A Chronological History of Prince Hall Masonry, 1784-1932
By Harry A. Williamson
The seventh Grand Lodge of Prince Hall Masons in date of original formation.
The correct title of this group is “Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of Ohio” and it was originally established May 3, 1849, at Cincinnati. Its annual sessions are movable.
The first lodge erected in the state was Corinthian No. 17, at Cincinnati on January 16, 1848, by the first Independent African Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The second was True American No. 26, at Cincinnati, in 1848, exact date unknown, established by Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. This lodge later learning the truth concerning the bogus ancestry of its supposed Grand Lodge, withdrew from the same and received a warrant under date of March 18, 1848, with the same number but on the register of the First Independent group of Pennsylvania. The third lodge was St. John’s No. 27, also at Cincinnati, made up largely by former members of True American, warranted by the First African body of Pennsylvania on May 20, 1848. Of those lodges, Corinthian is now No. 1; True American is No. 2, and St. John’s is No. 3, all on the Ohio register.
The first sovereign jurisdiction in the state was formed under the jurisdiction of the National Grand Lodge and had the following constituents upon its register (21): Corinthian No. 1, of June 8, 1849; True American No. 2 of June 8, 1849; St. John’s No. 3 of June 21, 1849; St. Mark’s No. 7, of June 23, 1852; Cannon No. 9, December 27, 1852.
The officers of the first Grand Lodge were: Rev. Thomas W. Stringer, Grand Master;
This grand jurisdiction has produced a number of outstanding characters in Prince Hall Masonry. The official history of the state contains the accomplishments of a large number of these brethren that are worthy of citation but space precludes even the mention of their names. However, brief note will be made of just a few. Among these were:
Rev Dr. THOMAS W. STRINGER: First Grand Master of Ohio, later the first Grand Master of Mississippi and after whom that jurisdiction is named.