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George Washington Quotes

These George Washington Quotes are listed in chronological order beginning in 1744 when he was only 12 years old. The quotes on this page cover the early part of his life up through 1774 shortly before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. These George Washington Quotes are chosen to give you an idea of his thoughts on a wide range of topics. They come from his own letters, diary entries and writings, such as Rules of Civility, a code of conduct taught to young people in that time period, and letters to Martha Custis (his future wife), George Mason and Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia. We have more George Washington Quotes after this time period and you can find the links to them at the bottom of the page.

George Washington


George Washington Quotes

When you speak of God, or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence. Honor and obey our natural parents although they be poor." - 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, 1744

"Let your recreations be manful not sinful." - 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, 1744

"Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." - 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, 1744

Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon. I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me. Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life." - Authentic handwritten manuscript book, April 23, 1752

"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness." - Circular to the States, May 9, 1753

"Nothing is a greater stranger to my breast, or a sin that my soul more abhors, than that black and detestable one, ingratitude." - Letter to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, May 29, 1754

"I am much concern'd, that your Honour should seem to charge me with ingratitude for your generous, and my undeserved favours; for I assure you, Hon'ble Sir, nothing is a greater stranger to my Breast, or a Sin that my Soul abhors, than that black and detestable one Ingratitude." - Letter to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, May 29, 1754

"By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho' death was levelling my companions on every side." - Letter to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755

"Remember that it is the actions, and not the commission, that make the officer, and that there is more expected from him, than the title." - Address to the Officers of the Virginia Regiment, January 8, 1756

"I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit, and reward the brave and deserving." - Address to the Officers of the Virginia Regiment, January 8, 1756

"I have always, so far as it was in my power, endeavored to discourage gaming in the camp; and always shall so long as I have the honor to preside there." - Letter to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, February 2, 1756

"A man's intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions." - Letter to the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, December, 1756

Here are some more
George Washington Quotes

General George Washington


"I have diligently sought the public welfare; and have endeavoured to inculcate the same principles in all that are under me. These reflections will be a cordial to my mind as long as I am able to distinguish between Good & Evil." - Letter to the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, December, 1756

"It gave me infinite concern to hear by several letters, that the Assembly are incensed against the Virginia Regiment: and think they have cause to accuse the officers of all inordinate vices: but more especially of drunkenness and profanity! How far any one individual may have subjected himself to such reflections, I will not pretend to determine, but this I am certain of; and can with the highest safety call my conscience, my God! and (what I suppose will still be a more demonstrable proof, at least in the eye of the World) the Orders and Instructions which I have given, to evince the purity of my own intentions and to show on the one hand, that my incessant endeavours have been directed to discountenance Gaming, drinking, swearing, and other vices, with which all camps too much abound: while on the other, I have used every expedient to inspire a laudable emulation in the officers, and an unerring exercise of Duty in the Soldiers." - Letter to the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, December, 1756

"My nature is open and honest and free from guile." - Letter to the Earl of Loudoun, March, 1757

"What can be so proper as the truth?" - Letter to Richard Washington, April 15, 1757

"It is with pleasure I receive reproof, when reproof is due, because no person can be readier to accuse me, than I am to acknowledge an error, when I am guilty of one; nor more desirous of atoning for a crime, when I am sensible of having committed it." - Letter to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, August 27, 1757

"Since that happy hour when we made our pledges to each other, my thoughts have been continually going to you as another Self. That an all-powerful Providence may keep us both in safety is the prayer of your ever faithful and affectionate friend." - Letter to Martha Custis, July 20, 1758

"There is a Destiny which has the control of our actions, not to be resisted by the strongest efforts of Human Nature." - Letter to Mrs. George William Fairfax, September 12, 1758

"Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all." - Letter of Instructions to the Captains of the Virginia Regiments, July 29, 1759

"At a time, when our lordly masters in Great Britain will be satisfied with nothing less than the deprivation of American freedom, it seems highly necessary that something should be done to avert the stroke, and maintain the liberty, which we have derived from our ancestors. But the manner of doing it, to answer the purpose effectually, is the point in question. That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment, to use arms in defence of so valuable a blessing, on which all the good and evil of life depends, is clearly my opinion. Yet arms, I would beg leave to add, should be the last resource, the dernier resort. Addresses to the throne, and remonstrances to Parliament, we have already, it is said, proved the inefficacy of. How far, then, their attention to our rights and privileges is to be awakened or alarmed, by starving their trade and manufacturers, remains to be tried." - Letter to George Mason, April 5, 1769

"I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built." - Letter to Jonathan Boucher, July 9, 1771

"The ways of Providence being inscrutable, and the justice of it not to be scanned by the shallow eye of humanity, nor to be counteracted by the utmost efforts of human power or wisdom, resignation, and as far as the strength of our reason and religion can carry us, a cheerful acquiescence to the Divine Will, is what we are to aim." - Letter to Col. Burwell Bassett, April 25, 1773

"It is an easier matter to conceive, than to describe the distress of this Family; especially that of the unhappy Parent of our Dear Patsy Custis, when I inform you that yesterday removed the sweet Innocent Girl Entered into a more happy and peaceful abode than any she has met with in the afflicted Path she hitherto has trod." - Letter to Burwell Bassett, on the death of his stepdaughter Patsy, June 20, 1773

"Went to church and fasted all day." - Diary Entry, June 1, 1774

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