Gunston Hall, Home of George Mason

Children of George Mason of Gunston Hall


Thomas Mason
May 1, 1770 - September 18, 1800

Like his brother John, Thomas was tutored by Rev. Buchnan. He remained with Rev. Buchnan until 1788 when he was sent to the Fredericksburg Academy. To complete his education in business Thomas boarded in Alexandria with Patrick Murray while he trained to be a merchant with William Hodgson. Following his apprenticeship, his father set Thomas up in business in Richmond. Worried over Thomas’ behavior, George Mason wrote to John in July of 1792 that:

[Thomas] wrote me a letter, some time ago, expressing his great Desire of being established in some Business upon his own Account; at the same time expressing much Disgust at the Business & Profession of Merchant; which after the time he has spent in the pursuit, and which too was his own choice; shewed a Fickleness of Disposition, & want of Steadiness, that may prove highly injurious to him…[1]

At one time George Mason was considering sending Thomas to France to work in the counting house of his brother John’s firm, Fenwick & Mason, however, George Mason died before he had made that decision. George Mason was skeptical of that course for as he wrote to John in the same letter: "…I am almost out of Conceit of sending another Son to Europe for fear of giving him a Distaste of his own Country."[2]

Thomas married Sarah Barnes Hooe in 1793 at Lexington; Sarah was the sister of his elder brother George’s wife. Thomas inherited George Mason’s lands on the lower side of the Occoquan River along with the rights to the Occoquan ferry. He apparently named the estate Woodbridge after the toll bridge he built in 1795 in place of the ferry. He had hired Theodore Burr, a talented engineer, to design the bridge. Thomas died in 1800 while serving a second term as the member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Prince William County.

For further information on Thomas Mason, see Steven Shwartzman’s Fortunate Son: Thomas Mason of Woodbridge (Prince William Co., VA: Prince William Historical Commission, 1997).



Sarah Barnes Hooe, April 22, 1793


  • Gerard Alexander Mason, 1793 - December 18, 1849

  • Leannah Mason, 1798 - 1824

  • Thomas Mason, 1800 - 1828

  • Elizabeth Mason (Betsy), ? - ?

1. Papers of George Mason, III: 1269.
2. Papers of George Mason, III: 1269.


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