This article was taken from the Leadership Development Course (1995 Revision) originally published by the Grand Lodge of NY Committee on Leadership Services, authored by Allan M. Bryant.
The History of Freemasonry in America is almost synonymous with the history of our country. Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock were among the early Patriots who were Masons. One of the most famous Lodges in the New World was St. Andrew’s Lodge which met at the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston. Many historians are convinced that the participants in the Boston Tea Party were members of that Lodge. Dr. Joseph Warren received his degrees in this Lodge. It is believed that he and other brothers were involved in the Boston Tea Party.
Warren County was named for Dr. & General Joseph Warren, hero of the American Revolution and the first Provincial Grand Master of Masons in the Colony of Massachusetts (December 27, 1769). He served as such until he was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775). The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts assumed its independence on March 8, 1777 becoming the first independent Grand Lodge in the United States.
Peyton Randolph, the first President of the Continental Congress was Provincial Grand Master of Masons in the Virginia Colony. He died on the floor of the Second Congress in 1775.
Benjamin Franklin was Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania. It is believed that through his influence and strong Masonic ties in France and the rest of Europe, Masonic stalwarts such as Lafayette and Baron Von Steuben came to the aid of the Colonies.
At the Battle of Saratoga October 17, 1777, General Burgoyne surrendered to General Horatio Gates. On October 17, 1877, Grand Master J.J. Couch laid the cornerstone of the monument in Schuylerville commemorating that battle. The monument has four carved niches; three of which are filled with groups of bronze figures representing the three famous colonial generals who participated in the battle: Schuyler, Gates, & Daniel Morgan. The fourth niche is vacant with a solitary word “ARNOLD” to remind us that the glory Benedict Arnold won at Saratoga would be later lost in his treason at West Point. Had Arnold died in that battle instead of just losing his leg, he would have been remembered as a great American Hero. All four men were Masons. Another Freemason at the battle was General Kosciusko.