The Prince Hall Masons are the oldest and largest group of Masons of African origin in the world. Today there are forty Grand Lodges of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, and Liberia. These Grand Lodges preside over more than 5,000 lodges. All of them claim descent from the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts which is traced back to the African Lodge No. 459.
Prince Hall, a native of Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies, was freeborn on September 12, 1748, the son of Thomas Prince Hall, an Englishman, and a free colored woman of French heritage. In 1765, at the age of 17, Hall worked for his passage on a ship to Boston where he became a leatherworker. Eight years later, he had acquired property and was eligible to vote.