Founding Father Quotes

George Washington

George Washington

United States Founding Father
(1732 - 1799)

George Washington (February 22, 1732 December 14, 1799) was the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (17751783) and served as the first President of the United States of America (17891797).


Religion: Episcopalian

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Quotes by George Washington


Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.

-= letter to Benedict Arnold, September 14, 1775 =-

For myself the delay [in assuming the office of the President] 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.

-= comment to General Henry Knox, March 1789 =-

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. George Washington, upon fumbling for his glasses before delivering the

-= Newburgh Address, March 15, 1783 =-

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

-= Farewell Address, September 19, 1796 =-

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.

-= General Orders, April 18, 1783 =-

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.

-= Farewell Address, September 19, 1796 =-

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 his Commission, December 23, 1783 =-

I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species...and to disperse the families I have an aversion.

-= letter to Robert Lewis, August 18, 1799 =-

I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the Seat of Government by the Officers of State and the Representatives of every Power in Europe.

-= letter to David Stuart, June 15, 1790 =-

I give my signature to many Bills with which my Judgment is at variance.... From the Nature of the Constitution, I must approve all parts of a Bill, or reject it in total. To do the latter can only be Justified upon the clear and obvious grounds of propriety; and I never had such confidence in my own faculty of judging as to be over tenacious of the opinions I may have imbibed in doubtful cases.

-= letter to Edmund Pendleton, September 23, 1793 =-

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.

-= letter to Francis Van der Kamp, May 28, 1788 =-

I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one`s life, the foundation of happiness or misery.

-= letter to Burwell Bassett, May 23, 1785 =-

I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.

-= letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789 =-

I hope, some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world.

-= letter to Marquis de Lafayette, June 19, 1788 =-

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, 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 pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.

-= circular letter of farewell to the Army, June 8, 1783 =-


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