Quotes by Ulysses S Grant

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The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. more...

Quit thinking about what Bobby Lee's gonna do to us and start thinking about what we're going to do to him. more...

I suppose this work is part of the devil that is in us all. more...

I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly more...

The United States, knowing no distinction of her own citizens on account of religion or nationality, naturally believes in a civilization the world over which will secure the same universal laws. more...

I would like to call your attention to ... an evil that, if allowed to continue, will probably lead to great trouble ... It is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property. more...

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. more...

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. more...

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins. more...

I have never advocated war except as a means of peace. more...

Let us have peace. more...

If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail. more...

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace. more...

Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. more...

I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle,' and the other isn't. more...

My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent. more...

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor. more...

I appreciate the fact, and am proud of it, that the attentions I am receiving are intended more for our country than for me personally. more...

No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works. more...

There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. more...

It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training. more...

If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back. more...

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. more...

I have made it a rule of my life to trust a man long after other people gave him up, but I don't see how I can ever trust any human being again. more...

I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer. more...

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution. more...

Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, accomplished. more...

Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. more...

I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle', and the other isn't. more...

The Jews are a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, and also department orders and are herein expelled from the department within 24 hours from receipt of this order. more...

My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral more...

God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both. more...

You can violate the law. The banks may violate the law and be sustained in doing so. But the President of the United States cannot violate the law. more...

As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle. more...

It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies. more...

The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that "A state half slave and half free cannot exist." All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true. more...

Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation [of Texas] was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. more...

Cheap cigars come in handy; they stifle the odor of cheap politicians. more...

There was always news coming back to the quarter about someone who had been killed or sent to prison for killing someone else: Snowball, stabbed to death at a nightclub in Port Allen; Claudee, killed by a woman in New Orleans; Smitty, sent to the state penitentiary at Angola for manslaughter. And there were others who did not go anywhere but simply died slower. more...

I read the story and reread the story, but I still could not find the universality that the little Irishman had spoken of. All I saw in the story was some Irishmen meeting in a room and talking politics. What had that to do with America, especially with my people? It was not until years later that I saw what he meant ... I began to listen, to listen closely to how they talked about their heroes, to how they talked about the dead and how great the dead had once been. I heard it everywhere. more...

A hero does for others. He would do anything for people he loves, because he knows it would make their lives better. I am not that kind of person, but I want you to be. You could give something to her, to me, to those children in the quarter. You could give something I never could ... The white people out there are saying you don't have it-that you're a hog, not a man. But I know they are wrong. more...

We're teachers, and we have a commitment." "Commitment to what-to live and die in this hellhole, when we can leave and live like other people? more...

How do people come up with a date and a time to take life from another man? . . . Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. . . . They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime . . . . Yet six months later they come and unlock your cage and tell you, We, us, white folks all, have decided it's time for you to die, because this is the convenient date and time. more...

Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do. more...

When news of the surrender first reached our lines our men commenced firing a salute of a hundred guns in honor of the victory. I at once sent word, however, to have it stopped. The Confederates were now our prisoners, and we did not want to exult over their downfall. more...

If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other. more...

I never was an Abolitionest, not even what could be called anti slavery, but I try to judge farely and honestly and it become patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the North and South could never live at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without Slavery. more...

Venice would be a fine city if it were only drained. more...

Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose. more...

It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service. more...

The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. more...

It does look like a very good exercise. But what is the little white ball for? more...

Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true. more...

Wherever the enemy goes let our troops go also. more...

The one thing I never want to see again is a military parade. When I resigned from the army and went to a farm I was happy. When the rebellion came, I returned to the service because it was a duty. I had no thought of rank; all I did was try and make. more...

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. more...

In 1850, I believe, the church property in the United States, which paid no tax, amounted to $87 million. In 1900, without a check, it is safe to say, this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally. more...

The will of the people is the best law. more...

There is nothing more I should do to it now, and therefore I am not likely to be more ready to go than at this moment. more...

So vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of the government, without bearing its proportion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes. . . . I would suggest the taxation of all property equally. more...

The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times. more...

Let us labor for the security of free thought, free speech, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion;.... leave the matter of religious teaching to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contribution. Keep church and state forever separate. more...

Declare church and state forever separate and distinct; but each free within their proper spheres. more...

Jesse has a new dog. You may have noticed that his former pets have been peculiarly unfortunate. When this dog dies every employee in the White House will be at once discharged. more...

I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world, in His own good time, to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required. more...

...I never heard him abuse an enemy. Some of the cruel things said about President Lincoln, particularly in the North, used to pierce him to the heart; but never in my presence did he evince a revengeful disposition. more...

If men make war in slavish observance of rules, they will fail. No rules will apply to conditions of war as different as those which exist in Europe and America...War is progressive, because all the instruments and elements of war are progressive. more...

