"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rare Prince Hall Document Acquired

The Houghton Library of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard University has recently been given a Masonic membership certificate, signed by Prince Hall himself. The very rare certificate came from Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, and is dated June 13, 1799. It is in the name of Richard P.G. Wright, and signed by Prince Hall (Worshipful Master), George Medallion (Senior Warden), Jube Hill (Junior Warden) and William Smith (Secretary).

Reproduction of the certificate is restricted and must be licensed by the Library. A detailed image of it can be seen here.


  1. Chris, is that actually Prince Hall's signature?
    The fact the blank reads "state" is telling. It's obviously American in origin, but did any American GL recognise Prince Hall Masonry then? Or was this purchased from some early Masonic supply company? I'm afraid I know little about American certificates.


  2. Bro.Chris,
    Fraternal greetings! One must ask if that doc was issued by the GL of England since African Lodge no. 370 was still under her canopy....
    Bro. Ralph

  3. I know what you know—namely what's in the posting.

    The document appears to have been issued by African Lodge, not UGLE.


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