George Washington Quotes
If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May 10, 1789
...the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation respecting religion from the Magna Charta of our country. To the guidance of the Ministers of the Gospel, this important object is, perhaps, more properly committed. It will be your care to instruct the ignorant, and to reclaim the devious: And in the progress of morality and science, to which our Government will give every furtherance, we may confidently expect the advancement of true religion, and the completion of our happiness.
Letter to the leaders of the Presbyterian Church, in Massachusetts Centinel, December 5, 1789, quoted in 1 Church and State in the United States, at 536-37 (Anson Phelps Stokes 1950). Responding to clergy complaints that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ.
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause.
Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792
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 (12 September 1758).
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 Dinwiddie (29 May 1754).
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 (29 July 1759).
There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.
Address to Congress, 8 January, 1790