George Washington


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

The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.

The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, and wicked practice, of profane cursing and swearing (a Vice heretofore little known in an American Army) is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they, and the men will reflect, that we can have little hopes of the blessing of Heaven on our Arms, if we insult it by our impiety, and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.

The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

There exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that 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.

Three things prompt men to a regular discharge of their duty in time of action: natural bravery, hope of reward, and fear of punishment.

To know the affinity of tongues seems to be one step towards promoting the affinity of nations. Would to god, the harmony of nations was an object that lay nearest to the hearts of Sovereigns; and that the incentives to peace (of which commerce and facility of understanding each other are not the most inconsiderable) might be daily increased! Should the present or any other efforts of mine to procure information respecting the different dialects of the Aborigines in America, serve to reflect a ray of light on the obscure subject of language in general, I shall be highly gratified. For I love to indulge the contemplation of human nature in a progressive state of improvement and melioration; and if the idea would not be considered visionary and chimerical, I could fondly hope, that the present plan of the great Potentate of the North might, in some measure, lay the foundation for that assimilation of language, which, producing assimilation of manners and interests, which, should one day remove many of the causes of hostility from amongst mankind.

Used solely for the purpose of encouraging American genius.

We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

When you have somebody that big, you have to be able to shoot from the outside.

With humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren.

The arrows of malevolence... however barbed and well pointed, never can reach the most vulnerable part of me; though, whilst I am up as a mark, they will be continually aimed.

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the Army which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness. And in like manner he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.

There is a Destiny which has the control of our actions, not to be resisted by the strongest efforts of Human Nature.

Thursday the seventh Instant, being set apart by the Honorable the Legislature of this province, as a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation, to implore the Lord, and Giver of all victory, to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness's, and that it would please him to bless the Continental Arms, with his divine favor and protection' - All Officers, and Soldiers, are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence, and attention on that day, to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts, for his mercies already received, and for those blessings, which our Holiness and Uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through his mercy to obtain.

To me, it appears no unjust simile to compare the affairs of this great Continent to the mechanism of a clock, each state representing someone or other of the smaller parts of it which they are endeavoring to put in fine order without considering how useless and unavailing their labor is unless the great Wheel or Spring which is to set the whole in motion is also well attended to and kept in good order.

War - An act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will.

We'll be asking to set aside the Court of Appeals decision.

When you speak of God, or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence. Honor and obey our natural parents although they be poor.

With my inauguration, I resolved firmly, that no man should ever charge me justly with deception.

The art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated... it demands much previous study; and... the possession of it, in its most improved and perfect state, is always a great moment to the security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of every government; and for this purpose, an academy, where a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient, which different nations have successfully employed.

The Constitution that we have is an excellent one, if we can keep it where it is.

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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