Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Did Europeans settle in the Arizona desert thousands of years before Columbus sailed to America?

Did Europeans settle in the Arizona desert thousands of years before Columbus sailed to America?

Engraved on the cross found in the Arizona desert c.1922 is the tale that after landing on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Romans marched northwest until they arrived at a desert area near present day Tucson. (Photo from the Desert Magazine, December 1980.)
Engraved on the cross found in the Arizona desert c.1922 is the tale that after landing on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Romans marched northwest until they arrived at a desert area near present day Tucson. (Photo from the Desert Magazine, December 1980.)
EL PASO – In our modern world we tend to think of stories of pygmies and giants, dragons and the wee people, hidden treasures and mysterious lost cities as fairy tales and bedtime stories, but these yarns have roots deep in the distant history of the American Southwest.
Almost 500 years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, Leif Ericson explored the land west of Greenland and established a small settlement. More than 300 years before Columbus landed in Santo Domingo in 1492, a Welsh explorer navigated up Alabama’s Mobile Bay and established European styled fortifications and settlements as far north as the Ohio Valley.
But perhaps even they weren’t the first to come to the new world. Roman Christians may have established a colony on the outskirts of what is now Tucson, Arizona as far back as 775 A.D. Unfortunately, mainstream archeology and academia have dismissed these discoveries as either hoaxes or simply as unworthy of discussion. However, to their chagrin, such unusual discoveries continue to be made.
It might be hard to understand that there have been discoveries that would change the history books and our concept of ancient history, but established academia has gone out of its way to suppress such discoveries. There have been dozens of discoveries that make it very clear that there was once a relatively advanced civilization occupying North America of which only bare remnants remain.
When the European explorers landed on the eastern shores of this great land, they believed that it was untouched by man. Then the explorers met the scattered Indian tribes that inhabited the east. Most of the tribes in North America were small and ill prepared for the arrival of one of the greatest scourges of the old world – the religious zealot. The Conquistadors were bringing the word of God to the heathen of the New World whether they wanted it or not.
The arrival of the Spanish was not an accident; there was a legal basis for their move to the new world. In 1095, at the beginning of the Crusades, Pope Urban II issued an edict, referred to as a Papal Bull.
The first of these Papal edicts affecting the new world was called Terra Nullius (meaning empty land). This Bull gave the kings and princes of Europe the right to “discover” or claim land in non-Christian areas. This policy was further extended in the year 1452 when Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal Bull entitled Romanus Pontifex, declaring war against all non-Christians throughout the world and authorizing the conquest of their nations and territories.
These religious edicts treated non-Christians as uncivilized sub-humans, and therefore without rights to any land or nation. Christian leaders claimed a God-given right to take control of all lands and used these Papal Edicts to justify war, colonization, and even slavery of the people living in the conquered lands.
As detailed by Rick Osmon in Graves of the Golden Bear: Ancient Fortresses and Monuments of the Ohio Valley, by the time Christopher Columbus set sail in 1492, this idea, which was referred to as the Doctrine of Discovery, was a well-established concept.
The Spanish, acting on the assumption that there were no previous civilizations existing on the North American continent, rushed in to claim the “empty lands” granted them by the Papal Bulls. In spite of contemporary tales of others finding the new world, the Catholic Church through its major sponsors at the time, the Spanish court and the Jesuit brotherhood, were able to ensure that history would show that Christopher Columbus was the first to find the new world. Spain was his sponsor, and thus Spain was due a legal and rightful claim to the entire New World, including all riches and human slaves that could be found there.
However, during the initial exploration, to their chagrin, there were signs that there had been a pre-existing civilization. There was even evidence that there had been a pre-existing “Christian” civilization in North America. This fact, alone, if proven, would have thrown the ownership of this great land up for grabs as the Papal Bulls would not have applied to the new world.
Under the instructions of their religious “advisors,” the Spanish moved to eradicate the evidence of earlier settlements, thus making the new world safe for conquest.
Roman legions in Arizona
There is evidence that in 775 A.D. a fleet of ships carrying 700 Christianized Romans left the Roman Empire under the command of Theodorus the Renowned bound for the New World. The information regarding this colonial effort comes from an engraved cross that was unearthed near present day Tucson, Arizona.
According to the story engraved on the cross, after a landing on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Romans marched northwest until, arriving at a desert area near present day Tucson, where they built a city that they called Terra Calalus. According to the records found, the colony flourished until approximately 900 A.D when the local Native American tribes that they had been oppressing for almost 125 years destroyed it.
Welsh visitors
The Romans were not the only Europeans to predate the arrival of Columbus. The Daughters of the American Revolution placed a most interesting plaque at Fort Morgan, Alabama few years ago commemorating the explorations of Prince Madoc, a brave Welsh explorer. A few historians have insisted that Prince Madoc and his followers landed on the shores of Mobile Bay in the year 1170, over 300 years before Columbus came to America.
At the unveiling of the plaque were Mrs. Mary Yale Williams, both a descendant of the Madoc family and a member of the family that founded Yale University, Hatchett Chandler, of Fort Morgan, at whose suggestion the marker was placed at the old fort and Miss Zella Armstrong of Chattanooga, author of Who Discovered America: The Amazing Story of Madoc, a book in which she concluded that Madoc was the first white discoverer of what is now the United States.
Many researchers have investigated the claim of Madoc and the 1170 date and a few have found substance in the claims. Much of the early research along this line centered on stories regarding “Welsh speaking Indians” that were purportedly of fair complexion and that used round boats built much more like Welsh coracles than like canoes. Indeed, several portraits and chronicle entries by early journalists, particularly by Meriwether Lewis and George Caitlin, appear to depict light skinned, blue-eyed people in native attire living among the Mandan tribe of the Missouri River country.
According to the story, hostile Indians killed Prince Madoc during an attack. Supporting this sad ending to the career of this brave individual was a discovery in Wales of an ancient chapel. During a renovation of this structure, a mural was found commemorating the death of Prince Madoc and in the mural the attackers were identified as feather wearing individuals who shot arrows at the Welsh explorers.
Ancient copper mines
According to the research of Philip Coppens in his work Copper: A world trade in 3000 BC?Predating even the arrival of the Welsh and the Romans, the era around 3000 BC saw more than 500,000 tons of copper mined from the so-called Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The largest mine was on Isle Royale, an island in Lake Superior, near the Canadian border. Here, there are thousands of prehistoric copper pits, dug thousands of years ago by an unknown ancient people.
The mining operation on Isle Royale was neither small nor primitive even by today’s standards. The Mining Belt on Isle Royale is one and three quarter miles in length and nearly four hundred feet wide. The copper pits range from 10 to 30 feet deep with a maze of connecting tunnels that one archaeologist estimated would have taken the equivalent of 10,000 men working for 1000 years to dig.
After two centuries of speculation, no one has ever satisfactorily explained either the identity of the miners or where all of this copper mined by these unknown miners went. Dating of the relics found at the site revealed that extraction of copper from Isle Royal began in 5300 BC, with some researchers even claiming that it began as early as 6000 BC. Evidence for smelting is known to exist from “only” 4000 BC onwards.
The exact amount of the mined ore is perhaps never going to be exactly determined, but what is known is that about 1200 BC, all mining activity was halted. But around 1000 AD, mining was restarted and lasted until 1320 AD. During this period more than 2000 tons of copper ore were removed.
So clearly, there were a fairly large number of inhabitants of some sophistication living in North America over 5,000 years ago and there were a number of explorers and settlers here long before Christopher Columbus “discovered” America for the Spanish Crown.
In future articles, we will examine not only these stories but other fascinating aspects that are numbered among the many mysteries that make the Southwest United States such a fascinating part of the country.

