History

Prince Hall

Prince Hall Freemasonry

Conference of Grand Masters
Prince Hall Mason, Inc.
Origin of Prince Hall Masonry
Prince Hall 1738 - 1807
Champion of American Liberty
Advocate of Negro Freedom
Founder of Black Masonry

Biography of Prince Hall

Prince Hall

(1735 - 1807) was an African American noted as a tireless abolitionist, for his leadership in the free black community in Boston, and as the founder of Prince Hall Masonry.

Hall tried to gain New England’s enslaved and free blacks a place in Freemasonry, education, and the military, which were some of the most crucial spheres of society in his time. Hall is considered the founder of “Black Freemasonry” in the United States, known today as Prince Hall Freemasonry. Hall formed the African Grand Lodge of North America. Prince Hall was unanimously elected its Grand Master and served until his death in 1807.

He lobbied for education rights for black children and was active in the back-to-Africa movement. Many historians regard Prince Hall as one of the prominent African-Americans during the early years of the United States

Early life

Hall was born in 1735. Hall may have been born in Barbados, somewhere else in the Caribbean, or in Africa. Author and historian James Sidbury said: “It is more likely that he was a native of New England.”

Historian Charles H. Wesley developed what is now the widely accepted theory about Prince Hall’s early years. Based upon his research, by age 11, Prince Hall was a slave to Boston tanner William Hall. By 1770, Prince Hall was a free, literate black man living in Boston. The manumission certificate for Prince Hall, dated one month after the Boston Massacre [April 1770], stated that “no longer Reckoned a slave, but [had] always accounted as a free man.” It is unclear how he learned to read and write; he may have been self-taught or, like other slaves and free blacks in New England, he may have had assistance.

Family, Church & Work Life

Hall and a woman named Delia, a servant outside William Hall’s household, had a son named Primus in 1756.

Hall joined the Congregational Church in 1762; He was 27 years of age. He then married an enslaved woman named Sarah Ritchie, who died. He married Flora Gibbs of Gloucester eight years after Sarah’s death.

In Boston, Hall worked as a peddler, caterer, and leatherworker, owning his own leather shop. In April 1777, he created five leather drumheads for an artillery regiment of Boston. Hall was a homeowner who voted and paid taxes.

His son, Primus, was a fellow abolitionist, spent years supporting education of African American children, was a freemason in his father’s lodge, and had served in the Revolutionary War.

Revolutionary War

Hall encouraged enslaved and freed blacks to serve the American colonial military. He believed that if blacks were involved in the founding of the new nation, it would aid in the attainment of freedom for all blacks. Hall proposed that the Massachusetts Committee of Safety allow blacks to join the military. He and fellow supporters petition compared Britain’s colonial rule with the enslavement of blacks. Their proposal was declined.

England issued a proclamation that guaranteed freedom to blacks who enlisted in the British army. Once the British Army filled its ranks with black troops, the Continental Army reversed its decision and allowed blacks into the military.[citation needed] It is believed, but not certain, that Hall was one of the six “Prince Halls” from Massachusetts to serve during the war. His son, Primus, was a Revolutionary War soldier, having enlisted at the age of 19.

Having served during the Revolutionary War, many African Americans expected but did not receive racial equality when the war ended. With the intention of improving the lives of fellow African Americans, Prince Hall collaborated with others to propose legislation for equal rights. He also hosted community events, such as educational forums and theatre events to improve the lives of black people.

Many of the original members of the African Masonic Lodge had served during the Revolutionary War.

Freemason

Prince Hall MASON

Prince Hall was interested in the Masonic fraternity because freemasonry was founded upon ideals of liberty, equality, and peace. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men petitioned for admittance to the white Boston St. John’s Lodge. They were turned down. Having been rejected by colonial Freemasonries, Hall and 15 others sought and were initiated into the Masonry by members of Lodge No. 441 of the Grand Lodge of Ireland on March 6, 1775. The Lodge was attached to the British forces stationed in Boston. Hall and other freedmen founded African Lodge No. 1, and he was named Grand Master.

