I finished reading The Maxims of George Washington awhile back. It’s a collection of insights from America’s first president. The book was fascinating, since so much is said about the man. And yet, we’ve rarely heard anything from the man.
Below are six interesting quotes from the book:
On the Native Americans (Indian Nations):
“The basis of our proceedings with the Indian Nations has been, and shall be, JUSTICE, during the period in which I have anything to do with the administration of this government” (p. 204)
“The company in which you will improve most will be the least expensive to you.” (263).
“Assimilate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” (264)
On his feelings towards Great Britain:
I was opposed to the policy of Great Britain, and became an enemy of her measures; but I always distinguish between a cause and individuals…personally I could never be an enemy to them.”(p. 265).
“There is not a man living, who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted, for the abolition of it [slavery]. But there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is, by legislative authority.”
Your [Lafayette’s] purchase of an estate in Cayenne, with a view of emancipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity” (p. 276).
“Avoid gaming. This is a vice that is productive of every possible evil” (331)
Primary sources are better than secondary ones. Therefore, it should be the goal of every honest man to judge others by their actual words…as opposed to what others have said about them.
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