Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation.
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe, that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction.
Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.
Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
I go to the chair of government with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.
Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
If you need to start by focusing on how your attitude appears, then appear relaxed and carefree, as if you have time to stop and listen to others.
This tribe of black gentry work more effectually against us, than the enemy's arms. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties, and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests to society, and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
Impressed with a conviction that the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good Government, I have considered the first arrangement of the Judicial department as essential to the happiness of our Country, and to the stability of its political system.
A good moral character is the first essential. It is highly important not only to be learned but to be virtuous.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true, and, in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.
Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?
The whole duty of man is summed up in obedience to God's will.
This Government, the offspring of your own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support.
We must take care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, in a respectable defensive posture.
Even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror.
One of the difficulties in bringing about change in an organization is that you must do so through the persons who have been most successful in that organization, no matter how faulty the system or the organization is. To such persons, you see, it is the best of all possible organizations, because look who was selected by it ad look who succeeded most in it. Yet, these are the very people through whom we must bring about improvements.
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.
The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreebly to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.
To point out the importance of circumspection in your conduct, it may be proper to observe that a good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.
I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed at the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.
Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ.
O most glorious God ... Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit.... Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy Son Jesus Christ.... Thou gavest thy Son to die for me, and hast given me assurance of salvation.
Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country. -- March 15, 1783.
I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.
There is an indissoluble union between a magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.
To stand well in the estimation of one's country is a happiness that no rational creature can be insensible of.
It is an old adage that honesty is the best policy-this applies to public as well as private life-to States as well as individuals.
'Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external happiness of elevated office.
I am not only retired from all public employments, but I am retiring within myself, and shall be able to view the solitary walk and tread the paths of private life with heartfelt satisfaction.
To enlarge the sphere of social happiness is worthy of the benevolent design of a Masonic institution; and it is most fervently to be wished, that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications, that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind that the grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.
To enlarge the sphere of social happiness is worthy of the benevolent design of a Masonic institution; and it is most fervently to be wished, that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications, that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind that the grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.
Letter to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, January 1793.
Even the country's first president chafed at the limits placed on him by the writers of the U.S. Constitution. From the nature of the Constitution, ... I must approve all the parts of a bill, or reject it in toto.
To form a new Government, requires infinite care, and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid the superstructure must be bad.
A pack of jackasses led by a lion is superior to a pack of lions led by a jackass.
It has always been a source of serious reflection and sincere regret with me that the youth of the United States should be sent to foreign countries for the purpose of education. Although there are many who escape the danger of contracting principles unfavorable to republican governments, yet we ought to deprecate the hazard attending ardent and susceptible minds from being too strongly and too early prejudiced in favor of other political systems, before they are capable of appreciating their own.
There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.
In the composition of the human frame there is a good deal of inflammable matter, however dormant it may lie for a time.
If to be venerated for benevolence, if to be admired for talents, if to be esteemed for patriotism, if to be beloved for philanthropy, can gratify the human mind, you must have the pleasing consolation to know that you have not lived in vain. And I flatter myself that it will not be ranked among the least grateful occurrences of your life to be assured that, so long as I retain my memory, you will be thought on with respect, veneration, and affection by your sincere friend.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants-while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
A people contending for life and liberty are seldom disposed to look with a favorable eye upon either men or measures whose passions, interests or consequences will clash with those inestimable objects.
I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.
Patience is a noble virtue, and, when rightly exercised, does not fail of its reward.
What was done with the seed saved from the India Hemp last summer? It ought, all of it, to have been sewn again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated the seed to others; as it is more valuable than the common Hemp.
For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.
The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty -- that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.
The U.S. is a Government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance.
Freedom and Property Rights are inseparable. You can't have one without the other.
For the sake of humanity it is devoutly to be wished that the manly employment of agriculture and the humanizing benefits of commerce would supersede the waste of war and the rage of conquest; and the swords might be turned into ploughshares, the spears into pruning-hooks, and as the Scripture expresses it, "the nations learn war no more.
Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
Men's minds are as variant as their faces. Where the motives of their actions are pure, the operation of the former is no more to be imputed to them as a crime, than the appearance of the latter; for both, being the work of nature, are alike unavoidable.
To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.
To every description of citizens, let praise be given. but let them persevere in their affectionate vigilance over that precious depository of American happiness, the Constitution of the United States. Let them cherish it, too, for the sake of those who, from every clime, are daily seeking a dwelling in our land.
