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Founders' Quote Database

Thomas Jefferson

letter to John Adams — 1821
Category: Declaration of Independence
[T]he flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to Edward Coles — 1814
Category: Tyranny
I had always hoped that the younger generation receiving their early impressions after the flame of liberty had been kindled in every breast...would have sympathized with oppression wherever found, and proved their love of liberty beyond their own share of it.

Benjamin Rush

to John Adams — 1812
Category: Founders on Founders
Some talked, some wrote, and some fought to promote and establish it, but you and Mr. Jefferson thought for us all. I never take a retrospect of the years 1775 and 1776 without associating your opinions and speeches and conversations with all the great political, moral, and intellectual achievements of the Congress of those memorable years.

George Washington

Farewell Address — 1796
Category: Politics and Parties
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party generally. . . . A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Thomas Jefferson

evening July 3; Jefferson died the next morning — 1826
Category: Last Words
Is it the Fourth?

John Jay

Federalist No. 4
Category: National Defense
But the safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are pretended as well as just causes of war.

John Jay

Federalist No. 4
Category: Government
Wisely, therefore, do they consider union and a good national government as necessary to put and keep them in such a situation as, instead of inviting war, will tend to repress and discourage it. That situation consists in the best possible state of defense, and necessarily depends on the government, the arms, and the resources of the country.

Thomas Paine

The Crisis, no. 4 — 1777
Category: National Defense
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

Thomas Paine

The Crisis, no 4 — 1777
Category: War for Independence
We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.

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