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JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD
American 20th president of U.S., general and statesman
(1831 - 1881)
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A nation is not worthy to be saved if, in the hour of its fate, it will not gather up all its jewels of manhood and life, and go down into the conflict however bloody and doubtful, resolved on measureless ruin or complete success.
      - [War]

A noble life crowned with heroic death, rises above and outlives the pride and pomp and glory of the mightiest empire of the earth.
      - [Nobility]

A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.
      - [Luck]

All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people.
      - [Government]

As a flash of lightning in a midnight tempest reveals the abysmal horrors of the sea, so did the flash of the first gun disclose the awful abyss into which rebellion was ready to plunge us. In a moment the fire was lighted in twenty million hearts. In a moment we were the most warlike nation on the earth. In a moment we were not merely a people with an army--we were a people in arms. The nation was in column--not all at the front, but all in the array. I love to believe that no heroic sacrifice is ever lost; that the characters of men are molded and inspired by what their fathers have done; that, treasured up in American souls are all the unconscious influences of the great deeds of the Anglo-Saxon race, from Agincourt to Bunker Hill. It was such an influence that led a young Greek, two thousand years ago, when musing on the battle of Marathon, to exclaim, "The trophies of Miltiades will not let me sleep!" Could these men be silent in 1861; these, whose ancestors had felt the inspiration of battle on every field where civilization had fought in the last thousand years? Read their answer in this green turf. Each for himself gathered up the cherished purposes of life--its aims and ambitions, its dearest affections--and flung all, with life itself, into the scale of battle.
      - [Decoration Day]

At present, the most valuable gift which can be bestowed upon women is something to do which they can do well and worthily, and thereby maintain themselves.
      - [Employment]

Battles are never the end of war; for the dead must be buried and the cost of the conflict must be paid.
      - [War]

Coercion is the basis of every law in the universe,--human or divine. A law is not law without coercion behind it.
      - [Law]

Commerce links all mankind in one common brotherhood of mutual dependence and interests.
      - [Commerce]

Every great political party that has done this country any good has given to it some immortal ideas that have outlived the members of that party.
      - [Politics]

Fellow-citizens: Clouds and darkness are around Him; His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds; justice and judgment are the establishment of His throne; mercy and truth shall go before His face! Fellow citizens! God reigns and the Government at Washington lives.
      - in an address from the New York Customs House concerning President Lincoln's assassination
        [Government]

Fortunate men! your country lives because you died. Your fame is placed where the breath of calumny can never reach it, where the mistakes of a weary life can never dim its brightness! Coming generations will rise up and call you blessed.
      - [Hero Worship]

Great ideas travel slowly, and for a time noiselessly, as the gods whose feet were shod with wool.
      - [Ideas]

Heroes did not make our liberties; they but reflected and illustrated them.
      - [Heroism]

History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy.
      - [History]

History is constantly repeating itself, making only such changes of programme as the growth of nations and centuries requires.
      - [History]

Honesty is the best policy, says the familiar axiom; but people who are honest on that principle defraud no one but themselves.
      - [Policy]

I am trying to do two things,--dare to be a radical, and not be a fool; which, if I may judge by the exhibitions around me, is a matter of no small difficulty.
      - [Radicalism]

I believe in God, and I trust myself in His hands.
      - [Trust]

I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all heights and depths are measured. When the storm has passed and the hour of calm settles on the ocean, when the sunlight bathes its smooth surface, then the astronomer and surveyor take the level from which to measure all terrestial heights and depths. Gentlemen of the convention, your present temper may not mark the healthful pulse of our people when our enthusiasm has passed. When the emotions of this hour have subsided, we shall find that calm level of public opinion below the storm, from which the thoughts of a mighty people are to be measured, and by which their final action will be determined.
      - [Election Day]

I must do something to keep my thoughts fresh and growing. I dread nothing so much as falling into a rut and feeling myself becoming a fossil.
      - [Progress]

I will pick up a few straws here and there over the broad field, and ask you a few moments to look at them.
      - [Quotations]

If silence is ever golden, it must be * * * beside the graves of * * * men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung.
      - [Hero Worship]

If the power to do hard work is not talent, it is the best possible substitute for it.
      - [Labor]

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.
      - [Age]


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