The James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding




Founded by Hadley Arkes in 2013, the James Wilson Institute (JWI) is devoted to the study, spread, and further understanding of natural rights. JWI’s mission is to restore to a new generation of lawyers and citizens the understanding of the American Founders about the first principles of our law and the moral grounds of their own rights. Your tax-deductible gift will go towards supporting programs, such as the biannual conferences which bring together federal judges who want to get a firmer hold on the natural law, an annual Fellowship program for accomplished young lawyers, regional meetings around the country for lawyers interested in learning about natural law, and free lectures hosted in Washington, DC. JWI is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our EIN # is: 41-1970028. Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To make a monthly or annually recurring donation, please visit here. Thank you for your support. We invite you to watch a brief video above featuring our JW Fellows as confirmation of our work.


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Support Levels

  • I. Young Wilsonians - $250
    • Quarterly JWI Newsletter
  • II. Wilsonians - $500
    • Quarterly JWI Newsletter
  • III. Thomas Reid Circle - $1,000
    • All benefits above
    • Signed copy of Prof. Arkes book (choose from 7)
  • IV. John Marshall Circle - $2,500
    • All benefits above
    • Prof. Arkes’ “Political Obligations” lectures (CD) or recorded lectures from another JWI Senior Scholar
  • V. Calvin Coolidge Circle - $5,000
    • All benefits above
    • Private JWI events, speaker receptions, dinners
  • VI. Abraham Lincoln Circle - $10,000
    • All benefits above
    • A JWI Senior Scholar or Affiliated Scholar will speak at a private donor-hosted event during the membership year.

Sustaining Levels

  • Alexander Hamilton Patrons
    • $5,000 annually for 3 years
    • All benefits of Tiers I - V
    • Hamilton Patrons are named sponsors of  JWI Summer Fellows.  We will arrange for Fellows to meet personally with their Patrons annually, after their Fellows program. Patrons are members of the JWI Patrons Council.
  • John Witherspoon Patrons
    • $20,000 annually for 3 years
    • All benefits of Tiers I-V
    • Witherspoon Patrons support one of our three JWI Senior Fellows.  They may host a private event in their hometown at which Prof. Arkes or one of our Senior Fellows* will speak. Patrons are members of the JWI Patrons Council & JWI Board of Advisors.

To sustain the work of the James Wilson Institute as a Patron, please speak with JWI Managing Director Michael Maibach. You may reach him via telephone at 703-851-6811 or via email at mcm at

For information on Planned Giving & Giving Through Stocks and Bonds, please visit here.

Contributions in the form of a personal check may be sent to the following address: James Wilson Institute, 124 S. West St. Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Anchoring Truths
Check Out Original Essays, Podcasts, Videos, and More
Anchoring Truths - a James Wilson Institute project
The James Wilson Institute has sought to recover, and to teach again, those anchoring truths that provided for the Founders the moral ground of the law.
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The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790