C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


The cause of freedom is the cause of God.


Freedom is only in the land of dreams.


The man is free who is protected from injury.

Daniel Webster.

Freedom is a new religion, the religion of our time.


Free soil, free men, free speech, Fremont.

Republican Rallying Cry, 1856.

Freedom is not caprice, but room to enlarge.

C. A. Bartol.

Void of freedom, what would virtue be?


A bird in a cage is not half a bird.


Knowledge is essential to freedom.

William Ellery Channing.

O freedom, first delight of human kind!


The cry of the soul is for freedom. It longs for liberty, from the date of its first conscious moments.

J. G. Holland.

Is it worth the name of freedom to be at liberty to play the fool?


Merely to breathe freely does not mean to live.


  • Freedom’s soil hath only place
  • For a free and fearless race!
  • Whittier.

    Is any man free except the one who can pass his life as he pleases?


    Man is created free, and is free, even though born in chains.


    Liberty is given by nature even to mute animals.


    That is true liberty which bears a pure and firm breast.


  • Oh, only a free soul will never grow old!
  • Jean Paul Richter.

    In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

    Abraham Lincoln.

    Slow are the steps of freedom, but her feet turn never backward.


    All special charter of freedom must be abrogated where the universal law of freedom is to flourish.


  • The greatest glory of a free-born people,
  • Is to transmit that freedom to their children.
  • Havard.

    The recovery of freedom is so splendid a thing that we must not shun even death when seeking to recover it.


    I intend no modification of my oft-expressed wish that all men everywhere could be free.

    Abraham Lincoln.

    Nations grow corrupt, love bondage more than liberty; bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.


    Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.


    Hope for a season bade the world farewell, and Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell.


    The whole freedom of man consists either in spiritual or civil liberty.


    Personal liberty is the paramount essential to human dignity and human happiness.


  • And ne’er shall the sons of Columbia be slaves,
  • While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.
  • Robert Treat Paine.

    The man who seeks freedom for anything but freedom’s self is made to be a slave.

    De Tocqueville.

  • No, Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
  • That slaves, howe’er contented, never know.
  • Cowper.

  • A day, an hour of virtuous liberty,
  • Is worth a whole eternity of bondage.
  • Addison.

    The only freedom worth possessing is that which gives enlargement to a people’s energy, intellect and virtues.


    As freedom is the only safeguard of governments, so are order and moderation generally necessary to preserve freedom.


  • For Freedom’s battle once begun,
  • Bequeath’d by bleeding sire to son,
  • Though baffled oft is ever won.
  • Byron.

    Service cannot be expected from a friend in service; let him be a freeman who wishes to be my master.


  • And lo! the fullness of the time has come,
  • And over all the exile’s western home,
  • From sea to sea the flowers of freedom bloom!
  • Whittier.

    Freedom and slavery, the one is the name of virtue, and the other of vice, and both are acts of the will.


  • We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
  • That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
  • Which Milton held.
  • Wordsworth.

  • ’Tis liberty alone that gives the flowers
  • Of fleeting life their luster and perfume,
  • And we are weeds without it.
  • Cowper.

    There are two freedoms—the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where a man is free to do what he ought.

    Charles Kingsley.

    We do not know of how much a man is capable if he has the will, and to what point he will raise himself if he feels free.

    J. von Müller.

    Freedom is the ferment of freedom. The moistened sponge drinks up water greedily; the dry one sheds it.


    Know ye not who would be free themselves must strike the blow? by their right arms the conquest must be wrought?


    In a free country there is much clamor with little suffering; in a despotic state there is a little complaint, with much grievance.


    To prove that the Americans ought not to be free, we are obliged to deprecate the value of freedom itself.


    Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.


    Freedom may come quickly in robes of peace, or after ages of conflict and war; but come it will, and abide it will, so long as the principles by which it was acquired are held sacred.

    Edward Everett.

    By the laws of God, of nature, of nations, and of your country you are and ought to be as free a people as your brethren in England.


    I always had an aversion to your apostles of freedom; each but sought for himself freedom to do what he liked.


  • I am as free as nature first made man,
  • Ere the base laws of servitude began,
  • When wild in woods the noble savage ran.
  • Dryden.

    Freedom in a democracy is the glory of the state, and, therefore, in a democracy only will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.


  • Freedom needs all her poets; it is they
  • Who give her aspirations wings,
  • And to the wiser law of music sway
  • Her wild imaginings.
  • Lowell.

