Cheswell, Wentworth

The unknown black Paul Revere who rode north to warn residents in New Hampshire. He was the grandson of black slave Richard Cheswell (who early gained his freedom and in 1717 and became the first black to own property in the colony of New Hampshire); and he was the son of Hopestill Cheswell, a notable homebuilder who built the homes of several patriot leaders, including John Paul Jones and the Rev. Samuel Langdon. Wentworth was named after the famous Wentworth family, from whom came several state governors, including Benning Wentworth – the governor at the time of Wentworth’s birth.

In 1763, Wentworth began attending an academy in Byfield, Massachusetts (30 miles from his home), where for four years he received an extensive education, studying Latin, Greek, swimming, horsemanship, reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In 1767, he returned home and became a schoolteacher, also marrying Mary Davis (they eventually had 13 children – 4 sons and 9 daughters). At the age of 21, he had already become an established and educated property owner and a stalwart in his local church, even holding a church pew.

The following year, Wentworth was elected town constable – the first of many offices he held throughout his life. Two years later in 1770, he was elected town selectman (the selectmen were considered the “town fathers” of a community). Other town offices in which he served included seven years as Auditor, six years as Assessor, two years as Coroner, seven years as town Moderator (presiding over town meetings), and twelve years as Justice of the Peace, overseeing trials, settling disputes, and executing deeds, wills, and legal documents. (View an 1813 document signed by Cheswell as justice of the peace.) For half a century – including every year from 1768 until 1817 – Wentworth held some position in local government.

In addition to his civic service, Wentworth was also a patriot leader. In fact, the town selected him as the messenger for the Committee of Safety – the central nervous system of the American Revolution that carried intelligence and messages back and forth between strategic operational centers. Serving in that position, Wentworth undertook the same task as Paul Revere, making an all-night ride to warn citizens of imminent British invasion.

In April 1776, he signed a document in which he pledged, “at the risk of . . . live and fortune,” to take up arms to resist the British, and in September 1777, he enlisted in a company of Light Horse Volunteers commanded by Colonel John Langdon (Langdon later became one of the 55 Founding Fathers who drafted the U. S. Constitution, then a framer of the Bill of Rights, and later the New Hampshire governor). Langdon’s company made a 250-mile march to Saratoga, New York, to join with the Continental Army under General Horatio Gates to defeat British General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga – the first major American victory in the Revolution.

After returning from Saratoga, in the spring of 1778, Wentworth was elected to the convention to draft the state’s first constitution, but some unknown event prevented his attendance.

Wentworth also served as Newmarket’s unofficial historian, copying town records from 1727 (including the records of various church meetings) and chronicling old stories of the town as well as its current events. Additionally, having investigated and made extensive notes on numerous artifacts and relics he discovered in the region around Newmarket, he is considered the state’s first archeologist. Therefore, when the Rev. Jeremy Belknap published his famous three-volume History of New Hampshire (1784-1792), he relied on (and openly acknowledged) much information he gleaned from Wentworth.

In 1801, Wentworth helped start the town library to preserve and disseminate useful knowledge and virtue. His commitment to providing helpful information is not surprising, for not only had he become a school teacher in 1767 but in 1776 he was elected as one of five men to regulate and oversee the schools of Newmarket.

In 1817, in his 71st year of age, Wentworth succumbed to typhus fever and was buried on the family farm, where other members of his family were later buried. In fact, when his daughter Martha died (his last surviving heir), her will provided that any members or descendants of the family could forever forward be buried on the farm. Unfortunately, that family graveyard long lay in disrepair, but in recent years friends and family have managed to restore it.

The legacy of Wentworth Cheswell is a lasting one: a patriot, teacher, and church leader; an historian, archeologist, and educator; a judge and official elected to numerous offices (he is considered the first black American elected to office in America). He is truly one of our forgotten patriots but he is a laudable example for all Americans – a hero worth remembering and honoring.


Sources:
William C. Nell, The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution, With Sketches of Several Distinguished Colored Persons: To Which is Added a Brief Survey of the Conditions and Prospects of Colored Americans (Boston: Robert F. Wallcut, 1855), pp. 120-121.

