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September 21, 2013

BEHIND THE PINE CURTAIN: A Few Historic Quotations from Great Americans

EDITOR’S NOTE: Life Behind the Pine Curtain is a series of anecdotes collected and edited by Herald-Press Publisher Gary Connor.

In a culture replete with technology, much of it literally held in our hands, listening to voices of the past when written communication was with quill and ink is still appropriate and of great benefit to the citizens of this nation.

   Below are quotations from four wise and insightful ancestors.

   “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.” Henry Ford

   “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

John Jay to Jedidiah Morse, February 28, 1797.

   “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.” Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833.

  “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders.” Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, November 4, 1775.

   “Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab, ‘Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?’ 2 Chronicles 19:2, affords a salutary lesson.” John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, p.365.


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