MASON, EBENEZER LOCKE, JR

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

PART 1
Excerpts from an unpublished manuscript. 

Fig. 1. Photograph of Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., as it appeared in Mason’s Numismatic Gallery, a photographic plate of 48 numismatists, in Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine, February, 1869. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

            Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., did not like the name Ebenezer and preferred to be called Eben, or Edward, or Ned. The majority of the documents of his life use these various names in place of Ebenezer. 

Along his unusual career he evolved from being a tailor and saddler, to a poet, dime novelist and journalist, activist in the Order of the Lone Star, showman, entertainment agent, aeronautic engineer and pilot, Civil War soldier, United States Special Agent for the Department of the Interior who recovered the stolen Washington relics, musical song writer and publisher, photographer for carte de visite, curio shop owner, occasional book publisher, coin and stamp dealer, to the first full-time coin and stamp dealer who published a monthly coin and stamp magazine that ultimately folded after twenty-four years though he continued his coin business until his death as one of America’s leading numismatic authorities. There was never a dull moment in the life of Ebenezer, who was a high energy, driven and highly industrious and intellectually active personality. He knew many famous Americans including one of his oldest friends Edward Zane Carroll Judson popularly known as Ned Buntline, Buffalo Bill Cody, Professor Thaddeus Lowe, President Abraham Lincoln, Joseph J. Mickley.

Among numismatists he is best known for his coin magazine, photographic gallery of American coin collectors, coin price lists, contributions to coin journals and books, public debates and coin auction catalogs. However, Ebenezer is also well known among the students, scholars and researchers of magic and ventriloquism for his work in this field.  He is also well known as the editor, personal friend, and traveling companion of Ned Buntline, a showman and American original, who made wild west and rifle shooting shows, and Buffalo Bill famous. American literature students, scholars and researchers know him for his colorful stories published in Ned Buntline’s Own, under his favorite nom de plume, “Our Ned”. During the presidential election of 1864 Ebenezer continued publishing songs, music and lyrics under the pseudonym “Our Ned,” and are very famous to American historians, especially his Lincoln Songster. He is also famous as a pioneer balloonist and was active as an aeronaut during the Civil War. He is also famous as the man who was hired by the Department of the Interior to restore the stolen Washington relics during the Civil War, and did it.     

Working on a traveling exhibition he purchased thousands of coins throughout the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada and resold them to two coin dealers, A. C. Kline, and Edward Cogan, and to the collectors Dr. Montroville Wilson Dickeson, and Joseph Napoleon Tricot Levick, all fellow residents of Philadelphia. At last, Mason became a full-time coin dealer opening a shop at 434 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, where he published a monthly magazine devoted to the hobbies of coins, postage stamps and other collectibles such as minerals, rare books, autographs, paper money, Indian relics, fossils, memorabilia and anything considered a novelty or curiosity fashionable at that time for hobbyists forming a collectors’ cabinet.  He began publishing his hobby magazine during the early Reconstruction Period in April 1867, on the second anniversary of the end of the Civil War.  Consequently his publications are an invaluable primary resource for American historians, researchers and specialists in the Reconstruction Period, American literature, American archaeology and anthropology, American numismatics, U. S. and foreign philatelics, dealers and collectors of rare books, autographs, paper money, Indian relics and Americana.  Subscribers to Mason’s publications were from coast-to-coast and included several foreign countries: Canada, England and Malta, and included many prominent numismatists. The correspondence published monthly reveals a wide range of demographic diversity among the subscribers clearly exhibiting that the subject matter appealed to men, women and young adults from diverse socio-economic backgrounds throughout the country. Mason launched his mass media vehicle transforming the realm of hobbies, where wealthy and poorer classes alike both enjoyed what was formerly considered a king’s pass time for recreational amusement, fun and enjoyable enthusiastic study.