Editor’s Note – This is the first in a series of articles that examines data showing that North America has been a crossroads for explorers from distant lands for more than a thousand years and that Europeans may have actually established colonies in America long before Columbus sailed the Caribbean Sea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sons of Liberty: Patriots or Terrorists?

Sons of Liberty: Patriots or Terrorists?
How A Secret Society of Rebel Americans Made Its Mark on Early America
by Todd Alan Kreamer

SONS OF LIBERTY, or Sons of something altogether different? I suppose it all depends on a particular individual's point of view.
For the American "armchair historian," this American Revolutionary organization conjures up a myriad of confusing images. But, what of this "secret" organization that played such an integral part in advancing the idea of American independence from Great Britain? What were the Sons of Liberty? Who were its members and how widespread was its support among the thirteen colonies comprising British America? What was the ideology and degree of political affiliation within the organization?
Shrouded in secrecy, the origins of the Sons of Liberty are in dispute. Some historical sources claim that the movement began in New York City in January 1765. A more popular claim is that the movement began in Boston, Massachusetts through the leadership of one Samuel Adams (a well known American Revolutionary firebrand) in early 1765. It is quite likely that the Boston and New York City chapters of the Sons of Liberty were organized and developed simultaneously.

Tradition has it that the Boston chapter gathered beneath the Liberty Tree for meetings while the New York City chapter met beneath the Liberty Pole for its meetings. For reasons of safety and secrecy, Sons of Liberty groups tended to meet late at night so as not to attract attention and detection of British officials and the American Loyalist supporters of the British Crown.
This secret patriotic society had its roots in the Committees of Correspondence. The "Committees" were colonial groups organized prior to the outbreak of the American War for Independence and were established for the purpose of formally organizing public opinion and coordinating patriotic actions against Great Britain. These original committees were loosely organized groups of private citizens formed in the New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island colonies from 1763-1764.

