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Founders Corner

Comprehensive online library of major works, essays, letters, speeches, quotes from America's Founding Fathers; also key documents; and histories contemporary to the Founding Era, along with works, speeches, etc., from thinkers and statesmen who influenced the Founders or were influenced by them.

Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 16,  GENERAL REVIEW OF THE COLONIES § 146. We have now finished our survey of the origin and political history of the colonies; and here we may pause for a short time for the purpose of...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 15,  GEORGIA § 143. In the same year, in which Carolina was divided , a project was formed for the settlement of a colony upon the unoccupied territory between the rivers Savannah and Altamaha.1 The object of...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 14,  NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA § 128. WE next come to the consideration of the history of the political organization of the Carolinas. That level region, which stretches from the 36th degree of north latitude to...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 13,  DELAWARE § 126. AFTER Penn had become proprietary of Pennsylvania, he purchased of the Duke of York, in 1682, all his right and interest in the territory, afterwards called the Three Lower Counties of Delaware,...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 12,  PENNSYLVANIA § 121. PENNSYLVANIA was originally settled by different detachments of planters under various authorities, Dutch, Swedes, and others, which at different times occupied portions of land on South or Delaware river. 1 The ascendency...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 11,  NEW JERSEY § 115. New Jersey, as we have already seen, was a part of the territory granted to the Duke of York, and was by him granted, in June, 1664, to Lord Berkeley...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 10,  NEW YORK § 111. New York was originally settled by emigrants from Holland. But the English government seems at all times to have disputed the right of the Dutch to make any settlement in America;...
Liberty Letters, Benjamin Franklin In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in this struggle must have...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 9,  MARYLAND § 103. THE province of Maryland was included originally in the patent of the Southern or Virginia company; and upon the dissolution of that company it reverted to the crown. King Charles the...
FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS, 1776 Editor's Introduction: In January 1776, six months prior to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and eleven years prior to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, John Adams wrote his Thoughts on Government: Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies" in response...
FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS Wednesday, November 7, 1787 Concerning Powers From Foreign Force and Influence MY LAST paper assigned several reasons why the safety of the people would be best secured by union against the danger it may be exposed to by just causes of war given to other nations; and those...
John Adams lays out the American position on the natural rights of individual Americans and the rights enjoyed by all colonial governments under British law.
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: WESTERN CIVILIZATION Magna Carta Libertatum (Medieval Latin for "the Great Charter of the Liberties"), commonly called Magna Carta (also Magna Charta; "(the) Great Charter") GRANTED JUNE 15, A.D., 1215. JOHN, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his Archbishops,...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 8,  RHODE ISLAND § 94. RHODE ISLAND was originally settled by emigrants from Massachusetts, fleeing thither to escape from religious persecution; and it still boasts of Roger Williams as its founder, and as the early defender...
Founders Corner Library: Major Works, John Adams Edited by Charles Henry Adams 1775 and 1776 All the notes made by Mr. Adams, during these years, have been put together and set apart in the following pages, with the addition of such explanations, by the Editor, as seem necessary to make them readily...
Founders Corner Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story, 1833 Volume 1, Chapter 7,  CONNECTICUT § 84. CONNECTICUT was originally settled under the protection of Massachusetts; but the inhabitants in a few years afterwards (1638) felt at liberty (after the example of Massachusetts) to frame a constitution of government...
FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS November 3, 1787 Plea for Union Continued IT IS not a new observation that the people of any country (if, like the Americans, intelligent and well-informed) seldom adopt and steadily persevere for many years in an erroneous opinion respecting their interests. That consideration naturally tends to create...
FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS Wednesday, October 31, 1787 Plea for Union WHEN the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive,...
LIBERTY LETTERS WITH STEVE FARRELL In the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, George Mason of Virginia, suggested: the necessity of preventing the danger of perpetual revenue which must of necessity subvert the liberty of any Country. If it be objected to on the principle of Mr. Rutledge’s motion that...
By Mortimer J. Adler and Peter Wolff In the history of human liberty, Locke's essay Concerning Civil Government stands out not only as a great contribution to political theory, but also as an effective instigator of political action. It is a stirring pronouncement of the principles of the English "bloodless...