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RayK

Quotes from some profound American's around the time of America's founding

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Over the years of my study of the Founding Fathers, and history in general, I have collected quite a large amount of quotes that I think are worthy of recognizing and using as inspiration when things become confusing and demanding. I am sure a lot of people on this forum have read most of these quotes before, but hopefully their reprinting here will once again stimulate one to contemplate what is worthy of fighting for and what is needed to defend one's values and what happens when one does not.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." - George Washington, First Annual Address to Congress, January 8, 1790

"If we desire to 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." - George Washington, Annual Message, December 1793

"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." - George Washington, letter to the people of South Carolina, Circa 1790

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." - Benjamin Franklin, Relating to prices and the poor, 1766

"Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve." - Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, 1771

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 11, 1777

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, December 23, 1791

" love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

"It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman." - John Adams, Letter to James Lloyd, January, 1815

"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

"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom." - John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

"Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it." - John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." - John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1780

"Independence forever." - John Adams, last public words as a toast for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." - John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." - Patrick Henry, Speech in the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." - Samuel Adams, Essay in the Public Advertiser, 1749

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