John Mason (c.1600 - 1672) MP

‹ Back to Mason surname

Is your surname Mason?

Research the Mason family

Major John Mason's Geni Profile

Records for John Mason

3,052,502 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Occupation: Major general, Major, English Army Officer, Deputy Govenor of CT
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About John Mason

Two wives: (1) UNKNOWN - She died at Windsor before 10 March 1638; (2) Ann Peck who was the mother of all the children except the first son, Israel.

--------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mason_(c.1600-1672)

John Mason (c. 1600–1672) was an English Army Major who immigrated to New England in 1632. Within five years he had joined those moving west from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the nascent settlements along the Connecticut River that would become the Connecticut Colony. Tensions there rose between the settlers and the dominant Indian tribe in the area, the Pequots, ultimately leading to bloodshed. After some English settlers were found dead, the Connecticut Colony appointed Mason to lead an expedition against the Pequot stronghold in Mystic, Connecticut. The result is known as the Mystic Massacre, and it was the major engagement of the Pequot War, which virtually destroyed the Pequot tribe.

After the war, Mason became Deputy Governor of Connecticut. He and a number of others were instrumental in the founding of Norwich, Connecticut, where he died in 1672.

Mason was born in England about 1602. He became an officer in the English army and served as a lieutenant under Sir Thomas Fairfax.

In 1632, Mason immigrated to America and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where he represented that village in the General Court. He was elected freeman March 4, 1634/5 (as "Captain John Mason"). "Major John Mason" is shown in the October 9, 1681 list of Connecticut freemen in Norwich.

In his few years in Massachusetts John Mason was found very useful by town and colony. On July 2, 1633, an order is "given to the Treasurer to deliver to Lieutenant Mason £10 for his voyage to the eastward, when he went about the taking of Bull". On November 5, 1633, "Sergeant Stoughton is chosen ensign to Captain Mason". On September 3, 1634, "Captain Mason" was appointed to a committee to "find out the convenient places for situation, as also to lay out the several works for fortification at Castle Island, Charelton, and Dorchester". A rate was gathered for the support of Captain Mason on December 29, 1634.

In 1635 he moved to what would become Windsor, Connecticut, in company with the Reverend John Warham, Henry Wolcott, and others, prominent settlers of the town. He was elected an assistant or magistrate of the Connecticut Colony from Windsor in 1642. On September 3, 1635, "Captain Mason is authorized by the Court to press men and carts to help towards the finishing of the fort at Castle Island, and to return the same into the Court".

He married in July 1640, at Hingham, Massachusetts, Anne Peck. She was born on November 16, 1619 in Hingham, England and died on January 30, 1671/72 in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Rev. Robert Peck, who was born at Beccles, Suffolk, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A. M., in 1603. He was a talented and influential clergyman and Puritan who had fled his Hingham, Norfolk, England, church after the crackdown by Archbishop Laud. She died shortly before her husband.

Education His prose is vigorous and direct in his regular correspondence with the Winthrops and in his history of the Pequot War. His activities from the earliest days in New England give evidence of training as a military engineer.

Pequot War On May 1, 1637, the Connecticut General Court raised a force of 90 men to be under the command of Captain John Mason for an offensive war against the Pequot. Mason commanded the successful expedition against the Pequot Indians, when he and his men immortalized themselves in overthrowing and destroying the prestige and power of the Pequots and their fort near Mystic River, on the Groton side. During the attack, they killed virtually all of the inhabitants, about 600 men, women, and children. This event became known as the Mystic massacre. The event is commemorated by a boulder monument that formerly was on Mystic Hill upon the pedestal of which is a life-size statue of Major Mason drawing his sword, representing the moment when he heard the war-whoop of "Owanux" in their fort.

He took a company of Englishmen up the river and rescued two English maids during this war. On 8 March 1637/8, in the aftermath of the Pequot War, the Connecticut General Court "ordered that Captain Mason shall be a public military officer of the plantations of Connecticut, and shall train the military men thereof in each plantation".

Please note that John Mason fought alongside two Native American tribes, namely the Mashantucket and Narrangansetts.

Later career John Mason was one of the most trusted men in Connecticut during his three and a half decades of residence there, in both civil and military matters. In his latter years the formal colony records referred to him simply as "the Major," without forename or surname. Only a sampling of his activities can be presented here.

John removed his family to Old Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut in 1647. He was awarded land by the state of Connecticut where Lebanon, New London County, Connecticut was founded and in 1660 united with a number of distinguished families in the settlement of Norwich, New London County, Connecticut where he was Deputy/Lieutenant Governor (1660-1669), and Major General of the forces of Connecticut.

From 1647 to 1657 On 2 June 1647 the court ordered

“ that Captain Mason should for the peace, safety and good assurance of the Commonwealth, have the command of all soldiers and inhabitants of Seabrooke, and in case of alarum or danger by approach of an enemy, to draw forth or put the said soldiers & inhabitants in such posture for the defense of the place as to him shall seem best," and "whereas Captain Mason, at the special instance & request of the inhabitants of Seabrooke, together with the good liking of the Commonwealth, did leave his habitation in the River and repair thither, to exercise a place of trust. It is this day ordered, that his former salary of £ 40 per annum be continued. ”

During the winter of 1647/8 Winthrop records that

“ in the depth of winter, in a very tempestuous night, the fort at Saybrook was set on fire, and all the buildings within the Palisado, with all the goods, etc., were burnt down, Captain Mason, his wife, and children, hardly saved. The loss was estimated at one thousand pounds, and not known how the fire came. ”

Prior to the sitting of the court on 6 October 1651, Captain Mason had sent a letter to the court,

“ wherein he desires, among other things, the advice of this Court touching a motion propounded by some of New Haven interested in Dillaware design, for his assistance of them in that business, with some encouragements for his settling there." The Court did not like the idea, but admitted they could not prevent him, and gave the irreluctant permission to "attend the service for 3 months, provided he will engage himself to return within that time and continue his abode amongst them as formerly. ”

New Haven was at this time attempting to establish a daughter colony on the Delaware River.

By the sitting of the Court on 18 May 1654 he had been advanced from Captain to Major, the rank that he would hold for the remainder of his life. On 13 June 1654 he and Captain John Cullick were sent to Boston as agents of Connecticut, to discuss Cromwell's plans for fighting the Dutch at New Amsterdam. In April 1657 he received from the General Court an extensive commission, requiring him to go to Southampton and investigate the complaints of the inhabitants of that town (then under Connecticut jurisdiction) regarding depredations made by the Montauk Indians.

From 1659 to 1670 On 15 June 1659 Mr. Willis was

“ requested to go down to Sea Brook, to assist the Major in examining the suspicions about witchery, and to act the rein as may be requisite. ”

In the summer of 1669, residents of Easthampton, Southampton and Stonington addressed letters to Mason, warning him of an impending attack by several groups of Indians. Mason passed these letters on to the colony authorities in Hartford, and added his own strongly worded advice.

In the summer of 1670, John Mason acted as an intermediary between Roger Williams and the Connecticut government regarding a boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Estate On 10 February 1634/5 "Captayne Mason" received a grant of 2 acres (8,100 m2) in Dorchester. He drew 6 acres (24,000 m2) of meadow beyond Naponset in lot #73.

In the Windsor land inventory on 28 February 1640[/1], John Mason held seven parcels, six of which were granted to him: "a home lot with some additions to it", 10 acres (40,000 m2); "in the Palisado where his house stands and mead adjoining" 20.5 acres (83,000 m2); "in the first mead on the north side of the rivulet, for mead and addition in swamp" 8 acres (32,000 m2); "in the northwest field for upland" 8 acres (32,000 m2) "with some addition on the bank side"; "over the Great River in breadth by the river twenty-six rods more or less, and continues that breadth to the east side of the west marsh, and there it is but sixteen rods in breadth and so continues to the end of the three miles"; 9 acres (36,000 m2) "of land by Rocky Hill"; and "by a deed of exchange with Thomas Duy [Dewey] ... on the east side of the Great River in breadth eighteen rods more or less, in length three miles".