    

Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr. (1826-1901), was born on March 21, 1826, son of Ebenezer Locke Mason, Sr. (1801-), and Mary Scott Cobbe (1803-), at Portland, Cumberland County, Maine. He is a direct descendant of John Mason (1644-1729) a native of Watertown, Massachusetts.

He went to the Latin School on Exchange Street, Portland, where he studied and learned Classics, especially about Roman coins as was typical for all schoolboys at that time. His education from the Portland Latin school gave him the necessary background to enjoy ancient Roman coins as well as possessing a well rounded knowledge of Latin that occasionally surfaces in his publications.  In the very first issue of Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine, Ebenezer chose for his magazine’s motto the Latin dictum : Multum in parvo, which literally means, “much in little,” or “much in something small,” but can also be translated as, “small but significant,” or “brief but profound,” or “much conveyed in few words”, or “much said in a small space,” since it is a rhetorical figure of speech applied to economy in the art writing.  Walter Breen, , Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia, 169, 199, tells us, “The term "Classic Head" is credited to Ebenezer Locke Mason Jr., who proposed it in his hobby periodical, Mason's Coin and Stamp Collector's Magazine, in 1868. The "classical" connection is the fillet, or narrow headband, a device which dates back to ancient Greece. But the parallelism is flawed, for only young male athletes wore fillets in ancient times: They were prizes awarded to winners of local sporting competitions.”
Ebenezer mentions his old neighborhood in that same February 1872 issue of Mason’s Coin Collectors’ Magazine, mentioning Congress Street, Pleasant Street, Fore Street. He also mentions Clay Cove, and Pooduck, two communities annexed to Portland. Pooduck was the nickname the locals used for the village Purpooduck Point at the mouth of the Casco River.

Ebenezer’s father Ebenezer Mason, Sr., owned a clothing store at 195 Fore Street, along the wharves of Portland Harbor, and his residence on King Street.

About 1834, the Mason family moved to Philadelphia, where Ebenezer Mason, Sr., opened a saddlery business.

In his own words Mason tells us that when he was eighteen years old he moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1844. “In 1844 the writer resided on Baltimore Street, near High Street—just over the bridge, and here we first met Dr. De Bonneville, the famous antiquarian and public lecturer, who appeared in Masonic Hall, St. Paul Street, and with whom we spent many happy hours.” (Mason’s Coin Collectors’ Herald, Vol. II, No. 4, March (1881) : 26a).

Mason then moved to Troy, New York for a brief period. 

“During the year 1855 the writer was employed in the counting room of Mr. Newell, Commission Merchant, Front street below Chestnut, this city, and in the same building was the firm of Freeman & Simpson, who employed the well-known numismatist, J. N. T. Levick, as chief book-keeper. Here, for the first time, met two individuals, who in their own way have made considerable stir in the coin line; one as a private collector, the other as a public dealer, and the two have been friends to this day and had and have now considerable business dealings in a numismatic way. One of these individuals we familiarly term “Jo,” and the other “Ned,” for the sufficient reason that these were the “short” for their rather long front names, and were theirs by right of possession and usage. When these two youths first met neither had any special predilection for old coins, but were rather inclined to social enjoyments, in which the fair sex was an important factor. About a year subsequent to this acquaintance Ned “was on the road,” as showman say, with a public exhibition, and Jo remained at his post posting away at his accounts, and when the two met again both had become interested in coins; Jo as a collector, Ned as a speculator. The first interview after a year’s separation occurred in 1856 in front of the general post-office, then in Dock Street, this city. Jo had the nucleus of a prospective large coin cabinet, in a few choice pieces, and Ned had gathered some old coppers and silver coins during his peregrination as a showman.” (”Personal Numismatic Reminiscences, No. 2., Numismatic Chums,” Mason’s Coin Collector’s Magazine, Vol. IV, No. 2, September (1882) : 25-27). He worked for an Albany showman “Wyman the Magician” Wyman, Wizard and Ventriloquist until September 1861. 

