Toronto Society for Masonic Research

The History of Prince Hall Freemasonry Recognition in Canada (in Context)

"Upon occasion masons must do that which is right because it is right and must not be intimidated by those with other less noble agendas." -- Ken W. Aldridge, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Quebec, letter to UGLE, 1991-07-23


"we being only, as Masons, of the Universal Religion above mention'd, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages ... if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly" -- Charges of a Free-Mason, James Anderson, 1723

" We are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor; who, as children of the same Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. " -- Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1772

"TO ALL AND EVERY ... we, Thomas Howard, Earl of Effingham ... Acting Grand Master under the authority of His Royal Highness, Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland ... Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, sends greeting: ... do hereby constitute the said Brethren into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the title or denomination of the African Lodge ..." -- Warrant of African Lodge No. 459, 1784-09-29

"White Masons, who are not more skilled in geometry than their black brethren, will not acknowledge them ... the truth is they are ashamed of being on an equality with blacks. ... Masonry considers all men equal who are free; and Massachusetts laws admit of no kind of Slavery. It is evident from this that Neither "avowedly nor tacitly do the Blacks admit the preheminence of the Whites; But as evident that the preheminence is claimed by the Whites." -- John Eliot, who later became Grand Chaplain of the GLMA, in a letter to Jeremy Belknap, February, 1795

" In the earliest days their Lodge was freely visited by white Masons; -- and down to the present time many white Masons, when influenced by curiosity or higher motives, have not hesitated to thus recognize them. But gradually, especially after some white Grand Lodges, -- acting upon the slight information that was then accessible -- had questioned their standing, and the advantages of exclusive territorial jurisdiction had become apparent, their origin was lost sight of; and the view that they were -- for what reason was generally but vaguely understood -- more or less irregular, became prevalent, and finally crystallized among the rank and file of the Fraternity into almost an axiom.

(The 1902 edition gives evidence of frequent visits by white brethren to Prince Hall lodges, both in Boston and Philadelphia, up until 1833. (Jacob Norton, AQC xiii, 64))
" -- William H. Upton: Light on a Dark Subject, #7, p9, 1899

"give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs let their color and complexion be what it will, let their nation be what it may, for they are your brethren, and it is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as Masons deny this, and we & the world know what to think of them be they ever so grand;" -- Charge to African Lodge, Prince Hall, 1797-06-24

" How, then, could that law be binding on the negro Masons? Will folly be carried so far as to claim that the white Masons could, first, exclude the negro brethren from the white organizations, and then, having done this, proceed, in those organizations, without the consent of the negroes, to create a law that would both bind the negro Masons and render it impossible for them to continue their growth? Surely, the proposition is too monstrous to be considered. No; the "American doctrine," whatever its true meaning may be, and in whatever stage of development it may have been in 1808, was not morally, legally or Masonically binding on negro Masons. " -- William H. Upton: Light on a Dark Subject, #64, p81, 1899

"The question has been asked: the cause of the separate organizations of white and colored Masons in the United States of America? We do not know of any good reason why there should be, and we have made several attempts without success to have but one. We are, and always have been, in procession of all the ancient landmarks and regulations of the Craft; and we do acknowledge all genuine Masons of all Nations and shades of complexion, to be our brethren." -- Sentiments, National Grand Lodge (PH), 1847-06-24 (from Walkes, 1983)

" Resolved, That in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, it would be inexpedient and tend to mar the harmony of the fraternity to admit any of the persons of color, so-called, into the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons within the jurisdiction of thie Grand Lodge. " -- Grand Lodge of Ohio, adopted 1847

" After the abolition of slavery in the West Indies by the British Parliament, the Grand Lodge of England on September 1, 1847, changed the word free-born into free man, but the ancient landmark never has been removed in America. " -- Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

" Resolved, That all subordinate lodges under this jurisdiction be instructed to admit no negro or mulatto as a visitor or otherwise, under any circumstances whatever. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois, adopted 1851

" [In 1852] the Grand Lodge of Iowa adopted a report on foreign correspondence, which embodied and endorsed the action of the Grand Lodge of New York, declaring that the 'exclusion of persons of the negro race is in accordance with Masonic law and the ancient charges and regulations', and also declaring it 'not proper to initiate them in our lodges'; " -- Grand Lodge of Iowa, John Long, G.M. 1870

