Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Foreword

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pp. vii-x

THAT the name of George Mason should be acclaimed throughout the Republic whose birth pangs he shared, and indeed throughout the free...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xviii

THE Potomac River south of Washington alters its slow, southeasterly course to form a giant horseshoe whose open end looks toward Baltimore...

Contents

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pp. xix-xx

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1. Heir to a Personal Dominion

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pp. 3-12

MENTION the Northern Neck to a present-day Virginian and there will arise in his mind the image of a long, flat finger of land still predominantly...

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2. A Proper Home

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pp. 13-29

MASON could have built a larger house, but he planned Gunston Hall exactly as he was learning to approach most human endeavors— with moderation...

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3. "The Necessity of the Times"

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pp. 30-43

HISTORICAL "ifs" are guesswork, therefore useful only when they set off a fact more clearly by focusing on its opposite. If there had been no Stamp...

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4. Crisis at Williamsburg

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pp. 44-63

As he rode south, Mason reflected on his two sorrowful years as a widower, and on the ominous prospect facing the Colony. The same month Ann died, March, 1773, the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg...

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5. Victory—and New Conflict

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pp. 64-80

IN December of 1770 Mason declared that Americans regarded independence as "the wildest chimera that ever disturbed a madman's brain...

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6. Constitution and Compromise

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pp. 81-91

BY the spring of 1787 the political apparatus of the young United States government was operating at a level of dismal inefficiency. Disabled from the start by the lack of taxing and regulatory authority...

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7. The Antifederalist Crusade

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pp. 92-102

THE distressing outcome of four sultry months in Philadelphia, amplified by the accident and bloodletting in Maryland, was the climax of an adventure...

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8. Retreat to Gunston Hall

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pp. 103-110

THE discord at the ratifying convention left its scars. Colonel Mason now spoke of Edmund Randolph as "young A-- d," comparing his former associate with the detested Benedict Arnold. Washington himself...

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The Virginia Declaration of Rights

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pp. 111-114

A DECLARATION of RIGHTS made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in f u l l and free Convention; which rights do pertain to them, and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government...

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A Note on the Sources

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pp. 115-116

Scattered letters from George Mason's pen now rest in collections from Boston to Richmond, but the main body is gathered in the Mason papers...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 117-118

This book benefited immeasurably from the editorial hand of James R. Short of Colonial Williamsburg, who gave the manuscript a final polish...

Index

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pp. 119-123