Betrayed By A Mason: The Tragic Real-Life Story Of The Lt. Thomas Boyd Ambush During The Sullivan Campaign (Part I)

The 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence may be a few years away, but it’s never too early to begin remembering key events surrounding the Revolutionary War, particularly those that occurred in our own backyard. You may think nothing happened within the Greater Western New York Region but think again. Within our borders saw a campaign that helped change the course of the War (and in America’s favor). What was it and what does it have to do with a major moral lesson Freemasons remember to this day? Click the link below for this week’s episode of The State of Greater Western New York Report to recall why war is not as romantic as some would paint it.

Michael Karpovage, Mason historian, author, and mapmaker, recently spoke at the College of Freemasonry in Webster, New York. The event, sponsored by the Scottish Rite Valley of Rochester and open to the public, featured several presentations of broad interest. Karpovage, a native of Fairport, NY, and a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, relayed 18 incidents where Masonic brothers, fighting on different sides of a war, gave the secret Masonic Sign of Distress only to be rescued by an enemy combatant. In today’s episode, the first of two parts, Karpovage expands on one of those stories, the torrid tale of Lieutenant Thomas Boyd, a 23-year-old Scout in Major General John Sullivan’s Campaign to quell the war-making effort of those Iroquois tribes loyal to the British Tories.

In the first half of the show, Karpovage explains the role of Freemasonry in the Colonial Era and especially during the Revolutionary War. He shows how all the key players in this drama were Masons, laying down the foundation for the significance of Thomas Boyd’s tragic fate.

During the show’s second half, Karpovage fleshes out Boyd’s character, perhaps giving a hint as to why he made the mistakes he made during that final fatal mission. He takes us right up to the moment of the horrific ambush.

Who survives? How did they get away? And what ultimate act of Masonic betrayal sealed Boyd’s fate? Click “Betrayed By A Mason: The Tragic Real-Life Story Of The Lt. Thomas Boyd Ambush During The Sullivan Campaign (Part II),” (The State of Greater Western New York Report, March 16, 2023) to watch the conclusion where these answers are revealed.

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a live audience member so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by “mansardian” courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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