Words of Wisdom From History

Senator Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 South Africa

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Senator Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 South Africa
Thomas Paine

“No man or country can be really free unless all men and all countries are free.”

Thomas Paine
President Abraham Lincoln

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

President Abraham Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

President Abraham Lincoln
Judge Learned Hand

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it…”

Judge Learned Hand
President John Quincy Adams

“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws.”

President John Quincy Adams
President James Madison

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

President James Madison
President Thomas Jefferson (1816)

“To inform the minds of the people and to follow their will is the chief duty of those placed at their head.”

President Thomas Jefferson (1816)