Josiah Quincy III

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A person is never happy till their vague strivings has itself marked out its proper limitations.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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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.


  • 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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