Palmetto Bug says the ETJ existed before Prince Hall, at least in South Carolina. He points to a verbal objection to other Grand Lodges in his state in the late 1700s. But was ETJ written into the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina prior to 1800? I'll put my money on the guess that it wasn't. In fact this Doctrine was not well accepted among all of American Masonry until after 1820, long after Prince Hall was firmly established. One states' thoughts do not make an American Doctrine. Maybe, just maybe, it made a South Carolinian Doctrine.
In fact, although African Lodge #459 ipso facto acted like a Grand Lodge before 1800, most of Prince Hall Masonry did not declare themselves to be a separate Grand Lodge until after the 1820s. I have a feeling that this was because they had always wanted and had been trying to become part of the Grand Lodges of Mainstream Masonry. They wanted to be one with Mainstream and grow together with them as the nation grew. Only after all hope was dashed and further efforts to incorporate within Mainstream Masonry were fruitless did they go ahead full steam to form the intricacies of complicated Masonic governance at the highest level.
So let us look at this Recognition thing logically. Black Lodges form in the late 1700s and ask Mainstream Masonry to incorporate them into their Grand Lodges. But Mainstream Masonry says No, NO, NO, Never. So Prince Hall is forced to either disband or proceed on their own. Choosing the later course they established their own traditions. Hereafter Prince Hall pushed for Recognition starting most publicly with Washington State in 1897. But Mainstream Masonry seeing what was coming had decades before adopted The Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction to block Prince Hall from Recognition consideration and to offer a "legal" reason that would hide their racism.
At this point what needs to be said is that perhaps blocking an invading Grand Lodge could be seen as a necessary move. And most of us can understand refusing to Recognize a Grand Lodge that practices irregular Masonry or refusing one not legally chartered. But Black Lodges were here before the founding of our independent nation. African #459 was duly chartered by The Grand Lodge of England. Prince Hall has always followed the Landmarks. Prince Hall has always practiced Regular Masonry. So why refuse Lodges that grew up side by side with you, with a legal pedigree, observing the same Landmarks you do and practicing the same Regular Masonry you do? Only one reason stands out - Racism. But traditionalists would have you believe it is ETJ when ETJ was created to enable keeping colored men out. Now Palmetto Bug says this is a rise of Masonic McCarthyism,
Sadly, new McCarthyism has invaded Freemasonry. The “new McCarthys” use the racist label to explain why any individual Freemason or Grand Lodge would be opposed to recognizing Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA). They ignore the fact that the Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) is a real doctrine that predates the existence of PHA. They ignore the fact that ETJ has been generously applied to other bodies that were not primarily made up of men of African descent. They ignore the possibility that mutual recognition of more than one body within the same political boundaries sets a precedent that could come back to haunt the Fraternity – ie: the day when Prince Hall Origin (PHO) begins to make a case for recognition.
Could it be that the Grand Lodge’s that have agreed to mutual recognition with PHA have simply folded to new McCarthyism? Did they ignore the tried and true Doctrine of ETJ just to avoid the stigma of being labeled racist? Which label will they roll over for next? Will it be “sexist?”
Palmetto Bug's answer? The only way that Prince Hall Masonry can legally operate is to be merged with Mainstream Masonry? Hello!!! Isn't that what Prince Hall wanted at the start? But oh no we can't have that. So after blocking Prince Hall out, adopting ETJ and forcing them to be separate so they could be labeled clandestine in hopes they would fail, Mainstream Masonry now wants to absorb Prince Hall rather than recognize it? Why? All in the name of a Doctrine that is not a Landmark. It's a Rule or a Tradition and is not even written into all Grand Lodge Constitutions and By-Laws? Come on I wasn't born yesterday. They want to control it and force Prince Hall to practice Masonry the White, er right way.
