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Summary of the Spooner Project

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

Updated: July 18, 2018

See the Liberty Matters online discussion of the works of Lysander Spooner: Randy E. Barnett, “The Significance of Lysander Spooner” (Jan. 2016)

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was a legal theorist, abolitionist, and radical individualist who started his own mail company in order to challenge the monopoly held by the US government. He wrote on the constitutionality of slavery, natural law, trial by jury, how binding was the authority of the US Constitution over individuals, intellectual property, paper currency, and banking.

We began putting Spooner’s works online book by book and pamphlet by pamphlet over a period of several years beginning in 2010 - the “first edition” as it were. We have reorganized the material into a five volume collection in chronological order of date of publication - the “second edition” of 2018. The volumes are the following:

The Collected Works of Lysander Spooner (1834-1886), in 5 volumes (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018). Set.

The following tables of contents of the Collected Works provide a chronological list in order of date of publication (useful for seeing how his interests and ideas changed over time) and a thematic list by topic. The numbers refer to the work’s place in the chronological order:

More information about Spooner and his work:

  • Spooner’s main bio page: /people/4664.
  • School of Thought: Abolition of Slavery /groups/33.
  • School of Thought: 19th Century Natural Rights Theorists /groups/38.

Last modified July 18, 2018