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quent increase or profits thereof, and consequently not to any of the slaves that may afterwards be born or purchased, nor liable to any loss that may happen therein except such part of the common stock as may happen afterwards to fall to them by the death of some of their brothers or sisters, yet the fortunes herein given to my daughters in money are to be secured to them notwithstanding at all events, and in case of any deficiency in their said fortunes by failure of securitys or any other inevitable accident, the same is to be made good in equal proportion by all my residuary Legatees as well those who had before as those who had not received their parts out of the common stock. And I appoint my good friends the Revd. Mr. James Scott, the Revd. Mr. Lee Massey, Mr. John West jun., Colo. George Washington and Mr. Alexander Henderson (whenever it shall be necessary) to make such estimation, division and alotment to and among my several residuary legatees, and it is my Will and desire and I hereby direct and order that such estimation, division and alotment as they or any three of them shall from time to time make and give under their hands and seals, shall to all intents and purposes whatsoever be conclusive and binding upon my said residuary Legatees and their heirs. I hope they will be so charitable as not to refuse undertaking this trouble for the sake of a friend who when living would cheerfully have done them any good office in
I recommend it to my sons from my own experience in life, to prefer the happiness of independance and a private station to the troubles and vexation of publick business, but if either their own inclinations or the necessity of the times should engage them in public affairs, I charge them on a father's blessing never to let the motives of private interest or ambition induce them to betray, nor the terrors of poverty and disgrace, or the fear of danger or of death, deter them from asserting the liberty of their country and endeavoring to transmit to their posterity those sacred rights to which themselves were born.
I release and remit unto my brother Thomson Mason and his heirs forever, a certain debt of three hundred and ten pounds, four shillings and five pence sterling and nine pounds twelve shillings and four pence currency, due to me on count of money advanced for him many years ago while he
was in England, for which it was never my intention to make him answerable as will appear by an entry to that purpose in my own handwriting annexed to the account in my book. And whereas my said brother is indebted to me a further considerable sum on account of a protested bill of exchange drawn by him and of a bond I paid for him to Mrs. Bronaugh's Estate, I desire and direct my Executors not to bring any suit against him for the recovery of the said debt but to wait until he can conveniently pay the same.-I give and bequeath unto Mrs. Heath the wife of Thomas Heath of Stafford County, the sum of forty shillings sterling in first cost of goods a year, to be laid out in necessarys for her own particular use during her life, and if ever her son Mr. Richard Hewit my old schoolfellow and acquaintance from my childhood, should unfortunately be reduced to necessitous circumstances I desire and direct my Executors to supply him with necessarys for his support and maintenance out of my Estate, and I particularly recommend this care to my children if it should be necessary after they come of age.
I give to Mr. John Moncure a mourning ring of three Guineas value which I desire him to wear in memory of my esteem for my much lamented friend his deceased father. I desire my old and long tryed friends the Rev. Mr. James Scott and Mr. John West junr. each of them to accept of a mourning ring of the same value. I leave to my friend and relation the Rev. Mr. Lee Massey a mourning ring of the same value, and I entreat the favour of him to advise and assist my Executors in the direction and management of my affairs. I am encouraged to request this of him from the experience I have had myself of his good offices that way, and I am satisfied that both he and my worthy friend Mr. Cockburn will excuse the trouble I now give them, when they reflect upon the necessity that dying men are under of thus employing the care and kindness of the living which must also one day be their own case, and as the most acceptable acknowledgement I can make them, I desire them to receive out of the common stock of my Estate, the sum of ten pounds a year to be laid out by them in private charitys upon such as they shall judge worthy objects. I also give to my cousin Mrs. Cockburn a mourning ring of the same value, and desire her and my cousin Miss Bronaugh and Mr. Cockburn to accept of a suit of mourning each. Lastly, I appoint my eldest son George Mason and my good friend Mr. Martin Cockburn, Executors of this my last Will and Testament and guardians to my children until they respectively come of age. And it is my Will and desire and I hereby direct and order that no securitys shall be required of them by the court but only their own bonds taken for the performance. In Witness whereof I have to this my said last Will and testament all in my own handwriting and contained in fifteen pages set my hand and affixed my seal this 20th day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and seventy three.
