The Virginia Declaration of Rights
Virginia’s Declaration was drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. It was widely copied by the other colonies and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776.
Rick provides the complete text of the Declaration and links to the appropriate page at the National Archives website.
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Steven Horwitz - 6/13/2005
A copy of said Virigina Declaration hangs framed in my home office. It's as good as it got, historically.
Kenneth R Gregg - 6/13/2005
I've always wondered what would have happened had Mason lived longer. Outside of Jefferson and Paine, he was clearly the most consistent libertarian of the time.
Would he have supported the Whiskey Rebellion (our first civil war) and the "Principles of '98? Would he have added his voice to the call for abolition? Would he have fought the federalist inclinations of Hamilton and John Adams?
American history would have changed for the better, I think.
Just a thought.