This article is a list of major figures in the theory of libertarianism, a philosophy asserting that individuals have a right to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings and that the primary purpose of government is to protect these rights.
Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563): French judge, writer, and "a founder of modern political philosophy in France."
Josiah Warren (1798–1874): Inventor, social theorist, and believer in "individual sovereignty." Influenced John Stuart Mill. States "commit more crimes upon persons and property than all criminals put together."
Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812–1886): Abolitionist who tried to sell Texas to Britain to prevent it becoming a slave state.
Gustave de Molinari (1819–1912): French liberal economist and author of The Production of Security in which he argued that security can be produced better through the market than through government monopoly policing.
Herbert Spencer (1820–1903): Anarchist British parliamentarian. Advocated the "right of people to ignore the state." 
Auberon Herbert (1838–1906): Anarchist British parliamentarian, founder of "voluntaryism" and anti-democrat. Advocated that the voting majority has no more right to decide a man's life than "either the bayonet-surrounded emperor or the infallible church."
Henry George (1839-1897): American political economist and journalist, author of "Progress and Poverty" (1879), "Social Problems" (1883), and "Protection or Free Trade" (1886). Advocated for protecting the common right of all to Nature, free trade, and the secret ballot, among other ideas seminal to modern libertarianism. His ideas form the basis for Georgism and Geolibertarianism, and are additionally considered as formative for beginning the Progressive Era in the United States.
John Sherwin Crosby (1842-1914) : American educator and attorney, author of "The Orthocratic State" (1915), in which he presented a comprehensive justification for the formation of the state and its rightful powers.
Benjamin Tucker (1854–1939): American editor and publisher of the individualist anarchist periodical Liberty. Called anarchists "simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats."
Rose Wilder Lane (1886–1968): American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and libertarian political theorist.
Ralph Borsodi (1886-1977): American agrarian theorist, Georgist, founder of The School of Living, and author of "The Distribution Age" (1927), "This Ugly Civilization" (1929), and "Flight from the City" (1933).