In 1856 Ebenezer was already actively collecting old coppers and other old curious coins and sold them as a dealer for profit. We learn from him that his first customer, or at least numbered amongst them, was Joseph N. T. Levick. Ebenezer was well aware that collecting old coins for fun and profit was an already existing craze and he neither let this golden opportunity escape him nor pass him by. 

Also, late in that same year a man by the name of Ryan, probably identical with Charles Ryan, had visited Edward Cogan, a dealer in art works and books in Philadelphia, and while there sold him an electrotype of an old colonial Washington Cent of 1792 for twenty-five cents.

In 1856, Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., married Lavinia (1833-1883). They had five children.

In the late 1850’s he compiled a book on the history of magic tricks and ventriloquism. Edward Mason Jr. (Our Ned), Ventriloquism Made Easy. Also, an Exposure of Magic, and the Second Sight Mystery. The Complete History and Exposure of Ventriloquism (Philadelphia: Wyman the Wizard, Publisher, 1860). 


Fig. Mason's 1860 Campaign Song, "Rally Round the Cause Boys". Note he did sell medals, etc. in 1860 at his first shop rented from his landlord, Dr. Montroville Wilson Dickeson.

Beginning in December 1861 Ebenezer served in the United States Balloon Corps, Army of the Potomac during the Civil War as an aeronaut, constructing, piloting and surveillance of air balloons. He served under Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe (1833-1913)
who was put in charge of the aeronaut corps.

Fig. Photograph taken from an unpublished manuscript on Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr.,  by John N. Lupia, III.

John Palmer Usher (1816-1889), sometime after March 1862, when Lincoln asked him to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior, is the the time when he hired Ebenezer to recover the stolen Cincinnati set of dishes and other relics that belonged to George Washington.

 


            In April of 1867 he began publishing Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine.
Fig. 
Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. 

Perhaps the earliest known mailing of Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., sent to Frank DeWette Andrews, postmarked July 6, 1867. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. 

             Ebenezer’s first known business partner in the coin trade was established probably in mid January 1868 and officially announced by Ebenezer in an article “Our Associate Partner” in the February 1868 issue of Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine. Ebenezer took on a business partnership with George H. Wells of Boston, Massachusetts, who moved to Philadelphia in January 1868. Mason & Wells moved into a new building near where Edward Cogan’s coin stand had been prior to his move to New York. His new address on the Westside of Philadelphia was at 50 North 10th Street below Arch. 

            From October 28th-29, 1868 he held his first coin auction sale, the collection of Joseph Colvin Randall. The sale realized $1,294.45. Edward Cogan bitterly criticized Ebenezer Mason’s catalog of the Randall collection engaging the two in a long drawn out verbal battle for more than a year. 

Fig. Mason's business envelope sent to Joseph N. T. Levick, written November 28, 1868, postmarked Dispatched, Philadelphia, November 30, 1868. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. 

John W. Haseltine was the treasurer of Mason & Co., mining companies located at 506 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Haseltine was the second business partner of Ebenezer Locke Mason. 

Ebenezer was a pioneering numismatist, who, wanted to establish a documented history of numismatists of his era, something quite novel at the time. One of the great achievements for which modern numismatists and researchers are most appreciative is the famous Daguerreotype plate created by Benjamin F. Reimer, as a commission by Ebenezer for Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine, and published in February 1869. This photograph is something unique historically for February 1869, and was ahead of its time anticipating the first photographically illustrated numismatic coin auction catalogue in June 1869 catalogued by Ed Cogan, and anticipating by 25 years, the first group-photograph of numismatists at the American Numismatic Association convention in Detroit, Michigan, 1894. 

Fig. MASON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC GALLERY OF COIN COLLECTORS. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. 


