Fraternal Leader, Civil Rights Activist
Born in the British West Indies, Prince Hall migrated to Boston during his youth and rose to become one of the Black community's most influential members. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Hall enlisted in the Medford militia and served in the armed forces. On september 12, 1787 Hall received a charter from the Grand Lodge of England and organized what is now the oldest Black fraternal organization in America, African Lodge Number 459 of the Freemasonry. His beliefs in education and support of his fellowman are still present in chapters of his organization today. As one of America's first abolitionists, Hall was a primary force in a petition sent to the Massachusetts House of Representatives to end slavery. His argument included all the principles for which the settlers of America broke away from England. He also petitioned against the kidnapping and sale of free Blacks into slavery. At the time of his death, Hall not only had full voting rights, but was also a property owner. Because of his many contributions, many Masonic lodges observe September 7 as Prince Hall Day.