Let me say that never again will the Black man be subservient to the White man ever again in the USA. If Mainstream Masonry had not tried so hard for so many years to discredit Black Freemasonry merging would be a more believable position. But here is what Poll and Roberts said in their article "Attacks on The Philalethes Society":
For some 200 years, U.S. “mainstream” Grand Lodges taught their members that Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. Visitation between “mainstream” US lodges and Prince Hall lodges was not allowed as no Prince Hall Grand Lodge was recognized as regular. We were taught that there were legitimate reasons why Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. Now we are taught that there is nothing at all irregular about Prince Hall Masonry. Recognition between the majority of US “mainstream” Grand Lodges and their Prince Hall counterparts now exist. Even where fraternal relations do not exist, we are led to believe that some Grand Lodges have made official statements declaring Prince Hall Masonry to be regular, if not always recognized. Did Prince Hall change in its nature? No. Then what gives? How does any thinking Mason reconcile this apparent contradiction? If being irregular means that something is wrong with a Masonic body, then how can it be declared regular if nothing has changed in the body? If we wish to take the position that it was simply an honest error in regard to Prince Hall, then we must face the fact that it was a pretty big error that for roughly 200 years falsely labeled and denied recognition to true brothers. Is there another reason (or reasons) why Prince Hall Masonry was falsely labeled “irregular”? Is it unreasonable to seek an understanding of this question? Is it unreasonable to wonder if, even today, “mistakes” could be made with other Masonic bodies?
One of the major problems with understanding the issues of regularity is our use (or misuse) of the word “irregular.” Common use has made the words “irregular,” “clandestine” and “unrecognized” interchangeable. But are they always interchangeable? Logic dictates that since Prince Hall Masonry (having made no change in their nature or organization) has been confirmed by the majority of U.S. Grand Lodges to be perfectly regular, then they were factually “unrecognized,” but not “irregular.” If this is the case, then why were they almost always called “irregular” and “clandestine”?
Prince Hall Masonry was not kept outside of the recognized Masonic family for some 200 years because of legitimate reasons, but because of an intentional desire to keep them out. In order to keep up the appearance of remaining true to the teachings of Freemasonry, Grand Lodges freely accepted the charges that Prince Hall Masonry was justifiably irregular. Since most Masons were not researchers, it was not that hard to write legitimate sounding charges against Prince Hall Masonry. In addition, because the vast majority of the Prince Hall Masons were black, there was no real desire to closely examine the charges made against them. When one spoke or wrote about Prince Hall Masonry, the words “irregular” or “clandestine” were used with no attempt to prove that the charges were factual. It was enough to just keep saying that Prince Hall Masonry was irregular. It was not true, but it was always there and accepted by most all. Even among those who held no bigotry in their hearts, the charges against Prince Hall Masonry were commonly accepted. Why? Because we trusted that our leaders would not tell us anything but the truth. We are Freemasons. We don’t speak evil of our brothers, right? How could such an organized effort of deception take place?
I am indebted to Peter Renzland and his TORONTO SOCIETY FOR MASONIC RESEARCH (TSMR).
For Prince Hall Issues:
For ETJ Issues:
And For Recognition in General and more ETJ Issues:
Palmetto Bug says these charges of Masonic racism are trumped up, made up Masonic McCarthyism. Here are some quotes and some thoughts from Brother Peter Renzland:
