(see The Ten
Commandments in the U.S. Supreme Court

(new letters added)

Christian Heritage Tours Inc.

(Books, Videos, Newsletters)

George Mason
(Excerpted from, The Rewriting of America's History
copyright 1991 by Catherine Millard.)

     George Mason (1725-1792) was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which formed the basis for our Bill of Rights. He was a significant figure during the American Revolutionary years, and much as been written concerning him. Among those who admired his multifaceted personality was General Fitzhugh Lee, who said of him:

He was indeed the people's man in a people's government. The tent of his faith was pitched upon the bedrock of the freedom of the citizen. Great was his belief in the security of a purely Republican form of government. Sublime was his reliance in the power of the people. This life of George Mason is proper and opportune. A period in our history has been selected to which we should more frequently recur, by calling attention to the service of a man with whose career we should become more familiar. "The people should control the government, not the government the people," was his war cry.

     George Mason, along with George Washington, served on the building committee and was a vestryman of Truro Parish, which consisted of three churches. Mason's term as vestryman lasted 35 years. In the historic records of Pohick Church, kept for posterity, we read that: "The Civil functions of the old vestries devolved by law on the overseers of the poor."

     Pohick Church was completed in 1774, and still stands near Mount Vernon. The beautiful interior of this church includes calligraphy-inscribed wall panels that face the congregation. Inscriptions comprise the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20, the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6, and the Apostles' Creed. 

     A noted historian says the following about this American patriot:

George Mason was the first man in the history of the world to formulate 
the principles of liberty and justice in a great state paper. His Virginia
Constitution was the forerunner and pattern of all the Constitutions 
subsequently made. The first ten amendments of the Constitution
of the United States are practically his and may be found expressed
in the Virginia Bill of Rights. The influence of his work is worldwide.
His ideals of Liberty, Freedom and Equality constitute the essence of 
all modern thought on this subject.

His ideals have become a safeguard to human rights all the world over...
He was probably the wisest and most disinterested man to whom so 
great a task has ever been allotted by Divine Providence. He must
be considered one of the greatest benefactors of our race.

     The last of the 16 articles in the Virginia Bill of rights, authored by George Mason,
and forerunner to the United States Bill of Rights, reads:

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; and therefore, all Men are
equally entitled to the free exercise of Religion, according to the
Dictates of Conscience; and that it is the mutual Duty of all to
practice Christian Forbearance, Love, and Charity, towards each

Article XVI
The Virginia Declaration of Rights

(Drawn originally by George Mason and adopted unanimously by the Convention of Delegates at the Capitol in Williamsburg on June 12, 1776).

Evidence of George Mason's Faith

     In his own handwriting, Mason wrote the following in his family 1759 Bible (unclassified). This he wrote on the event of his beloved wife's death on March 19, 1773:

     On Tuesday, the 9th of March, 1773, about three o'clock in the morning, died at Gunston-Hall, of a slow fever, Mrs. Ann Mason, in the thirty-ninth year of her age; after a painful and tedious illness of more than nine months, which she bore with truly Christian patience and resignation, in faithful hope of eternal happiness in the world to come. She, it may be truthfully said, led a blameless and exemplary life. She retained unimpaired her mental faculties to the last; and spending her latest moments in prayer for those around her, seem'd to expire without the usual pangs of dissolution. During the whole course of her illness, she was never heard to utter one peevish or fretful complaint, and constantly, regardless of her own pain and danger, endeavoured to administer hope and comfort to her friends, or inspire them with resignation like her own. For many days before her death she had lost all hopes of recovery, and endeavour'd to wean herself from the affections of this life, saying that tho' it must cost her a hard struggle to reconcile herself to the hopes of parting with her husband and children, she hoped God would enable her to accomplish it; and after this, th' she had always been the tenderest parent, she took little notice of her children, but still retain'd her usual serenity of mind. She was buried in the new Family-burying-ground at Gunston-Hall; but (at her own request) without the common parade and ceremony of a grand funeral.