            The second partnership, which was to fund a Coin and Stamp Depot in New York was first met with a mishap when the gentleman (Leon W. Durbin, St. Louis, Missouri) had a near fatal accident with a dumb bell being struck in the head at his temple with a near fatal blow. Durbin ran the stamp department for one year ending on April 1, 1870. In April 1869 Leonidas W. Durbin becomes a partner taking control of the stamp department of the Magazine in May 1869.

 

          To be continued  . . . 

V. NEW YORK PERIOD 1847-1854

 

 

Ebenezer is reported by Haydon to have lived in Troy, New York, sometime prior to 1860.[1] This is corroborated to some extent by Lyman Haynes Low in his obituary of Eben Mason published in the January 1902 issue of American Journal of Numismatics. “He was a resident in New York for some time previous to 1860 [2]. . .”

 

 

Col. Edward Zane Carroll Judson, nicknamed Ned..



[1] Frederick Stansbury Haydon, Aeronautics in the Union and Confederate Armies: With a Survey of Military Aeronautics Prior To 1861. Flight : Its First Seventy-Five Years Series. (Arno Press, 1979) : 264

[2] American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3, January (1902) : 95


In 1836, Edward Zane Carroll Judson, earned a U.S. Navy midshipman's commission at age fifteen.  From his seamanship he earned the nickname “Buntline,” a nautical term for a rope at the bottom of a square sail, a position he probably held aboard ships. Hence, Edward, nicknamed “Ned,” became “Ned Buntline,” thereby identifying him as the seaman who is always found adjusting and tying the rope at the bottom of a square sail. After his Navy career he became a publisher of adventure stories in his own magazine bearing the title of his nickname :  Ned Buntline's Magazine. This periodical began publication at Cincinnati but was discontinued after a short run. After moving to New York, his action stories appeared nearly monthly in Knickerbocker Magazine beginning in March 1845 under the penname Ned Buntline, his first piece, “A Race on the Bahama Banks.” He will track down and capture two fugitive murderers in Kentucky next year, publish the sensational Ned Buntline's Own at Nashville, be arrested the following year for shooting and killing the husband of his alleged mistress, somehow survive an actual lynching, and thereafter reestablish Ned Buntline's Own at New York (see Astor Place Theater riot, 1849; religion [Know-Nothing Party], 1854).

 

In 1845 he founded in Nashville Ned Buntline's Own, a sensational magazine. After being lynched (1846) for a murder, but secretly cut down alive and released, he went to New York City, where he resumed the magazine. He led a mob in the Astor Place riot of 1849 against the English actor Macready. In the 1850s he turned up in St. Louis as an organizer of the Know-Nothing movement. After 1846 Buntline wrote more than 400 action novels, forerunners of the dime novels. Typical are The Mysteries and Miseries of New York (1848)

 

From 1846 to 1855 he was the associate editor of Ned Buntline’s Own.

 

 

