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Colonial Quotes

We've been running our Daily Colonial Quote feature for some time now, and the thought crossed our collective mind that some of these quotes may be of interest to you, Faithful Reader, in some other context than a randomized daily display: perhaps to be included in a report, an essay, presentation, or whatever.

Therefore, we decided to open up our collection of quotes to all, searchable by author or keyword. We hope you find them useful.

--The Colonial Sense Team

by Author:     by Text:


1900 of 1900 Entries
Displaying Entries 1 to 20
  1 2 ... 94 95  

'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.
- Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
George Washington
'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes. Henry David Thoreau
'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.
- Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
George Washington
'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 fulfillment of our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.
- "Annexation," The United States Democratic Review, July 1845
John O'Sullivan
... having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obligated, by better information or fuller consideration, to change my opinions even on important subjects, which I thought right but found to be otherwise.
- Speech given at the final session (17 Sept. 1787)
Benjamin Franklin
...be yourself -- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.Henry David Thoreau
...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
- Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789
Benjamin Franklin
...that the Pleasure of doing Good and Serving their Country, and the Respect such Conduct entitles them to, are sufficient Motives with some Minds to give up a great Portion of their Time to the Public, without the mean Inducement of pecuniary Satisfaction.
- Convention Speech on Salaries (unpublished) June 2, 1787
Benjamin Franklin
...there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well adminstred for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.
- Speech on Sept. 17 1787
Benjamin Franklin
..they are supported by a Sense of Duty; and the Respect paid to Usefulness. It is honorable to be so employ’d, but it was never made profitable by Salaries, Fees, or Perquisites. And indeed in all Cases of public Service, the less the Profit the greater the Honor.
- Convention Speech on Salaries (unpublished) June 2, 1787
Benjamin Franklin
A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.Thomas Jefferson
A bore is someone who takes away my solitude and doesn't give me companionship in return.Henry David Thoreau
A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.Henry David Thoreau
A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal.
- Thoughts on Government, 1776
John Adams
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.Daniel Webster
A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.Benjamin Franklin
A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.Thomas Jefferson
A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.Fisher Ames
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.Thomas Jefferson

1900 of 1900 Entries
Displaying Entries 1 to 20
  1 2 ... 94 95  

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