VA -- Mt. Vernon -- Museum: George Washington's Masonic Apron:
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Description of Pictures: George Washington's Masonic Apron on View
February 14, 2020 - February 23, 2020 — All Day
For a limited time, view George Washington's Masonic apron in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.
George Washington was initiated “as an Entered Apprentice” at the Freemason Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1752. A year later, he became a Master Mason, the highest rank in the Fraternity of Freemasonry. Washington maintained his ties to the secret society throughout his life.
This Masonic apron was made in France and is believed to have been presented to George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a former general and close friend of Washington’s, who was also a Freemason. The apron features Masonic symbols, such as compasses and a square, together with the crossed flags of the United States and France, all exquisitely embroidered in silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads with metallic sequins.
On view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, Washington would have worn this apron when attending Masonic meetings. Thanks to a loan from the Brethren of Mt. Nebo Lodge #91 of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Mount Vernon has been able to display this special object on the national observance of George Washington’s birthday since 2011.
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MTVVCA_200217_04.JPG: Masonic Apron
Given to George Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette for the Grand Lodge of France, ca 1784
MTVVCA_200217_05.JPG: Free Mason
George Washington was initiated "as an Entered Apprentice" at the Freemason Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1752. A year later, he became a Master Mason, the highest rank in the Fraternity of Freemasonry. Washington maintained his ties to the secret society throughout his life.
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Description of Subject Matter: The new visitor center covers quite a lot of Washington's life. Some signs:
Setting the World On Fire:
During the early 1750s, longtime enemies Britain and France both laid claim to the land surrounding present-day Pittsburgh. Both countries saw the area as key to controlling the western frontier, and they were determined to defend it at all costs.
In 1754, a young and inexperienced George Washington led his Virginia Regiment there on behalf of Great Britain. Washington soon clashed with the French and their Indian allies, starting a war that quickly spilled beyond North America to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
At age 23, George Washington rose to the highest rank among colonial officers -- Colonel of the Regiment.
After surrender, redemption.
Washington resigned from the Virginia Regiment after surrendering at Fort Necessity. The following year he joined the British Army, signing on as an unpaid aide to help General Edward Braddock to reclaim the Ohio Valley.
The 1755 campaign ended in disaster as French and Indian forces killed Braddock and most of his officers. Filling the breach, Washington braved fierce enemy fire to help reorganize and rescue dazed British troops. He became a war hero, earning a reputation that following him for the rest of his life.
The Dilemma of Slavery:
-- "There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." -- George Washington on slavery, 1783
As Washington grew older, he found it increasingly difficult to justify slavery in a country founded on liberty. And he questioned its value to the economy. He also believed that the slavery question would tear the country apart -- and so, like many others, he refused to address it publicly. Instead, he acted privately and freed his slaves in his will, setting an example for others to follow.
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2020 photos: The year is too new to have anything to report. The Covid-19 disaster cut off most events here in DC after March 11 and even cut off going outside after awhile. Here's hoping honesty and integrity wins for a change this November.