  • My angel—his name is Freedom—
  • Choose him to be your king;
  • He shall cut pathways east and west,
  • And fend you with his wing.
  • Emerson.

  • When Freedom from her mountain height
  • Unfurled her standard to the air,
  • She tore the azure robe of night,
  • And set the stars of glory there.
  • Joseph Rodman Drake.

  • How does the meadow flower its bloom unfold?
  • Because the lovely little flower is free
  • Down to its root, and in that freedom, bold.
  • Wordsworth.

  • Better to dwell in freedom’s hall,
  • With a cold damp floor and mouldering wall,
  • Than bow the head and tend the knee
  • In the proudest palace of slaverie.
  • Moore.

    To have freedom is only to have that which is absolutely necessary to enable us to be what we ought to be, and to possess what we ought to possess.


    The cause of freedom is identified with the destinies of humanity, and in whatever part of the world it gains ground by and by, it will be a common gain to all those who desire it.


    Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a “halter” intimidate. For, under God, we are determined that, wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die freemen.

    Josiah Quincy.

    That man is deceived who thinks i slavery to live under an excellent prince. Never does liberty appear in a more gracious form than under a pious king.


  • Easier were it
  • To hurl the rooted mountain from its base,
  • Than force the yoke of slavery upon men
  • Determin’d to be free.
  • Southey.

  • He was the freeman whom the truth made free;
  • Who first of all, the bands of Satan broke;
  • Who broke the bands of sin, and for his soul,
  • In spite of fools consulted seriously.
  • Pollok.

    Whatever natural right men may have to freedom and independency, it is manifest that some men have a natural ascendency over others.

    Lord Greville.

  • Oh, Liberty! thou goddess heavenly bright!
  • Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
  • Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
  • And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train.
  • Addison.

  • In the long vista of the years to roll,
  • Let me not see my country’s honor fade;
  • Oh! let me see our land retain its soul!
  • Her pride in Freedom, and not Freedom’s shade.
  • Keats.

    The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

    John Stuart Mill.

    Progress, the growth of power, is the end and boon of liberty; and without this, a people may have the name, but want the substance and spirit of freedom.


    England may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes as to fetter the step of freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land than where she treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzerland.

    Lydia Maria Child.

    The water-lily, in the midst of waters, opens its leaves and expands its petals, at the first pattering of the shower, and rejoices in the rain-drops with a quicker sympathy than the packed shrubs in the sandy desert.


  • Yes! to this thought I hold with firm persistence;
  • The last result of wisdom stamps it true;
  • He only earns his freedom and existence
  • Who daily conquers them anew.
  • Goethe.

  • Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
  • Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
  • A limit to the giant’s unchained strength,
  • Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?
  • Bryant.

    Freedom is alone the unoriginated birthright of man; it belongs to him by force of his humanity, and is in dependence on the will and coaction of every other, in so far as this consists with every other person’s freedom.


    The moment men obtain perfect freedom, that moment they erect a stage for the manifestation of their faults. The strong characters begin to go wrong by excess of energy; the weak by remissness of action.


  • The mountains look on Marathon,
  • And Marathon looks on the sea;
  • And musing there an hour alone
  • I dream’d that Greece might still be free.
  • For standing on the Persians’ grave
  • I could not deem myself a slave.
  • Byron.

    Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.


    The sea, as well as the air, is a free and common thing to all; and a particular nation cannot pretend to have the right to the exclusion of all others, without violating the rights of nature and public usage.

    Queen Elizabeth.

    In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters,—that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations.


  • We grant no dukedoms to the few,
  • We hold like rights and shall;
  • Equal on Sunday in the pew,
  • On Monday in the mall.
  • For what avail the plough or sail,
  • Or land, or life, if freedom fail?
  • Emerson.

  • When freedom, on her natal day,
  • Within her war-rock’d cradle lay,
  • An iron race around her stood,
  • Baptiz’d her infant brow in blood,
  • And through the storm that round her swept,
  • Their constant ward and watching kept.
  • Whittier.

  • Oh; not yet
  • May’st thou unbrace thy corslet, nor lay by
  • Thy sword, nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
  • In slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps.
  • And thou must watch and combat, till the day
  • Of the new earth and heaven.
  • Bryant.

