Founding Father Quotes

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Founding Father

It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.

Alexander
Alexander Hamilton: Federalist No. 1, October 27, 1787

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Newset Quotes

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Edward

I find that I agree fully with my good friend Patrick Henry when he said it cannot be emphasized too strongly or to often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on The Gosple of Jesus Christ.

Edward

Oh for a fleet that could look the pourdest power in Europe in the face, on this our rightful Western Ocean! But alas, it must be left to posterity -- at the age of 50 I can't expect to view it unless from above.

Edward

Be mild and firm. Apply your best exertions to put us in a proper posture of defense.

Edward

I always considered an idle Life, as a real evil, but, a life of such hurry, such constant hurry, leaves us scarcely a moment for reflection or for the discharge of any other then the most immediate and pressing concerns.

John

There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!

John Hancock: upon signing the Declaration of Independence 1776
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William

The one thing you can't do when you're highly ranked is relax.

William Floyd: Unknown
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Thomas

Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another. It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.

Thomas Paine: Unknown
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Carter

Two of the New England Colonies enjoy a Government purely democratical the Nature and Principle of which both civil and religious are so totally incompatible with Monarchy, that they have ever lived in a restless state under it. The other two tho not so popular in their frame bordered so near upon it that Monarchical Influence hung very heavy on them. The best opportunity in the World being now offered them to throw off all subjection and embrace their darling Democracy they are determined to accept it.

Carter Braxton: to Landon Carter April 14, 1776
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Thomas

The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes.

Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:221, Papers 2:526
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Thomas

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.

Thomas Jefferson: to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278
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