On 5 January 1641/2, Connecticut court ordered "that Captain Mason shall have 500 acres (2.0 km2) of ground, for him and his heirs, about Pequot Country, and the dispose of 500 more to such soldiers as joined with him in the service when they conquered the Indians there".

On 12 July 1644, John Mason of Windsor sold to William Hosford of Winds or 8 acres (32,000 m2) in a little meadow with addition of swamp. On 11 September 1651 "the island commonly called Chippachauge in Mistick Bay is given to Capt. John Mason, as also 100 acres (0.40 km2) of upland and 10 acres (40,000 m2) of meadow near Mistick, where he shall make choice".

On 14 March 1660/1, the "jurisdiction power over that land that Uncus and Wawequa have made over to Major Mason is by him surrendered to this Colony. Nevertheless for the laying out of those lands to farms or plantations the Court doth leave it in the hands of Major Mason. It is also ordered and provided with the consent of Major Mason, that Uncus & Wawequa and their Indians and successors shall be supplied with sufficient planting ground at all times as the Court sees cause out of that land. And the Major doth reserve for himself a competence of land sufficient to make a farm".

On 14 May 1663, the court granted "unto the Major, our worshipful Deputy Governor, 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land for a farm, where he shall choose it, if it may not be prejudicial to a plantation already set up or to set up, so there be not above 50 acres (200,000 m2) of meadow in it". On 13 October 1664, the "Major propounding to the Court to take up his former grant of a farm, at a place by the Indians called Pomakuck, near Norwich, the Court grants liberty to him to take up his former grant in that place, upon the same terms as it was granted to him by the Court".

On 20 May 1668 the "Major desiring this Court to grant him a farm" of about 300 acres (1.2 km2), for "one of his sons, his desire is hereby granted (provided there be not above 30 acres (120,000 m2) of meadow) and Lt. Griswold & Ensign Tracy are hereby desired to lay it out to him in some convenient place near that tract of land granted Jer[emiah] Adams, it being the place the Major hath pitched upon, the name of the place is Uncupsitt, provided it prejudice no plantation or former grant".

On 9 May 1672 "Ensign Tracy is appointed to join with Sergeant Tho[ma s] Leffingwell in laying out to the Major and Mr. Howkins their grants of land according to their grants".

Offices Deputy for Dorchester to Massachusetts Bay General Court, 4 March 1634/5, 2 September 1635. Captain by 1637. Deputy for Windsor to Connecticut Court, November 1637, March 1638, April 1638, September 1639, February 1641, April 1641, September 1641. Assistant, 1642-1659, 1669-71 [CT Civil List 35]. War committee for Saybrook, May 1653, October 1654. Major, June 1654 (but he was called Major at the General Court of 18 May 1654). Connecticut Deputy Governor, May 1660, May 1661, May 1662, October 1662, May 1663, May 1664, May 1665, May 1666, May 1667, May 1668. Commissioner for United Colonies, June 1654, May 1655, May 1656, May 1657, May 1660, May 1661. Patentee, Royal Charter, 1662. Militia Committee, May 1667 - June 1672.

Family In his list of "some omitted in former records being gone yet had children born here", Matthew Grant included "Captain Masen" and credited him with four children born in Windsor,[7] which are best accounted for as the daughter Ann who died in 1640, and Priscilla, Samuel and John.

The record of births of John Mason's children by his second wife was entered in Norwich vital records, even though none of the births had occurred there, with only the month and year of the birth given. The division of births between Windsor and Saybrook is based on the knowledge that Mason was in Saybrook by 1647, and on the accounting of Matthew Grant, discussed in the last paragraph.

Descendants John Mason's descendants number in the thousands today. Some of his notable descendants include;

David Brewster (journalist) is an American journalist. Diane Brewster, was an American television actress. Martha Wadsworth Brewster, (1710 - c.1757) a poet and writer and one of the earliest American female literary figures. Catherine Drew Gilpin Faust (born September 18, 1947), is an American historian, college administrator, and the president of Harvard University. James Rudolph Garfield, (October 17, 1865 – March 24, 1950) was a U.S. politician, lawyer and son of President James Abram Garfield and First Lady Lucretia Garfield. Harry Augustus Garfield, (October 11, 1863 – December 12, 1942) was an American lawyer and academic. He was the eighth president of his alma mater, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a figure in the American Old West. John Mason Kemper, was the 11th headmaster at Phillips Academy John Forbes Kerry, (born December 11, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. George Trumbull Ladd, was an American philosopher and psychologist. Brice Lalonde, is a former socialist and green party leader in France, who ran for President of France in the Presidential elections, 1981. In 1988 he was named Minister of the Environment, and in 1990 founded the Green Party Génération Ecologie. Jeremiah Mason, was a United States Senator from New Hampshire. John Sanford Mason, (August 21, 1824 – November 29, 1897) was a career officer in the United States Army who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Robert Noyce, nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley", was the inventor of the integrated circuit or microchip. Robert Charles Winthrop, was an American lawyer and philanthropist and one time Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Presbyterian scholar and author, Professor at University of Toronto and University of British Columbia.

Memorials Mason's Island in Stonington, Connecticut, is named after John Mason. A statue of Major John Mason is on the Palisado Green in Windsor, Connecticut. A map of the statue's location. The John Mason statue was originally placed at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street in Mystic, Connecticut, near what was thought to be one of the original Pequot forts. The statue remained there for 103 years. After studying the sensitivity and appropriateness of the statue's location near the historic massacre of Pequot people, a commission chartered by Groton, Connecticut voted to have it relocated. The State in 1993 relocated the statue to its current setting.

Text of Mason's Brief History of the Pequot War at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/etas/42/

