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members (exclusive of Kentucky) to the House of Representatives in Congress, will be entitled to send twenty-one members, exclusive of Kentucky. And for this purpose, when our Assembly meets next October, Virginia (exclusive of Kentucky) will be arranged, or laid off into twenty-one districts, each of which to choose one member. The five counties of Stafford, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Fauquier (leaving out the county of King George, to be added to some of the lower counties) will now form two complete districts, and it will be attempted to make Fairfax and Loudoun compose one of these two districts; and Stafford, Prince William and Fauquier compose the other district ; by which means the substance of the right of suffrage, in electing members of Congress will be taken from the people of Fairfax, and the name or shadow only left them. For the voters in Loudoun County being near three times the number of the voters in Fairfax ; while that local attachment and partiality continues to influence the bulk of mankind, which ever has influenced them, and ever will influence them, while human nature continues what it now is and always has been ; a candidate in Fairfax (let him be ever so good a man) will have no chance of succeeding against one in Loudoun; the comparative merits of the candidates will be sacrificed to local attachment, and the people in Fairfax will, in reality, have little more hand in electing their nominal representatives in Congress than they have in electing the representatives of Maryland or Pennsylvania. And this act of injustice and oppression will be further aggravated, in eight or nine years ; for when the town of Alexandria and that part of the federal district of ten miles square which lies on this side of Potomack River, are taken out of the jurisdiction of Virginia, Loudoun County which now has three votes to our one, will then have near six votes to our one ; and the people of Fairfax will not find it worth their while to give their votes, or attend the elections of members of Congress. What the people of Fairfax County have done to deserve this injurious treatment, and forfeiture of their dearest rights and privileges, let the contrivers of this nefarious project declare.'
1W ever may be the pretence, the real motive (here at least) for endeavoring to join Fairfax County in the district with Loudoun, is to secure the election of Mr. Richard Bland Lee, which his friends apprehend may be rendered precarious by placing Loudoun in the same district with Fauquier. This apprehen
It is said (perhaps untruly) that some of the people in Alexandria, and within the federal district, are in favor of this scheme. Such of them as are men of liberal minds, can hardly be presumed to be so, but they stand on very different ground from the people of the county, for they will sacrifice only a temporary interest of short duration, as in eight or nine years (perhaps sooner) they will be taken out of the jurisdiction of Virginia ; but to the people in
part of the county, the sacrifice will not be temporary but permanent. If the three small counties of Stafford, Prince William, and Fairfax compose one complete district, and the two large counties of Loudoun and Fauquier compose another complete district, as of right they ought to do, the counties in each respective district will have nearly an equal number of voters, and will be a fair match for each other. The people in each county will then have, not in name only, but in substance and reality, an equal right of suffrage in electing members of Congress : a candidate in either county will have a fair trial with a candidate in another county ; and the comparative merits of the candidates will generally prevail against local attachment and prejudice. It is notorious, that for these very reasons, when in the formation of the Virginia Government in the year 1776, the four and twenty districts were arranged for the election of senators, the counties of Prince William and Fairfax were formed into one district, and the counties of Loudoun and Fauquier into another district, and still continue so. And surely the same reasons hold at least equally strong, in the choice of members of Congress, whose powers, since the establishment of the new federal constitution, are much greater and more important, than those which now remain to the State Legislatures. And as there is just ground to believe that the arrangement of districts, which will be made next fall, will hardly ever be materially altered, it is of the utmost consequence, that they should be fairly and justly made, and not with a view of serving any temporary, local party-job whatever.' sion seems to be ill founded, but if it was ever so well founded, and if Mr. Lee was the last man in the United States, nothing can be more absurd and wicked than to sacrifice the rights of the people to the views or interest of an individual. And a candidate for Fairfax County, by adopting this iniquitous scheme, will give the most indisputable proof of his being unworthy of public trust.
1 An amendment to the Constitution of the federal government was, some time ago, recommended by Congress, since agreed to by more than two thirds APPENDIX.