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 thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than to live on his knees.
Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence.
Integrity and firmness is all I can promise; these, be the voyage long or short, never shall forsake me though I be deserted by all men. For of the consolations which are to be derived from these (under any circumstances) the world cannot deprive me.
The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.
When there is no vision, there is no hope.
There is nothing that gives a man consequence, and renders him fit for command, like a support that renders him independent of everybody but the State he serves.
Let us impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.
Happy, thrice happy shall they be pronounced hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous fabrick of Freedom and Empire on the broad basis of Independency; who have assisted in protecting the rights of humane nature and establishing an Asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions.
It is with pleasure I receive reproof, when reproof is due, because no person can be readier to accuse me, than I am to acknowledge an error, when I am guilty of one; nor more desirous of atoning for a crime, when I am sensible of having committed it.
But if the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity, and a minority is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put at one stroke to republican government, and nothing but anarchy and confusion is to be expected thereafter.
I can truly say I had rather be a Mount Vernon than to be attended at the Seat of Government by the Officers of State and the Representatives of every Power in Europe.
Freemasonry is an institution founded on eternal reason and truth; whose deep basis is the civilization of mankind, and whose everlasting glory it is to have the immovable support of those two mighty pillars, science and morality.
All I am I owe to my mother.
Let me ... warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party.
If we mean to support the liberty and independence which has cost us so much blood and treasure to establish, we must drive far away the demon of party spirit and local reproach.
Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.
Though, 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.
Refrain from drink which is the source of all evil-and the ruin of half the workmen in this Country.
Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power.
Let me ask you, sir, when is the time for brave men to exert themselves in the cause of liberty and their country, if this is not?
I never mean, unless some particular circumstances should compel it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.
In the appointments to the great offices of the government, my aim has been to combine geographical situation, and sometimes other considerations, with abilities and fitness of known characters.
Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.
In a word, if this country can steer clear of European politics, stand firm on its bottom, and be wise and temperate in its government, it bids fair to be one of the greatest and happiest nations in the world.
Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.
Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly forsee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.
No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.
Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.
The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.
Do not spare any reasonable expense to come at early and true information; always recollecting, and bearing in mind, that vague and uncertain accounts of things are... more disturbing and dangerous than receiving none at all.
As to pay, Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it.
I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.
George Washington did NOT say, "I'll die on my feet before I'll live on my knees!"
There is no known source of Washington saying this. Zapata, FDR, yes; not Washington. I have a rundown of sources on this on my blog, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub.
I dare say the men would fight very well if properly officered, although they are an exceedingly dirty and nasty people.
Purity of morals is the only sure foundation of public happiness in any country.
To anticipate and prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom and patriotism.
It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.
A half-starved limping government, always moving upon crutches and tottering at every step.
To me, it appears no unjust simile to compare the affairs of this great Continent to the mechanism of a clock, each state representing some one 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.
We should on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn.
The best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity is justice.
A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.
One of his officers, Henry Lee, summed up contemporary public opinion of Washington: First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
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.
A hundred thousand men, coming one after another, cannot move a Ton weight; but the united strength of 50 would transport it with ease.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effective ways of preserving peace.
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country.
The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.
I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection... and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacifick temper of the mind, which were the characteristicks of the divine Author of our blessed religion ; without an humble imitation of whose example, in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.
Be courteous to all but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
Nothing is too extravagant to expect from men who conceive they are ungratefully and unjustly dealt by.
No man has a more perfect reliance on the alwise and powerful dispensations
of the Supreme Being than I have, nor thinks His aid more necessary.
It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.
It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God,. to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits , and humbly to implore his protection and favor... beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.
My own remedy is always to eat, just before I step into bed, a hot roasted onion, if I have a cold.
I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.
Without virtue, and without integrity, the finest talents and the most brilliant accomplishments can never gain the respect, and conciliate the esteem, of the truly valuable part of mankind.
The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness by reasonable compact in civil society. It was to be, in the first instance, in a considerable degree a government of accommodation as well as a government of Laws. Much was to be done by prudence, much by conciliation, much by firmness.
It is absolutely necessary... for me to have persons that can think for me, as well as execute orders.
Father I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.
As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles.
The tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications, I behold the surest pledges, that as on one side, no local prejudices, or attachments; no seperate views, nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests: so, on another, that the foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.
No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm.