  • **

JOHN MASON ORIGIN: Unknown MIGRATION: 1632 FIRST RESIDENCE: Dorchester REMOVES: Windsor 1635, Saybrook 1647, Norwich 1659 OCCUPATION: Soldier, magistrate. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 4 March 1634/5 implied by freemanship. FREEMAN: 4 March 1634/5 (as "Captain John Mason") [MBCR 1:370]. "Major John Mason" is in the 9 October 1669 list of Connecticut freemen in Norwich [CCCR 2:523]. EDUCATION: His prose is vigorous and direct in his regular correspondence with the Winthrops [WP 4:419-20; 5:249-51, 253, 263, 317-18; 6:257-58, 384-85, 388, 395-96] and in his history of the Pequot War [A Brief History of the Pequot War (Boston 1736)]. His activities from the earliest days in New England give evidence of training as a military engineer. OFFICES: Deputy for Dorchester to Massachusetts Bay General Court, 4 March 1634/5, 2 September 1635 [MBCR 1:135, 156]. Connecticut Deputy Governor, May 1660, May 1661, May 1662, October 1662, May 1663, May 1664, May 1665, May 1666, May 1667, May 1668 [CT Civil List 36]. Deputy for Windsor to Connecticut Court, November 1637, March 1638, April 1638, September 1639, February 1641, April 1641, September 1641 [CT Civil List 35]. Assistant, 1642-1659, 1669-71 [CT Civil List 35]. War committee for Saybrook, May 1653, October 1654 [CT Civil List 35]. Patentee, Royal Charter, 1662 [CT Civil List 36]. Commissioner for United Colonies, June 1654, May 1655, May 1656, May 1657, May 1660, May 1661 [CT Civil List 36]. A rate was gathered for the support of Captain Mason 29 December 1634 [DTR 1:9]. Militia Committee, May 1667 - June 1672 [CT Civil List 36]. Captain by 1637 [CT Civil List 35]. Major, June 1654 [CT Civil List 35] (but he was called Major at the General Court of 18 May 1654 [CCCR 1:256]). ESTATE: On 10 February 1634/5 "Captayne Mason" received a grant of two acres in Dorchester [DTR 1:9]. He drew six acres of meadow beyond Naponset in lot #73 [DTR 1:322]. In the Windsor land inventory on 28 February 1640[/1] John Mason held seven parcels, six of which were granted to him: "a homelot with some additions to it, ten acres"; "in the palisado where his house stands and mead adjoining twenty acres and half"; "in the first mead on the northside of the rivulet, for mead and addition in swamp eight acres"; "in the northwest field for upland eight acres with some addition on the bank side"; "over the Great River in breadth by the river twenty-six rods more or less, and continues that breadth to the east side of the west marsh, and there it is but sixteen rods in breadth and so continues to the end of the three miles"; "twelve acres of land by Rocky Hill"; and "by a deed of exchange with Thomas Duy [Dewey] ... on the east side of the Great River in breadth eighteen rods more or less, in length three miles" [WiLR 1:91]. On 5 January 1641/2 Connecticut court ordered "that Captain Mason shall have 500 acres of ground, for him and his heirs, about Pequoyt Country, and the dispose of 500 more to such soldiers as joined with him in the service when they conquered the Indians there" [CCCR 1:70]. On 12 July 1644 John Mason of Windsor sold to William Hosford of Windsor eight acres in a little meadow with addition of swamp [WiLR 48]. On 11 September 1651 "the island commonly called Chippachauge in Mistick Bay is given to Capt. John Mason, as also one hundred acres of upland and ten acres of meadow near Mistick, where he shall make choice" [CCCR 1:24-25]. On 14 March 1660/1 the "jurisdiction power over that land that Uncus and Wawequa have made over to Major Mason is by him surrendered to this Colony. Nevertheless for the laying out of those lands to farms or plantations the Court doth leave it in the hands of Major Mason. It is also ordered and provided with the consent of Major Mason, that Uncus & Wawequa and their Indians and successors shall be supplied with sufficient planting ground at all times as the Court sees cause out of that land. And the Major doth reserve for himself a competence of land sufficient to make a farm" [CCCR 1:359]. On 14 May 1663 the court granted "unto the Major, our worshipful Deputy Governor, 500 acres of land for a farm, where he shall choose it, if it may not be prejudicial to a plantation already set up or to set up, so there be not above 50 acres of meadow in it" [CCCR 1:406]. On 13 October 1664, the "Major propounding to the Court to take up his former grant of a farm, at a place by the Indians called Pomakuck, near Norwich, the Court grants liberty to him to take up his former grant in that place, upon the same terms as it was granted to him by the Court" [CCCR 1:432]. On 20 May 1668 the "Major desiring this Court to grant him a farm of about three hundred acres, for one of his sons, his desire is hereby granted (provided there be not above thirty acres of meadow) and Lt. Griswold & Ensign Tracy are hereby desired to lay it out to him in some convenient place near that tract of land granted Jer[emiah] Adams, it being the place the Major hath pitched upon, the name of the place is Uncupsitt, provided it prejudice no plantation or former grant" [CCCR 2:86-87] On 9 May 1672 "Ensign Tracy is appointed to join with Sergeant Tho[mas] Leffingwell in laying out to the Major and Mr. Howkins their grants of land according to their grants" [CCCR 2:171].

BIRTH: By about 1605 based on military service in the Low Countries in the 1620s [DAB]. (Some secondary sources give his age at death as seventy-two, which would place his birth about 1600, but the source for this age is not known.) DEATH: Norwich between 9 May 1672 and 6 June 1672 [CCCR 2:171, 182]. MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1638 _____ _____. She died at Windsor before 10 March 1638[/9] [Grant 77]. (2) Hingham [blank] July 1639 Ann Peck [NEHGR 121:11], daughter of Rev. Robert Peck [TAG 26:85]; she died shortly before her husband. (Her son-in-law, Reverend James Fitch, preached the sermon at her funeral, which was published under the title Peace The End of the Perfect and Upright Demonstrated and Usefully Improved in a Sermon Preached upon the Occasion of the Death and Decease of the Piously Affected and Truely Religious Woman, Mrs. Anne Mason, Sometime Wife to Major John Mason, Who Not Long After Finished His Course and Is Now at Rest [Cambridge 1672].) CHILDREN (births of iii-ix recorded at Norwich [NoVR 1:20]): With first wife i ISRAEL, b. say 1638; m. Windsor 17 June 1658 John Bissell [Grant 23; TAG 26:84-94, 27:100-01]. With second wife ii ANN, d. Windsor 7 October 1640 [Grant 78]. iii PRISCILLA, b. Windsor October 1641; m. Norwich [8] October 1664 Rev. James Fitch [NoVR 39]. iv SAMUEL, b. Windsor July 1644; m. (1) Rehoboth 26 June 1670 Judith Smith [NEHGR 121:124-25]; m. (2) Rehoboth 4 July 1694 Elizabeth Peck (at Rehoboth but recorded Stonington [StonVR Barbour 158]). v JOHN, b. Windsor August 1646; m. about 1670 as her first husband Abigail Fitch [TAG 40:50-54, 58:135-37]. vi RACHEL, b. Saybrook October 1648; m. New London 12 June 1678 Charles Hill [NLVR Barbour 204]. vii ANN, b. Saybrook June 1650; m. Swansea 8 November 1672 John Brown [SwVR 23]. (On 7 October 1672 Thomas Minor reported that "An Mason was married," but he did not seem to be interested in the identity of the groom [Minor Diary 112]). viii DANIEL, b. Saybrook April 1652; m. (1) by 8 February 1673/4 Margaret Denison, daughter of Edward Denison (she was buried 15 May 1679 [Minor Diary 148]); m. (2) Hingham 10 October 1679 Rebecca Hobart [NEHGR 121:205]. ix ELIZABETH, b. Saybrook August 1654; m. Norwich January 1676/7 James Fitch [TAG 46:44].

