Tuesday, December 25, 2007
HALL, PRINCE A black leader in Boston during the Revolutionary era, Prince Hall was born in 1748 on the island of Barbados. Migrating to the United States in 1765, Hall settled in Boston where he subsequently entered the soap manufacturing business. At the start of the American Revolution, Hall was recognized as an important leader in Boston's free black community. Convinced that slavery and the goals sought by American patriots during the Revolution were incompatible, he sent numerous petitions to the Massachusetts state legislature advocating emancipation. Following the Revolution, Hall became a champion of black self-help and education. In 1787, for example, he petitioned Boston officials to establish schools for Afro-American children equal in quality to those which white children attended. In addition, Hall is generally recognized as being the founder of Masonry among African Americans in 1776. He died of pneumonia in 1807.