Monday, March 27, 2006

Know much about history...

Who was George Mason?

Being a history minor (yeah, that was a decision that helped my career… PR major, history minor… what the fu** was I thinking??) I have actually heard of George Mason from some of my past history classes.

Years ago when my cousin started attending the college, I knew who he was so when people asked who he was, I could tell them. Well, lately the subject of who he was has come up again (wonder why?) and I have been able to impress some people lately who have asked the question “who the hell is he?”

  • He was NOT president (he was asked to be VP, but he said no)
  • He was the driving force behind the Bill of Rights (thank you, btw, for that Mr. Mason…)
  • Thomas Jefferson once called Mason "the wisest man of his generation.”
  • He was a neighbor of George Washington and Mason’s wife repeatedly refused Martha’s request to borrow a cup of sugar (ok, I made that last part up, but it sounded good didn’t it?)
  • Was strongly opposed to the creation of a 10-mile federal district in Virginia. That would eventually become Washington DC.
  • Was against ratifying the Constitution (before you get the tars and feathers ready, hear me out) because “there is no Declaration of Rights, and the laws of the general government being paramount to the laws and constitution of the several states, the Declaration of Rights in the separate states are no security.” Essentially his reasoning was because there was no Bill of Rights included.
  • His long and deep friendship with Washington became fractured after that (though some historians point to the friendship ending because of Martha’s repeated attempts to borrow sugar from the Masons – ok, again, I made up that last part)

To learn more about George Mason, visit your local library and check out these books: “George Mason: Reluctant Statesman” by Robert Rutland, “George Mason, Constitutionalist” by Helen Hill Miller. Remember, the more you know