COMMENTS: In his list of "some omitted in former records being gone yet had children born here," Matthew Grant included "Captain Masen" and credited him with four children born in Windsor [Grant 93], which are best accounted for as the daughter Ann who died in 1640, and Priscilla, Samuel and John [TAG 26:86-87]. The record of births of John Mason's children by his second wife was entered in Norwich vital records, even though none of the births had occurred there, with only the month and year of the birth given [TAG 26:86, citing NoVR 1:20]. The division of births between Windsor and Saybrook is based on the knowledge that Mason was in Saybrook by 1647, and on the accounting of Matthew Grant, discussed in the last paragraph. In his few years in Massachusetts John Mason was found very useful by town and colony. On 2 July 1633 order is "given to the Treasurer to deliver to Lieutenant Mason £10 for his voyage to the eastward, when he went about the taking of Bull" [MBCR 1:106; MHSC 2:8:232]. On 5 November 1633 "Sergeant Stoughton is chosen ensign to Captain Mason" [MBCR 1:110]. On 3 September 1634 "Captain Mason" was appointed to a committee to "find out the convenient places for situation, as also to lay out the several works for fortification at Castle Island, Charelton, & Dorchester" [MBCR 1:124]. On 3 September 1635 "Captain Mason is authorized by the Court to press men & carts to help towards the finishing of the fort at Castle Island, & to return the same into the Court" [MBCR 1:158]. John Mason was one of the most trusted men in Connecticut during his three and a half decades of residence there, in both civil and military matters. In his latter years the formal colony records referred to him simply as "the Major," without forename or surname. Only a sampling of his activities can be presented here. On 1 May 1637 the Connecticut General Court ordered that "there shall be an offensive war against the Pequoitt" and levied ninety men from the three towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, to be "under the command of Captain Jo[hn] Mason" [CCCR 1:9]. His comings and goings during the Pequot War are occasionally noted by Winthrop [WP 3:419, 421, 435, 456; WJ 1:233, 267]. He took a company of Englishmen up the river and rescued two English maids during this war [WJ 1:223]. (On 22 May 1639, even though he had been living in Connecticut for three years, "Captain Mason had granted him" by Massachusetts Bay General Court "ten pounds, for his good service against the Pecoits & otherwise" [MBCR 1:259].) On 8 March 1637/8, in the aftermath of the Pequot War, the Connecticut General Court "ordered that Captain Mason shall be a public military officer of the plantations of Conecticot, and shall train the military men thereof in each plantation" [CCCR 1:15]. On 2 June 1647 the court ordered "that Captain Mason should for the peace, safety and good assurance of the Commonwealth, have the command of all soldiers and inhabitants of Seabrooke, and in case of alarum or danger by approach of an enemy, to draw forth or put the said soldiers & inhabitants in such posture for the defense of the place as to him shall seem best," and "whereas Captain Mason, at the special instance & request of the inhabitants of Seabrooke, together with the good liking of the Commonwealth, did leave his habitation in the River and repair thither, to exercise a place of trust. It is this day ordered, that his former salary of £40 per annum be continued" [CCCR 1:155-56]. During the winter of 1647/8 Winthrop records that "in the depth of winter, in a very tempestuous night, the fort at Saybrook was set on fire, and all the buildings within the palisado, with all the goods, etc., were burnt down, Captain Mason, his wife, and children, hardly saved. The loss was estimated at one thousand pounds, and not known how the fire came" [WJ 2:311]. Prior to the sitting of the court on 6 October 1651, Captain Mason had sent a letter to the court, "wherein he desires, among other things, the advice of this Court touching a motion propounded by some of New Haven interested in Dillaware design, for his assistance of them in that business, with some encouragements for his settling there." The Court did not like the idea, but admitted they could not prevent him, and gave their reluctant permission to "attend the service for 3 months, provided he will engage himself to return within that time and continue his abode amongst them as formerly" [CCCR 1:227]. (New Haven was at this time attempting to establish a daughter colony on the Delaware River [Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony (New Haven 1934), p. 192].) By the sitting of the Court on 18 May 1654 he had been advanced from Captain to Major [CCCR 1:256], the rank that he would hold for the remainder of his life. On 13 June 1654 he and Captain John Cullick were sent to Boston as agents of Connecticut, to discuss Cromwell's plans for fighting the Dutch at New Amsterdam [CCCR 1:260]. In April 1657 he received from the General Court an extensive commission, requiring him to go to Southampton and investigate the complaints of the inhabitants of that town (then under Connecticut jurisdiction) regarding depradations made by the Montauk Indians [CCCR 1:295-97]. On 15 June 1659 Mr. Willis was "requested to go down to Sea Brook, to assist the Major in examining the suspicions about witchery, and to act therein as may be requisite" [CCCR 1:338]. In the summer of 1669 residents of Easthampton, Southampton and Stonington addressed letters to Mason, warning him of an impending attack by several groups of Indians. Mason passed these letters on to the colony authorities in Hartford, and added his own strongly worded advice [CCCR 2:548-50]. In the summer of 1670 John Mason acted as an intermediary between Roger Williams and the Connecticut government regarding a boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut [RWCorr 609-20; CCCR 2:536].

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1935 Louis B. Mason published a book-length biography of John Mason [The Life and Times of Major John Mason of Connecticut: 1600-1672 (New York 1935)]. There is also an account in the Dictionary of American Biography. -------------------- [My friend Donna Hubner tracked this down for me. Note right before the list of children it says how the Rev. James Fitch preached his mother-in-law's funeral sermon. His 2nd wife was Maj. John Mason's third child, Priscilla. It would also appear that Priscilla's youngest sister, Elizabeth, married Priscilla's stepson James Fitch II. August 2007 LFB]

This is from the GREAT MIGRATION (NEHGS) --lots of clues:

JOHN MASON

ORIGIN: Unknown MIGRATION: 1632 FIRST RESIDENCE: Dorchester REMOVES: Windsor 1635, Saybrook 1647, Norwich 1659 OCCUPATION: Soldier, magistrate. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 4 March 1634/5 implied by freemanship. FREEMAN: 4 March 1634/5 (as "Captain John Mason") [ MBCR 1:370]. "Major John Mason" is in the 9 October 1669 list of Connecticut freemen in Norwich [ CCCR 2:523]. EDUCATION: His prose is vigorous and direct in his regular correspondence with the Winthrops [ WP 4:419-20; 5:249-51, 253, 263, 317-18; 6:257-58, 384-85, 388, 395-96] and in his history of the Pequot War [A Brief History of the Pequot War (Boston 1736)]. His activities from the earliest days in New England give evidence of training as a military engineer. OFFICES: Deputy for Dorchester to Massachusetts Bay General Court, 4 March 1634/5, 2 September 1635 [ MBCR 1:135, 156]. Connecticut Deputy Governor, May 1660, May 1661, May 1662, October 1662, May 1663, May 1664, May 1665, May 1666, May 1667, May 1668 [ CT Civil List 36]. Deputy for Windsor to Connecticut Court, November 1637, March 1638, April 1638, September 1639, February 1641, April 1641, September 1641 [ CT Civil List 35]. Assistant, 1642-1659, 1669-71 [ CT Civil List 35]. War committee for Saybrook, May 1653, October 1654 [ CT Civil List 35]. Patentee, Royal Charter, 1662 [ CT Civil List 36]. Commissioner for United Colonies, June 1654, May 1655, May 1656, May 1657, May 1660, May 1661 [ CT Civil List 36]. A rate was gathered for the support of Captain Mason 29 December 1634 [ DTR 1:9]. Militia Committee, May 1667 - June 1672 [ CT Civil List 36]. Captain by 1637 [ CT Civil List 35]. Major, June 1654 [ CT Civil List 35] (but he was called Major at the General Court of 18 May 1654 [ CCCR 1:256]). ESTATE: On 10 February 1634/5 "Captayne Mason" received a grant of two acres in Dorchester [ DTR 1:9]. He drew six acres of meadow beyond Naponset in lot #73 [ DTR 1:322]. In the Windsor land inventory on 28 February 1640[/1] John Mason held seven parcels, six of which were granted to him: "a homelot with some additions to it, ten acres"; "in the palisado where his house stands and mead adjoining twenty acres and half"; "in the first mead on the northside of the rivulet, for mead and addition in swamp eight acres"; "in the northwest field for upland eight acres with some addition on the bank side"; "over the Great River in breadth by the river twenty-six rods more or less, and continues that breadth to the east side of the west marsh, and there it is but sixteen rods in breadth and so continues to the end of the three miles"; "twelve acres of land by Rocky Hill"; and "by a deed of exchange with Thomas Duy [Dewey] ... on the east side of the Great River in breadth eighteen rods more or less, in length three miles" [ WiLR 1:91]. On 5 January 1641/2 Connecticut court ordered "that Captain Mason shall have 500 acres of ground, for him and his heirs, about Pequoyt Country, and the dispose of 500 more to such soldiers as joined with him in the service when they conquered the Indians there" [ CCCR 1:70]. On 12 July 1644 John Mason of Windsor sold to William Hosford of Windsor eight acres in a little meadow with addition of swamp [ WiLR 48]. On 11 September 1651 "the island commonly called Chippachauge in Mistick Bay is given to Capt. John Mason, as also one hundred acres of upland and ten acres of meadow near Mistick, where he shall make choice" [ CCCR 1:24-25]. On 14 March 1660/1 the "jurisdiction power over that land that Uncus and Wawequa have made over to Major Mason is by him surrendered to this Colony. Nevertheless for the laying out of those lands to farms or plantations the Court doth leave it in the hands of Major Mason. It is also ordered and provided with the consent of Major Mason, that Uncus & Wawequa and their Indians and successors shall be supplied with sufficient planting ground at all times as the Court sees cause out of that land. And the Major doth reserve for himself a competence of land sufficient to make a farm" [ CCCR 1:359]. On 14 May 1663 the court granted "unto the Major, our worshipful Deputy Governor, 500 acres of land for a farm, where he shall choose it, if it may not be prejudicial to a plantation already set up or to set up, so there be not above 50 acres of meadow in it" [ CCCR 1:406]. On 13 October 1664, the "Major propounding to the Court to take up his former grant of a farm, at a place by the Indians called Pomakuck, near Norwich, the Court grants liberty to him to take up his former grant in that place, upon the same terms as it was granted to him by the Court" [ CCCR 1:432]. On 20 May 1668 the "Major desiring this Court to grant him a farm of about three hundred acres, for one of his sons, his desire is hereby granted (provided there be not above thirty acres of meadow) and Lt. Griswold & Ensign Tracy are hereby desired to lay it out to him in some convenient place near that tract of land granted Jer[emiah] Adams, it being the place the Major hath pitched upon, the name of the place is Uncupsitt, provided it prejudice no plantation or former grant" [ CCCR 2:86-87] On 9 May 1672 "Ensign Tracy is appointed to join with Sergeant Tho[mas] Leffingwell in laying out to the Major and Mr. Howkins their grants of land according to their grants" [ CCCR 2:171]. BIRTH: By about 1605 based on military service in the Low Countries in the 1620s [ DAB ]. (Some secondary sources give his age at death as seventy-two, which would place his birth about 1600, but the source for this age is not known.) DEATH: Norwich between 9 May 1672 and 6 June 1672 [ CCCR 2:171, 182]. MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1638 _____ _____. She died at Windsor before 10 March 1638[/9] [ Grant 77]. (2) Hingham [blank] July 1639 Ann Peck [ NEHGR 121:11], daughter of Rev. Robert Peck [ TAG 26:85]; she died shortly before her husband. (Her son-in-law, Reverend James Fitch, preached the sermon at her funeral, which was published under the title Peace The End of the Perfect and Upright Demonstrated and Usefully Improved in a Sermon Preached upon the Occasion of the Death and Decease of the Piously Affected and Truely Religious Woman, Mrs. Anne Mason, Sometime Wife to Major John Mason, Who Not Long After Finished His Course and Is Now at Rest [Cambridge 1672].) CHILDREN (births of iii-ix recorded at Norwich [ NoVR 1:20]):

