Few of America’s founding fathers have had a more lasting impact upon our nation than a shy, cerebral planter from Virginia, a Fairfax County neighbor of George Washington, George Mason of Gunston Hall.
“All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights, of which they can not by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety;“ proclaimed George Mason to Virginia’s patriots and to the world, in the spring of 1776.
Closet Tories and aristocrats trembled with fear at the idea of all mankind being equally free, but George Mason’s wondrous words of hope survived, promising human rights for all. When you demand your rights, say a prayer of gratitude to George Mason of Virginia, father of the Bill of Rights. The Fifth Virginia Convention of 1776, on June 12th, adopted George Mason’s Declaration of Rights, a precursor to the United States Bill of Rights. On June 29th, the Convention approved the first Constitution of Virginia.
This statue of George Mason is seen at the Welcome Center at his home, Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, Virginia. There is more at My Picasa Albums picasaweb.google.com/barneykin/GunstonHall.