George Washington Quotes

These George Washington Quotes are from the period immediately after the Revolutionary War, from the years 1783-1785. The quotes are taken from his own letters, addresses and orders. Some of these George Washington Quotes come from letters to such prominent figures as Jonathan Trumbull, General Henry Knox and Richard Henry Lee. They cover such topics as Washington's thoughts on marriage, his thanks to many different communities for their support during the war and his joy at looking forward to retirement. Our George Washington Quotes are listed in chronological order and there are links to more both before and after this period at the bottom of the page.

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"It has ever been a maxim with me through life, neither to promote, nor to prevent a matrimonial connection, unless there should be something indispensably requiring interference in the latter. I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one's life, the foundation of happiness or misery. To be instrumental therefore in bringing two people together who are indifferent to each other, and may soon become objects of hatred; or to prevent a union which is prompted by mutual esteem and affection, is what I never could reconcile to my feelings; and therefore, neither directly nor indirectly have I ever said a syllable to Fanny or George upon the subject of their intended connexion. But as their attachment to each other seems to have been early formed, warm and lasting, it bids fair to be happy: if therefore you have no objection, I think the sooner it is consummated the better." - Letter to Burwell Bassett, September 20, 1783

"To the various branches of the Army, the General takes this last and solemn opportunity of professing his inviolable attachment & friendship--He wishes more than bare professions were in his power, that he was really able to be usefull to them all in future life; He flatters himself however, they will do him the justice to believe, that whatever could with propriety be attempted by him, has been done. And being now to conclude these his last public Orders, to take his ultimate leave, in a short time, of the Military Character, and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he has so long had the honor to Command--he can only again offer in their behalf his recommendations to their grateful Country, and his prayers to the God of Armies. May ample justice be done them here, and may the choicest of Heaven's favors both here and hereafter attend those, who under the divine auspices have secured innumerable blessings for others: With these Wishes, and this benediction, the Commander in Chief is about to retire from service--The Curtain of seperation will soon be drawn--and the Military Scene to him will be closed for ever." - Farewell Orders to the Army, November 2, 1783

"The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive which induced me to the Field - the object is attained - and it now remains to be my earnest wish & prayer, that the Citizens of the United States could make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings placed before them." - Letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York City, November 27, 1783

"For my own part, Gentlemen, in whatever situation I shall be hereafter, my supplications, will ever ascend to Heaven, for the prosperity of my Country in general; and for the individual happiness of those who are attached to the Freedom, and Independence of America." - Letter to the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Kings County, December 1, 1783

"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." - Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783

"I cannot bid adieu to the Acquaintances and Connections I have formed while acting in a public character without experiencing a certain pleasing, melancholy sensation, pleasing because I leave my Country in the full possession of Liberty and Independence; Melancholy because I bid my friends a long, perhaps a last farewell." - Letter to the Citizens of New Brunswick, December 6, 1783

"For me, it is enough to have seen the divine Arm visibly outstretched for our deliverance, and to have received the approbation of my Country, and my Conscience..." - Letter to the Legislature of New Jersey, December 7, 1783

"While the various Scenes of the War, in which I have experienced the timely aid of the Militia of Philadelphia, recur to my mind, my ardent prayer ascends to Heaven that they may long enjoy the blessings of that Peace which has been obtained by the divine benediction on our common exertions." - Letter to the Militia Officers of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia, December 12, 1783

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"In the philosophic retreat to which I am retiring, I shall often contemplate with pleasure the extensive utility of your Institution. The field of investigation is ample, the benefits which will result to Human Society from discoveries yet to be made, are indubitable, and the task of studying the works of the great Creator, inexpressibly delightful." - Letter to the American Philosophical Society, December 13, 1783

"Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life." - Address to Congress on Resigning his Commission, December 23, 1783

"Notwithstanding the jealous and contracted temper which seems to prevail in some of the States, yet I cannot but hope and believe that the good sense of the people will ultimately get the better of their prejudices; and that order and sound policy, tho' they do not come so soon as one wou'd wish, will be produced from the present unsettled and deranged state of public affairs." - Letter to Jonathan Trumbull, January 5, 1784

"At length, my dear marquis, I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac and under the shadow of my own vine and my own fig-tree, free from the bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life, I am solacing myself with those tranquil enjoyments of which the soldier who is ever in pursuit of fame, the statesman whose watchful days and sleepless nights are spent in devising schemes to promote the welfare of his own, perhaps the ruin of other countries, as if the globe was insufficient for us all, and the Courtier who is always watching the countenance of his Prince, in hopes of catching a gracious smile, can have very little conception. I have not only retired from all public employments, but I am retiring within myself, and shall be able to view the solitary walk of private life with heartfelt satisfaction. Envious of none, I am determined to be pleased with all; and this, my dear friend, being the order of my march, I will move gently down the stream of life until I sleep with my fathers." - Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, February 1, 1784

