George Mason

(George Mason IV)

George Mason
George Mason
  • Born: December 11, 1725
  • Died: October 7, 1792
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Plantation Owner









George Mason IV was an American planter, politician and delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of three delegates who refused to sign the Constitution. His writings, including substantial portions of the Fairfax Resolves of 1774, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, and his Objections to this Constitution of Government (1787) in opposition to ratification, have exercised a significant influence on American political thought and events. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason principally authored, served as a basis for the United States Bill of Rights, of which he has been deemed the father.

Quotes About
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... the grand depository of the democratic principles of the Government ... Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
[I am] against giving the power of war to the Executive, because [he is] not safely to be trusted with it. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
[I]t is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit Taxes
“Treason” and “bribery” will not reach many great and dangerous offenses including attempts to subvert the Constitution. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
A Bill of Rights would give great quiet to the people. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Society ;Government ;Miscellaneous
Have you Gentlemen had ever reflected on that awful period of time between the passing and final adoption of this constitution—what alarm might possibly take place in the public mind. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am in favor of seven years [term for the President] and future ineligibility. By this Provision the executive is made independent of the Legislature, who may be his Electors if he could be re-elected; he will be complaisant to the Legislature to obtain their favor and his own re-election. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
It would be as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for chief magistrate to the people, as it would be to refer a trial of colors to a blind man. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
it would be so dangerous for the Executive in a single Person to negative a Law that the People will not accept of it. Legislating & Legislative Process
No amendment of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the government should become oppressive, which I verily believe will be the case. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
No branch of government should ever be able to combine the power of the sword with the power of the purse. Power
No free government or the blessings of liberty can be preserved by any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. Freedom & Liberty
Notwithstanding the oppression and injustice experienced among us from democracy, the genius of the people is in favor of it, and the genius of the people must be consulted. Democracies & Republics
Shall any man be above Justice. Above all shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice. When great crimes were committed I am for punishing the principal as well as the Coadjutors Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Shall any man be above justice? Above all shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice? Justice & Injustice
That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free State; that standing armies in time of peace should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Military & Veterans
That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all amenable to them. Power
That government is, or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; ... and that when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and undefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. Religion & God
That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotick governments. Media, Journalism & The Press
The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments. Freedom & Liberty
There is no declaration of rights … the declaration of rights in the separate states are no security Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
This great palladium of national safety… Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
To disarm the people—that was the best and most effective way to enslave them. Guns & Gun Control ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
To make representation real and actual, the number of Representatives ought to be adequate; they ought to mix with the people, think as they think, feel as they feel, ought to be perfectly amenable to them, and thoroughly acquainted with their interest and condition: Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We must not go too far (in creating a pure Republic). A portion of Democracy should be preserved; our own children in a short time will be among the general mass. Democracies & Republics
What other influence over, or check upon the General Government. will the States possess, if their Legislatures do not elect the Senate or second Branch of the National. Government. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
When the last dutiful & humble petition from Congress received no other Answer than declaring us Rebels, and out of the King’s protection, I from that Moment look’d forward to a Revolution & Independence, as the only means of Salvation; and will risque the last Penny of my Fortune, & the last Drop of my Blood upon the Issue. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
A few years' experience will convince us that those things which at the time they happened we regarded as our greatest misfortunes have proved our greatest blessings. Time
All men are by nature born equally free and independent. Nature
As much as I value an union of all the states, I would not admit the southern states into the union, unless they agreed to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness and not strength to the union.
As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this.
Attend with Diligence and strict Integrity to the Interest of your Correspondents and enter into no Engagements which you have not the almost certain Means of performing.
Habituated from our Infancy to trample upon the Rights of Human Nature, every generous, every liberal Sentiment, if not extinguished, is enfeebled in our Minds. Nature
I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.
I begin to grow heartily tired of the etiquette and nonsense so fashionable in this city.
I retired from public Business from a thorough Conviction that it was not in my Power to do any Good, and very much disgusted with Measures, which appeared to me inconsistent with common Policy and Justice. Power ;Business, Commerce & Finance
I wish I knew where to get a good one myself; for I find cold Sheets extreamly disagreeable.
In all our associations; in all our agreements let us never lose sight of this fundamental maxim - that all power was originally lodged in, and consequently is derived from, the people. Power
Slavery discourages arts and manufactures.
Taught to regard a part of our own Species in the most abject and contemptible Degree below us, we lose that Idea of the dignity of Man which the Hand of Nature had implanted in us, for great and useful purposes. Nature
The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind.
The poor despise labor when performed by slaves.
There is a Passion natural to the Mind of man, especially a free Man, which renders him impatient of Restraint.
We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Your dear baby has died innocent and blameless, and has been called away by an all wise and merciful Creator, most probably from a life to misery and misfortune, and most certainly to one of happiness and bliss. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness