Interested in Freemasonry due to its ideals of liberty, equality and peace, former slave Prince Hall and 15 other Black men from Boston were initiated into Masonry by members of the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1775, after having been turned down for admittance to the all-white Boston Saint John’s Lodge.
These men would go on to found African Lodge No. 1 after being issued an official charter by the Grand Lodge of England in 1784. Later named after its founder, Prince Hall, Prince Hall Freemasonry is still the oldest and largest predominantly African-American fraternity in America.
– Carlisle Willard, Contributor