"(T)he whole history of mankind proves that so far from parting with the powers actually delegated to it, government is constantly encroaching on the small pittance of rights reserved by the people to themselves and gradually wresting them out of their hands until it either terminates in their slavery or forces them to arms, and brings about a revolution." Luther Martin, delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, March 28, 1788.
"Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind." New Hampshire Constitution of 1784.
Is it possible, he asked, that an army could be raised for the purpose of enslaving themselves and their brethren? or, if raised, whether they could subdue a nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands? T. Sedgwick, Massachusetts Ratification Convention, 1788.
"The right of the people to keep & bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States;.... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America." Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789, 211, col. 2.
"THE whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals ... (I)t establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." Albert Gallatin to Alexander Addison, October 7, 1789, manuscript in New York Historical Society, Albert Gallatin Papers, 2.