What is Prince Hall Masonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal, and charitable organizations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas which follow ancient forms and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides. It instills in its members a moral and ethical approach to life and its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty, and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.

Prince Hall Masonry
By many, Prince Hall is considered the founder father of African American Freemasonry in the United States of America. In the late 18th Century, Hall and several others sought to join the Masonic ranks after their service in the American Revolutionary War. They were inducted into the Order in the 1770s but, due to the climate of the day and challenges to the legitimacy of their induction, they were not recognized by one and all. As such, they submitted a petition to the Grand Lodge of England to obtain a charter to formally organize African Lodge directly from the source. With their prayer granted in 1784 and the charter received in 1787, African Lodge #459 was a legitimate Lodge on the rolls of a recognized Grand Lodge.

By the end of the 18th Century, the African Lodge established two additional branches of itself in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. After the death of Prince Hall in 1807, the branches organized themselves into the African Grand Lodge in 1808. It is from this source that Prince Hall Freemasonry extended itself across America.

Having made its way to the State of Illinois in the 1850s, Prince Hall Freemasonry is the oldest, continually active, African American fraternal organization within the State of Illinois. The fraternity is designed to make good men better through service to mankind. This service has been displayed in thousands of communities across the State of Illinois since the middle of the 19th Century.

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge
Free & Accepted Masons
State of Illinois and Its Jurisdiction



809 East 42nd Place, Chicago, IL 60653

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