PGM Patrick Reason’s treatment of groups is seen in his copperplate engraving of a certificate of membership in the Masonic order; an original conception of the Faith, Hope, and Charity composition showing Charity surrounded by her children; and a certificate of membership in the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. The New York Public Library also has a copperplate engraving of a mountainous landscape after a drawing by W. H. Bartlett, supposed to represent Spanish explorer Vasco Nuñez de Balboa ascending the mountains. Art historian James A. Porter stated that this “meticulous work shows Patrick Henry Reason attained great skill in representation of minute gradations of value” (unpublished notes).During the New York City draft riot of 1863 the merchants organized a committee for the relief of black victims. Henry Highland Garnet, an African American minister who had been asked to aid in the work, wrote an “address to the Executive Committee of merchants for the Relief of Colored People,” which was presented to them on August 22, 1863. This acknowledgment was “elaborately engrossed on parchment and tastefully framed by Patrick Reason, one of their own people.”At one time Reason worked for the New York publisher Harpers as an engraver preparing map plates and for a New York firm as engraver of plates for printing banknotes. According to black author and abolitionist Martin R. Delany, he also frequently did government engraving.Because white engravers refused to work with him, firms often rejected his applications for employment. Reason’s name appeared in the New York City directories from 1846 to 1866 as a “col’d” engraver.Reason married Esther Cunningham of Leeds, England, on June 22, 1862. In 1869 he left New York with his wife and young son, Charles, and went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he had been invited to work as an engraver with several firms. For more than fifteen years Reason worked with the jewelry firm of Sylvester Hogan, a wholesale and retail dealer in fine jewelry and silver plate. The Cleveland Directories listed Reason as an engraver until 1899.Reason was a member of the New York Philomathean Society, organized in 1830 for literary improvement and social pleasure. He, James Fields, and other members, feeling the need of an organization for mutual protection in case of sickness and death, decided to form their society into an Odd Fellows Lodge. They petitioned the International Order of Odd Fellows for a dispensation on behalf of the Philomathean Society, but their application was refused. They were, however, granted a dispensation from Victoria Lodge No. 448 in Liverpool of which Peter Ogden, a black New Yorker, was a past grand master, and on March 1, 1843, it became Philomathean Lodge No. 646, New York. On February 29, 1844, Philomathean Lodge No. 646 was formally authorized to institute Hamilton Lodge No. 710, New York, with which Reason was affiliated. He designed and engraved the first certificate of membership for the Odd Fellows.Reason was the composer of the Ruth degree, the first “degree to be conferred under certain conditions on Females” by Hamilton Lodge No. 710, New York, and he was the first person invested with this honor. A subcommittee conferred the degree on him as the founder on August 23, 1858. Reason did much to develop the secret ritual of the order, devising a better system of signs, grips, and words. As past grand master he was the orator at some of the order’s annual meetings. At the meeting of September 4, 1856, in Broadway Tabernacle, New York, his speech was said to have been the finest given up to that time.The souvenir program and Jubilee Celebration Booklet contain facsimile reproductions from the minutes of Hamilton Lodge No. 710; dated February 25, 1847, and March 9, 1848, they are all in the painstaking and beautiful handwriting of Patrick Reason, whose name appears subscribed as permanent secretary.Reason was also active in the New York Masons. He was grand master from 1862 to 1868 and grand secretary from 1859 to 1860. In 1862 Baron de Bulow of France on his visit to the United States conferred the Thirty-third Degree of Masonry on Reason. On Bulow’s second visit to America in 1864 he organized a Supreme Council of Colored Americans whom he had earlier created Thirty-third Degree Masons under a commission as sovereign grand inspector general of the Supreme Council of France. On learning that black brothers were refused recognition by the white brothers, he obtained a special patent and organized a Supreme Council for the States, Territories, and Dependencies with Reason, then most worshipful grand master of Masons for the state of New York, as the presiding officer. Reason was grand master in New York from 1861 to 1867.As a youth Reason was interested in the educational, social, and economic situation of African Americans. He was an intelligent and able lecturer on behalf of his people. At the age of twenty-two Reason, as president of the Phoenixian Literary Society of New York City, addressed its anniversary meeting on “The Philosophy of the Fine Arts” (July 4, 1837). His speech was reported in newspapers “as well-delivered and showing a talent and research and a thorough knowledge of the subjects full of sound reasoning and historical references.” In the fall of the same year he was an active member of a committee appointed to arrange a public meeting to honor influential educator James McCune Smith on his return from a successful educational trip in Europe. During this time Reason also gave evening instruction to individuals and groups in “scientific methods of drawing.” In 1838 he was awarded the first premium (prize) for India ink drawing at the Mechanics Institute Fair. At the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839, Reason signed a protest “against the principle, assumed by a majority of persons representing said Society at its present meeting that women have the right of originating, debating and voting on questions that come before said Society and are eligible to its various officers.”Interested in education, Reason served as secretary of the New York Society for the Promotion of Education among Colored Children, organized and incorporated on December 7, 1847, because separate black schools were neglected and in some instances closed. Subject to the supervision of the city’s board of education, the society had authority to open and manage nonsectarian schools for African American children; two were opened in 1848. Reason participated in the Albany Convention of Colored Citizens in 1840, serving on six important committees. On perhaps one of the most important, he served with abolitionist minister Charles B. Ray, educator James McCune Smith, reformer Theodore S. Wright, and editor Phillip Bell to draft a reply to derogatory remarks concerning blacks made by Secretary of State John C. Calhoun to the British minister to the United States in April 1844 relative to the revolt of slaves on board the Creole. At a mass meeting in New York, African Americans empowered a committee to draft a reply, which was written by Smith and forwarded as a memorial to the U.S. Senate.Patrick Henry Reason died in Cleveland on August 12, 1898, after a long illness. Funeral services were held at his home, 162 Dunbam Street, with burial at Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland. His wife, Esther, and a son, Charles L. Reason, survived him.The most useful sources about Patrick Reason are “Indenture, Patrick Reason” (1833); Charles C. Andrews’s History of the New York African Free Schools in the City of New York (1830); Charles Brooks’s Official History and Manual of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America (1893); the Cleveland City Directories (1869–1898); New York City Directories (1846–1866); Henry Highland Garnet’s Memorial Discourse Delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives (1865, p. 59); William H. Grimshaw’s Official History of Masonry among the Colored People of America (1903, pp. 130, 348); James A. Porter’s Modern Negro Art (1943, pp. 35–38, 156, 175); The Colored American (April 12, 1838, p. 47; September 22, 1838, p. 123); and Emancipator (May 23, 1839, p. 14; September 26, 1839, p. 87). Reason’s indenture is in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, and the record from Register of Baptism and Record of Marriages, Church of St. Peter, New York, is in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York City.