Posts tagged ‘David McCullough’


impudent and atrocious

A more impudent, false, and atrocious proclamation was never fabricated by the hands of man.    

Ambrose Serle, secretary to the British army, his diary, referring to the Declaration of Independence.
Quoted in David McCullough’s 1776 (1776)

Note: I myself, an ardent American, do not agree with this quote. But there’s something about it that I still kinda love.



A people unused to restraint must be led, they will not be drove.

George Washington, in a letter, quoted in David McCullough’s 1776. (1776)


George Washington

He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual…But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.

David McCullough on George Washington, 1776 (2005)



Trenton was often referred to as a pretty village, which was an exaggeration.

David McCullough, 1776 (2005)

Note: I’m pretty sure McCullough didn’t mean this to be as funny as I found it.


that miraculous year

From the last week of August to the last week of December, the year 1776 had been as dark a time as those devoted to the American cause had ever known–indeed, as dark a time as any in the history of the country. And suddenly, miraculously it seemed, that had changed because of a small band of determined men and their leader.

David McCullough, 1776 (2005)


democracy & discipline

…where the principles of democracy so universally prevail, where so great an equality and so thorough a leveling spirit predominates, either no discipline can be established, or he who attempts it must become odious and detestable, a position which no one will choose.

Joseph Reed, letter to his wife, quoted in David McCullough’s 1776 (1776)


above every blessing

The great being who watches the hearts of the children of men knows I value you above every blessing

Henry Knox, letter to his wife Lucy, quoted in David McCullough’s 1776 (1776)


such a sort of government

Upon the whole, I cannot help saying—although I have never entered into the mysteries of government, having applied myself to my shop and my business—that it always seemed strange to me that people who contend so  much for civil and religious liberty should be so ready to deprive others of their natural liberty…

If one set of private subjects may at any time take upon themselves to punish another set of private subjects just when they please, it’s such a sort of government as I never heard of before; and according to my poor notion of government, this is one of the principle things which government is designed to prevent.

Theophilus Lillie (Loyalist and shopkeeper), quoted in David McCullough, 1776, p. 101. (1776)

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