Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 1,356
This is the grave of Jeremiah Mason.
Born in 1768 in Lebanon, Connecticut, Mason grew up relatively well off. He went to Yale, graduating in 1788. He decided to get his professional start in the new state of Vermont and moved there, passing the bar in 1791 and starting a practice. He eventually ended up in New Hampshire. A strong Federalist, he moved up in local politics in the Granite State, becoming the state’s attorney general in 1802. He was in that role until 1805 before returning to private practice.
In 1813, New Hampshire senator Charles Cutts resigned. Mason got the call to replace him for the rest of the term, which was until 1817. He was a pretty typical Federalist from what I can see, opposing the War of 1812, though I don’t think he was the kind of extremist who ended up in the Hartford Convention, which permanently killed the party with the stain of treason (wish that would happen to the Republican Party today, but alas). One of the only things I can see that Mason actually did was express concern with the undemocratic nature of the Electoral College. He was right about one thing at least! He was a close ally of Daniel Webster during these years, which says as much as anything about his politics.
After that term, Mason went back to New Hampshire, served in the state house a bit, and became president of the Portsmouth branch of the Bank of the United States in 1828. He was close to Nicholas Biddle and of course wildly opposed to Andrew Jackson’s idiotic ideas about banking, which destroyed the BUS. To be fair, Biddle was basically an early form of the corrupt capitalists, more or less running the Bank for the interests of his friends, which I guess to be fair was most of the industrialist interests in the nation. He also did some work when James Monroe toured New England to smooth things over between the old Federalists and the president, who was the last of the Virginia Dynasty and representative of the old order. But Monroe wanted that conciliation too. Era of Good Feelings baby!
After the BUS debacle, Mason decided to move to Boston to continue his law practice in 1832. He retired in 1838 and died there in 1848.
This post challenged my general belief that any senator’s grave is worth covering in this series…..
Jeremiah Mason is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
If you would like this series to visit other senators who were appointed in the 1813 cycle, you can cover the required expenses here. Got to be better than this post! Rufus King is in Queens and David Stone is in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previous posts in this series are archived here and here.