" Because of the unsociableness of the brethren (white) to meet with us and not giving us that satisfaction when called upon for harmonious working of the craft, We in solemn convention assembled, believe it to be our indispensable duty to act for ourselves, and form ourselves into an independent body of Free and Accepted Masons. " -- Declaration of Sentiments, Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator 1856 (Robbins p.28)

" Resolved, That lodges under this jurisdiction are positively prohibited from initiating, passing, raising, or admitting to membership, or the right of visitation, any negro, mulatto, or colored person of the United States. This prohibition shall be an obligation, and so taught in the third degree. " -- Grand Lodge of Delaware, adopted 1867

"God pity the man who will not lay on the altar of Masonry every feeling of ambition, every feeling of ill will in his breast toward a brother Mason. Freemasonry is one faith, one great religion, one great common altar around which all men of all tongues and all languages can assemble. And Masonry will never be true to her mission until we all join hands, heart to heart, and hand to hand around the Altar of Masonry, with a determination that Masonry shall become at some time worthy of her pretensions - no longer a pretender to that which is good, but that she shall be an Apostle of peace, good will, charity and toleration.". -- Albert Pike, in an Address in St. Louis, Mo., 1868 (cited by John Edward Bruce)

"1869: The Grand Orient of France resolved that neither color, race nor religion should disqualify a candidate. Although this conformed strictly to Masonic principles, it raised the racial question and so disturbed the Grand Lodges of the United States that several, which had not already done so, severed relations withe the Grand Orient.". -- Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, "France" p266 1996

"Prince Hall Lodge was as regular a Lodge as any lodge created by competent authority, and had a perfect right (as other lodges in Europe did) to establish other lodges, making itself a mother Lodge. ...
I am not inclined to meddle in the matter. I took my obligations to white men, not to negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it. I am interested to keep the Ancient and Accepted Rite uncontaminated, in our country at least, by the leprosy of negro association. ... Better let the thing drift. Apres nous le deluge.
". -- Albert Pike, 1875 -- cited by William H. Upton, Negro Masonry 1902 p214-5

" The perpetual changes which have been rung upon "freeborn", "irregularity", and "territorial jurisdiction" are such as to inspire the disgust of all reflecting men. And the unwarrantable concealments and misrepresentations which have been made use of to preclude the truth, are of a nature to exite the condemnation of all honest men. " - Willis NM. Brent, G.S., PHGLMO, 1876. cited in Walkes, 1983 p.136

" The Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina, compiled by that eminent author, erudite scholar and unsurpassed Masonic jurist, Albert G. Mackey, and adopted by the Grand Lodge, specifically declares that a candidate must be of free white parents. " -- Grand Lodge of South Carolina Proceedings 1898 p50, cited in Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899 #16 p22

"RESOLVED. That, in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, Masonry is universal: and, without doubt, neither race nor color are among the tests proper to be applied to determine the fitness of a candidate for the degrees of Masonry." -- Grand Lodge of Washington, Upton Report, adopted 1898-06-15 (140 pages): "Light on a Dark Subject"

" The case of the Negroes in America is equally emergent and exceptional. There may be no law to prevent their initiation in white Lodges, but the ballot bars their entry. The conclusion is obvious. Masonry knows no distinction of race, religion or colour; and if you won't have them in your Lodges, you must, in fairness, permit them to have Lodges of their own. " -- Letter from George W Speth 1898-09-22, Secretary QC2076, Editor AQC, in Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899 A14 p119

" "But some lies have been so brazenly asserted and so persistently reiterated; some false doctrines so insidiously suggested and craftily defended, that no other course seemed possible. ... I believe time and Masonic scholarship will vindicate my candor, and my accuracy in all essential particulars. ... I have not the least doubt that the principal conclusions arrived at are THE TRUTH, or that such will be the verdict of Posterity." " -- Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899 p111

" On the purely American doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction I would desire to say as little as possible. It is certainly not an old Landmark and it is one of those things which we in Germany cannot see the necessity of and we may therefore be pardoned for not believing in it. In the City of Hamburg we have 16 Lodges belonging to 6 different Grand Lodges and we certainly do not find it in any way detrimental to the interests of the Craft.

