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- Our country – In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.
- Toast at a dinner in Norfolk, Virginia (April 1816) reported in Niles' Weekly Register (Baltimore, Maryland) 20 April 1816; as cited in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (2010), Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, p. 70
- Variant: Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.
- [emphasis added] This widely quoted version is attributed in Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, Life of Stephen Decatur: A Commodore in the Navy of the United States (1846), C. C. Little and J. Brown, p. 443.
- This statement produced the famous slogan "My country, right or wrong!" which itself produced famous responses by:
- John Quincy Adams (may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right.)
- G.K. Chesterton (a thing that no patriot would think of saying)
- Carl Schurz (if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right)
- Mark Twain (How absolutely absurd to teach this idea to the youth of the country)