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

It will at least be a recommendation to the proposed constitution that it is provided with more checks and barriers against the introduction of tyranny, and those of a nature less liable to be surmounted, than any government hitherto instituted among mortals hath possessed.

Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. 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.

Men may speculate as they will; they may talk of patriotism; they may draw a few examples from ancient story, of great achievements performed by its influence; but whoever builds upon it, as a sufficient Basis for conducting a long and bloody War, will find themselves deceived in the end. We must take the passions of Men as Nature has given them and those principles as a guide which are generally the rule of Action. I do not mean to exclude altogether the Idea of Patriotism. I know it exists, and i know it has done much in the present Contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting War can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of Interest or some reward. For a time, it may, of itself push Men to Action; to bear much, to encounter difficulties; but it will not endure unassisted by Interest.

My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit, who is going to the place of his execution; so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode.

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart-burnings, which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those, who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.

So far as I am capable of judging, the principles upon which the society is founded and the rules laid down for its government, appear to be well calculated to promote so laudable and arduous an undertaking, and you will permit me to add that if an event so long and so earnestly desired as that of converting the Indians to Christianity and consequently to civilization, can be effected, the Society of Bethlehem bids fair to bear a very considerable part in it.

I shall rely, therefore, confidently on that Providence which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safely to you in the fall.

If I was a young man, just preparing to begin the world, or if advanced in life, and had a family to make a provision for, I know of no country where I should rather fix my habitation than in some part of that region (the West).

In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of effects without attending to their causes.

In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.

It has always been and will continue to be my earnest desire to learn, and, as far as is consistent, to comply with, the public sentiment; but it is on great occasions only, and after time has been given for cool and deliberate reflection, that the real voice of the people can be known.

It is much easier at all times to prevent an evil than to rectify mistakes.

It is the peculiar boast of our country that her happiness is alone dependent on the collective wisdom and virtue of her citizens, and rests not on the exertions of any individual.

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and commendable nature; and in all cases of passion admit reason to govern.

Men of real talents in Arms have commonly approved themselves patrons of the liberal arts and friends to the poets, of their own as well as former times. In some instances by acting reciprocally, heroes have made poets, and poets heroes.

My nature is open and honest and free from guile.

No person wishes more to save money to the public, than I do; and no person has aimed more at it. But there are some cases in which parsimony may be ill-laced.

Orders, unless they are followed by close attention to the performance of them, are of little avail.

Real Patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests. (Note: spelling/capitalization likely original.

Soap is another article in great demand--the Continental allowance is too small, and dear, as every necessary of life is now got, a soldier's pay will not enable him to purchase, by which means his consequent dirtiness adds not a little to the disease of the Army.

I sincerely wish, gentlemen, that you may in your social and individual capacities taste those blessings which a gracious God bestows upon the righteous.

If I were to put a curse on my worst enemy, it would to be to wish him in my position now. I just do not know what to do. It seems impossible to continue my command in this situation, but if I withdraw, all will be lost.

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