Thomson Mason and the Business of Slavery

DRAFT--Please do not cite at this point in time--

Thomson Mason (14 August 1733 – 26 February 1785) was an important lawyer and jurist in eighteenth century Virginia. He was the younger brother of George Mason (IV) and a fellow supporter of the patriot cause. Thomson married Mary King Barnes, the daughter of the prominent Maryland merchant Abraham Barnes, which opened up many lucrative economic opportunities for him.

One of the most important opportunities to secure his economic future was as a participant in his father-in-law's merchant enterprise which included running tobacco from the Chesapeake region to England. After leaving Liverpool the ship went to the west coast of Africa. This is where the enterprise became focused on human cargo.

This business was lucrative.

George D. Oberle III