The New Student's Reference Work/Mason, James Murray
|JAMES M. MASON|
Mason, James Murray, American jurist and statesman and Confederate commissioner to England in 1861, was born in Fairfax County, Va., Nov. 3, 1798, being a grandson of George Mason. He graduated from William and Mary College, and was admitted to the Virginia bar when 22. He served many years in the Virginia house of delegates and in the federal Congress from 1837 to 1839. He was elected senator from Virginia in 1847, and retained that place until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he cast in his lot with the seceding states. He was captured on Nov. 6, 1861, when on his way to Europe to represent the Confederacy abroad, and was held a prisoner by the federal authorities until Jan 1, 1862, when, upon the demand of the English government, he was released. His mission to England, after all, proved ineffective, although it nearly embroiled the two nations in war. Mr. Mason died near Alexandria, Va., April 28, 1871.