University Libraries Acquires Mason Family Account Book

The George Mason University Libraries has acquired an important late 18th-century manuscript with handwritten entries by the George Mason family. Previously, the university owned only three single-page original documents directly related to its namesake, George Mason IV.

“The Mason family account book is not only an important historical resource, but has immense symbolic significance for Mason,” notes John Zenelis, university librarian. “We are thrilled that this important Virginiana manuscript has been repatriated, particularly to this part of the Commonwealth where the extended Mason family lived.”

The University Libraries purchased the 220-year-old Mason family account book last summer through an antiquarian dealer in Boston. The acquisition was facilitated through the generosity of the Washington and Northern Virginia Company of The Jamestowne Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the historical record of early Virginia.

The book documents the business, family and personal accounts of Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803) and his son, Armistead Thompson Mason (1787-1819), respectively the nephew and grandnephew of George Mason IV. The Virginia Historical Document Collection and the account book can be examined at the Fenwick Library on the Fairfax Campus. The Mason Family Manuscript Account Book can also be seen online.


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