George Mason (IV) was a fourth-generation Staffordian, who grew up at Chopawamsic (Chappawamsic) Farm as well as Marlborough Point. His father owned land on both sides of Chopawamsic Creek, near today’s Hilldrup Van and Storage in Stafford as well as land in Prince William County. He received a rudimentary education at home and in southern Maryland before entering into serious studies at his uncle John Mercer of Marlborough’s library of over 1,500 volumes. Reading in history, law, and political theory, he formed clear and distinct views on liberty (a God-given right) and tyranny (oppression of the people by government). These ideas were later manifested in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the most influential document with regard to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
Mason (IV) became a leader in the “Anti-Federalist” faction, which never became a political party per se. It opposed the ratification of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights and was successful in achieving the later in 1792. (Portrait by John Hesselius)