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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
Booker T. Washington
[Booker Taliaferro Washington]
April 5, 1856 - November 14, 1915
Booker Taliaferro Washington, a distinguished American educator, was born a slave at Hale’s Ford, Virginia. In 1881 he became the head of an institution at Tuskegee, Alabama, since incorporated as the Tuskeegee Normal and Industrial Institute, of which he was president until his death on November 14, 1915.
Author of Up from Slavery in 1901, he was viewed as a spokesman for USA blacks in the latter 19th century.
While Denslow claims Washington was made a mason "at sight" by the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and as a resident of Alabama did not affiliate with a lodge in this jurisdiction, Harlan claims otherwise:
"Washington’s continued efforts to control black public life were manifested in this period by his private efforts to control the actions of two fraternal orders of which he was not a member. He was successful in keeping one of his supporters as editor of the Odd Fellows' Journal, but after heated debate the Prince Hall Masons withdrew their invitation to Washington to be the orator on the occasion of their centennial celebration."
Made a Mason at sight: Massachusetts, PHA

Source: Denslow; The Booker T. Washington Papers, Louis R. Harlen, et al ed. vol. 9, 1906-1908. p. xxiv. <stills.nap.edu/btw>.

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