“We are glad to be able to state, that our apprehensions in regard to the death of Mr. Judson, (our ' Ned Buntline,') had not at the last advices been realized. He writes us himself, under date of ' Nashville, April 10th,' although in a faltering hand, as follows : ' Your April number has just reached me ; and I bastea to tell you that I am worth ten ' dead' men yet, and hope to be ready, in two or three months, to ' go it' for ' the whole of Oregon.' I expect to leave here for the East m three or four days. I cannot yet rise from my bed ; my left arm and leg are helpless, and my whole left side is badly bruised. Out of twenty -three shots, all within ten steps, the pistols several times touching my body, I was slightly hit by thirtr only. I fell forty-seven feet three inches, (measured,) on hard, rocky ground, an*d not a bone cracked ! Thus Gou told them I was innocent. As God is my judge, I never wronged Robert Purtcrfield. My enemies poisoned his ears, and foully belied me. I tried to avoid harming him, and calmly talked with him while he fired three shots at me, each shot grazing my person. I did not fire till I saw that he was determined to kill me, and then I fired but once. Gross injustice has been done me in the published descriptions of the affair. As soon an I can sit up, I shall publish a full account of the entire affray. I shall not be tried ; the grand jury have set, and no bill has been found against me. The mob was raised by and composed of men who were my enemies on other accounts than the death of Porterfield. They were the persons whom I used to score in my little paper, ' Ned Buntline's Own.' I saw but one respectable man among them. The rope did not break; it was cut by a friend. I believe I acted calmly and bravely through the whole scene ; my enemies say so, at least. Mr. Porterfield was a brave, good, but rash and hasty man ; and deeply, deeply do I regret the necessity of his death. His wife is as innocent as an angel. No proof has ever been advanced that 1 ever touched her band. I am faint and weak from this exertion in writing to you, and must close.' We have given the foregoing to the public without request, and without the permission of the writer. It seems but just that one who was so conspicuous an actor in Ihe sad events heretofore recorded, should at least have the opportunity of asserting bis innocence. It could hardly be denied to him by an enemy. We look to see ' Ned' hereafter ' a better and a wiser man.' ... It is very curious, the manner in which cant terms, of 110 particular meaning in themselves, in their origin or their application, become perpetuated in a metropolitan community. Who can trace the common phrase of ' He is n't any thing else ?' Who, at any rate, observes any fitness in its use, in nine cases out of ten, in which it is employed ? The first time we ever heard the phrase used was while the last Democratic Presideutial Convention was in session at Baltimore. ' Do you think Van Buren will get the nomination?' asked a Whig of a prominent Democrat. ' Get the no-mi-na-tion ?' was the reply; ' he won't get nothing else ." ' No, you 're right, he won't,' answered his antagonist; ' you 've hit the truth »nce in your life, any how!' Since that period, however, the term has become almost a ' household word' in the city. A correspondent tells us that at a wedding the other day at which an acquaintance of his officiated, the Justice who performed the marriage ceremony said to the bridegroom, ' Will you have this woman to bo your wedded wife ?' to which he answered, with a smile on his lip peculiar to ' one of the bo-hoys,' ' / won't hate, nobody else." The reply of his bride to the kindred query was not less specific and characteristic : ' Will you take this man to be your lawful husband?' said the Justice ; to which she responded, with breathless haste,' Yes, Sir-ree." . Mk. Willis, in one of his pleasant and graphic sketches of real life in London society, gives us the following language as corning from the lips of a titled lady, who had become weary of the routine of fashionable gayety in the metropolis: ' You need not be reminded what London is; how wearisome its round of well-'bred gayeties ; how heartless and cold its fashionable display. Providence, I think, has confined to a comparatively low level the hearty and joyous sympathies of our nature ; and it avenges the humble, that the proud, who rise above them, rise also above the homely material for happiness. An aristocrat I am doomed to be! I am, if I may so express it, irrevocably pampered, and must live and associate with the class in which I have been thrown by accident and education. But how inexpressibly tedious to me is the round of such a life, the pains I have here taken to procure a respite from it, may perhaps partially convey to you. It is possible, probable indeed, that I entertain at my house people who envy me the splendors I dispense, yet who are themselves happier than I. To young people, for whom it is a novelty; to lovers, whose happiness is wholly separable from all around

 

The Knickerbocker, Vol. XXVII (1846) : 466-467

 

 

On July 22, 1848, appeared the first number of the revived Ned Buntline's Own, issued in New York City as a weekly, nationalistic paper

 

NEW-YORK DAILY TRIBUNE, July 4, 1859 Pg. 4 report: The Great Balloon Voyage The Journey Eastward Almost In Lake Erie Safe Arrival At Troy

 

According to Haydon, Mason joined the balloon corps in December 1861. He worked for an Albany showman “Wyman the Magician” Wyman, Wizard and Ventriloquist until September 1861. He appeared in Fredericksburg, VA, November 3, 1860. newspaper article on page 43. John Wyman, Jr (1816-1881)

The Order of the Lone Star of the Lopez Expeditions to Cuba 1848-1851

“Lone Star, a secret society formed in 1848, in Alabama and other southern states of the North American Union, for the " extension of the institutions, power, influence, and commerce of the United States over the whole of the western hemisphere, and the islands of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans." The first acquisitions to be made by the order were Cuba and the Sandwich Islands.”[1]


[1] Haydn's Dictionary of Dates and Universal Information Relating to All Ages (New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904 : 762

 
MORE EXCERPTS . . .


