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George Washington Quotes

Our George Washington Quotes are listed in chronological order. This page contains quotes from the years 1777 and 1778. Many of them come from his General Orders to the Continental Army, or from personal letters to such people as Patrick Henry, Henry Laurens, the President of the Continental Congress and Robert Morris, known as the "Financier of the Revolution," for his great wealth. These George Washington Quotes cover such topics as the dangers of gambling among the troops, the importance of discipline, their trouble in obtaining the simplest items for the army - such as soap, and the hardships suffered at Valley Forge. These George Washington Quotes are listed chronologically, so there are links to more both before and after this time period at the bottom of the page.

George Washington

George
Washington

George Washington Quotes

"Your friendly, and affectionate wishes for my health and success, has a claim to my thankful acknowledgements; and, that the God of Armies may enable me to bring the present contest to a speedy and happy conclusion, thereby gratifying me in a retirement to the calm and sweet enjoyment of domestick happiness, is the fervent prayer, and most ardent wish of my Soul." - Letter to Edmund Pendleton, April 12, 1777

"That the God of Armies may Incline the Hearts of my American Brethren to support, and bestow sufficient abilities on me to bring the present contest to a speedy and happy conclusion, thereby enabling me to sink into sweet retirement, and the full enjoyment of that Peace and happiness which will accompany a domestick Life is the first wish, and most fervent prayer of my soul." - Letter to Landon Carter, April 15, 1777

"Diffidence in an officer is a good mark because he will always endeavor to bring himself up to what he conceives to be the full line of his duty." - Letter to Brigadier General Glover, April 26, 1777

"As few vices are attended with more pernicious consequences, in civil life; so there are none more fatal in a military one, than that of GAMING; which often brings disgrace and ruin upon officers, and injury and punishment upon the soldiery: And reports prevailing, which, it is to be feared are too well founded, that this destructive vice has spread its baneful influence in the army, and, in a peculiar manner, to the prejudice of the recruiting Service,-The Commander in Chief, in the most pointed and explicit terms, forbids ALL officers and soldiers, playing at cards, dice or at any games, except those of EXERCISE, for diversion; it being impossible, if the practice be allowed, at all, to discriminate between innocent play, for amusement, and criminal gaming, for pecuniary and sordid purposes... The commanding officer of every corps is strictly enjoined to have this order frequently read, and strongly impressed upon the minds those under his command. Any officer, or soldier, or other person belonging to, or following, the army... presuming, under any pretence, to disobey this order, shall be tried by a General Court Martial." - General Orders, May 8, 1777

"Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another." - General Orders, July 6, 1777

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." - Letter to Philip Schuyler, July 15, 1777

"Soap is another article in great demand--the Continental allowance is too small, and dear, as every necessary of life is now got, a soldier's pay will not enable him to purchase, by which means his consequent dirtiness adds not a little to the disease of the Army." - Letter to the Committee of Congress, July 19, 1777

"Your favor of the 16th I received Yesterday morning, and was much obliged by the interesting contents. The defeat of Genl. Burgoyne is a most important event, and such as must afford the highest satisfaction to every well affected American breast. Should providence be pleased to crown our Arms in the course of the Campaign, with one more fortunate stroke, I think we shall have no great cause for anxiety respecting the future designs of Britain. I trust all will be well in his good time." - Letter to Major General Israel Putnam, October 19, 1777

"Military arrangement, and movements in consequence, like the mechanism of a clock, will be imperfect and disordered by the want of a part." - Letter to the President of Congress, December 23, 1777

"With my inauguration, I resolved firmly, that no man should ever charge me justly with deception." - Letter to James McHenry, January 4, 1778

"The determinations of Providence are always wise, often inscrutable; and, though its decrees appear to bear hard upon us at times, is nevertheless meant for gracious purposes." - Letter to Bryan Fairfax, March 1, 1778

"America... has ever had, and I trust she ever will have, my honest exertions to promote her interest. I cannot hope that my services have been the best; but my heart tells me they have been the best that I could render." - Letter to Patrick Henry, March 27, 1778

