Mason family manuscript account book C0214 Mason family

Mason family manuscript account book C0214

Mason family


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George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center

Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
speccoll@gmu.edu
URL: https://scrc.gmu.edu

Jordan Patty

Repository
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center
Identification
C0214
Title
Mason family manuscript account book1792-1820
URL:
http://sca.gmu.edu/finding_aids/masonaccountbook.html
Quantity
0.25 Linear Feet, 1 volume (344 pages)
Creator
Mason, Armistead Thompson, 1787-1819
Creator
Mason, Stevens Thomson, 1760-1803
Language
English .
Abstract
Manuscript account book documenting the business, professional, family, and personal accounts of Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803) and Armistead Thomson Mason (1787-1819), father and son of one of Virginia's most illustrious families. Included in the accounting are extensive records for the operation of the family plantation Raspberry Plain Farm, near Leesburg (Loudoun County), with many entries relating to the working slaves, with records of legal practice and fees appearing intermittently.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

There are duplication restrictions due to the fragile nature of the book.

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Custodial History

L & T Respess purchased the account book from a bookseller in Boston who had (at the time of their purchase, in 2010) acquired it from one of his regular scouts, at a local (i.e., somewhere in New England) estate sale.

The book itself has ownership notes inside the front cover: "This book, once the property of Carlton Shafer, is given to A. Piatt Andrew by his cousin and friend, Sara Andrew Shafer, March 1910. Her husband's name [i.e. Carlton Shafer] will always be remembered as Cadet Captain of Co. B. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington Virginia, 1861-1864 -- which he commanded at the Battle of New Market, May 15th 1864, the only battle recorded in history which was won by school boys."

Shafet was born in 1844 near Leesburg, Virginia, which is in Loudoun County, location of the farm documented by the account book.

Existence and Location of Copies

A digital version of the cookbook is available here.

Acquisition Information

Purchased in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed in July 2012 by Jordan Patty. EAD markup completed in 2012 by Jordan Patty.


Biographical Information

Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803) was the nephew of George Mason IV, one of the Founding Fathers and the George Mason University namesake. Mason was a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, an aide to General George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown, and a Republican Senator from Virginia (1794-1803), succeeding James Monroe. He was a delegate to the Virginia ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, and a graduate of William and Mary College. He worked as both a planter and a lawyer.

Armistead Thomson Mason (1787-1819) was the son of Stevens Thomson Mason and a grandnephew of George Mason IV. He served as a United States Senator from Virginia (1816-1817), and he also graduated from William and Mary College. In addition to his work as a planter and a lawyer, he was appointed to Brigadier General of the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. He was killed by his cousin, John M. McCarty, in an infamous duel over a disputed election.

Scope and Contents

Manuscript account book documenting the business, professional, family, and personal accounts of Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803) and Armistead Thomson Mason (1787-1819), father and son of one of Virginia's most illustrious families. Included in the accounting are extensive records for the operation of the family plantation Raspberry Plain Farm, near Leesburg (Loudoun County), with many entries relating to the working slaves, with records of legal practice and fees appearing intermittently.

The accounts described in the book are varied but mostly consist of accounting activity on the plantation and various financial transactions with family members and other people in the community.

Stevens Thomson Mason wrote the accounts from 1792 until his death in 1803. Financial information about his legal practice and fees appear on pages 52-54, 68-90, and intermittent throughout. There is also information on expenses and other transactions connected with Raspberry Plain Farm in Leesburg, Virginia. Raspberry Plain Farm is the ancestral Mason family estate, once the property of George Mason IV. After the death of Stevens Thomson, it remained in possession of his widow but was operated by Armistead Thomson Mason. Included are general expenses for goods and services, such as hauling and plowing, information on the hire or purchase of slaves, and overseers' wages. Much of the information on slavery appears on pages 11-51, 55-67, and 91-92. There are also miscellaneous personal and family accounts throughout.

Armistead Thomson Mason wrote the accounts from 1810 until his death in 1819. Expenses and other transactions connected both with his own farm (Selma) and with Raspberry Plain Farm such as provisions and services including slaves hired, owned, bought and sold, and overseers' wages. Much of this information appears on pages 96-101 and 103-104. The descriptions of slavery on the plantation continue on pages 105-108 in the accounts with his sister, Mary Mason, with whom he operated Raspberry Plain Farm. Some of the descriptions of slavery include names and incidents such as an expense "for apprehending their negro man John Tebbs …Joe ran away in August...has never been heard of since…" on pages 153-155.

The accounts also include descriptions of land transactions and other business. An account with his older brother John Thomson Mason relating to lands in Kentucky and to purchase of his interest in Raspberry Plain Farm on page 151. Armistead Thomson worked as the as executor of the estate of General Hugh Douglas. An extensive record of this account appears on pages 112, 133-148, 161-163, 171, and 178-179. Douglas, the son of Loudoun County Sheriff William Douglas, served in American Revolution and the War of 1812, and he died in 1815. He also managed an account as trustee of his father's estate as noted on pages 157-159. Page 157 includes a reference to "General Washington's Executors."

Although Stevens Thomson and Armistead Thomson authored most of the account entries, William Temple Thomson Mason also contributed a number of entries including the account of the estate of Armistead Thomson Mason on pages 184-186. Other entries in hand of William Temple can be found on pages 129, 150, 159, and 164. He was the half-brother of Stevens Thomson and the uncle of Armistead Thomson. Other Mason family members represented in the accounts include John Thomson Mason (1765-1824) on page 47, John Thomson Mason (1787-1850) on page 151, Stevens Thomson Mason, Jr. (1789-1815) on pages 96-101, Mary Mason on pages 105-108, Robert Armistead on page 111, and Elizabeth and Mary Armistead on pages 153-155.

Arrangement

The account book is organized chronologically with an index of names in the first part of the book.

Related Material

Special Collections and Archives also holds the Elizabeth Fairfax cookbook as well as the Virginia historical documents collection that includes items created by the descendants of George Mason.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Agriculture -- Virginia
  • Plantations -- Virginia
  • Slavery -- United States

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Mason, Armistead Thompson, 1787-1819
  • Mason, Stevens Thomson, 1760-1803

Container List

Text box: 1
Account book
1792-1820
computer_disks_/_tapes box: 2
Account book discs
2013