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Connection: Lafayette, Washington's apron, and Free Masonry

Sinclair and Bill Beuhler, in particular:

Sinclair's recent post that "Marquis de Lafayette was the great grandson
of Marie-Joseph St Clair de la Riviere of the l'Eure, Normandie"
certainly got my attention.  Ahhh, that Sinclair (St. Clair) connection
again. Since he was also a Mason, I don't know whether to call him
Brother or Cousin. <g>  That information will be added to the Clan
Sinclair Tent!  Thank you, Sinclair, for your further education.  I'm
glad that you don't charge ($$) for this! <g>

It is well known and accepted that Bro Washington's Masonic apron was
embroidered by Madame Lafayette, and given to Washington by Bro

I received several e-mail questions and observations, off-list,
regarding Washington's Masonic apron and Masonic symbolism.  Since there
appears to be at least some interest, I am posting this to the Sinclair
list to hopefully provide some answers.  I offer the following
information from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania website.

"When the young Marquis de Lafayette came to America at the age of 20
and joined George Washington's army for the Battle of Brandywine in
1777, the American cause had become his cause.  The affection each man
held for the other is legend. So too is the legacy of Masonic history
developed through that affection, The Lafayette Apron, of white satin
and embroidered by Madame Lafayette, was presented to Bro. Washington by
Bro. Lafayette in August of 1784. The apron was presented to the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania by the Washington Benevolent Society on July 3,
1829 and is now on display in the Grand Lodge Museum at the Masonic
Temple in Philadelphia. It is a study in symbolism. For example, the
apron border colors of red, white and blue are the national colors of
both the United States and France. Symbols are silent emblems having
meaning only when interpreted. Given the unique character of the
interpretation process, it can be understood that no symbol has absolute

There are 43 noted symbols on Bro Washington's apron. The Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania has a "print" of his apron on it's website, with
interpretations of the symbolism.  I think that you will find it most
interesting.  Bill, this gives you a much closer look at the apron,
which I trust will assist you.

If you are interested in the actual Cornerstone Laying at the US Capitol
building, there is a relatively short article from the Columbian Mirror
& Alexandria Gazette, dated September 25, 1793, to be found on Paul
Bessel's web site: 
There is also much symbolism written into this short article, although
the article reports rather than interprets.  In my humble opinion, the
article was obviously written by a Mason.  Again, Bill, this may be of
particular interest to you.

Regarding Sinclair's question as to when/where Lafayette was made a Free
Mason, Paul Bessel writes that: "No documentary evidence shows where or
when he became a Mason, but he said he was, presented himself, and was
universally accepted as a Mason, visited numerous Masonic lodges".  I'm
requesting info from various sources and perhaps more info will surface.

On a further note, one myth states that *all* of Washington's generals
were Free Masons.  Paul Bessel provides information that this is
certainly not true, however a substantial number, perhaps as many as
half, were Free Masons.  See http://www.bessel.org/gwgenmas.htm It would
be interesting to know the number of Masons in his "inner" circle (those
closest to him).

Mel of South Carolina
Clan Sinclair USA
Commissioner North and South Carolina
Junior Deacon, Walden Lodge 274
Greenville, SC

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