[George] Mason’s obvious legacy is in his contribution to America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence through the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Constitution through his role at the Philadelphia Convention, and the Bill of Rights through his dogged opposition to a Constitution without one. Mason may have taken a circumscribed view of the rights he advocated — limiting the right of representation to white men or restricting freedom of the press to a ban on prior restraint — but he put words on paper that could be given more expansive meanings by later generations.
Secretary of State
Son of John and Abigail Adams, diplomat, senator, sixth President, congressman; 1767—1848.
Lawyer, diplomat, Continental congressman, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 1745—1829.
Lawyer, architect, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia governor, diplomat, third President, founder of the University of Virginia; 1743—1826.
Constitutionalist, congressman, Secretary of State, fourth President; 1751—1836.
Soldier, lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 1755—1835.
Soldier, lawyer, Virginia governor, diplomat, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, fifth President; 1758—1831.
Lawyer, Virginia governor, Constitutional Convention delegate, first Attorney General, Secretary of State; 1753—1813.
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)