George Washington

George
Washington
1732
1799

American General and Leader of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, presided over the writing of the Constitution, unanimously elected first President of the United States

Author Quotes

There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.

To acknowledge the receipt of letters is always proper, to remove doubts of their miscarriage.

To stand well in the estimation of one's country is a happiness that no rational creature can be insensible of.

We have therefore to resolve to conquer or to die. Our own, our country's honor, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shameful fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us then rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny mediated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

What may have been the ministerial views which have precipitated the present crisis, Lexington, Concord and Charlestown can best declare. May that God to whom you, too, appeal, judge between America and you. Under his providence, those who influence the councils of America, and all the other inhabitants of the united colonies, at the hazard of their lives are determined to hand down to posterity those just and invaluable privileges which they received from their ancestors.

While I reiterate the professions of my dependence upon Heaven, as the source of all public and private blessings, I will observe, that the general prevalence of piety, philanthropy, honesty, industry, and economy seems, in the ordinary course of human affairs, particularly necessary for advancing and confirming the happiness of our country.

You will therefore send me none but Natives, and Men of some property, if you have them

The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting an inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.

The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive which induced me to the Field — the object is attained — and it now remains to be my earnest wish and prayer, that the Citizens of the United States could make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings placed before them.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.

There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.

To admit then a right in the House of Representatives to demand, and to have as a matter of course, all the Papers respecting a negotiation with a foreign power would be to establish a dangerous precedent. It does not occur that the inspection of the papers asked for, can be relative to any purpose under the cognizance of the House of Representatives, except that of an impeachment, which the resolution has not expressed. I repeat, that I have no disposition to withhold any information which the duty of my station will permit, or the public good shall require to be disclosed: and in fact, all the Papers affecting the negotiation with Great Britain were laid before the Senate, when the Treaty itself was communicated for their consideration and advice. The course which the debate has taken, on the resolution of the House, leads to some observations on the mode of making treaties under the Constitution of the United States.

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions, which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns.

We have, as you very justly observe, abundant reason to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

While just government protects all in their religious rites, true religion affords government its surest support.

You will, by the dignity of your Conduct, afford occasion for Posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to Mankind, had this day been wanting, the World had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.

The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.

The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.

The great Searcher of human hearts is my witness, that I have no wish, which aspires beyond the humble and happy lot of living and dying a private citizen on my own farm.

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

There is nothing that gives a man consequence, and renders him fit for command, like a support that renders him independent of everybody but the State he serves.

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Washington
Birth Date
1732
Death Date
1799
Bio

American General and Leader of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, presided over the writing of the Constitution, unanimously elected first President of the United States