John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's
installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is
anthropologist and collector O. T. Mason. -Editor
Otis Tufton Mason (1838-1908), PhD, L.L.D., was born the fifth of eight children, on April 10, 1838, at Eastport, Washington County, Maine,
son of John Mason (1799-1888), and Rachel Lincoln Mason (1810-1889).
Otis Tufton Mason was a remarkable American anthropologist who studied Native American Indian basketry, travel habits, and ethnological aspects of
human culture especially in numismatics. He was possibly related to Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., since his own brother was named Ebenezer Erskine Mason
(1829-1910), who was born the same year as E. L. Mason, Jr., born at Portland, Maine.
He married Sarah Elizabeth Henderson (1835-1900). They had five children : John H. Mason (1863-1864), George E. Mason (1866-1879), Emily Tufton
Mason (1868-1904), and William R. Mason (1874-1875).
In 1861, he graduated Columbia University, now George Washington University.
n 1880, he was a member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia.
He was curator of Ethnology, in the United States National Museum, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
In 1902, he was made head curator of Anthropology, the United States National Museum, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
In 1893, he published : North American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers (The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.)
He died of paralytic stroke on November 5, 1908 at Washington DC., and is buried there in Oak Hill Cemetery.
The topic of O. T. Mason came up this week when Ray Williams was searching for information on a colonial paper note pedigreed to an O. T. Mason.
John Lupia kindly furnished this bio from his files. But is it the same person? This Mason died in 1908; in 1935 Harley Freeman bought a colonial
paper collection from an O. T. Mason. Was that purchase from Mason's estate? More sleuthing is required, but this may well turn out to be our
man. Thanks, everyone. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
* * * * *
MASON, OTIS TUFTON
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