(SEAL.] Signed and sealed and published and declared to be the
last Will and Testament of Mr. George Mason in our
John DAVIDSON. At a court contd. and held for Fairfax County 16th October 1792 this will was presented in court by George Mason one of the Executors therein named who made oath thereto and the same being proved by the oath of Ann Cockburn and Robert Graham is admitted to record and the said Executor having performed what the law requires in such cases a certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.
Teste P. WAGENER, CI. Cur.
IN GEORGE MASON'S WILL, AND NOW OWNED
BY HIS DESCENDANTS.
It was incorrectly stated in one of the earlier chapters of these volumnes that “Lexington " was the only one of the Mason places in Virginia now in the family. The writer had overlooked “Okeley," in Fairfax County, about six miles from Alexandria. The farms of “Okeley” and “Huntley" were both parts of the estate bequeathed by George Mason to his son, Thomson Mason, of
“ Hollin Hall.” A double ditch is still to be seen on the southern border of these two places, extending several miles from east to west, with a broad space about thirty feet wide separating the two ditches. These mark the line between the lands of George Mason and George Washington, as they were in the lives of those gentlemen. In General Washington's will, he refers “to the back line or outer boundary of the tract between Thompson Mason and myself
(now double ditching, with a post-and-rail fence thereon),” etc. And he mentions, in another place, “the new double ditch," in connection with the boundary line between “Mount Vernon” and the Mason property. In adding to his estate, he had purchased land at one time from George Mason. And among the Washington papers preserved in the Lewis and Washington families, and recently sold to autograph collectors, are three letters of George Mason, on the subject of the bounds between the Washington and Mason plantations, one written in 1768, the others in 1769. Washington adds a memorandum to the former, saying that “the lines to which this letter has reference were settled by and between Colonel Mason and myself the 19th of April, 1769 as will appear
by a survey thereof made on that day in his presence and with his approbation."
"Huntley," owned by Judge Thomson F. Mason, of “Colross," son of Thomson Mason, of “Hollin Hall,” passed out of the family some years ago.
Okeley,” which was the home of Dr. Richard Chichester Mason, another son of Thomson Mason, is still in possession of his descendants, and is the residence of Mr. Beverley Randolph Mason. The commodious dwelling-house, formerly to be seen there, however, was burned to the ground during the late war, and many valuable family papers perished in this wanton and unnecessary destruction of private property. The estate, of about seven thousand acres, is a beautiful and productive one.
A descendant of Thomas Mason, youngest son of George Mason, owns a farm in Charles County, Maryland, which may have been some of it, part of the Maryland land mentioned in the will of the second Col. George Mason. In this connection, the reader interested in the subject is referred to an article in The Critic, Richmond, Va., Oct. 22, 1888, entitled “Curious Wills in the Mason Family."
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF LUND WASHINGTON TO GENERAL
The following extract from a letter of Lund Washington to General Washington, dated “Mount Vernon," February 18, 1778, kindly furnished the author by Dr. Joseph M. Toner, while these volumes are going through the press, relates to “Conway's Cabal," which was supposed to have found supporters among members of Congress. The conversation here related gives interesting testimony to the admiration which was felt both by George Mason and Richard Henry Lee, for the genius and patriotism of the Commander-in-chief.
“Colonel Mason (who I showed your letter of the 16th of January) tells me he was informed of the cabal against you, before he left Williamsburg, and some had hinted to him that R. H. Lee was one suspected of having a hand in it, and as they knew the intimacy existing between them, begged that he would talk to Lee and discover whether anything of the sort was in agitation or not. He did so. That Lee declares no such thing or even a hint has ever been mentioned in Congress, and that he should look upon it as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befall this continent, should you by any means whatever give up the command of the army, for fully convinced he was in his own opinion no other man upon this continent was equal to the task ; that he had often lamented the heavy burden you bare, and the difficulties you had to surmount more than any man ever had before. For his part he looked upon it as one among the many favors we had received from above, that the Supreme Being had been pleased to save and protect in the most miraculous degree the only man in whom every one could confide in. Mr. Mason is of opinion it is a Tory maneuver for he thinks no friend to America can be an enemy to you, for 'by - ,' which was his expression, there is not nor ever was in the world a man who acted from a more laudable and disinterested motive than you do, and that he defied all history to show a war, begun, and carried on, under more disadvantages than the present ; nor, he would venture to affirm one that had been better conducted so far as it depended on the Commander-in-Chief, for that he had observed you had foreseen and pointed out what would be the event of all the blunders com