Sidney and Emma Nogrady Kaplan, The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution, Revised Edition (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1989), pp. 200-202.

Thomas Truxtun Moebs, Black Soldiers-Black Sailors-Black Ink: Research Guide on African-Americans in U.S. Military History, 1526-1900 (Chesapeake Bay: Moebs Publishing Company, 1994), pp. 226, 259, 280.

Source: https://wallbuilders.com/black-patriot-wentworth-cheswell/

Rittenhouse, Kyle

An Antioch, Illinois, teenage patriot and supporter of law enforcement who worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha, Wisconsin and was present during the 2020 Leftist uprising in Kenosha, having rendered first aid to injured protesters. After finishing his work on August 25, 2020, he wanted to help clean up some of the damage caused by leftwing rioters the previous evening. Rittenhouse and a friend went to the local public high school to remove graffiti by rioters. Later in the day, they received information about a call for help from a local business owner, whose downtown Kenosha auto dealership was largely destroyed by mob violence. The business owner needed help to protect what he had left of his life’s work, including two nearby mechanic’s shops. Kyle and a friend were given rifles due to the deadly violence gripping Kenosha (and many other American cities) and headed to the business premises. The weapons were in Wisconsin and never crossed state lines. Wisconsin’s open carry law has an exemption for 16 and 17 year olds.

When Rittenhouse arrived at the mechanics shop, he and others stood guard to prevent further destruction. Journalist Mark Dice presented a short video on his Twitter account of Rittenhouse that night offering services as an EMT and beginning to aid a woman with a minor wound. Later that night, long after the 8 p.m. curfew had passed, the police began to disperse a group of rioters. While dispersing the mob, police maneuvered a mass of individuals down the street towards the auto shops. Rittenhouse and the others were threatened and taunted, but he did not react. Rittenhouse’s lawyer John M. Pierce explains “His intent was not to incite violence, but simply to deter property damage and use his training to provide first aid to injured community members.” At 11:44 p.m., police reported three or four people trying to light vehicles on fire at a car lot on 63rd Street and Sheridan Road.

As Kyle proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he had obtained a fire extinguisher and ran along a driving area of a property bordering the nearby police-patrolled thoroughfare to pass it to someone else who was putting out auto fires started by the rioters. This conspicuous effort to quell the effects of the violence attracted the notice of rioters among the mass jealous of being upstaged by his participation in the (though largely-unwatched) prestigious type of act.

Soon he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. A YouTube video shows the closest pursuer, attacker Joseph Rosenbaum, tossed an object at Kyle as he ran. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon hearing the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with Rosenbaum lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking him. Rittenhouse stopped to render aid for his attacker.

Faced with a growing mob, Kyle fled for his safety and his survival. Another attacker struck Kyle from behind as he fled. Kyle turned as the mob pressed in on him, and he fell to the ground with people shouting “get him!” One attacker kicked Kyle in the head while he was on the ground. Another bashed him over the head with a skateboard. In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or use his own weapon against him, Kyle fired at his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed with a Glock.

Rittenhouse got up and continued down the street in the direction of police with his hands in the air. He attempted to contact multiple police officers, but they told him to keep moving. He fully cooperated and turned himself in to the police in his hometown, Antioch, Illinois later that evening.

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Zapata, Emiliano

(8 Aug 1879 – 10 Apr 1919) a Mexican revolutionary who famously said “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Emiliano was orphaned at 16, but he made his own way, taking pride in his independence and his ability to make a living for himself off of his own land. He is credited for inspiring the Agrarian Agitation that came to be known as ‘Zapatismo’. Zapata was born in a noted family in Morelos, Mexico but his education was only limited to book-keeping and after growing up, he earned his living as a watermelon farmer and also dealt in mules and bricks. However, the peasant population in Mexico were routinely oppressed by the landowning classes which precipitated the Revolution of 1910 and Zapata became the leader of the faction in Morelos.

