John Winthrop

John Winthrop
John Winthrop
  • Born: January 12, 1587
  • Died: March 26, 1649
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Colonial Leader









John Winthrop was an English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the second major settlement in New England, following Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of immigrants from England in 1630 and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England colonial development, influencing the governments and religions of neighboring colonies.

Quote Topics Cited
… we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Anne Hutchinson’s preaching to both women and men in her home is a thing not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God, nor fitting for her sex. Religion & God
Every law must be just in every part of it, but if the penalty annexed be unjust, how can it be held forth as a just law? Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Every man might have need of others, and from hence they might be all knit more nearly together in the Bonds of brotherly affection. From hence it appears plainly that no man is made more honorable than another or more wealthy … out of any particular and singular respect to himself, but for the glory of his creator and the common good of the creature, man Human Nature
God Almightie in his most holy and wise providence hath soe disposed the Condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich some poore, some highe and eminent in power and dignitie; others meane and in subjeccion. Religion & God
I entreat you to consider that, when you choose magistrates, you take them from among yourselves, men subject to like passions as you are. Therefore, when you see infirmities in us, you should reflect upon your own, and that would make you bear the more with us, and not be severe censurers of the failings of your magistrates. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
if you do countenance those that are transgressors of the law you are in the same fact. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is as much our duty to secure ourselves against the effects of lightning as against those of rain, snow, and wind by the means God has put into our hands Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It is not hard to prove, that the lawmakers, in all states, have committed more, and more pernicious errors than the judges Legislating & Legislative Process
It is you who have called us unto this office; but being thus called we have our authority from God; Democracies & Republics
It is yourselves who have called us to this office, and being called by you, we have an authority from God. Management & Managing Government
It would not be safe to set him at liberty, neither have we sufficient ground for us to put him to death. Justice & Injustice
Judges are Gods upon earth. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Mrs. Hutchinson, the sentence of the court you hear is that you are banished from out of our jurisdiction as being a woman not fit for our society Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No man's life shall be taken away; no man's honor or good name shall be stained; no man's person shall be arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, or any ways punished; no man shall be deprived of his wife or children; no man's goods or estate shall be taken away from him, or any way damaged, under color of law or countenance of authority, unless it be by the virtue or equity of some express law of the country, warranting the same, established by a General Court and sufficiently published Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
scum of the land … Poverty
That, as a man may take the advantage of his own skill or ability, so he may of another's ignorance or necessity Business, Commerce & Finance
The fountains of Learning & Religion are so corrupted as (besides the unsupportable charge of there education) most children (even the best wits & of fairest hopes) are perverted, corrupted, & utterly overthrowne by the multitude of evil examples & the licentious government of those seminaries, where men straine at gnats & swallows camels Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The great questions that have troubled the country are about the authority of the magistrates and the liberty of the people. Freedom & Liberty
The woman’s own choice makes such a man her husband; yet being so chosen, he is her lord, and she is to be subject to him, yet in a way of liberty, not of bondage. Families, Children & Parenting
Those who make laws and prescribe penalties are also men subject to temptations, and may also miscarry through ignorance, heedlessness, or sinister respects. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must give him according to his necessity, rather then lend him as he requires; if he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of Commerce, wherein thou arte to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be only probable or possible, then is hee an object of thy mercy, thou must lend him, though there be danger of losing it Business, Commerce & Finance
… the meanest and worst of all forms of government Democracies & Republics ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Liberty is the proper end and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it; and it is liberty to that which is good, just, and honest.
Love is the bond of perfection. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Mr. Pierce in the Salem ship, the Desire, returned from the West Indies after seven months. He had been at Providence, and brought some cotton, and tobacco, and Negroes, etc., from thence, and salt from Tertugos. Dry fish and strong liquors are the only commodities for those parts. He met there two men-of-war, sent forth by the lords, etc., of Providence with letters of mart, who had taken divers prizes from the Spaniard and many Negroes. History ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The eyes of all people are upon us.

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