The black Masons had limited power; They could meet as a lodge, take part in the Masonic procession on St. John’s Day, and bury their dead with Masonic rites but could not confer Masonic degrees or perform any other essential functions of a fully operating Lodge. Unable to create a charter, they applied to the Grand Lodge of England.

The grandmaster of the Mother Grand Lodge of England, H. R. H. The Duke of Cumberland, issued a charter for the African Lodge No. 1, later renamed African Lodge no. 459, September 20, 1784. The lodge was the country’s first African Masonic Lodge. Due to the African Lodge’s popularity and Prince Hall’s leadership, the Grand Lodge of England made Hall a Provincial Grand Master on January 27, 1791.

His responsibilities included reporting on the condition of lodges in the Boston area. Six years later, on March 22, 1797, Prince Hall organized a lodge in Philadelphia, called African Lodge #459, under Prince Hall’s Charter. They later received their own charter. On June 25, 1797, he organized African Lodge (later known as Hiram Lodge #3) at Providence, Rhode Island.

Author and historian James Sidbury said

“Prince Hall and those who joined him to found Boston’s African Masonic Lodge built a fundamentally new “African” movement on a preexisting institutional foundation. Within that movement they asserted emotional, mythical, and genealogical links to the continent of Africa and its peoples.

After the death of Prince Hall, on December 4, 1807, the brethren organized the African Grand Lodge on June 24, 1808, including the Philadelphia, Providence, and Boston lodges.[16] The African Grand Lodge was in 1827 renamed the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, in his honor.

Hall was considered the “father of African Freemasonry.” Prince Hall said of civic activities:

My brethren, let us pay all due respect to all who God had put in places of honor over us: do justly and be faithful to them hat hire you, and treat them with the respect they may deserve; but worship no man. Worship God, this much is your duty and christians and as masons.