With first wife  
i ISRAEL, b. say 1638; m. Windsor 17 June 1658 John Bissell [ Grant 23; TAG 26:84-94, 27:100-01].  
With second wife  
ii ANN, d. Windsor 7 October 1640 [ Grant 78].  
iii PRISCILLA, b. Windsor October 1641; m. Norwich [8] October 1664 Rev. James Fitch [ NoVR 39].  
iv SAMUEL, b. Windsor July 1644; m. (1) Rehoboth 26 June 1670 Judith Smith [ NEHGR 121:124-25]; m. (2) Rehoboth 4 July 1694 Elizabeth Peck (at Rehoboth but recorded Stonington [ StonVR Barbour 158]).  
v JOHN, b. Windsor August 1646; m. about 1670 as her first husband Abigail Fitch [ TAG 40:50-54, 58:135-37].  
vi RACHEL, b. Saybrook October 1648; m. New London 12 June 1678 Charles Hill [ NLVR Barbour 204].  
vii ANN, b. Saybrook June 1650; m. Swansea 8 November 1672 John Brown [ SwVR 23]. (On 7 October 1672 Thomas Minor reported that "An Mason was married," but he did not seem to be interested in the identity of the groom [ Minor Diary 112]).  
viii DANIEL, b. Saybrook April 1652; m. (1) by 8 February 1673/4 Margaret Denison, daughter of Edward Denison (she was buried 15 May 1679 [ Minor Diary 148]); m. (2) Hingham 10 October 1679 Rebecca Hobart [ NEHGR 121:205].  
ix ELIZABETH, b. Saybrook August 1654; m. Norwich January 1676/7 James Fitch [ TAG 46:44].  

COMMENTS: In his list of "some omitted in former records being gone yet had children born here," Matthew Grant included "Captain Masen" and credited him with four children born in Windsor [ Grant 93], which are best accounted for as the daughter Ann who died in 1640, and Priscilla, Samuel and John [ TAG 26:86-87]. The record of births of John Mason's children by his second wife was entered in Norwich vital records, even though none of the births had occurred there, with only the month and year of the birth given [ TAG 26:86, citing NoVR 1:20]. The division of births between Windsor and Saybrook is based on the knowledge that Mason was in Saybrook by 1647, and on the accounting of Matthew Grant, discussed in the last paragraph. In his few years in Massachusetts John Mason was found very useful by town and colony. On 2 July 1633 order is "given to the Treasurer to deliver to Lieutenant Mason £10 for his voyage to the eastward, when he went about the taking of Bull" [ MBCR 1:106; MHSC 2:8:232]. On 5 November 1633 "Sergeant Stoughton is chosen ensign to Captain Mason" [ MBCR 1:110]. On 3 September 1634 "Captain Mason" was appointed to a committee to "find out the convenient places for situation, as also to lay out the several works for fortification at Castle Island, Charelton, & Dorchester" [ MBCR 1:124]. On 3 September 1635 "Captain Mason is authorized by the Court to press men & carts to help towards the finishing of the fort at Castle Island, & to return the same into the Court" [ MBCR 1:158]. John Mason was one of the most trusted men in Connecticut during his three and a half decades of residence there, in both civil and military matters. In his latter years the formal colony records referred to him simply as "the Major," withou t forename or surname. Only a sampling of his activities can be presented here. On 1 May 1637 the Connecticut General Court ordered that "there shall be an offensive war against the Pequoitt" and levied ninety men from the three towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, to be "under the command of Captain Jo[hn] Mason" [ CCCR 1:9]. His comings and goings during the Pequot War are occasionally noted by Winthrop [ WP 3:419, 421, 435, 456; WJ 1:233, 267]. He took a company of Englishmen up the river and rescued two English maids during this war [ WJ 1:223]. (On 22 May 1639, even though he had been living in Connecticut for three years, "Captain Mason had granted him" by Massachusetts Bay General Court "ten pounds, for his good service against the Pecoits & otherwise" [ MBCR 1:259].) On 8 March 1637/8, in the aftermath of the Pequot War, the Connecticut General Court "ordered that Captain Mason shall be a public military officer of the plantations of Conecticot, and shall train the military men thereof in each plantation" [ CCCR 1:15]. On 2 June 1647 the court ordered "that Captain Mason should for the peace, safety and good assurance of the Commonwealth, have the command of all soldiers and inhabitants of Seabrooke, and in case of alarum or danger by approach of an enemy, to draw forth or put the said soldiers & inhabitants in such posture for the defense of the place as to him shall seem best," and "whereas Captain Mason, at the special instance & request of the inhabitants of Seabrooke, together with the good liking of the Commonwealth, did leave his habitation in the River and repair thither, to exercise a place of trust. It is this day ordered, that his former salary of £40 per annum be continued" [ CCCR 1:155-56]. During the winter of 1647/8 Winthrop records that "in the depth of winter, in a very tempestuous night, the fort at Saybrook was set on fire, and all the buildings within the palisado, with all the goods, etc., were burnt down, Captain Mason, his wife, and children, hardly saved. The loss was estimated at one thousand pounds, and not known how the fire came" [ WJ 2:311]. Prior to the sitting of the court on 6 October 1651, Captain Mason had sent a letter to the court, "wherein he desires, among other things, the advice of this Court touching a motion propounded by some of New Haven interested in Dillaware design, for his assistance of them in that business, with some encouragements for his settling there." The Court did not like the idea, but admitted they could not prevent him, and gave their reluctant permission to "attend the service for 3 months, provided he will engage himself to return within that time and continue his abode amongst them as formerly" [ CCCR 1:227]. (New Haven was at this time attempting to establish a daughter colony on the Delaware River [Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony (New Haven 1934), p. 192].) By the sitting of the Court on 18 May 1654 he had been advanced from Captain to Major [ CCCR 1:256], the rank that he would hold for the remainder of his life. On 13 June 1654 he and Captain John Cullick were sent to Boston as agents of Connecticut, to discuss Cromwell's plans for fighting the Dutch at New Amsterdam [ CCCR 1:260]. In April 1657 he received from the General Court an extensive commission, requiring him to go to Southampton and investigate the complaints of the inhabitants of that town (then under Connecticut jurisdiction) regarding depradations made by the Montauk Indians [ CCCR 1:295-97]. On 15 June 1659 Mr. Willis was "requested to go down to Sea Brook, to assist the Major in examining the suspicions about witchery, and to act therein as may be requisite" [ CCCR 1:338]. In the summer of 1669 residents of Easthampton, Southampton and Stonington addressed letters to Mason, warning him of an impending attack by several groups of Indians. Mason passed these letters on to the colony authorities in Hartford, and added his own strongly worded advice [ CCCR 2:548-50]. In the summer of 1670 John Mason acted as an intermediary between Roger Williams and the Connecticut government regarding a boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut [ RWCorr 609-20; CCCR 2:536]. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1935 Louis B. Mason published a book-length biography of John Mason [The Life and Times of Major John Mason of Connecticut: 1600-1672 (New York 1935)]. There is also an account in the Dictionary of American Biography .

