Officers of Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge 4 in Virginia will be retrieving the Washington Bible in Indianapolis this evening, and the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana would like to express our deepest gratitude to them for graciously entrusting us to display their famous artifact here since January. That is something they have rarely permitted in the past.
The generosity of our Virginia brethren has contributed greatly to our celebration of the Bicentennial of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, as well as to the Conference of Grand Masters of North America in Indianapolis this week. As a result, hundreds of visitors from all over the world have been able to see this important part of American Masonic history for themselves.
The Bible that George Washington took his Masonic obligations upon has never been properly conserved in the past, and it is an extremely fragile artifact as you can imagine. Thebook itself was printed in 1668 and was already nearly a century old when young George placed his hands upon it. It is 350 years old now, and is in need of costly restoration by museum professionals. Consequently, the MLMI has made a substantial contribution to the lodge for this purpose, as a token of our gratitude to them for letting us display it.
Fredericksburg Lodge has issued the following information about their Restoration Fund:
“The members of Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge # 4 A.F. & A. M. Fredericksburg, Virginia are the proud caretakers of the George Washington Masonic Bible.
“It is on this bible the our Illustrious Brother George Washington took his masonic obligations:
• November 4th 1752-Entered Apprentice• March 3rd, 1753- Fellow Craft• August 4th, 1753 Master Mason.
“One of our lodge projects this year is to restore and preserve the bible. We have been working with master book binder Peter James to determine what work is needed to be done to preserve this historic manuscript.
“If you or you lodge would like to be a part of this most important undertaking you can do so by contributing to this endeavor.
“Contributions can be made on line at www.masoniclodge4.org or by check
• Click on the store button and scroll down to the George Washington Masonic Bible restoration tab.
• Make checks payable to Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge 4 and mail to P.O. Box 702, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22404
• Write ‘Bible Restoration’ on the memo line.
“In token of our gratitude we will read and include the names of those Lodges or Brethern to the minutes of our Lodge Stated Communication In December 2018.”