Birth: 1735 in Boston, MA

Death: 1807 in MA

Historical Role/Pertinence: Prince Hall is most well known for being one of the creators of the first African Masonic Lodge Continental Army and a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Prince Hall was born as a slave to William Hall in Boston, MA in 1735. He was freed after the Boston Massacre and began to make a living as a peddler, caterer, and leather maker. It is even known that Prince Hall owned a house and leather shop in Boston that provided leather goods for the Boston Regiment. Hall joined a British army lodge with 14 other men of color in 1775. The men soon formed their own all-black army lodge named, African Lodge #1. It was the first lodge for African Americans in U.S. history and Prince Hall served as the grandmaster. Hall continued to help form all-black Masonic lodges in other areas while also supporting the African-American community in Boston. He petitioned Massachusetts for Black public school funding and when his petition was successful, he allowed the school to operate out of his home. Hall also assisted in passing the Massachusetts legislation that outlawed the slave trade in 1788. When Hall passed, the lodge he helped to found changed their name to Prince Hall Grand Lodge in his honor.

Associated Exhibits

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Works Cited

“Prince Hall.” Africans in America. PBS, Accessed 27 November, 2023. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p37.html.

Swanson, Abigail. “Prince Hall (CA. 1735-1807).” BlackPast. 18 January 2007. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/hall-prince-c-1735-1807/.