Ask Mount Vernon

Did George Washington say the following and if so, please cite source:

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."

Tobias Lear

Tobias Lear

Personal Secretary to President George Washington

George Washington did not say the quote you attributed to him. The first few words are the same as a sentence from his First Annual Message given to Congress on January 8, 1790, but the rest of the words are quite different. Compare the spurious quote to Washington's actual words, "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies."

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