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

To anticipate and prevent disastrous contingencies would be the part of wisdom and patriotism.

To the various branches of the Army, the General takes this last and solemn opportunity of professing his inviolable attachment and friendship--He wishes more than bare professions were in his power, that he was really able to be useful to them all in future life; He flatters himself however, they will do him the justice to believe, that whatever could with propriety be attempted by him, has been done. And being now to conclude these his last public Orders, to take his ultimate leave, in a short time, of the Military Character, and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he has so long had the honor to Command--he can only again offer in their behalf his recommendations to their grateful Country, and his prayers to the God of Armies. May ample justice be done them here, and may the choicest of Heaven's favors both here and hereafter attend those, who under the divine auspices have secured innumerable blessings for others: With these Wishes, and this benediction, the Commander in Chief is about to retire from service--The Curtain of separation will soon be drawn--and the Military Scene to him will be closed for ever.

We may, with a kind of grateful and pious exultation, trace the finger of Providence through those dark and mysterious events, which first induced the States to appoint a general Convention and then led them one after another into an adoption of the system recommended by that general Convention; thereby in all human probability, laying a lasting foundation for tranquility and happiness.

When a man does all he can, though it succeeds not well, blame not him that did it.

While the various Scenes of the War, in which I have experienced the timely aid of the Militia of Philadelphia, recur to my mind, my ardent prayer ascends to Heaven that they may long enjoy the blessings of that Peace which has been obtained by the divine benediction on our common exertions.

Your favor of the 16th I received Yesterday morning, and was much obliged by the interesting contents. The defeat of Genl. Burgoyne is a most important event, and such as must afford the highest satisfaction to every well affected American breast. Should providence be pleased to crown our Arms in the course of the Campaign, with one more fortunate stroke, I think we shall have no great cause for anxiety respecting the future designs of Britain. I trust all will be well in his good time.

The cause of our common country calls us both to an active and dangerous duty; Divine Providence, which wisely orders the affairs of men, will enable us to discharge it with fidelity and success.

The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this [the course of the war] that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations.

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained

The views of men can only be known, or guessed at, by their words or actions.

There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.

To be under but little or no control may be pleasing to a mind that does not reflect, but this pleasure cannot be of long duration.

Towards the latter part of the year 1783 I was honored with a letter from the Countess of Huntingdon, briefly reciting her benevolent intention of spreading Christianity among the Tribes of Indians inhabiting our Western Territory; and expressing a desire of my advice and assistance to carry this charitable design into execution... Her Ladyship has spoken so feelingly and sensibly, on the religious and benevolent purposes of the plan, that no language of which I am possessed, can add aught to enforce her observations.

We must consult our means rather than our wishes.

When a people shall have become incapable of governing themselves, and fit for a master, it is of little consequence from what quarter he comes.

While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable.

Your friendly, and affectionate wishes for my health and success, has a claim to my thankful acknowledgements; and, that the God of Armies may enable me to bring the present contest to a speedy and happy conclusion, thereby gratifying me in a retirement to the calm and sweet enjoyment of domestic happiness, is the fervent prayer, and most ardent wish of my Soul.

I will frankly declare to you, my dear doctor, that any memoirs of my life, distinct and unconnected with the general history of the war, would rather hurt my feelings than tickle my pride whilst I lived. I had rather glide gently down the stream of life, leaving it to posterity to think and say what they please of me, than by any act of mine to have vanity or ostentation imputed to me. I do not think vanity is a trait of my character.

If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.

In no instance since the commencement of the war, has the interposition of Providence appeared more remarkably conspicuous than in the rescue of the post and garrison of West point from Arnold's villainous perfidy.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

It is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It is yet to be decided whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered as a blessing or a curse: a blessing or a curse, not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of unborn millions be involved.

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