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George Mason

George Mason (December 11, 1725 – October 7, 1792) was a Virginia planter, politician, and delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of three men who refused to sign. He served in the pro-independence Fourth Virginia Convention of 1775 and the Fifth Virginia Convention of 1776, during which he wrote much of the Virginia Declaration of Rights; this later served as a basis for the Bill of Rights, of which he has been deemed the father. Named one of his state's delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Mason traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia, and was active in the convention for months before deciding he could not sign the final draft. Although he lost his fight to add a bill of rights there, and again at the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, his efforts led his fellow Virginian James Madison to introduce one during the First Congress in 1789, and it was ratified in 1791, a year before Mason died. Long obscure, Mason is today recognized for his contributions to the founding texts of Virginia and the United States. (Full article...)

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