The Watson/Cassoul Masonic
Presented to Brother George
This apron is the Watson/Cassoul apron and is
currently on display in a sealed frame in the Replica Room of the original Alexandria
Washington Lodge No. 22 located at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in
History of the George Washington Masonic Aprons
Pictured above is another Masonic apron presented to Brother George Washington.
This gift was made in France and the similarity of purpose and of origin has
caused some confusion as to the identity of the two aprons that happily were
preserved and proudly cherished by their later owners after the death of Brother
Washington. The gift of this apron was due to the fraternal generosity of Brother Elkanah Watson and his partner,
M. Cassoul, of Nantes, France. The name Cassoul in the old records is also spelled
Cossoul and Cosson. Watson and Cassoul acted as confidential agents abroad for the
American Government during the revolutionary period, the former being also a bearer of
dispatches to Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Brother Sachse,
quotes Brother Watson from a book Men and Times of the Revolution, or Memoirs of
Elkanah Watson, (New York, 1856, pages 135-6), as follows: "Wishing to pay
some mark of respect to our beloved Washington, I employed, in conjunction with my friend
M. Cossoul, nuns in one of the convents at Nantes to prepare some elegant
Masonic ornaments and gave them a plan for combining the American and French
flags on the apron designed for this use. They were executed in a superior
and expensive style. We transmitted them to America, accompanied by
an appropriate address," An autograph reply to the address was
written by Brother Washington and this letter was purchased from the Watson
family and thus came into the possession of the Grand Lodge of New York.
The Washington/Lafayette apron owned by the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania was first given by the legatees of Brother George Washington to the
Washington Benevolent Society on October 26, 1816, and was presented to the Grand Lodge of
PA on July 3, 1829. The Washington - Watson/Cassoul apron and sash came into
the possession of Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22, at Alexandria, Virginia, on June 3,
1812, and as recorded in the Lodge of Washington (page 90), were presented, with
the box made in France which contained them, by Major Lawrence Lewis, a nephew of
Washington, on behalf of his son, Master Lorenzo Lewis.
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