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Author Topic: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:  (Read 202064 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #900 on: April 25, 2011, 05:36:09 PM »

"In observations on this subject, we hear the legislature mentioned as the people's representatives. The distinction, intimated by concealed implication, through probably, not avowed upon reflection, is, that the executive and judicial powers are not connected with the people by a relation so strong or near or dear. But is high time that we should chastise our prejudices; and that we should look upon the different parts of government with a just and impartial eye." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791


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« Reply #901 on: April 26, 2011, 07:35:15 AM »

"The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head." --Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788
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« Reply #902 on: April 27, 2011, 10:47:32 AM »



"It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people." --Richard Henry Lee, letter to Colonel Martin Pickett, 1786


"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security." --James Madison, letter to Henry Lee, 1824
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« Reply #903 on: May 10, 2011, 02:06:43 PM »




"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, 1820


"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." --Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, 1775


"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"t is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own." --Benjamin Franklin

"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people, in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers, and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty." --John Adams, letter to Zabdiel Adams, 1776


"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. '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 Crisis, no 1, 1776


"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." --Thomas Jefferson

"If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice." --James Madison, in response to Washington's first Inaugural address, 1789


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #904 on: May 11, 2011, 08:02:56 AM »

"As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them." --Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No. 2, 1787


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #905 on: May 12, 2011, 08:12:11 AM »

"Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you... From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785


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« Reply #906 on: May 13, 2011, 07:43:51 AM »

"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, 1789
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« Reply #907 on: May 17, 2011, 09:58:26 AM »

"Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself." --James Madison, letter to Benjamin Rush, 1790

"[The President] is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people. The tenure of his office, it is true, is not hereditary; nor is it for life: but still it is a tenure of the noblest kind: by being the man of the people, he is invested; by continuing to be the man of the people, his investiture will be voluntarily, and cheerfully, and honourably renewed." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791




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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #908 on: May 19, 2011, 11:09:50 AM »

"Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge." --James Wilson, Of the Study of the Law in the United States, 1790
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #909 on: May 20, 2011, 10:56:28 AM »

"It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives." --John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756
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« Reply #910 on: May 23, 2011, 06:35:06 AM »



"No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and virtue is preservd. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign Invaders." --Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775


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« Reply #911 on: May 25, 2011, 08:22:56 AM »

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781


"If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people,  and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior." --James Madison, Federalist No. 39
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« Reply #912 on: May 26, 2011, 09:33:12 AM »

"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it." --James Madison, Federalist No. 41.


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« Reply #913 on: May 27, 2011, 10:48:03 AM »

"Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 1788
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« Reply #914 on: May 27, 2011, 01:44:58 PM »

"Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 1788


The reason for Hamilton's argument is important: the judiciary has neither the purse of Congress nor the sword of the president. 
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« Reply #915 on: May 30, 2011, 09:37:38 AM »



"Now is the seedtime of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now, will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters." --Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

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« Reply #916 on: May 31, 2011, 08:00:35 AM »



"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." --Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806
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« Reply #917 on: May 31, 2011, 01:32:08 PM »

Rush, Benjamin
Rush, Benjamin 1760 (1746-1813) was a physician, teacher, and man of affairs who played a dramatic role in the early history of his country, his college, and his profession. A man of contradictions, he practiced and taught the backward medical art of bloodletting, yet was far ahead of his time in the care of the mentally ill. He was a vigorous foe of slavery and capital punishment, an advocate of better education for women and of free public schools. More than any other person he was responsible for bringing John Witherspoon to America as Princeton's sixth president.
He lost his father when he was six, and was brought up by his mother who kept a grocery shop in Philadelphia to help support and educate her seven children. When he was eight, he entered an academy conducted by his uncle, Samuel Finley (later president of Princeton) at Nottingham, Maryland, where he made such progress that on entering Princeton five years later he was admitted to the junior class; he graduated in 1760 when he was not quite fifteen.

Although of a pious nature, he did not think he would make a good minister. President Davies was inclined to think he should take up the law, but his uncle, Dr. Finley, persuaded him to study medicine with Dr. John Redmond in Philadelphia. He served an apprenticeship with Dr. Redmond for almost six years and attended the first lectures of Dr. John Morgan and Dr. William Shippen, Jr. 1754 in the newly formed medical department of the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Pennsylvania).

In the summer of 1766, when he was twenty, he sat up every night for several weeks with Dr. Finley, then president of the College, during his last illness, and ``finally performed the distressing office of closing his eyes.'' That fall he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, then the medical center of the world, where after two years of study, and some heroic experiments with emetics on his own person for his doctoral thesis on the digestion of food in the stomach, received his M.D. degree.

