Presentation on theme: "Prince Hall, born in 1738, was the first Black initiated into Freemasonry in America. A self-educated businessman and a leather crafter, he became of."— Presentation transcript:
Prince Hall, born in 1738, was the first Black initiated into Freemasonry in America. A self-educated businessman and a leather crafter, he became of the most prominent citizens in Boston, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary period. At one time, Hall was also one of the best caterers in New England. Because Blacks were not allowed to attend school in the early 18th century, Prince Hall was self- educated. Prince Hall was a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
BOSTON 1770s THE CITY OF WAS ALIVE WITH TRADE AS A MAJOR PORT OF THE COLONIES. FREEMASONRY FLOURISHED HERE, PATRIOTISM WAS ALIVE, AND THE FIRST ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT WAS BORN. PRINCE HALL FOUND FREEDOM THERE AND INFLUENCE AMONG THE FREEMASONS AND CITIZENS OF THE CITY. FREEMASONRY WAS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE VEHICLE TO ADVANCE BLACKS IN AMERICA. PRINCE HALL WAS PLACED IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
BOSTON MASSACRE In 1767, with the end of the military threat from France, Britain imposed a series of taxes, culminating with the Townshend Acts, which proved unpopular in the colonies. Boston was a center of this resistance and the British sent troops in 1768 to protect Loyalist interests. Crispus Attucks, who was of black and native american descent, was one of three colonists killed after a confrontation that began with tossing snowballs. Prince Hall was given his freedom one month after the Boston Massacre.
In 1749 Prince Hall lived with the William Hall family of Boston where he was employed as a servant until His manumission papers freeing him are dated April 9, 1770, and state that “... he is no longer to be reckoned a slave, but has been always accounted as a freeman by us.” It is believed that Prince Hall was born free, but desired manumission papers to prove that he was free.
CASTLE ISLAND BOSTON HARBOR MARCH 6, 1775 PRINCE HALL AND FOURTEEN OTHER FREED BLACK MEN WERE INITIATED INTO LODGE #441 IRISH CONSTITUTION, ATTACHED TO THE 38 TH REGIMENT OF FOOT, BRITISH ARMY GARRISONED AT CASTLE WILLIAM ISLAND IN BOSTON HARBOR.
On July 3, 1775, the black Masons organized African Lodge No. 1 under a qualified permit, naming Hall as Grand Master. The lodge met at "the sine of the Golden Fleece," from which Hall conducted his catering and leather dressing business. It was May 6, 1787 before the African Lodge received an official charter from London and was renumbered No 459. With Hall's help, other lodges were organized in Philadelphia in 1797 and in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Warrant to what became the African Lodge of Boston, designated No. 459, is the most significant and highly prized document known to the Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity. It was delivered in Boston on April 29, 1787 by Captain James Scott, brother-in-law of John Hancock and master of the Neptune. The African Lodge of Boston became the “Mother Lodge” of the Prince Hall Family, from which all other Prince Hall Masons trace their roots. The Lodge was formally organized on May 6, In 1869 a fire destroyed Massachusetts' Grand Lodge headquarters and a number of its priceless records. The charter in its metal tube was in the Grand Lodge chest. The tube saved the charter from the flames, but the intense heat charred the paper. It was at this time that Grand Master S.T. Kendall crawled into the burning building and in peril of his life, saved the charter from complete destruction. Thus a Grand Master's devotion and heroism further consecrated this parchment to us, and added a further detail to its already interesting history.
Participation in Freemasonry has played a significant role in developing Black leadership, unity, and camaraderie. The Brotherhood “makes good men better” through increased self-esteem, leadership, and self- discipline.