Beginning The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III

-------------------- MAJ. JOHN MASON was born in England in the year 1600, was bred a soldier and served in the English army, and after his election as lieutenant, served under Sir Thomas Fairfax. He emigrated to America in 1632 and settled first in Dorchester, Mass., and represented that town in the General Court. In 1635 he removed to Windsor, Conn., in company with the Rev. John Warham, Henry Wolcott and others, prominent settlers of that town, where he was elected an assistant or magistrate of the Connecticut Colony in 1642. In May, 1637, he commanded the successful expedition against the Pequot Indians, when he and his famous ninety men immortalized themselves in overthrowing and destroying the prestige and power of the Pequots and their fort near Mystic River, on Groton side, which event is commemorated by a boulder monument on Mystic Hill upon the pedestal of which is a life size statue of Maj. Mason drawing his sword, when he heard the war-whoop of "Owanux,""Owanux," by the Indians in their fort. In 1647 he removed his family to Saybrook, where he continued to live until 1660, when he united with a number of distinguished families in the settlement of Norwich, Conn., where he was Deputy Governor and Major General of the forces of Connecticut, and held other prominent official positions. After a life of great usefulness and eminence, he d. Jan. 30, 1672. His widow d. shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, the first wife of Maj. John Mason is not known, but she did not live long, but was the mother of one daughter.

-------------------- Known as Major John Mason. He had military training as he served under Sir Thomas Fairfax , as a Lieutenant, with Myles Standish, John Underhill and Lyon Gardner. Probably a member o f the Dorchester migration in 1630 and in 1642 he was sen by the Genreal court of Massachus etts with John Gallop, and twenty men in a shallop to break up a gang of coastal pirates. I n Nov 1642 for that venture he was made a Captain. He was in Windsor, Connecticut by 1637 . Soon after, he led a band of settlers and crushed the Pequot Indians, and for saving the c olony, he was afterwards made a Major (the only Major in Connecticut). In 1647 he removed t o Saybrook where he established his command post. He also served as a magistrate from 1637 t o 1641, from 1641 to 1659 he was a member of the General Court. In 1659 he was Lieutenant Go venor for ten consecutive years. He also served six years (1647, 1654-1657, 1661 as on of th e Commisioners of the United Colonies. In June 1679, he founded the town of Norwich, Connect icut. A monument was erected in memory of him ar the Norwich Centennial in 1859. His firs t wife's name is unknown, but she must have come with him from Dorchester and died in Windso r Connecticut before 10 mar 1638. -------------------- Served in the Netherlands as a Lieutenant under Sir Thomas Fairfax. Came to America in 1632. Commanded the colonial force which destroyed the Pequot Castle 26 May 1637 near Stonington, CT. Negotiated the first land purchase from Uncas of the Mohicans, August 1659.

This action in May 1637 is also called The Pequot Massacre. Mason with several hundred settlers, Narragansett and Mohegan indians apparently found the village while the warriors were gone and torched it. Hundreds of women, old men and children died in the flames or while trying to escape.

"Major John Mason was born in England in the year 1600, was bred a soldier and served in the English army, and after his election as lieutenant, served under Sir Thomas Fairfax. He emigrated to America in 1632 and settled first in Dorchester, Mass., and represented that town in the General Court. In 1635 he removed to Windsor, Conn in the company of Rev. John Warham, Henry Wolcott and others, prominent settlers of that town, where he was elected an assistant or magistrate of the Connecticut Colony in 1642. In May, 1637, he commanded the successful expedition against the Pequot Indians when he and his famous ninety men immortalized themselves in the overthrowing and destroying the prestige and power of the Pequots and their fort near Mystic River, on Groton side, which event is commemorated by a boulder monument upon Mystic Hill upon the pedestal of which is a life size statue of Major Mason drawing his sword, when he heard the war-whoop of "Owanux," "Owanux," by the Indians in their fort. In 1647 he removed his family to Saybrook, where he continued to live until 1660, when he united with a number of distinguished families in the settlement of Norwich, Conn., where he was a Deputy Governor and Major General of the forces of Connecticut, and held other prominent positions. After a life of great usefulness and eminence, he died January 30, 1672. His widow died shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, the first wife of Major John Mason is not known, but she did not live long, but was the mother of one daughter: JUDITH. After the death of his first wife he m. 2d, Miss Anna Peck in July 1640." (Geoff Bronner-http://cerebus.dartmouth.edu/genealogy/ps01/ps01_256.html) -------------------- [http://minerdescent.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/john-mason/]

-------------------- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Mason Born c1600 England Died 1672, age 72 Norwich, Connecticut Nationality English Occupation Major in Colonial Militia Known for Led colonial militia in Mystic Massacre of Pequot Indians; Deputy Governor Connecticut Religion Puritan

John Mason (c. 1600–1672) was an English Army Major who immigrated to New England in 1632. Within five years he had joined those moving west from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the nascent settlements along the Connecticut River that would become the Connecticut Colony. Tensions there rose between the settlers and the dominant Indian tribe in the area, the Pequots, ultimately leading to bloodshed after the Manissean Indians on Block Island killed John Oldham, a Massachusetts Bay trade representative in 1636. Because the Manisseans were tributaries of the Pequot Nation, Massachusetts Bay sent an expedition, which included John Mason, to Block Island to kill the Manisseans. They were then to proceed to the Connecticut River to demand that the Pequot turn over Oldham's murders. When the Pequot refused, the English expedition burnt several of their wigwams and corn, thus inciting the Pequot War, which ended in the Mystic Massacre, which virtually destroyed the Pequot tribe. Years later, he recounted his experiences in the Pequot War in his narrative Major Mason's Brief History of the Pequot War, which wasn't published until 1736.[1]

After the war, Mason became Deputy Governor of Connecticut. He and a number of others were instrumental in the founding of Norwich, Connecticut, where he died in 1672.

Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Education 3 Pequot War 4 Later career 4.1 From 1647 to 1657 4.2 From 1659 to 1670 5 Estate 6 Offices 7 Family 8 Descendants 9 Memorials 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading


[edit] Early lifeMason was born in England about 1602. He became an officer in the English army and served as a lieutenant under Sir Thomas Fairfax.

In 1632 Mason immigrated to America and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where he represented that village in the General Court. He was elected freeman March 4, 1634/5 (as "Captain John Mason" is shown in the October 9, 1681 list of Connecticut freemen in Norwich.

In his few years in Massachusetts John Mason was found very useful by town and colony. On July 2, 1633, an order is "given to the Treasurer to deliver to Lieutenant Mason £10 for his voyage to the eastward, when he went about the taking of Bull". On November 5, 1633, "Sergeant Stoughton is chosen ensign to Captain Mason". On September 3, 1634, "Captain Mason" was appointed to a committee to "find out the convenient places for situation, as also to lay out the several works for fortification at Castle Island, Charelton, and Dorchester". A rate was gathered for the support of Captain Mason on December 29, 1634.

In 1635 he moved to what would become Windsor, Connecticut, in company with the Reverend John Warham, Henry Wolcott, and others, prominent settlers of the town. He was elected an assistant or magistrate of the Connecticut Colony from Windsor in 1642. On September 3, 1635, "Captain Mason is authorized by the Court to press men and carts to help towards the finishing of the fort at Castle Island, and to return the same into the Court".

He married in July 1640, at Hingham, Massachusetts, Anne Peck. She was born on November 16, 1619 in Hingham, England and died on January 30, 1671/72 in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Rev. Robert Peck, who was born at Beccles, Suffolk, England, in 1580.[2] He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A. M., in 1603. He was a talented and influential clergyman and Puritan who had fled his Hingham, Norfolk, England, church after the crackdown by Archbishop Laud.[3][4] She died shortly before her husband.

[edit] EducationHis prose is vigorous and direct in his regular correspondence with the Winthrops and in his history of the Pequot War.[5] His activities from the earliest days in New England give evidence of training as a military engineer.

[edit] Pequot WarOn May 1, 1637, the Connecticut General Court raised a force of 90 men to be under the command of Captain John Mason for an offensive war against the Pequot. Mason commanded the successful expedition against the Pequot Indians, when he and his men immortalized themselves in overthrowing and destroying the prestige and power of the Pequots and their fort near Mystic River, on the Groton side. During the attack, they killed virtually all of the inhabitants, about 600 men, women, and children. This event became known as the Mystic massacre. The event is commemorated by a boulder monument that formerly was on Mystic Hill upon the pedestal of which is a life-size statue of Major Mason drawing his sword, representing the moment when he heard the war-whoop of "Owanux."

On 8 March 1637/8, in the aftermath of the Pequot War, the Connecticut General Court "ordered that Captain Mason shall be a public military officer of the plantations of Connecticut, and shall train the military men thereof in each plantation".[6]

Please note that John Mason fought alongside two Native American tribes, namely the Mohegan and Narrangansetts.

[edit] Later careerJohn Mason was one of the most trusted men in Connecticut during his three and a half decades of residence there, in both civil and military matters. In his latter years the formal colony records referred to him simply as "the Major," without forename or surname. Only a sampling of his activities can be presented here.

John removed his family to Old Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut in 1647. He was awarded land by the state of Connecticut where Lebanon, New London County, Connecticut was founded and in 1660 united with a number of distinguished families in the settlement of Norwich, New London County, Connecticut where he was Deputy/Lieutenant Governor (1660–1669), and Major General of the forces of Connecticut.[7]

[edit] From 1647 to 1657On 2 June 1647 the court ordered

“ that Captain Mason should for the peace, safety and good assurance of the Commonwealth, have the command of all soldiers and inhabitants of Seabrooke, and in case of alarum or danger by approach of an enemy, to draw forth or put the said soldiers & inhabitants in such posture for the defense of the place as to him shall seem best," and "whereas Captain Mason, at the special instance & request of the inhabitants of Seabrooke, together with the good liking of the Commonwealth, did leave his habitation in the River and repair thither, to exercise a place of trust. It is this day ordered, that his former salary of £ 40 per annum be continued. ”

During the winter of 1647/8 Winthrop records that

“ in the depth of winter, in a very tempestuous night, the fort at Saybrook was set on fire, and all the buildings within the Palisado, with all the goods, etc., were burnt down, Captain Mason, his wife, and children, hardly saved. The loss was estimated at one thousand pounds, and not known how the fire came. ”

Prior to the sitting of the court on 6 October 1651, Captain Mason had sent a letter to the court,

“ wherein he desires, among other things, the advice of this Court touching a motion propounded by some of New Haven interested in Dillaware design, for his assistance of them in that business, with some encouragements for his settling there." The Court did not like the idea, but admitted they could not prevent him, and gave the irreluctant permission to "attend the service for 3 months, provided he will engage himself to return within that time and continue his abode amongst them as formerly. ”

New Haven was at this time attempting to establish a daughter colony on the Delaware River.[8]

By the sitting of the Court on 18 May 1654 he had been advanced from Captain to Major, the rank that he would hold for the remainder of his life. On 13 June 1654 he and Captain John Cullick were sent to Boston as agents of Connecticut, to discuss Cromwell's plans for fighting the Dutch at New Amsterdam. In April 1657 he received from the General Court an extensive commission, requiring him to go to Southampton and investigate the complaints of the inhabitants of that town (then under Connecticut jurisdiction) regarding depredations made by the Montauk Indians.

[edit] From 1659 to 1670On 15 June 1659 Mr. Willis was

“ requested to go down to Sea Brook, to assist the Major in examining the suspicions about witchery, and to act the rein as may be requisite. ”

In the summer of 1669 residents of Easthampton, Southampton and Stonington addressed letters to Mason, warning him of an impending attack by several groups of Indians. Mason passed these letters on to the colony authorities in Hartford, and added his own strongly worded advice.

In the summer of 1670 John Mason acted as an intermediary between Roger Williams and the Connecticut government regarding a boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut.

[edit] EstateOn 10 February 1634/5 "Captayne Mason" received a grant of 2 acres (8,100 m2) in Dorchester. He drew 6 acres (24,000 m2) of meadow beyond Naponset in lot #73.

In the Windsor land inventory on 28 February 1640[/1] John Mason held seven parcels, six of which were granted to him: "a home lot with some additions to it", 10 acres (40,000 m2); "in the Palisado where his house stands and mead adjoining" 20.5 acres (83,000 m2); "in the first mead on the north side of the rivulet, for mead and addition in swamp" 8 acres (32,000 m2); "in the northwest field for upland" 8 acres (32,000 m2) "with some addition on the bank side"; "over the Great River in breadth by the river twenty-six rods more or less, and continues that breadth to the east side of the west marsh, and there it is but sixteen rods in breadth and so continues to the end of the three miles"; 9 acres (36,000 m2) "of land by Rocky Hill"; and "by a deed of exchange with Thomas Duy [Dewey] ... on the east side of the Great River in breadth eighteen rods more or less, in length three miles".

On 5 January 1641/2 Connecticut court ordered "that Captain Mason shall have 500 acres (2.0 km2) of ground, for him and his heirs, about Pequot Country, and the dispose of 500 more to such soldiers as joined with him in the service when they conquered the Indians there".