Prince Hall

Registry of Members Past and Present

Allen, L. T.
Almond, E. E. (P. M.)
Anderson, Howard
Anderson, Jimmie
Anson, Conrad J.
Anthony, Ernest L.
Aucoin, Leslie Edward
Austin, W. M.
Baccus, Robert Thomas
Baker, Lee Colwell
Banks, Charles
Banks, Clarence Edward
Banks, Theodore L.
Barb, Martin
Barber, James
Barber, John A. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Barnes, William H.
Barnes, William H. (P. M.)
Barnes, Ronald
Barnett, Alexander A.
Barnett, Dick L.
Barrow, Timothy P.
Bass, Frank Randolph
Batchelor, James L.
Bayless, Earl K.
Beasley, Ralph Monitor
Beattie, John Jay
Beck, Robert L. (P. M.)
Bell, Eli Lee
Bell, James M.
Bennett, Leroy
Bethel, Marvin M., Jr. (P. M.)
Bettis, P. L.
Bey, Reginald Dudley
Billingslea, Clarence
Birdies, Freddie L. (P. M.)
Blackburn, Reuben C.
Blake, William H. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Blaydes, Charles Lee J.
Bland, Nathaniel A.
Blazer, Isaac
Blocker, Herman C.
Bogan, John Louis
Boone, Stephen
Bost, J. M.
Bostick, Robert
Boswell, Hamilton T.
Boyd, Thomas
Brady, Mark C.
Brandon, J. D.
Breaux, Willie
Brooks, Henry
Brooks, Warren Owen
Brown, Amos C.
Brown, Clifton
Brown, Edward Charles
Brown, Leon
Brown, Louis J. (P. M.)
Brown, Otis
Brown, Thaddus A. (P. M.)
Brown, Willlie L., Jr.
Bryant, Eugene
Buchanan, Philip (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Buggs, James R., Jr.
Burgess, James E.
Bunkley, Wilbert H.
Burks, Louis
Burns, Frank
Butler, Arthur (P. M.)
Butler, David Lee
Butler, Rossie
Butler, Zonell
Cage, L. Wallace
Cagle, George D.
Caldwell, James L.
Calhoun, William
Calhoun, William Calvin (P. M.)
Calloway, Myron K.
Campbell, Buck Pierce
Cannon, Clifford (P. M.)
Cariel, Andrew B.
Carpage, Steve
Carter, Albert Chester
Carter, Theodore Roosevelt
Carter, Theodore Roosevelt
Cephus, Herbert Lee
Chambers, Roxber (P. M.)
Cheatham, Isaac C.
Cherry, Benjamin F.
Chisolm, Harvey
Chorn, Walter Robert
Clarke, A. C.
Clarke, William
Cleveland, Rudolph
Clow, Warner
Cole, James Boyd
Coleman, Ronald
Coles, Clifton Bell, Jr.
Collins, Daniel Andrew, Sr.
Collins, Elmer R.
Collins, Orie, Jr.
Colter, Sean Terrell
Cooper, Clark Verlin
Cooper, Ezekiel (P. M.)
Copeland, Donald P.
Coples, John H.
Corbet, J. C.
Corinaldi, Cecil A.
Crane, J. D.
Crawford, Emerson
Crawford, Ernest
Crawford, Ernest C.
Crawford, Hiawatha
Cunningham, Roosevelt
Curry, John F.
Dale, James Archie
Darden, Allan
Davis, A. W.
Davis, David Warren
Davis, Israel
Davis, Israel
Davis, J. C.
Davis, Junior A.
Davis, Lawrence Davis, Jr.
Davis, Joseph William
Davis, Warren
Davis, William (P. M.)
Dawson, James Wallace
Day, Tommie Franklin
De Cordova, A.
Dennis, Urbie D. (P. M.)
Derry, Delgado
Devall, George A. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Diggs, Herman Nathan
Dillworth, Leslie E.
Dixon, James (P. M.)
Dixon, Leonard
Dodds, John T.
Dodson, George B.
Donaldson, Joseph D.
Domio, Paul Leroy
Domiano, Isaac
Dorsey George M.
Dorsey, George M. (P. M.)
Doss, Leonard
Dottin, Alphonso (P. M.)
Dukes, Norman
Dyson, William
Dyson, William
Edmondson, Charles Alvarado
Edmondson, Roy Melvin
Edwards, John T.
Edwards, John W.
Edwards, T. J.
English, R.
Ennix, Frank M.
Evans, Albert (P. M.)
Fielder, Walter B.
Finley, Cecil L.
Flegman, G. F.
Fleming, Carl Stanley
Fletcher, Barney (P. M.)
Flippin, Robert Browning
Florey, William E.
Forbes, Alexander V. (P. M.)
Foreman, Joseph A.
Fossi, J. D.
Foster, A.
Foster, Robert Leroy
Fountaine, Oliver M. E. (P. M.)
Fountaine, Templeton Dunbar
Francis, J. C.
Frances, John Allen (P. M.)
Frances, James E. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Francis, Hilgrave
Francis, John A.
Fraction, George
Franklin, Lloyd
Frazier, L. A.
Frazier, William L.
Fucles, Herman Edward
Fuston, Hugh R.
Gainer, Robert, Jr.
Gardner, Louis (P. M.)
Garner, Washington E.
Garrett, Harding (P. M.)
Garrett, Harding Bud
Garrett Sr., Louis (P.M.)
Garvey, Cecil Dale
Gastinell, Earl
Gause, Nealie, Jr.
Gentry, Johnny M. (P. M.)
Gibson, A. B. (P. M.)
Gibson, Robert
Gibson, Sylvester
Gilliam, Jeffrie
Gladman, Earl Leslie (P. M.)
Golphin, F. Z.
Gomez, Charles
Gomez, I.
Gomez, Philip J.
Goode, Freddie L.
Goodlett, Carlton B.
Goolsby, L. S.
Gordon, Benjamin
Gordon, Harry Leon (P. M. )
Gordon, Lewis Edward
Graham, Ambrose
Grantham, Curtis B.

