STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Founding Fathers Quotes: Our Favorite Quotes from America’s Courageous Revolutionaries
By Brian Miller - January 19, 2022
Nothing clarifies a man’s thoughts like staking his life on them.
When what you believe threatens to deliver death and danger to your door, you think again – hard – about those beliefs. This is the moment of truth, when casual opinions dissolve and only convictions backed with soul-searching can stand. It’s what made the American Founders special, and what made their thoughts more valuable than the pontifications of subsequent experts and elites: They were forced to risk their lives on their ideas, and the dross was burned away.
Thus we’ve brought together some of our favorite Founding Fathers quotes from America’s courageous revolutionaries.
“Wear none of thine own chains; but keep free, whilst thou art free.”
“You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve YOUR freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it.”
“Political freedom includes in it every other blessing. All the pleasures of riches, science, virtue, and even religion itself derive their value from liberty alone. No wonder therefore wise and prudent legislators have in all ages been held in such great veneration; and no wonder too those illustrious souls who have employed their pens and sacrificed their lives in defense of liberty have met with such universal applause. Their reputations, like some majestic river which enlarges and widens as it approaches its parent ocean, shall become greater and greater through every age and outlive the ruins of the world itself.”
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
“Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! Receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.”
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”