1812.065: Circular regarding Museum established by Alexandria-Washington Lodge.

Published: 1812

Full Title: Circular. [blank] Dear Sir, The members of Alexandria Washington Lodge ... having consented to the establishment of a museum …

Author: Freemasons. Alexandria-Washington Lodge Museum.

Place Issued: Alexandria

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 26 cm. x 40 cm. folded to 26 cm. x 20 cm. (broadside).


Only known copy is held in the broadside collection of the University of Virginia; that copy has the date blank completed as "May 13th, 1812," and is signed in manuscript by the lodge members named as trustees of the museum, led by the grand master George Deneale (1766-1818), one-time mayor of Alexandria, colonel of the city's militia unit, clerk of the U.S. Circuit Court there, and a close friend of Washington. Letter is also signed by Timothy Mountford, Jr., the museum's curator; he was the primary mover behind this museum of Washingtoniana, which had accumulated through donations to the late president's home lodge after his death in 1799; he has been called, inaccurately, Washington's last personal secretary, after having substituted for Tobias Lear, his cousin and patron, for a time after the president's retirement; that service led to a life-long devotion to Washington's memory, particularly as founder, director, and curator of this museum until his own death in 1846. Mountford later proposed publishing a maritime-commerce journal with printer Samuel H. Davis, but such never issued. The remnants of the original museum are now held by that at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria. Sheet lacks colophon; given the Federalist persuasion of the signers and most of their lodge brethren, this likely issued from the press of Samuel Snowden; but bookseller and job-printer Peter Cottom was also a member of this lodge (and a pall bearer at Washington's funeral with Deneale), so making a definitive attribution to Snowden speculative at best.

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