Could our folks but see what numbers of Merchants, and even Shopkeepers here, make great estates by American folly; how many shops of A, B, C and Co with wares for exportation to the colonies, maintain, each shop three or four partners and their families, every on with his country-house and equipage, where they live like Princes on the sweat of our brows.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Timothy Folger, from London, September 29, 1769
According to Franklin, stop importing so much from people who aren’t friend of ours, and sending our money to them.
Property is the creature of civil society, and subject, in all respects, to the disposition and controul of civil institutions. …. It must be repeated, that the law of property, in its origin and operation, is the offspring of the social state; not the incident of a state of nature.
John Marshall, Argument in Ware v. Hilton, February 9, 1796
I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.
Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua Speed, August 24, 1855
Doesn’t it seem like Know-Nothings would be a good name for a party of science deniers? Pity it was already used. And yes, Speed wasn’t just a character in a vampire movie.
All laws of the particular States contrary to the Constitution or laws of the United States to be utterly void; and the better to prevent such laws being passed, the Governour or president of each State shall be appointed by the General Government and shall have a negative upon the laws about to be passed in the State of which he is a Governour or President.
Alexander Hamilton, as recorded in James Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention, June 18, 1787
Hamilton’s speech gave 11 points he said he would try to amend any plan with, if he felt the plan was not what it should be. This was number 10.
A universal and perpetual 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. It is still however true, that war contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason; and if any thing is to be hoped, every thing ought to be tried.
James Madison, Universal Peace, February 2, 1792
LAWS for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that to a humane and generous mind, no expence for this purpose would be thought extravagant.
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, April, 1776
My, times have changed. Not for the better.
Why may we not suppose, that the great Father of all is pleased with a variety of devotion; and that the greatest offence we can act, is that by which we seek to torment and render each other miserable, For my own part, I am fully satisfied that what I am now doing, with an endeavour to conciliate mankind, to render their condition happy, to unite nations that have hitherto been enemies, and to extirpate the horrid practice of war, and break the chains of slavery and oppression, is acceptable in his sight, and being the best service I can perform, I act it chearfully.
Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man Part Two, 1792
Three or four shillings as a penalty will enforce obedience better in New England, than forty lashes in some other places.
Oliver Ellsworth, as recorded in James Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention, August 18, 1787
Here comes Glib-tongue: who can out-flatter a Dedication; and lie, like ten Epitaphs.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1742
It is as much the duty of government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of citizens, as it is to administer the same, between private individuals.
Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861