With The Lost Empire: Black Freemasonry in the Old West (1867–1906), James R. Morgan III artfully transports readers to the period when western outlaws ruled the territories and brings them face to face with the black men who brought enlightenment, guidance and protection to the formerly enslaved through organization. At the vanguard was Captain William Dominick Matthews–Freemason, Civil War officer and abolitionist–who became one of the most illustrious and controversial figures of his time.
In 2019, The Lost Empire won the Dr. Charles H. Wesley Medal of History which is the highest honor given to historical works by the Phylaxis Society.
In 2020, The Lost Empire received the Phillis Wheatley Book Award for Non-Fiction Biography from the Sons and Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage Lineage Society.
It is indeed an exciting tale of the wild west – worthy of inclusion in any double feature I saw as a kid.
James R. Morgan III is a graduate of Howard University where he studied Mass Communications and African American History. Mr. Morgan’s research primarily focuses on the African American experience in the nineteenth century. He has become a rising star in the study of African American Freemasonry by combining his passion for African American history in general with his love of researching family and local history.