The ways of Providence being inscrutable, and the justice of it not to be scanned by the shallow eye of humanity, nor to be counteracted by the utmost efforts of human power or wisdom, resignation, and as far as the strength of our reason and religion can carry us, a cheerful acquiescence to the Divine Will, is what we are to aim.
I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it -- but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority: and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting.
Serious misfortunes, originating in misrepresentation, frequently flow and spread before they can be dissipated by truth.
Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can exist apart from religious principle.
The advancement of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation. But I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home.
To the security of a free Constitution it knowledge contributes in various ways: by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights, to discern and provide against invasions of them, to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority, between burdens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society.
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.
The wishes of the people, seldom founded in deep disquisitions, or resulting from other reasonings than their present feelings, may not entirely accord with our true policy and interest. If they do not, to observe a proper line of conduct for promoting the one, and avoiding offence to the other, will be a work of great difficulty.
99 Percent of failures come from people who make excuses.
It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Experience has taught us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession, and when the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity, representing our liberty.
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life. (Address to Congress on Resigning Commission Dec 23, 1783).
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
A lottery is the perfect tax...laid only upon the willing.
The pure and benign light of revelation has had a meliorating influence on mankind.
There is no restraining men's tongues or pens when charged with a little vanity.
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize.
There was not a member of the Constitutional Convention who had the least objection to what is contended for by the advocates for a Bill of Rights and trial by jury.
We beseech God to pardon our national and other transgressions.
The foundation of a great Empire is laid, and I please myself with a persuasion, that Providence will not leave its work imperfect.
It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.
Unhappy it is, though, to reflect that a brother's sword has been sheathed in a brother's breast and that the once-happy plains of America are either to be drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?
To constitute a dispute there must be two parties. To understand it well, both parties and all the circumstances must be fully heard; and to accommodate the differences, temper and mutual forbearance are requisite.
I am principled against selling negroes, as you would do cattle at a market.
One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.
The great mass of our citizens require only to understand matters rightly, to form right decisions.
May the same wonderworking Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors and planted them in the promised land, whose Providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.
There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate, upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence.
The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distresses of every one, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse; remembering always the estimation of the widow's mite, but, that it is not every one who asketh that deserveth charity; all, however, are worthy of the inquiry, or the deserving may suffer.
The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.
The people must remain ever vigilant against tyrants masquerading as public servants.
Our country's honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.
The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.
Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do -- then do it with all your strength.
When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body, not usually discovered.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed; in order to give trade a stable course.
The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.
Our conflict is not likely to cease so soon as every good man would wish. The measure of iniquity is not yet filled; and unless we can return a little more to first principles, and act a little more upon patriotic ground, I do not know when it will.
Our conflict is not likely to cease so soon as every good man would wish. The measure of iniquity is not yet filled; and unless we can return a little more to first principles, and act a little more upon patriotic ground, I do not know when it will-or-what may be the issue of the contest. Speculation-peculation-engrossing-forestalling-with all their concomitants, afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public virtue; and too glaring instances of its being the interest and desire of too many, who would wish to be thought friends, to continue the war.
We began a contest for liberty ill provided with the means for the war, relying on our patriotism to supply the deficiency. We expected to encounter many wants and distressed we must bear the present evils and fortitude.
What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable and tremendous! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and falacious! Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend.
The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive that induced me to the field of battle.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
Upon the whole I doubt whether the Benefits of opposition to the Constitution opposition to the Constitution will not ultimately be productive of more good than evil; it has called forth, in its defence, abilities which would not perhaps have been otherwise exerted that have thrown a new light upon the science of government, It has given the rights of man a full and fair discussion, and explained them in so clear and forcible a manner, as cannot fail to make a lasting impression.
Let me now warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party. The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another. In governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.
If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by 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.
The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity.
In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude.
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.
Lenience will operate with greater force, in some instances than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have all of my conduct distinguished by it.
Every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.
We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all maters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.
No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
~Message to the House of Representatives, 3 December 1793.
Liberty is indeed little less than a name, where the Government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of society within the limits prescribed by the law, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyme.
My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.
The truth of the matter is one knows what it's like being the president. Not I, nor any president to come hence. This is because life, thankfully, offers deeper quandaries. While in office, I would often wake up in a daze, wondering how I could wiggle my toes without even thinking it so, or why hair grows only on certain places and not our entire bodies, or why we aren't completely bald, or why we must close our eyes and sleep every night, or any of the millions of particulars of daily existence, let alone that I was elected the leader of an entire nation.
