Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Founding Fathers Quotes

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. -George Washington, Circular to the States, May 9, 1753

A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything. -George Washington, letter to Benjamin Harrison, October 10, 1784

Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honor? If you can — GO — ...Go, starve, and be forgotten! -George Washington, letter to the Officers of the Army, March 12, 1783

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. -John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 17, 1775

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.... -John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. -Benjamin Franklin, April 17, 1787

But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the, designs of ambition. -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 19, 1787

Liberty is the very idol of my soul, the parent of virtue, the nurse of heroes, the dispenser of general happiness...." -Arthur Lee, The Farmer's and Monitor's Letters to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies 1769