Quotations – the new society

This page contains a collection of American Revolution quotations from revolutionary leaders, contemporary figures and prominent historians, pertaining to the new society. These quotations have been gathered and compiled by Alpha History authors. We are adding new quotations to this page in October-December 2015. If you would like to contribute an interesting or useful quotation, please contact Alpha History.

“[The king] has determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold. He has [suppressed] every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.”
Deleted section from the Declaration of Independence

“Mankind may amuse themselves with theoretic systems of liberty… but we can only discern its true value by the practical and wretched effects of slavery.”
Mercy Otis Warren

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for the protection of his own.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Remember, Sir, that [England] began the slave trade!”
Benjamin Franklin

“How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty [from] the drivers of negroes?”
Samuel Johnson, British writer

“That slow poison [slavery] is daily contaminating the minds and morals of our people. Every gentlemen here is born a petty tyrant, practiced in acts of despotism and cruelty.”
George Mason, 1773

“The day is not distant when we must bear and adopt [the abolition of slavery], or worse will follow.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1783

“Never yet could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration; never saw even an elemental trait of painting or sculpture.”
Thomas Jefferson on African-Americans, 1785

“He [George III] has endeavoured to bring on… the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
The Declaration of Independence, 1776

“Q. What kind of men compose the Congress? A. It consists of obscure pettifogging attorneys, bankrupt shopkeepers, outlawed smugglers, etc. etc.”
Loyalist propaganda, 1778

“A half-starved limping government, always moving upon crutches and tottering at every step…”
George Washington on the Congress, 1784

“The two principles on which our conduct towards the Indians should be founded are justice and fear. After the injuries we have done them, they cannot love us.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1786

“The flame is kindled and like lightning it catches from soul to soul”.
Abigail Adams. 1773

“Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.”
Abigail Adams, 1776

“Why can I not fight for my country too?”
Deborah Samson