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References to Freemasonry in popular culture range from the vitriolic to the innocuous. Far more often they are merely misinformed allusions from which Freemasonry faces a far more insidious threat; that of being marginalized, trivialized, and fictionalized. Most of the references noted on this site are harmless, simply pointing out that Freemasonry has played a role in our society; some are humorous, yet some are disturbing in their associations.
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Masonic references in Mark Twain’s fiction
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, under the pen name of Mark Twain, is considered to rank amongst the finest American writers.
Clemens was not a particularly active freemason. In what may be his only public masonic allusion, he mentions "the grip and the word that lift a man up and make him glad to be alive" in a dinner speech to the New York City Lotus Club on November 10, 1900. [AQC 104 & 105]
He also made at least one reference to Freemasonry, notably in his collected essays, Life on the Mississippi.
Innocents Abroad (1869)
"...and in a spirit of thankfulness which is entirely unaccountable, considering the slim foundation there was for it, he praised his Maker that he was as he was, and went on enjoying his little life just the same as if he really had been deliberately designed and erected by the great Architect of the Universe." [chap. xxiii].
Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy (written 1897, published 1969)
"[H]e was Inside Sentinel of the Masons, and Outside Sentinel of the Odd Fellows, and a kind a head bung-starter or something of the Foes of the Flowing Bowl, and something or other to the Daughters of Rebecca, and something like it to the King’s Daughters, and Royal Grand Warden to the Knights of Morality, and Sublime Grand Marshal of the Good Templars, and there warn't no fancy apron agoing but he had a sample, and no turnout but he was in the procession, with his banner or his sword, or toting a bible on a tray, and looking awful serious and responsible, and yet not getting a cent. A good man, he was, they don't make no better." [chap. iii, pp. 159-60].
"...being a pillow of the church and taking up the collection, Sundays, and doing it wide open and
square" [p. 159].
A Tramp Abroad (1880)
"What’s your father’s religious denomination?"
"Him? Oh, he’s a blacksmith."
"No, no—I don't mean his trade. What’s his RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION?"
"OH—I didn't understand you befo'. He’s a Freemason."
"No, no, you don't get my meaning yet. What I mean is, does he belong to any CHURCH?"
"NOW you're talkin'! Couldn't make out what you was a-tryin' to git through yo' head no way. B'long to a CHURCH! Why, boss, he’s ben the pizenest kind of Free-will Babtis' for forty year. They ain't no pizener ones 'n what HE is. Mighty good man, pap is. Everybody says that. If they said any diffrunt they wouldn't say it whar I wuz— not MUCH they wouldn't."
"What is your own religion?"
"Well, boss, you've kind o' got me, there—and yit you hain't got me so mighty much, nuther. I think 't if a feller he'ps another feller when he’s in trouble, and don't cuss, and don't do no mean things, nur noth'n' he ain' no business to do, and don't spell the Saviour’s name with a little g, he ain't runnin' no resks—he’s about as saift as he b'longed to a church."
"But suppose he did spell it with a little g—what then?"
"Well, if he done it a-purpose, I reckon he wouldn't stand no chance—he OUGHTN'T to have no chance, anyway, I'm most rotten certain 'bout that."

A Tramp Abroad. 328 illus. Tall 8vo, original brown cloth; front hinge cracked. Hartford, 1880. First Edition. BAL 3386. Second state frontis. & engraved port. chap. xxiii.
Joan of Arc (1886)
Contrary to online reports, Twain did not mention the
all-seeing eye in his writings. He mentions the "seeing eye" when a character in a work of historical fiction refers to Joan d'Arc, saying: 'But, greatest of all her gifts, she has the seeing eye.' I said, like an unthinking fool, 'The seeing eye?—I shouldn't count on that for much—I suppose we all have it.' 'No,' he said; 'very few have it.' Then he explained, and made his meaning clear. He said the common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind of eye couldn't detect.

Twain, Mark, 1835-1910), Personal recollections of Joan of Arc.... New York : Harper & Bros., 1896. xiv, 461, [3] p., [36].21 cm. LCCN : 04000902. Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 11.

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