The colored man has been accustomed all his life to lean on the white man, and if a good officer is placed over him, he will learn readily and make a good soldier. more...

England and the United States are natural allies, and should be the best of friends. more...

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally whether church or corporation. more...

There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice. more...

Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar appropriated for their support shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land of opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. more...

The theory of government changes with general progress. more...

I will not move my army without onions. more...

War is progressive because all instruments of war are progressive. more...

One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go anywhere or do anything, not to turn back, or stop until the thing intended was accomplished. I have frequently started to go places where I had never been and to which I did not know the way, depending upon making inquiries on the road, and if I got past the place without knowing it, instead of turning back, I would go until a road was found turning in the right direction, take that, and come in by the other side. more...

... anything is better than indecision. We must decide. If I am wrong, we shall soon find out and can do the other thing. But not to decide wastes both time and money and may ruin everything. more...

Really, Mr. Lincoln, I have had enough of this show business. more...

It will be all right if it turns out all right. more...

Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also. more...

There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party. more...

Retreat? NO. I propose to attach at daylight and whip them. more...

...but for a soldier his duty is plain. He is to obey the orders of all those placed over him and whip the enemy wherever he meets him. more...

I never knew what to do with a paper except to put it in a side pocket or pass it to a clerk who understood it better than I did. more...

But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticised. more...

There are many men who would have done better than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself. If I had never held command, if I had fallen, there were 10,000 behind who would have followed the contest to the end and never surrendered the Union. more...

The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front. more...

The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre-what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation. more...

The natural disposition of most people is to clothe a commander of a large army whom they do not know, with almost superhuman abilities. A large part of the National army, for instance, and most of the press of the country, clothed General Lee with just such qualities, but I had known him personally, and knew that he was mortal; and it was just as well that I felt this. more...

Two commanders on the same field are always one too many. more...

I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent. more...

I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency. more...

Ah, you know my weaknesses-my children and my horses. more...

In politics I am growing indifferent - I would like it, if I could now return to my planting and books at home more...

The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three. more...

I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. more...

A military life had no charms for me, and I had not the faintest idea of staying in the army even if I should be graduated, which I did not expect, more...

I desire the good-will of all, whether hitherto my friends or not. more...

No theory of my own will ever stand in the way of my executing, in good faith, any order I may receive from those in authority over me. more...

I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle', and the other one isn't. more...

I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer. more...

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on. more...

I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their strict execution. more...

The government has educated me for the army. What I am, I owe to my country. I have served her through one war, and, live or die, will serve her through this. more...

I... purpose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer. more...

My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral. more...

No term s except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works. more...

No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works. more...

The war is over - the rebels are our countrymen again. more...

I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers. more...

Laws are to govern all alike - those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution. more...

I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world in His own good time to become one nation, speaking one language, when armies and navies will no longer be required. more...

Let no guilty man escape, if it can be avoided. No personal considerations should stand in the way of performing a public duty. more...

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men disgrace labor. more...

My lord, I have heard that your father was a military man. Was that the case? more...

I don't underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail. more...

It is probably well that we had the war when we did. We are better off now than we would have been without it, and have made more rapid progress than we otherwise should have made... But this war was a fearful lesson, and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future. more...

Let no guilty man escape, if it can he avoided. . . . No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty. more...

Whatever there is of greatness in the United States, or indeed in any other country, is due to labor. The laborer is the author of all greatness and wealth. Without labor there would be no government, no leading class, and nothing to preserve. more...

I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great harmony between the Federal and Confederate. I cannot stay to be a living witness to the correctness of this prophecy; but I feel it within me that it is to be so. more...

The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. more...

I will raid the arsenal and start a war to end slavery. more...

The long-continued and useful public service and eminent purity of character of the deceased ex-President will be remembered. more...

In 1856...I preferred the success of a candidate whose election would prevent or postpone secession, to seeing the country plunged into a war the end of which no man could foretell. With a Democrat elected by the unanimous vote of the Slave States, there could be no pretext for secession for four years.... I therefore voted for James Buchanan as President. more...

The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized. more...

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation, exempting only the last resting place of the dead and possibly, with proper restrictions, church edifices. more...

All secret oath-bound political parties are dangerous to any nation, no matter how pure or how patriotic the motives and principles which first bring them together. more...

I'm afraid I'm elected. more...

Wars of extermination, engaged in by people pursuing commerce and all industrial pursuits, are expensive even against the weakest people, and are demoralizing and wicked. more...

Let no guilty man escape if it can be avoided. Be specially vigilant-or instruct those engaged in the prosecution of fraud to be-against all who insinuate that they have high influence to protect-or to protect them. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty. more...


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