Barton, Mathias (1762-1809)

Mathias Barton was a son of Rev. Thomas Barton, and was admitted to the Bar in 1778. He was elected from Lancaster county to the Legislature in the years 1793, 1794 and 1795. In 1796 he was elected to the Senate of Pennsylvania, and reelected in 1800.

He was a man of superior culture, and possessed a great fondness for natural history. In his travels through Pennsylvania and other Stales, he made considerable collections of natural history, and he noted, in an especial manner, the habits of animals, in particular the viviparous quadrupeds, and also of birds and fishes. He was for many years engaged in collecting materials for a work on "The Instincts and Manners of Animals." he also made a large collection of the mineral productions of Pennsylvania. He excelled as a painter and drawer of sketches from nature. A considerable portion of his leisure time was employed in painting scenes from nature, and the animals of our country. He was a gentleman very amiable in manners, of unspotted virtue, and whose charms in society endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. He was a useful citizen, and ranked among the ablest men of Pennsylvania.

He was made a Mason in Lodge No. 43 on August 13, 1788,"became an active and useful member, serving in various positions, including Worshipful Master, to which office he was elected June. 1792, serving six months. He died January 11, 1809, aged 47 years.

1. History of Lodge No. 43, F. & A. M. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, page 333.

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