Thoughts on the Declaration

 

"One of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle." --James Otis (1761)

 

"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth." --Thomas Paine (1776)

 

"I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." --John Adams (1776)

 

"There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon (1776)

 

"Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" --George Washington (1779)

 

"The American war is over; but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government, and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection." --Benjamin Rush (1786)

 

"[T]he flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them. ... The Declaration of Independence...[is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson (1821)

 

"On the distinctive principles of the Government ...of the U. States, the best guides are to be found in...The Declaration of Independence, as the fundamental Act of Union of these States." --James Madison (1825)

 

"And it is no less true, that personal security and private property rest entirely upon the wisdom, the stability, and the integrity of the courts of justice." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution (1833)