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Useful Resources

For the first three weeks of this project, researchers participated in reading-intensive seminars. Below is a list of books that the ECGM team studied closely.

  • Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 by John Thornton
  • Among His Slaves: George Mason’s Struggle with Slavery by Terry K. Dunn
  • Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South by Stephanie M.H. Camp
  • Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder
  • Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South by Michael Gomez
  • Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries by Lorri Glover
  • From Calabar to Carter’s Grove: The History of a Virginia Slave Community by Lorena S. Walsh
  • George Mason, Forgotten Founder by Jeff Broadwater
  • George Mason, Reluctant Statesman by Robert A. Rutland
  • Joining Places: Slave Neighborhoods in the Old South by Anthony E. Kaye
  • Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
  • Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry by Philip D. Morgan
  • Tobacco and Slaves:The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1600-1800 by Allan Kulikoff
  • The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830-1925 by Mia Bay
  • The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia by Mechal Sobel

Additionally, listed below are other relevant books, online databases, and resources, which the ECGM team found particularly useful when researching George Mason IV and the time period in which he lived:

  1. The Five George Masons: Patriots and Planters of Virginia and Maryland  by Pamela Copeland and Richard MacMaster
  2. The Recollections of John Mason: George Mason’s Son Remembers His Father and Life at Gunston Hall by Terry K. Dunn
  3. Consource.org - Allows researchers to search for keywords and phrases in the correspondence of George Mason IV and his elite contemporaries
  4. Virginia Gazette Index - The Virginia Gazette was the official newspaper of Virginia from 1736 to 1780
  5. Probing the Past: Virginia and Maryland Probabte Records, 1740-1810
  6. Mason Family Manuscript account book  - Documents the business, professional, family, and personal accounts of Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803) and Armistead Thomson Mason (1787-1819), father and son of one of Virginia's most illustrious colonial families
  7. The Geography of Slavery in Virginia - A digital collection of newspaper advertisements announcing the escape of enslaved individuals in Virginia during the 18th century and 19th century
  8. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Database - A Web portal that provides information on more than 36,000 slave voyages
  9. Slaveryimages.org - A selection of more than 1,000 images relating to the transatlantic slave trade and the life of enslaved peoples in the Americas
  10. The Carter Family Papers - The diary, correspondence, and papers of Robert "King" Carter of Virginia, 1701-1732

Much of the scholarship on George Mason IV relies on the important documentary collection titled, The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792, Volumes 1-3 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970), compiled and edited by Robert Rutland. This impressive work remains the first stop for all researchers exploring questions related to George Mason IV, his family, his extensive landed properties and the enslaved people who made his life possible. Still, this collection is very limited. It is unclear what happened to papers that were in the possession of the Mason family at the time of George Mason IV's death. Furthermore, Rutland may not have considered the experiences of enslaved persons of Gunston Hall when compiling the records of our university namesake. As a result, significant pools of sources in court houses and other repositories have yet to be discovered. A scholar need only thumb through the index of the three-volume collection to note the absence of enslaved people.