Masonic History

Union Grand Lodge established - 1848

Social Lodge, being the oldest Lodge, assumed jurisdiction and supervision of the Craft in the District of Columbia until the 27th day of March, 1848, when a call was made for a general assembly of the Craft to meet at Masonic Hall to form a Grand Lodge for the District of Columbia. This call was issued by John E. Thomas, then Master of Social Lodge. Under this call Universal Lodge, No. 10, of Alexandria, and Felix Lodge, No. 17, met with Social Lodge, No. 7, in convention. Rev. David P. Jones, District Deputy Grand Master, presided, with John T. Costin as Secretary. Permanent organization of a Grand Lodge was consummated by unanimously electing Charles C. Datcher of Social Lodge No. 7 Most Worshipful Grand Master; Daniel H. Smith of Universal Lodge No.10 Deputy Grand Master; Richard Phiske of Felix Lodge No. 17, Senior Grand Warden; Francis Datcher, Jr. of Social, Junior Grand Warden; Joseph Frazier, of Universal, Grand Treasurer, and John T. Costin, of Felix, Grand Secretary. The Grand Master appointed the following officers for the Masonic year: Rev. Philip Hamilton, Grand Chaplain; D. G. Harris, Senior Grand Deacon; Stewart Dennis Bourbon, Junior Grand Deacon; William Hicks, Senior Grand Steward; Benjamin Newton, Junior Grand Steward; Clements Beckett, Grand Pursuivant; and John Evans, Grand Tiler. The Grand officers were duly installed by R. W. Rev. David P. Jones, D. D. G. M., under the title of Union Grand Lodge for the District of Columbia, March 27th, 1848.



The constituent Lodges: Social No. 7, Universal No. 10, and Felix No. 17, surrendered their former warrants, and took out warrants from the Grand Lodge that they had constituted according to their separate dates of formation, to wit: Social Lodge No. 1, Universal No. 2, and Felix No. 3. Since 1848 the following Lodges have been set apart by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in the order named:  

      1. Social
      2. Universal (to Virginia in 1865)
      3. Felix
      4. Hiram
      5. Eureka
      6. Meridian
      7. Widow's Son
      8. Warren
      9. Pythagoras
      10. John F. Cook
      11. Sprig of Acacia (not active)
      12. St. John's
      13. Prince Hall (now 14)
      14 Prince Hall
      15. Charles Datcher
      16. James H. Hill
      17. Ionic
      18. Corinthian
      19. Doric
      20. Fidelity
      21. Jewel (not active)
      22. Harmony
      23. Victory
      24. Redemption
      25. Acacia
      26. Fellowship
      27. Prudence
      28. Thomas L. Johnson
      29. Nathaniel Matthews Adams Jr. Military
David A. McWilliams, Sr. Research & Education Lodge


In 1865 Universal Lodge No. 2 surrendered its charter and was instrumental in organizing the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Sprig of Acacia No. 11 surrendered its charter in 1885; and sometime after 1929, Jewel No. 21 ceased to function, and the members of those Lodges joined other Lodges in the Jurisdiction.

After the Civil War the name of “Union Grand Lodge” was changed to the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. The word “Union was stricken from the title of the Grand Lodge in 1868. Then, the name of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was again changed by a resolution adopted on December 12, 1917, which was officially recorded on December 31, 1924. On the aforementioned date the Grand Lodge voted to become an incorporated body under the name of The Most Worshipful Acacia Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia. Thus, in 1918 the name of the Grand Lodge was changed to “Acacia.”

Finally, during the administration of the late Simpson W. Wallace, who served as Grand Master during the years 1945-1946, the name of the Grand Lodge was changed and incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia as the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M., Inc., of the District of Columbia.