Josiah Quincy III

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If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of the Union; that it will free the States from their moral obligation; and, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation, — amicably if they can, violently if they must.

Josiah Quincy III (February 4, 1772July 1, 1864) was a U.S. educator and political figure. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1805–1813), Mayor of Boston (1823–1828), and President of Harvard University (1829–1845). The historic Quincy Market in downtown Boston is named in his honor.

Quotes[edit]

  • If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of the Union; that it will free the States from their moral obligation; and, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation,—amicably if they can, violently if they must.
    • Regarding the admission of Orleans Territory as a U.S. State. Abridged Cong. Debates, Jan. 14, 1811. Vol. iv. p. 327. This was later famously paraphrased by Henry Clay: The gentleman [Mr. Quincy] cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, "Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must." Speech, Jan. 8, 1813.

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