The Harry A. Williamson Papers (Additions) consist of writings, reports, souvenir journals, newsletters, and court depositions relating to Prince Hall Masonry, primarily in New York State and New Jersey. A significant portion of the collection is comprised of Williamson's writings about bogus lodges, literature about Prince Hall Masonry specifically, and black masonry generally. There is also a manuscript entitled "Chips from the Quarries," by Williamson comprised of short papers containing information and personal opinions about various topics related to freemasonry. This extensive work consists of nearly 9000 pages.
Content: The collection includes biographical sketches by other freemasons such as Lewis Hayden, Sol C. Johnson and ArthurA. Schomburg. Legal papers include depositions concerning a controversy surrounding the Carthaginian Lodge No.47 in Brooklyn. There are also a scrapbook of news clippings about the Order of the Eastern Star (the women's association) and programs, news clippings and other printed matter pertaining to the 144 Street Temple, and a draft for a revised constitution of the Prince Hall Lodge. A scrapbook about the activities of officer Harold van Buren Voorhis, consisting primarily of printed material, forms part of the collection. Personal papers include an inventory of items in the "Williamson Masonic Collection" as well as information about Williamson's wife, Blanche Williamson.
Biographical/historical: Williamson joined the brotherhood of Freemasonry in 1904. He became a student of Masonry and its literature, and embarked on an intensive search for information which would document the "legitimacy" and "subsequent progress" of African Americans in Freemasonry. As a member of the Grand Lodge of New York (Prince Hall), Williamson served as deputy Grandmaster of Prince Hall, its Grand Lecturer, Grand Historian, and Grand Secretary. He was a prolific writer on the subject of Freemasonry.