Prince Hall Masons
Who Are the Prince Hall Masons? Who was Prince Hall?
Prince Hall is recognized as being the Father of Black Masonry in th USA. Historically, he made it possible for Blacks to be recognized and enjoy all privileges of free and accepted Masonry. Many rumors of the birth of Prince Hall have arisen. A few records and papers have already been found of him in Barbados where it was rumored that he was born in 1748, but no record of birth by church or by state, exists there. Many churches with baptismal records have been examined without finding the name of Prince Hall. One widely circulated rumor states that "Prince Hall was free born in British West Indies. His father, Thomas Prince Hall, was an Englishman and his mother a free black woman of French extraction. In 1765 he worked his passage on a ship to Boston, where he worked as a leather worker, a trade taught by his father. During this time he married Sarah Ritchery. Shortly after their marriage, she died at the age of 24. Eventually Prince Hall acquired real estate and was qualified to vote. Prince Hall also pressed John Hancock to be allowed to join the Continental Army and was considered one of a few blacks who fought at the battle of Bunker Hill. Religiously inclined, he later became a minister within the African Methodist Episcopal Church by having charge in Cambridge and fought for the abolition of slavery." Some accounts are paraphrased coming from the generally discredited Grimshaw book of 1903. Freemasonry among Black men began while in the War of Independence, when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge # 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army Garrisoned at Castle Williams (now Fort Independence) Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775.
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