- How often are we forced to charge fortune with partiality towards the unjust!
- If you wish to avoid foreign collision, you had better abandon the ocean.
- The gentleman cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, 'Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.'
- An oppressed people are authorized, whenever they can, to rise and break their fetters.
- All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.
- Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.
- The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments.
- Precedents deliberately established by wise men are entitled to great weight. They are evidence of truth, but only evidence...But a solitary precedent...which has never been reexamined, cannot be conclusive.
- My friends are not worth the powder and shot it would take to kill them!... If there were two Henry Clays, one of them would make the other President of the United States!... It is a diabolical intrigue, I know now, which has betrayed me. I am the most unfortunate man in the history of parties: always run by my friends when sure to be defeated, and now betrayed for a nomination when I, or any one, would be sure of an election.
- I have heard something said about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West, to which I owe any allegiance... The Union, sir, is my country.
- The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity-unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.
- I would rather be right than be President.
- Statistics are no substitute for judgment.
- You're unhappy. I'm unhappy too. Have you heard of Henry Clay? He was the Great Compromiser. A good compromise is when both parties are dissatisfied, and I think that's what we have here.