“One of his most intimate acquaintances, Mr. E. Locke Mason, who was associate editor of Ned Buntline's Own,—and who, in 1888, married Col. Judson's widow—thus alludes to the characteristics and eccentricities of the novelist: "Ned's life was one continuous series of sensations, almost from the cradle to the grave, and I verily believe he kicked off the coverlets from his little cradle, and fought against the rigid rules of decorum with all the earnestness of a baby monarch. Sensations upon sensations, riots, shootings, speeches, duels, prisons— north and south—travels, dramas, yachts, wars, adventures and a thousand condiments of this character, go together to spice a life that will furnish a dish for lovers of wild scenes among Indians, rough experiences at sea and startling episodes ashore. I am familiar with Ned's early history, and more particularly his private life, if he had any, which I doubt. He was the hero of a hundred fights and the victim of a hundred wrongs. The world, always coldly critical, judges of results and does not analyze the motives of men. Ned's follies and foibles were not concealed by any mask of hypocrisy, but were all on the surface, to be seen and criticised, while his inherent goodness and tenderness of heart could be appreciated by the favored few. He was, as all knew, careless and reckless in his habits. He never saved a book, a sketch, a scrap or a story of his own composition as long as I was his companion and correspondent. Moving constantly—in war or peace—new homes romantic abodes; fishing or hunting orating on temperance with a sad experience of the opposite extreme, fighting Mexicans, Indians or "rebels" on the plains, among the miners on the Golden Shores; anywhere, everywhere—leaving all articles identified with his every movement, whenever he happened to move. The mementoes of friends, loved pictures of relatives, camp tools and equipage, guns, pistols, swords, clothes trunks and boxes innumerable—all, all dropped behind or left with a friend, or where he last plied his pen, shot his gun, or spent his eloquence. Flags, banners, letters, gifts from institutions he had originated and individuals he had benefited; household effects, in fact every personal effect, of whatever name or nature, left to fate, while he pushed on in the restless manner of one who had a mission to perform, and would accomplish it at all hazards, if he came out naked in the end. Thus was lost to us, to his friends, to history, to posterity—all or nearly all of the data and incidents of his sensational life; which, added to what is of public record, would have made a remarkable book."[1]

 

1859

 

 

“While making a coin speculating tour of the chief cities and towns of North Carolina, during the year 1859, we visited the charming little village of Charlotte and its neighboring gold mines.”

“Reminiscences of a Coin Collector” (Mason), (No. 5) No. 8, November (1867) : 70b-71a;



[1] Frederick Eugene Pond, “Will Wildwood,” Life and Adventures of "Ned Buntline" With Ned Buntline's Anecdote of “Frank Forester” And Chapter of Angling Sketches (New York : Cadmus Book Shop, 1919) : 46-48.




MORE EXCERPTS . . .



The first lacuna appears to be attributable to Ebenezer’s involvement as manager of Ned Buntline’s (Edward Zane Carroll Judson) theatrical tour, “The Scouts of the Prairie, written by Ned and starring himself, along with Buffalo Bill Cody and others.”[1] However, this is not exclusively the case. First, the show did not open in December 1872 at Philadelphia, but rather, in Chicago. So, Ebenezer was not immediately drawn into the management of the show but later on. As he tells us in his own words : “in the winter of 1872 and ’73, business troubles commenced throughout the United States. The subsequent failure of Jay Cooke, added fuel to the flame, and the underpinning of wealth, moderate incomes, and remunerative labor, was knocked aslant, causing ruin, wretchedness and want in many households. Of course, our favored hobby, numismatics, suffered in common during the general wreck and shrinkage, which occurred. Coin dealers “caved” in common with other trades, numismatic and other scientific journals went “to the wall,” and not finding support on that “lay,” sputtered and weakened and finally “gave up the ghost.” In fact, there wasn’t a “ghost of a chance” for the bread winners of our country “to make two ends meet,” unless we except our friend Cook, of Boston, who combined the business of cobbling and coin dealing. Is it any wonder that Mason’s Coin Collectors’ Magazine bowed to the inevitable? We think not.”[2]

