"Where is it written in the Constitution,
in what article or section is it contained,
that you may take children from their parents
and parents from their children, and compel them
to fight the battles of any war in which the folly
and wickedness of the government may engage itself?
Under what concealment has this power lain hidden,
which now for the first time comes forth,
with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down
and destroy the dearest right of personal liberty?
Who will show me any Constitutional injunction
which makes it the duty of the American people
to surrender everything valuable in life,
and even life, itself, whenever the purposes of
an ambitious and mischievous government may require it? ...
A free government with an uncontrolled power
of military conscription is the most ridiculous
and abominable contradiction and nonsense
that ever entered into the heads of men."
Remarks to the House of Representatives, Dec. 9, 1814, _Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster_, Vol. 14, p. 61, published 1903. As quoted in _Respectfully Quoted: a Dictionary of Quotations Requested from the Congressional Research Service_, Library of Congress, 1989