Quoted wisdom of George Washington

George Washington by Peale

Quotations by George Washington

Quotes attributed to President George Washington (1732-1799)


1) “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those, few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”

2) “The company on which you improve most will be least expensive to you.”

3) “It is easy to make acquaintances, but difficult to shake off, however irksome and unprofitable they are found, after we have once committed ourselves to them.”

4) “It is a maxim with me not to ask what, under similar circumstances, I would not grant.”

5) “I expressly forbid the sale or transportation out of the said commonwealth, of any slave I may die possessed of, under any pretense whatsoever.”

6) “In my estimation, more permanent and genuine happiness is to be found in the sequestered walks of connubial life than in the giddy rounds of promiscuous pleasure or the more tumultuous and imposing scenes of successful ambition.”

7) “Without virtue and without integrity, the finest talents and the most brilliant accomplishments can never gain the respect and conciliate the esteem of the truly valuable part of mankind.”

8) “I shall never attempt to palliate my own foibles by exposing the error of another.”

9) “Nothing would give me more real satisfaction than to know the sentiments which are entertained of men by the public, whether they be favorable or otherwise.”


Top image: George Washington, painting by Charles Willson Peale, 1776. General Washington is shown on Dorchester Heights after the siege of Boston. Courtesy of the White House Historical Association, Washington, DC

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