George Mason’s Promise
When the Delegates return after the Independence Day Holiday, the compromise hammered out on July 3rd is quickly dismembered and left for dead. There seems to be no recourse. Robert Yates gives up and leaves. Insults and arguments fly about the chamber as men who normally hold their passions in check, find themselves at loggerheads and without any obvious way to move forward.
It is hard for us to understand the helplessness of the situation. And anyone who says that they would have done it differently in 1787, is either ignorant of the situation, or lying about it.
Gouverneur Morris declares that they must unite. If persuasion will not work, then the sword will. Others are furious that he would think to suggest that Americans would revolt.
At the height of passions, George Mason of Virginia rises to speak. He has as much, if not more, than anyone else to lose by being here in Philadelphia. But he speaks calmness and makes a promise to the delegates.