Freemaonary is a worldwide organization of men bound together by a philophsophy of moral standards, mutual understanting, and a brotherhood in which all men are all on the level and equal, regardless of race, creed, or finacial status.
Freemasonary is not a political party, pressure or lobby group. (They never have been.) It's members are encouraged to support good government for the general good of the community and country as a whole, and not for personal gain or advantage.
The earliest written historical account of the Masons is in the establishment of The Grand Lodge of England in 1717, although it is certain that Freemasonary dates back much further. How far no one is certain.
There are several references to the Masons in various personal writings dating back to the 1300s and earlier. The Kilwinning Lodge #0, in Scotland, dates it's origns back to 1140.
It is the general consensus among Masonic Historians is that Freemasonary is between 8 to 10 centuries in age, though this cannot be proven solidly.
Freemasonary of today "is" a literal decedent of the Stone Masons Guild, from the early to middle ages, that built the great cathedrals and many of the castles of Europe.
A group of Stone Masons would move from place to place as needed and would establish, in a manner, their own small community next to the community where they were building an edifice. It was very possible that these communities would be in place for several decaeds until their work was completed. Sons often picked up where their Fathers left off, thus the "Craft" passed from Father to Son over several generations. The governing center of these communities was their lodge; and within the lodge was a code of conduct.
Within the Stone Masons Guild there were various disciplines. Quarry men and those who prepared the freshly quarried stones for transport (these stones were called rough ashlers). There was most likely a group of teamsters that specialized in the transportation of the rough ashlers to the construction site.
At the construction site there were stone workers that prepared and shaped the rough ashlers to prescribed shapes. Then there were those who assembled the building, no doubt making fine and last minute adjustments to the stones (Now called perfect ashlers) before setting them into place.
Then there was the group within the guild that designed and engineered the buildings; the Architects. This group within the guild were called the “Freemasons”, which is where the Masons of today gets it's name. This is also why there is mention within Masonic writtings and by Masons themselves about the "Architect". Masons often refer to Deity (God) as the "Grand Architect of the Universe".
The orignal secrets of Freemasonary were the mathematical formulas and engineering techniques and practices needed to design and construct an edifice that would stand for a millennium; many of which are still standing. These secrets were very highly and closely guarded. Closely guarding these secrets made it so the guild as a whole kept themselves employed, which they successfully did for several centuries. This is why Masons of today, out of tradition, are so secretive.
As the guild system started fading out of practice, the Stone Masons Guild started allowing non-construction oriented men into their fraternity that would adhere to their code of conduct. These new types of members were called "Speculative" Masons. Truth be told it was this code of conduct that attracted those outside the "Craft" in the first place.
It could be said that the Freemasons of today are the only surviving guild from the middle ages.
Over time the fraternity had more Speculative Masons than "Operative" Masons, and by the mid 1700s the craft had a greater resemblance of the fraternity that exists today.
Generally speaking, the fore mentioned code of conduct could be described as follows:
- Honesty in buisness.
- Courtsey towards others.
- Dependability in work.
- Compassion for the unfortuante.
- Resistance to evil.
- Help for the weak.
- Forgiveness for the penitent.
- Support Education
- High Morality
- Love for one another.
- Love and reverence for Diety (God)
It has also been described as "An organized association of men, symbolically appling the principles of Operative Masonary and Architecture to the science and art of character building."
A common definition about Masonary among Masons is it's: "A system of morality, vieled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols."
Freemasonary In Colorado
In the United States the Masons in each state are operated independently from those in other states. Each state has it's own Grand Lodge from which each individual lodge receives guidance.
There is — NO — such thing as the Grand Lodge of the United States.
Freemasonary formally came to Colorado in 1861 with the formation of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, having received its charter to be such from the Grand Lodge of England. There are a few of lodges here in Colorado that date back prior to 1861, having received their charters from the Grand Lodge of Kansas or Montana. These Lodges, however, quickly got behind the Grand Lodge of Colorado after it's formation.
Colorado currently has 133 lodges; the oldest of which are Golden Lodge #1, Golden being the orignal location of Grand Lodge of Colorado, and Nevada Lodge #4 in Nevadville. Nevadville is now (literally) a ghost town that still has an active lodge. Columbia Lodge #14 can also be counted as one of the 10 oldest lodges in the state. Columbia Lodge #14's history can be found here.
The term "A.F.&A.M." means "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons"
Some might think it is a waste of time to follow a code of conduct. However, many of the great men in history would disagree with you. All of the following men have been Freemasons.
- George Washington
- Benjamin Franklin
- Paul Revere
- John Hancock
- 9 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
- Several of the Kings of England
- Winston Churchill
- James Mayer Rothschild, Financier
- General Omar Bradley
- General George S. Patton
- General Douglas MacArthur
- Buzz Aldrin, Astronaut
- Charles Lindbergh, US Aviator
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes authur)
- Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
- Alex Haley, author
- John Wayne, Actor
- Richard Bernard "Red Skelton", Comedian
- Harpo Marx, Comedian
- William Abbott of Abbott & Costello
- Nat King Cole, pianist and singer
- Mel Tillis, Country Singer
- Duke Ellington, orchestra leader/composer
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
- Rev. Norman Vincent Peale
- Will Rogers, American Philosopher
- Roy Rogers, Actor
- Booker T. Washington, educator
- Walter Chrysler Founder of Chrysler Corporation
- André Citroen Founder of Citroen Corporation, France
- Fredrick Maytag, Industrialist
- J.C. Penny, Merchant
- Andy Adams, Colorado novelist and cowboy
- Sugar Ray Robinson, boxing champion
- Fourteen US Presidents
- Several Supreme Court Justices
and the list goes on...............
You are in good company when in the company of Masons