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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

Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!

George Washington, letter to James Warren, March 31, 1779

Founding Fathers Quotes

Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions — The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew 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, July 2, 1776

Founding Fathers Quotes

Promote then as an object of primary importance, Institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. 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

Speak seldom, but to important subjects, except such as particularly relate to your constituents, and, in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of the subject.

George Washington, Public Speaking, November 10, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The Army (considering the irritable state it is in, its suffering and composition) is a dangerous instrument to play with.

George Washington, letter to Alexander Hamilton, April 4, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

The best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity is justice.

George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, September 30, 1779

Founding Fathers Quotes

The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.

George Washington, letter to George Chapman, December 15, 1784

Founding Fathers Quotes

The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting an inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchm[en]t can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.

George Washington, fragments of the Draft First Inaugural Address, April 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.

George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

The Citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast Tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life

George Washington, Circular to the States, June 8, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

The citizens of the United States of America have the right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were by the indulgence of one class of citizens 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, September 9, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.

George Washington, letter to James Madison, March 2, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

The Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive which induced me to the Field — the object is attained — and it now remains to be my earnest wish & prayer, that the Citizens of the United States could make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings placed before them.

George Washington, letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York City, November 27, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.

George Washington, letter to Gouverneur Morris, December 22, 1795

Founding Fathers Quotes

The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after socia

George Washington, Circular to the States, June 8, 1783

Founding Fathers Quotes

The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.

George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty — that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.

George Washington, General Orders, August 23, 1776

Founding Fathers Quotes

The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.

George Washington, to the Annual meeting of Quakers, September 1789



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