Masonic Oak

Historical Period: Colonial Texas (1821-1835)
Historical Topic: Religious Freedom, Republic of Texas
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Brazoria
Public Access: Yes

This live oak tree, though affected by the ravages of nature, is revered by Texas Masons for the part it played in Texas' Masonic history.

Nine years after Stephen F. Austin was granted permission by the Mexican government to establish a colony in Texas, the rapid Americanization of the area and growing anti-Mexican sentiment for suppression of civil and religious liberties gave rise to the passage of a law on April 6, 1830, which forbade further immigration of Anglo-Americans into Texas.

The Texans began writhing under increased trade restrictions and close supervision of increased military garrisons. In March 1834, in an attempt to cool Texas tempers, the Coahuila Legislature passed an act which provided that no one was to be molested for expressing religious or political opinions if he kept the peace.

In the winter of 1834, Anson Jones, who was to become the first Grand Master of Texas Masonic lodges and later the third president of the Republic of Texas, met with five other Masons and took measures to establish a Lodge of their order in Texas.

The meeting was held under this live oak, back of the town of Brazoria, near the place known as General John Austin's, which had been selected as a family burial ground.

A petition was in due time forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and dispensation granted for the formation of a Grand Lodge in Texas.

The Masonic Oak is located on the south side of Pleasant Street, in Brazoria, across from the main Masonic Oak Park & pavilion.