Major John Mason
b.by abt 1605
d.9 May-6 Jun 1672 Norwich, New London, Connecticut, United States
m. by abt 1638
Facts and Events
John Mason (c. 1600–1672) was an English Army Major who migrated to New England in 1632. Within five years he had moved west from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to settlements along the Connecticut River that would become the Connecticut Colony. Tensions there arose between the settlers and the Pequots, leading to bloodshed after the Manissean Indians on Block Island killed John Oldham in 1636.
Because the Manisseans were tributaries of the Pequot Nation, Massachusetts Bay sent an expedition, which included John Mason, to Block Island to kill the Manisseans. They were then to proceed to the Connecticut River to demand that the Pequot turn over Oldham's murderers. When the Pequot refused, the English expedition burnt wigwams and corn, initiating the Pequot War, which ended in the Mystic Massacre, which virtually destroyed the Pequot tribe.
Mason recounted his experiences in the Pequot War in his narrative Major Mason's Brief History of the Pequot War, which wasn't published until 1736. After the war, Mason became Deputy Governor of Connecticut. He and a number of others were instrumental in the founding of Norwich, Connecticut, where he died in 1672.