In 1868, the state of South Carolina was undergoing lots of changes. The Civil War had just ended which meant that the African American community was busy building. They were building their own churches, schools and businesses, as well as becoming politically engaged within the leadership structure of the state. It was during this time, that the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina was born.
One of the earliest known lodges in South Carolina started with a military lodge of African Americans during the Civil War. This lodge was said to be established by a group of African American soldiers attached to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment on Morris Island in Charleston, SC. This lodge eventually closed, but in 1866, we find Paul Drayton, the Most Worshipful Past National Grand Master (FAAYM) on a mission to establish what will become Union Lodge #1 in Charleston South Carolina. Additionally, in 1866, PGM Lewis Hayden helped establish Hayden Lodge # 8 under the auspices of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This is our foundation.