James Madison 

Fourth President of the United States 

It is not uncommon for great men to achieve some of their greatness with the help and encouragement of their wives.  However, it is not often that a wife is credited with providing the impetus that resulted in a famous leader joining our fraternity.  In the Library of Crongress there reposes a letter from John Mercer, Governor of Maryland, to James Madison, dated February 11, 1795 while Madison was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  "I have had no opportunity of congratulating you before on becoming a Freemason -- a very ancient and honorable fraternity -- I hold a lodge on your road, pray let me take your hand in it, and let Mrs. Mercer welcome the fair prophetess who has converted you to the true faith... The librarian of the Supreme Council S.J. thinks the letter refers to Madison's new wife, Dolly, and that he became a Mason at her urging.  His membership is best evidenced by the spirited attacks on him during the anti-Masonic era.    EDSEL




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