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Independence Day Quotes
From Great Americans

From Dick Eastman
"When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence."

                       -- Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration)

"[The Declaration's] authors meant it to be -- as, thank God, it is now proving itself -- a stumbling block to all those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. The knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should reappear in this fair land and commence their vocation, they should find left for them one hard nut to crack."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"If this country cannot be saved without giving up the principle .. [of the Declaration of Independence], I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"The die was now cast; I had passed the Rubicon. Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish with my country, was my unalterable determination."

-- John Adams, after deciding to cast his vote for the
adoption of the Declaration of Indpendence

"If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious objective of our contest is obtained, we must fight; I repeat it, sir, we must fight ! An appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us !"

-- Patrick Henry

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty Powers ! -- I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death !

-- Patrick Henry

"I could not omit to urge on every man to remember that self-government politically can only be successful if it be accompanied by self-government personally; that there must be government somewhere; and that, if the people are indeed to be sovereigns, they must exercise their sovereignty over themselves individually, as well as over themselves in the aggregate -- regulating their own lives, resisting their own temptations, subduing their own passions, and voluntarily imposing upon themselves some measure of that restraint and discipline which, under other systems, is supplied from the armories of arbitrary power -- the discipline of virture in the place of the discipline of slavery. ... In what region of the earth ever so remote from us, in what corner of creation ever so far out of the range of our communication, does not some burden lightened, some bond loosened, some yoke lifted, some labor better remunerated, some new hope for despairing hearts, some new light or new liberty for the benighted or the oppressed, bear witness this day, and trace itself, directly or indirectly, back to the impulse given to the world by the successful establishment and operation of free institutions on this American continent."

-- John C. Winthrop



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