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Quotes of the day: Daniel Webster

Published Saturday, January 18, 2014 @ 7:50 AM EST
Jan 18 2014

Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests. Webster's increasingly nationalistic views, and his effectiveness as a speaker, made him one of the most famous orators and influential Whig leaders of the Second Party System. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A strong conviction that something must be done is parent of many bad measures.

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy.

There is always room at the top.

There is no refuge from confession but suicide; and suicide is confession.

Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny.

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.

Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.

What a man does for others, not what they do for him, gives him immortality.

I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned.

The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil.

There is nothing so powerful as truth- and often nothing so strange.

Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution of your country and the government established under it. Leave evils which exist in some parts of the country, but which are beyond your control, to the all-wise direction of an over-ruling Providence. Perform those duties which are present, plain and positive. Respect the laws of your country.

A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.

There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.

There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence.

We are all agents of the same supreme power, the people.

Nothing will ruin the country if the people themselves will undertake its safety; and nothing can save it if they leave that safety in any hands but their own.

Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.

Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on Earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.

Inconsistencies of opinion, arising from changes of circumstances, are often justifiable.

Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.

The dignity of history consists in reciting events with truth and accuracy, and in presenting human agents and their actions in an interesting and instructive form. The first element in history, therefore, is truthfulness; and this truthfulness must be displayed in a concrete form.

Standing armies are the oppressive instruments for governing the people, in the hands of hereditary and arbitrary monarchs.

Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but usually quarrel among themselves.

Lawyers on opposite sides of a case are like the two parts of shears; they cut what comes between them, but not each other.

The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.

Categories: Daniel Webster, Quotes of the day


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