Statute of the German Grand Lodge League: "Difference of colour and race are no impediment to the recognition of a Grand Lodge or Lodge and any Grand Lodge or Lodge will be duly recognized as soon as the necessary informations regarding its Statutes and Principles, and sufficient moral guarantees regarding its proper and salutary Masonic working are offered."
" -- Letter from GM Carl Wiebe, Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899-03-09, p127

" A candidate for initiation must be of the age of twenty-one years and a free-born white man. " -- Grand Lodge of Kentucky Constitution, Article viii, Section 5. Cited in Upton 1902, p36

" To have Lodges exclusively of Negroes, would be dangerous to the high character of our Order. And, to associate them in Lodges with white brethren, would be impossible. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois Proceedings, 1899

" Several Grand Lodges seem to believe and have -- perhaps disingenuously -- been led to declare that they possess "exclusive territorial jurisdiction" by "inherent right"; that any infringement upon their "territory" is a high Masonic crime; and that the doctrine is actually a part of "the common law of Masonry," -- one writer has said, "paramount to a Landmark"! [Proceedings GL of Indiana, 1899, Cor. Rep.] ...

The American doctrine of exclusive Grand Lodge jurisdiction is not a Landmark, but a modern, local, American-born regulation. ...

Once prove that, "This is not a question of race, but of jurisdiction"; that a system of Masonry founded in the Landmarks and practiced in accordance therewith cannot exist side by side with the American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction -- once prove that, and the American Doctrine must perish: The Ancient Landmarks shall always be carefully preserved. [General Regulations XXXIX, 1721]
" -- William H. Upton: "Negro Masonry" 1902 #71a p159-161

"I believe in Prince Hall Masonry, a door of benevolence securely tiled against the unworthy, but opened wide to men of good report, whether Aryan or Hottentot." -- From the Prince Hall Credo, W.E.B. DuBois, Boston, 1904

"Masonry never contemplated that her privileges should be extended to a race morally and intellectually totally incapacitated to discharge the obligations which they assume ... We hold that affiliation with negroes is contrary to the teachings of Masonry, ... do order that fraternal correspondence between the Grand Lodge of Mississippi and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of New Jersey, be and is hereby discontinued until such time as ... New Jersey shall see fit to desist from her present practice of initiating and affiliating negros as Masons ... if we open our Lodges to a promiscuous mixing up, then we destroy Masonry ... The negro in our land is unfit to assume the responsibilities and obligations of Masonry. It is an open secret that virtue and morality, which are indispensable qualifications to membership, are foreign to the race. I felt it my duty as your Grand Master to cut loose from any who would dare open the door of Masonry to a people whose standing for virtue and morality is a mockery to civilization."" -- Edwin J. Martin, Grand Master of Mississippi, 1909

"Our political requirements are most explicit upon the question of being free born. Many have erroneously thought that such qualification was "read into" the body of Masonry to keep out men of the colored race. Unquestionably "free born" means not only not born a slave, but not born of parents who have been slaves, or whose forebears were slaves. Thus "free born" does bar men of African descent in this country from becoming a Mason. " -- Carl H. Claudy, Executive Secretary 1929-1957: "The Candidate", MSA STB 1930-5

"FREE-BORN. Necessary condition for a Masonic initiate. Denotes one with no known slave ancestry. " -- Carl H. Claudy, Executive Secretary 1929-1957: "One Hundred Lost Words", MSA STB 1947-2

"This Grand Lodge does not recognize as legal or Masonic any body of negroes working under any character of charter in the United States, without regard to the body granting such charter, and they regard all negro lodges as clandestine, illegal and unMasonic, and moreover, they regard as highly censurable the course of any Grand Lodge in the United States which should recognize such bodies of negroes as Masonic Lodges. " - Grand Lodge of Texas Constitution, Article XV, p.34 1948

" 1947.03.12 "the Committee does not recommend what is technically known Masonically as 'recognition.' Neither does it recommend intervisitation. Mere acknowledgment of legitimacy implies neither."

