On a recent trip to Washington DC I stumbled upon the George Mason Memorial. Really, while on my way to the Jefferson Memorial, which to me is the most beautiful monument in all of Washington I came upon this circular fountain. The fountain was dry . There is a pergola with a statue of a man sitting. Naturally I stop and read the plaque. George Mason, I don’t remember him in my history, so I read on.
George Mason – Wisest Man of Our Time
When George Washington calls George Mason ‘the wisest man of our generation’ this gets my attention. When Thomas Jefferson calls George Mason a mentor, the attention level increases. Now I am wondering why I have not noticed this superhero during the creation of the United States before. How could someone with these incredible credentials be unknown. I admit my history may not be at a scholarly level, however this man is really important.
Digging deeper one finds that Greoge Mason was the Governor of Virginia. He wrote the Bill of Rights for Virginia, which was a model or framework for the Bill of Rights for the United States. His contributions were at a foundational level for this country.
George Mason was one of three delegates who refused to sign the Declaration of Independence. One was just cantankerous and one refused to sign something that had a possibility of failing. George refused to sign the Declaration of Independence based upon his principles. It seems he wanted the Bill of Rights to be part of the declaration, not something added on later.
The memorial is small and diminutive by comparison to Jefferson’s huge prominence. The George Mason Memorial is tiny compared to the Washington Monument. The Washington Monument is an always visible part of the DC skyline. Interesting, so very interesting that this man should definitely be a part of all historical research. As I gain more insights into the creation of this nation my respect for these leaders grows.