Henry Clay

Henry
Clay
1777
1852

American Statesman. Orator and Senator

Author Quotes

I have heard something said about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West, to which I owe any allegiance.

The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity?unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.

I have no commiseration for princes. My sympathies are reserved for the great mass of mankind.

The courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest to the grateful and appreciating heart. It is the picayune compliments which are the most appreciated; far more than the double ones we sometimes pay.

I hope that it will yet be said, America is America's best customer.

The gentleman [Josiah Quincy] cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, "Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must."

If you wish to avoid foreign collision, you had better abandon the ocean.

The person who has not learned to be happy and content while completely alone for an hour a day, or a week has missed life's greatest serenity.

Impart additional strength to our happy Union. Diversified as are the interests of its various parts, how admirably do they harmonize and blend together!?We have only to make a proper use of the bounties spread before us, to render us prosperous and powerful.

The time will come when winter will ask you what you were doing all summer.

In a scheme of policy which is devised for a nation, we should not limit our views to its operation during a single year, or even for a short term of years. We should look at its operation for a considerable time, and in war as well as in peace.

There is no power like that of oratory. Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears; Cicero, by captivating their affections and swaying their passions. The influence of the one perished with its author; that of the other continues to this day.

In all cases where incidental powers are acted upon, the principal and incidental ought to be congenial with each other, and partake of a common nature. The incidental power ought to be strictly subordinate and limited to the end proposed to be obtained by the specified power. In other words, under the name of accomplishing one object which is specified, the power implied ought not to be made to embrace other objects, which are not specified in the constitution.

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.

A loving trust in the Author of the Bible is the best preparation for a wise study of the Bible.

It consists in the genius of the nation, which is prone to peace; in that desire to arrange, by friendly negotiation, our disputes with all nations... But a new state of things has arisen: negotiation has become hopeless. The power with whom it was to be conducted, if not annihilated, is in the situation that precludes it; and the subject-matter of it is in danger of being snatched forever from our power. Longer delay would be construed into a dereliction of our right, and would amount to a treachery to ourselves.

Value friendship for what there is in it, not for what can be gotten out of it.

A nation?s character is the sum of its splendid deeds; they constitute one common patrimony, the nation?s inheritance. They awe foreign powers; they arouse and animate our own people.

It is much more important that we unite, harmonize, and improve what we have than attempt to acquire more.

We have had good and bad Presidents, and it is a consoling reflection that the American Nation possesses such elements of prosperity that the bad Presidents cannot destroy it, and have been able to do no more than slightly to retard the public's advancement.

All legislation, all government, all society is founded upon the principle of mutual concession, politeness, comity, courtesy; upon these everything is based...Let him who elevates himself above humanity, above its weaknesses, its infirmities, its wants, its necessities, say, if he pleases, I will never compromise; but let no one who is not above the frailties of our common nature disdain compromises.

It is totally unnecessary for the gentleman to remind me of my coming from a slaveholding state. I know whence I came, and I know my duty, and I am ready to submit to any responsibility which belongs to me as a senator from a slaveholding state. I have heard something said on this and a former occasion about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West, to which I owe any allegiance. I owe allegiance to two sovereignties, and only two: one is the sovereignty of this Union, and the other is the sovereignty of the state of Kentucky. My allegiance is to this Union and to my state; but if gentlemen suppose they can exact from me an acknowledgement of allegiance to any ideal or future contemplated confederacy of the South, I here declare that I owe no allegiance to it; nor will I, for one, come under any such allegiance if I can avoid it.

Whether we assert our rights by sea, or attempt their maintenance by land ? whithersoever we turn ourselves, this phantom incessantly pursues us. Already has it had too much influence on the councils of the nation.

Attention is our first duty whenever we want to know what is our second duty. There is no such cause of confusion and worry about what we ought to do, and how to do it, as our unwillingness to bear what God would tell us on that very point.

My friends are not worth the powder and shot it would take to kill them!... If there were two Henry Clays, one of them would make the other President of the United States!... It is a diabolical intrigue, I know now, which has betrayed me. I am the most unfortunate man in the history of parties: always run by my friends when sure to be defeated, and now betrayed for a nomination when I, or any one, would be sure of an election.

Author Picture
First Name
Henry
Last Name
Clay
Birth Date
1777
Death Date
1852
Bio

American Statesman. Orator and Senator