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George Washington Quotes

Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, George Washington, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

George Washington, letter to David Stuart, June 15, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

George Washington, letter to Edmund Pendleton, September 23, 1793

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

George Washington, letter to Francis Van der Kamp, May 28, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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

George Washington, letter to Burwell Bassett, May 23, 1785

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

George Washington, letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

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

George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, June 19, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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 letter of farewell to the Army, June 8, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

I rejoice in a belief that intellectual light will spring up in the dark corners of the earth; that freedom of enquiry will produce liberality of conduct; that mankind will reverse the absurd position that the many were, made for the few; and that they will not continue slaves in one part of the globe, when they can become freemen in another.

George Washington, draft of First Inaugural Address, April 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.

George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

I wish from my soul that the legislature of this State could see a policy of a gradual Abolition of Slavery.

George Washington, letter to Lawrence Lewis, August 4, 1797

Founding Fathers Quotes

If we desire to 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, Annual Message, December 1793

Founding Fathers Quotes

In our progress toward political happiness my station is new; and if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.

George Washington, letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham, January 9, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States ... should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well founded objections.

George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, February 7, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 17, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is on great occasions only, and after time has been given for cool and deliberate reflection, that the real voice of the people can be known.

George Washington, letter to Edward Carrington, May 1, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.

George Washington, as quoted by Gouverneur Morris in Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, March 25, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is yet to be decided whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered as a blessing or a curse: a blessing or a curse, not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of unborn millions be involved.

George Washington, Circular to the States, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.

George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789



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