Wendell Phillips

Wendell
Phillips
1811
1884

American Orator, Abolitionist, Reformer, Advocate for Native Americans and Lawyer

Author Quotes

As the Greek said, “Many men know how to flatter, few men know how to praise.”

Government began in tyranny and force, began in the feudalism of the soldier and bigotry of the priest; and the ideas of justice and humanity have been fighting their way, like a thunderstorm, against the organized selfishness of human nature.

Many know how to flatter, few know how to praise.

Statutes are mere milestones, telling how far yesterday's thought had travelled; and the talk of the sidewalk today is the law of the land. - With us, law is nothing unless close behind it stands a warm, living public opinion.

To be fossilized is to be stagnant, unprogressive, dead, frozen into a solid. It is only liquid currents of thought that move men and the world.

You can always get the truth from an American statesman after he has turned seventy, or given up all hope of the Presidency.

Baron Grimm declared that, as a rule, it was easy for little minds to attain splendid positions, because they devoted all their ability to the one object.

Government is a necessary evil, like other go-carts and crutches. Our need of it shows exactly how far we are still children. All governing over much kills the self-help and energy of the governed.

No free people can lose their liberties while they are jealous of liberty. But the liberties of the freest people are in danger when they set up symbols of liberty as fetishes, worshipping the symbol instead of the principle it represents.

Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we are all wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.

To hear some men talk of the government, you would suppose that Congress was the law of gravitation, and kept the planets in their places.

Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism

Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection: they have many friends and few enemies.

No matter whose lips that would speak, they must be free and ungagged. The community which dares not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves. If there is anything in the universe that can’t stand discussion, let it crack.

The best use of laws is to teach men to trample bad laws under their feet.

To suppress minority thinking and minority expression would tend to freeze society and prevent progress. Now more than ever, we must keep in the forefront of our minds the fact that whenever we take away the liberties of those we hate, we are opening

Civil war is a momentous evil. Civil war needs momentous and solemn justification.

Great political questions stir the deepest nature of one half the nation, but they pass far above and over the heads of the other half.

One on God’s side is a majority.

The community which does not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves. If there is anything in the universe that can't stand discussion, let it crack.

Today it is not big business that we have to fear. It is big government.

Common sense does not ask an impossible chessboard, but takes the one before it and plays the game.

Health lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil.

Opinionated assurance.

The heart is the best reflective thinker.

Author Picture
First Name
Wendell
Last Name
Phillips
Birth Date
1811
Death Date
1884
Bio

American Orator, Abolitionist, Reformer, Advocate for Native Americans and Lawyer