Words of the Founding Fathers

Selected Quotations of Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton, with Sources

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About the Book

This collection gathers quotations, passages and documents attributed to America’s six essential founders. Topics include liberty, religion, revolution, republican government, the constitution, education, commerce, class, war and peace, and the disenfranchised (slaves, Native Americans and women). Each quotation is sourced and quoted fully enough for the reader to discern its historical and philosophical context.

About the Author(s)

Steve Coffman has written several books about politics, and has previously taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. He lives in Bath, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Compiled and Edited by Steve Coffman
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 351
Bibliographic Info: appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5862-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8500-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Part One—Independence      7
1. Liberty      8
2. Religion      28

Part Two—A New Kind of Government      57
3. Confederation to Republic      58
4. The Constitution      79
5. Government      114
6. Education      123
7. Property, Commerce, and Class      128
8. War and Peace      157
9. Political Parties      171
10. “A Nation of Laws, Not Men”      178

Part Three—The Unenfranchised      185
11. Slavery      187
12. “Forgotten Founders”—The Native Americans      207
13. Women      226

Part Four—The Founders on Each Other      243
14. Founders on Each Other      244
15. Jefferson and Hamilton      252
16. Adams and Jefferson      259

APPENDIX: IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
1. Albany Plan of Union—Benjamin Franklin 1754      267
2. “A Dissertation of the Canon and Feudal Laws”—John Adams 1765      268
3. “Thoughts on Government”—John Adams 1776      273
4. Declaration of Independence—Thomas Jefferson 1776      276
5. Articles of Confederation—1781      277
6. “Notes on Articles of Confederation”—Thomas Jefferson 1821      280
7. Letter from Alexander Hamilton to George Clinton (on the Right and Necessity of the Federal Government to Tax)—February 24, 1783      283
8. “Vices of the Political System of the United States”—James Madison 1787      285
9. Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph April 8, 1787      287
10. Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan—March 14, 1785      288
11. “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments”—James Madison 1785      290
12. Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom—Thomas Jefferson Adopted 1786      292

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Outstanding bibliography…valuable”—ARBA.