Anthony T. Stafford Military Lodge #16
Masonic Education of Prince Hall in Michigan
All Men Free And Brethren:
Prince Hall And Black Freemasonry
An Incomplete Brotherhood... Recognition & Amity
The Masonic Roundtable
Matt Botts, Worshipful Master
Diversity Lodge No. 330
MWPHGL of Virginia,
The Legacy of Prince Hall
Prince Hall is considered as the Father of Black Masonry in the United States. With his efforts, it became possible for people of African-American descent to also be recognized and enjoy all privileges of Free and Accepted Masonry.
Black Freemasonry began when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge No. 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army Garrisoned at Castle William (now called Fort Independence) Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775.
When the British Army left Boston in 1776, Prince Hall and his brethren were granted with authority to meet as African Lodge #1 (Under Dispensation) to go in procession on St. John's Day. They were also given permission to bury their dead, but they could not grant degrees or perform any other Masonic "work."
For nine years, Prince Hall and his comrades, together with others who had received their degrees elsewhere, assembled and enjoyed their limited privileges as Masons. Thirty-three masons were listed on the rolls of African Lodge #1 on January 14th, 1779.
On March 2, 1784, Prince Hall petitioned the Grand Lodge of England, through a Worshipful Master of a subordinate Lodge in London (William Moody of Brotherly Love Lodge No. 55) for a warrant or charter.
It was granted on September 29, 1784 and was delivered in Boston on April 29, 1787 by Captain James Scott. Under its authority, African Lodge No. 459 was organized one week later, on May 6, 1787.
PRINCE HALL ORIGINAL CHARTER
WARRANT OF AFRICAN LODGE NO. 459
Warrant of Constitution, A.G.M.
To All and Every:
Know ye that we, at the humble petition of our Right Trusty and well beloved brethren, Prince Hall, Boston Smith, Thomas Sanderson, and several other brethren residing in Boston, New England, North America, do hereby constitute the said
brethren into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the title or denomination of the African Lodge, to be opened in Boston, aforesaid, and do further, at their said petition and of the great trust and confidence reposed in every of the said above-named brethren, hereby appoint the Prince Hall to be Master; Boston Smith, Senior Warden and Thomas Sanderson, Junior Warden, for the opening of the said Lodge, and for such further time only as shall be thought by the brethren thereof, it being our will that this our appointment of the above said officers, shall in affect any further election said Lodge, but that such election shall be regulated agreeable to such By-Laws of the said Lodge as shall be consistent with the Grand Law of the society contained in the Book of Constitutions: and we hereby will, and require of you the said Prince Hall, to take special care that all and every the said brethren are to have been regularly made Masons, and that they do observe, perform, and keep all the rules and orders contained in the Book of Constitutions; and, further, that you do from time to time cause to be entered, in a book kept for that purpose, an account of your proceedings in the Lodge, together with all such Rules, orders and Regulations as shall be made for the good government of same, that in no wise you omit once in every year to send us, or our Successors, Grand Masters, or Rowland Holt, Esq., our Deputy Grand Master, for the time being, and account of your proceedings, and copies of all such Rules, Orders and Regulations as shall be made aforesaid together with the list of the members of the Lodge, and reasonably be expected toward the Grand Charity.
Moreover, we will, and require of you, the said Prince Hall, as soon as conveniently may be, to send an account in writing of what may be done by virtue of these presents.
Given at London, under our hand and seal of Masonry, 29th day of September, A.L. 5784, A.D. 1784, by the Grand Master's command R. Holt, Deputy Grand Master.
Attest: William White, Grand Secretary.
The Warrant to African Lodge No. 459 of Boston is the most significant and highly prized document known to the Prince Hall Mason Fraternity. We are able to trace our legitimacy because of it, and on it more than any other factor our case rests.
Prince Hall Grave Markers
Prince Hall grave marker at the Copp's Hill Burying Ground is a historic cemetery in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1659, it was originally named "North Burying Ground", and was the city's second cemetery.
In 1791, Prince Hall was appointed as Provincial Grand Master by H.R.H., the Prince of Wales. Under the authority of the charter of African Lodge #459, Prince Hall established African Lodge #459 of Philadelphia on March 22, 1797 and Hiram Lodge #3 in Providence, Rhode Island on June 25, 1797.
African Lodge of Boston became the "Mother Lodge" of the Prince Hall Family. The African Grand Lodge was not organized until 1808, when representatives of African Lodge #459 of Boston, African Lodge #459 of Philadelphia, and Hiram Lodge #3 of Providence met in New York City.
Today, the Prince Hall fraternity has more than 5000 lodges worldwide, forming 46 independent jurisdictions with a membership of over 300,000 masons.
Prince Hall Memorial Cambridge Common Rotunda in Cambridge, MA
On May 15th, 2010, the City of Cambridge, unveiled its first monument to an African-American civil rights activist, social reformer, fraternal Pioneer, Prince Hall, on the historic Cambridge Common Rotunda in Cambridge, MA. This is the location where General George Washing ton took command of the Continental Army and who is also memorialized on this land.
♦Prince Hall Monument Unveiling Ceremony♦
The Prince Hall Pledge
Prince Hall was instrumental in the initiation of the establishment of one of the first public schools for Blacks of Boston in 1798 at No. 8 Smith Court, where the first Black church in Boston was located. Prince Hall School is the only school in the United States named after this great gentleman.
I do promise to accept and follow the ideals of the Prince Hall School.
P Promptness each day!
R Respect for teachers and one another!
I Improvement in school achievement!
N Neat in appearance, uniform and work!
E Enthusiastic, efficient in all I do!
H Helpful to those around me!
A Ambitious and eager for success!
L Leadership having the strength to guide others!
L Loyal to school, family and friends!
Prince Hall School is located in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. Prince Hall opened in 1973. Originally the school was to be named the West Oak Lane School. The community, Mrs. Virginia Lee, Past Matron of Henry R. Shockley Chapter No. 68 Order of Easter Star, Deborah Grand Chapter PHA. PA (1st President of the Home and School), and Past Grand Master Howard A. Accooe, Past Master of Tuscan Morning Star Lodge No.48 PHA, PA petitioned the School Board of Philadelphia to name the school PRINCE HALL. Prince Hall School’s mascot is the “Wise Owl" and our colors are Sky Blue and Grass Green which accounts for the school’s motto: “THE BEST BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH.”