Lysander Spooner: Entreprenuer, scholar, radical abolitionist, principled believer in natural law and liberty – Lysander Spooner is one of the most provocative, eclectic and prolific American legal theorists of the 19th century. His writing continues to influence those today interested in consent, natural law, individual rights, and constitutional order in political theory and practice. – Randy E. Barnett
Address of the Free Constitutionalists to the People of the United States: Spooner published this pamphlet prior to the election in November 1860 urging voters not to vote for the Republican Party because it had no plan for the abolition of slavery.
Vices are Not Crimes: This is a pamphlet Spooner published in 1875 in which he argued that "vices" should not be punished as crimes. In other words, this is a defense of the right of individuals to engage in so-called "victimless crimes". Only violence committed against other individuals' life, liberty, and property were fit matters for the police and courts to busy themselves with.
A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850: Since, in Spooner's view, slavery was both unjust and unconstitutional, men and women held in slavery had the right to flee, and other people had the right and the duty to help the runaway slaves escape to freedom. This meant violating the Fugitive Slave Acts and breaking the law, but these acts would be in the freedom-loving spirit of the Constitution.
An Essay on the Trial by Jury: Spooner argues that it is principle in English law going back to Magna Carta that juries had the right to determine the justice of the laws under which a person might be tried, as well as whether or not the accused is guilty.
The Law of Intellectual Property; or An Essay on the Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in their Ideas: Although this is entitled volume 1 and a proposed list of contents for a volume 2 was appended to the work, no volume 2 ever appeared. Spooner takes a strong position on the perpetual property right of an author to his ideas in perpetuity with no government defined limit. The opening chapter has an interesting defence of property rights in general.
Letter to Charles Sumner: Spooner criticised Senator Sumner of Massachussetts for not being rigorous enough in his condemnation of the unconstitutionality of slavery. Like all politicians, according to Spooner, Sumner made too many compromises once he entered office.
A Letter to Grover Cleveland, on his false Inaugural Address, the Usurpations and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the consequent Poverty, Ignorance, and Servitude of the People: Spooner criticises Cleveland's government, and by implication all U.S. governments as well, for violating the citizen's natural rights and Spooner's consent theory of government legitimacy.
A Letter to Thomas Bayard: Challenging his right – and that of all the other so-called Senators and Representatives in Congress – to exercise any Legislative Power whatever over the People of the United States: A letter which first appeared in Benjamin Tucker's journal Liberty in 1882. Bayard was a Democratic Senator from the state of Delaware who believed that enlightened people like himself were the fittest to govern in the US. Spooner rejected this idea.
Natural Law; or the Science of Justice: A Treatise on Natural Law, Natural Justice, Natural Rights, Natural Liberty, and Natural Society; showing that all Legislation whatsoever is an Absurdity, a Usurpation, and a Crime. Part First.: Even this is entitled "The First" it is the only part Spooner published. It was meant to be the opening section of a much larger treatise on natural law. It is interesting because Spooner outlines the basic principles of the thinking which he used repeatedly in his other writings.
No Treason. No. I: Although this is numbered number 1 there were only three parts to this series (1, 2, and 6) in which Spooner argues that the individual is not bound to obey the American constitution because it justified slavery and otherwise violated individual rights.
No Treason. No. II. The Constitution: Although this is numbered number 2 there were only three parts to this series (1, 2, and 6) in which Spooner argues that the individual is not bound to obey the American constitution because it justified slavery and otherwise violated individual rights.
No Treason. No. VI. The Constitution of No Authority: Although this is numbered number 6 there were only three parts to this series (1, 2, and 6) in which Spooner argues that the individual is not bound to obey the American constitution because it justified slavery and otherwise violated individual rights.
A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery, and To the Non-Slaveholders of the South: A double page broadside pamphlet in which Spooner appeals to the non-slave owning population of the South to support the abolition of slavery.
The Shorter Works and Pamphlets of Lysander Spooner, Vol. 1 (1834-1861): This is a compilation of Spooner's shorter works on deism, law, poverty, the post office, and money, which were published between 1834 and 1861.
The Shorter Works and Pamphlets of Lysander Spooner, Vol. 2 (1862-1884): This is a compilation of Spooner's shorter works and pamphlets. Vol. 2 contains works on money and banking, copyright, law, and political philosophy, which were published between 1861 and 1884. The essay "Vices are not Crimes" (1875) first appeared anonymously in Prohibition a Failure: or, The True Solution of the Temperance Question, ed. Dio Lewis (Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1875).
The Unconstitutionality of Slavery: The first of a two part series on Spooner's theory that the institution of slavery was not supported by the ideas behind the constitution and was thus "unconstitutional."
The Unconstitutionality of Slavery: Part Second: The second of a two part series on Spooner's theory that the institution of slavery was not supported by the ideas behind the constitution and was thus "unconstitutional."
The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress, prohibiting Private Mails: Spooner challenged the US postal monopoly by starting his own mail company to deliver letters and by writing a short book arguing that it was wrong on legal and constitutional grounds.