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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Lessons From the Past

Lessons From the Past

I thought it would be a nice tribute to start the new website with a few words from our founders. Here are some of my favorite quotes.

“[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its
— James Madison, Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention [June 6, 1788]

“A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.”
— George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
— Thomas Jefferson

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”
— Nathan Hale (Sept 22, 1776, before being executed as a spy by the British)

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
— Benjamin Franklin

…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
–James Madison

“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
— Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

“Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.”
— Representative Robert Goodloe Harper, Address, June 18, 1798 (Harper was the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means)

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
— John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

” I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
— Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1776

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”
— Sam Adams, 1776

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.”
— Patrick Henry

“But as the plan of the convention aims only a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States”
— Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 32, Jan 3, 1788.


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  • Colin December 20, 2010 at 4:38 AM

    Our politicians want to make us believe the current ills of America are unique and we must take bold and drastic action to fix them – but reading these quotes one can instantly recognize that many of the problems today are not much different than 200 years ago, we just had much better men in charge back then.
    Colin recently posted..Fleece’s Faves – MICLIC EditionMy Profile

  • Steve Dennis December 20, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    First, the new site looks great! Welcome back! It is amazing to me how brilliant the founders were, they new the dangers of socialism as can be seen in some of the quotes from Jefferson and Franklin, and they tried to warn against it. Sadly our leaders today are ignoring those warnings. They would do well to go back in history and read about the founding, it would do them some good.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Harry Reid takes the 1 trillion spending bill off of the tableMy Profile

  • LD Jackson December 20, 2010 at 5:29 AM

    Okay, you guys have outdone yourselves with the new blog. Sentry Journal looks great.

    I especially liked the quote from John Adams about the sacredness of property. Truer words were never spoken.
    LD Jackson recently posted..‘Tis The Season For Christmas MusicMy Profile

  • John Carey December 20, 2010 at 6:28 AM

    We find ourselves in the same fight that our founders faced. There are forces that want trample on our property rights, liberties, and freedom in the name of security and safety. They see us not as individuals but as a collective that needs the hand of government to guide us. These forces and their ideology are very similar to that of King George. And to think we have people today saying the Constitution is not relevant. I say just the opposite because even though the times have changed, the players are still the same. Great post Right.

  • Jim Gourdie December 20, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    Superb post. Awesome site. Congratulations you guys. There’s no doubt that Sentry Journal will be a big hit.

  • RightHandMan
    RightHandMan December 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    @ Collin, Similar problems, but the new generation believes they have better answers to them.
    @ Steve, Thanks. Unfortunately our leaders’ span of political history usually only goes as far back as Marx and FDR.
    @ LD, Thanks. I like that one as well. I have grown very fond of Adams over the past few years. He really is a founder that wasn’t given the credit he deserves.
    @John, It’s easier to control cattle.
    @ Jim, Thanks, we hope so.