It was the Boston Committee of Correspondence that directed the Boston Tea Party action of December 16, 1773.1 Upset with the lack of redress concerning the new tax on tea established by the British government for importation of tea to Boston, a small band of the Boston Committee of Correspondence members (approximately fifty in number) led by Samuel Adams, proceeded to empty three ships worth and 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor in protest.2
Was this an early terrorist action or a patriotic action. Surely, the answer lies with perspective. If you were a British official, this action was treasonous and punishable by death. If you were an American colonial citizen, this event would be seen as a glorious action of the freedom fighters worthy of praise, pride, and acclaim.

Essentially, the Sons of Liberty organized into patriotic chapters as a result of the Stamp Tax imposed by the British government on the American colonists in 1765. As a result of the heavy debt incurred from the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the resulting burden of increased British possessions in the Americas gained as a result of victory in the war (Canada, Louisiana land area known as "New France," and several former French islands of the West Indies), British Parliament decided to station British "regular" troops in the American colonies to keep the French from attempting to recapture Canada and to defend the colonies against the Native American Indians.3 It should be noted that the vast majority of Native Americans sided with the French in the North American Theater of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and had a notorious record of carrying out terrifying raids against British colonists in the frontier regions of the New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, and Carolina colonies dating back to the middle seventeenth century.

The Stamp Act of March 1765 was instituted to help defray the costs of maintaining British troops in the American colonies by issuing tax stamps for a wide range of public documents including: customs documents, newspapers, legal papers, and licenses. The British government believed that this stamp tax passed specifically for the American colonies was quite fair and just as a means to help pay their share of the huge national debt incurred from the Seven Years War. After all, reasoned Parliament, had not the colonies directly benefited from the war and the expulsion of the French threat from Canada? While Parliament felt that the American colonies should pay their fair portion of the war debt, the colonists responded with outrage and indignation.

The Stamp Act, like the Sugar Act before it, reasoned the colonists, was yet another example of Parliament trampling on the colonial legislature's right to tax their own people. Actions and attitudes of colonists regarding perceived British monetary atrocities against their well being formed the foundation for the rallying cry of American patriots across the land namely, "no taxation without representation." The American colonists had no physical representation or voice in London Parliament, nor did they ever wish to, assert many historians. With actual American representation in Parliament, there would be no need for seeking independence.4
The Sons of Liberty organizations responded to the Stamp Act of 1765 in various ways.

The New York Sons of Liberty declared in December 1765 that they would "go to the last extremity" with their lives and fortunes to prevent the enforcement of the Stamp Act. This declaration included the use of violence if necessary. Acts of rebellion against the Stamp Tax in New York City included an incident from January 9, 1766 in which ten boxes of parchment and stamped paper were delivered to City Hall and immediately confiscated, unpacked, and burned by secret leaders of the New York Sons group.5 Some merchants simply refused to pay the stamp excises. Printers, lawyers, laborers and small shopkeepers simply ignored paying the duty and carried on business as usual.6

Sometimes, the actions and reactions of the Sons of Liberty to the Stamp Act took a violent turn as recorded in a local New York City merchant's diary in April, 1765. Violence broke out with the arrival of a shipment of stamped paper to the Royal Governor's residence. Cadwallder Colden, the acting Royal Governor of the New York colony and scholarly correspondent of Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Samuel Johnson, was extremely frightened of the patriotic group and so locked himself up securely inside Fort George immediately after he received the stamped paper from British officials. A few hours after receiving the official papers, a raucous mob captured the governor's gilded and spectacular coach and reduced it to a pile of ashes. From here the mob (consisting largely of extremist elements of the New York Sons of Liberty) raced uptown to the home of Fort George's commander, smashing numerous windows and breaking into the wine cellar to sustain their "patriotism" before descending on the rest of the house in a convulsion of vandalism.7 Tarring and feathering Loyalists — those individuals who sympathized and were supportive of the British Crown, royal tax collectors, and other officials — was a common practice carried out by the more radical elements of the organizations.

Ironically, the Sons of Liberty ultimately took their name from a debate on the Stamp Act in Parliament in 1765. Charles Townshend, speaking in support of the act, spoke contemptuously of the American colonists as being "children planted by our care, nourished up by our indulgence...and protected by our arms." Isaac Barre, member of Parliament and friend of the American colonists, jumped to his feet in outrage in this same session to counter with severe reprimand in which he spoke favorably of the Americans as "these Sons of Liberty."8 American colonists had several friends supportive of their views on the tax situation including: William Pitt (the Elder), Charles James Fox, Edmund Burk, and others.

The two original Sons of Liberty organizations (New York City and Boston) quickly established correspondence and communications with ever emerging Sons of Liberty groups in New England, the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia. Typically, members of this organization were men from the middle and upper classes of American colonial society. Although the movement began as a secret society, for reasons of safety and anonymity, the organization quickly sought to build a broad, public base of political support among the colonists. Frequently, cooperation with undisciplined and extralegal groups (city gangs) set off violent actions. Even though the Sons seldom looked for violent solutions and eruptions, they did continue to elicit and promote political upheaval that tended to favor crowd action.

