Quotes: Index by Author
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It must never be forgotten...that the liberties of the people are not so safe under the gracious manner of government as by the limitation of power.
It is true, the yeomanry of the country possess the lands, the weight of property, possess arms, and are too strong a body of men to be openly offended—and, therefore, it is urged, they will take care of themselves, that men who shall govern will not dare pay any disrespect to their opinions. It is easily perceived, that if they have not their proper negative upon passing laws in congress, or on the passage of laws relative to taxes and armies, they may in twenty or thirty years be by means imperceptible to them, totally deprived of that boasted weight and strength: This may be done in great measure by congress;
The constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia. .... all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided.
Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American legislators of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens.
To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.
[If Parliament] may take from me one shilling in the pound, what security have I for the other nineteen?
A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms.
Richard Henry Lee Quotes 1-7 out of 7
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