WILL OF GEORGE MASON OF
I, George Mason of Gunston Hall in the parish of Truro and county of Fairfax, being of perfect and sound mind and memory and in good health, but mindful of the uncertainty of human life and the imprudence of a man's leaving his affairs to be settled upon a death bed, do make and appoint this my last Will and Testament. My soul I resign into the hands of my Almighty Creator whose tender mercies are over all his works, who hateth nothing that he hath made, and to the Justice and Wisdom of whose dispensation I willingly and cheerfully submit ; humbly hoping from his unbounded mercy and benevolence thro' the merits of my blessed Saviour a remission of my sins. My body I desire may be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named, close by the side of my dear and ever lamented wife. And as for all the worldly Estate with which it has pleased God to bless me I dispose of it in manner and form following. Imprimis : It is my will and desire and I hereby direct and order that all my lands, slaves with their increase, stocks, rents, crops, tobacco and money and debts due to me with the yearly interest arising thereon, with all my other Estate of what nature soever, in Virginia, Maryland or elsewhere, be kept together and considered as one common stock for the payment of my debts and legacys and the maintenance and education of my children and the payment of their fortunes, until my said children respectively come of age or marry, when and not before, each of them is to receive his or her part of the same, as hereinafter respectively devised or bequeathed to each
of the States in the Union, and thereby become an article of the said Constitution; by which (to the best of my recollection, for I have not a copy of the amendment by me) the ratio of thirty thousand is to be applied to the census of the inhabitants of the United States, to ascertain and apportion the representation, until the number of the House of Representatives shall amount to one hundred : after which Congress is empowered to alter and increase the ratio in such manner as they shall judge fit; provided that the number of the House of Representatives shall never be less than one hundred. The late census will increase the House of Representatives to something more than one hundred members : and there is therefore cause to believe, that the arrangement of the districts to be made next fall, will never be materially increased or altered.
of them, and when any one of my children shall come of age or marry and receive his or her part of the same accordingly, the residue still to continue and remain in the said common stock until another of my children shall come of age or marry, and so on in the same manner until the youngest of my children shall come of age or marry and receive his or her part of the same as aforesaid ; it being my intention that my Executors shall not have the trouble and perplexity of keeping different accounts with all my children, but only one general account for the whole.
Item : I give and bequeath unto each of my four daughters, Ann Mason, Sarah Mason, Mary Mason and Elizabeth Mason and each of their heirs forever when they respectively arrive at the age of twenty-one years, or marry, whichever shall first happen, the following slaves with their increase respectively from the date of this my will : to my eldest daughter Ann the four following slaves and their increase, to wit Bess (the daughter of Chloe) and her child, Frank, mulatto Priss (the daughter of Jenny) and Nell (the daughter of Occoquan Nell). To my daughter Sarah the three following slaves with their increase, to wit Hannah and Venus (the daughter of Becky) and mulatto Mima (the daughter of Jenny). To my daughter Mary the three following slaves with their increase to wit, Ann and Nell, the daughter of house Nell, and little Jenny (the daughter of Jenny). To my daughter Elizabeth the three following slaves with their increase, to wit Vicky (the daughter of Occoquan Nell), Sarah (the daughter of great Sue), and Rachel (the daughter of Beck). And I confirm unto my three eldest daughters Ann, Sarah, and Mary their right and title respectively to one negro girl given to each of them by their grandfather Mr. William Eilbeck deceased, to wit a negro girl named Penny to my daughter Ann, a negro girl named Priss to my daughter Sarah, and a negro girl named Nan to my daughter Mary. But in the meantime that is until my daughters respectively come of age or marry, the profits of all such of the above mentioned slaves as shall not be employed in waiting upon any of my said daughters, or for their use in the house, are to remain in and be considered as part of the common stock for the purposes hereinbefore mentioned, and if any one or more of my said daughters should happen to die under age or unmarried, then and in that case it is my will and desire and I hereby direct and order that all the
slaves with their increase hereinbefore bequeathed to such daughter or daughters, shall go to and be equally divided between my other daughters or to the survivor of them, to be delivered them or her as hereinbefore directed. I also give to each of my said four daughters one bed and furniture to be delivered them at the time and in the manner aforesaid.
Item : I give and bequeath unto each of my said four daughters Ann, Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth, except such of them as may happen to marry and have actually received their fortune in my lifetime, the sum of six hundred pounds sterling out of my money debts due to me and the profits of the common stock of my Estate, the said sum of six hundred pounds sterling to be paid to each of them without defalcation or diminution, when they respectively arrive at the age of twenty-one years or marry, whichever shall first happen exclusive of any sum or sums given or to be given to any of them by their grandmother Mrs. Eilbeck, or for which I have taken or may take bonds for their use or in any of their respective names; and if any one of my said daughters should die under age or unmarried, it is my will and desire and I hereby direct and order, that the money herein bequeathed to such daughter shall go to be equally divided between all my other surviving daughters, such of them as may happen to be of age or married at the time to receive their part of the same, and the residue to remain in the common stock until my other surviving daughters respectively come of age or marry, but if two or more of my daughters should happen to die under age or unmarried, then and in that case it is my will and desire and I hereby direct and order, that so much of their money only shall go to my surviving daughter or daughters as will increase the fortune of each or either of them to the sum of one thousand pounds sterling, exclusive of their slaves or of any money given them by their grandmother Mrs. Eilbeck as aforesaid, to be paid them or her in the manner above directed, and that the residue shall remain in the common stock for the benefit of my four youngest sons in the manner hereinafter directed.
Item : I give and devise unto my eldest son George Mason and his heirs forever when he arrives at the age of twenty-one years or marrys, whichever shall first happen, my mansion house and seat of Gunston Hall with all my lands thereunto