 

 

The failure of Jay Cooke & Co., on September 18, 1872 precipitated the Stock Market crash of 1872 to 1873.  Coin collectors no longer could afford to buy coins or coin periodicals and Ebenezer was hit with that loss necessarily seeking secondary sources of income outside the scope of numismatics.

 



[1] D. R. R. Pepper, “Eben . . .”, 8

[2] E. L. Mason, “Then and Now” Our Second Bow,” Mason’s Coin Collectors’ Herald Vol. I, No. 1, June (1879) : 4a;

 

MORE EXCERPTS . . .


“Another clipping from the Mirror, dated July 31, 1888, deserves to be quoted at length : Capt. E. Locke Mason, of Boston, it seems was an old chum of the late Col. Judson, served with him in the late Civil War, and was associated with him in the publication of Ned’s famous newspaper “Ned Buntline’s Own,” besides being an active member of the unfortunate “Lone Star” organization of Cuba and General Lopez notoriety. Was associated with Buntline in various American [patriotic] orders with which he was connected, and manager of various dramatic temples in Philadelphia and elsewhere during Ned’s tour of the United States [in 1872 and 1873] . . . Since the Col.’s decease Mason has been attending to the business matters connected with “Eagle’s Nest,” and is now writing the Col.’s biography.”[1]

 

The announcement is made by Eastern journals of the marriage of Mrs. Anna F. Judson, widow of Col. Edward Z. C. Judson—best known to fame as " Ned Buntline." The bridegroom is Mr. E. Locke Mason, of Boston, an old-time friend and co-laborer of the deceased novelist, in the palmy days of Ned Buntline's Own. Mr. Mason is a graphic writer, and is at present engaged in preparing a biography of his late friend, " Ned Buntline," whose library, and bric-a-brac are soon to be sold at public auction in new York City. The " Eagle's Nest," the celebrated home of the novelist, in the highlands of Delaware county, N. Y., will pass into other hands, as Mr. Locke and his bride are to reside in Boston. 



[1] D. R. R. Pepper, “Eben . . .”, 7-8



MORE EXCERPTS . . .

Ebenezer contributed an essay on the life of Col. Edward Zane Carroll Judson in the series “Life and Adventures of Ned Buntline” in the July 1888 issue of Frederick Eugene Pond’s (1856-1925) periodical, Wildwood’s Magazine, An Illustrated Monthly of Out-door Recreation, Vol. 1, May – October 1888




LXIX. FOURTH PHILADELPHIA PERIOD

1890 – MASON RETURNS TO PHILADELPHIA

 

The December 1890 issue of Mason’s Coin Collector’s Magazine shows the address of Mason & Company, Coin Dealers, No. 111 Juniper Street, Philadelphia, PA.  We still see his third wife Anna Fuller Mason cited as the publisher. Anna Fuller, the daughter of John W. Fuller and Sarah Fuller, of Stamford, New York was previously married to Edward Zane Carroll Judson, also known as Ned Buntline, on October 3, 1871.[1] Ned Buntline died on July 16, 1886. She was born circa 1853, and died January 15, 1917. Ebenezer’s stepson is Edward Zane Carroll Judson, Jr born May 19, 1881; died August 11, 1894.

