Mason, John Young, 1799–1859, American statesman, b. Greensville co., Va. He studied law under Tapping Reeve at Litchfield, Conn., and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1819. Mason served in the state legislature (1823–31), in Congress (1831–37), and as a federal judge (1837–44). He was Secretary of the Navy (1844) under President Tyler, and in President Polk's cabinet he was Attorney General (1845–46) and again Secretary of the Navy (1846–49). From 1853 until his death he was minister to France, where with James Buchanan and Pierre Soulé he drew up (1854) the Ostend Manifesto.