“One of the things that attracted me so greatly to Masonry, that I hailed the chance of becoming a Mason, was that it really did act up to what we, as a government and as a people, are pledged to,—of treating each man on his merits as a man. When Brother George Washington went into a Lodge of the Fraternity he went into the one place in the United States where he stood below or above his fellows according to their official position in the Lodge. He went into the place where the idea of our government was realized as far as it is humanly possible for mankind to realize a lofty ideal. And I know that you will not only understand me, but sympathize with me, when I say that, great though my pleasure is in being here as your guest in this beautiful Temple, and in meeting such a body of men as this is that I am now addressing, I think my pleasure is even greater when going into some little Lodge, where I meet the plain, hard-working men,—the men who work with their hands,—and meet them on a footing of genuine equality, not false equality, of genuine equality conditioned upon each man being a decent man, a fair-dealing man.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1901-1909)

Excerpt from the address that he delivered on November 5, 1902 to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, at its celebration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the initiation of Brother George Washington into the Fraternity of Freemasons

Quote source:
“Proceedings of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, and Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging” (Philadelphia: Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1902) pp. 107 & 108

Presidential portrait of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1901-1909). Oil on canvas, painted by John Singer Sargent in 1903

Image source: