[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.
A painting of Patrick Henry’s
If this be treason, make the most of it! speech against the Stamp Act of 1765.
Oil on canvas. Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA.
Height: 29.5 inches (74.93 cm); Width: 24.625 inches (62.5475 cm).
Oil on canvas. Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, VA.
Miniature watercolor on ivory; 3 3/8 x 2 7/16 inches. Signed diagonally, "M.Emmet", right center.