The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.
It is much easier at all times to prevent an evil than to rectify mistakes.
The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
But if in the pursuit of the means we should unfortunately stumble again on unfunded paper money or any similar species of fraud, we shall assuredly give a fatal stab to our national credit in its infancy. Paper money will invariably operate in the body of politics as spirit liquors on the human body. They prey on the vitals and ultimately destroy them. Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.
The Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings and successes.
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause.
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause: And I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of ⟨the present⟩ age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this Kind.
Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
Peace with all the world is my sincere wish. I am sure it is our true policy, and am persuaded it is the ardent desire of the government.
The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principle of private morality.
The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.
The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.
It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.
I never did, nor do I believe I ever shall, give advice to a woman who is setting out on a matrimonial voyage; first, because I never could advise one to marry without her own consent; and, secondly, I know it is to no purpose to advise her to refrain when she has obtained it. A woman very rarely asks an opinion or requires advice on such an occasion, till her resolution is formed; and then it is with the hope and expectation of obtaining a sanction, not that she means to be governed by your disapprobation, that she applies.
I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
An aching head and trembling limbs, which are the inevitable effects of drinking, disincline the hands from work.
If ever again our nation stumbles upon unfunded paper, it shall surely be like death to our body politic. This country will crash.
The benefit arising from moderate use of strong Liquor have been experienced in all Armies, and are not to be disputed.
Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.
Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it.
I consider it an indubitable mark of mean-spiritedness and pitiful vanity to court applause from the pen or tongue of man.
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.
By appearing relaxed and carefree, you not only make other people feel welcome and valuable, but you also radiate the message, 'Of course, I don't look busy. I did it right the first time.'
To acknowledge the receipt of letters is always proper, to remove doubts of their miscarriage.
No measure can be more desirable, whether viewed with an eye to its intrinsic importance, or to the general sentiment and wish of the Nation than to establish a systematic and effectual arrangement for the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt.
Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted. This is true in part only, for like all things else, when nourished and supplied plentifully with ailment, it is rapid in its progress; but let these be withdrawn and it may be stifled in its birth or much stinted in its growth.
To secure respect to a neutral flag requires a naval force organized and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression.
Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian in his person or property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment, as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it shall not be disproportioned to its guilt, at such a time and in such a cause.
The consideration that human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected will always continue to prompt me to promote the former by inculcating the practice of the latter.
I regret exceedingly that the disputes between the protestants and Roman Catholics should be carried to the serious alarming height mentioned in your letters. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause; and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this kind.
Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, 22 June 1792.
A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man, that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of his friends, and that the most liberal professions of good will are very far from being the surest marks of it. I should be happy that my own experience had afforded fewer examples of the little dependence to be placed upon them.
There is no practice more dangerous than that of borrowing money.
To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable.
Rise early, that by habit it may become familiar, agreeable, healthy, and profitable. It may, for a while, be irksome to do this, but that will wear off; and the practice will produce a rich harvest forever thereafter; whether in public or private walks of life.
Honesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a nation be just.
If they are good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa or Europe; they may be Mahometans, Jews or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists.
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.
The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes.
My ardent desire is, and my aim has been, to comply strictly with all our engagements, foreign and domestic, but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other country; to see that they may be independent of all and under the influence of none.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.
Let no one go hungry away. If any of the kind of people should be in want of corn, supply their necessities, provided it does not encourage them in idleness.
This spirit of Party, unfortunately, is inseperable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human Mind. It exists under different shapes in all Governments, more or less stifled, controuled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.
The Army (considering the irritable state it is in, its suffering and composition) is a dangerous instrument to play with.
The true distinction ... between what is called a fine Regiment, and an indifferent one will ever, upon investigation, be found to originate in, and depend upon the care, or the inattention, of the Officers belonging to them.
It is ... the citizens choice, and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptable and miserable as a Nation. This is the time of their political probation; this is the moment when the eyes of the World are turned upon them.
Do not suffer your good nature ... to say yes when you ought to say no; remember that it is a public not a private cause that is to be injured or benefitted by your choice.
If there was the same propensity in mankind for investigating the motives, as there is for censuring the conduct, of public characters, it would be found that the censure so freely bestowed is oftentimes unmerited and uncharitable.
The inducements of interest for observing neutral conduct ... has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption, to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Do not conceive that fine clothes make fine men any more than fine feathers make fine birds.
Do not conceive that fine Clothes make fine Men, any more than fine feathers make fine Birds. A plain genteel dress is more admired and obtains more credit than lace and embroidery in the Eyes of the judicious and sensible.
Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government ... can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppresive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people.
Three things prompt men to a regular discharge of their duty in time of action: natural bravery, hope of reward, and fear of punishment.
There came to port last Sunday night The queerest little craft, Without an inch of rigging on; I looked and looked -- and laughed. It seemed so curious that she Should cross the unknown water, And moor herself within my room -- My daughter! O my daughter!
Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me thy servant, who humbly prostrate myself before thee.
If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
It is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.
True friendship is a plant of slow growth.
Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free Country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective Constitutional spheres; avoiding in the exercise of the Powers of one department to encroach upon another.
If the minority, and a small one too, is suffered to dictate to the majority, after measures have undergone the most solemn discussions by the representatives of the people, and their will through this medium is enacted into a law, there can be no security for life, liberty, or property; nor, if the laws are not to govern, can any man know how to conduct himself in safety.
Republicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
Thirteen sovereignties pulling against each other and all tugging at the federal head, will soon bring ruin on the whole.
I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St foin seed, and that of the India Hemp. Make the most you can of both, by sowing them again in drills... Let the ground be well prepared, and the Seed (St foin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown any where.
It is a maxim, founded on the universal experience of mankind, that no nation is to be trusted farther than it is bound by its interest; and no prudent statesman or politician will venture to depart from it.
Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the opposition, 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.
Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive.
The scheme, my dear Marqs. which you propose as a precedent, to encourage the emancipation of the black people of this Country from that state of Bondage in wch. they are held, is a striking evidence of the benevolence of your Heart. I shall be happy to join you in so laudable a work.
Much indeed to be regretted, party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it. This difficulty to one, who is of no party, and whose sole wish is to pursue with undeviating steps a path which would lead this country to respectability, wealth, and happiness, is exceedingly to be lamented. But such, for wise purposes, it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is the palm contended for.
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.
Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Nothing is a greater stranger to my breast, or a sin that my soul more abhors, than that black and detestable one, ingratitude.
Death...the abyss from where no traveler is permitted to return.
But if we are to be told by a foreign Power ... what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.
No compact among men... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.
To place any dependence upon militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff.
To place any dependence upon Militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff ... If I was called upon to declare upon Oath , whether the Militia have been most serviceable or hurtful upon the whole; I should subscribe to the latter.
History and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.
Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man.
War -- An act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will.
Our Constitution gives to bigotry no sanction.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.
I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the Vault in less than three days after I am dead.... Tis well.
A man's intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions.
The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit.
We had quitters during the Revolution too...we called them 'Kentuckians.'
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
I never say anything of a man that I have the smallest scruple of saying to him.
We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience. To enveigh against things that are past and irremediable, is unpleasing; but to steer clear of the shelves and rocks we have struck upon, is the part of wisdom, equally as incumbent on political as other men, who have their own little bark, or that of others, to navigate through the intricate paths of life, or the trackless ocean, to the haven of security and rest.
Require nothing unreasonable of your officers and men, but see that whatever is required be punctually complied with. Reward and punish every man according to his merit, without partiality or prejudice; hear his complaints; if well founded, redress them; if otherwise, discourage them, in order to prevent frivolous ones. Discourage vice in every shape, and impress upon the mind of every man, from the first to the lowest, the importance of the cause, and what it is they are contending for.
It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.
The States separately have very inadequate ideas of the present danger. Party disputes and personal quarrels are the great business of the day, whilst the concerns of the nation are secondary.
To speak evil of any one, unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation.
It is our policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
The necessity of procuring good Intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged-All that remains for me to add, is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprizes of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned and promising a favourable issue.
Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended: If defective let it be amended, but not suffered to be trampled upon whilst it has an existence.
The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.
My brave fellows, let no sensation of satisfaction for the triumphs you have gained induce you to insult your fallen enemy. Let no shouting, no clamorous huzzaing increase their mortification. It is sufficient for us that we witness their humiliation. Posterity will huzza for us.
The friendship I have conceived will not be impaired by absence; but it may be no unpleasing circumstance to brighten the chain by a renewal of the covenant.
