Thomas Dalton’s Career as an Abolitionist: A Timeline
Brattle Street Boston in the 1850s, where Thomas Dalton had his clothing store
Born in Gloucester to Thomas Dalton and Polly Freeman Dalton.
Began attending annual marches in Boston celebrating the U.S. law of 1807, effective in 1808, that abolished the slave trade. Celebrations were sponsored by the African Masonic Lodge founded by Prince Hall.
Was issued a seamen’s protective certificate, certifying that he was free.
Relocated to Boston. Having begun as a bootblack and waiter, Dalton gained employment as a tailor and subsequently opened his own clothing store.
Marriage to Patience Young.
Helped found the African Humane Society, which bought land in Kettle Cove in West Gloucester for possible use for an agricultural school for black youth.
Sold his property at 302 Essex Avenue in West Gloucester (the Davis-Freeman-Wellspring House).
Actively participated in the African Humane Society, Colored People Fund Society, and African Freehold Society and became a trustee of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Boston.
Joined the Prince Hall Freemasonry Lodge.
Co-founded the Massachusetts General Colored Association (MGCA).
With David Walker, soon to become a famous author (An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, 1830), oversaw the publication of an address by the abolitionist John T. Hilton.
Selected Grand Master of the Prince Hall Freemasonry Lodge
Oversaw the merging of the MGCA into William Lloyd Garrison’s New England Anti-Slavery Society. Their goals included ending slavery in the South and racial discrimination in the North.
With Lucy Lew Francis formed the Boston Mutual Lyceum to sponsor educational lectures for African Americans.
Marriage to Lucy Lew Francis.
Attended the Prince Hall Grand [Masonic] Lodge first annual celebration of Britain’s abolition of slavery in its colonies in the West Indies and elsewhere.
As a founder of the Infant School Association, headed a petition to establish a public school with equal educational opportunity for young black children. He became an advocate for school integration in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts legislature passed the country’s first law prohibiting school segregation.
Again elected Grand Master of the Prince Hall Freemasonry Lodge.
Living on Bunker Hill Street in Boston, died August 30.