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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: 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HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: WESTERN CIVILIZATION Magna Carta Libertatum (Medieval Latin for "the Great Charter of the Liberties"), commonly called Magna Carta (also Magna Charta; "(the)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...
LIBERTY LETTERS WITH STEVE FARRELL French Philosopher Frédéric Bastiat loved to get to the root of things.  In his 1852 classic "The Law" he teaches: It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator,...
LIBERTY LETTERS WITH STEVE FARRELL Many today look to the state for for a hand up, hand out, or for some other sort of privilege or advantage over other individuals, classes, races or businesses. French philosopher Frederic Bastiat, who believed the states only legitimate role was to serve as a mere...
FOUNDERS CORNER: LETTERS, SPEECHES, PAMPHLETS 1644, by John Milton TO THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND   This is true Liberty, when freeborn men, Having to advise the public, may speak free; Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise: Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace: What can be juster in...
FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS To the People of the State of New York—October 27, 1787 Introduction AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance;...
FOUNDERS CORNER: SPEECHES, PATRICK HENRY St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, March 23, 1775 No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different...
With slight shades of difference you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. George Washington
FOUNDERS CORNER: LETTERS: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN For the Federal Gazette, 12 September 1789 An Account of the Supremest Court of Judicature In Pennsylvania, Viz. The Court of the Press Power of This Court. It may receive and promulgate accusations of all kinds against all persons and characters among the citizens of the State,...
PAUL G. KENGOR, CENTER FOR VISION AND VALUES Many of Donald Trump’s supporters have compared him to Ronald Reagan. It is quite instructive that Trump himself picked up the 1980 Reagan campaign slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again.” Trump speaks positively of Ronald Reagan, and, like Reagan, claims to be...
LIBERTY LETTERS WITH STEVE FARRELL You and I are "melting pot" people; citizens, that is, of that country set apart by Heaven to receive those in search of the good life from every nation, kindred, tongue and people. As such, we, of all people, ought to recognize the value of a...
An Elector: To the Free Electors of This Town Boston, 1788 The theory of republican government took for granted a number of institutions and practices rarely written about, yet logical and important consequences of that theory. One of these was the view that electioneering was a corrupt practice. The virtuous man...