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George Mason (1725 – 1792)


United States patriot, statesman and delegate from Virginia to the U S Constitutional Convention.
George Mason
Whatever power may be necessary for the National Government a certain portion must necessarily be left in the States. It is impossible for one power to pervade the extreme parts of the U.S. so as to carry equal justice to them.
Mason quotes
I have been for some time in Retirement, and shall not probably return again to public Life; yet my Anxiety for my Country, in these Times of Danger, makes me sometimes dabble a little in Politicks, and keep up a Correspondence with some Men upon the public Stage.
Mason
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.




Mason George quotes
Slavery discourages arts and manufactures.
Mason George
I am now pretty far advanced in life, and all my views are center'd in the Happiness and well-fare of my children; you will therefore find from me every Indulgence which you have a right to expect from an affectionate Parent.
George Mason quotes
This cold weather has set all the young Folks to providing Bedfellows. I have signed two or three Licences every Day [as a Fairfax Justice of the Peace] since I have been at Home. I wish I knew where to get a good one myself; for I find cold Sheets extreamly disagreeable.
George Mason
No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valour. But when once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty. When against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence yeomanry, unskillful & unarmed, what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havock, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies? An instance within the memory of some of this house, will shew us how our militia may be destroyed. Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British parliament was advised by an artful man, [Sir William Keith] who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people. That it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. But that they should not do it openly; but to weaken them and let them sink gradually, by totally difusing and neglecting the militia. [Here MR. MASON quoted sundry passages to this effect.] This was a most iniquitous project. Why should we not provide against the danger of having our militia, our real and natural strength, destroyed?
Mason George quotes
That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
Mason
That the people have a Right to mass and to bear arms; 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, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided.
Mason George
All men are by nature born equally free and independent.
George Mason
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.




George Mason quotes
I determined to spend the Remainder of my Days in privacy and Retirement with my Children, from whose Society alone I cou'd expect Comfort.
George Mason
Mr. Chairman A worthy member has asked, who are the militia, if they be not the people, of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c. by our representation? I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government all ranks of people are subject to militia duty.
Mason quotes
That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
Mason George
I thank God, I have been able, by adopting Principles of strict Economy and Frugality, to keep my principal, I mean my Country-Estate, unimpaired.
Mason George quotes
That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
George Mason
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 other.
George Mason quotes
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.
George Mason
I begin to grow heartily tired of the etiquette and nonsense so fashionable in this city.
Mason George
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.


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