- Revolutions are not made; they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.
- Speech (January 8, 1852)[specific citation needed]
- The best use of laws is to teach men to trample bad laws under their feet.
- Speech (April 12, 1852)[specific citation needed]
- Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
- What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.
- Speech (December 21, 1855)[specific citation needed]
- Every man meets his Waterloo at last.
- Whether in chains or in laurels, Liberty knows nothing but victories.
- Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through the moods, the blood, the disposition of the spectator.
- Idols (October 4, 1859)[specific citation needed]
- Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics.
- Speech (November 7, 1860)[specific citation needed]
- I think the first duty of society is justice.
- Disunion (January 21, 1861)[specific citation needed]
- Revolutions never go backward.
- Speech (February 17, 1861)[specific citation needed]
- Aristocracy is always cruel.
- Address on Toussaint L'Ouverture (1861)[specific citation needed]
- He who stifles free discussion, secretly doubts whether what he professes to believe is really true.
- Boston, 6 August 1870. Oration delivered at Daniel O'Connell Celebration. Reproduced in Wendell Phillips: The Agitator. Martyn, William Carlos (1890). New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, p. 563.
- Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we are all wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.
- Lecture: The Lost Arts, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- "It's just what Wendell Phillips said," she declared. "'The Puritan's idea of hell is a place where everybody has to mind his own business.'"