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JOHN MERCER LIBRARY

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Compiled and written by Jim Moyer 6/23/2015, updated 1/2/2017

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JOHN MERCER, THE FATHER

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About John Mercer and his sons, and of the estate:

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The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia An Archeological and Historical Investigation of the Port Town for Stafford County and the Plantation of John Mercer, Including Data Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. Darter, C.MALOLM WATKINS – AUTHOR, Curator of Cultural History Museum of History and Technology SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION PRESS, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION · WASHINGTON, D.C. · 1968

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 1:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_1

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Click on square on top right corner. This will produce another window showing just the map. Click on the magnifying glass on left corner. Copy and paste 38.35584, -77.29104 .This will take you to location of John Mercer’s plantation on Marlborough Point.

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John Mercer’s Library

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The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia An Archeological and Historical Investigation of the Port Town for Stafford County and the Plantation of John Mercer, Including Data Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. Darter, C.MALOLM WATKINS – AUTHOR, Curator of Cultural History Museum of History and Technology SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION PRESS, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION · WASHINGTON, D.C. · 1968

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 20:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_20

Page 20quote below:

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Mercer’s diversions were few enough, nevertheless, and it is apparent that he devoted more time to reading than to gaming. In 1726 he borrowed from John Graham (or Graeme) a library of 56 volumes belonging to the “Honble Colo Spotswood”[59] (Appendix E). Ranging from the Greek classics to English history, and including Milton, Congreve, Dryden, Cole’s Dictionary, “Williams’ Mathematical Works,” and “Present State of Russia,” they were the basis for a solid education. That they included no lawbooks at a time when Mercer was preparing for the law is an indication of his broad taste for literature and learning.

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Marlborough, we can see, was occupied by a young man of talent, energy, and creativity. He alone, of the many men who had envisioned a center of enterprise on Potomac Neck, was possessed of the drive and the simple directness to make it succeed. For George Mason and the Waughs, Mercer was the ideal solution for their Marlborough difficulties.

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John Mercer’s Library List of books:

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 198:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_198

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This library was so large and reknown that there is a Mercer Library at George Mason University dedicated to the library that helped educate George Mason.

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JOHN MERCER

connection to

GEORGE MASON

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George Mason who?

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He’s one of the 3 at the constitutional convention who wouldn’t sign, because not enough about any bill of rights was in this document. He is the name sake of George Mason University and the library at that school was named Mercer Library for John Mercer.

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Ironically and severely so, he is the grandfather of James Murray Mason author of the fugitive slave act living at Selma across from the Rite Aid on Amherst St Winchester VA.

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So this George Mason had the help of being raised by John Mercer whose son, the main subject of this page, George Mercer was 7 years younger than George Mason. Both had access to one of the largest libraries in Virginia at the time, John Mercer’s library.

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FROM WIKIPEDIA ON GEORGE MASON (IV):

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On March 5, 1735, George Mason III died when his boat capsized while crossing the Potomac. His widow Ann would raise their son George (then 9) [which is George Mason (distinguished as the IV for disambiguation purposes] [while our George – George Mercer, the main subject of this whole page, was only 2 years old at the time] and two younger siblings as co-guardian with lawyer John Mercer [who had married Catherine Mason, daughter of George Mason II and his 2nd wife… George Mason III was the son of George Mason II and his first wife. Thus Catherine Mason was a half sister to George Mason III] . She selected property at Chopawamsic Creek (today in Prince William County, Virginia) as her dower house and there lived with her children and administered the lands that her elder son would control upon reaching his 21st birthday.[12]

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In 1736, George began his education with a Mr. Williams, hired to teach him for the price of 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of tobacco per annum. George’s studies began at his mother’s house, but the following year, he was boarded out to a Mrs. Simpson in Maryland, with Williams continuing as teacher through 1739. By 1740, George Mason was again at Chopawamsic, under the tutelage of a Dr. Bridges. Mason’s biographers have speculated that this was Charles Bridges, who helped develop the schools run in Britain by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and who came to America in 1731. In addition, Mason and his brother Thomson doubtlessly had the run of Mercer’s library, one of the largest in Virginia, and the conversations of Mercer and the book-lovers who gathered around him were likely an education in themselves.[12]

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Mercer was a brilliant man of strong opinions, who expressed his views in ways that sometimes gave offense; Mason proved similar in brilliance of mind and ability to anger.[10] George Mason attained his majority in 1746, and continued to reside at Chopawamsic with his siblings and mother.[13]

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