When the land-owning class pushed him and his fellow peasant farmers off the land, leaving them with nothing, Emiliano used his position of leadership within his community to lead a revolt.  He was soon positioned as the central leader of the revolution in the south of Mexico uniting all the peasant leaders under ‘Liberation Army of the South’, and his forces helped to remove dictator Porfirio Diaz from power. Unfortunately, after the successful ousting of dictator Diaz, civil war broke out in Mexico as various revolutionary leaders all battled for power. Zapata, who commanded an army of 27,000 men, wanted only land reform, so that his people, and people across Mexico, could make a living. “The land should belong to the people who work it, ” he declared.

But other revolutionary leaders, Francisco I. Madero and Venustiano Carranza, denounced him and set a “scorched earth” campaign against him and his Zapatista rebels, burning homes and crops and killing the inhabitants, conscripting them, or sending them to labor camps. Zapata had finally retaken his home-state of Morelos from Carranza’s troops, when Jesús María Guajardo, a general in Carranza’s army, ambushed him in la Hacienda de Chinameca, where shooters waited on the roof.  They shot him 20 times.

He died still fighting for what and who he believed in, the people of Mexico.  He died “a slave to principles, and not to men.” 2019, the 100th anniversary of his death, was declared “El Año del Caudillo del Sur, Emiliano Zapata Salazar Day,” in Mexico. May his memory endure another 100 years, and beyond.

Source: https://www.wearelatinlive.com/article/13454/id-rather-die-on-my-feet-than-live-on-my-knees-the-assassination-of-emiliano-zapata

Adams, Samuel

He is more than just a beer! Sadly, on today’s college campuses there is a profound lack of knowledge and awareness of the greatness of the founders of our wonderful republic under God. The man is considered by many historians to be the “Father of the American Revolution” and was instrumental in making the public aware of the tyrannical actions of the king of England and Parliament. It was in his Puritan Christian home and at the Christian college of Harvard where Adams learned that the rights of life and liberty did not derive from government but from Almighty God. In his classic essay, “The Rights of the Colonists,”Adams declares in classic republican philosophical form:

“In the state of nature every man is, under God, judge and sole judge of his own rights and of the injuries done him…. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave…. These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.”

Adams’ classic and Christian education at home and at Harvard was emblematic of our Founding Fathers classic and Christian worldview which in the 1776 Declaration of Independence declares to the world the self-evident truth that the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God … our Creator … the Supreme Judge of the world” is the source of our life, liberty, equality and rights. (Source)

Samuel Adams strongly believed that Republican leaders had to promote virtue and values and it became his political agenda as a politician in Massachusetts. In his address to the Massachusetts legislature in 1795 when he was governor of the state he clearly addressed this issue. He worked hard during the rest of his political career to achieve this objective. He intertwined religion and politics and became known as “The last Puritan”. This solid religion obsession coupled with his more than ordinary inflexibility earned him many enemies in the following years starting with his former protégée John Hancock with whom he reconciled years later. When Hancock run for governor of Massachusetts SA did not support him, instead he supported James Bowdoin.

In 1781 Samuel Adams retired from the Continental Congress and moved back to Boston where he spent the rest of his life. Tremors in his hands and poor health made him decide he wanted to spend more time with his family in his hometown.

SA could not stay away from politics and was elected to the convention to form the state’s constitution and later as president of the Massachusetts Senate. In 1788 Sam Adams formed part of the Massachusetts ratifying convention of the newly written articles that created the new Constitution. Even though he had some reservations – you can read in his own words in a letter addressed to Richard Henry Lee – he supported the new Constitution that was ratified later that year. In his speech to the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention that that took place in February 1788 he affirms his support for the new constitution but argues that amendments would have to be made in order to limit the power of the central government. It was at this time that his only son, Samuel Adams Jr. died at age thirty-seven. He served as a surgeon during the independence war, his death gave Adams and his wife unexpected financial security.

Due to his disagreement with the new Constitution SA attempted to reenter national politics and run as a candidate for the US House of Representatives. He was defeated by Fisher Ames who was a supporter of the Constitution. Adams continued working on amendments and in 1791 the Bill of Rights was added becoming a supporter of the Constitution.

