George Mason, IV
d.7 Oct 1792
Facts and Events
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George Mason IV (December 11, 1725 – October 7, 1792) was an American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Along with James Madison, he is called the "Father of the United States Bill of Rights." For these reasons he is considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States.
Like anti-federalist Patrick Henry, Mason was a leader of those who pressed for the addition of explicit States rights and individual rights to the U.S. Constitution as a balance to the increased federal powers, and did not sign the document in part because it lacked such a statement. His efforts eventually succeeded in convincing the Federalists to add the first ten amendments of the Constitution. These amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were based on the earlier Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason had drafted in 1776.
On the issue of slavery, Mason walked a fine line. Although a slaveholder himself, he found slavery distasteful for a variety of reasons. He wanted to ban further importation of slaves from Africa and prevent slavery from spreading to more states. However, he did not want the new federal government to attempt to ban slavery where it already existed, because he anticipated that such an act would be difficult and controversial, emphasizing that "it will involve us in great difficulties and infelicity to be now deprived of them (of slaves)".
Acquisition of Land in Fairfax County, VA
Acquisition of Land from Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants 1742-1775, Vol. 2:
- O-87: George Mason of Fairfax County Esq. has 250 acres formerly granted Col. George Mason his father dec'd 20 Jan. 1724. Tract descended to him as son & Heir at Law of said George Mason dec'd. Resurveyed by Mr. John Hough shows only 218 acres in said tract on Little or Lower Falls of Potowmack River adj. Thomas Going Patent now said George Mason, Col. Thomas Lee now Col. Philip Lee. 5 Sept. 1767. [Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol. 2, Gray, pg. 192].
- O-88: George Mason of Fairfax County Esq. has 640 acres as son & Heir at Law of Col. George Mason dec'd formerly granted Maj. Thomas Owsley 24 Mar. 1696/7 who sold to Col. George Mason dec'd. Resurveyed by Mr. John Hough shows 65 acres surplus. Grant for 705 acres to George Mason opposite George Town on Potowmack River in said County. Annacostin/alias/my Lords Island now called Barbados. 7 Sept. 1767. [Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol. 2, Gray, pg. 192-193].
- O-89: George Mason of Fairfax County Esq. has 653 acres as son & Heir at Law of Col. George Mason dec'd formerly granted Thomas Going 8 Dec. 1708 who sold to Col. Mason. Resurveyed by Mr. John Hough shows 19 acres surplus. Granted to said George Mason 672 acres on Potomack River below the Falls adj. Thomas Owsley, Daniel Jennings, where River is narrower on teh Maryland shore. 8 Sept. 1767. [Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol. 2, Gray, pg. 193].
- O-90: George Mason of Fairfax County Esq., 100½ acres between Thomas Owsley, Thomas Going & William Strutfield on Potowmack River in said County. Surveyed Mr. John Hough. 9 Sept. 1767. [Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol. 2, Gray, pg. 193].
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- MASON, GEORGE SR, in Daughters of the American Revolution. Genealogical Research System.