Gray, Charles
Gray, Vernon A.
Green, Herbert
Green, Wilmer
Griffen, Gregory L.
Grischott, Christian A.
Guillory, Edmond
Guillory, Joseph
Guillory, Joseph L.
Guy, Zeno
Hackett, Edward M.
Hagan, William
Hall, Andrew (P. M.)
Hall, Joseph E.
Halle, C. Henri
Hamberick, Oliver Grear
Hamilton, G. Z.
Hamilton, James, Jr. (P. M.)
Hamilton, W. H.
Hamilton, Vernon D.
Hanson, Walter Reeves
Harbert, Robert H. (P. M.)
Harding, Walter Cecil
Hargrove, James H. (P. M.)
Hargrove, John
Harmon, Charles
Harper, Richard R.
Harper, William H. (P. M.)
Harris, E. L.
Harris, George Emery
Harris, James D., Jr.
Harris, Leonard (P. M.)
Harris, Sheppard L.
Harrison, Aroldus N.
Hart, David Lee
Hatcher, Lyle Elliott
Hatten, Neal Thompson
Hatton, Joseph S. (M. W. P. G. M.)
Hawkins, Ket
Hawkins, Nathaniel, Jr.
Haughton, Roosevelt (P. M.)
Hayden, Jeorme Benjamin
Haynes, Melvin
Heathman, Homer William
Hence, Alphonse
Henderson, Albert H. (P. M.)
Henderson, Ellis C.
Henry, Thomas
Herdon, Henry Milton Alphonso
Hickerson, A.
Hicks, Alvin Joe
Hicks, Freddie Jerome
Hicks, Josephus
Hines, Alvin
Hixon, George W. (P. M.)
Hogan, William
Holloman, Charles M.
Holman, Clarence A.
Holman, Cleveland E.
Holmes, Charles
Holton, Henry
Hooker, Jessie Walter
Hopkins, George
Hopkins, John Wesley
Horton, Roosevelt (P. M.)
Hoskins, William, Sr.
Hotchkiss, John Thomas
Housen, Icha V. (P. M.)
Houston, Fred A.
Howard, Clifford W.
Huckaby, J. C.
Hudson, Charles Edward
Hudson, Mack M.
Hunt, Richard S.
Hunter, Thomas H.
Hunter, William A.
Hunter, W. H.
Hutchison, Willie McKinnley
Ingram, Robert L.
Isaacs, William (P. M.)
Jacobs, Herbert Albert
Jackson, Allen Earnest
Jackson, C. E. (P. M.)
Jackson, Carl P., Jr.
Jackson, Eldridge Andrew, Jr.
Jackson, Harold
Jackson, James O.
Jackson Maurice
Jackson, O. T.
Jackson, William H., Jr. (P. M.)
Jackson, Randolph
Jackson, Robert (P. M. )
James, Henry
James, James A., Jr.
James, Will
Jefferson III, Kevin
Jeffries, William
Jenkins, Clifford Roy, Jr
Jester, Daniel (P. M.)
Jolly, Nick
Johnson, Albert
Johnson, Andrew
Johnson, Arthur
Johnson, Bennie
Johnson, C. E.
Johnson, Columbia Cork
Johnson, Emmitt
Johnson, Earnest Carne
Johnson, George Reuben
Johnson, L. G.
Johnsoln, Roy T.
Johnson, Samuel
Johnson, Vernon C.
Jonas, Reginald H.
Jones, Arthur
Jones, Asbury H.
Jones, Delbert E.
Jones, Henry
Jones, Richard
Jones, Robert
Jones, Roger
Jones, Walter L.
Jordan, Samuel
Jordan, Robert L.
Joseph, Cornelius
Joubert, Wardy G., Sr. (P. M.)
Jupiter, Patrick Austin
Keathman, Homer William
Kendall, Edward
Kennard, Cleveland
Kennedy, Felton
Kendsendall, J. E.
Kimble, Nealy
Kimbrough, Walter E.
King, Eules
Kirksey, Emmitt A.
Knowles, Percy Milton
Lacey, T. H.
Lampson, Golden T.
Lane, Cedell Richard
Lane, Peter James, Jr.
Latson, Moses
Laurent, Henderson
Laws, Henry J.
Laws, Joshua Lewis
Lee, Arthur P.
Leonard, Gilbert Joseph
Levine, Jewell Kenard
Lewis, John O.
Littleton, David
Levingston, Mark Anthony
Logan, Clifton M.
Love, Burnite
Love, Paul
Lovett, Wallace
Loving, Charles
Lucas, Walter Maurice, III (P. M.)
Lumpkin, John H. (P. M.)
Lumsden, Harold
Lyles, Bennie
Lyons, Andrew
Mack, James Adam
Malone, Henry
Malone, John L.
Martin, Reedy
Maybuce, Leon C.
Mayeux, Huey Paul
Mayfield, James Samuel
McAllister, Jacob
McCall, John B.
McClean, David
McClure, Odell (P. M.)
McCoy, James R. (P. M.)
McCullough, Charles L. (P. M.)
McDonald, E.
McDowell, Sonnie
McGee, Henry H.
McGill, E.
McKenzie, Arthur A.
McKinney, L. W.
McNair, Junie Curtis
McPherson, Isaiah
Meade, Velma A.
Melhado, Charles (P. M.)
Mickels, Terence Lauray
Milhouse, Collins Cecil, Jr.
Miller, Armster L. (P. M.)
Miller, Willie Frank
Minkins, Joseph
Mitchell, A. C.
Mitchell, George Hubert
Mitchell, Cleo
Mitchell, Herman J.
Mitchell, Joseph
Mitchell, Louis L., Jr.
Mitchell, Robert L.
Moltrie, H. S.
Moore, Ivory Lee
Moore, J. J. (P. M.)
Moore, John Herbert
Moore, Johnnie
Morgan, Samuel Aaron
Morgan, Walter J.
Morris, Herbert L.
Morris, James S.
Morris, Vincent (P. M.)
Morris, Walter
Mosley, Claude
Moten, John Herman
Motley, Herbert Lee

