Andrew Jackson/Quotes

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    • They must be either for or against us. Distrust them and you make them your enemies, place confidence in them, and you engage them by every dear and honorable tie to the interest of the country, who extends to them equal rights and privileges with white men.
      • In New Orleans, Louisiana, 1814. As quoted in The Life of Andrew Jackson (1967), by John Spencer Bassett, Archon Books. p. 156-157.
    • As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend your most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence on her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government.
      • In New Orleans, Louisiana, 1814. As quoted in The Life of Andrew Jackson (1967), by John Spencer Bassett, Archon Books. p. 156-157.
    • The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe.
      • "Proclamation to the people of Louisiana" from Mobile (21 September 1814).
    • The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.
    • Do they think that I am such a damned fool as to think myself fit for President of the United States? No, sir; I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be President.
      • As told to H.M. Brackenridge, Jackson's secretary, in 1821; quoted by James Parton, The Life of Andrew Jackson (1860), vol. II, ch. XXVI (Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1888), page 354. Parton cites his source as H.M. Brackenridge, Letters, page 8.
    • As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending.
      • First Inaugural Address (4 March 1829).
    • The decision of the Supreme court has fell still born, and they find that it cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.
      • Letter (7 April 1832) on the ruling in Worcester v. Georgia.
    • The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.
      • Said to Martin Van Buren (8 July 1832) and quoted in The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, published in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918, vol. II (1920), ed. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ch. XLIII (p. 625)
      • Referring to the Second Bank of the United States
    • It is maintained by some that the bank is a means of executing the constitutional power “to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” Congress have established a mint to coin money and passed laws to regulate the value thereof. The money so coined, with its value so regulated, and such foreign coins as Congress may adopt are the only currency known to the Constitution. But if they have other power to regulate the currency, it was conferred to be exercised by themselves, and not to be transferred to a corporation. If the bank be established for that purpose, with a charter unalterable without its consent, Congress have parted with their power for a term of years, during which the Constitution is a dead letter. It is neither necessary nor proper to transfer its legislative power to such a bank, and therefore unconstitutional.
      • Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the United States [1] (10 July 1832)
      • Often paraphrased as: If Congress has the right under the constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.
    • It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.
    • The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality.
      • Proclamation Regarding Nullification (10 December 1832).
    • To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by the extremity of oppression; but to call it a constitutional right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right, but would pause before they made a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent upon a failure.
      • Proclamation against the Nullification Ordinance of South Carolina (11 December 1832)
    • Hemans gallows ought to be the fate of all such ambitious men who would involve their country in civil wars, and all the evils in its train that they might reign & ride on its whirlwinds & direct the Storm — The free people of these United States have spoken, and consigned these wicked demagogues to their proper doom.
      • Regarding the resolution of the Nullification Crisis, in a letter to Andrew I. Crawford (1 May 1833).
    • Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!
      • From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels - online PDF
    • It was settled by the Constitution, the laws, and the whole practice of the government that the entire executive power is vested in the President of the United States.
      • Message of Protest to the United States Senate (15 April 1834).
    • But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.
      • Farewell Address, (4 March 1837), recalling what, by then, had reached the status of a proverb.
    • The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the Government, the sovereign power.

    Attributed

    • Our Federal Union! It must be preserved!
      • Toast at a celebration of Thomas Jefferson's birthday (13 April 1830); as quoted in Public Men and Events from the Commencement of Mr. Monroe's Administration, in 1817, to the Close of Mr. Fillmore's Administration, in 1853 (1875) by Nathan Sargent
    • Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there.
      • Statement shortly before his death, as quoted in Life of Andrew Jackson (1860) by James Parton, p. 679.
    • Oh, do not cry. Be good children, and we shall all meet in Heaven … I want to meet you all, white and black, in Heaven.
      • Last recorded words, to his grand-children and his servants, as quoted in The National Preacher (1845) by Austin Dickinson, p. 192.
    • Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.
      • Excellent Quotations for Home and School Selected for the use of Teachers and Pupils (1890) by Julia B. Hoitt, p. 218.
    • Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms.
      • As quoted in Many Thoughts of Many Minds: A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age (1896) edited by Louis Klopsch, p. 209.
    • Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
      • Quoted as "a maxim of Gen. Jackson's" in Supplement to the Courant Vol. XXII No. 25, Hartford, Saturday, December 12, 1857, p. 200 books.google
    • You are uneasy; you never sailed with me before, I see.
      • Remark to an elderly gentleman who was sailing with Jackson down Chesapeake Bay in an old steamboat, and who exhibited a little fear. Life of Jackson (Parton). Vol. iii. p. 493.

    Quotes about Jackson

    • There is something too mean in looking upon the Negro, when you are in trouble, as a citizen, and when you are free from trouble, as an alien. When this nation was in trouble, in its early struggles, it looked upon the Negro as a citizen. In 1776 he was a citizen. At the time of the formation of the Constitution the Negro had the right to vote in eleven States out of the old thirteen. In your trouble you have made us citizens. In 1812 General Jackson addressed us as citizens; 'fellow-citizens'. He wanted us to fight. We were citizens then! And now, when you come to frame a conscription bill, the Negro is a citizen again. He has been a citizen just three times in the history of this government, and it has always been in time of trouble. In time of trouble we are citizens. Shall we be citizens in war, and aliens in peace? Would that be just?
    • Andrew Jackson then is a sturdy obstacle to the Democrats' ongoing and increasingly frenzied campaign to erase from America's history all the unsavory things their party has championed for most of its existence, namely, slavery, secession, civil war, segregation, socialism, and, most recently the slaughter of infants. And so their longtime hero Andrew Jackson has been, as Sam Spade once said, chosen to take the fall alongside the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia to help erase the Democrats' consistently reprehensible behavior and policies from the history books.
    • Andrew Jackson, during his last illness, pointed a friend to the Bible, remarking, "That book, sir, is the rock upon which our republic rests."
      • Rev. Dr. Luther T. Townsend of Boston University, in an address at the "Anniversary of the Freedman's Aid Society" as recorded in the Third Annual Report of the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1868), p. 77; this is the earliest occurrence yet located of this anecdote; later reported in Halley’s Bible Handbook (1927, 1965), p. 18
    • A colored battalion was organized for the defense of New Orleans, and General Jackson publicly thanked them for their courage and conduct.