From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Mason, John

John Mason was an escaped slave from Kentucky who became an Underground Railroad conductor. He had escaped from slavery in the 1830s when he was about 12-years old and settled in Ohio. He later worked as a waiter to pay his way through Oberlin College, graduating in the 1840s.

Soon after, he became an Underground Railroad conductor. It has been estimated that he helped more than 1,000 slaves to freedom in Canada.

Mason was later captured and returned to his owner in Kentucky, who sold him to a buyer in New Orleans. Mason later escaped, taking another slave with him, and made his way to Canada.

For more see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert, et al. [available full-text at Google Books]; and chapter 5, "Egypt's Border," in Front Line of Freedom, by K. P. Griffler.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Underground railroad from slavery to freedom
NKAA Source: Front line of freedom: African Americans and the forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Mason, John,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 29, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-11-06 18:18:25