William Griffith’s examination of the Carlyle House Congress last month (The Carlyle House Congress and Britain’s Military Objectives for 1755) reminded me that I had been remiss in not visiting the site. So, the family and I set off for Alexandria, VA and a visit to John Carlyle’s home.
Gunston Hall’s River Entrance (Author Photo)
George Washington’s estate on the Potomac River is one of the most-visited places in the greater Washington, DC area, as befits the home of the Father of his Country. Just twelve miles south (by road), however, sits an equally impressive 18th century plantation home. Gunston Hall was the estate of George Mason IV (1725-1792). Best known as one of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention who in the end opposed the Constitution’s ratification, Mason doesn’t always get his due in the stories of America’s founding fathers. But, he was a critical and thoughtful voice in forming the early United States government and enshrining its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. Fortunately, his home is open to the public and easily accessible from the metropolitan Washington area.