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Josiah Henson
[Josiah Henson]
July 15, 1789 - May 15, 1883
After he escaped to Canada on 28 October 1830, it is said he aided more than 600 slaves to freedom.
Widely considered the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the Rev. Josiah Henson is buried in the Dresden, Ontario cemetery. On the monument erected to his memory—where "his abused and honoured bones lie"—the square and compasses are engraved in the Fellowcraft position.
There is no mention of freemasonry in either his 1858 or 1877 autobiography, nor in his entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
In 2003, Wallace McLeod wrote: "Apparently he was made a Mason in Boston during one of his visits there. On his return to Canada he joined Mount Moriah Lodge No.11, Dresden (Prince Hall Affiliation), and is listed as its Secretary in 1866."
The confusion about his year of birth originated in his autobiography, published in London in 1877, where he states, "I was born June 15th, 1789".
Member : [Initiation date unknown]
Mount Moriah Lodge No. 11, Dresden, Ontario

Source: Excerpt from Wallace McLeod, "Grand Historian Report", 2003 Proceedings. Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, p. 115. Also see Charles E. Holmes, Masonic Light. January 1950, Montreal, where he asks his readers to submit a photo; Arlie C. Robbins, Prince Hall Masonry in Ontario 1852-1933 p. 24 [gravestone photo], p. 58. The lodge is cited online on the Waller Lodge, Texas website as "Mount Moriah Lodge No. 4" [Accessed 2006/04/23]. Frontispiece from his 1858 autobiography.


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