Murrell, James Clark
Mullen, Frank
Myers, Frank D.
Nance, Walter
Neal, Clyde Edward Spencer, Jr. (P. M.)
Neely, Henry Clay
Nelson, Columbus, Jr. (P. M.)
Nelson John W.
Newkirk, George L.
Nicholas, Walter Harry, Jr.
Nichols, D. A.
Nichols, Oliver Clair
Nicolson, Gilbert
Nixon, Vaughn O.
Nnachi, Oluchi Olugh
Noble, Wilbert Joseph
Nolan, Rentie
Nurse, Alvin D.
Osbonna, Chuckwuma A.
Osborne, Anthony (P. M.)
Osborne, Luther George (P. M.)
Osborne, Prince, Jr.
Osuagwu, Stephen E.
Page, William Robert (P. M.)
Parker, Edward Augustus
Pasquale, Garnett
Patton, N. O.
Patton, Warren A.
Pearson, Arthaniel
Pearsons, Andrew Jackson
Pettus, Reginald
Petway, Charles Clarence
Pickett, William
Pierson, Walter (P. M.)
Pinkney, Stearne, Jr.
Plouche, Edward W.
Pope, Arthur, Jr.
Preston, DeWitt
Price, Eural L.
Prince, James Lawrence (P. M.)
Prosper, George
Pruitt, Sam
Purdon, James R.
Quivers, Emanuel, Jr.
Randolph, John D.
Rattler, Noffey
Redmond, Albert
Reese, Napolean (P. M.)
Reynolds, Robert
Rice, Cota H.
Rice, Otto
Richardson, James B.
Riddick, Shadrick
Roberts, James T.
Robinson, James H.
Rockeymoore, Thomas C.
Rogers, Michael A.
Rogers, Samuel (P. M.)
Roland, J. E.
Rougeau, Artemon
Rower, A. E.
Ruggles, David W.
Rush, George O., Jr.
Salvador, Paul
Sanders, Leroy
Sands, Joseph R. (P. M.)
Sanford, Walter Hobart, Jr.
Sanford, Walter H., Sr. (P. M.)
Saunders, Casper Leon
Scaggs, Pleas
Scott, Charles A.
Scott, Harvey A.
Scott, James
Scott, Robert D.
Schwarz, A.
Schxnayder, Harry L.
Sessions, Harry Vernon
Shepard, Edward E.
Silverbrook, Fred G.
Simmons, George W. B.
Simmons, J. P.
Simpson, Douglass
Simpson, Samuel J., Jr.
Small, Benjamin A.
Small, Joseph V.
Smith, Albert, Jr.
Smith, Albert, Jr.
Smith, Garnett
Smith, James H.
Smith, Jerrold A.
Smith, John W.
Smith, Joseph C., Jr.
Smith, Leland Stanford. (P. M.)
Smith, Leon Roosevelt
Smith, McDonald
Smith, Percy, Jr.
Smith, W. B.
Smith, Walter C. (P. M.)
Smith, William
Smith, William D., Jr.
Smith, William H.
Smith, Willie Bee
Soares, Raymond D. II
Solomon, David (P. M.)
Sparks, Walter S.
Spencer, James Edward
Spinks, William Otto
Starky, James R. (P. M.)
