Was Andrew Jackson a Freemason?
Andrew Jackson (born 1767) was the 7th President of the United States and a member of Freemasonry. Jackson would eventually rise to become the Grand Master of Freemasonry in Tennessee.
Who was Andrew Jackson?
Jackson is one of the most iconic figures of the early history of the United States of America. He served as a lawyer, judge, general and of course as the 7th President of the United States.
Andrew Jackson’s early life
Andrew Jackson was born in the Carolinas, in the then American Colonies, to immigrant parents from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. While still a young boy, Jackson served as a courier in the militia during the American Wars for Independence.
The story goes, that as a young boy he refused to clean the boots of a British soldier when ordered. The soldier slashed the young Jackson’s face with this sword, leaving him permanently scarred.
Andrew Jackson; from lawyer to General
On July 4th 1776, the United States declared itself independent from Great Britain, and by 1783 the Revolutionary wars were over. Many Freemasons played key roles in these events, which you can find here.
With the wars ended, Jackson studied law and eventually took, and passed, the bar. Ambitiously, Jackson would rise to become a judge in Tennessee Supreme Court. A position he would use to progress his career even further by successfully campaigning to become Major General of the Tennessee Militia in 1802, even with his lack of actual military experience.
Andrew Jackson would go on to command armies in numerous battles, becoming a seasoned American General, and a war hero.
President of the United States
Jackson was inaugurated as the 7th President of the United States, following a brutal election campaign against the then president John Quincy Adams. Adams was one of the very few presidents who actively opposed Freemasonry during his tenure.
What was Jackson like as a President? Here were some of his key philosophies:
- Democracy: Jackson believed power should be centered with the ordinary people and not just the social elites
- Banking: He viewed the banking establishment in a negative light and was successful in shutting down the 2nd Bank of America
Andrew Jackson the Freemason
Now that we’ve looked at Jackson’s very eventful career, let’s look at his Masonic career.
Andrew Jackson joins Freemasonry
The exact date Andrew Jackson entered the Order is not known. It is suspected that be the year 1800, Jackson was already a Freemason. Again, there is some doubt as to which Masonic Lodge Jackson was initiated into. It is suspected he may have received his Masonic Degrees and initiations in a Masonic Lodge called “Philanthropic Lodge No.12” in Tennessee.
What is for certain, is that by 1800 he was a member of Masonic Lodge “Harmony No.1”, also in Tennessee. This Masonic Lodge was previously called “St. Tammany No.29” and was based in North Carolina.
Harmony No.1 Masonic Lodge ended up losing its warrant (shutting down) and records of Jackson’s Masonic career are less detailed. We do know that Jackson kept paying his Masonic dues to Grand Lodge, thereby keeping him a member in good standing.
Andrew Jackson the Grand Master Freemason
Twenty or so years later, in 1822, Andrew Jackson would become the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, making him the leader and highest ranking Freemason in the whole state. As Grand Master, Jackson would have the final say of all Masonic activity in Tennessee.
Jackson would again hold his high office of Grand Master from 1823 to 1824.
Things Andrew Jackson did as a Freemason
- Jackson introduced the famed General Lafayette to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. It is suspected that La Fayette may have joined Freemasonry – it’s not known.
- He contributed $35 to help erect a Masonic Temple in Nashville, Tennessee. $35 could buy you things back then.
- He assisted in Masonic-style laying of cornerstones.
Andrew Jackson is one of the greatest figures in the history of the United States. He serves as a judge, a soldier, a general and a democracy loving President. His accomplishments and high-rank were equaled in his Masonic career.
Along with George Washington, Jackson is one of the most important Freemason Presidents.
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