To the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
[3 January 1792]1
Gentlemen and Brothers,
I receive your kind Congratulations with the purest sensations of fraternal affection: And from a heart deeply impressed with your generous wishes for my present and future happiness, I beg you to accept my thanks.
At the same time I request you will be assured of my best wishes and earnest prayers for your happiness while you remain in this terrestial Mansion, and that we may hereafter meet as brethren in the Eternal Temple of the Supreme Architect.
LS, owned (1991) by the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; LB, DLC:GW.
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania convened on St. John’s Day, 27 Dec. 1791, at the Quaker Meeting House at Arch and Fifth Streets in Philadelphia and unanimously approved on 2 Jan. 1792 an address to GW drafted by a committee chaired by the Rev. William Smith. Grand Master Jonathan Bayard Smith, who signed the undated address, and other officers of the Grand Lodge were then deputed to present the address to GW: “The ancient York Masons of the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, for the first time assembled, in General Communication to celebrate the Feast of St John the Evangelist, since your election to the Chair of Government in the United States, beg leave to approach you, with congratulations from the East and in the pride of fraternal affection to hail you as the Great Master-Builder (under the Supreme Architect) by whose Labors the Temple of Liberty hath been rear’d in the West; exhibiting to the Nations of the earth a Model of Beauty, Order and Harmony, worthy of their imitation and praise. Your knowlege of the Origin & Objects of our institution; its’ tendency to promote the social Affections and Harmonize the heart, gives us a sure pledge that this tribute of our Veneration, this effusion of our Love, will not be ungrateful to you; nor will Heaven reject our Prayer—that you may be long continued to adorn the bright List of Master-Workmen which our Fraternity produces in the terrestial Lodge; and that you may be late removed to that celestial Lodge, where love and harmony reign, transcendent and divine; where the Great Architect more immediately presides; and where Cherubin & Seraphin, wafting our congratulations from Earth to Heaven, shall hail you Brother! By order, and in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in general communication assembled in ample form” (DLC:GW).
1. Although neither the address nor the reply are dated, the docket on the reverse of the receiver’s copy of GW’s reply describes it as the “Answer of the President of the United States to the address presented to him by the Grand officers of the G—Lodge of Pennsylvania January 3d 1792.”