John Young Mason (1799-1859) was born in Greensville County, Va. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and then studied law under Tapping Reeve in Connecticut. He was admitted to the bar in 1819 in Southampton County, Va., where he practiced law, married Mary Ann Fort, the daughter of a prominent planter, and became a planter himself. He served in the state legislature and in Congress where he chaired the U.S. Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was appointed judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 1837. He was the U. S. Secretary of the Navy under presidents Tyler and Polk, U.S. Attorney General under President Polk, and was appointed U.S. Minister to France in 1853, where he, along with James Buchanan and Pierre Soulé drew up the Ostend Manifesto. He died in 1859 while serving in France. John Young and Mary Ann (Fort) Mason had twelve children: Lewis Edmunds (1822-1897), John, Jr. (1823-1862), Coleman Fort (1825-1829), Elizabeth Harris (1830-1881), Frances Ann [Fanny] (1831-1908), Mary Ann [Molly] (1834-1928), Sarah Olivia [Saidie] (1837-1926), Emma (1839-1900), Susan Harriet Barksdale [Sudie] (1841-1921), St. George Tucker [Georgie] (1844-1884), Francis Key (1846-1848), and Simon Fraser Blunt Mason (1848-1921).
From the description of Papers, 1825-1902, of the Mason family of Greensville and Southampton counties, Va. (Virginia Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 496286610