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Colonel David J. Mason, USA Retired





david j mason 600David J. Mason, owner, and founder of HMG ePublishing, LLC, is an award-winning author and digital publishing entrepreneur, who has been on the Internet since 1997providing technological and telecommunication services. His digital publishing curiosity began during the very early formation stages of the digital publishing industry when he converted one of his previously published traditional manuals into an electronic book. An advocate for digital publishing, he has perfected ebook publishing, production, promotion, distribution, and fulfillment.


Before starting HMG ePublishing, Mr. Mason served in a variety of chemical industry leadership positions, culminating as Vice President for the Hatco Corporation. He handled the Company's environmental affairs and safety programs, regulatory management, corporate imaging, and strategic special assignments such as environmental issues related to potential new acquisitions. Before this position, he served with Velsicol Chemical, ICI Americas, and Hercules Corporation.


A Civil War and Black history enthusiast, Mr. Mason researched Parson, Joseph, and Henry's military service and wrote The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes based on his findings in September 2022. It is a documentary novel that describes their true self-liberation ordeal and actual events drawn from a variety of sources, including published materials and official military records. In the trilogy, the first novel profiles Parson’s evolution from enslavement and self-liberation by running away from the Williams’ farm. The next book, Enlistment in the XXV Corps, will narrate Parson’s ordeal through the pathway of contraband to a United States Colored Troops (USCT) soldier he took to gain his freedom. The XXV Corps regiments were the first Union forces to enter and capture the fallen Capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia. In the last book in the trilogy entitled, Emancipated in Southampton County, the story ends with Parson accomplishing his mission and achieving his goal. Parson Sykes will buy property to farm, fight for human rights, and live by the self-determination principles he postulated.


Mr. Mason, the great-grandson of Parson Sykes, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew up there with his parents John Lee Mason and Bertha Sykes Mason. Mr. Mason is the author of the Environmental Compliance Tool Kit (Thompson Publishing Group, 1994) and the Internet Marketing Tool Kit (HMG ePublishing, 2006). He holds a Master of Science degree in chemistry from Hampton University in Virginia, a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Norfolk State University, and is a graduate of the United States Army War College.




The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes | Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia


frontcover 5The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes is a documentary novel based on a true story and actual events and was drawn from a variety of historic sources, including published government materials and family chronicles. A trilogy, the story profiles Private Parson Sykes’ evolution from enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia, followed by his enlistment into the Union Army and culminating with his emancipation and return to the county. The initial part subtitled, Enslavement in Southampton County Virginia, of the trilogy, takes place in 1864 near the end of the American Civil War on the slave-holding Jacob Williams’ middle-class family farm in Southampton County Virginia. During the 1831 Southampton Insurrection, the farm came under attack by Nat Turner and his insurgents, which haunts Jacob. Before the Civil War started, Parson began discussing human rights and the political implications of the abolition of slavery with his two brothers. In December 1864, he planned to liberate himself by running away from Jacob Williams’ farm and following an eastward path along the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad to reach Norfolk, Virginia, which was a Union-occupied city. Upon reaching Norfolk and in the hands of Union troops, Parson had liberated himself from bondage. The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes also functions to draw attention to the important role Black soldiers and their White officers played during the Civil War as members of United States Colored Troops (USCT). Though less heralded, the USCT regiments were the precursors to Black army units famously nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers, Smoked Yankees, the Harlem Hell Fighters, Tuskegee Airmen, and the Red Ball Express.


Awards and Recognition


literary titan silver book award smallLiterary Titan Silver Book Award The Literary Titan Silver Award is bestowed on books that expertly deliver complex and thought-provoking concepts. The ease with which ideas are conveyed is a reflection of the author’s talent in exercising fluent, powerful, and appropriate language.



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Press and Media Mentions


Book review of The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes - Readers' Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest (


The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia by David J. Mason | BookBaby Bookshop


The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia by David J. Mason | eBook | Barnes & Noble® (


The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia by David J. Mason | Goodreads


The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia (The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes Trilogy Book 1) eBook: Mason, David J.: Kindle Store