Judge Tucker’s Queries Respecting Slavery, with Dr. Belknap’s Answers

In answer to a query about harmony between black and white citizens, there is a discussion about Prince Hall Masons.  A “white gentleman of craft and good nature” is  

quoted:  “The African Lodge….meet by themselves …and white masons will not acknowledge them ….”   “The reason given is, that the blacks were made clandestinely in the first place, which if known, would have prevented them receiving a charter …..The truth is they are ashamed of being on equality with blacks…..These on the other hand, …think themselves better masons in other respects than the whites, because masonry considers all men equal who are free, and our laws admit no kind of slavery ..It is evident from this, that neither avowedly nor tacitly do blacks admit the pre-eminence of whites; but it is evident, that a pre-eminence is claimed by the whites.”