Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.

— Henry Clay

The most sublime Henry Clay quotes that will transform you to a better person

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.


Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.


We have had good and bad Presidents, and it is a consoling reflection that the American Nation possesses such elements of prosperity that the bad Presidents cannot destroy it, and have been able to do no more than slightly to retard the public's advancement.


Let him who elevates himself above humanity .

. . say, if he pleases, "I will never compromise"; but let no one who is not above the frailties of our common nature disdain compromise.


The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages.

It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments.


An oppressed people are authorized whenever they can to rise and break their fetters.


The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.


The measure of the wealth of a nation is indicated by the measure of its protection of its industry; the measure of the poverty of a nation is marked by the degree in which it neglects and abandons the care of its own industry, leaving it exposed to the action of foreign powers.


I am not, sir, in favor of cherishing the passion of conquest.

I am permitted ... to indulge the hope of seeing, ere long, the new United States, (if you will allow me the expression,) embracing not only the old.


All legislation is founded upon the principle of mutual concession.


Statistics are no substitute for judgment.


The imposition of taxes has its limits.

There is a maximum which cannot be transcended. Suppose the citizen to be taxed by the general government to the utmost extent of his ability, or a thing as much as it can possibly bear, and the state imposes a tax at the same time, which authority is to take it?


About Henry Clay

Quotes 40 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Statesman
Birthday October 16

I always have had, and always shall have, a profound regard for Christianity, the religion of my fathers, and for its rights, its usages and observances.


How often are we forced to charge fortune with partiality towards the unjust!


I have no commiseration for princes. My sympathies are reserved for the great mass of mankind ….


By competition the total amount of supply is increased, and by increase of the supply a competition in the sale ensues, and this enables the consumer to buy at lower rates. Of all human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition.


A nation's character is the sum of its splendid deeds;

they constitute one common patrimony, the nation's inheritance. They awe foreign powers, they arouse and animate our own people.


Of all human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition.


If you wish to avoid foreign collision, you had better abandon the ocean.


There is no power like oratory. Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears, Cicero by . . . swaying their passions. The influence of the one perished; that of the other continues to this day.


Political parties serve to keep each other in check, one keenly watching the other.


Honor and good faith and justice are equally due from this country toward the weak as toward the strong.


The colors that float from the masthead should be the credentials of our seamen.

There is no safety to us, and the gentlemen have shown it, but in the rule that all who sail under the flag (not being enemies) are protected by the flag.


In a scheme of policy which is devised for a nation, we should not limit our views to its operation during a single year, or even for a short term of years. We should look at its operation for a considerable time, and in war as well as in peace.


A man must be a born fool who voluntarily engages in controversy with Mr.

Adams on a question of fact. I doubt whether he was ever mistaken in his life.


I would rather be right than President.


Precedents deliberately established by wise men are entitled to great weight.

They are evidence of truth, but only evidence...But a solitary precedent...which has never been reexamined, cannot be conclusive.


I cannot believe that the killing of 2,000 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies a person for the various difficult and complicated duties of the Presidency.


Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.


The gentleman cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.


Yes, sir, from Constantinople, or from the Brazils;

from Turk or christian; from black or white; from the dey of Algiers or the bey of Tunis; from the devil himself, if he wore a crown, we should receive a minister.


Whether we assert our rights by sea, or attempt their maintenance by land whithersoever we turn ourselves, this phantom incessantly pursues us. Already has it had too much influence on the councils of the nation.


I'd rather be right than President.


The time will come when winter will ask what you were doing all summer.


All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty.

All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.


There is no power like that of true oratory.

Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears; Cicero, by captivating their affections and swaying their passions. The influence of the one perished with its author; that of the other continues to this day.


Impart additional strength to our happy Union.

?Diversified as are the interests of its various parts, how admirably do they harmonize and blend together!?We have only to make a proper use of the bounties spread before us, to render us prosperous and powerful.


All legislation, all government, all society is founded upon the principle of mutual concession, politeness, comity, courtesy; upon these everything is based...Let him who elevates himself above humanity, above its weaknesses, its infirmities, its wants, its necessities, say, if he pleases, I will never compromise; but let no one who is not above the frailties of our common nature disdain compromises.


The great advantage of our system of government over all others, is, that we have a written constitution, defining its limits, and prescribing its authorities; and that, however, for a time, faction may convulse the nation, and passion and party prejudice sway its functionaries, the season of reflection will recur, when calmly retracing their deeds, all aberrations from fundamental principle will be corrected.

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