Christ Church Cemetery

Thomson Francis Mason: A Legacy of Leadership and Legal Influence

Thomson Francis Mason was born into the prestigious Mason family of Virginia in 1785. He was educated at Princeton and became a successful lawyer. He served as a judge, planter, councilman, and mayor of Alexandria. His leadership was marked by efforts to enhance the city’s infrastructure and legal framework.

Early Life and Education

Thomson Francis Mason was born in Gunston Hall, the estate of his grandfather, George Mason IV, a Founding Father of the United States. He was educated at Princeton University, where he graduated in 1804.


After graduating from Princeton, Thomson Francis Mason began a career in law. He was admitted to the bar in 1806 and practiced law in Alexandria. He also served as a judge of the Alexandria Court of Common Pleas from 1817 to 1825.

In addition to his legal career, Thomson Francis Mason was also active in politics. He served as a councilman in Alexandria from 1819 to 1823 and as mayor of the city from 1827 to 1830. He was also a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829.


Thomson Francis Mason died in Alexandria in 1838. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth Clapham Mason, and their eight children. His legacy includes his contributions to the legal system, the city of Alexandria, and the Mason family.

In memory of
Died Dec. 21, 1838
Aged 53 years.
his wife
Died May 7, 1873
Aged 71 years.
Their infant children
their daughter MATILDA E RHETT
Died Feb 22, 1871
Died April 18, 1888 
Aged 18 years
I know that my Redeemer liveth.
youngest daughter of
Born March 9, 1832
Died January 31, 1919.
Lot 89

Sources of Information

The Alexandria Association. (1956). Our Town 1749 – 1865. At Gadsby’s Tavern Alexandria, Virginia. The Dietz Printing Company.

Pippenger, W. E. (1992). Tombstone Inscriptions of Alexandria, VA (Volume 3). Family Line Publications. Westminster, Maryland.

Powell, M. G., & Pippenger, W. E. (Indexer). (2000). The History of Old Alexandria, VA, from July 13, 1749 – May 24, 1861. Westminster, Maryland: Willow Bend Books.

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By David

Hello. With a passion for bringing history to life, I serve my community as a public historian and cemetery superintendent. My journey has led me to own businesses, conduct Civil War battlefield tours and research Alexandria’s cemeteries.

Since 2015, I have had the privilege of serving as Superintendent of the historic Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium, located within Alexandria's Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. The Presbyterian Cemetery has close ties to the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, situated one mile east, where my family has worshipped for two generations. My parents are laid to rest in this cemetery, which holds a special place in my heart.

Most weekends, you can find me leading tours of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, where thirteen cemeteries are located, with over 35,000 buried. Considered one of the most historic cluster of cemeteries in the United States, I weave my enthusiasm for teaching with the stories of those interred there. I also manage a blog focused on all the cemeteries in Alexandria where the many souls buried across the city are memorialized.

In addition, I'm an active Board Member of both the Alexandria Historical Society and Lee-Fendall House Museum. As part of the Northern Virginia Cemetery Consortium, I diligently preserve endangered burial sites throughout the region.

If Alexandria’s history captivates you, I invite you to join one of my cemetery tours, read my blog on memorializing souls buried across the city’s cemeteries, or connect with me on social media. I find joy and purpose in bringing Alexandria’s rich past to life and serving my community.

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