In 1789, SA was elected lieutenant governor until 1794. After the death of John Hancock, SA was elected governor and re-elected for four consecutive years.
In 1797 he retired from politics unable to write due to tremors in his hands. He died in Boston on October 2, 1803 at age 81 and is buried at the Old Granary Burying Ground. (Source)

WATCH: Lecture on Samuel Adams

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Washington, George

Born Feb. 22, 1732, Washington was unanimously chosen (1) as the Army’s Commander-in-Chief, (2) as President of the Constitutional Convention, and (3) as the first U.S. president. His character made him the choice of his countrymen. He believed in Christ and was guided by God in establishing a free nation. As a military leader throughout his life, he relied on guidance from God and demanded moral integrity from those who served in his army. His membership as a mason is often considered traitorous by those familiar with Illuminati infiltration of their lodges, but Washington had attended only about 10-12 times in his life and only once or twice in his last 30 years. Washington was introduced to masonry through field lodges which were the only places British officers (as he was) and common soldiers could meet, but there were no rituals in these lodges until after Washington’s death.

He was a farmer, a businessman, an enthusiast for commerce. As a man of the Enlightenment, he was deeply interested in scientific farming. His letters on running Mount Vernon are longer than letters on running the government. (Of course, in 1795 more people worked at Mount Vernon than in the entire executive branch of the federal government.) He believed in a republic of free citizens, with a government based on consent and established to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property.

He gave up power not once but twice – at the end of the revolutionary war, when he resigned his military commission and returned to Mount Vernon, and again at the end of his second term as president, when he refused entreaties to seek a third term. In doing so, he set a standard for American presidents that lasted until the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose taste for power was stronger than the 150 years of precedent set by Washington.

George Washington was an Anglican, and, after the Revolution, an Episcopalian. His great-great-grandfather, Rev. Lawrence Washington, was an Anglican minister in Essex, England, who lost his position when the Puritans won England’s Civil War in 1651. Washington’s great-grandfather, John Washington, sailed as a merchant and immigrated to Virginia. He became a planter, politician, and militia leader. A local Anglican church was renamed “Washington” in honor of John Washington.

Following his family’s church tradition in England, when John Washington died, he left to the church a tablet of the Ten Commandments, on which he inscribed: “Being heartily sorry from the bottome of my hart for my sins past, most humbly desiring forgiveness of the same from the Almighty God (my Saviour) and Redeemer, in whom and by the merits of Jesus Christ, I trust and believe assuredly to be saved, and to have full remission and forgiveness of all my sins.”

George Washington’s grandfather, Lawrence, was Anglican. George’s father, Augustine, served as a vestryman in the Anglican Truro Parish. George’s father Augustine Washington, died when George was 11 years old. George’s older half-brother Lawrence fought in the British navy under Admiral Edward Vernon, who had captured Porto Bello, Panama, from Spain in 1739.

When Lawrence returned to Virginia in 1742, he named his farm after his Admiral – Mount Vernon. Lawrence married Anne Fairfax, whose father had been governor of the Bahamas as well as cousins of Thomas Farifax, the largest land owner in America – five million acres. Lawrence arranged for George, at age 15, to begin a career in the British navy as a cabin boy, but George’s widowed mother, Mary Ball Washington, refused.

George Washington became vestryman in Truro Parish, and was godfather in baptism to a niece and several nephews. In 1748, the 16-year-old George Washington was employed by Thomas Farifax to survey the western area of his vast estate.

In 1751, Lawrence Washington, who had contracted tuberculosis, went to Barbados in hopes the change of climate would help him recover. He had his 17-year-old brother George accompany him. In Barbados, George contracted smallpox, but recovered. This providentially inoculated George so that he was not affected during the Revolutionary War, where more soldiers died of smallpox than in battle.

When Lawrence died, his Mount Vernon estate was eventually inherited by George, making him, at age 29, one of the largest landowners in Virginia.

George served as a colonel in the French and Indian War under General Edward Braddock, Commander of the British forces in America. George miraculously survived the Battle of Monongehela in 1755, where he had two horses shot from under him and four bullets through his coat. Braddock was killed, leaving George in command. In 1759, George fell in love and married the 26-year-old widow and mother with two children – Martha Dandridge Custis.

George Washington was commissioned as general of the Continental Army in 1775. When the Declaration of Independence was written, a copy was rushed out to Washington, who was fortifying New York City. He had it read to his troops, then ordered chaplains placed in each regiment, stating July 9, 1776: “The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”

General Washington wrote at Valley Forge, May 2, 1778: “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian.”

