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Papers of James N. Mason

 Collection
Identifier: RH WL MS 41

Overview

James N. Mason has been a notable member of the National Socialist and White Supremacist movements in the United States. This collection contains his personal papers generated from four decades of political activism.

Dates

  • 1900 - 2011

Creator

Language of Materials

English; German; Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of James Nolan Mason

James Nolan Mason was born on July 25, 1952 and grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio. At the age of 14, he began exploring white supremacist ideology and joined the Youth Movement of George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party (ANP). Mason left school at the age of sixteen to work at the ANP's headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. After Rockwell was murdered in 1967, the ANP underwent several permutations and shifts in leadership. Mason remained active in neo-Nazi politics and affiliated himself with the National Socialist White People's Party (NSWPP) - the successor of the ANP - and the National Socialist Liberation Front (National Socialist Liberation Front (NSLF), led by Joseph Tommasi. Mason returned to Ohio and continued his political agitation and activism.

In 1980, Mason took over writing and publishing Siege, the monthly National Socialist periodical of the NSLF. Although the NSLF became defunct by 1982, Mason continued producing Siege until 1986. During this time Mason began corresponding with Sandra Good and Lynette Fromme, two of Charles Manson's incarcerated followers. He eventually exchanged letters with Charles Manson himself and, along with the convicted killer, founded a movement called Universal Order. Unlike other National Socialist groups, Mason intended for Universal Order to be a self-sustaining ideological philosophy rather than a physical organization with members and buildings. Unlike more traditional Nazi groups that advocate political or armed struggle to achieve their objectives, Mason's preference through Universal Order was merely to wait for 'the system' to consume and destroy itself from within.

Although Mason ceased communicating with Manson by the late 1980s, he continues to hold the convict and his world view in high esteem. More conservative elements of the white power movement were displeased with Mason's idolatry of the killer, which has resulted in a sometimes acrimonious relationship between Mason and his fellow National Socialists.

In 1993, Mason moved to Colorado where he spent much of the decade writing and self-publishing. The entire run of Siege was collected and published in a single volume in 1992, followed by a second edition in 2003.

Extent

59.75 Linear Feet (61 boxes + 9 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Scope and Contents

The James Nolan Mason collection contains the personal papers of James Mason, dating from the mid 1960s. The majority of material consists of correspondence between Mason and other members of white supremacist and national socialist organizations throughout the world. Included is Mason's correspondence with Charles Manson, Lynette Fromme, and Sandra Good, all of whom were incarcerated at the time the letters were written.

These files are supplemented with news clippings, serial excerpts, propaganda, political and religious tracts, calendars, diaries, scrapbooks, and other ephemera.

The collection also includes copies of Mason's publication, Siege, as well as subscription requests and correspondence with his subscribers.

There are also early materials related to the ANP during the era of George Lincoln Rockwell. These include internal ANP documents, newsletters, and Rockwell's personal and official correspondence. This portion of the collection contains several bound photograph albums as well as an assortment of loose photographs depicting events from Rockwell's personal and political life.

Series List

The James N. Mason collection under call number RH WL MS 41 is arranged in six series.
  1. American Nazi Party (ANP) and George Lincoln Rockwell (GLR) 1950-1985
  2. Papers 1960-2008
  3. Universal Order and Charles Manson 1979-1994
  4. Siege and other manuscripts 1980-2000
  5. Audiovisual material 1932-2008
  6. Photographs and scrapbooks
The James N. Mason collection under call number RH WL MS 50 is arranged in three series.
  1. Photographs and scrapbooks
  2. Photo albums 1900-2002
  3. Personal papers (addition) 1960-2011

Physical Location

RH WL MS 41

Physical Location

RH WL MS R3

Physical Location

RH WL MS S1

Physical Location

RH WL MS 50

Physical Location

RH WL MS R8

Physical Location

RH WL MS R10

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, James N. Mason, 2002.
Title
Guide to the James N. Mason Collection
Subtitle
Papers of James N. Mason
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by mt, 2009. Finding aid encoded by mt, 2009. Revised by skt, 2010; sda, 2013.
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/6313993216
Preferred citation
Papers of James N. Mason, RH WL MS 41, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Revision Statements

  • 2018-02-27: Added description and new call number for folder at RH WL MS R10, which had been labeled as being at RH WL MS R3, mwh
  • 2018-09-04: Removed reference to specific individual, mwh

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334