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Sam Adams on Natural Law

“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”
— Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772

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Quoting Truth to Power

“It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obligated to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go…In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

(“The Kentucky Resolution of 1798,” Annals of America, 4:65-66; emphasis added.)