 

[24] December 1890- March 1891, 111 South Juniper Street, Philadelphia [second block south of City Hall between Drury and Sansom Streets]

 

1891 FIFTH PARTNER - ANNA FULLER MASON

 

M-XIV, No. 1, March (1891) : 7

 

Lacunae :

I.               November 1872-May 1879 

II.             October 1882-May 1884

III.            June 1885-May 1890

IV.         April 1891 – September 1901

 

 

Suicide Attempt

 

“A Philadelphian’s Mad Deed” this was the headline that ran during the week of November 20, 1891 in a news report about the failed attempted suicide by Ebenezer.



[1] Stamford Mirror, October 10, 1871

 


“A WELL-KNOWN COIN DEALER ATTEMPTS SUICIDE. Philadelphia, Nov. 20.—Eben Locke Mason, fifty years old, one of the best known coin dealers in the country, made a desperate attempt to end his life by cutting his throat at home at 6 o’clock this morning. He was removed to the German Hospital, where the physicians said at noon that he could not live through the afternoon. The cause for the attempted self-destruction is not known. His domestic and business affairs are said to have been of the most pleasant. He is the publisher of the “Coin Dealers’ Monthly,” a paper devoted to numismatics. When George B. Evans compiled the history of the mint, Mason made him and furnished a grist of valuable information.” New York Tribune, Saturday, November 21, 1891, page 1

 

“PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 20.—Eben Locke Mason, aged fifty years, one of the best known coin dealers in the country, made an attempt to end his life by cutting his throat this morning. The cause for the deed is not known. He is the publisher of the Coin Dealers’ Monthly, a paper devoted to numismatics. When George B. Evans compiled the history of the mint, Mason made him and furnished a grist of valuable information.” Chicago Herald, Saturday, November 21, 1891, page 13


EBEN MASON’S DESPONDENCY

 

Coupled With Illness, It Leads to a Suicidal Attempt.

 

Eben L. Mason, 50 years old, of 2314 North Seventeenth street, attempted suicide yesterday morning at his home by cutting his throat with a razor. Shortly after 6 o’clock, when his wife awoke, he was missing from the room. She arose and found him on the floor of the bath room, in a pool of blood, with the razor clasped in his right hand. He was taken to the German Hospital, where his wounds were dressed.” Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, November 21, 1891, page 1



* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Auctions :

[01] October 28th-29, 1868
[02] April 13-15, 1869
[03] June 9, 1869
[04] September 6-8, 1869
[05]  September 27-28, 1869, 1st New York Sale
[06] October 13, 1869
[07] October 18-19, 1869
[08] November 16-17, 1869
[09] December 1, 1869
[10] December 21, 1869
[11] December 22, 1869
[12] May 19, 1870
[13]  June 17, 1870
[14] October 4-7, 1870
[15] February 16-17, 1871
[16] September 5-6, 1871
[17] November 7, 1871
[18] January 31, 1872
[19] April 8-10, 1872
[20] October 5-7, 1880
[21] October 19-21, 1880
[22] October 20, 1886, 1st Boston Sale
[23]  December 21, 1886
[24] February 15, 1887
[25] May 17, 1887
[26] November 8, 1887
[27] January 10, 1888
[28] April 24, 1888
[29] December 24, 1888, 8th Boston Sale
[30] April 9, 1889
[31] June 27, 1889
[32] October 29, 1889
[33]  January 16, 1890
[34] March 12, 1890
[35] May 14, 1890
[36] June 18, 1890 15th Boston Sale




Bibliography :

American Journal of Numismatics
Numisma
John Tiffany, The Stamp Collector’s Library Companion, no. 7
The Numismatist

J. L. L. Earl of Crawford, Bibliotheca Lindesiana

Lorraine S. Durst,
John Weston Adams,
Martin Gengerke,
Charles Davis,
The Asylum
Remy Bourne, American Numismatic Periodicals 1860 -1960 (Minneapolis, Minnesota : Ramm Communications, 1990) : 1865-16-19








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