Fraternal, Social Service, and Religious Organizations

What was the origin of the Masonic lodge?

In 1775 Prince Hall (1735–1807) and fourteen others joined a Masonic lodge sponsored by British Army officers at Castle William near Boston on March 6. These are the first American black Masons and the origin of the Masonic movement among blacks. On September 29, 1784, the British Grand Lodge approved the formation of African Lodge No. 459, but the notification did not arrive until 1787. The African Grand Lodge was established on June 24, 1791; Prince Hall was the grand master. A second black lodge was formed in Philadelphia in 1797. In 1808 the existing black lodges formed the Prince Hall Masons, an organization that declared itself independent from all other Masonic lodges. During the American Revolution, Prince Hall became the most famous black in the Boston area. His work, and that of the early lodges, set the stage for the Masonic lodges that followed.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App