We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest — which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges, and governors would all become wolves.
The general [federal] government will tend to monarchy, which will fortify itself from day to day, instead of working its own cures.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.
I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.
To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.