Here are Some More
George Washington Quotes

General George Washington

George
Washington

"The wishes of the people, seldom founded in deep disquisitions, or resulting from other reasonings than their present feelings, may not entirely accord with our true policy and interest. If they do not, to observe a proper line of conduct for promoting the one, and avoiding offence to the other, will be a work of great difficulty." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"Nothing short of independence, it appears to me, can possibly do. A peace on other terms would, if I may be allowed the expression, be a peace of war. The injuries we have received from the British nation were so unprovoked, and have been so great and so many, that they can never be forgotten. Besides the feuds, the jealousies, the animosities, that would ever attain a union with them; besides the importance, the advantages, we should derive from an unrestricted commerce; our fidelity as a people, our gratitude, our character as men, are opposed to a coalition with them as subjects, but in case of the last extremity. Were we easily to accede to terms of dependence, no nation, upon future occasions, let the oppressions of Britain be never so flagrant and unjust, would interpose for our relief; or, at most, they would do it with a cautious reluctance, and upon conditions most probably that would be hard, if not dishonorable to us. France, by her supplies, has saved us from the yoke thus far; and a wise and virtuous perseverance would, and I trust will, free us entirely." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"The most certain way to make a man your enemy is to tell him you esteem him such." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"Without arrogance or the smallest deviation from truth it may be said that no history now extant can furnish an instance of an army's suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done, and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. To see men, without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes, by which their marches might be traced by blood from their feet, and almost as often without provisions as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter-quarters within a day's march of the enemy, without a house or hut to cover them, till they could be built, and submitting to it without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience, which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"I do not mean to exclude altogether the ideas of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest or some reward. For a time, it may, or itself push men to action: to bear much, to encounter difficulties; but it will not endure unassisted by interest." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"That no history now extant can furnish an instance of an army's suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done, and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. To see men, without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes, by which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet, and almost as often without provisions as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter-quarters within a day's march of the enemy, without a house or hut to cover them, till they could be built, and submitting to it without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience, which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled." - Letter to John Banister, April 21, 1778

"Should we retire to the interior parts of the State, we should find them crowded with virtuous citizens, who, sacrificing their all, have left Philadelphia, and fled thither for protection. To their distresses humanity forbids us to add. This is not all, we should leave a vast extent of fertile country to be despoiled and ravaged by the enemy, from which they would draw vast supplies, and where many of our firm friends would be exposed to all the miseries of the most insulting and wanton depredation. A train of evils might be enumerated, but these will suffice. These considerations make it indispensably necessary for the army to take such a position, as will enable it most effectually to prevent distress and to give the most extensive security; and in that position we must make ourselves the best shelter in our power." - Letter to John Banister, referring to Valley Forge, April 21, 1778

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good." - General Orders, May 2, 1778

"It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the universe to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally to raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our liberty and independence upon a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness, and celebrating the important event, which we owe to His divine interposition." - General Orders, May 5, 1778

"I rejoice most sincerely with you, on the glorious change in our prospects, calmness and serenity, seems likely to succeed in some measure, those dark and tempestuous clouds which at times appeared ready to overwhelm us, The game, whether well or ill played hitherto, seems now to be verging fast to a favourable issue, and cannot I think be lost, unless we throw it away by too much supineness on the one hand, or impetuosity on the other, God for bid that either of these should happen at a time when we seem to be upon the point of reaping the fruits of our toil and labour, A stroke, and reverse, under such circumstances, would be doubly distressing." - Letter to Robert Morris, after the ordeal at Valley Forge was over, May 25, 1778

"My friends therefore may believe me sincere in my professions of attachment to them, whilst Providence has a joint claim to my humble and grateful thanks, for its protection and direction of me, through the many difficult and intricate scenes, which this contest hath produced; and for the constant interposition in our behalf, when the clouds were heaviest and seemed ready to burst upon us. To paint the distresses and perilous situation of this army in the course of last winter, for want of cloaths, provisions, and almost every other necessary, essential to the well-being, I may say existence, of an army, would require more time and an abler pen than mine; nor, since our prospects have so miraculously brightened, shall I attempt it, or even bear it in remembrance, further than as a memento of what is due to the great Author of all the care and good, that have been extended in relieving us in difficulties and distress." - Letter to Landon Carter, May 30, 1778

"The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations; but it will be time enough for me to turn Preacher when my present appointment ceases; and therefore, I shall add no more on the Doctrine of Providence." - Letter to Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778

"It is a maxim, founded on the universal experience of mankind, that no nation is to be trusted farther than it is bound by its interest; and no prudent statesman or politician will venture to depart from it." - Letter to Henry Laurens, November 14, 1778


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