The Watson/Cassoul Masonic Apron

Presented to Brother George Washington

GWWatsonCasoulApron1.jpg (16910 bytes)

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 Alexandria, Virginia.

A Brief 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.

Note:  Pages 7 & 8 are missing and we have contacted the author to replace them.  Please check back later!

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