The first object of a free people is the preservation of their liberty; and liberty is only to be preserved by maintaining constitutional restraints and just divisions of political power. Nothing is more deceptive or more dangerous than the pretense of a desire to simplify government. The simplest governments are despotisms… but all republics, all government of law, must impose numerous limitations and qualifications of authority, and give many positive and qualified rights
Daniel Webster, “A Speech Delivered in the U.S. Senate, 7th May 1834” (Unitarian, statesman, U.S. Senator)
Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. When the people once surrender their share in the legislature, and their right of defending the limitations upon the Government, of resisting every encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.
John Adams (Unitarian, lawyer, statesman, US President 1797-1801, reformer) to Abigail Adams (Unitarian, farmer, patriot), Philadelphia, 7 July 1775, Familiar Letters of John Adams And His Wife Abigail Adams, During the Revolution, edited by Charles Francis Adams (1876) p.190
On the diffusion of education among the people rests the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions.
Daniel Webster (Unitarian, statesman, U.S. Senator)
Let us be republicans indeed. Many are republicans as to government, and yet are but half republicans…Venture to be as independent in things of religion, as in that which respects the government in which you live.
Elias Smith (Universalist, minister)
The interests of all must be consulted, and reconciled, and provided for, as far as possible, that all may perceive the benefits of a united government.
Daniel Webster, “A Speech Delivered At A Public Dinner Given By A Large Number of Citizens of New York, in Honor of Daniel Webster on March 10th, 1831” (Unitarian, statesman, U.S. Senator)
Yes, it is a great forward movement, in which any age may rejoice, when the mob resolves itself into a lawfully organized body, and exchanges the bayonet and cannon-battery for the mightier weapons of education, the printing press and public opinion.
Thomas Baldwin Thayer, “The Elements and Results of the Social Revolution,” Universalist Quarterly 1847 p.283 (Universalist, theologian, Universalist Quarterly editor, minister)
I have always been of the mind that in a democracy manners are the only effective weapons against the bowie-knife.
James Russell Lowell (Unitarian, poet, critic, editor, diplomat)
When private virtue is hazarded upon the perilous cast of expediency, the pillars of the republic, however apparent their stability, are infected with decay at the very center
E. H. Chapin (Universalist, minister)
My fundamental maxim of government is, never to trust the lamb to the custody of the wolf.
John Adams (Unitarian, “Founding Father”, lawyer, United States President 1797-1801)
Everywhere, among the humblest and poorest, the leaven of thought is at work; and light is entering in to guide and bless, to instruct and elevate…The soul within them expands daily beneath the sunshine of a large acquaintance with God, with man and nature…They are beginning to believe that this is God’s earth; and that, some way or other, all his children, even the poorest and weakest, have a right to so much of its soil and water and air, as shall sustain life under such circumstances as to unfold and develop the attributes and faculties of the whole man, physical, religious, social, and intellectual
Thomas Baldwin Thayer, “The Elements and Results of the Social Revolution,” Universalist Quarterly 1847 (p.271) (Universalist, theogian, Universalist Quarterly editor, minister)