" How, then, could that law be binding on the negro Masons? Will folly be carried so far as to claim that the white Masons could, first, exclude the negro brethren from the white organizations, and then, having done this, proceed, in those organizations, without the consent of the negroes, to create a law that would both bind the negro Masons and render it impossible for them to continue their growth? Surely, the proposition is too monstrous to be considered. No; the "American doctrine," whatever its true meaning may be, and in whatever stage of development it may have been in 1808, was not morally, legally or Masonically binding on negro Masons. " -- William H. Upton: Light on a Dark Subject, #64, p81, 1899
"The question has been asked: the cause of the separate organizations of white and colored Masons in the United States of America? We do not know of any good reason why there should be, and we have made several attempts without success to have but one. We are, and always have been, in procession of all the ancient landmarks and regulations of the Craft; and we do acknowledge all genuine Masons of all Nations and shades of complexion, to be our brethren." -- Sentiments, National Grand Lodge (PH), 1847-06-24 (from Walkes, 1983)
" Resolved, That in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, it would be inexpedient and tend to mar the harmony of the fraternity to admit any of the persons of color, so-called, into the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons within the jurisdiction of thie Grand Lodge. " -- Grand Lodge of Ohio, adopted 1847
" After the abolition of slavery in the West Indies by the British Parliament, the Grand Lodge of England on September 1, 1847, changed the word free-born into free man, but the ancient landmark never has been removed in America. " -- Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
" Resolved, That all subordinate lodges under this jurisdiction be instructed to admit no negro or mulatto as a visitor or otherwise, under any circumstances whatever. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois, adopted 1851
" [In 1852] the Grand Lodge of Iowa adopted a report on foreign correspondence, which embodied and endorsed the action of the Grand Lodge of New York, declaring that the 'exclusion of persons of the negro race is in accordance with Masonic law and the ancient charges and regulations', and also declaring it 'not proper to initiate them in our lodges'; " -- Grand Lodge of Iowa, John Long, G.M. 1870
" Resolved, That lodges under this jurisdiction are positively prohibited from initiating, passing, raising, or admitting to membership, or the right of visitation, any negro, mulatto, or colored person of the United States. This prohibition shall be an obligation, and so taught in the third degree. " -- Grand Lodge of Delaware, adopted 1867
I took my obligations to white men, not to negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it. I am interested to keep the Ancient and Accepted Rite uncontaminated, in our country at least, by the leprosy of negro association. ... Better let the thing drift. Apres nous le deluge. ". -- Albert Pike, 1875 -- cited by William H. Upton, Negro Masonry 1902 p214-5
" The Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina, compiled by that eminent author, erudite scholar and unsurpassed Masonic jurist, Albert G. Mackey, and adopted by the Grand Lodge, specifically declares that a candidate must be of free white parents. " -- Grand Lodge of South Carolina Proceedings 1898 p50, cited in Upton: "Light on a Dark Subject", 1899 #16 p22
" A candidate for initiation must be of the age of twenty-one years and a free-born white man. " -- Grand Lodge of Kentucky Constitution, Article viii, Section 5. Cited in Upton 1902, p36
" To have Lodges exclusively of Negroes, would be dangerous to the high character of our Order. And, to associate them in Lodges with white brethren, would be impossible. " -- Grand Lodge of Illinois Proceedings, 1899
" Several Grand Lodges seem to believe and have -- perhaps disingenuously -- been led to declare that they possess "exclusive territorial jurisdiction" by "inherent right"; that any infringement upon their "territory" is a high Masonic crime; and that the doctrine is actually a part of "the common law of Masonry," -- one writer has said, "paramount to a Landmark"! [Proceedings GL of Indiana, 1899, Cor. Rep.] ...
The American doctrine of exclusive Grand Lodge jurisdiction is not a Landmark, but a modern, local, American-born regulation. ...
