To the Journal editor:
I found it ironic that in Birch Smith's recent history lesson on freedom in America he chose to quote James Madison on the topic of property rights.
Madison, as a slaveholder, counted human beings among his inviolate property.
It was the South's desire to secure those property rights that led to the Civil War. And indeed it was the vestiges of that notorious crime against humanity that would eventually force our government into the very contractual interference that Smith now decries.
To laud abstract natural rights without acknowledging this history is disingenuous at best.