25 AM
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