THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF SLAVERY, by Lysander Spooner. First published in 1845 with later editions -- 1860
I heard about Lysander Spooner’s “The Unconstitutionality of Slavery” via Henry Wilson’s “History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America” and created an audio version of it prior to reading it.
It is classic Spooner in the power and precision of his reasoning. It is a Tour De Force of the application of the Trivium: his collection of relevant knowledge, understanding of the facts, and presentation in clear and irrefutable arguments of the necessary conclusions.
Written in 1845, it added a wholly distinct perspective to the Moral argument against Slavery.
He starts by defining what is LAW. Then he shows Why slavery was illegitimate under the Laws in place in three separate time frames: settlement to Declaration of Independence, Declaration to Constitution, Post Constitution.
And throughout, he shows How the “peculiar institution” was able to survive despite any legal sanction (coercion).
This is well worth your time even if you are not interested in Slavery in America because it is instructive in the application of the Trivium to distinguish Right from Wrong in a complex social milieu.