Once prove that, "This is not a question of race, but of jurisdiction"; that a system of Masonry founded in the Landmarks and practiced in accordance therewith cannot exist side by side with the American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction -- once prove that, and the American Doctrine must perish: The Ancient Landmarks shall always be carefully preserved. [General Regulations XXXIX, 1721] " -- William H. Upton: "Negro Masonry" 1902 #71a p159-161
"Masonry never contemplated that her privileges should be extended to a race morally and intellectually totally incapacitated to discharge the obligations which they assume ... We hold that affiliation with negroes is contrary to the teachings of Masonry, ... do order that fraternal correspondence between the Grand Lodge of Mississippi and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of New Jersey, be and is hereby discontinued until such time as ... New Jersey shall see fit to desist from her present practice of initiating and affiliating negros as Masons ... if we open our Lodges to a promiscuous mixing up, then we destroy Masonry ... The negro in our land is unfit to assume the responsibilities and obligations of Masonry. It is an open secret that virtue and morality, which are indispensable qualifications to membership, are foreign to the race. I felt it my duty as your Grand Master to cut loose from any who would dare open the door of Masonry to a people whose standing for virtue and morality is a mockery to civilization."" -- Edwin J. Martin, Grand Master of Mississippi, 1909
"Our political requirements are most explicit upon the question of being free born. Many have erroneously thought that such qualification was "read into" the body of Masonry to keep out men of the colored race. Unquestionably "free born" means not only not born a slave, but not born of parents who have been slaves, or whose forebears were slaves. Thus "free born" does bar men of African descent in this country from becoming a Mason. " -- Carl H. Claudy, Executive Secretary 1929-1957: "The Candidate", MSA STB 1930-5
"This Grand Lodge does not recognize as legal or Masonic any body of negroes working under any character of charter in the United States, without regard to the body granting such charter, and they regard all negro lodges as clandestine, illegal and unMasonic, and moreover, they regard as highly censurable the course of any Grand Lodge in the United States which should recognize such bodies of negroes as Masonic Lodges. " - Grand Lodge of Texas Constitution, Article XV, p.34 1948
1949.06.08 "specially not because it was incorrect but because it has brought objections from certain other jurisdictions." ... "Unity and Harmony are vastly more important to the Fraternity than debates about Negro Freemasonry." " -- Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, cited in Walkes 1983 p89-92
" ... that so-called American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial jurisdiction which is a piece of anti-Negro Masonic buncombe used with effect against the Prince Hall Order. " -- Harry A. Williamson, 1952
" Under the Act of Incorporation the law plainly states 'Consisting of Masons exclusively of the white race.' " -- Grand Lodge of Florida, Jurisprudence Committee, p131 Proceedings 1955
WHEREAS: The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. adopted a resolution dated October 14th, 1989 giving recognition to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of Connecticut, Inc. ... ... WHEREAS: the resolution adopted on October 14th, 1989 by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut AF&AM, is contrary to and conflicts with the Constitution ... of the GLLA, as well as the obligations of a Master Mason. THEREFORE: I, EUGENE F. LOVE, GRAND MASTER OF MASONS, THE GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F.&A.M. DO HEREBY ISSUE THE FOLLOWING EDICT EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE SHOWN ON THE BOTTOM HEREOF: The Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F. & A.M. does hereby sever all Masonic relations and/or communications with The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, A.F. & A.M. " -- Eugene F. Love, G.M., Grand Lodge of Louisana, quoted in Phylaxis 1990Q3 p7,10
" This doctrine was one of the arguments used to prevent the recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. " -- Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, "American Doctrine" p37 1996
"Exclusive jurisdiction ... in the 20th & 21st centuries has only contributed to discrimination, isolation and political dilemma. Some of this has only recently been addressed by the co-recognition of several Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges with their "mainstream" counterpart grand lodges ... effectively negating the thrust of the doctrine." -- Grand Lodge of Minnesota, 2002-05-22
"Were it not for this doctrine the Masonic Fraternity could well have been a leader in our nation on civil rights and the racial integration of blacks into American society beginning as early as 1898 (in Washington) or even in 1947 (in Massachusetts). Instead we came along 25 years after the passage of Civil Rights legislation to recognize the truth that territorial exclusivity simply was a lie in principle and in fact. Not only did we squander an opportunity, we simply let the doctrine of territorial exclusivity become the excuse and the ruse for our own lack of brotherhood, and our immoral apathy about "separate but equal" segregation. Shame on us. And shame on all the leaders of Freemasonry who did not live up to the ideals we so proudly professed but so blatantly ignored. " -- -- John L. Cooper III, 33°, PSoc Lecture 2004-02-14
"I believe in Prince Hall Masonry, a door of benevolence securely tiled against the unworthy, but opened wide to men of good report, whether Aryan or Hottentot." -- From the Prince Hall Credo, W.E.B. DuBois, Boston, 1904
And finally some words from Brother Renzland:
Exclusion and Non-Recognition
During most of US history, black persons were systemically excluded or segregated, in all social associations. This was clearly contrary to the "self evident truth that all men are created equal". And it was certainly contrary to the Masonic maxim that all Masons, if not all persons, are Brothers, Equal and Free. In US Freemasonry, not only did black and white streams run parallel and separate, but the prevailing view held by respected and influential white Masonic writers, teachers, and leaders was that a black person was ineligible for Freemasonry.