On 12 July 1644 John Mason of Windsor sold to William Hosford of Winds or 8 acres (32,000 m2) in a little meadow with addition of swamp. On 11 September 1651 "the island commonly called Chippachauge in Mistick Bay is given to Capt. John Mason, as also 100 acres (0.40 km2) of upland and 10 acres (40,000 m2) of meadow near Mistick, where he shall make choice".

On 14 March 1660/1 the "jurisdiction power over that land that Uncus and Wawequa have made over to Major Mason is by him surrendered to this Colony. Nevertheless for the laying out of those lands to farms or plantations the Court doth leave it in the hands of Major Mason. It is also ordered and provided with the consent of Major Mason, that Uncus & Wawequa and their Indians and successors shall be supplied with sufficient planting ground at all times as the Court sees cause out of that land. And the Major doth reserve for himself a competence of land sufficient to make a farm".

On 14 May 1663 the court granted "unto the Major, our worshipful Deputy Governor, 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land for a farm, where he shall choose it, if it may not be prejudicial to a plantation already set up or to set up, so there be not above 50 acres (200,000 m2) of meadow in it". On 13 October 1664, the "Major propounding to the Court to take up his former grant of a farm, at a place by the Indians called Pomakuck, near Norwich, the Court grants liberty to him to take up his former grant in that place, upon the same terms as it was granted to him by the Court".

On 20 May 1668 the "Major desiring this Court to grant him a farm" of about 300 acres (1.2 km2), for "one of his sons, his desire is hereby granted (provided there be not above 30 acres (120,000 m2) of meadow) and Lt. Griswold & Ensign Tracy are hereby desired to lay it out to him in some convenient place near that tract of land granted Jer[emiah] Adams, it being the place the Major hath pitched upon, the name of the place is Uncupsitt, provided it prejudice no plantation or former grant".

On 9 May 1672 "Ensign Tracy is appointed to join with Sergeant Tho[ma s] Leffingwell in laying out to the Major and Mr. Howkins their grants of land according to their grants".

[edit] OfficesDeputy for Dorchester to Massachusetts Bay General Court, 4 March 1634/5, 2 September 1635. Captain by 1637. Deputy for Windsor to Connecticut Court, November 1637, March 1638, April 1638, September 1639, February 1641, April 1641, September 1641. Assistant, 1642–1659, 1669-71 [CT Civil List 35]. War committee for Saybrook, May 1653, October 1654. Major, June 1654 (but he was called Major at the General Court of 18 May 1654). Connecticut Deputy Governor, May 1660, May 1661, May 1662, October 1662, May 1663, May 1664, May 1665, May 1666, May 1667, May 1668. Commissioner for United Colonies, June 1654, May 1655, May 1656, May 1657, May 1660, May 1661. Patentee, Royal Charter, 1662. Militia Committee, May 1667 - June 1672. [edit] FamilyIn his list of "some omitted in former records being gone yet had children born here", Matthew Grant included "Captain Masen" and credited him with four children born in Windsor,[9] which are best accounted for as the daughter Ann who died in 1640, and Priscilla, Samuel and John.

The record of births of John Mason's children by his second wife was entered in Norwich vital records, even though none of the births had occurred there, with only the month and year of the birth given. The division of births between Windsor and Saybrook is based on the knowledge that Mason was in Saybrook by 1647, and on the accounting of Matthew Grant, discussed in the previous paragraph.

[edit] DescendantsJohn Mason's descendants number in the thousands today. Some of his notable descendants include;

David Brewster (journalist) is an American journalist. Diane Brewster, was an American television actress. Martha Wadsworth Brewster, (1710 - c.1757) a poet and writer and one of the earliest American female literary figures. Catherine Drew Gilpin Faust (born September 18, 1947), is an American historian, college administrator, and the president of Harvard University. James Rudolph Garfield, (October 17, 1865 – March 24, 1950) was a U.S. politician, lawyer and son of President James Abram Garfield and First Lady Lucretia Garfield. Harry Augustus Garfield, (October 11, 1863 – December 12, 1942) was an American lawyer and academic. He was the eighth president of his alma mater, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a figure in the American Old West. John Mason Kemper, was the 11th headmaster at Phillips Academy John Forbes Kerry, (born December 11, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. George Trumbull Ladd, was an American philosopher and psychologist. Brice Lalonde, is a former socialist and green party leader in France, who ran for President of France in the Presidential elections, 1981. In 1988 he was named Minister of the Environment, and in 1990 founded the Green Party Génération Ecologie. Jeremiah Mason, was a United States Senator from New Hampshire. John Sanford Mason, (August 21, 1824 – November 29, 1897) was a career officer in the United States Army who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Robert Noyce, nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley", was the inventor of the integrated circuit or microchip. Robert Charles Winthrop, was an American lawyer and philanthropist and one time Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Presbyterian scholar and author, Professor at University of Toronto and University of British Columbia. [edit] MemorialsMason's Island in Stonington, Connecticut, is named after John Mason. A statue of Major John Mason is on the Palisado Green in Windsor, Connecticut. A map of the statue's location. The John Mason statue was originally placed at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street in Mystic, Connecticut, near what was thought to be one of the original Pequot forts. The statue remained there for 103 years. After studying the sensitivity and appropriateness of the statue's location near the historic massacre of Pequot people, a commission chartered by Groton, Connecticut voted to have it relocated. The State in 1993 relocated the statue to its current setting. An article about the work of the committee can be found at [1].

[edit] See alsoRobert Seeley John Oldham [edit] References^ John, Mason. A Brief History of the Pequot War: especially of the memorable taking of their fort at Mistick in Connecticut in 1637 (Boston: S. Kneeland and T. Green 1736). ^ Venn, J.; Venn, J. A., eds. (1922–1958). "Peck, Robert". Alumni Cantabrigienses (10 vols) (online ed.). Cambridge University Press. ^ Rev. Peck was eventually forced to flee and emigrated to the then colony of Massachusetts, where he founded the town of Hingham, Massachusetts. He was joined in settling the town with other members of his parish from Hingham, England. He resided in Hingham, Massachusetts for several years, until King Charles I had been executed and Oliver Cromwell had taken the reins of government. Robert Peck then elected to return to Hingham, Norfolk, and resumed as rector of St Andrews Church. He died in Hingham but left descendants in America, including his brother Joseph Peck, who settled in Rehoboth, Massachusetts and whose descendants continued to live in the area through the twentieth century. Today's Pecks Corner in Rehoboth is named for this early family. ^ The Will of Rev. Robert Peck, father of Ann Peck, Hingham, Norfolk, England, A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Joseph Peck Who Emigrated with His Family to This Country in 1638, Ira Ballou Peck, 1868 ^ Mason, John. A Brief History of the Pequot War (1736) (annotated online electronic text edition [pdf]). ^ Pequot War Accessed January 25, 2009. ^ Connecticut State Register, 1924 Government & Military records, p. 645. ^ Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony (New Haven 1934), p. 192. ^ Grant 93

view all 23

Major John Mason's Timeline

1600
1600
England
1610
1610
Age 10
England
1630
1630
Age 30
England
1632
1632
Age 32
USA
1637
May 26, 1637
Age 37
Mystic, CT, USA

Mason & Captain Underhill set fire to Mystic Fort, killing hundreds of Pequots.

1638
March 8, 1638
- 1668
Age 38
CT, USA

Equivalent of the commander-in-chief of CT forces, responsible for training militia, stipend of 40 pounds per year.

Would hold position for 30 years.

1638
Age 38
Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
1639
July 1639
Age 39
Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
1641
October 1641
Age 41
Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
1644
July 1644
Age 44
Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony