Carl H. Schmolze (1823—59)

by Carl H. Schmolze (1823—59)

Oil on canvas; 50 3/4 x 40 1/2 in. (128.9 x 102.9 cm). Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

[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.

Jeff Broadwater
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)