On Independence Day it is worth remembering what our Founding Fathers had to say about property rights.
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.” Samuel Adams
“Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.” John Adams
“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” John Jay
“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” James Madison
"A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings." Thomas Jefferson
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death."
"All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety."
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'" Thomas Jefferson
And a few notable quotes from others:
“Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing.” Calvin Coolidge
“The Right of property is the guardian of every other Right, and to deprive the people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their Liberty.” Arthur Lee
“Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.” Ayn Rand
“Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.” William Howard Taft
“If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”Ludwig von Mises
“The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.” John Locke
“So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community. “ William Blackstone
"The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not." Fredrich Hayek