Honesty, Integrity, Truth, Virtue

George Washington

Honesty, In Government
“It is an old adage that honesty is the best policy. This applies to public as well as private life, to states as well as individuals.” – To James Madison, 1785

Honesty, And Good Sense
“These are qualities to rare and to precious not to merit one’s particular esteem.” – To the Marquis de Lafayette, 1788

Honesty, The Most Enviable Character Trait.
“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain the character of an honest man.” – To Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Honest and Common Sense, Needed for Nation to Prosper.
“It appears to me that little more than common sense and common honesty in the transactions of the community at large would b necessary to make us a great and a happy nation. For if the general government lately adopted shall be arranged and administered in such a manner as to acquire the full confidence of the American people, I sincerely believe they will have greater advantages, from their natural, moral, and political circumstances, for public felicity than any other people ever possessed.” – To the citizens of Baltimore, 1789

Truth, Will Prevail.
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light: – to Charles Mynn Thurston, 1794

Benjamin Franklin

Virtue, Required for Happiness
“ Without virtue, man can have no happiness in this world” – 1728

Virtue, Required for Preservation of Freedom
“Let me add that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters” – 1787

Thomas Jefferson

Honesty, and Government
“The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest” – Summary view of the Rights of British American – 1774

Honesty, Individual
“I know but one code of morality for men, whether acting singly or collectively. He who says I will be a rouge when I act in company with a hundred others, but an honest man when I act alone, will be believed in former assertion, but not in the latter… if the morality of one man produces a just line of conduct in him, acting individually, why should not the morality of one hundred men produce a just line of conduct in them, acting together? – 1789

Truth, Can Stand by Itself
“Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men, to whom she is rarely know and seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men” – 1776

“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself;… she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflicts unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.” – Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1779

“IT is error alone which needs to support government. Truth can stand alone.” – Notes on Virginia, 1782

Truth, Importance of Telling
“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell and untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second, and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions. “ – to Peter Carr, 1785

Truth, Propagated by Free Speech
“Freedom of discussion, unaided by power, is… sufficient for the propagation and protection of truth.” – Second Inaugural Address, 1805

Truth, Eternal and Enduring
“Truth and reason are eternal. They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail; however, in times and places they may be overborne for a while by violence, military, civil, or ecclesiastical” – 1810

Truth, The Only Safe Guide
“The people… to be encouraged in all cases to follow truth as the only safe guide, and to eschew error, which bewilders us in one false consequence after another in endless succession.” – to John Adams, 1819

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