39 Facts About George Mason

1. George Mason fought on the side that failed, both at Philadelphia and Richmond, leaving him a loser in a history written by winners—even his speeches to the Constitutional Convention descend through the pen of Madison, a supporter of ratification.

FactSnippet No. 494,081 - en.wikipedia.org

2. George Mason left no extensive paper trail, no autobiography like Franklin, no diary like Washington or John Adams.

FactSnippet No. 494,080 - en.wikipedia.org

3. George Mason was honored in 1981 by the United States Postal Service with an 18-cent Great Americans series postage stamp.

FactSnippet No. 494,078 - en.wikipedia.org

4. George Mason stated of slavery, "it is far from being a desirable property.

FactSnippet No. 494,077 - en.wikipedia.org

5. Some of this is due to conflation of George Mason's views on slavery with that of his desire to ban the African slave trade, which he unquestionably opposed and fought against.

FactSnippet No. 494,075 - en.wikipedia.org

6. George Mason acted in behalf of Virginia slaveholders, not Virginia slaves".

FactSnippet No. 494,074 - en.wikipedia.org

7. George Mason led a group of Anti-Federalists which drafted amendments: even the Federalists were open to supporting them, though the constitution's supporters wanted the document drafted in Philadelphia ratified first.

FactSnippet No. 494,069 - en.wikipedia.org

8. George Mason spoke against the unamended constitution in strong terms; George Nicholas, a Federalist friend of Mason, believed that Mason felt he could lead Virginia to gain concessions from the other states, and that he was embittered by the continuing attacks on him.

FactSnippet No. 494,067 - en.wikipedia.org

9. George Mason faced difficulties in being elected to the ratifying convention from Fairfax County, since most freeholders there were Federalist, and he was at odds with many in Alexandria over local politics.

FactSnippet No. 494,066 - en.wikipedia.org

10. George Mason sent Washington a copy of his objections, but the general believed that the only choice was ratification or disaster.

FactSnippet No. 494,065 - en.wikipedia.org

11. George Mason had not taken as strong a position on the legislature as had Madison, and he was appointed to the committee; Mason and Benjamin Franklin were the most prominent members.

FactSnippet No. 494,062 - en.wikipedia.org

12. George Mason agreed that the federal government should be more powerful than the states.

FactSnippet No. 494,061 - en.wikipedia.org

13. George Mason had hope, coming into the convention, that it would yield a result that he felt would strengthen the United States.

FactSnippet No. 494,060 - en.wikipedia.org

14. George Mason was appointed to the Annapolis Convention of 1786, at which representatives of all the states were welcome, but like most delegates did not attend.

FactSnippet No. 494,057 - en.wikipedia.org

15. George Mason found Mason willing to consider a federal tax; Madison had feared the subject might offend his host, and wrote to Jefferson of the evening's conversation.

FactSnippet No. 494,056 - en.wikipedia.org

16. George Mason sought to remove differences between Virginia and other states, and although he felt the 1780 settlement of the boundary dispute with Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line was unfavorable to Virginia, he voted for it enthusiastically.

FactSnippet No. 494,055 - en.wikipedia.org

17. George Mason served a few months on the committee before resigning on the ground he was not a lawyer; most of the work fell to Jefferson, Pendleton, and Wythe.

FactSnippet No. 494,054 - en.wikipedia.org

18. George Mason served as a member of the House of Delegates from 1776 to 1781, his longest continuous political service outside Fairfax County, which he represented in Richmond.

FactSnippet No. 494,053 - en.wikipedia.org

19. George Mason devoted much effort during the American Revolutionary War to safeguarding Fairfax County and the rivers of Virginia, since the British several times raided areas along the Potomac.

FactSnippet No. 494,052 - en.wikipedia.org

20. George Mason was not the only one occupying himself so; Jefferson sent several versions from Philadelphia, one of which supplied the eventual constitution's preamble.

FactSnippet No. 494,051 - en.wikipedia.org

21. George Mason had imitated English law in drafting language requiring toleration of those of minority religions, but Madison insisted on full religious liberty, and Mason supported Madison's amendment once made.

FactSnippet No. 494,049 - en.wikipedia.org

22. George Mason likely worked closely with Thomas Ludwell Lee; the earliest surviving draft shows the first ten articles in Mason's handwriting, with the other two written by Lee.

FactSnippet No. 494,047 - en.wikipedia.org

23. George Mason was skeptical that the thirty-person Cary Committee could collectively compose anything worthwhile, but was surprised at how quickly it moved—though his membership had a role in that speed.

FactSnippet No. 494,045 - en.wikipedia.org

24. George Mason was elected for Fairfax County, though with great difficulty.

FactSnippet No. 494,044 - en.wikipedia.org

25. George Mason was the sole parent to nine children, and his commitments made him even more reluctant to accept political office that would take him from Gunston Hall.

FactSnippet No. 494,043 - en.wikipedia.org

26. George Mason drafted an act to allow for one of the most common court actions, replevin, to take place without the use of stamped paper, and sent it to George Washington, by then one of Fairfax County's burgesses, to gain passage.

FactSnippet No. 494,042 - en.wikipedia.org

27. George Mason slowly moved from being a peripheral figure towards the center of Virginia politics, but his published response to the Stamp Act, which he opposed, is most notable for the inclusion of his anti-slavery views.

FactSnippet No. 494,041 - en.wikipedia.org

28. George Mason was placed during the latter year on the Committee on Propositions and Grievances, which mostly considered local matters.

FactSnippet No. 494,040 - en.wikipedia.org

29. George Mason was proud of the gardens which still surround the house.

FactSnippet No. 494,036 - en.wikipedia.org

30. George Mason began to build his home, Gunston Hall, likely beginning in 1755.

FactSnippet No. 494,035 - en.wikipedia.org

31. At the time of his marriage, George Mason was living at Dogue's Neck, possibly at Sycamore Point.

FactSnippet No. 494,033 - en.wikipedia.org

32. George Mason served as a trustee of Dumfries, in Prince William County, and had business interests there and in Georgetown, on the Maryland side of the Potomac.

FactSnippet No. 494,032 - en.wikipedia.org

33. George Mason attained his majority in 1746, and continued to reside at Chopawamsic with his siblings and mother.

FactSnippet No. 494,029 - en.wikipedia.org

34. George Mason failed to attain these objectives there, and again at the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, but his prominent fight for a bill of rights led fellow Virginian James Madison to introduce one during the First Congress in 1789; these amendments were ratified in 1791, a year before Mason died.

FactSnippet No. 494,025 - en.wikipedia.org

35. George Mason was in 1787 named one of his state's delegates to the Constitutional Convention and traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia.

FactSnippet No. 494,024 - en.wikipedia.org

36. George Mason wrote a constitution for the state; Thomas Jefferson and others sought to have the convention adopt their ideas, but they found that Mason's version could not be stopped.

FactSnippet No. 494,023 - en.wikipedia.org

37. George Mason prepared the first draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, and his words formed much of the text adopted by the final Revolutionary Virginia Convention.

FactSnippet No. 494,022 - en.wikipedia.org

38. George Mason married in 1750, built Gunston Hall, and lived the life of a country squire, supervising his lands, family, and slaves.

FactSnippet No. 494,021 - en.wikipedia.org

39. George Mason was born in 1725, most likely in what is Fairfax County, Virginia.

FactSnippet No. 494,020 - en.wikipedia.org