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.

James Madison: Federal Powers Limited, State Powers Indefinite

FOUNDERS CORNER: LIMITED GOVERNMENT AND FEDERALISM The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to...

The value of skill and bravery combined!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... you have shewn to your countrymen that that enemy cannot meet bravery & skill united. in proving to them that our...

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

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,...

Beware! The government will tax you into poverty!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... considering the general tendency to multiply offices and dependancies, & to increase expence to the ultimate term of burthen which the...

Which is better, much knowledge or a little experience?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I am anxious to hear from you, lest you should have suffered in the same way now as on a former similar...

Where is the beef? RIGHT HERE!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... this morning arrived the quarter you were so kind as to send me of the Mammoth-veal . tho’ so far advanced...

Edmund Burke: Social Versus Individual Liberty

FOUNDERS CORNER, EDMUND BURKE November 1789 In a letter writte to Frenchman François Depont in November of 1789, 4 months after the outbreak of the French...

These two things are of supreme importance.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have safely received the copy of your history of the American revolution ... it is a happy circumstance for our country...

Your church is welcome here!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have recieved ... application the purchase of a site for a Roman Catholic church ... I have referred the...

It always costs more than you expect!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I consider ... the making a good gravel road from the New bridge on Rock creek along the Pensylva & Jersey avenues...

252 gallons of wine on the wall + 252 more!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP The term of payment for the two last pipes of wine being now at hand I have desired mr John Barnes of...

Enough is enough!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I am an enemy to all these douceurs , tributes & humiliations. what the laws impose on us let us execute faithfully;...

Let us observe Thanksgiving on December 9.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP Whereas the Honourable the General Congress, impressed with a grateful sense of the goodness of Almighty God ... hath thought proper ......

Weak leaders avoid the tough calls.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have known mr Page from the time we were boys & classmates together, & love him as a brother. but I...

This is what I think. You decide.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP have we a right to give passages generally to private individuals whenever a public vessel is passing from one place to another?...

I am very anxious to obtain the disease here.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... inoculated two persons with the matter of the 24th. & 4. with that of the 26th. the latter has no...

Wrestling with hypotheticals is a time-suck.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP .... let it be known that a fact is authentic, & what is it’s exact character, & then we may act on...

No bones about it!

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have to ... congratulate you on the prospect you have of obtaining a compleat skeleton of the great incognitum , and...

Some are so jaded they gripe about everything.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP papers will make a noise about it . but we see they are determined to blame every thing ... & therefore...

How strong should the government be?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... those who will be satisfied with a government of energy enough to protect persons & property sacredly, will not, I trust,...

The only medicine works slowly and not very effectively.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP Being about to embark for Europe, (induced to change the Scenes which Surround me, from a recent melancholy Event having rendered them...

Four qualities of an excellent diplomat

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have now known you seventeen years ... I have found you ever attentive to the interests & the rights of your...

We are NOT that different from one another.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... the greatest good we can do our country is to heal it’s party divisions & make them one people. I do...

Just so you will know, I do have a pair.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... the second removal was called for by the high tone of remonstrance , to ... the belief that I was...

Can we all just get along?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... most of all I lament the appearance of a division arising among the friends of republican government in a state where...

Once a father, always a father.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I recieved yesterday mr Eppes’s letter of the 12th. informing me you had got safely to Eppington, & would set out...

Louisiana, here we come. Do-da. Do-da.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP With respect to Spain our dispositions are sincerely amicable & even affectionate. we consider her possession of the adjacent country as...

Is 77 too old for the job?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... it is objected indeed in the remonstrance, that he is 77. years of age: but, at a much more advanced age,...

Can happiness exist without morality?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I believe firmly with you in the connection between virtue & happiness: that the latter can never exist ...: and that...

The pirates are in Congress’ court.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... being convinced it is money thrown away, that there is no end to the demands of these powers, nor any security...