While in Scotland he rendered his alma mater an incalculable service, when in cooperation with Richard Stockton, a trustee, he persuaded John Witherspoon to come to America as Princeton's president. Stockton's authority and dignity were indispensable to the mission, but it was Rush's confident, audacious, and engaging youth that won the day. From Edinburgh, twenty-one-year-old Rush wrote forty-four-year-old Witherspoon ``your talents have been in some measure buried, but at Princeton they will be called into action, and the evening of your life will be much more effulgent than your brightest meridian days have been.'' When Witherspoon felt obliged to decline because of his wife's fear of leaving home -- the very mention of going to America made her physically ill -- Rush asked Witherspoon ``And must poor Nassau Hall be ruined?'' and ``Will you then suffer your sun to set so soon?'' A little later he urged Witherspoon to reconsider the Princeton invitation and offered to help him make another appeal to his wife. Soon, on Witherspoon's invitation, Rush spent several days with the Witherspoons at their home in Paisley. Shortly afterward a friend of Witherspoon wrote to Richard Stockton in Princeton that ``to Mr. Witherspoon's great satisfaction, his wife has at last given a calm hearing to Mr. Rush, argued the Matter with him, and received a satisfying Answer to all her objections; so that now she is willing if the Doctor is rechosen . . . to go with him without Grudge.'' Witherspoon was re-elected in due course and he and Mrs. Witherspoon came to America in August 1768.

Rush spent the following year in London, where he attended medical lectures, and in Paris. In London he was on friendly terms with Benjamin Franklin, and at Benjamin West's dined with Sir Joshua Reynolds, who in turn had him to dinner with Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith. In Paris he met Diderot, who gave him a letter of introduction to David Hume.

Soon after his return home Rush was appointed to a chair of chemistry in the College of Philadelphia's medical department, thus becoming at the age of twenty-three the first professor of chemistry in America. He built up a large private practice, at first among the poor, but he found time to further other interests. He published a pamphlet on the iniquity of the slave trade, and helped organize the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, the first antislavery society in America; he later became its president. In the growing quarrel between the colonies and the mother country, he associated with such leaders as Thomas Paine, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. It was on his urging that Thomas Paine wrote a strong tract on behalf of complete American independence to which he gave the title, suggested by Rush, Common Sense.

In the summer of 1775 while visiting President Witherspoon and Richard Stockton in Princeton, he met Stockton's sixteen-year-old daughter, Julia. The following January, a few days after his thirtieth birthday, he and Julia were married by the Reverend President Witherspoon. Less than seven months later, the bridegroom, who had been elected a delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, joined his father-in-law and Dr. Witherspoon, both delegates from New Jersey, in signing the Declaration of Independence.

While Surgeon-General of the Middle Department of the Army during the Revolution, Rush became outraged by the conditions he found in army hospitals and, failing to get the remedial action he sought from the director general, Dr. Shippen (his former teacher), he sent a protest to General Washington, accusing Dr. Shippen of maladministration. Washington referred the protest to Congress, which ruled in favor of Shippen, and Rush resigned his commission. Rush lost confidence in Washington's ability and became associated indirectly with the Conway cabal to replace him; later he deeply regretted this action, and supported Washington politically.

Returning to Philadelphia, Rush resumed his practice, his teaching, and his humanitarian endeavors. At the medical school of the College of Philadelphia, he added courses on the theory and practice of medicine to his lectures in chemistry, and became the most admired teacher of medicine in Philadelphia, then the medical center of America. All told, he taught more than three thousand medical students, who carried his influence to every corner of the growing nation.

Rush founded the Philadelphia Dispensary for the relief of the poor, the first of its kind in the United States, and for many years gave it hours of service without pay. He also founded Dickinson College, was one of the charter trustees of Franklin College (later Franklin and Marshall), and -- being persuaded of the importance of removing ``the present disparity which subsists between the sexes in the degrees of their education and knowledge'' -- became an ardent incorporator of the Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia.

He worked heroically during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793; although he was severely censured for his stubborn reliance on bloodletting, his account of the epidemic published the following year won him recognition by several European learned societies.

His greatest contributions to medical science were the reforms he instituted in the care of the mentally ill during his thirty years of service as a senior physician at the Pennsylvania Hospital. In the words of one of his biographers, Dr. Carl Binger, a psychiatrist, ``he took on heroic stature,'' substituting kindness and compassion for cruelty, and replacing routine reliance on archaic procedures by careful clinical observation and study. The year before he died, he published Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind, the first textbook on psychiatry in America, which Dr. Binger called ``the crowning achievement of his professional life.''

Benjamin and Julia Rush had thirteen children; one of them, Richard Rush 1797, served as cabinet officer or ambassador under four presidents.

In 1837 some of Rush's former students founded a medical college in Chicago, which they named for him. The American Psychiatric Association, whose official seal bears Rush's portrait, placed a bronze plaque at his grave in Philadelphia in 1965, designating him the ``Father of American Psychiatry.''



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).
Go to Search A Princeton Companion
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #918 on: June 01, 2011, 10:07:59 AM »

Thank you for that CCP.

