Kansas History

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas History

 

Black Freemasonry began when Prince Hall and fourteen other free Black men were initiated in Masonry through Warrant No. 459. A Permit was issued for these Masons to meet as African Lodge No. 1 and they became the first Black Masons in the United Stated. As the years passed, Prince Hall decided to approach England again, after the war being over in the year 1783 on March 2, 1784, he wrote a letter to William Moody, Worshipful Master of Brotherly Love Lodge No. 55 in London, England, stating that African Lodge had been in operation for eight years and the had only “a permit to walk on St. John’s Day and to bury their dead in manner and form.” And he thought it “ best to send to the Fountains from whence he received the light for a Warrant” This Charter was prepared but not sent, Three years had passed and the cost for the Charter had not been received in London, It seems Prince Hall had sent the payment but it had not been delivered.

Finally, he was careful in selecting the messengers and asked Captain James Scott, brother-in –law of Governor John Hancock of Massachusetts. Captain Scott delivered the Letter, the payment, and received the Charter and delivered it to Prince Hall. This Charter #459 today is in the possession of African Lodge of Massachusetts and has been made secure between two heavy plates glass and is kept in a fire proof vault in a downtown Boston Bank,

The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts became the Mother Grand Lodge for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Chartered three Lodges in the state of Ohio which led to the formation of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio. The door of legitimate Masonry was opened to the dwellers on the hills and in the dales of Kansas by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, (John Jones was the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ohio) during the organizing and Chartering of Western Lodge of 34 at Lawrence, KS. In 1865 with David G. Lett serving as it’s Worshipful Master. Soon followed by Euclid Lodge #39 in Topeka, Ks. and Mount Oliver Lodge. (Later changed to Mount Olive Lodge #19 in Leavenworth, Ks.)

These three Lodges remained under the Jurisdiction of Ohio until 1875 when a proper convention Was called the three Lodges met in the City of Lawrence, organized and established the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas, A.F. & A.M. (Later changed the F. & A.M.)

On March 7-9, 1875 a call issued by D.D.G.M. David G. Lett for the District of the state of Kansas, commissioned by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, to all Master Masons IN GOOD STANDING, INVITING THEM TO MEET IN THE City of Lawrence, Ks. On the 7th day of March 1875, for the purpose of considering the propriety of organizing a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in and for the State, and to take such steps as may become necessary to the organization of such a Grand Lodge on the State, with the following named Lodges in attendance.

  1. Western Star Lodge #34, of Lawrence, Ks.
  2. Euclid Lodge #39, of Topeka, Ks.
  3. Mount Olive Lodge #19, Leavenworth, Ks.

The meeting was convened in the Lodge room of Western Star #34 and was organized by electing Right Worshipful David G. Lett, Chairman, H.H. White, and C. H. Langston Secretaries. The object of the meeting was specified before the attendees by the Chairman in a short address to the entire Convention, at the close of the address the Convention was declared to be fully organized and ready for business. The election of R.W. David G. Lett, to the office of Most Worshipful Grand Master for the state of Kansas came without a dissenting voice.

Also elected was H. G. Lett, Deputy Grand Master: H.C. Bruce, Senior Grand Warden, C.H. Langston, Junior Grand Warden, Ishmael Keith, Grand Treasurer, H.H. White, Secretary, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge for the State of Kansas was formed and ready to begin the work of Ancient Craft Masonry in Kansas.

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