New Discovery for the Watson-Cossoul Apron

Exciting Article Describing a Masonic Gift to General Washington Will Appear in the Summer issue of the Philalathes Masonic Magazine

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so is there in Freemasonry a divine flame—a vital, living force
that transcends all descriptions.”

Charles Clyde Hunt
Fellow of the Philalethes Society

A recent discovery pertaining to the gift of a Masonic apron – the Watson-Cossoul apron – sent to General and Brother George Washington by Elkanah Watson upon news of the defeat of the British at Yorktown will be announced in the Summer issue. 

This apron 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.  The “thank you” letter from Washington is proudly owned by the Grand Lodge of New York.


Watson in his “memoirs” – Men and Times of the Revolution, or Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, (New York, 1856, pages 135-6), described the gift 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,”

New information on the gift and the giver are contained within the article.