"All Grand Lodges with lineage to the Old African Lodge No. 459, MUST trace their lineage through the Most Worshipful National Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Ancient York Masons Prince Hall Origin – National Compact USA. This position has been the premise of debate amongst many African American Masonic scholars in print and social media. The opponents of this position have “revised” history to justify the opposite of this position. This post is a brief examination of the “myth” perpetuated by modern PHA Scholars as an attempt to distance themselves from their Prince Hall Origin “roots”.[1: emphasis mine]
It is the object of this article to evaluate and examine the position of this article in light of factual history and the correct interpretation of the documentation. We will point out the errors, present the refutation supported by the historical documentation; it is our hopes that the author of the article will either present more valid support or make the necessary corrections to the article.
All Grand Lodges with lineage to the Old African Lodge No. 459, MUST trace their lineage through the Most Worshipful National Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Ancient York Masons Prince Hall Origin – National Compact USA.
This is truly an erroneous statement by the author. We do know for a fact that during the time of the formation of the National Grand Lodge and Compact, at least two Grand Lodges do not have to trace its existence through the National Grand Lodge: United Grand Lodge of the State of New York and The First Colored Grand Lodge of Maryland.
I know that the author will attempt to state that the subordinate Lodges of these Grand Lodges came under the National Grand Lodge, so their roots are in the National Grand Lodge. But let's actually look at this proposition and see if it can be forwarded as substantial evidence to stand on.
Boyer Lodge No. 1 of New York received its charter directly from African Grand Lodge of Boston in June of 1827:
The other three subordinate lodges-Celestial Lodge, Rising Sun Lodge, and Hiram Lodge-were all Chartered before the establishment of the National Compact. These 4 Lodges established the United Grand Lodge for the State of New York:
"On March of 1848, Boyer Lodge #1 along with Celestial #2, Rising Sun #3 and Hiram #4 came together and organized under the name United Grand Lodge F. and A.M., of the State of New York..."
There is no record that the United Grand Lodge of New York ever came under the National Compact. There is no record of the reception of a charter from the National Compact for United Grand Lodge of New York. Despite the so-called "expulsion" of New York by the National Grand Lodge in 1849, there is no evidence that the National Grand Lodge ever gave a charter to the Grand Lodge in New York. I address that issue of the PHO-National Compact attempting to claim that New York was a part of the Compact in 1848 in another article:
"Mr. Belcher, in his first question, attempts to place the United Grand Lodge of New York as part of the National Compact. The New York Grand Lodge claims that they have never been subordinate to the National Grand Lodge at any time in its history. According to Blue-Lite Research Group founder and Grand Historian of the MWPHGL of NY, RW Ezekiel M. Bey:
If the Most Worshipful National Grand Lodge expelled the United Grand Lodge of New York 4 days before it scheduled to have a special meeting, and the New York acknowledged the actions of the National Grand Lodge in its report, can it be concluded that the United Grand Lodge was a member of the National Grand Lodge and the committee’s report a ploy to distance themselves?
"They did, however, in the plentitude of their power, on the 26th day of June, A. L. 5849, (a day we shall ever hold sacred to their memory) attempted to expel the "United Grand Lodge of the State of New York"..."
"A Temporary state of disuse or suspension."
The debate that will be engaged is whether the First Colored Grand Lodge of Maryland was formed in 1845 or 1848. It does not matter what side of the debate you will choose to take, one thing is for certain, that Grand Lodge never took a National Compact warrant, and was never part of the National Compact.
So, we have found error in the the proposition that ALL Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges must trace their history through the National Compact.
“Art. 7. The National Grand Lodge shall grant warrants to all State Grand Lodges applying, if worthy which said Lodge shall be constituted agreeably to ancient rules and regulations.”