Mason, John, 1586–1635, founder of New Hampshire
Mason, John, 1586–1635, founder of New Hampshire, b. England. After serving (1615–21) as governor of Newfoundland, he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges received (1622) a patent from the Council for New England for all the territory lying between the Merrimack and Kennebec rivers. In 1629 they divided the grant, Mason taking as his share an area 60 mi (95 km) deep between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers, which he named New Hampshire. This grant was confirmed to him when the Council for New England surrendered its charter in 1635. Attempts by his heirs to make good their claims to this land led to long litigation. The inhabitants were finally compelled to recognize the Mason rights, which were sold (1746) by one of Mason's descendants to a group of 12 Portsmouth men, who became known as the Masonian Proprietors. They issued settlement permits and land titles in the undeveloped parts of Mason's grant. The grant was redefined by the state in 1788.
See J. W. Dean, ed., Captain John Mason (1887, repr. 1972).
Mason, John, c.1600–1672, American colonial military commander
Mason, John, c.1600–1672, American colonial military commander, b. England. He was an army officer before emigrating (c.1630) to Massachusetts and then (1635) to Windsor, Conn. When the Pequot threatened to wipe out the new colonies on the Connecticut River, he and John Underhill led an expedition (1637) against them with the aid of other Native Americans under Uncas and Miantonomo and virtually destroyed the tribe. After this campaign—generally called the Pequot War—Major Mason was a distinguished political leader in Connecticut until his death.
See his narrative of the Pequot War in A Brief History of the Pequot War (1736, repr. 1971); biography by L. B. Mason (1935).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Mason, John(c. 1600–72) soldier, public official; born in England. He emigrated to Massachusetts around 1633. Commanding militia, Mason broke the power of the Pequot Indian tribe in 1637 with an attack on an encampment at Mystic, Conn., in which more than 600 Pequots, including women and children, were slaughtered. He later served as a magistrate and as deputy governor of Connecticut.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.