Racial prejudice worked to perpetuate American slavery, even if it was not essential to sustain the institution. Slavery, serfdom, and peonage had existed elsewhere without racial connotations. Indeed, bondage had been so historically ubiquitous one might well ask why, by the 1760’s, it had come to trouble so many white Americans so much. The answer lies in part — and this part help explain why people like Mason did not act more aggressively on their concerns — in the reservations many whites felt about living alongside members of a supposedly inferior race, whether slave or free. The problem was inherent in American slavery, and emancipation, by undermining white control, would only make it worse.
Supreme Court Justice
Lawyer, diplomat, Continental congressman, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 1745—1829.
Soldier, lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 1755—1835.
South Carolina governor, second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 1739—1800.
Lawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court justice; 1742—98.
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)