An air of profound mystery surrounds the fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons, or Freemasons. Built on three pillars of brotherly love, charity, and truth, the order ranks among the world's oldest and most renowned societies. This classic study explores Freemasonry's history and traditions, both legendary and documented, and chronicles the society's influence on the Western world, particularly in regard to American culture and government. Author Albert Gallatin Mackey, a renowned historian of the society who held many high positions in the order, traces the rise of Freemasonry from its roots in the ages of Biblical patriarchs and ancient Rome to the eighteenth-century involvement of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He also explores the associations of the Freemasons with the Knights Templars of the Crusades, the Druids, the Rosicrucians, and a secret Muslim sect known as the Assassins. In addition, he discusses the significance of the Stone of Philosophers, Euclidean geometry, and a variety of forms of architecture. This complete survey of the mythical and allegorical narrative of Freemasonry offers novices and experts alike a revealing look at the society's philosophical and ritual foundations.