Staton, H. S.
Staton, Nathan
Stearns, Pinkney, Jr.
Stephens, George
Stephens, W. M.
Stephens, Walter Louis
Stepp, Timothy
Strickland, Wilford R. (P. M.)
Stubblefield, James P.
Sykes, Emmit
Talbot, Henry (P. M.)
Tance, Willie
Tapscott, Van Allen
Tate, J. T.
Taylor, Alex
Taylor, Arthur
Taylor, Henry
Taylor, Henry B.
Taylor, James Westley (P. M.)
Thomas, Amos M.
Thomas, Henry C. (P. M.)
Thomas, John W.
Thomas, Leon Elvin
Thomas, Robert C. (P. M.)
Thompson, Adam Alfred
Thompson, Joseph A.
Thompson, W. C.
Thorton, George W.
Timms, Mack Isaac
Tingle, Willie E.
Tinsley, Charles H. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Tobie, Joe Nathan
Tobie, Joseph W.
Toliver, John
Triche, Efrem
Tull, C.
Turnet, Henry J.
Turner, William F. (P. M.)
Twegbe, Isaac B.
Tyrell, Bertram L. (P. M.)
Van Zandt, Roger
Vaughn, Lamar
Vessel, Isaac B.
Wade, James E. (P. M.)
Walker. Martin E.
Ward, Charles H. (P. M.)
Walker, Fred
Wallace, John
Ward, Michael D. (P. M.)
Ware, A. L.
Warren, Earl Sylvester
Washington, Ralph Theodore
Watkins, Oscar Edward
Watson, Frank, Jr.
Wells, Horace C., Jr.
White, Arthur Lee
White, Darntley L.
White, George L.
White, Hilton (P. M.)
White, James Billie
White, James Lawrence
White, James N.
Whitfield, James M. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Whitt, Joseph D.
Whittington, Harry
Whittle, Emmett
Wilborn, J. H.
Wilkerson, Roderigo (P. M.)
Wilkins, George
Wilkes, Jessie
Wilks, Jessie W.
Williams, Albert Kenneth
Williams, Arthur
Williams Charles Harry
Williams, Calvin Coolidge
Williams, Henry D. (P. M.)
Williams, Herbert
Williams, James A.
Williams, Jermiah
Williams, John H.
Williams, John Edward
Williams, Johnnie S. A.
Williams, Marcus
Williams, Robert L.
Williams, Roscoe Dale
Williams, Smitty
Williams, Webster C.
Willis, Sico
Wilson, Arthur H.
Wilson, Dewey
Wilson, Horace Jack
Wilson, James H. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Wilson, Marion Eugene
Wilson, Robert
Wilson, Walter James
Winford, Edmond F. (P. M.)
Wolfe, George N.
Woodson, R.
Wright, Anderson E. (P. M. & M. W. P. G. M.)
Wright, Arthur Louis
Young, Herman W. (P. M.)
Young, Sandy
Young, Whitley