I agree that George Mason deserves greater recognition for his role in the founding of our nation. However, The Post story "George Mason National Monument Urged" {June 21} contained inaccuracies and omissions.

First, the idea for a monument to George Mason, which would commemorate his role in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the U.S. Bill of Rights originated with the Fairfax County Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, which has been working on the project for more than two years and of which I am a member.

Second, the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall endorsed this proposal and has agreed to raise money for this project proposed by the commission.

Third, the monument legislation sponsored by Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.) must also pass the House of Representatives. The article ignored the role played by Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.), who serves on the important House Interior Committee.

Fourth, when James Madison offered the amendments, which were later to become known as the U.S. Bill of Rights, he was serving in Congress. He was not president then, which your story implied by identifying him as President James Madison.

Finally, the plaques commemorating key words of George Mason are also a proposal of the commission, not of Gunston Hall.


I was delighted to read that after almost 200 years, George Mason of Gunston Hall may be memorialized with a national monument. This important but least-known Founding Father may finally take his long neglected but deserved place near Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in the nation's capital. Mr. Mason was the father of the Bill of Rights, which had a profound effect not only on the political, constitutional and legal developments of this nation but on democratic revolutions throughout the world unto this day.

If the proposed memorial is built, the people of our country will begin to learn about and better understand Mason's seminal contributions to the American constitutional system. This neglected voice and pen of the American Revolution, who produced the inflammatory Fairfax Resolves and the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the latter foreshadowing both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights almost word for word, will become better known by all as we approach our Bill of Rights bicentennial year.

Gunston Hall should be commended for its vision and for its determination to foster greater national recognition and appreciation of Mason's extraordinary intellect. However, he is also to be remembered as a man of supreme courage who showed fortitude and independence of mind not to sign the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. For this act cost him the friendship of many, including that of George Washington, his neighbor of 25 years.

LOUIS T. OLOM Falls Church