While British officials accused the Sons organizations of scheming to overthrow the true and legitimate government of the American colonies, the Sons of Liberty viewed their official aims in more narrow terms, organizing and asserting resistance to the Stamp Act. Outwardly, the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their unfaltering loyalty and allegiance to King George III of Great Britain and emphasized their support of the English Constitution against the usurpation of royal officials.9 For eleven years, 1765 to 1776, American colonists saw British Parliament as the collective "bad guy," not the king!

The Sons of Liberty as a viable movement first broke up with the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766. However, the organizational network was revived in 1768 in response to the Townshend Acts (a series of excise duties on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea imported into the colonies.) From 1768 until the end of the American Revolution, Sons of Liberty groups remained in active correspondence with one another throughout the thirteen American colonies and each group took charge of organizing and effecting resistance movements against what they perceived as unfair British taxation and financial strangulation within their respective colonies. The Sons of Liberty as an active movement disbanded in late 1783.10

In the end, no universal conclusions, judgments or definitive statements can be made about the Sons of Liberty. Were they a terrorist organization? The British certainly believed they were. After all, the Sons were advocating overthrow of the status quo government and independence for the thirteen colonies. Were they a patriotic organization? Many American colonists certainly believed they were. The Sons represented to them the American freedom fighter personified, fighting for their rights and ultimate independence. It should be noted that the Loyalists also had their version of Committees of Correspondence and Sons of Liberty namely: the United Empire Loyalists.

One thing is certain about the Sons of Liberty organization: it gave American colonists a voice and vital chance to actively participate in the independence movement.

Finally, the decision on the Sons of Liberty comes down to a variation on an old saying, "one man's terrorist is another man's patriot." The ultimate conclusion must be left to the individual.

Sons of Liberty

Sons of Liberty

The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization of American Patriots which originated in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution. British authorities and their supporters known as Loyalists considered the Sons of Liberty as seditious rebels, referring to them as "Sons of Violence" and "Sons of Iniquity." Patriots attacked the apparatus and symbols of British authority and power such as property of the gentry, Customs officers, East India Company tea, and as the war approached, vocal supporters of the Crown.

In the popular imagination (as in the novel Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes), the Sons of Liberty was a formal underground organization with recognized members and leaders. More likely, the name was an umbrella term for any men resisting new Crown taxes and laws. Newspaper articles, handbills, referred to "True Born Sons of Liberty," "Sons of Freedom," "Liberty Boys", and "Daughters of Liberty."
The label let organizers issue anonymous summons to a Liberty Tree, "Liberty Pole", or other public meeting-places, let Patriot groups in one town communicate with those elsewhere, and let any man or boy imagine himself a Son of Liberty.
While the officers and leaders of the Sons of Liberty “were drawn almost entirely from the middle and upper ranks of colonial society, they recognized the need to expand their power base to include "the whole of political society, involving all of its social or economic subdivisions."[1] Prominent leaders included Paul Revere, Thomas Young, Joseph Warren, Alexander McDougall, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Isaac Sears, John Lamb, James Otis, Marinus Willett, John Adams, and his cousin, Samuel Adams, who was a leader of the New England resistance. Silas Downer, a so-called "Forgotten Patriot", spoke as a Sons of Liberty member at one of the famed Liberty Trees in 1766.[2]
Members were drawn from across class distinctions, although these borders were less well-defined in colonial America. In order to do this, the Sons of Liberty relied on large public demonstrations to expand their base.[3] They learned early on that controlling such crowds was problematical, although they strived to control "the possible violence of extra-legal gatherings."[4] While the organization professed its loyalty to both local and British established government, possible military action as a defensive measure was always part of their considerations. Throughout the Stamp Act Crisis, the Sons of Liberty professed continued loyalty to the King because they maintained a "fundamental confidence" in the expectation that Parliament would do the right thing and repeal the tax.[5]

Groups identifying themselves as Sons of Liberty existed in almost every colony. The organization spread month by month after independent starts in several different colonies. August 1765, was celebrated as the founding of the group in Boston.[6] While Samuel Adams was the organizer of the Boston group[7], this group had formerly existed as the "Loyal Nine" and there is no evidence it was originally a tool of radicals such as Adams and Otis.[8] By November 6, a committee was set up in New York to correspond with other colonies, and in December an alliance was formed between groups in New York and Connecticut.

In January, there was established a correspondence link between Boston and Manhattan, and by March, Providence had initiated connections with New York, New Hampshire, and Newport, Rhode Island. Also, by March, Sons of Liberty organizations had been established in New Jersey, Maryland, and Norfolk, Virginia, and a local group established in North Carolina was attracting interest in South Carolina and Georgia.[9]

North American colonists from Savannah to Halifax resisted the Stamp Act in 1765, through legislative resolutions (starting in Province of Virginia), public demonstrations (starting in Province of Massachusetts), threats, and occasional violence. The success of this popular movement — the Stamp Act became unenforceable and was repealed in May 1766 — emboldened colonial Whigs to resist other new taxes with similar measures in the following years. In 1768, in response to the Townshend Act, the Sons of Liberty were able to impose a virtual blockade of British goods.

