I often hear and read countless pundits claim that Thomas Jefferson was never a member of the Craft. I must admit, there is no actual written proof that he was a member of the Craft, but there is one glaring symbol of Masonry that pundits can’t dismiss, which I believe proves he had knowledge of the ancient mysteries and must have been a member of the Craft. This glaring Masonic symbol is his gravestone, an Egyptian Obelisk:

The question has to be asked, why would Jefferson want to have an Egyptian Obelisk as a gravestone? Well, before his death he wrote and drew his wishes out on a piece of paper in the following sketch:

A key point often missed by pundits who claim Jefferson was not a Mason is the fact he wanted the words “religious freedom” placed on his Egyptian Obelisk gravestone. You see, a major tenant of Masonry is religious freedom, a belief that predates the establishment of the United States. It is also a tenant of gnosis, or spiritual knowledge and enlightenment; for you see, the ideals of gnosis can’t exist or be explored unless there is religious freedom, freedom of thought and freedom of speech. Here is a great article explaining Jefferson’s wishes:

What is written on Thomas Jefferson’s gravestone?


The above words are inscribed on Thomas Jefferson’s gravestone.  Where is “Third President of the United States of America?”  Before his death, Thomas Jefferson left specific instructions for a monument to be constructed on his grave site.  In reference to the words to be placed on his gravestone, Jefferson said, “On the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, & not a word more.”1  He continued by writing, “because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”

Why didn’t Thomas Jefferson rank “U.S. President” as one of his top three most memorable moments?  Overall, historians view Thomas Jefferson quite favorably as president – on his worst day he’s still in the top ten.  He appears on our money, on Mount Rushmore, and he’s got one of the best memorials in D.C.  In fact, one line from Jefferson’s resume would get a person in the history books.

“because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”

Perhaps the three accomplishments on Jefferson’s gravestone are what he views as his best.  The fact that he left explicit instructions for his gravestone’s inscription demonstrates Jefferson’s need to exert some control over his legacy. Independence, religious freedom, and education.  You can’t argue with those ideas.

Jefferson’s family erected the obelisk gravestone in 1833.2  The original gravestone was eventually replaced due to visitors chipping off pieces of the it for souvenirs.  In 1882 Congress okayed a measure to provide funds to replace Jefferson’s original gravestone.  The original obelisk was donated to the University of Missouri at Columbia – where it now resides.

July 4, 1826

Just months after Jefferson wrote instructions for his gravestone, he passed away.  According to the Monticello website, Jefferson’s last words cannot be determined with certainty.3  Jefferson’s last recorded words are “No, doctor, nothing more.”  However, some believe that Jefferson’s last words were “Is it the Fourth?” or “This is the Fourth of July.”  In any case, Thomas Jefferson passed away on the 50th anniversary of July 4, 1776 – arguably the most important date in American history.  Jefferson was not alone.  In fact, in Quincy, Massachusetts, John Adams passed away on the same day at the age of 90.  Adams’s last words were “Thomas Jefferson survives.”  He was mistaken.  Jefferson had actually died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.4

There are, of course, many more points to make regarding Jefferson being a student of the ancient mysteries, like he was often seen attending Masonic events, parades, Lodges and so forth, but I think my point has been made – that is, Jefferson was surely a student of the Craft and was more than likely a Mason from an unknown order; otherwise he would not have gone to such lengths to have an Egyptian Obelisk as his gravestone, a sign for enlightened students of gnosis to ponder forever!!!

And finally, some additional food for thought, the Egyptian’s placed an Obelisk at the entrance to their temples and graves, sometimes more than one, something Jefferson must have known.

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir