"Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries; tis time to part."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
"If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave."
-- Samuel Adams, Rights of the Colonists, 1772
“There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil.”
-- Cicero, De Re Publica, Book III
"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
-- James Madison, Federalist No. 52, 1788
"It (the Declaration of Independence) stands, and must forever stand alone, a beacon on the summit of the mountain, to which all the inhabitants of the earth may turn their eyes for a genial and saving light till time shall be lost in eternity, and this globe itself dissolve, nor leave a wreck behind. It stands forever, a light of admonition to the rulers of men, a light of salvation and redemption to the oppressed ... (as the delineation of) the boundries of their respective rights and duties, founded in the laws of nature, and of nature's God."
-- John Quincy Adams
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner himself commit some act that amounts to forfeiture."
-- William Blackstone