This exclusion was defended, simultaneously, by the argument that Masonic doctrine demanded it (Claudy), and that, although Masonic doctrine forbade it, it was necessary to maintain "peace and harmony" in the lodge (Haywood, Mackey).
Thus, whereas exclusion led to separate institutions and non-recognition of the black (Prince Hall) institutions by the white (mainstream) ones, the polite arguments given were "peace and harmony" and "exclusive territorial jurisdiction", respectively.
These attitudes, practices, and policies persisted long after the US signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." -- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted world-wide, without dissent, 1948.
It should be noted that this attitude was one-sided. Whereas the white policy of black exclusion is well-documented, the black institutions had an explicit policy of inclusion and of recognition. Prince Hall himself gave this Charge to African Lodge in 1797: "give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs let their color and complexion be what it will, let their nation be what it may, for they are your brethren, and it is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as Masons deny this, and we & the world know what to think of them be they ever so grand". And the 1904 Prince Hall Credo states: "I believe in Prince Hall Masonry, a door of benevolence securely tiled against the unworthy, but opened wide to men of good report, whether Aryan or Hottentot."
Inclusion and recognition (in non-trivial numbers) in mainstream US Freemasonry began in the 1980s, and, after 19 years of recognition efforts, 80% of US Grand Lodges recognize at least one Prince Hall Grand Lodge. However, 58% of the 160,000 Prince Hall Masons remain totally unrecognized by *any* US mainstream Grand Lodge. The "reason" is that the mainstream GLs won't recognize a PH GL unless it is recognized by the white GL in the same State. This is called "The American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction". The following 11 States remain thus excluded: AL AR FL GA KY LA MS NC SC TN WV. The majority of all PH Masons live in those 11 States.
Even the United Grand Lodge of England, which does not practice this American Doctrine itself, respects it and will not recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodges thus excluded by their white counterparts.
In contrast, all the Australian Grand Lodges have fraternal relations with *all* Prince Hall Affiliated Masons, and the same is true for some of Canada.
Even in Canada, far North of the Mason-Dixon Line, there remains one mainstream Grand Lodge which still does not recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in the same territory. Some of its leaders have even dis-acknowledged its very existence.
Outside the US (and parts of Canada), Freemasons are shocked by such official policies and systemic practices. And many, if not most Masons in North America are ashamed and deeply disturbed by these facts. Even after 20 years of recognition efforts, only a small percentage of the possible Masonic handshakes between black and white Masons are "legal". In Canada, the degree of completion of Prince Hall recognition is only 1.5%, even though, in 1992, *all* Canadian Grand Masters agreed to accept *all* Prince Hall Affiliated Masons as *Regular* Masons. The corresponding metric in the US is still very small, and, at the rate of progress over the past 20 years, full recognition could take another century.
Ultimately, an explanation for the persistence of exclusion and non-recognition can be found in what Mackey's Encyclopedia approvingly calls the "dogmatic and autocratic" system of Grand Lodge governance in the US and (parts of) Canada.
Another part of the explanation is that many refuse to acknowledge that 200 years of exclusion and non-recognition was a unilateral and systemic *wrong* that needs to be stopped promptly, unilaterally, and completely. Many refuse to acknowledge that there ever *was* any race-based exclusion in US Freemasonry, because such an exclusion would be a perversion of the very essence of Freemasonry:
Denial of Brotherhood perpetuated by the denial of the perpetual denial of Brotherhood.
TSMR: Prince Hall Freemasonry Recognition (in Canada, in Context)
Brethren Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is a sledge hammer used to bludgeon to death Black Masonry. Racism in Masonry is not "McCarthyism" but reality. Continued opposition to Recognition of Prince Hall Masonry reflects more the amount of Klans Men now underground in American Masonry rather than any kind of quasi legal mumbo jumbo that was deliberately invented to justify such racism.
I rest my case.
Brother Frederic L. Milliken