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

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Benedict Arnold, Sep. 14, 1775

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, address to the Continental Army before the battle of Long Island, Aug. 27, 1776

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Circular to the States, May 9, 1753

The cause of our common country calls us both to an active and dangerous duty; Divine Providence, which wisely orders the affairs of men, will enable us to discharge it with fidelity and success.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut

Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Incredible Quotations

The right wing, where I stood, was exposed to and received all the enemy's fire ... I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to his brother, May 31, 1754

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Wise Words and Quotes

Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, general orders, Jul. 2, 1776

Three things prompt men to a regular discharge of their duty in time of action: natural bravery, hope of reward, and fear of punishment.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to the President of Congress, Feb. 9, 1776

It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Alexander Hamilton, May 2, 1783

Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, general orders, Jul. 6, 1777

Enjoin this upon the Officers, and let them inculcate, and press home to the Soldiery, the Necessity of Order and Harmony among them, who are embark’d in one common Cause, and mutually contending for all that Freeman [sic] hold dear. I am persuaded, if the Officers will but exert themselves, these Animosities, this Disorder, will in a great Measure subside, and nothing being more essential to the Service than that it should, I am hopeful nothing on their Parts will be wanting to effect it.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Major General Philip Schuyler, Jul. 17, 1776

Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sep. 19, 1796

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, first inaugural address, Apr. 30, 1789

We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth New Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Major General Philip Schuyler, Jul. 15, 1777

I can bear to hear of imputed or real errors. The man who wishes to stand well in the opinion of others must do this; because he is thereby enabled to correct his faults, or remove prejudices which are imbibed against him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Joseph Reed, Jan. 14, 1776

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.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, circular to the states, Jun. 8, 1783

If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sep. 19, 1796

To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, first annual address to Congress, Jan. 8, 1790

If we desire to avoid 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, fifth annual address to Congress, Dec. 13, 1793

A natural parent has only two things principally to consider, the improvement of his son, and the finances to do it with.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Dr. Boucher, May 13, 1770

For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, address to the officers of the army, Mar. 15, 1783


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