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Charles Harris Wesley is Born

Today in Masonic History Charles Harris Wesley is born in 1891.

Charles Harris Wesley was an American historian, educator and minister.

Wesley was born on December 2nd, 1891 in Louisville Kentucky. After attending local schools, he first graduated from Fisk University, a historically all black college in Nashville Tennessee. We went on to Yale University, earning a master's degree in 1913. He then became the fourth African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Wilberforce University, another traditionally all black college in Wilberforce, Ohio.

After completing his college degrees, Wesley would go on to to become an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He would also over the course of his life write 15 books on African-American history. Three of those books were specifically about Prince Hall Freemasonry. Two were about the history of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, the first was a history from 1849 to 1959, the second was a history from 1849 to 1971. He also wrote a book titled, Prince Hall: A Life and Legacy. Other of the books included African-American history in the United States and African-American history in the Greek-Letter fraternity system, which he was active during his time in college.

Wesley had a long career in the academia. He was the Dean of the Liberal Arts and the Graduate school at Howard University. In 1942, he was called as president at one of his alma maters, Wilberforce University. He served as the president for 5 years before starting Central State University across the street from Wilberforce. He served as the President of Central State until 1965.

In 1965, Wesley headed to Washington D.C. there he became the director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He served there until 1972 and would become the Director Emeritus'. In 1976 he became the director of Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia.

Wesley passed away on August 16th, 1987.

Wesley was a member of Hiram Lodge No. 4 in Washington D.C. He presumably was a member also in Ohio, although his exact lodge affiliation there was not available at the time of the writing of this article. Wesley was also a Sovereign Grand Inspector General (33°) of the United Supreme Council (South Jurisdiction, Prince Hall affiliation).