George Mason : Reluctant Statesman by Robert A. Rutland

By Robert A. Rutland

George Mason of Gunston corridor was once a scholarly craftsman of presidency in the course of America's the most important adolescence. His Virginia assertion of Rights supplied a feeling of goal and path to the rebellious colonies, and his full of life insistence at the safety of private liberties within the structure is mirrored within the document's first ten amendments, the invoice of Rights, Fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson acknowledged of Mason that he "was of the 1st order of greatness".

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Certainly he showed up often at the apothecary shops in Williamsburg and Dumfries, where he could A PROPER H O M E 2Q store up nostrums in quantity. Calomel, mercuris dulcis, and ginseng were high on his list of remedies. " What could be better for gout? Crippled and in pain from time to time, Mason passed from youth into middle age as a man of business, a clear thinker, and a normally friendly neighbor. He was not a hail-fellow-well-met sort of man. All the signs indicate that he was as dignified at the race track as in the family pews.

TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN HOUSES of the period had no end windows on the first floor. Mason's plan provided three small upper windows for extra ventilation in the bedrooms and an outside entry to the basement that permitted precious cargoes of claret and madeira to be moved directly to the wine cellar. THE CENTRAL HALLWAY. THE PALLADIAN DRAWING ROOM. A PROPER HOME 17 Buckland had served his master well. Mason was enchanted by Buckland's skill as a woodcarver, and in that respect gave the Englishman free rein.

THE NECESSITY OF THE TIMES" 43 The spring of 1775 was such a time. Mason depended on James, his able servant, to arrange the details of packing. While the horses pranced impatiently he took his farewell with a sad brood of youngsters, probably gave out more parental advice than he needed to, and reluctantly climbed into the carriage. The whip cracked, the carriage lurched, and George Mason was on his %vay to Richmond. CHAPTER FOUR Crisis at Williamsburg A s he rode south, Mason reflected on his two sorrowful years as a widower, and on the ominous prospect facing the Colony.

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