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I have done more research regarding the background to the beliefs and traditions practiced by the Freemasons.  In doing this I have found some very interesting facts about how they viewed government over the past few centuries.  These beliefs actually relate to the same beliefs which our founding fathers had during their making of the Constitution and perhaps this is the reason as to why so many of them were either a member of the Freemasons or even a Grandmaster of a masonic lodge.  I am in the process of organizing this information and finishing my historiography section of my proposal.  Unfortunately I will not be in class today so please feel free to take the opportunity to make jokes.

I have posted my very rough proposal.  There are significant writing errors I am sure but the concepts are clear.  Obviously it is just the rough draft have fun.

Introduction

In my book I plan on writing a collective biography of the Freemasons who took part in and signed the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. These men were not only great men of our emerging country, but were also men of secret society which is believed to have had a fundamental role in the shaping and development of our country.  From the research I have conducted I have come to the conclusion that there is only one other book which touches on this topic ever published.  This suggests it is an untouched area of history and my book will be significant in the unveiling of this important moment in our nation’s history.  The signers who were also Freemasons that I will focus upon are George Washington, John Dickinson, Daniel Carroll, Benjamin Franklin, and John Blair.  These men were very significant in the formation of our constitution as well as the nation it has come to govern.  My book will open the reader’s eyes to an unseen truth behind the building of our nation’s most prized historical document as I relate the beliefs of Freemasonry and these five men who signed our constitution.  The funding for this project will be greatly appreciated as this book is guaranteed to shock readers as well as change the way we look at our nations beginnings.

Significance

The significance of my book is that it discusses a topic not very well covered.  As I have previously mentioned there is only one other book which discusses this topic but is far too broad to cover these crucial individuals in history.  As our nation began to grow into a fully independent country which would be founded on new ideas and principles the leaders of our young nation assembled the most important and influential people of the time to discuss the making of our constitution.  They assembled in Philadelphia and began conversing on the rules which would come to govern our nation.  Their concern focused on improving the federal government.  The Masonic beliefs of Freemasons were instilled in the five men whom I have previously mentioned.  Freemasons are both praised and scowled about there participation in the founding of our nation.  Also, the Freemasons are rumored to have the goal of world domination or control.  This is significant in that by these five Freemasons taking part in such a historical event the image of world domination becomes evident.  This shows the possible impact which the Freemasons may have had on the forming of our government.

Context

After the American Revolution new laws and regulations needed to be established in order to grantee the unification of the colonies and government.  During the Revolutionary war the Patriots defeated the British and became a separate nation from that of their prior predecessors.  Therefore, it was agreed that a unified document was needed to govern this new nation.  The document would provide a new form of government which would allow the people to take part in the decisions of the country.  The founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia and discussed these matters during the year of 1787.  This gathering was called the Constitutional Convention.  Among the men who attended were George Washington, John Dickinson, Daniel Carroll, Benjamin Franklin, and John Blair.  These men were not only the most influential people during the debate of our constitution but also were Freemasons and Grand Master masons.  The fraternity of Freemasons has been traced all the way back to the time of the Egyptians.  This mysterious and secretive society has been apart of every major historical event throughout history.  The fraternity can also be traced throughout England and finally into the Americas.  The Masonic beliefs of these men and the fraternity are thought to have impacted the founding of our nation.  The Freemasons are commonly believed to have the goal of world domination and this explains why they have been involved with almost every influential person throughout our history.  This includes many of our nation’s presidents.  It would seem that this secret society was in charge of ensuring the worlds success.  The Masonic beliefs of these five individuals were crucial in the forming of our Constitutions guidelines.

Focus

My focus will be on the five Freemasons which have signed the U.S. Constitution.  I have collected biographies on these men using our library and Proquest.  Through these men the impact of Masonic beliefs on our founding of government will be portrayed.

George Washington

He was a General in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war.  He led our country to victory over the British.  Later, he became the first president of the United States and was crucial in the establishment of our nation.  Due to his recognition of our poor government he called for and presided over the Constitutional Convention which came to write the U.S. Constitution.  His view for our nation is the model which all others have looked towards.  He became a master mason in the fraternity of the Freemasons.

John Dickinson

A man who was a militia leader during the Revolutionary war against the British, also became a delegate to the Constitution Convention.  He also became president of Delaware for the year of 1781 to 1782.  Dickinson also became president of Pennsylvania from 1782 to 1785.  He is known for his contribution towards the idea of liberty in America by writing letters which supported his view.  Also in these letters Dickinson opening opposes the idea of the British policies and colonial taxation.  This made him a prime candidate for the creation of our constitution.  John Dickinson was a avid Freemason.  He was a member of the Dover, Delaware lodge.  Here he practiced his Masonic traditions and established his Masonic beliefs.

Daniel Carroll

Carroll was one of the founding fathers of our nation.  His family was crucial in the creation of our foundations.  His cousin Charles Carroll went on to sign the Declaration of Independence and his brother John Carroll was the first Catholic bishop in the new nation.  Not only was Daniel Carroll one of the signers of the Constitution but was also one of the only four men to have signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.  Daniel Carroll was born into a wealthy family and did his studies abroad.  From here he began to support the patriotic cause and pushed for a strong central government.  Daniel Carroll was a member of the Maryland Freemasons.  He was a large player in both the Masonic tradition as well as very involved with assisting other Freemasons.  For example, Daniel Carroll helped George Washington, a fellow Freemason, in the cornerstone laying of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C..  Daniel Carroll’s voice was evident throughout the formation of our constitution.

Benjamin Franklin

One of the most influential men of our history, Benjamin Franklin was a renaissance man who contributed everything from politics, diplomat, to scientist.  He is also well known for his harnessing of electricity and his contributions made while a President in Philadelphia.  He was invited to the Constitutional Convention as a delegate in Philadelphia.  Although Franklin was held second only to George Washington, he engaged in little debate during the convention.  Also, he was the one man who is attributed with having signed all four of our historical founding documents.  Benjamin Franklin was inducted in the local Philadelphia Masonic lodge where he became a Freemason.  He also published the first Freemasons book within America.  Due to his growing success as both a politician and Freemason he was awarded the honor of being the Grand Master of Pennsylvania.

John Blair

John Blair was not only an important player in the structure of our constitution but was also influential in its enforcement after its establishment.  Blair unlike most of the other men at the Constitutional Convention was not a high praised politician, but rather a highly praised judicial.  He is well known for his understanding and practice of law.  His views for our greater nation were that of colonial unity and one nation.  This enabled him to support those such as Madison and Washington during their arguments at the Convention.  After the Constitution was established in 1787 Blair had established his role on the U.S. Supreme Court.  From this position he enforced the new laws of the constitution upon the nation.  John Blair was named Grand Master of the Masonic lodge of Virginia in 1778.  As being an important figure during this time he was recognized as a perfect influential candidate for the Freemasons.

Methodology

I plan on accumulating a large number of biographies between these five individuals as well as the history of Masonic traditions.  The biographies can be easily found within our library as well as in on-line data bases due to the fact that these men are famous in their founding of our nation.  The history of the Freemasons will be more difficult because there has been many publishing’s on its mystical, sometimes false, beliefs and traditions.  I plan on acquiring the history of the lodges which these five men have been members.  By understand the beliefs and traditions of Freemasonry it will portray a clearer picture as to why these five men were elected to become masons and go on to influence the founding of our nation.  I will also obtain an extensive description of the U.S. Constitution to allow for better understanding of the rules and regulations which were set by these Freemasons.  This will allow for the connection between how the influence of Masonic beliefs affected the making of the Constitution.

Timeline

November 28, Submit rough proposal for peer review.

Nov 29- Dec 2, write extensive posiography of Freemasonry and five constitution signers.

Dec 3-5, edit posiography for final edition.

Conclusion

The financial support of my book between Masonic beliefs and the U.S. Constitution would not be wasted.  This book is grunted to be a one of a kind historical work which will shed new light on the relationship between the famous fraternity of the Freemasons and the five most influential men in the signing of the U.S. Constitution.  Not only were these five men signers of the constitution but most were also Grand Masters.  They were also initiated once they became an influential participant in the formation of our nation.  This suggests that the Freemasons took an influential, almost dominant, role with the formation of our government and the laws which it governs by.  This book will challenge the perception of many history books and will also capture the imagination and mystery of Freemasonry and its involvement of the founding of our nation.

Biography

*Not fully completed*

Alden, John Richard. George Washington : A Biography. Southern Biography Series. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.

Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency : George Washington. 1st ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

Ferling, John E. The First of Men : A Life of George Washington. 1st ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988.

Flexner, James Thomas. George Washington and the New Nation, 1783-1793. [His George Washington, v. 3]. 1st ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.

Phelps, Glenn A. George Washington and American Constitutionalism. American Political Thought. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 1993.

Barratt, Norris Stanley and Julius Friedrich Sachse. Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907. Philadelphia: 1908.

Callahan, Charles Hilliard. Washington, the Man and the Mason,. Washington: National Capital Press, 1913.

Finney, Charles Grandison. The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry. Cincinnati: Western Tract book Society, 1869.

Freemasons, Chambersburg, Pa. One Hundred and Fifty Years of Freemasonry in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 1800-1950. S.L.: 1959.

Freemasons. Constitutions. The Constitutions of the Free-Masons, Containing the History, Charges Regulations &c. of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. for the use of Lodges. Philadelphia: Reproduced in fac-simile by the R.W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1906.

Hayden, Sidney. Washington and His Masonic Compeers. New York: Masonic publishing and manufacturing co., 1866.

Mackey, Albert Gallatin, William James Hughan, and William Reynolds Singleton. The History of Freemasonry, its Legends and Traditions, its Chronological History. New York, London: The Masonic history company, 1905.

Mackey, Albert Gallatin and Charles T. McClenachan. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences: Comprising the Whole Range of Arts, Sciences and Literature as Connected with the Institution. New & rev. ed. Philadelphia: Everts, 1889.

Wiest, W. Irvine. Freemasonry in American CourtsMissouri Lodge of Research, 1958.

I have firmly decided to do my research paper on the collective role of the 4 or 5 Freemasons who also signed the constitution.  There were 33 men who signed the U.S. Constitution and 13 of them were Freemasons. The Freemasons are believed to have had an impact with major decisions which have shaped our country; even today their are still Freemasons found in high governmental positions just as they were during the founding of our country. These men I plan on researching are George Washington, Daniel Carroll, John Dickinson, and Benjamin Franklin. By collecting biographies on each I will be able to better understand how their common role of Freemasons and signers of our constitution affected the shaping of our history.

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