1949.06.08 "specially not because it was incorrect but because it has brought objections from certain other jurisdictions." ... "Unity and Harmony are vastly more important to the Fraternity than debates about Negro Freemasonry."
" -- Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, cited in Walkes 1983 p89-92

Walkes comments on the "widespread unfavorable reaction": "With many, race prejudice was much deeper in their minds than were the precepts of the Institution, and all took refuge behind the fallacy of 'exclusive territorial jurisdiction,' a claim which has never had any fundamental status in Freemasonry at any time, anywhere."

" Personally, I would rather be associated with a bastard who is himself a moral, upright good man than with one of legitimate birth who is a crook and a scoundrel. ... It is regrettable but true that there are those of official station in all large organizations whose actions in important as well as trivial matters is governed by selfishness rather than the pure altruism which Freemasonry teaches. From this we are not exempt! " -- Melvin Maynard Johnson, PGM GLMA, writing about Grand Lodge recognition, The Philalethes, July 1948

" White Masonry in this area that is outside of Ontario has never established a color bar. " -- Reginald V. Harris, 33, PGM, Grand Historian, in "The Story of Equity Lodge No. 106. Halifax", p2 1951

"Freeborn. Masonically used in the old Roman sense of being born without slave ancestry. Probably no human being alive has not some slave ancestor. In twenty generations, five hundred years, every man has had nearly two million, two hundred thousand ancestors; carry it back a thousand, two thousand years and the ancestors exceed the population of the earth. In the Masonic sense, Freeborn means without traceable slave ancestry. " -- Carl H. Claudy, Executive Secretary 1929-1957: "WELL INFORMED BRETHREN", STB-55, MSA, 1955

" ... that so-called American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial jurisdiction which is a piece of anti-Negro Masonic buncombe used with effect against the Prince Hall Order. " -- Harry A. Williamson, 1952

" Under the Act of Incorporation the law plainly states 'Consisting of Masons exclusively of the white race.' " -- Grand Lodge of Florida, Jurisprudence Committee, p131 Proceedings 1955

"The Grand Orient of France opens its Temple doors to all Masons of known Obedience even if these Masons do not accord reciprocity." -- Convention of the Grand Orient of France, 1957

"In 1930 they had 37 Grand Lodges, with some 750,000 members in some 5,000 to 6,000 Lodges; Like other non-Masons Negro authors find it difficult to understand Masonic data; their statements of fact about actions taken by regular Grand Lodges may be checked against Grand Lodge Proceedings. Negro writers very seldom, for example, have their facts straight about actions taken at different times by the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and of Washington."" -- H.L. Haywood: "Negro Lodges" in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Kindred Sciences, Supplement, p1318 1966

"A Lodge ... must for sake of its own peace and harmony ... exclude disturbing factors; if ... a Lodge ... excludes men of some race, language, or religion it is ... because they are disturbing at a given place and time. American Grand Jurisdictions do not in fact (whether in principle or not) accept petitions from Negroes." -- H.L. Haywood: "Peace and Harmony" in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Kindred Sciences, Supplement, p1331 1966

"the British Grand Lodges have never accepted the American doctrine of exclusive jurisdiction." -- George Draffen, GLoS DGM, 1976: AQC 89

"In 1972 the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin amended its Masonic Code to read, "In accordance with the basic principles and the ancient landmarks of Masonry, every petition for membership in a constituent lodge of this Grand Lodge shall be received and acted on without regard to race, color or creed of the petitioner." ...
No official criticism by any other Masonic jurisdiction was received by the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin relating to its 1977 acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Wisconsin.
" -- Allan E. Iding, May 3, 1991, Phylaxis, Vol XVII No III, 3Q91P12,13 (cited in Williams 1993)

" American Masonry has proclaimed to the entire Masonic world that its teachings are for the exclusive use of white men. (p45)

If the American Negro had paid any attention to the jurisdictional curbs on racial lines as have been invented by the white American Craft, he would, even at this late date, still be deprived of the teachings and benefits of Ancient Craft Masonry. (p46)

Those in the White Fraternity who were steeped in both race and color prejudice, dug up this doctrine, so-called, and deliberately, with malice aforethought, diverted the same from its original intention as an excellent vehicle for the sole purpose of discrediting the Prince Hall Fraternity. This statement cannot be denied by anyone truthfully. (p47)

