The New Student's Reference Work/Mason, George

Mason, George, was born at Doeg's Neck, Va., in 1725. In 1775 the Virginia convention made him a member of the committee of safety which was charged with the government of the colony. The next year he drew up a declaration of rights and a constitution for the new state, which were adopted without an opposing vote. He also, with the help of Jefferson, had a bill passed making all kinds of worship lawful in Virginia. In 1777 he became a member of the Continental Congress. In 1787 he was one of the foremost men in the convention which drew up the constitution of the United States, where he took firm ground against making slavery permanent. He was afraid that the constitution, as at last agreed upon by the convention, would bring about a monarchy or a tyranny of aristocrats, and stood shoulder to shoulder with Patrick Henry in fighting ratification by Virginia. He sought to have about 20 charges made, some of which were afterward adopted by Congress. He was chosen as Virginia's first United States senator, but refused to serve. His statue stands with Jefferson's, Henry's and those of other leading Virginians at the base of Crawford's statue of Washington in front of the capitol at Richmond. Mason died in Fairfax County, Va., in 1792.