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 WashingtonGeorge Washington, general orders, (6 July 1777), published in The Writings of George Washington (1933), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 8, p. 359
Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.George WashingtonLetter to Benedict Arnold (14 September 1775).
There is nothing that gives a man consequence, and renders him fit for command, like a support that renders him independent of everybody but the State he serves.George WashingtonLetter to the president of Congress, Heights of Harlem (24 September 1776).
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.George WashingtonLetter to Major-General Robert Howe (17 August 1779), published in "The Writings of George Washington": 1778-1779, edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (1890)Paraphrased variants:Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Parade with me my brave fellows, we will have them soon!George WashingtonRallying his troops at the Battle of Princeton (3 January 1777).
True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.George WashingtonLetter to Bushrod Washington (15 January 1783).
Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.George WashingtonStatement as he put on his glasses before delivering his response to the first Newburgh Address (15 March 1783).
Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.George WashingtonLetter, dated August 19th, 1789, To the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal church in the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, in general Convention assembled. Scan at memory.loc.gov.
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause; and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this kind.George WashingtonLetter to Sir Edward Newenham (22 June 1792) as published in The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources (1939) as edited by John Clement Fitzpatrick
Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!George WashingtonGeorge Washington in a note to his gardener at Mount Vernon (1794), The Writings of George Washington, Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress).
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.George WashingtonGeorge Washington, Moral Maxims, Virtue and Vice, The Trial of Virtue.
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 WashingtonGeorge Washington, fifth annual address to Congress, December 13, 1793.—The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 33, p. 166 (1940).
The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.George WashingtonGeneral Order, (9 July 1776) George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 3g Varick Transcripts.
A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.George WashingtonLetter to Benjamin Harrison V (10 October 1784)
Democratical States must always feel before they can see: it is this that makes their Governments slow, but the people will be right at last.George WashingtonLetter to the Marquis de Lafayette (25 July 1785).
It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.George WashingtonLetter to James McHenry (10 August 1798).
I die hard but am not afraid to go. I believed from my first attack that I should not survive it my breath cannot last long.George WashingtonThe first sentence here is sometimes presented as being his last statement before dying, but they are reported as part of the fuller statement, and as being said in the afternoon prior to his death in Life of Washington (1859) by Washington Irving, and his actual last words are stated to have been those reported by Tobias Lear below.
I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation, I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world; and yet they charge me with wanting to be a king.George WashingtonResponse to newspaper criticisms of his presidency, as quoted in The Alumni Register of the University of Pennsylvania (1925), p.473.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.George WashingtonGeorge Washington, First Annual Address to both Houses of Congress (8 January 1790).
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