Hall turned his attention to improving the living conditions of black Bostonians. In 1787 and again in 1796, he led drives to provide free state schooling for black Massachusetts children, which, he argued, they were entitled to since black tax payments supported white schools. Finally, in 1800 he offered his own home for use as a school; two students from Harvard University agreed to serve as instructors. The idea of black Masonry began to spread, especially as Hall's lodge received chilly treatment from white Masonic groups. New lodges, often bearing Hall's name, were chartered in other cities, beginning in 1797 in Providence, Rhode Island. A black Masonic lodge in Philadelphia played a key role in the evolution of independent black institutions in that city. Hall remained active until his death in Boston on April 4, 1807; his final interment the following year was attended by a large crowd of African Americans. The branch of Freemasonry he founded continued to exert a strong influence in black communities.
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL 101 BLACK AND NATIVE AMERICA VOLUNTEERS FOUGHT FOR THE COLONIALS AT THIS BATTLE. MANY HISTORIANS BELIEVE PRINCE HALL WAS A PARTICIPANT.
The question of Hall's actual participation in fighting against the British remains to be settled. Several histories of the large African-American presence in the American army (according to some estimates, one in every seven soldiers was black) state that he took up arms, but the name Prince Hall was a fairly common one. What can be documented is that Hall provided Revolutionary troops with leather drumheads, according to a 1777 bill of sale.
Dr. Joseph Warren Doctor and soldier, remembered for his death as a volunteer while also serving as chief executive of the revolutionary Massachusetts government. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. died at Bunker Hill.
THE BOSTON PLAN Long before Garveyism, Prince Hall introduced the “back to Africa movement.” The first colony and settlement in Africa, which later became Liberia, was derived from a group whose members were from the first Prince Hall Lodge from Providence, RI, which was under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. The first President of Liberia was a mason and, though it was many years later, not far removed from the influence of Prince Hall.
In early February 1788, three free black Bostonians, one a Mason, were lured aboard a ship by a captain promising work. Instead, the men were kidnapped, shipped to the Caribbean, and sold as slaves. In a February 27 petition attacking the slave trade, Hall and 21 other Masons stated their outrage at the seizure of their fellow citizens. The state legislature passed an act on March 26 designed to prohibit the slave trade within the state's borders and to provide recourse for the families of those abducted. Sufficient pressure was applied by Governor John Hancock and the French consul in Boston to obtain the release of the men from the French island of St. Bartholomew. The African Lodge organized a celebration to mark their return home in July of that year
In 1866, under authority of the Grand Lodge of New York, Past Grand Master Paul Drayton organized King Solomon Lodge #23 (now #1,) at New Bern, North Carolina, and Giblem Lodge #28 (now #2,) at Wilmington, North Carolina. By authority of the same Grand Lodge, Past Grand Master James W. Hood, who had been appointed as supervisor, organized in 1867, Eureka Lodge #30 (now #3,) at Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Widow's Son Lodge #31, (now #4,) at Raleigh, North Carolina. The four lodges last mentioned, on March 1, 1870, met in Giblem Lodge room in the city of Wilmington, and organized the present Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the state of North Carolina with M:. W:. J:. W:. Hood, Grand Master, and R:. W:. J:. J:. Sawyer as Grand Secretary. Since its organization on March 1, 1870, the M:. W:. Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina has grown to 461 lodges and a membership over 18,000. Also included are appendant bodies of the York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Shrine.
Today, the Prince Hall Masonic Order spans across all fifty United States of America as well as lodges in Canada, the West Indies, the Bahamas, Europe, and Asia. There are over 250,000 Prince Hall Masons worldwide, working in more than 5,000 lodges who can trace their roots to African Lodge No. 459
If thus, we by the grace of God, live up to this our Profession; we may cheerfully go the rounds of the compass of this life, having lived according to the plumb line of uprightness, the square of justice, the level of truth and sincerity. And when we are come to the end of time, we may then bid farewell to that delightful Sun and Moon, and the other planets, that move so beautifully round her in their orbits, and all things here below, and ascend to that new Jerusalem, where we shall not want these tapers, for God is the Light thereof; where the Wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest. Then shall we hear and see and know, All we desir'd and wish'd below, And every power find sweet employ, In that eternal world of joy. Our flesh shall slumber in the ground, Till the last trumpet's joyful sound, Then burst the chains with sweet surprise, And in our Savior's image rise.