F.W. Fisher's ledger 1901- 1909 of receipts, expenses, dues, and officer's reports of King's David Lodge No. 24 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina, United States. Anonymous Donor.
King David Lodge No. 24 is an African American (Prince Hall) Masonic Lodge located in Kinston, NC. Listed officers of Lodge No. 24 for 1901-1909 include John Suggs, Spencer Smith, F.J. Jones, G.O. Morine, G. Bell, Mac Harris, Dr. C.H. Bynum, S.f., J.G. Bariton, J.O. Clark, R.C. Creech, L.J. Milican and F.I. Jones. Unfortunately, at this time, we have no complete history of the lodge. According to online sources the lodge still exists today.
Prince Hall is considered the founder of Black Masonry in the United States. Though concrete details do not exist, it is believed Hall was born in Barbados in 1748. Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge # 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army Garrisoned at Castle Williams (now Fort Independence) Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. When the British Army left Boston, Hall and his brethren were granted authority to meet as a lodge, to go in procession on Saints John Day, and as a lodge to bury their dead. However, they could not confer degrees, and were not allowed perform any other Masonic activities. These members possessed these limited privileges for the next nine years. After petitioning the Grand Lodge of England for a charter, one was finally granted on September 29, 1784, under the name of African Lodge, # 459 on the register of the Grand Lodge of England by authority of then Grand Master, the Duke of Cumberland, delivered in Boston on April 29, 1787, by Captain James Scott, brother-in-law of John Hancock and Master of the Neptune. Prince Hall was appointed Grand Master, serving in this capacity until his death in 1807. In 1946, the Grand Lodge of England again extended recognition to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge but withdrew it the same year. In 1994, the Grand Lodge of England finally accepted a petition for recognition by Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Currently, there are over 4,500 Prince Hall lodges worldwide, consisting of over 300,000 members.
The collection consists of Secretary F. W. Fisher's handwritten financial ledger and documents the membership of King David Lodge No. 24, a Prince Hall Masonic lodge in Kinston, NC. It records monthly dues paid from 1901-1905 (pgs 2-28). It also includes less detailed accounts of member's dues scattered between a few blank pages. The dues roll of members for each year range from 38 to 58 members, and also available are balancing figures for cash in hand of the treasurer to be deposited. Also included are four other related items inside the ledger. One of these items is a small ledger book (printed by C.F. Claytons Print, Tarboro, NC) entitled "Returns to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina" containing the names of all 60 lodge members. This book also identifies names of recently inducted masons, suspended and expelled members, those that have recently died, Masons recently moved to the area and non-members attending meetings. Also included in the ledger is a handwritten receipt from F.W Fisher's store documenting a purchase of canned corn beef, a dues card for member Theodore Brown, and a portion of a report (torn) documenting a collection of 50 cents from "I.O. order of Giddings."
Encoded by Mark Custer, March 26, 2008
Processed by: Brandon Zimmerman, April 2008 Dale Sauter 2008
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