To the Delaware Indian Chiefs who brought three youths to be trained in American schools, General Washington stated, May 12, 1779: “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”

On July 2, 1776, from his headquarters in New York, General Washington issued his general orders: “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die. Our own country’s honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us rely upon the goodness of the cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions.”

On Oct. 2, 1775, General George Washington issued the order: “Any … soldier who shall hereafter be detected playing at toss-up, pitch, and hustle, or any other games of chance … shall without delay be confined and punished. … The General does not mean by the above to discourage sports of exercise or recreation, he only means to discountenance and punish gaming.”

On Feb. 26, 1776, General Washington issued the orders: “All … soldiers are positively forbid playing at cards and other games of chance. At this time of public distress men may find enough to do in the service of their God and their country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality.”

On July 4, 1775, General Washington ordered: “The General … requires … observance of those articles of war … which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness; And … requires … punctual attendance of Divine Services.”

As recorded in “The Writings of George Washington” (March 10, 1778, 11:83-84, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934), George Washington ordered: “At a General Court Marshall … Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier…and do sentence him to be dismiss’d the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Liett. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return.”

Washington acknowledged God throughout the Revolution, as he wrote on May 15, 1776: “The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th instant to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please Him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation; the General commands all officers and soldiers to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress; that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory to prosper our arms.”

George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and was sworn in as the first president in 1789. As president, Washington thanked God for the Constitution, Oct. 3, 1789: “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God … I do recommend … rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for … the favorable interpositions of His Providence … we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war … for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government.”

In his farewell address, 1796, Washington stated: “Disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual … (who) turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. … The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. … Let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

Earlier, in 1783, the American-born painter Benjamin West was in England painting the portrait of King George III. When the King asked what General Washington planned to do now that he had won the war.

West replied: “They say he will return to his farm.”

King George exclaimed: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Poet Robert Frost once wrote: “I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few men in the whole history of the world who was not carried away by power.”

George Washington added in his farewell address, 1796: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness.”

A retired general and patriot by the name of William H. Wilbur, said “[George Washington] had an almost Godlike capacity for leadership.” One of George Washington’s soldier wrote this about him, “We are sitting in Valley Forge and waiting….Although we are suffering here terribly, I am loyal with all my heart to George Washington….He gazes with compassion upon the soldiers who are suffering from the cold. And sometimes he approaches one of the sleeping soldiers and covers him, as a father would cover his son.” Given to Rebbetzen Sternberg by Rabbi Yehuda Mandelcorn zt

What was Free Masonry when George Washington Attended? …much different that the freemasonry we know of today as David Barton explains below:

Was George Washington Really a Devout Mason?

I was recently confronted with a quote from a gentleman named Marshall Dean who presented an address at Washington’s Centennial Memorial in 1899 claiming that Washington was a devout Mason.  In that speech, Mr. Dean claimed that:

in a letter addressed in November, 1798, only thirteen months before his death, to the Grand Lodge of Maryland he has made this explicit declaration of his opinion of the Institution: “So far as I am acquainted with the doctrines and principles of Freemasonry, I conceive them to be founded in benevolence, and to be exercised only for the good of mankind. I cannot, therefore, upon this ground, withdraw my approbation from it.”

Mr. Dean was partly correct in saying that Washington wrote a letter containing the above phrase.  The letter which he referenced is one of only five letters that Washington wrote to Masons for which we have an original copy in Washington’s own handwriting.  However, there is a great deal about this letter that Mr. Dean conveniently left out of his speech.

First, it is important to note that this letter was essentially a thank you note which Washington sent to the Maryland lodge in response to a gift that they had sent him upon his acceptance of the Presidency.  It is very rude to say anything negative in a thank you note, and Washington was well known for his cordiality.  We would never expect to find Washington condemning Masonry in a letter thanking the Masons for a gift.

