Quotations – C


“Invested capital is the result of brains.”

Source: “The Supports Of Civilization,” on November 27, 1920. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“Capital is the chief material minister to the general character of all mankind.”

Source: “The Supports Of Civilization,” on November 27, 1920. As found in The Price of Freedom.

Carnegie, Andrew

“He offered opportunity. He knew it was all his beneficiaries could profitably receive. If they were to have life more abundantly he knew it could only come through their own effort. He could not give the means by which others could provide for themselves. He did not pauperize. He ennobled.”

Source: “Andrew Carnegie: Organizer for Service,” on April 28, 1921. As found in The Price of Freedom.


“There is considerable speculation as to whether I am likely to change or not. I don’t anticipate to change very much. I have tried in the conduct of my office to be natural and I don’t want to change that attitude. There are two or three people that have served with me in the conduct of affairs of the United States that I should be pleased if they changed a little–that I have to change from saying ‘no’ to saying ‘yes.’”

Source: “Press Conference,” on November 11, 1924.


“There is no surer road to destruction than prosperity without character.”

Source: “Thought, The Master Of Things,” on July 7, 1921. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“Character is the only secure foundation of the state.”

Source: “Speech at a New York City Lincoln Day Dinner” on February 12, 1924.

“Honest poverty is one thing, but lack of industry and character is another.”

Source: “Armistice Day Address,” on November 11, 1926. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“That which we call character in all men, is not a matter of hire and salary.”

Source: “Veto Of Salary Increase,” on February 4, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“We must forever realize that material rewards are limited and in a sense they are only incidental, but the development of character is unlimited and is the only essential.”

Source: “Brockton Chamber Of Commerce,” on April 11, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


“The recognition of brotherhood brings in the requirement of charity. But it is only on the basis of individual property that there can be charity. Our very conception of the term means that we deny ourselves of what belongs to us, in order to give it to another. If that which we give is not really our own, but belongs to the person to whom we give it, such an act may rightfully be called justice, but it cannot be regarded as charity.”

Source: “Authority and Religious Liberty,” on September 21, 1924. As found in Foundations of the Republic.

Church Membership

“Although I had been rather constant in my attendance, I had never joined the church . . . . Among other things, I had some fear as to my ability to set that example which I always felt ought to denote the life of a church member. I am inclined to think now that this was the counsel of darkness.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 179.


“After all, good citizenship is neither intricate nor involved; it is simple and direct; it is every-day common sense and justice.”

Source: Adequate Brevity, p. 19.


“The process of civilization consists of the discovery by men of the laws of the universe, and of living in harmony with these laws.”

Source: “The Supports Of Civilization,” on November 27, 1920.

“The law of progress and civilization is not the law of the jungle. It is not an earthly law, it is a divine law. It does not mean the survival of the fittest, it means the sacrifice of the fittest. Any mother will give her life for her child. Men put the women and children in the lifeboats before they themselves will leave the sinking ship.”

Source: “Roxbury Historical Society,” on June 17, 1918. As found in Have Faith In Massachusetts.

“Civilization is always on trial, testing out, not the power of material resources, but whether there be, in the heart of the people, that virtue and character which comes from charity sufficient to maintain progress.”

Source: “The Power Of The Moral Law,” on October 11, 1921. As found in The Price of Freedom.


“Where commerce has flourished, there civilization has increased.”

Source: “Brockton Chamber of Commerce,” on April 11, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“To-day it is not the battle fleet, but the mercantile marine which in the end will determine the destiny of nations.”

Source: “Brockton Chamber of Commerce,” on April 11, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


“When I talk with people that I appoint to commissions and tell them that I would like to have them go on to the various boards with the idea that they may be abolished, they say they ought to be abolished, but when they have taken their position they very soon change their mind.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on August 9, 1927.


“Communism will fail because what it attempts is against human nature. No man will provide me with food and other necessities of life unless he is a gainer by it in some way.”

Source: Meet Calvin Coolidge, p. 178.


“I have a question here as to whether communists ought to be allowed to come into this country if they come in for commercial purposes. Well, I rather think that that question would answer itself. The only thing that the Government is trying to do is to see that our laws are observed. It isn’t trying to enforce its own ideas or carry out its own desires about people that can come in or stay out. The fact that a person was going to come here and spend a large sum of money I don’t think would make any difference in the law. I don’t know of any provision in the law that says the right to come into this country is for sale, that the principles of the United States are for sale if you want to pay enough and you don’t have to live according to the laws of this country.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on September 22, 1925.


“The Constitution is the sole source and guaranty of national freedom.”

Source: Accepting Nomination as Republican Candidate for President, on August 4, 1924.

“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”

Source: A Dinner At the White House, on December 12, 1924.


“Many times I say only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to people. Even that is too much. It winds them up for twenty minutes or more.”

Source: Meet Calvin Coolidge, p. 133.

Coolidge, Grace

“For almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 93.

Coolidge, Col. John

“My father had qualities that were greater than any I possess. He was a man of untiring industry and great tenacity of purpose . . . He always stuck to the truth. It always seemed possible for him to form an unerring judgment of men and things. He would be classed as decidedly a man of character. I have no doubt he is representative of a great mass of Americans who are known only to their neighbors; nevertheless, they are really great. It would be difficult to say that he had a happy life. He never seemed to be seeking happiness. He was a firm believer in hard work. Death visited the family often, but I have no doubt he took a satisfaction in accomplishment and always stood ready to meet any duty that came to him. He did not fear the end of life, but looked forward to it as a reunion with all he had loved and lost.”

Source: Your Son Calvin Coolidge, p. vii.

“The lines he laid out were true and straight, and the curves regular. The work he did endured.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge.

Coolidge, John (son) (Instructions regarding college)

“My dear John:

Some weeks ago I wrote you a letter. You have made no response to it whatever. When I send you some instructions I want to know that you are carrying them out.

Now I want to know how much time you are spending in Northampton. I would like to know what entertainments you are attending and who you are taking them with you there and at Amherst.

I want you to keep in mind that you have been sent to college to work. Nothing else will do you any good. Nobody in my class who spent their time in other ways has ever amounted to anything. Unless you want to spend your time working you may just as well leave college. Nothing else will make you a man or gain for you the respect of people.

I want you to refuse all requests that will interfere with your doing the work that is assigned each day for you to do.

Your father
Calvin Coolidge”

Source: Your Son Calvin Coolidge, p. viii-ix.


“Courts are established, not to determine the popularity of a cause, but to adjudicate and enforce rights.”

Source: “Have Faith In Massachusetts: Massachusetts Senate President Acceptance Speech,” on January 7, 1914. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


“Destructive criticism is always easy because, despite some campaign oratory, some of us are not yet perfect.”

Source: “Brockton Chamber of Commerce,” on April 11, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“I do not care to be criticizing those in power. I’ve never been much good attacking men in public office. If they succeed, the criticism fails; if they fail, the people find it out as quickly as you can tell them.”

Source: Meet Calvin Coolidge, p. 214.

“If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only their conduct we shall soon reach a very false conclusion. When we have exhausted the possibilities of criticism on ourselves it will be time enough to apply it on others.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, July 18, 1930.


“There is no place for the cynic or the pessimist. Who is he that can take no part in business because he believes it selfish? Who is he that can take no part in religion because he believes it is imperfect? These institutions are the instruments by which an eternal purpose is working out the salvation of the world. It is not for us to regard them with disdain; it is for us to work with them. It is a high calling in which to be even a doorkeeper is better than to rule over many multitudes of critics and philistines.”

Source: “The Instruments Of Progress,” on June 7, 1922. As found in Price of Freedom p. 169

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