"It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791
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« Reply #919 on: June 02, 2011, 08:18:33 AM »

"Whatever may be the judgement pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction ... that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them." --James Madison, 1835
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« Reply #920 on: June 03, 2011, 09:49:38 AM »

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever." --Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

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« Reply #921 on: June 06, 2011, 08:29:18 AM »

"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." --Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788

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« Reply #922 on: June 07, 2011, 11:14:35 AM »

"A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts." --James Madison, essay in the National Gazette, 1792
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« Reply #923 on: June 08, 2011, 07:46:18 AM »

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free." --John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787
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« Reply #924 on: June 08, 2011, 08:47:54 AM »

Good to have you back with us Freki  smiley
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« Reply #925 on: June 09, 2011, 05:07:22 PM »



"We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797

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« Reply #926 on: June 09, 2011, 06:24:01 PM »



"We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797



In that vein (no pun intended), shouldn't we demand that our elected officials disclose everyone they'd twittered a c*ck picture to, as that more than donations might influence how a congressman votes?
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« Reply #927 on: June 10, 2011, 11:59:21 AM »

"The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless foot, and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step, and holding what it gains, is ingulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of that which feeds them." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge Spencer Roane, 1821
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« Reply #928 on: June 13, 2011, 06:16:44 AM »



"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety." --Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805

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« Reply #929 on: June 14, 2011, 10:50:09 AM »

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams, Address to the Military , 1798

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« Reply #930 on: June 15, 2011, 08:14:57 AM »



"We are teaching the world the great truth that governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of government." --James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, 1822

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« Reply #931 on: June 16, 2011, 07:06:42 AM »



"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy." --Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, 1774

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« Reply #932 on: June 20, 2011, 07:34:19 AM »

"It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its
credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its
faculties, 'never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for
paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term; and to consider
that tax as pledged to the creditors on the public faith.'" --Thomas Jefferson,
letter to John Wayles Eppes, 1813
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« Reply #933 on: June 22, 2011, 09:28:11 AM »

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." --Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801


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« Reply #934 on: June 23, 2011, 09:22:24 AM »

"The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms and false reasonings is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race, and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice." --Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775
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« Reply #935 on: June 24, 2011, 06:47:19 AM »

"Experience having long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can; when we cannot do all we would wish." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Randolph, 1803
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« Reply #936 on: June 28, 2011, 10:33:22 AM »



"The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire and influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism." --John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, vol 1 , 1787


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« Reply #937 on: June 29, 2011, 10:00:32 AM »



"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position." --George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
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« Reply #938 on: June 30, 2011, 11:23:31 AM »



"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
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« Reply #939 on: July 01, 2011, 09:35:13 AM »

"It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect." --Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on a National Bank, 1791
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« Reply #940 on: July 04, 2011, 08:36:27 AM »

"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

"It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its faculties, 'never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term; and to consider that tax as pledged to the creditors on the public faith.'" --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Wayles Eppes, 1813


"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power." --Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

"As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them." --Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No. 2, 1787


"Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropriate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote good." --Oliver Ellsworth, A Landholder, No. III, 1787




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« Reply #941 on: July 06, 2011, 06:59:34 AM »

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison, speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

"This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them." --Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788



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« Reply #942 on: July 17, 2011, 11:20:52 AM »



"The steady character of our countrymen is a rock to which we may safely moor; and notwithstanding the efforts of the papers to disseminate early discontents, I expect that a just, dispassionate and steady conduct, will at length rally to a proper system the great body of our country. Unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner, we shall be able I hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom & harmony." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1801

"[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community." --Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788

"Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in competition with the rights of society." --John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, 1776

"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired." --Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position." --George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
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« Reply #943 on: July 18, 2011, 09:33:12 AM »



"Is it not the glory of the people of America, that whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness." --James Madison, Federalist No. 14, 1787


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« Reply #944 on: July 19, 2011, 10:58:31 AM »

"Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Smith, 1822


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« Reply #945 on: July 21, 2011, 09:21:13 AM »



"The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity." --George Washington, letter to the people of South Carolina, 1790
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« Reply #946 on: July 22, 2011, 07:03:25 AM »

"In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797


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« Reply #947 on: August 07, 2011, 01:05:26 PM »

Sorry-- been out of town for a few weeks!
===========


"The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust." --James Madison, Federalist No. 57, 1788


"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States." --Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787


"No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm." --George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1786


"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard M. Johnson, 1808


"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." --John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1789


"It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791


"The Constitution ... is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge Spencer Roane, 1819


"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, 1776


"Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1784


"The eyes of the world being thus on our Country, it is put the more on its good behavior, and under the greater obligation also, to do justice to the Tree of Liberty by an exhibition of the fine fruits we gather from it." --James Madison, letter to James Monroe, 1824
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« Reply #948 on: August 09, 2011, 10:15:14 AM »

"No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity." --James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787


"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens....There has never been a moment of my life in which I  should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends & books." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Melish, 1813


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« Reply #949 on: August 10, 2011, 09:42:20 AM »

"We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape - that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object." --James Madison, Federalist No. 45
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