DeWitt Clinton

DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton
  • Born: March 2, 1769
  • Died: February 11, 1828
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician









Quote Topics Cited
... miserable and almost friendless objects are ushered upon the stage of life, inheriting those vices, which idleness, and the bad example of their parents naturally produce. Families, Children & Parenting
[A] government can be expected to be enjoyed no longer than while its Citizens continue virtuous and while the majority of the People, through the advantage of a proper, early education possess sufficient knowledge to enable them to understand and pursue their best interests. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
A nation that derives its subsistence, principally from the forest, cannot live in the vicinity of one that relies upon the products of the field. The clearing of the country drives off the wild beasts; and when the game fails, the hunter must starve, change his occupation, or retire from the approach of cultivation.
Abuses and perversions will of course arise and multiply in the administration of the public bounty Management & Managing Government
Almost all the calamities of man, except the physical evils which are inherent in his nature, are in a great measure to be imputed to erroneous views of religion, or bad systems of government; and these cannot be coexistent for any considerable time with an extensive diffusion of knowledge Freedom & Liberty
As a young nation, pursuing industry in every channel, and adventuring commerce in every sea. It is highly important that we should not only have a pacific character, but that we should really deserve it. If we manifest an unwarrantable ambition, and a rage for conquest, we unite all the great powers of Europe against us. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
As soon as the War of Independence terminated, the attention of the statesmen and patriots, who had conducted us triumphantly through the storms of the revolution, was turned to the revival of letters, the restoration of the lights of education, and the establishment of the Temple of Liberty upon the foundation of knowledge Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Charges so unfounded are beneath the dignity of refutation; and the country which has been called the land of swamps, of yellow fever, and universal suffrage, requires no advocate but truth, and no friend but justice, to place it on the highest elevation of triumphant vindication. Miscellaneous
Either the happiness of the many or the predominance of the few must be sacrificed Miscellaneous
Eloquence being, therefore, considered so essential, must always be a great standard of personal merit, a certain road to popular favor, and an universal passport to public honors. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Great improvements must also take place which far surpass the momentum of power that a single nation can produce, but will with facility proceed from their united strength. The hand of art will change the face of the universe. Mountains, deserts, and oceans will feel its mighty force. It will not then be debated whether hills shall be prostrated, but whether the Alps and the Andes shall be leveled; nor whether sterile fields shall be fertilized, but whether the deserts of Africa shall feel the power of cultivation; nor whether rivers shall be joined, but whether the Caspian shall see the Mediterranean, and the waves of the Pacific lave the Atlantic. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Here, no privileged orders – no factitious distinctions in society – no hereditary nobility – no royal prerogatives exist, to interpose barriers between the people, and to create distinct classifications in society. All men being considered as enjoying an equality of rights, the propriety and necessity of dispensing, without distinction, the blessings of education …. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Human laws are entirely destitute of the sanction of rewards. To confer honors for obedience would be as ridiculous as unavailing. The honor of many would resolve itself into the honor of none. To dispense pecuniary rewards would be nugatory or impracticable. In an unqualified extent, no government would be able to supply the funds; and even in a restricted form, its operation would be to receive money with one hand as a premium, and to pay it back with the other in the shape of a tax. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In 1774 the government of Connecticut, in an official statement to the British Secretary of State, represented the original title to the land of Connecticut as in the Pequot Nations of Indians, who were numerous and warlike; that their great sachem Sasacus had under him twenty-six sachems, and that their territory extended from Narraganset to Hudson’s River, and over all Long Island. Minorities & Women
In 1818 I had the pleasure to congratulate the Legislature on the auspicious commencement and successful progress of the contemplated water communication between the great western and northern lakes and the Atlantic ocean, and I now have the peculiar gratification to felicitate you on their completion. On the 26th of October last, the Western Canal was in a navigable state, and vessels passed from Lake Erie to the Atlantic Ocean. In about eight years, artificial communications, near 428 miles in length, have been opened to the Hudson River from Lake Champlain by the Northern Canal; to Lake Ontario by the Oswego River and the Western Canal; and to Lake Erie and the other western lakes by the latter Canal – thus affording an extent of inland navigation unparalleled in the experience of mankind. The expense of these works and of some auxiliary, connected, and incidental operations, amounts to $9,130,373.80 … Public Works & Natural Resources
in the clash of contending armies and amid the groans of the wounded and the dying, the interests of education are sacrificed – the pacific virtues take their flight from the earth War & Peace
In this country there is no alliance between church and state, no established religion, no tolerated religion—for toleration results from establishment Religion & God
It becomes not us, if we value the characters of our forefathers; it becomes not the civilized nations of Europe who have had American possessions, to inveigh against the merciless conduct of the savage (Scalping). His appetite for blood was sharpened and whetted by European instigation, and his cupidity was enlisted on the side of cruelty by every temptation. In the wars between France and England and their colonies, their Indian allies were entitled to a premium for every scalp of an enemy. In the war preceding 1703, the government of Massachusetts gave twelve pounds for every Indian scalp; in that year the premium was raised to forty pounds, but in 1722 it was augmented to one hundred pounds. War & Peace
Knowledge is the cause as well as the effect of good government Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Secrecy & Transparency
Mankind have, not only in their individual character, but in their collective capacity as nations, recognized and avowed in their opinions and actions, a system of laws calculated to produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Masonry has erected her temples, as well as in the most frontier settlements, as in the most populous villages and cities. Development & Growth
