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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Prince Hall - Revolutionary Soldier, Patriot, and Advocate for Civil Rights- Boston, Mass.

Photo by JT Lynch

Prince Hall was a Revolutionary soldier, born a slave in 1735, and freed a month after the Boston Massacre.  He earned his living, in part, as a leather craftsman, and created five leather drum heads for the Boston Regiment of Artillery in 1777.

Mr. Hall was a Bostonian who enlisted, who may have fought at Bunker Hill.  He was a voter, a taxpayer, owned his own leather shop and a house in Boston.  He got involved in advocacy for the rights of Boston’s African American community, and founded the world’s first lodge of black Masons, African Lodge No. 1, now named the Prince Hall Grand Lodge—the African Lodge of the Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of Boston.  This was the world's first organized society in America devoted to social, political, and economic improvement.  He spoke out against slavery, and spoke out against the lack of schools for black children, and created one in his own home.

He had hoped that blacks who served in the Continental Army during the Revolution would earn full citizenship as a result of their loyalty and sacrifice.

In his senior years, he spoke at the African Lodge in June 1797, about mob violence against blacks: 

Patience, I say; for were we not possessed of a great measure of it, we could not bear up under the daily insults we meet with in the streets of Boston, much more on public days of recreation. How, at such times, are we shamefully abused, and that to such a degree, that we may truly be said to carry our lives in our hands, and the arrows of death are flying about our heads....tis not for want of courage in you, for they know that they dare not face you man for man, but in a mob, which we despise...

Photo by JT Lynch

He died in 1807 at the age of 72.  He is buried at the Copps Hill Burial Ground in Boston, a cemetery on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  The revolution continues, in South Carolina, and everywhere a human being yearns for Independence Day from those are inhuman.

I wish you all a happy Independence Day.


Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. 

The eBook and paperback are available from Amazon and CreateSpace, which is the printer. You can also order it from my Etsy shop.

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