... the doctrine of "Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction" ... swept mainstream American Masonry. ... [cannot] be defined within the strict confines of Masonic law or fully justified, ... debatably un-Masonic ... (p58)
" - Joseph A. Walkes Jr., A Prince Hall Masonic Quiz Book, 1983 ISBN-0-88053-085-5 Macoy

" ...the Grand Lodge of Georgia ... has always considered ... Prince Hall affiliate, to be totally irregular and clandestine, having absolutely no Masonic authority, and the members thereof not to be Masons ... the Grand Lodge of Georgia ... most strongly disapprove and condemn in the strongest terms available that action of any other Grand Lodge that may hereafter extend fraternal recognition to any Prince Hall affiliate organization at any time and anywhere located ... " -- Grand Lodge of Georgia, Proceedings, p176-177, 1990

" ... WHEREAS: ... various and sundry fraternal organizations including ... Elks ... Moose ... Prince Hall Masons, gratefully acknowledging the outstanding contributions on the part of each organization toward the promotion of the general welfare of all human beings; ... ... WHEREAS: The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. adopted a resolution dated October 14th, 1989 giving recognition to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of Connecticut, Inc. ... ... WHEREAS: the resolution adopted on October 14th, 1989 by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut AF&AM, is contrary to and conflicts with the Constitution ... of the GLLA, as well as the obligations of a Master Mason. THEREFORE: I, EUGENE F. LOVE, GRAND MASTER OF MASONS, THE GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F.&A.M. DO HEREBY ISSUE THE FOLLOWING EDICT EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE SHOWN ON THE BOTTOM HEREOF: The Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F. & A.M. does hereby sever all Masonic relations and/or communications with The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. " -- Eugene F. Love, G.M., Grand Lodge of Louisana, quoted in Phylaxis 1990Q3 p7,10

" The subject of recognition of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ontario and Jurisdiction, received lengthy and serious attention, with Canadian consensus targeted for the 1992 Conference. " -- All-Canada Conference of Grand and District Grand Lodges in Winnipeg, 1990-03-17

" Recognizing Prince Hall Masonry as legitimate is contrary to a desired goal of working together, as regular Masons, toward a common cause. This carries with it an escalated and distinct possibility of causing an irreparable split in Freemasonry in North America. " -- Alan G Tidwell, G.M., Grand Lodge of Louisana, Louisiana Lodge of Research, 1990.09.01

" the question of exclusive territory is an American doctrine which should have no bearing upon any decision made by the United Grand Lodge of England " -- Ken W. Aldridge, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Quebec, letter to UGLE, 1991-07-23

" The Conference of Grand and District Grand Lodges of Canada unanimously recommends the acceptance of Prince Hall Affiliation Grand Lodges as approved by the Conference of Prince Hall Grand Lodges as being regular Masonic Grand Lodges. " -- All-Canada Conference of Grand and District Grand Lodges in Winnipeg, 1992-03-21

" acknowledges the legitimacy of origin of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the Prince Hall Affiliation. (specifically those that are approved by the Conference of Prince Hall Grand Lodges), and wishes to go on record as recognizing the contribution that Prince Hall Masons have made to the quality of life in the world at large, and particularly in this country. (This resolution refers only to historical matters, and does not authorize intervisitation.) It is recommended further that this Grand Lodge continue to pursue a maintenance of this relationship. " -- Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario (GLCPO) resolution, 1992-07-15

"The universality of Masonry is one of the great strengths of our Order. A segregated situation is abhorrent to our sensibilities and is not envisaged in our jurisdiction." -- C. Edwin Drew, in his Grand Master's address, opposing Prince Hall Recognition, 1994-07-20

"The philosophy and practice of Prince Hall Masonry today are of exemplary regularity." -- United Grand Lodge of England, 1994-12-14

" This doctrine was one of the arguments used to prevent the recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. " -- Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, "American Doctrine" p37 1996

" In England the phrase has been changed; Apprentices must be "free men" but in America all Grand Lodges clung to the old "Free born," meaning without slave ancestry. No mathematician so far has ventured to calculate how many generations back one can go without encountering an ancestor who was a slave. In feudal England, free born must have meant immediately free born - not born of slave parents - and did not go backwards into other generations. " -- Carl H. Claudy, "Masonic Vocabulary", MSA 1955, Reprinted 1999

