In the first comprehensive history of the fraternity known to outsiders primarily for its secrecy and rituals, Steven Bullock traces Freemasonry through its first century in America. He follows the order from its origins in Britain and its introduction into North America in the 1730s to its near destruction by a massive anti-Masonic movement almost a century later and its subsequent reconfiguration into the brotherhood we know today.
With a membership that included Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere, and Andrew Jackson, Freemasonry is fascinating, but Bullock also places the movement at the center of the transformation of American society and culture from the colonial era to the rise of Jacksonian democracy. Using lodge records, members' reminiscences and correspondence, and local and Masonic histories, Bullock links Freemasonry with the changing ideals of early American society.
Although the fraternity began among colonial elites, its spread during the Revolution and afterward allowed it to play an important role in shaping the new nation's ideas of liberty and equality. Ironically, however, the more inclusive and universalist Masonic ideas became, the more threatening its members' economic and emotional bonds seemed to outsiders, sparking an explosive attack on the fraternity after 1826.
- 448 Pages
- Paperback, ISBN 978-1-4696-6257-2
- Measures 6.12” x 1” x 9.25”
- Written by Steven C. Bullock
- Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press
About the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture
The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture is the oldest organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to the advancement of study, research, and publications bearing on the history and culture of early America. Books published through UNC Press’s partnership with the OI, which dates back more than half a century, have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, several Bancroft Prizes, and the Francis Parkman Prize.
The Omohundro Institute is an independent research organization sponsored by William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. All editorial work, including acquisitions, for OI books is done under the direction of OI Editor of Books Catherine E. Kelly.