Gouverneur Morris is a Founder of the United States. He signed the Articles of Confederation and represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention. He wrote the Preamble of the Constitution and served on the Committee of Style, which supplied much of the final wording of the document. He was a thinker and writer; here is a small sample of his work.
August Glen-James, editor
Of these three things Life Liberty Property the first can be enjoyed as well without the aid of Society as with it. The second better. We must therefore seek in the third for the Cause of Society.
Of Political Liberty
Political Liberty is defined, the right of assenting to or dissenting from every Public Act by which a Man is to be bound. Hence, the perfect enjoyment of it presupposes a Society in which unanimous Consent is required to every public Act. It is less perfect where the Majority govern. Still less where the Power is in a representative Body. Still less where either the executive or judicial is not elected. Still less where only the legislative is elected. Still less where a Part of the Representatives can decide. Still less where such Part is not a Majority of the whole. Still less where the Decisions of such Majority may be delayed or overruled. Thus the Shades grow weaker and weaker, till no Trace remains.
The Englishman . . . does not, in any degree, possess the Right of dissenting from Acts by which he is affected, so far as those Acts relate to the Executive or judicial Department. And in respect to this legislature, his political Liberty consists in the Chance that certain Persons will not consent to Acts which he would not have approved. And is that a Right which, depending on a Complication of Chances, gives one thousand against him for one in his favor? Right is not only independent of, but excludes the Idea of Chance.
Of these three things Life Liberty Property the first can be enjoyed as well without the aid of Society as with it. The second better. We must therefore seek in the third for the Cause of Society. Without Society property in goods is extremely precarious. There is not even the Idea in property in Lands. Conventions to defend each other’s Goods naturally apply to the Defence of those Places where the Goods are deposited. The Object of such conventions must be to preserve for each his own share. It follows therefore that Property is the principal Cause & Object of Society.
Barlow, J. Jackson, ed., To Secure the Blessings of Liberty: Selected Writings of Gouverneur Morris. Liberty Fund. Indianapolis, 2012.