Ulysses S. Grant Quotes | Quotes by Ulysses S. Grant

1Let no guilty man escape, if it can he avoided. . . . No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.

2The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States 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.

3It will be all right if it turns out all right.

4I 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.

5Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true.

6It does look like a very good exercise. But what is the little white ball for?

7I know only two tunes: one of them is "Yankee Doodle" and the other isn't.

8Cheap cigars come in handy; they stifle the odor of cheap politicians.

9The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.

10The will of the people is the best law.

Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

11My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral

12Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also.

13You 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.

14I 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.

15I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly

16In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.

17Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.

18The 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.

19The 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.

20Hold 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.

Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

21Quit thinking about what Bobby Lee's gonna do to us and start thinking about what we're going to do to him.

22There 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.

23In 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.

24Oh, 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.

25It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.

26The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery.

27The 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.

28England and the United States are natural allies, and should be the best of friends.

29Ah, you know my weaknesses--my children and my horses.

30In politics I am growing indifferent - I would like it, if I could now return to my planting and books at home

Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

31I desire the good-will of all, whether hitherto my friends or not.

32Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.

33Encourage 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.

34The 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.

35I will raid the arsenal and start a war to end slavery.

36Generally 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.

37I 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.

38The theory of government changes with general progress.

39I 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.

40I would suggest the taxation of all property equally whether church or corporation.

Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

41Whatever 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.

42I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency.

43It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service.

44I 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.

45I suppose this work is part of the devil that is in us all.

46War is progressive because all instruments of war are progressive.

47No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works.

48There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.

49I 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.

50There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.

Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

51The 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.

52I 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.

53The 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.

54Leave 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.

55How 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.

56I appreciate the fact, and am proud of it, that the attentions I am receiving are intended more for our country than for me personally.

57The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.

58If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back.

59It 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.

60The long-continued and useful public service and eminent purity of character of the deceased ex-President will be remembered.