" We are an inclusive Grand Lodge, which embraces men of good character from all races, nationalities, and creeds. It is a misnomer to describe our beloved Grand Lodge as a 'White' or Caucasian Grand Lodge, for we are in fact a Global Brotherhood. " -- Richard Bateman: "Freemasonry, A Doctrine of Separate but Equal", in GLNY Empire State Mason, Spring 2000

" Within a year [of the 1992 unanimous recommendation by all Canadian Grand Masters to Accept all Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges as Regular], all Canadian Grand Lodges had extended recognition to Prince Hall, with the exception, ... I am ashamed to say, Ontario, my own Grand Lodge. ... The United Grand Lodge of England, the Mother Grand Lodge of the Masonic world, has recognized the ... Prince Hall Affiliation. If they can do it, what's wrong with Ontario Masons? " -- Norman E. Byrne, (GLCPO GM: 1992-1993), Philalethes Lecture, 2001

"Exclusive jurisdiction ... in the 20th & 21st centuries has only contributed to discrimination, isolation and political dilemma. Some of this has only recently been addressed by the co-recognition of several Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges with their "mainstream" counterpart grand lodges ... effectively negating the thrust of the doctrine." -- Grand Lodge of Minnesota, 2002-05-22

"Until the 1970s, like most fraternal organizations, Masonic lodges were segregated. But we now accept members of every color, national origin, race and creed" -- Carl J. Fritje, GMNY, Chicago Tribune, 2003-01-07

"It is interesting to note that Prince Hall Freemasonry existed for some two hundred years before this subject became an issue. Prince Hall Freemasonry in Ontario and jurisdiction (includes Quebec, I am told) comprises some 250 to 300 members. We in Ontario enjoy a totally integrated, multicultural jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario acknowledges the legitimacy of Prince Hall Freemasonry and I personally would not want to enter into any negotiation that might tend to give the perception of encouraging segregation." -- Terence Shand, GLCPO GM, opposing Prince Hall Recognition, 2003-02

"Were it not for this doctrine the Masonic Fraternity could well have been a leader in our nation on civil rights and the racial integration of blacks into American society beginning as early as 1898 (in Washington) or even in 1947 (in Massachusetts). Instead we came along 25 years after the passage of Civil Rights legislation to recognize the truth that territorial exclusivity simply was a lie in principle and in fact. Not only did we squander an opportunity, we simply let the doctrine of territorial exclusivity become the excuse and the ruse for our own lack of brotherhood, and our immoral apathy about "separate but equal" segregation. Shame on us. And shame on all the leaders of Freemasonry who did not live up to the ideals we so proudly professed but so blatantly ignored. " -- -- John L. Cooper III, 33, PSoc Lecture 2004-02-14

" relations between Prince Hall Masons and legitimate Masons became sticky for the longest while. The general belief held that Prince Hall Masons were forced to go their way because constituted Lodges refused African-American admittance due to color, and not because Prince Hall Masons had removed themselves from the Masonic mainstream as was the case. Things are better. But today, ironically, as many Afro-American Masons belong to regular Masonic Lodges in the United States as belong to all 40 Prince Hall Lodges now operating in the United States and Canada. " -- Daniel Gonzalez, American Mason Magazine, GLNY 2004.04.01

" The issue of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is one of the standards for recognition that has been strictly observed by this Conference. It is held that only one legitimate Grand Lodge will be recognized in a particular state or country, unless by treaty or mutual consent two Grand Lodges agree to share the same jurisdiction. This is the mechanism by which our Grand Lodges have established a fraternal relationship with Prince Hall Grand Lodges. The terms of such an agreement are usually negotiated and ratified by the two Grand Lodges in question and no change in that process is recommended. We continue to be of the opinion that establishment of fraternal relationships with Prince Hall Grand Lodges remains the prerogative of each individual Grand Lodge. " -- Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America, Commission on Information for Recognition (CGMNA-CIR), 2006-03

" We do not see sovereignty in terms of territory; to us sovereignty is a Grand Lodge having sole authority over its constituent Lodges and members, wherever they might be situated, ... In the United States -- where exclusive territorial jurisdiction was a principle for regularity -- they have had to vary their views, " - Lord Northampton, UGLE Pro-GM, 2007-11-05