The burning of the HMS Gaspée
In 1766, the Sons of Liberty (a.k.a. "Liberty Boys") in the Province of New York erected a Liberty Pole in New York City to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. There was a long-running skirmish over these Liberty Poles with the British troops stationed there (the most notable engagement being the Battle of Golden Hill on 19 January 1770). As poles were alternately erected by Patriots and cut down by troops, violent outbreaks over it raged intermittently from 1766 until the Patriots gained control of New York City government in April 1775. The last liberty pole was cut down by occupying British troops on 28 October 1776.[10]
The Sons of Liberty were responsible for the burning of HMS Gaspée in 1772.

In December 1773, the Sons of Liberty issued and distributed a declaration in New York City called the Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York which formally stated their opposition to the Tea Act and that anyone who assisted in the execution of the act was "an enemy to the liberties of America" and that "whoever shall transgress any of these resolutions, we will not deal with, or employ, or have any connection with him". The Sons of Liberty took direct action to enforce their opposition to the Tea Act at the Boston Tea Party. Members of the group, wearing disguises meant to evoke the appearance of Native American Indians, poured several tons of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest of the Tea Act.

The Sons of Liberty were widely accused of tarring and feathering.

Early in the American Revolution, the Sons of Liberty generally evolved into or were superseded by more formal groups such as the Committee of Safety.
After the end of the American Revolutionary War, Isaac Sears along with Marinus Willet and John Lamb, in New York City, revived the Sons of Liberty. In March 1784, they rallied an enormous crowd which called for the expulsion of any remaining Loyalists from the state starting May 1. The Sons of Liberty were able to gain enough seats in the New York assembly elections of December 1784 to have passed a set of punitive laws against Loyalists. In this time period, it is said that John Adams and Sam Adams fought in jurisdiction due to the public offholding of public society as a system. In violation of the Treaty of Paris (1783) they called for the confiscation of the property of Loyalists.[11]

Nine stripe Sons of Liberty flagIn 1767, the Sons of Liberty adopted a flag called the rebellious stripes flag with nine uneven vertical stripes (five red and four white). It is supposed that nine represented the number of colonies that were to attend the Stamp Act Congress. A flag having thirteen horizontal red and white stripes, used by American merchant ships during the war, was also associated with the Sons of Liberty. While red and white were common colors of the flags, other color combinations, such as green and white, in addition to yellow and white, were used.[12][13]

Later societiesThe name was also used during the American Civil War.
Early in 1864, the Copperhead organization, the Knights of the Golden Circle, was reorganized as the Order of the Sons of Liberty.

The Improved Order of Red Men, a patriotic fraternal secret society, claims to actually be the Sons of Liberty, having adopted the Native American motive after the Boston Tea Party.

One of the secret societies at the University of Virginia calls itself the Sons of Liberty. Some of its actions seem designed to echo those of the colonial Sons of Liberty, including pouring tea down the chimney of an individual of whom the society was publicly critical.[14]
Sons of Liberty/ Sons of the American Revolution

The Sons of the American Revolution is an historical, educational, and patriotic organization that seeks to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, an appreciation for true patriotism, a respect for our national symbols, the value of American citizenship and the unifying force of "e pluribus unum" that has created, from the people of many nations, one nation and one people. We do this by perpetuating the stories of patriotism, courage, sacrifice, tragedy, and triumph of the men who achieved the independence of the American people in the belief that these stories are universal ones of man's eternal struggle against tyranny, relevant to all time, and will inspire and strengthen each succeeding generation as it too is called upon to defend our freedoms on the battlefield and in our public institutions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008



John Adams - (Spoke favorably of Freemasonry)
Samuel Adams - (Close associate of Hancock, Revere & other Masons)
Ethan Allen - Mason
Edmund Burke - Mason
John Claypoole - Mason
William Daws - Mason
Benjamin Franklin - Mason
John Hancock - Mason
Thomas Jefferson - (Deist with Masonic connections)
John Paul Jones - Mason
Robert Livingston - Mason
James Madison - (Some evidence of Masonic membership)
Paul Revere - Mason
Colonel Benjamin Tupper - Mason
George Washington - Mason
Daniel Webster - (Some evidence of Masonic connections)


Known Masons

Benjamin Franklin
John Hancock
Joseph Hewes
William Hooper
Robert Treat Payne
Richard Stockton
George Walton
William Whipple

Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations

Elbridge Berry
Lyman Hall
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Nelson Jr.
John Penn
George Read
Roger Sherman


Known Masons

Gunning Bedford, Jr.
John Blair
David Brearly
Jacob Broom
Daniel Carrol
John Dickinson
Benjamin Franklin
Rufus King,
George Washington

Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations

Abraham Baldwin
William Blount
Elbridge Gerry
Nicholas Gilman
Alexander Hamilton
Thomas Jefferson,
John Lansing, Jr.
James Madison
George Mason
George Read
Robert Morris
Roger Sherman
George Wythe

Those Who Later Became Masons

William Richardson Davie, Jr.
Jonathan Dayton
Dr. James McHenry
John Francis Mercer
William Patterson
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer


- Lafayette, French liason to the Colonies, without whose aid the war could not have been won, was a Freemason.
- The majority of the commanders of the Continental Army were Freemasons and members of "Army Lodges."
- Most of Washington's Generals were Freemasons.
- The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern, also known as the Freemasons' Arms, and "the Headquarters of the Revolution."
- George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States by Robert Livingston, Grand Master of New York's Masonic lodge. The Bible on which he took his oath was from his own Masonic lodge.
- The Cornerstone of the Capital building was laid by the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

Masonic Presidents USA

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
James Polk
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
James Garfield
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Taft
Warren Harding
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Lyndon Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George Bush

Political Leaders USA

Bill Clinton, Senior Demolay (Masonic youth group)
Newt Gingrich, 33rd Degree Freemason
Bob Dole, 33rd Degree Freemason
Jack Kemp, 33rd Degree Freemason
Storm Thurmond, 33rd Degree Freemason
Colin Powell, 33rd Degree Freemason, U.S. Secretary of State
Jesse Helms, 33rd Degree Freemason
Barry Goldwater, 33rd Degree Freemason
Al Gore, Freemason

"God may have other words for other worlds, but His supreme Word for this world, yesterday, today, forever, is Christ! He is the central Figure of the Bible, its crown, its glory, its glow-point of vision and revelation. Take Him away and its light grows dim. He fulfilled the whole Book, its history, its poetry, its prophecy, its ritual, even as He fulfills our deepest yearning and our highest hope. Ages have come and gone, but He abides-abides because He is real, because he is unexhausted, because He is needed. Little is left today save Christ-Himself smitten and afflicted, bruised of God and wounded-but He is all we need. If we hear Him, follow Him, obey Him, we shall walk together in a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness and love-He is the Word of God "
Joseph Fort Newton,
"The Great Light in Masonry,"
Little Masonic Library, Vol. 3, p. 177)

Norman Vincent Peale was also a Freemason and prelate of the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar of the United States.
There is reportedly some anecdotal evidence to suggest that Kenneth Copeland, Billy Graham and Robert Schuller were Freemasons but there has been no proof of that.

North America

In 1634 the first documented record of a Freemason in North America was that of Lord Alexander in New France (Canada). The "Viscount Canada", founded a colony of Scots on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, and was a member of Edinburgh Lodge No. 1 at Saint Mary's Chapel.

Freemasonry's spread around the world was facilitated by British Military Field Lodges, and in North America the most important figure was Lord Jeffrey Amherst. From Amhersts' base in Nova Scotia, (1738 - 1st Masonic Lodge in Canada is constituted at Annapolis, Nova Scotia.) the Commander in Chief of British North America saw field lodges spread to virtually every segment of his command. Of the nineteen Regiments under Amherst, thirteen had verifiable field lodges.
The American RevolutionFreemasons were on both sides of the American War of Independence and the fact that several of the key writers and signatories of the Declaration of Independence were Masons' is well known.

Documented evidence abounds to the Masonic influence that permeated the revolution. From the goals and ideals of the Declaration of Independence, to the philosophy of the commanders - both British/Canadian and American.

During the American War of Independence it was not uncommon for a field lodge's warrants and regalia to be captured by the opposing force. Invariably they were returned. One such occurrence was the capture of the warrant of the British Regiment 17th Foot. The warrant was returned with a letter signed by Continental General Samuel Parsons. It stated,

"Brethren, When the ambition of monarch's, or the jarring interests of States, call forth their subjects to war, as Masons we are disarmed of that resentment which stimulates to undistinguished desolation, and however our political sentiments may impel us in the public dispute, we are still Brethren, and (our professional duty apart) ought to promote the happiness and advance the weal of each other. Accept, therefore, at the hands of a Brother, the Constitution of the Lodge 'Unity, No. 18' held in the 17th British Regiment, which your late misfortunes have put in my power to restore to you. - I am, your Brother and obedient servant, Samuel H. Parsons."

The Bat Creek Stone

The Bat Creek Stone
by J. Huston McCulloch

Cherokee or Hebrew?
The Bat Creek Stone was professionally excavated in 1889 from an undisturbed burial mound in Eastern Tennessee by the Smithsonian's Mound Survey project. The director of the project, Cyrus Thomas, initially declared that the curious inscription on the stone were "beyond question letters of the Cherokee alphabet." (Thomas 1894: 391:4)

In the 1960s, Henriette Mertz and Corey Ayoob both noticed that the inscription, when inverted from Thomas's orientation to that of the above photograph, instead appeared to be ancient Semitic. The late Semitic languages scholar Cyrus Gordon (1971) confirmed that it is Semitic, and specifically Paleo-Hebrew of approximately the first or second century A.D. According to him, the five letters to the left of the comma-shaped word divider read, from right to left, LYHWD, or "for Judea." He noted that the broken letter on the far left is consistent with mem, in which case this word would instead read LYHWD[M], or "for the Judeans."

