St. John's Lodge No. 1 Foundation

Protecting and Preserving a National Treasure

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I was summoned by my country whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.
— George Washington


We need your help.

Help us protect and preserve this national treasure by making a donation to support the George Washington Inaugural Bible through the St. John's Lodge No. 1, Foundation Inc.  

The Bible is over two centuries old and its travel is limited on an annual basis.  The Foundation has plans to have the Bible undergo a rigorous conservation project so that we may use it for another 250 years.

The general public can receive an exact, miniature replica of the George Washington Inaugural Bible with a donation of $50 or more.




The First Inauguration

On the morning of April 30th, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office of the President of the United States and used the St. John's Lodge Bible, more commonly referred to as the George Washington Inaugural Bible.  The section of the site provides an in-depth look at the day and how Washington ended up using the lodge Bible.


St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M.

St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M. is the oldest lodge in the state of New York and one of the oldest in the country.  The lodge received their warrant from the Modern Grand Lodge of England in December of 1757 empowering them to work.  The lodge has a rich tradition and history and many of its early members were leaders in the development of our country.  They are the keepers of the George Washington Inaugural Bible.

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Previous Exhibitions & Appearances

The George Washington Inaugural Bible still travels around the country at important events like the inauguration of the President, the Governor of New York State, and the Mayor of New York City.  On occasion it travels to other states for display to the general public and also makes an appearance or two in the media.



In 2009, several members of St. John’s Lodge No. 1 A.Y.M., which meets in New York City came together to lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the St. John’s Lodge No. 1 Foundation. They gathered together around an old wooden table at one of their favorite historical taverns in Gramercy Park to share ideas on how to best preserve one of our Nation’s most important artifacts. A national treasurer, which predates the formation of our Nation, at over 200 years old, it has begun to show its wear and tear; the George Washington Inaugural Bible is in need of assistance for its ongoing preservation and restorative care. Since 1770, the George Washington Inaugural Bible has been in the possession of St. John’s Lodge. For over two centuries the Lodge has balanced the duty of displaying the Bible publicly while ensuring its protection, to ensure it will be available for future generations.  In 2014, our status as a Foundation was approved by the I.R.S.


St. John’s Lodge Foundation, Inc. is a public charity, registered as a 501(c)3 under the Internal Revenue Service code, authorized as a tax-exempt organization eligible to accept tax-deductible charitable contributions. By law we are also registered with the New York State Charities Bureau.

All current members of the Board of Directors are members of St. John’s Lodge.