December 4


December 4, 1807 Prince Hall, the founder of “Black Freemasonry,” died. Hall was born September 14, 1735 in Barbados. Not much is known of his youth and how he ended up in Boston, Massachusetts. It is known that he was a property owner and a registered voter and that he worked as an abolitionist and civil rights activist. He fought for laws to protect blacks from kidnapping by slave traders and campaigned for schools for black children. On March 6, 1775, Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Military Lodge No. 441, a Lodge attached to the British Army. When the British Army left, on July 3, 1776 the Black Masons were granted a dispensation for limited operations as African Lodge No. 1 which then served as mother lodge to new black lodges in other cities. In 1791, Black Freemasons formed the African Grand Lodge of North America and unanimously elected Hall Grand Master, a position that he held until his death. The African Grand Lodge was later renamed the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in his honor. Hall’s name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.


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