Hebrew scholar and archaeologist Robert Stieglitz (1976) confirmed Gordon's reading of the longer word, and identifed the second letter of the shorter word as a qoph. Mertz (1964) herself had first proposed that the first letter is a (reversed) resh. The main line would then read RQ , LYHWD[M], i.e. "Only for Judea," or "Only for the Judeans" if the broken letter is included.
In Paleo-Hebrew, words are required to be separated by a dot or short diagonal stroke serving as a word divider, rather than by a space as in English or modern Hebrew. The short diagonal word divider used on the Bat Creek inscription is less common than the dot, but appears both in the Siloam inscription and the Qumran Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus scroll.

In 1988, wood fragments found with the inscription were Carbon-14 dated to somewhere between 32 A.D. and 769 A.D.(McCulloch 1988). This range is consistent with Gordon's dating of the letters.

In McCulloch (1988) I note that although a few of the letters could be taken for Cherokee in either orientation, and although several of the letters are not perfect as Paleo-Hebrew, the inscription matches Hebrew much better than Cherokee. As English, for example, the main line could be forced to read "4SENL , YP" (sic) in the Mertz/Gordon orientation, or "dh ' 7NESb" in Thomas's orientation. The match to Cherokee is no better than to English, and no one has ever proposed a Cherokee reading of the inscription.

The lone letter below the main line is problematic, but could conceivably be either an aleph or a waw, in which case it might be a numeral indicating Year 1 or 6, respectively, of some era. The two vertical strokes above the main line are test scratches made by an unknown party while the stone was at the Smithsonian, sometime between 1894 and 1971.

Surely Hebrew, but Masonic? American archaeologists Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., and Mary L. Kwas have recently argued in American Antiquity (2004) that the inscription was copied from an illustration in an 1870 Masonic reference book, and is therefore clearly a nineteenth century forgery that must have been introduced by the Smithsonian field assistant who found it. The entry in question, an 1860s artist's impression of how the Biblical phrase QDSh LYHWH, or "Holy to Yahweh," would have looked in Paleo-Hebrew letters, is reproduced below:
Macoy (1868, p. 134)

Both inscriptions do contain two words, with the identical string LYHW- beginning the longer second word in both cases. However, the fifth letter of the second word is clearly different in the two cases. The Bat Creek word ends with a daleth, which also happens to be the second letter of the first word in the Masonic illustration, making the Bat Creek word "for Judea." The Masonic word ends with a second he, which makes it "for Yahweh" instead. The Bat Creek word also has the remnant of a sixth letter, presumably mem, that is completely absent from Macoy's illustration.

In fact it is not surprising that two Hebrew inscriptions would both contain the string LYHW-. The common prefix L- simply forms the dative case, indicating for, to, or belonging to the word that follows. The string YHW-, or Yahu-, the first three letters of the name YHWH or Yahweh of the Hebrew God, is a common theophoric component of Hebrew names. Judah or Yehud (YHWD in the Persian era, according to Gordon) is one such "Yahwist" name. A modern example of such a name is that of Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel from 1996-1999.

The January/February 2006 Biblical Archaeology Review happens to contain a photograph of a bulla (seal impression) that was recently excavated from Jersualem's City of David under the supervision of Hebrew University archaeologist Eilat Mazar. The inscription, in Old Hebrew letters closely related to those in the Macoy illustration, begins with the Masonic string LYHW- in the word LYHWKL, or "belonging to Yehucal" (Mazar 2006: 26). The second line actually contains the tell-tale string -YHW again, in the name of Yehucal's father, ShLMYHW or Shelemiyahu. However, the presence of the string LYHW- on both the Yehucal bulla and the Masonic illustration does not prove that the Mazar assistant who supposedly found the new bulla cribbed it from Macoy's book, but merely that this is a common component of Hebrew inscriptions. Likewise, the presence of this string on Bat Creek does not require it to have been copied from Macoy.

The shorter first words of the Bat Creek and Masonic inscriptions are also clearly different, the Bat Creek word having two letters and the Masonic word three. The distinctive W-like shin of the Biblical QDSh (Qedosh) is entirely missing on Bat Creek. The first letters of the two words do have essentially the same form, but are in fact different: In Macoy's illustration, this is clearly meant to be a qoph, but as such is not well made, since in Paleo-Hebrew it should have, in addition to a loop on the right, an arm to the left with an uptick at the end. This arm in fact appears on the second Bat Creek letter, which was consequently identified by Stieglitz as a qoph. Since this alternate form of Q is already present on Bat Creek, the first letter must be something different, and makes most sense as an inverted (rho-wise) resh, as originally proposed by Mertz. The second letter (D) on the Masonic inscription does look a little like the second letter (Q) on Bat Creek, but in fact there is already a D on Bat Creek, at the end of the second word, that looks nothing like the second Bat Creek letter. These are therefore different letters as well.
However, the most telling difference between the Bat Creek and Masonic inscriptions is in the different ways the two words are separated. Macoy's illustrator, who was undoubtedly working from a newly-available dictionary chart of Jewish War coinscript letters to transcribe standard Square Hebrew into the older alphabet, erroneously assumed that the words should be separated by a space, as in English or modern Hebrew. Bat Creek instead correctly uses a word divider. There is no way this subtle detail could have been copied from Macoy's illustration, even if the copyist threw in a few random changes to disguise his or her source.