A second point which Mr. Dean neglected to mention is the fact that the original draft of this letter differed considerably from the version which was actually sent to the Maryland lodge and eventually quoted by Mr. Dean.  The original draft reads as follows:

So far as I am acquainted with the principles & Doctrines of Free Masonry, I conceive it to be founded in benevolence and to be exercised only for the good of mankind.  If it has been a Cloak to promote improper or nefarious objects, it is a melancholly proof that in unworthy hands, the best institutions may be made use of to promote the worst designs.

This draft shows that Washington had a much different view of Masonry than most people are aware of.  He viewed Masonry as an institution which had been founded with very noble goals but which had subsequently been co-opted and used for “nefarious” purposes.  Washington apparently considered this language to be too harsh for a thank you note, and the second sentence was crossed out.  In its place, Washington substituted: “Upon this ground, I could not withdraw my approbation of it.”

When we consider the implications of the sentence that Washington crossed out, it becomes clear that he did not intend to convey the ideas which Mr. Dean drew from this letter.  According to Mr. Dean, this letter shows Washington’s “sincere attachment to our Order, and that Washington was in very truth a Mason in heart.”  In reality, however, this letter demonstrate that, by this point in his life, Washington had become suspicious of the Masons, but he was too polite to mention those suspicions in a letter thanking the Masons for a generous gift.

At this point, we should consider a third fact which Mr. Dean excerpted from his presentation, and that is the fact that the gift from the Maryland lodge was “a copy of the Constitutions of Masonry.”  It was immediately after his acknowledgement of this gift that Washington wrote “So far as I am acquainted with the principles & Doctrines of Free Masonry…”  Washington did not write, “I am well acquainted with the principles & Doctrines of Free Masonry…” which is what we would expect from the supposed grand master.  Rather, he spoke of those doctrines as if he were uncertain of their exact nature.  He conceived them to be founded in benevolence but only so far as he was acquainted with them.  This is not the language of a committed, lifelong member of the Masonic fraternity.  But it is what we would expect from someone who had hardly even set foot inside a lodge for more than thirty years as Washington admitted in a letter to G. W. Snyder dated just a month and a half prior to the one cited by Mr. Dean.  In that letter, Washington wrote:

I have heard much of the nefarious and dangerous plan and doctrines of the Illuminati, but never saw the book until you were pleased to send it to me.  The same causes which have prevented my acknowledging the receipt of your letter, have prevented my reading the book hitherto; namely, the multiplicity of matters which pressed upon me before, and the debilitated state in which I was left, after a severe fever had been removed, and which allows me to add little more now than thanks for your kind wishes and favorable sentiments, except to correct an error you have run into, of my presiding over the English Lodges in this country.  The fact is I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice within the last thirty years.  I believe, notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the society of the Illuminati.

Mr. Snyder responded by informing Washington that he was personally aware of Illuminati infiltration in Masonic lodges in America, and on October 24, 1798, just fourteen days before the letter to the Maryland lodge, Washington wrote again to Mr. Snyder to inform him that his previous statements about the Masons had been too soft.  In this second letter, Washington wrote:

Revd Sir: I have your favor of the 17th. instant before me; and my only motive to trouble you with the receipt of this letter, is to explain, and correct a mistake which I perceive the hurry in which I am obliged, often, to write letters, have led you into.

It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.

These letters provide us with a confirmation of the above observations regarding the letter to the Maryland lodge.  In the letters to Mr. Snyder, we can see that Washington is well aware of a “nefarious” plan by the Illuminati to infect the Masonic lodges with their dangerous doctrines.  This was likely the very same “nefarious” plan which Washington referenced in his original draft of the Maryland letter, and Washington’s admission to Mr. Snyder that he had not been in a Masonic lodge more than twice in the preceding thirty years explains Washington’s lack of confidence in his knowledge of the doctrines and principles of Masonry.

Thus, when we consider the whole context of Washington’s letter to the Maryland lodge, it becomes clear that Mr. Dean was very much mistaken in his explanation.  This letter does not confirm that Washington was a true Mason at heart.  Rather, it demonstrates the exact opposite.  This letter confirms that Washington had minimal knowledge of Masonic principles and that he had come to view Masonry with a healthy measure of suspicion.  Those relying on this letter to prove that Washington was a committed Mason should be encouraged to rethink their position.

Sources:

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