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.
I use no Porter ... in my family, but such as is made in America: both these articles may now be purchased of an excellent quality.
Your proposal raises the greatest mischief that can befall my country. You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for your self or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature.
Being no bigot myself, I am disposed to indulge the professors of Christianity in the church that road to heaven which to them shall seem the most direct, plainest, easiest and least liable to exception.
One of George Washington's main concerns was to make sure that his soldiers had adequate supplies of meat: A part of the army has been a week without any kind of flesh, and the rest three or four days. Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery, that they have not been ere this excited by their suffering to a general mutiny and dispersion.
It is one of the evils of democratical governments, that the people, not always seeing and frequently misled, must often feel before they can act.
It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being Who rules over the universe, Who presides in the councils of nations, and Whose providential aids can supply every human defect.
My manner of living is plain and I do not mean to be put out of it. A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready.
My manner of living is plain. I do not mean to be put out of it. A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready; and such as will be content to partake of them are always welcome. Those, who expect more, will be disappointed, but no change will be effected by it.
I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation, I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world; and yet they charge me with wanting to be a king.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
I am for free commerce with all nations; political connection with none; and little or no diplomatic establishment.
Be not forward, but friendly and courteous; the first to salute, hear and answer; and be not pensive when it is time to converse.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother.
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.
It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.
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 requires and expects, of all officers, and soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defence.
When it was reported to General Washington that the army was frequently indulging in swearing, he immediately sent out the following order: The general is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing -- a vice little known heretofore in the American army -- is growing into fashion. Let the men and officers reflect "that we can not hope for the blessing of heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly.
And let us with Caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.
It's wonderful what we can do if we're always doing.
I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species ... and to disperse the families I have an aversion.
99% of failures come from people who make excuses.
Laws or ordinances unobserved, or partially attended to, had better never have been made.
I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares.
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.
The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.
Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise.
The liberality of sentiment toward each other, which marks every political and religious denomination of men in this country, stands unparalleled in the history of nations.
The tumultuous populace of large cities are ever to be dreaded.
Diffidence in an officer is a good mark because he will always endeavor to bring himself up to what he conceives to be the full line of his duty.
Freemasonry is an order whose leading star is philanthropy and whose principles inculcate an unceasing devotion to the cause of virtue and morality.
In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.
While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.
The situation of the general government, if it can be called a government, is shaken to its foundation, and liable to be overturned by every blast.
I have the consolation to believe, that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy Holy Word...direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land.
The due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government, I have considered the first arrangement of the judicial department as essential to the happiness of the country, and to the stability of its political system.
For myself the delay may be compared with a reprieve; for in confidence I assure you, with the world it would obtain little credit that 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 for an Ocean of difficulties, without that competency of political skill, abilities and inclination which is necessary to manage the helm.
As I have heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you, that I have not as yet composed the latter. But by the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!
Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.
In executing the duties of my present important station, I can promise nothing but purity of intentions, and, in carrying these into effect, fidelity and diligence.
The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.
When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.
Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to.
We should amuse our evening hours of life in cultivating the tender plants, and bringing them to perfection, before they are transplanted to a happier clime.
Where are our Men of abilities? Why do they not come forth to save their Country?
Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.
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.
Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light.
The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.
A bad war is fought with a good mind.
System in all things should be aimed at; for in execution it renders every thing more easy.
Discipline is the soul of an army.
Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the week, and esteem to all.
An army formed of good officers moves like clockwork; but there is no situation upon earth less enviable, nor more distressing, than that person's who is at the head of troops which are regardless of order and discipline.
At my age, and in my circumstances, what sinister object, or personal emolument had I to seek after, in this life? The growing infirmities of age and the increasing love of retirement, daily confirm my decided predilection for domestic life: and the great Searcher of human hearts is my witness, that I have no wish, which aspires beyond the humble and happy lot of living and dying a private citizen on my own farm.
Differences in political opinions are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary; but it is exceedingly to be regretted that subjects cannot be discussed with temper on the one hand, or decisions submitted to without having the motives, which led to them, improperly implicated on the other; and this regret borders on chagrin when we find that men of abilities, zealous patriots, having the same general objects in view, and the same upright intentions to prosecute them, will not exercise more charity in deciding on the opinions and actions of one another.
Submit your sentiments with diffidence. A dictatorial style, though it may carry conviction, is always accompanied with disgust.