West Potomac Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Defender of Liberty
George Mason Memorial
—George Mason, 1726-1792 —
George Mason, 1778.
George Mason belonged to the genteel Virginia plantation society that cultivated some truly extraordinary leaders. George Washington regarded Mason as his mentor and Thomas Jefferson described him as “the wisest man of his generation.” He devoted himself to achieving American independence despite being a widower with nine children to raise. Mason helped draft the Fairfax Resolves that recommended a “continental congress” to preserve colonial rights. In 1776 Mason wrote the landmark Virginia Declaration of Rights that not only inspired the American Declaration of Independence, but also France’s 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and the United Nations’ 1954 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
After helping lead a revolt against Great Britain, George Mason prepared to lead another against his fellow delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. He refused to join them for the signing ceremony (above [painting, upper right corner]) on September 17, citing their failure to forbid the importation of slaves or guarantee individual human rights. With the adoption of the U.S. Bill of Rights (left [of this caption, a photograph of the Bill of Rights]) in 1791, Mason finally
On April 9, 2002, George Mason received recognition as a champion of human rights and individual liberty. Designed to incorporate the existing 1905 fountain and its garden setting (left [of this caption is a drawing of the site plans]), the memorial draws its inspiration from Mason’s beloved Gunston Hall plantation.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Gift of David K. E. Bruce [George Mason portrait], Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christy; Architect of the Capitol; National Archives [U.S. Bill of Rights]; Rhodeside & Harwell [George Mason Memorial design, Gunston Hall Plantation].
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 52.791′ N, 77° 2.374′ W. Marker is in West Potomac Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Basin Drive, SW and Ohio Drive, SW. Touch for map. Marker is accessible to pedestrians off the sidewalk at the entrance to the George Mason Memorial - south of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at the end of East Basin Drive, in East Potomac Park between the Tidal Basin and the Potomac River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington DC 20024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance Cuban Friendship Urn (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Gift of Friendship (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thomas Jefferson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Air Mail (approx. ¼ mile away); Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Line of Duty (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Gift of Trees - The 1910 Shipment (approx. 0.4 miles away); The First Japanese Cherry Trees (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Potomac Park.
Also see . . .
1. Gunston Hall - George Mason and slavery. (Submitted on April 18, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. George Mason Memorial. (Submitted on April 18, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Slavery; National Society of the Colonial Dames of America; Faye B. Harwell; Wendy M. Ross.
Categories. • Government • Patriots & Patriotism • Politics • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 18, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,964 times since then and 55 times this year. Last updated on March 13, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page was the Marker of the Week December 14, 2014. Photos: 1. submitted on April 18, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on November 20, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 18, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.