If nothing else, the Masonic illustration newly discovered by Mainfort and Kwas does show that Bat Creek has an undeniable affinity to Paleo-Hebrew, and that this affinity should have been recognized already in 1889 by any competent student of antiquities. The fact that Thomas and subsequent American archaeologists failed to see this affinity until it was pointed out by Mertz, Ayoob and Gordon demonstrates their incompetence to adequately classify and evaluate ancient material. It does not, however, reflect on the Mound Survey's data-collecting abilities per se.
My reply to the new Mainfort and Kwas article, enumerating these and other considerations, was summarily rejected by American Antiquity as being "far outside the expertise and interests of the readership." It has nevertheless been accepted for publication in Pre-Columbiana, and a PDF of the draft is online at

Or is it Welsh Coelbren?

In 2002, researchers Alan Wilson, Baram A. Blackett, and Jim Michael announced that the Bat Creek stone is in fact inscribed with the the ancient Welsh Coelbren alphabet, and reads, in Welsh, "Madoc the ruler he is." These authors identify the Bat Creek tumulus as "the likely tomb of Prince Madoc" (Wilson et al. 2002).

Madoc was a Welsh prince who is reputed to have sailed to America in 1170 A.D. (see, e.g. Kimberley (2000)). However, Wilson et al. maintain that he was in fact a brother of King Arthur II, and sailed in 562 A.D. This would reconcile their reading of the inscription with the C-14 date of 32 A.D. - 769 A.D.

Wilson et al. give no reference for what they regard as an authoritative source for the Coelbren alphabet, and give no indication as to how they read the letters on the Bat Creek stone in this alphabet, or what Welsh words they find there. A Coelbren alphabet is provided online by Serenwen (undated). However, I see no obvious relation of the Serenwen alphabet to the Bat Creek letters.

A further complication is that it is widely believed, even among Celtic enthusiasts, (e.g. Jones 2004) that Coelbren itself is the modern invention of Edward Williams (1747-1826), known also as Iolo Morgannwg.
Although Gordon's Paleo-Hebrew reading of the Bat Creek inscription works much better than Thomas's original Cherokee interpretation, the fit as Hebrew is by no means perfect (McCarter 1993). If it could be shown to work even better as Coelbren, or any other alphabet, the Hebrew reading would have to be abandoned. Furthermore, if the Bat Creek stone, which was professionally excavated and whose context been carbon-dated to ancient times, were clearly engraved in Coelbren letters, that would itself be sufficient to vindicate the authenticity of Coelbren and to exonerate Morgannwg. However, until Wilson et al. publish the details of their claim, there is no basis for either of these conclusions.
Where it's at. The Bat Creek stone long lay out of sight in a back room of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., but currently it is on indefinite loan to the McClung Museum of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where it is prominently on display.
The findspot was about 40 miles south of Knoxville, in what is now a TVA recreational area on the shore of Lake Telico at the mouth of Bat Creek. The mound itself has been plowed flat, and only its approximate location is known.
Perhaps the TVA could be prevailed upon to mark a path from old highway 72 to the approximate site, possibly making a complete loop around High Top, with a spur trail to the summit. A picnic table and a small sign at the approximate site of the mound would make an appropriate memorial for the find, as well as a pleasant destination for hikers and boaters.
Even more ambitiously, the mound and its vegetation could be reconstructed at a plausible spot. Bat Creek Mound #3, with the inscription and 9 burials, was "of small size, measuring but 28 feet in diameter and 5 feet in height," according to the offical report. Rebuilding it would require only about 38 cubic yards of earth. The mound had some large sassafras trees standing on it when it was exacavated. The owner stated that he had cut trees from the mound 40 years before the excavation and that it "had been covered by a cluster of trees and grapevines as long ago as the oldest settler in the locality could recollect. At the time the excavation was made there was an old rotten stump yet on the top, the roots of which ran down to the skeletons." A 3-foot black oak tree still stood on nearby Bat Creek Mound #2 at the time of excavation, so it is not unlikely that Mound #3's trees were of the same type. A cluster of black oak and sassafras trees, along with some grape vines, planted on the rebuilt mound, would therefore provide an authentic reconstruction of the 19th century setting, as well as shade for picnickers.