- Edward L. Lach, Jr.
Mason, Samuel (1750– July 1803), outlaw and pirate, was born in Virginia of unknown parents. Virtually nothing is known of his early life, although historian Samuel Draper noted that he was “connected by ties of consanguinity with the distinguished Mason family of Virginia, and grew up bad from his boyhood.” Mason first appeared in historical records during the American Revolution, during which he served as a captain in the Ohio County, Virginia (now West Virginia), militia. He fought in several engagements against Native Americans in 1777 and served at Fort Henry in the upper Ohio Valley until the autumn of 1779. Retiring from active service, he retained his captaincy in the militia until at least May 1781 and apparently also ran a tavern in the vicinity of present-day Wheeling, West Virginia....