" the technical rules of territorial exclusivity ... had been and continue to be unequally applied. They were the grounds for Masonic racism for 140 years and they continue to be applied only when it seems convenient. " -- A U.S. Past Grand Master 2007-11-17

" ... will consider recognizing more than one Grand Lodge in another jurisdiction if the mainstream Grand Lodge in that jurisdiction "chooses to waive its right to maintain exclusive jurisdiction" ... "
-- Text from a Grand Lodge constitution, inserted 2008


Glossary [Link_Here]
  • American Doctrine (or "Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction") -- This is the doctrine, sometimes referred to and sometimes applied, but somtimes ignored abd specifically violated, that according to some says that there can only be one sovereign and "regular" Grand Lodge in any country or state. As described more fully in this book, this doctrine is sometimes used by some as an argument against recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges, because if there can only be one "regular" Grand Lodge in a state, and there is a predominantly white Grand Lodge there, how can the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in that same state be considered "regular" and acceptable. As also described in this book, this doctrine is sometimes said to mean simply that each Grand Lodge in a country or state must have exclusive jurisdiction over the Lodges it has chartered, but that more than one Grand Lodge can coesist peacefully in the same area. -- Roundtree and Bessel: "Out of the Shadows", p.405
    No such doctrine was in the constitution of the GLCPO until 2008, when a clause was added to "Jurisdiction", asserting the right of "mainstream" Grand Lodges to exclude Prince Hall Grand Lodges from their territory.
    "CGMNA", "mainstream", and "predominantly white" have similar meanings.
  • Bogus, Clandestine, Irregular, Unrecognized [X] [X]
    Bogus: Phylaxis term for "those groups that cannot trace their lineage to the (United) Grand Lodge of England, Ireland, or Scotland".
    Clandestine: E.g: "...the Grand Lodge of Georgia ... has always considered ... Prince Hall affiliate, to be totally irregular and clandestine, having absolutely no Masonic authority, and the members thereof not to be Masons" (1990)
    Irregular: Lacking (1) Legitimacy of Origin, (2) Regularity of Practice, (3) Sovereignty (and, in the US, Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction).
    Unrecognized: Perfectly Regular Grand Lodges may, irrespective of Masonic principles, be unrecognized, for "political" reasons.
  • CGMNA="Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America"
    "CGMNA", "mainstream", and "predominantly white" have similar meanings.
  • Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction see: American Doctrine
  • GL="Grand Lodge"
  • Jurisdiction: The Jurisdiction of a GL can only be over its constituent lodges and their members. Cf: UGLE Pro-GM Speech
  • Mainstream ("MS") These are predominantly white American and Canadian Grand Lodges that can trace their beginning to the Grand Lodge of England or Grand Lodge of Scotland. Generally, the Grand Lodges' membership is over 99% white. The word mainstream evolved in the 1980's and 90's to distinguish predominantly white Freemasonry from Prince Hall Freemasonry. -- Roundtree and Bessel: "Out of the Shadows", p.412
    The term "mainstream" replaced the earlier terms "white" and "caucasian"; the term "Prince Hall Masonry" replaced the earlier term "Negro Masonry" or "Colored Masonry". Until 1989, all "mainstream" GLs (but not researchers) called Prince Hall Masonry "clandestine" and "irregular". Today, most PHA researchers declare PHO to be "bogus", "clandestine", or "irregular".
    "CGMNA", "mainstream", and "predominantly white" have similar meanings.
  • PH="Prince Hall (Grand Lodge)"
  • PHA="Prince Hall Affiliation"
  • PHO="Prince Hall Origin"
  • As used here, a code such as "PHFL" refers to the Prince Hall (affiliated) Grand Lodge based in Florida.
    Its official title, abbreviation, and jurisdiction may differ.
  • Codes for Provinces , States and Countries ; AUstralia: N Q S T V W.