  • Stranger, new flowers in our vales are seen,
  • With a dazzling eye, and a lovely green.—
  • They scent the breath of the dewy morn:
  • They feed no worm, and they hide no thorn,
  • But revel and glow in our balmy air;
  • They are flowers which Freedom hath planted there.
  • Mrs. Sigourney.

  • In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
  • With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
  • As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
  • While God is marching on.
  • Julia Ward Howe.

    The slave will be free. Democracy in America will yet be a glorious reality; and when the top-stone of that temple of freedom which our fathers left unfinished shall be brought forth with shoutings and cries of grace unto it, when our now drooping Liberty lifts up her head and prospers, happy will he be who can say, with John Milton, “Among those who have something more than wished her welfare, I, too, have my charter and freehold of rejoicing to me and my heirs.”


  • Stone walls do not a prison make,
  • Nor iron bars a cage;
  • Minds innocent and quiet take
  • That for an hermitage;
  • If I have freedom in my love,
  • And in my soul am free,
  • Angels alone that soar above,
  • Enjoy such liberty.
  • Richard Lovelace.

  • Who then is free?—the wise, who well maintains
  • An empire o’er himself; whom neither chains,
  • Nor want, nor death, with slavish fear inspire;
  • Who boldly answers to his warm desire;
  • Who can ambition’s vainest gifts despise;
  • Firm in himself, who on himself relies;
  • Polish’d and round, who runs his proper course,
  • And breaks misfortune with superior force.
  • Horace.

  • Oh, Freedom! thou art not, as poets dream,
  • A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
  • And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
  • With which the Roman master crowned his slave
  • When he took off the gyves. A bearded man
  • Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailèd hand
  • Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
  • Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
  • With tokens of old wars.
  • William Cullen Bryant.

  • They never fail who die,
  • In a great cause: the block may soak their gore,
  • Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
  • Be strung to city gates and castle walls;—
  • But still their spirit walks abroad. Though years
  • Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
  • They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
  • Which overpower all others, and conduct
  • The world at last to freedom.
  • Byron.

    The man who stands upon his own soil, who feels, by the laws of the land in which he lives,—by the laws of civilized nations,—he is the rightful and exclusive owner of the land which he tills, is, by the constitution of our nature, under a wholesome influence not easily imbibed from any other source.

    Edward Everett.

  • We hail the return of the day of thy birth,
  • Fair Columbia! washed by the waves of two oceans—
  • Where men from the farthest dominions of earth
  • Rear altars to Freedom, and pay their devotions;
  • Where our fathers in fight, nobly strove for the Right,
  • Struck down their fierce foemen or put them to flight;
  • Through the long lapse of ages, that so there might be
  • An asylum for all in the Land of the Free.
  • Abraham Coles.

  • Freedom all winged expands,
  • Nor perches in a narrow place;
  • Her broad van seeks unplanted lands;
  • She loves a poor and virtuous race.
  • Clinging to a colder zone
  • Whose dark sky sheds the snow-flake down,
  • The snow-flake is her banner’s star,
  • Her stripes the boreal streamers are.
  • Long she loved the Northman well;
  • Now the iron age is done,
  • She will not refuse to dwell
  • With the offspring of the Sun.
  • Emerson.

  • What art thou Freedom? Oh, could slaves
  • Answer from their living graves
  • This demand, tyrants would flee
  • Like a dim dream’s imagery!
  • Thou art Justice—ne’er for gold
  • May thy righteous laws be sold,
  • As laws are in England: thou
  • Shield’st alike high and low.
  • Thou art Peace—never by thee
  • Would blood and treasure wasted be
  • As tyrants wasted them when all
  • Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul!
  • Thou art love: the rich have kist
  • Thy feet and like him following Christ
  • Given their substance to be free
  • And through the world have followed thee.
  • Shelley.

  • Oh, joy to the world! the hour is come,
  • When the nations to freedom awake,
  • When the royalists stand agape and dumb,
  • And monarchs with terror shake!
  • Over the walls of majesty
  • “Upharsin” is writ in words of fire,
  • And the eyes of the bondsman, wherever they be
  • Are lit with wild desire.
  • Soon shall the thrones that blot the world,
  • Like the Orleans, into the dust be hurl’d,
  • And the word roll on like a hurricane’s breath,
  • Till the farthest slave hears what it saith—
  • Arise, arise, be free!
  • T. Buchanan Read.

    There is what I call the American idea.***This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy; that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God: for shortness’ sake I will call it the idea of freedom.

    Theodore Parker.