No creed of religion can sustain unsullied purity, or support its high destination, which is mingled with the corruptions of human government. Christianity is in its essence, its doctrine, and its forms, republican. It teaches our descent from a common parent; in inculcates the natural equality in mankind; and it points to our origin and our end, to our nativity and our graves, to our immortal destinies, as illustrations of this impressive truth. But at an early period it was pressed into the service of the potentates of the earth; the unnatural union of church and state was consummated; and the scepter of Constantine was supported by the cross of Jesus. The light of knowledge was shut out from the general mass, and confined to the select organs of tyranny; and man was for ages enveloped in the thickest gloom of intellectual and moral darkness Religion & God
Pleasure is a shadow, wealth is vanity, and power a pageant; but knowledge is ecstatic in enjoyment, perennial in frame, unlimited in space and indefinite in duration. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
Some are even so absurd as to suppose, that the stock of original ideas is exhausted. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Some foreign governments have now in this country agents to collect our productions. Scientific foreigners are now exploring it with microscopic eyes Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
That knowledge is power – that education is the citadel of liberty – that national glory and prosperity consist in the cultivation of the sciences, in the elevation of the liberal arts, in the extension of the powers of productive industry, are now considered as admitted truths and acknowledged axioms Power
The causes of their [Indians’] degradation and diminution, are principally to be found in their baneful communication with the man of Europe, which has contaminated their morals, destroyed their population, robbed them of their country, and deprived them of their national spirit. Indeed, when we consider, that the discovery and settlement of America, have exterminated millions of the red men, and entailed upon the sable inhabitants of Africa, endless and destructive wars, captivity, slavery and death, we have reason to shudder at the gloomy perspective Minorities & Women ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The Confederates (The Iroquois Indian Confederacy) were as celebrated for their eloquence, as for their military skill and political wisdom. Popular, or free governments have, in all ages, been the congenial soil of oratory. And it is, indeed, all important in institutions merely advisory; where persuasion must supply the place of coercion; where there is no magistrate to execute, no military to compel; and where the only sanction of law is the controlling power of public opinion. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
The enhancement of the profits of agriculture, the excitement of manufacturing industry, the activity of internal trade, the benefits of lucrative traffic; the interchange of valuable commodities – the commerce of fertile, remote, and wide-spread regions, and the approximation of the most distant parts of the Union, by the facility and rapidity of communication that will result from the completion of these stupendous works, will spread the blessings of plenty and opulence to an immeasurable extent. The resources of the State are fully adequate without extraneous aid; and when we consider that every portion of the nation will feel the animating spirit and vivifying influences of these great works; that they will receive the benediction of posterity and command the approbation of the civilized world; we are required to persevere by every dictate of interest, by every sentiment of honor, by every injunction of patriotism, and by every consideration which ought to influence the councils and govern the conduct of a free, high-minded, enlightened, and magnanimous people. Public Works & Natural Resources
The fundamental error of Europe has been to confine the light of knowledge to the wealthy and great, while the humble and the depressed have been as sedulously excluded from its participation as the wretched criminal, immured in a dungeon, is from the light of Heaven. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The innocent are frequently punished instead of the guilty Justice & Injustice
The less that is applied to education, the less they [the people] will have to pay in taxation Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The northern and western companies of inland lock navigation, having, agreeably to law, produced authentic accounts of their expenditures, I have given the necessary certificate to entitle them to receive from the Treasury the sum of ten thousand pounds, as a free gift on the part of this State towards the prosecution of those interesting objects. Although the care of improving and opening these navigations be committed to private companies, they will require, and no doubt from time to time receive, from the Legislature, every fostering aid and patronage commensurate to the great public advantages which must result from the improvement of the means of intercourse Transportation
The ostensible causes of war among the Indians were like many of those of civilized nations; controversies about limits, violations of the rights of embassy, individual or national wrongs: And the real and latent reasons were generally the same; the enlargement of territory, the extension of dominion, the gratification of cupidity, and the acquisition of glory. War & Peace
The specious figments of genius, and the erratic flights of philosophy, may excite our wonder, but they cannot stand the ordeal of scrutiny, or the Lydian touch of experiment. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The time must arrive when we will have to contend with some of the great powers of Europe; but let that period be put off as long as possible. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
There is a sect in this country, which extends its influence, more or less, into all the ramifications of society, that explodes all kinds of knowledge not founded on personal experience; which inculcates that ignorance is the summum bonum; that the less one reads the more one thinks, and that the less he understands, the better he can act; that education beyond the precincts of common schools is allied to aristocracy, and incompatible with natural equality Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
There is a strong propensity in the human mind to trace up our ancestry as to high and as remote a source as possible; and if our pride and our ambition cannot be gratified by a real statement of facts, fable is substituted for truth, and the imagination is taxed to supply the deficiency. History
This terrible scourge of mankind, worse than famine or pestilence, ought not to be resorted to until every reasonable expedient has been adopted to avert it. When aggressions have been committed by the sovereign or representatives of the will of a nation, negotiation ought in all cases to be first tried, unless the rights of self-defense demand a contrary course. War & Peace
We are governed by our hopes and our fears. Human Nature
We want a corps of educated instructors – we want gratuitous instruction in our academies and colleges. The di minorum of learning ought to be elevated in the scale of public estimation and intellectual endowment. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
What right have the rulers of nations to unsheath the sword of destruction, and to let loose the demons of desolation upon mankind, whenever caprice or pride, ambition or avarice, shall prescribe? War & Peace
Without sufficient funds, nothing could be efficiently done. Taxes
The sinner will not confess, nor will the priest receive his confession, if the veil of secrecy is removed.

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