Renzland: Canada Recognition Essentials
Renzland: Canada Recognition Status Summary
Renzland: Prince Hall Affiliation -- Grand Lodges of PHA Conference of Grand Masters
Renzland: Prince Hall Affiliation -- Membership Data 2003

Bessel: Prince Hall Masonry Recognition Details
Prince Hall Freemasonry Vital Statistics in context (Canada and the US) -- to come
Prince Hall Recognition Summary: Ontario 1991-2003
Prince Hall Recognition History Timeline Canada
Prince Hall Recognition Current Status -- to come
Recent Recognition Resolutions -- to come
Recognition Worker's Tool Kit -- to come
Shocking Facts, Fables, and Fallacies -- to come
Prince Hall Recognition Denial Rhetoric: Black and White Facts and Bogus -- to come
Bessel: MS, PHA, PHO, and all the other Grand Lodges
Universality, Regularity, Territorial (Race) Exclusion, Coherence, and the Future -- to come
Renzland: The Prince Hall "Problem" in a Nut Shell -- draft for comment
Renzland: Robbins, Arlie C.: Prince Hall Masonry in Ontario -- Book Notes

Exclusive Territorialism [Link_Here]

Recognition - Prince Hall Grand Lodges -- History and Context

Recognition - Prince Hall Recognition Policies and Resolutions

Recognition - Miscellaneous [Link_Here]

Racism in Freemasonry [Link_Here]

Prince Hall Freemasonry -- Miscellaeneous



Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America. By Alton G. Roundtree and Paul M. Bessel.

Book Review Published in February 2007 issue of the Philalethes Magazine.
[Online at Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry.]
Excerpts:

The book is a thoroughly-researched reference work on the emergence of Prince Hall Masonry in relation to the rest of U.S. Freemasonry, as well as the society in which both forms of Freemasonry evolved. It is a valuable information resource for interested Masons, Masonic Researchers, and recognition policy makers. ...

Prince Hall Masons seek recognition as a matter of principle, not because they want to visit predominantly White lodges....

One common thread throughout the book is that for over 200 years Prince Hall Masons have sought to be recognized as genuine, regular Masons. Denial of recognition to regular Masons can only harm the dignity, integrity, and esteem of the entire Masonic Order....

This reviewer finds this the single most significant book on the subject of Prince Hall Masonry and its relation to "mainstream" Masonry, available today. Without a doubt, if all those who make recognition decisions were to read this book, Freemasonry in North America would benefit greatly and quickly. The documented facts are as inescapably compelling as the commentary is tactfully restrained.


[NB: The protocols referred to below are for a brand new Grand Lodge, usually assisted by a very established sponsor, such as the GLNL in 1997, with the UGLE as its "mother" and sponsor. The UGLE has determined the regularity of PHA as exemplary by the UGLE. PHR]


Let me make one thing clear that is often overlooked. Prince Hall Grand Lodges have never declared any Mainstream Masonic Grand Lodge irregular or clandestine. They have always recognized every Mainstream Grand Lodge.

The declaration of irregularity and clandestine has been made from Mainstream Masonic Grand Lodges against Prince Hall.

Therefore it is up to any and every Mainstream GL to just remove its non recognition if they choose to do so. Prince Hall doesn't need to do anything nor ask for anything because it is not the ones who have made the separation.

This is not a case of mutual recognition. It is a case of one side imposing restrictions and one side that needs to remove them. Prince Hall is not going to ask for Mainstream to do its duty. It's up to them to just go ahead and do it.

"The protocols associated with recognition of one Grand Lodge by another require that the Grand Lodge wishing recognition ask for it."

But when the body that you are asking for recognition is the same one that declared you an outlaw and has discredited you from the beginning, then the protocols become somewhat muddled. Especially if you have always recognized that body and have never declared about them what they have about you.

It would seem that in this particular case, when the outlawing body sees the light and the error of its ways that it simply reverse its decision unilatterally and all would be as desired.

Those that say that a society, group or body that has been insulted, spat upon, slandered and humiliated should come meekly hat in hand to beg for a ruling of good standing are not dealing with the real world.

If you see the error of your ways then freely correct them. If you don't then do not expect to be asked to do what is right.

In today's world you are not going to see the Black man on his knees begging for recognition. Never again.

In a society that espouses the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man it is time for those who do not live up to its ideals to do what is right without being asked.

-- Frederic L. Milliken 2008-08-19