"To a beneficent Providence, and to the fortitude of a brave and virtuous Army, supported by the general exertion of our common Country I stand indebted for the plaudits you now bestow; sensibility of them is heightened by their coming from the respectable Inhabitants of the place of my growing Infancy and the honorable mention which is made of my revered Mother; by whose Maternal hand, early deprived of a father, I was led from Childhood." - Letter to the inhabitants of Fredericksburg, February 14, 1784

"Dear Sir: I am informed that a Ship with Palatines is gone up to Baltimore, among whom are a number of Tradesmen. I am a good deal in want of a House Joiner and Bricklayer, (who really understand their profession) and you would do me a favor by purchasing one of each, for me. I would not confine you to Palatines. If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans, Jews or Christian of an Sect, or they may be Atheists. I would however prefer middle aged, to young men." - Letter to Tench Tilghman, March 24, 1784

"I will frankly declare to you, my dear doctor, that any memoirs of my life, distinct and unconnected with the general history of the war, would rather hurt my feelings than tickle my pride whilst I lived. I had rather glide gently down the stream of life, leaving it to posterity to think and say what they please of me, than by any act of mine to have vanity or ostentation imputed to me. I do not think vanity is a trait of my character." - Letter to Dr. James Craik, March 25, 1784

"I do not think vanity is a trait of my character." - Letter to Dr. James Craik, March 25, 1784

"A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything." - Letter to Benjamin Harrison, October 10, 1784

"It is easier to prevent than to remedy an evil." - Letter to Richard Henry Lee, December 14, 1784

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"The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail." - Letter to George Chapman, December 15, 1784

"Letters of friendship require no study." - Letter to Major General Henry Knox, January 5, 1785

"I am clearly in sentiment with her Ladyship, that christianity will never make any progress among the Indians, or work any considerable reformation in their principles, until they are brought to a state of greater civilization; and the mode by which she means to attempt this, as far as I have been able to give it consideration, is as likely to succeed as any other that could have been devised... As I am well acquainted with the President of Congress, I will in the course of a few days write him a private letter on this subject giving the substance of Lady Huntingdon's plan and asking his opinion of the encouragement it might expect to receive from Congress if it should be brought before that honorable body. ...Without reverberating the arguments in support of the humane and benevolent intention of Lady Huntingdon to christianize and reduce to a state of civilization the Savage tribes within the limits of the American States, or discanting upon the advantages which the Union may derive from the Emigration which is blended with, and becomes part of the plan, I highly approve of them..." - Letter to Sir James Jay, referring to Countess Huntingdon's plans to evangelize the Indians, January 25, 1785

"Towards the latter part of the year 1783 I was honored with a letter from the Countess of Huntingdon, briefly reciting her benevolent intention of spreading Christianity among the Tribes of Indians inhabiting our Western Territory; and Expressing a desire of my advice and assistance to carry this charitable design into execution... Her Ladyship has spoken so feelingly and sensibly, on the religious and benevolent purposes of the plan, that no language of which I am possessed, can add aught to enforce her observations..." - Letter to Richard Henry Lee, February 8, 1785

"My Lady... With respect to your humane and benevolent intentions towards the Indians, and the plan which your Ladyship has adopted to carry them into effect, they meet my highest approbation; and I should be very happy to find every possible encouragement given to them... I have written fully to the President of Congress, with whom I have a particular intimacy, and transmitted copies of your Ladyships plan, addresses and letter to the several States therein mentioned, with my approving sentiments thereon..." - Letter to Countess Huntingdon, a prominent English evangelical leader, February 27, 1785

"It is a maxim with me Sir, to take no liberties with exalted characters to whom I am not personally known, or with whom I have had no occasion to correspond by letter." - Letter to Jacob Gerhard Diriks, March 15, 1785

"The scheme, my dear Marqs. which you propose as a precedent, to encourage the emancipation of the black people of this Country from that state of Bondage in wch. they are held, is a striking evidence of the benevolence of your Heart. I shall be happy to join you in so laudable a work." - Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, April 5, 1785

If you liked these George Washington Quotes, there is lots more to learn about George Washington at our George Washington Facts page.

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If you enjoyed the George Washington Quote page, check out these inspirational quotes from some other Founding Fathers

Ben Franklin Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Thomas Paine Quotes

John Adams Quotes

James Madison Quotes

Patrick Henry Quotes

Samuel Adams Quotes

Revolutionary War and Beyond Home

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