Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Forgotten People: The Erasure and Displacement of American Indians


American Indians have claims to American land, rights, and history that have been historically ignored. The Mason family was part of this erasure. Though a man of noble ideals, George Mason (and his ancestors) often failed to extend those ideals and rights to minorities like Native Americans. From George Mason I’s arrival to Virginia in 1652, the Mason family harassed, fought, forgot and antagonized American Indians. While they were no different than other men of their day, they held positions of power that could have been used to curb the genocide of America’s First Peoples. Instead, they remained complicit to a society that displaced and erased American Indians from this land and its history.

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Merchants vs Planters in Fairfax County Court


Official political parties weren't recognized until the creation of the current United States government, to mean the one established with the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789 and the election of the first president, George Washington. However, is it possible there were still political affiliations at the county level of governing, specifically in Fairfax County, Virginia? Did this affect how much or how little the justices of the peace had to sit on the court during the year?

Joseph Horrell's 1983 article, "George Mason and the Fairfax Court" talks chiefly on Mason's biographers' failure to sufficiently understand the effect Mason’s service to the County Court had on his life as well as Mason’s attendance (or lack thereof) at the court. However, he makes several references to phrases like “Alexandria merchants” and “planters.” In speaking about a petition George Mason wrote in 1782, Horrell says, “[...]Mason left no doubt in anyone's mind that it was the Alexandria faction that furnished the flagrant example.[...]” (429). It just isn’t the main subject of his research. Upon further research now, though, no more research has seemingly been done on either the topic of Mason’s attendance or the politics of the County Court since about the 1980s or 90s.