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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.

Jefferson-Adams and the Natural Aristocracy

Carl L. Bankston III, Professor of Sociology, Tulane University The historian Gordon Wood, in his magisterial 1969 classic The Creation of the American Republic, observed...

Ellen M. H. Gates: Your Mission

President Lincoln asks for an Encore, Democratic Thinker Speaker Colfax said, I regret to inform you that the Hon. James Harlan (Secretary of the...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 14: George Clinton

Extent of Territory Under Consolidated Government. Too Large to Preserve Liberty or Protect Property? George Clinton, October 25, 1787 George Clinton, Governor of New York, was...

I Die Hard, But I Am Not Afraid to Go — George Washington

American Minute with Bill Federer He caught a chill riding horseback several hours in the snow while inspecting his Mount Vernon farm. The next morning...

Letters from a Farmer in Pennyslvania: Letter 3 – John Dickinson

FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY, MAJOR WORKS Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, by John Dickinson, Letter 3 My dear Countrymen, I rejoice to find that my two former...

George Washington Miracle: French and Indian War

American Minute with Bill Federer About a dozen years before the Revolutionary War, tensions increased in America between the British and the French with their...

Constitutional Convention: May 14, 25, 1787

FOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: MAJOR WORKS James Madison's Notes: Federal Convention of 1787 May 14, 25, 1787   Monday May 14th 1787 was the day fixed for the meeting...

James Madison: On a Just Partition of Power

Liberty Letters, James Madison It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but...

The Very Definition of Tyranny

Liberty Letters, James Madison, 1788 No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of...

Americans Combat Individualism By Free Institutions

Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville, 1831 Volume 2, Section 2, Chapter 4, That The Americans Combat The Effects Of Individualism By Free Institutions DESPOTISM which by...

External (Indirect) v. Internal (Direct) Taxes — Brutus

Why import taxes are best: "They may be collected in few places, and from few hands with certainty and expedition. But few officers are necessary to be employed in collecting them, and there is no danger of oppression in laying them, because, if they are laid higher than trade will bear, the merchants will cease importing, or smuggle their goods. We have therefore sufficient security, arising from the nature of the thing, against burdensome, and intolerable impositions from this kind of tax." -- Brutus (Robert Yates)

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 36: Richard Henry Lee

Representation and Internal Taxation Richard Henry Lee Richard Henry Lee was arguably the best known Anti-federalist writer. His pamphlets were widely distributed and reprinted in newspapers....

John Jay on the Holy Bible: The Best of All Books

Liberty Letters Quote of the Day, John Jay The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches...

Tocqueville: Some Reflections On American Manners

Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville, 1831 Volume 2, Section 3, Chapter 14, Some Reflections on American Manners Nothing seems at first sight less important than the...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 60: John F. Mercer

Will the Constitution Promote the Interests of Favorite Classes? John F. Mercer, 1788 John F. Mercer of Maryland was the author of this essay, taken from...

A Guide to Reading John Locke's Concerning Civil Government: Second Essay

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...

Bancroft: A Plea for the Constitution of the United States

Wounded in the House of Its Guardians by George Bancroft,  1884 INTRODUCTION Good money must have an intrinsic value. The United States of America cannot make its...

Boston Non-Importation Agreement

Liberty Letters, August 1, 1768 The merchants and traders in the town of Boston having taken into consideration the deplorable situation of the trade, and...

The Anti-Federalist Papers, No. 12, Cincinnatus

How Will The New Government Raise Money? Cincinnatus, Nov. 29 & Dec. 6, 1787 Note: "Cincinnatus" is an Antifederalist writer. In this essay, from an Address...

Notes of Debates In the Continental Congress: 1775, 1776

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...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 35: George Mason

Federal Taxing Power must Be Restrained George Mason, June 4, 1788 George Mason of Virginia opposed the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, and...

Jefferson: An Attack on One Colony an Attack on All

Liberty Letters, Thomas Jefferson. 1774 ... We are further clearly of the opinion, that an attack, made on one of our sister colonies, to compel...

The Articles of Confederation

1777 The same continental congress which passed the Declaration of Independence, appointed a committee "to prepare and digest the form of confederation to be entered...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 25: Brutus

Objections to a Standing Army, Part 2 From the tenth letter of "Brutus" appearing in The New-York Journal, January 24, 1788. The liberties of a people...

What Form of Government Do We Have Anyway?

JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. I remember some years ago when a certain group of political activists used to go around promoting the idea that "America is...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 68: William Grayson

On the Mode of Electing the President William Grayson, June 18, 1788 From a speech by William Grayson given to the Virginia ratifying convention on June...

The Mayflower Compact — William Bradford

Liberty Letters, November 11, 1620, William Bradford In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord,...

Constitution of the United States of America

September 17, 1787 We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for...

George Washington on the Duty to Obey Law

Liberty Letters, George Washington Respect for its authority, compliance with its Laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true...

The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 1: A Federalist

Liberty Letters, A Federalist, Anti-Federalist No. 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION: A DANGEROUS PLAN OF BENEFIT ONLY TO THE "ARISTOCRATICK COMBINATION" November 26, 1787. I am pleased to see...