Yesterday, the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, ``that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.'' - John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776 The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
- Thomas Jefferson, Summary, View of the Rights of British America, 1774. These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine partiot will, in this crisis, shrink in the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.
- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, no. 1, December 23, 1776
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been made of earnest struggle.... If there is no struggle, there is no progess.
- Frederick Douglass, Speech, August 3, 1857 Where liberty dwells, there also is my country.
- Benjamen Franklin, letter to B. Vaugh, March 14, 1783.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.
- Abraham Lincoln, Aug. 1, 1858 (?)
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
- George Washington, Letter to James Madison, March 2, 1788.