     Her funeral sermon was preached in Pohick Church by the reverend Mr. James Scott, Rector of Dettingen Parish in the County of Prince William, upon a text taken from the 23rd, 24th, and 25th verses of the 73rd Psalm: "Nevertheless, I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee I desire nothing on earth."

     In the beauty of her person and the sweetness of her disposition she was equalled by few and excelled by none of her sex. She was something taller than the middle size and elegantly shaped. Her eyes were black, tender and lively; her features regular and delicate; her complexion remarkably fair and fresh. Lilies and roses (almost without a metaphor) were blended there, and a certain inexpressible air of cheerfulness and health. Innocence and sensibility diffused over her countenance formed a face the very reverse of what is generally called masculine. This is not an ideal but a real picture drawn from the life, nor was this beautiful outward form disgraced by an unworthy inhabitant. "Free from her sex's smallest faults, and fair as womankind can be."

     She was blessed with a clear and sound judgement, a gentle and benevolent heart, a sincere and an humble mind, with an even, calm and cheerful temper to a very unusual degree; affable to all, but intimate with few. Her modest virtues shunned the public eye; superior to the turbulent passions of pride and envy, a stranger to altercation of any kind, and content with the blessings of a private station, she placed all her happiness here, where only it is to be found, in her own family. Though she despised dress she was always neat; cheerful but not gay; serious but not melancholy. She never met me without a smile! Though an only child she was a remarkably dutiful one. An easy and agreeable companion, a kind neighbor, a steadfast friend, a humane mistress, a prudent and tender mother, a faithful, affectionate and most obliging wife; charitable to the poor and pious to her Maker, her virtue and religion were unmixed with hypocrisy or ostentation. She was formed for domestic happiness, without one jarring atom in her frame! Her irreparable departure I do ever shall deplore, and though time, I hope, will soften my sad impressions and restore me greater serenity of mind than I have lately enjoyed, I shall ever retain the most tender and melancholy remembrance of one so justly dear.

     The above give a little-known inside view of Mason's Christian value system, as he extols his wife's inner beauty and character.

     On the reverse side of the eulogy on his beloved wife, are found the following lines written shortly after his death by a family member. It gives an accurate account of the founding father's stature and caliber as a patriot.

George Mason of Gunston died at the Seat of Gunston Hall in
Fairfax County, Virginia, on the afternoon of Sunday, the seventh
day of October, 1792 in the 67th year of his age, and was buried
on the family ground at that place. A profound statesman and a 
pure patriot, he was a man of the first order, among those who 
acted on the theatre of the Revolution. He was active, earnest
and influential in the counsels of Virginia, steering the struggle
with Great Britain and took a zealous pat, as a member of the
Federal Convention in 1787, giving strong reasons, why the 
proposed Constitution, as it then stood, should not be adopted,
and finally refused to sign it; (because congress had removed
the anti-slavery clause)* for which he published to the world 
his reasons. The Virginia Convention of 1788 called to pass on 
that Constitution, he then opposed its adoption, and advocated
another General Convention to revise it.

     After Mason's departure from this life, these lines were retrieved from his 
pocketbook by his daughter Sarah:

Alas! What can the honors of the world impart
To soothe the anguish of a bleeding heart.

     George Mason's last Will and Testament show forth his love and adherence to the Lord Jesus Christ, during his sojourn upon earth:

"I, George Mason, of "Gunston Hall," in the parish of Truro and county
of Fairfax, being of perfect and sound mind and memory and in good
health, but mindful of the uncertainty of human life and the imprudence 
of man's leaving his affairs to be settled upon a deathbed, do make and 
appoint this my last Will and Testament. My soul, I resign into the 
hands of my Almighty Creator, whose tender mercies are over all His
works, who hateth nothing that He hath made and to the Justice and
Wisdom of whose dispensation I willingly and cheerfully submit, humbly
hoping from His unbounded mercy and benevolence, through the merits
of my blessed Savior, a remission of my sins."

*Parentheses mine


(For more information, see The Rewriting of America's History, by Catherine Millard.)

Copyright@2011-2015 - Christian Heritage Tours, All rights reserved.

for(var i=0;i