As a Freemason, I have been taught to think a certain way; so when it is stated that Thomas Jefferson was not a Mason, I am shocked at the simplistic answer accepted by most. Somehow I am suppose to turn off my Masonic education and allow revisionist beliefs to continue. Case in point.
We have somehow come to the belief that Grand Lodges and or Lodge’s are without fault. Well, its been my experience this is not true. They are run by well-intentioned men who make mistakes. Here is a personal example, which can be easily applied to the Thomas Jefferson commonly given answer.
Upon my father’s death, I was given access to his papers; and within them, I discovered my Grandfather’s Masonic Bible. I never knew he was a Freemason until that point in time. Over the years, I have done some research into his membership. Not surprisingly, my Grandfather’s name is not found in the roles of the California Grand Lodge. Am I to believe he was never made a Freemason because my Grand Lodge had not recorded his initiation. Nonsense, I have his Masonic Bible, etc. But according to the California Grand Lodge, there is no proof of his membership. Please look at the following pictures as proof of his membership from 1948. I also went and looked for other men who were raised in Perris, California during the same year, same Lodge; yet their names appeared.
Therefore, the commonly given answer to why Thomas Jefferson is often mentioned as not being a Freemason is because no record of his membership exists today. Again, nonsense. If my Grandfather’s record from 1948 was not recorded, why should we expect a record to exist for Thomas Jefferson (circa 1777).
I certainly hope we can move on to other related documentation to prove his membership; like the fact he had a Masonic cipher in his papers after his death; or the fact two Grand Lodges had Masonic funeral memorials upon his death; and it was common to name Masonic Lodges after him after his death; or the fact he was seen countless times wearing a Masonic apron at public events; and that he was made a Freemason in France, Nine Muses Lodge, not the United States; or the fact his name was recorded as visiting Masonic Lodges in the United States and France, etc.
And to make matters worse, there are a few zealots who love to troll the web and attack any Mason, who does not believe the commonly accepted narrative that he was not a Mason because there is no record of his membership. Again, like the example given about my Grandfather, we don’t need to have a record of his membership to prove he was a Freemason. Their argument is certainly without merit, and does not work within all of Freemasonry.
Enjoy the pictures below!!! The first picture is of my Grandfather’s dates of initiation-inside his Masonic Bible; the second picture is the cover of his Masonic Bible; the third picture is of his certificate of Initiation.
I do not blame anyone, but this is a perfect example of why we should not always trust official Masonic records. Mistakes were made because we are all imperfect; yes, even Freemasons.
So Mote It Be!
Blue Lodge Master Mason – Scottish Rite Mason – York Rite Mason – Knight Mason – Allied Mason – York Rite College – Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest – Red Cross of Constantine – Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.