William Henry Harrison

William Henry
Harrison
1773
1841

American Politician, 9th President of U.S., Farmer, Horse-Breeder, Congressman, Governor, General, Distiller

Author Quotes

All the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The American backwoodsman -- clad in his hunting shirt, the product of his domestic industry, and fighting for the country he loves, he is more than a match for the vile but splendid mercenary of a European despot.

But I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free.

The broad foundation upon which our Constitution rests being the people--a breath of theirs having made, as a breath can unmake, change, or modify it--it can be assigned to none of the great divisions of government but to that of democracy. If such is its theory, those who are called upon to administer it must recognize as its leading principle the duty of shaping their measures so as to produce the greatest good to the greatest number.

Far different is the power of our sovereignty. It can interfere with no one's faith, prescribe forms of worship for no one's observance, inflict no punishment but after well-ascertained guilt, the result of investigation under rules prescribed by the Constitution itself.

The chains of military despotism, once fastened upon a nation, ages might pass away before they could be shaken off.

I am the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County at your service . . . Some folks are silly enough to have formed a plan to make a president of the U.S. out of this clerk and clod hopper.

The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed

I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The people are the best guardians of their own rights and it is the duty of their executive to abstain from interfering in or thwarting the sacred exercise of the lawmaking functions of their government.

I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free

The plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.

I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me.

The prudent capitalist will never adventure his capital . . . if there exists a state of uncertainty as to whether the Government will repeal tomorrow what it has enacted today.

I proceed to state in as summary a manner as I can my opinion of the sources of the evils which have been so extensively complained of.... Some of the former are unquestionably to be found in the defects of the Constitution; others, in my judgment, are attributable to a misconstruction of some of its provisions. Of the former is the eligibility of the same individual to a second term of the Presidency.

There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.

If parties in a republic are necessary to secure a degree of vigilance sufficient to keep the public functionaries within the bounds of law and duty, at that point their usefulness ends. Beyond that they become destructive of public virtue, the parent of a spirit antagonist to that of liberty, and eventually its inevitable conqueror.

Times change, and we change with them.

Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of civilization?

To Englishmen, life is a topic, not an activity.

It is preposterous to suppose that a thought could for a moment have been entertained that the President, placed at the capital, in the center of the country, could better understand the wants and wishes of the people than their own immediate representatives, who spend a part of every year among them, living with them, often laboring with them, and bound to them by the triple tie of interest, duty, and affection.

We admit of no government by divine right, believing that so far as power is concerned the Beneficent Creator has made no distinction amongst men; that all are upon an equality, and that the only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed.

It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former. However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence.

Of all the great interests which appertain to our country, that of union--cordial, confiding, fraternal union--is by far the most important, since it is the only true and sure guaranty of all others.

Our citizens must be content with the exercise of the powers with which the Constitution clothes them.

Author Picture
First Name
William Henry
Last Name
Harrison
Birth Date
1773
Death Date
1841
Bio

American Politician, 9th President of U.S., Farmer, Horse-Breeder, Congressman, Governor, General, Distiller