HISTORY OF PRINCE HALL
Prince Hall, our founder, was one of our greatest Americans; a Worthy brother and accredited with our first black Masonic Grand Lodge and its expansion.
This article is a monument to Prince Hall’s life, career and leadership. It shall further serve as information about Prince Hall Masonry.
His name is carried and borne by Masonic Organizations throughout the United States and thousands of Masons who regard themselves as descendants from the Grand Lodge of England from which he received his authority more than two centuries ago.
America, celebrated in 1976 the two hundredth anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.
A significant event happened in Masonry on March 6, 1775. John Batt, working under the authority and the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, initiated Prince Hall and fourteen (14) other free black men into Masonry in Army Lodge No. 441.
The other candidates were Cyrus Johnson, Bueston Slinger, Prince Rees, John Canton, Peter Freeman, Benjamin Tiler, Duff Ruform, Thomas Santerson, Prince Rayden, Cato Speain, Boston Smith, Peter Best, Forten Howard and Richard Titley.
When the British Regiments left Boston on March 17, 1776, a dispensation was issued by Batt authorizing Prince Hall and his brethren to meet as a lodge under restrictions.
Under this permit, African Lodge No. 1 was formed July 3, 1776. Official acknowledgment of the legitimacy of African Lodge No. 1 was almost immediately made by John Rowe of Boston, a Caucasian and provincial Grand Master of North America holding authority from the premier Grand Lodge of Freemasons, the Grand Lodge of England.