The Architects of America: Freemasons and the Growth of the United States

By Russell Charles Blackwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8. “THE LENGTH THEREOF WAS THREESCORE CUBITS,
AND THE BREADTH THEREOF TWENTY CUBITS”

The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era
of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space
and time, the nation…is destined to manifest to mankind
the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth
the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the
Most High—the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a
hemisphere—its roof the firmament of the star-studded
heavens, and its congregation an Union…comprising
hundreds of happy millions…governed by God’s natural law
of equality, the law of brotherhood.

—John L. O’Sullivan, The Great Nation of Futurity, in The
American Democrat
, 1839


I

Whilst Livingston and Monroe were negotiating with alleged “Brother” Bonaparte over the future of the American mid west, all three would have been familiar with their symbolic Temples being rectangular in shape, and, to be fair, there were powerful historical and religious precedents for this. Starting with the allegorical foundation of the Order— the building site—it was logical that a design be adopted that was not only geometric, but universal throughout global construction never mind that dominant in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Even taking account of the fact that there had been some experimentation in Lodge shape during

-165-

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