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American Freemasonry: Its Revolutionary History and Challenging Future

American Freemasonry: Its Revolutionary History and Challenging Future

Explores the American Masonic system and its strengths and failings

• Examines the history of Freemasonry in the United States from the colonial era and the Revolutionary War to the rise of the Scottish branch onward

• Investigates the racial split in American Freemasonry between black lodges and white and how, unlike French lodges, women are ineligible to become Masons in the U.S.

• Reveals the factors that have resulted in shrinking Masonic enrollment in America and explores the revitalization work done by the Grand Lodge of California.


Preface: Interpreting American Freemasonry throughout Time

Chapter 1. Freemasonry in Pioneer America

The First Lodges and Their Context

Freemasonry, Founding “Establishment” and Power

Lafayette, Freemasonry, and American Independence

Chapter 2. At the Order’s Origins

At the Order’s Origins, Once upon a Time in London...

Chapter 3. The American Spiritual Infusion and Freemasonry

Ethnology, Sociology, and Evolutions

The Morgan Affair and the Anti-Masonic Movement

Masonry, Churches, and Sects

Chapter 4. The Masonic Tradition

The Specifically American Features of Rituals and Institutions

The Initiatory Progression

The American Masonic Administrative Structures Put into Perspective

American Freemasonry Expresses Itself through Social Networks

An Exceptionally Rich Architectural Heritage

Chapter 5. Black American Freemasonry

Relations between White and Black Masons

Chapter 6. The Charity of an Order Challenged by Change

The Para-Masonic Organizations

Chapter 7. American Masonry Confronted by the Initiation of Women

Chapter 8. Relations and Ruptures with French Freemasonry

On the Close and Often Tumultuous Franco-American Relations

Chapter 9. French Freemasonry in North America, Yesterday and Today

Quebec, Canada, and Its Masonic Environment at Its Beginnings

The Jurisdiction of the High Grades of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Quebec

Chapter 10. A Little American Masonic Perspective in a Changing World

Chapter 11. Is the Overall Decline in Membership the Herald of Profound Changes?

The Demographic Pressure of Immigration and the Difficulty in Predicting Its Effects

Afterword: Freemasonry in North America


Appendix I: Statistical Studies of the Evolution of the Membership of American and Canadian Grand Lodges

Appendix II: American Demographic Studies Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and the Washington Post

Appendix III: Speech on the Occasion of the Commemoration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Lighting of the Fires (May 3, 2009)

Appendix IV: Sacramento Seminar of 2002, Organized by the Grand Lodge of California

Appendix V: Geneva Declaration (May 7, 2005)

Appendix VI: Declaration of Basel (June 10, 2012)

Appendix VII: Declaration of Vienna (January 29, 2014)

Appendix VIII: Extracts from the Report of the Commission on Information for Recognition of the American Grand Lodges at the Conference of Baltimore in 2014

Appendix IX: Letter of the Sovereign Grand Commander Alain de Keghel to the Northern Jurisdiction

Appendix X: Thirty-fifth Anniversary of the George Washington Union

Appendix XI: George Washington Union: A Progressive American Obedience